Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year! We begin this year with high hopes for all that we can accomplish together.
As a community, we are continuing to build deep connections among students, teachers, staff and families that are making a difference in the lives of our students. Building community and making our schools welcoming to all students and families creates a strong foundation for our students to learn and grow.
As we enter a new school year, the district’s mission remains the same: Our schools provide a challenging and engaging education to prepare all our students to become responsible citizens and succeed in college and career.
We are pleased to see positive growth in student achievement and other important measures of our students’ success, including improved K-3 Literacy, a reduction in the number of student referrals with our emphasis on CHAMPS and social emotional supports. Additionally, many more of our high school graduates are completing the coursework needed to be college and career ready.
The district continues its focus on implementing our Five-Year Strategic Plan, which was created to address every aspect of the district’s performance. We are only in the second year of the Strategic Plan, but already we’ve seen measurable results for each of the five goals.
Highlights from the first year of our Strategic Plan include:
- Goal 1 (Student Outcomes) – Our graduation rate continues to rise due to programs and processes that we have implemented with our strategic plan, including non-traditional options for students who are not excelling. Enrollment in Advanced Placement courses has also risen, as we focus on providing our students with a rigorous curriculum.
- Goal 2 (Educational Approach) – All CH-UH students, in every district school building from pre-K through 12, regardless of family income level, now receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at no charge each day. CH-UH is able to provide this service, cost-free to the district, through the Community Eligibility Provision, which is a nationwide program that eliminates the burden of collecting household applications to determine eligibility for school meals. The district is striving to eliminate hunger as a barrier to academic success by providing this service to families.
- Goal 3 (Parents & Community) – The district’s partnership with the Cleveland Clinic includes important programs that help eliminate barriers to students’ success. Each month, the Cleveland Clinic’s Mobile Unit visits three CH-UH schools—Boulevard Elementary, Oxford Elementary and Heights High—to provide convenient access to medical care for all CH-UH students.
- Goal 4 (Valued Professionals and a Culture of Excellence) – We have implemented our Employee Code of Conduct, which holds each and every employee of the district to high standards. Also, I’m proud to report that 100% of our teachers are certified as Highly Qualified Teachers.
- Goal 5 (Operational Resources) – Our IT department distributed 900 new Chromebook computers across our elementary schools in order to give our youngest students access to cutting edge technology.
We are proud of our progress, and yet we know that there’s still much more we can do to ensure that all kids reach their full potential. This year we must challenge ourselves each day to meet the needs of each of our students and build upon the educational practices and programs that are having the best results for them.
Looking ahead, we conducted a series of parent conversations this summer on our gifted program and will use this information to develop a plan for the 2017-2018 school year. Also, three task force teams for special education, gifted programs and equity will be developed this year.
I encourage every parent to join this meaningful worked aligned with the district’s core values, which state: The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is deeply committed to educational equity and providing an excellent education for all of our students in every one of our schools.
I feel a renewed sense of excitement for the start of this school year because of the energy our students, staff, parents, and community bring to our school community and all the possibilities that working together provides. Our school district will excel because of this collective effort, focus and commitment. I look forward to the work we will accomplish this year!
Dr. Talisa L. Dixon
Cleveland Heights-University Heights Superintendent