Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 6-15-2021

JUNE 15, 2021 work session


  • Board approvals
  • Blended learning policy
  • College and Career Task force recommendations
  • Board comments


Present were President James Posch and members Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, and Beverly Wright. Jodi Sourini attended virtually. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. and adjourned at 8 p.m.

Board approvals

Say Yes to Education agreement: The board approved an agreement with Say Yes to Education for providing post-secondary planning system technology.

Lease-purchase agreement: The board approved refinancing the costs of construction, improvement, furnishings and equipping, and the lease and eventual acquisition of facilites and improvements.

Issuance and sale of bonds: The board approved a resolution for refunding certain outstanding school improvement bonds to obtain savings on debt charges. Mr. Gainer said that authorizing this action carries no responsibility to go forward if there is no cost benefit. The lay finance committee will meet in July, and the board will know the new interest rate in August. Mr. Gainer will deliver a certified copy of this resolution and a signed copy of the final terms certificate to the county.

Bond refinancing: The board approved a tentative time schedule for series 2021 bond refinancing.

Blended learning policy

The first of three readings was held for policy 2370.01 which concerns blended learning [a combination of online and in-person teaching]The Ohio Revised Code requires districts that intend to use blended learning to have a policy in place.The second reading is scheduled for June 29. 

The following points are included in the policy:

  • The board will authorize a blended learning environment as an educational opportunity. Students who participate will be able to earn credits by demonstrating proficiency in knowledge and skills rather than participating a minimum number of days or hours in a classroom or on a digital learning device.
  • A sufficient number of teachers will be assigned to meet the student's personal learning goals. Each student will be assigned to at least one teacher of record. A school or classroom that implements blended learning can’t be required to have more than one teacher for every 125 students.
  • Participating students will have access to digital learning tools for online or digital content.
  • Teachers will receive appropriate training in the pedagogy of effective online or digital instruction.

College and Career Task Force recommendations

Robert Swaggard, director of educational services, gave an overview of the task force and its recommendations as to how the district can improve students’ post-secondary success. The task force has 34 members, consisting of students, educators, parents, and community members. For the past year, the task force has been collecting data and exploring programs related to college and career readiness that are relevant to district students and programs. The task force recommends implementing curriculum activities pre-K through grade twelve that expose students to career technical education (CTE) offerings and colleges and universities in northeast Ohio. Career exploration would begin in kindergarten through grade five, goal setting would occur in grades six through nine, and students in grades ten through twelve would develop a postsecondary plan.

Recommendations include formalizing a tutoring and mentoring system and using the Naviance software platform to aid students in preparing for career and college success.

Superintendent Kirby said that it would be desirable to track graduates and collect data concerning program outcomes. The CTE teachers contact and poll their students six months after graduation. Gathering such data on all graduates is desirable, but whether this can be done is uncertain. She also said that the work had started on the postsecondary plan and that each 2022 graduate will develop a clear post-graduation plan.

The board had several comments and questions. Mr. Posch stated the need to investigate how other school systems gather data on their graduates. Mr. Heintz asked whether some offered CTE programs are not successful or whether other CTE programs might be offered. Ms. Lewis said she would like to see a refresh of the strategic plan and how the task force plan will fit in. Ms. Sourini was concerned about plan implementation, given the already full curriculum.

LWV Observer: Rosemarie Fairman.

Documents for all board meetings can be accessed from the Board of Education webpage: Go to “BoardDocs” in the menu; on Board Docs go to “MEETINGS” in the top menu; click on “Agenda.” Board meetings are livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel ( and recorded for later viewing.

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