Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 4-4-23
APRIL 4, 2023, regular meeting
- Public comments
- Recognitions and awards
- ELA curriculum and Group B Policies
- PBIS Reward Program results
- Treasurer’s report - three things
- School funding resolutions
Present were President Beverly Wright, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, James Posch, and Jodi Sourini. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting lasted about one hour 30 minutes.
Union President Karen Rego spoke regarding safety in the schools, stating that recent improvements in safety are not enough. Several teacher assaults have occurred. Discipline referrals need to receive fast and appropriate follow-up. She stated that the schools are not safe for students or faculty and asked that the board meet with the union as part of the Student Discipline Committee to find solutions. Ms. Wright asked Ms. Rego to contact her to set up a conference time.
Recognitions and awards
The Ohio Middle Level Student of the Year Award was presented to Monticello eighth graders Darrius Ranch and Xaria Morre.
Allison Craig was recognized as Ohio School Social Worker of the Year, and Tiger Team members were recognized for March.
Junior Jordon Evans presented the Student Cadre report. The Heights High spring blood drive donated 37 pints of blood. Students in the instrumental program travelled to Chicago for workshops. Twelve students were inducted into the National Technical Honor Society.
ELA curriculum and Group B Policies
After a final reading, the board voted to adopt the proposed ELA curriculum and thanked Dr. Cristina Bauer, director of curriculum, and her team for their thorough review and extensive work in researching the curriculum.
After a final reading, the board approved Group B policies.
PBIS Reward Program results
Oxford Elementary Principal Jackie Taylor and Oxford second-grade teacher Amy Robinson explained the PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) Reward Program that rewards students for good attendance and good behavior. Since the program has been in place, chronic absenteeism at Oxford has dropped from 40.7 percent last year to 22 percent for 2022-2023.
Treasurer’s report - three things
Alternative Tax Budget. Mr. Gainer explained several financial procedures, which the board has approved, that must be completed to receive state money. He said public schools are obligated to present accountability based on state requirements under which each public board of education must operate. The district meets state requirements, but it is a difficult and costly process.
Tax rate resolution is the process by which the board accepts the tax rates as determined by the county’s Budget Commission and the tax revenues collected by the county and distributed to the school district.
Fair School Funding Plan. Mr. Gainer provided information about the Fair School Funding Plan. The plan is an effort to provide and maintain a functional, transparent, and justifiable method of funding Ohio’s public schools. It is incorporated into the budget bill (House Bill 110) for fiscal 2022 and 2023. Numerous individual components on every expenditure necessary to provide every child with a quality educational opportunity provide the base cost calculation and establish per pupil amounts and employee-to-pupil ratios.
Mr. Gainer noted that the plan, a bipartisan effort, is not fully funded but is to be phased in over six years, although it is in the biennial budget and guaranteed for only two years. The funding is based on 2018 wages and prices.
Ms. Lewis expressed concern that public education will not receive enough money from the plan because of special interests influencing the legislature. This is despite Governor DeWine advocating for public school funding.
School funding resolutions
The board unanimously approved resolutions supporting the Fair School Funding Plan and opposing House Bill (HB) 11 and Senate Bill 11 (the Backpack Scholarship Program) and to HB1, which would change Ohio property tax laws.
Board members complained that Ohio legislators are not explaining how the proposed taxation legislation will work or its fiscal impact on the state and other governing bodies.
The Heights family handbook, an Academic Companion, was completed under the leadership of Lisa Hunt and has been distributed.
On March 14, district staff and faculty served on the League of Woman Voters Education Panel. The topic was recovering from the Covid pandemic with a focus on the social-emotional needs and supports for students. The panel noted challenges that are both local and national.
The Cleveland Northeast Suburban College Fair took place at Heights High on March 16 with over 65 colleges, universities, and trade institutions attending. The district’s Career Development Program sponsored the fair.
All kindergarten through third grade teachers are participating in the Science of Reading Training program. This program gives professional development in dyslexia for licensed teachers.
The Heights High Academic Challenge team will compete against Our Lady of Elms on News Channel 5, April 15, 11:30 a.m.
A number of district events will be held in April and May, including a leadership luncheon for current and new parent leaders on Saturday, April 15. On April 16, Heights High and the Heights Schools Foundation will host a community event to commemorate 50 years of Holocaust-themed education.
LWV Observer: Rosemarie Fairman.
Upcoming meetings are a work session to be held on April 18 at 6:30 p.m. and a board retreat on April 22.
For questions on Mr. Gainer’s finance report see <https://www.chuh.org/3Things.aspx>
Documents for all board meetings can be accessed from the Board of Education webpage: www.chuh.org/BoardofEducation.aspx. Go to “BoardDocs” in the menu; on BoardDocs go to “MEETINGS” in the top menu; click on “Agenda.” Board meetings are livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/CHUHSchools) and recorded for later viewing.