Principal's Message


Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Principal's Message

Principal Patrick McNichols

Summer 2017

Patrick McNichols

Dear Monticello and Roxboro Families,

As the 2016-2017 school year comes to a close, it is our hope that you and your family have a restful summer vacation. When we return to school in August, Monticello and Roxboro will come together as one Heights Middle School located at the Wiley campus in University Heights.

Each school will retain its identity for state data-reporting purposes, but this new learning environment will function as one school featuring shared administrative leadership, combined elective classes, activities and lunch, and students taking core classes with their assigned school teachers.

Our theme for this transition is One Tiger Nation and the goal is to have students and staff connect as one “Heights Middle School.”

CH-UH District staff have been working over the past several months to formulate plans and procedures of how this transition will impact our students, staff, families, and community. We invite you, as parents, to join us in this important effort as we prepare to open the building in August.



April 2017

Dear Families,

Another busy school year will be coming to a close soon and I would like to thank all of our families and the community for your support this year. The Monticello staff has been working diligently to provide our students with outstanding learning opportunities. In March, the eighth grade students visited our nation’s capital, the Model UN team brought home several awards from the state competition in Columbus, the Science Olympiad team competed in Solon and we had one of our best showings at the regional Power of the Pen Competition as the squad is moving on to the State tournament in May. We had our IB authorization visit towards the end of the month and have to submit some additional documentation with the hope that we will be authorized by the end of the school year.

The Ohio State Tests are a major focus during the month of April. However, education does not stop as we have been working to ensure that our students are also having enriching learning experiences while completing our assessment obligations. We were able to recognize 150 students who earned either honor or merit roll recognition during the third quarter.

The Drama Club just completed their performance of School House Rock, which was well received by the audience. Also, our spring sports teams are underway as softball, baseball, track and boys tennis are representing our school well. We would like to thank the Heights School Foundation for their donation of $500 and an assortment of Tiger Wear, as the gifts will support our academic and social supports programs.

The month of May will be a busy one as the school year comes to a close. We will have a meeting for seventh grade parents on May 3 at the Wiley Campus to find out about the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. that will take place in November. We hope Monticello families will be able to participate in the RoxArts benefit on May 13 as the program generously has provided $4,000 to our school this year to support the integration of arts education into the curriculum on all teams. The spring concerts will take place the evening of May 17 followed the next night by National Junior Honor Society inductions. The eighth grade dance will be held the evening of May 19. The music programs will be representing our school at the Music on the Parks event at Cedar Point on May 20. Our Power of the Pen team will be competing in the state tournament at the College of Wooster on May 25. Eighth grade students will be going to Cedar Point on their class trip May 30 and their Farewell Ceremony will be held the evening of June 1.

Next month’s newsletter will focus on the transition to the Wiley Campus. Families will get an end-of-the-year letter with information about important dates for the start of next school year, summer reading information, and summer school registration details. You can learn more about the transition on and you can always call the school if you have additional questions.

Mr. Patrick McNichols
Principal, Monticello Middle School

February/March 2017

Dear Families,

I would like to start by thanking all of the families that were able to join the middle school staffs for the presentations explaining how we will merge the two middle schools into one campus next year. We are excited to provide as many opportunities as possible to bring students together as one Tiger Nation when we are on the same campus. Although we cannot completely merge when the schools are at Wiley due to issues with state accountability measures, we look forward to giving students and staff members the opportunity to design a unified middle school program. You can learn more about the transition plans by visiting the school website and clicking on the Heights Middle School box at the top of the webpage. The article provides information about the academic programs, administrative supports, combined extracurricular activities and who will qualify for bussing services. Please join the PTAs in May for the end of the year BBQ and begin to meet new friends while finding out how you can support the transition program.

Monticello has been busy recognizing our diverse community as we recently observed the Chinese New Year with student presentations about Chinese culture and a family dinner. In mid-February, Student Council recognized Monticello students who had won local MLK contests prior to the student body hearing a keynote speech by Peter Lawson Jones. At the culminating Black History Month assembly, students heard local artist Van Monroe discuss how he creates sneaker art for celebrities, as well as a performance by rapper and violinist Humble G. In March, we will be celebrating Women’s History Month with whole school activities designed to inspire our young ladies to excellence.

Monticello’s journey to IB authorization is coming to a close with our authorization visit planned for March 16 and 17. Staff members have worked to align our school’s policies and academic program to the IB standards and practices. We are excited to kick off the eighth grade community project the week before Spring Break, where eighth grade students will learn how to design, plan, implement and present a service in action project. Several teachers have taken advantage of the IB program’s online training opportunities for the Design and PE/Health classes. All staff members spent the afternoon of March 3rd learning about implementing the IB assessment requirements so our students can be assessed using the program’s criteria.

Monticello students are representing our school well both academically and in athletic competitions. We recently invited 75 students to apply for the National Junior Honor Society. The robotics team completed their second competition of the year and after a slow start, finished strong. Two Monticello students achieved a third place finish in the Mission Impossible category at the regional Science Olympiad competition held at Case Western Reserve University. Monticello will host the Solo and Ensemble Competition for the second year in a row, and we hope to have students earn 1's for their musicianship. The Model UN team will travel to Columbus to compete with the best teams in the state where we expect great performances from our teams. Finally, the girl’s basketball team advanced to the second round of the LEL championship and we hope they pull out a victory in their next game. The winter sports season is ending and coaches will be recruiting participants for the spring sports teams in the upcoming weeks prior to spring break so contact Mr. Jeske if you need tryout information.

January 2017

Monticello Families:

We have officially hit the mid point of the school year with the conclusion of the second quarter on January 12. Parents will be able to access final grades on Infinite Campus starting January 20. If you need a copy of your student’s report card printed, please feel free to call the main office and we will mail one to your home. You can call your child’s counselor at any time to set up teacher meetings if a plan is needed to improve your student’s academic performance. Counselors are working on course requests for next year, so feel free to reach out to them to help with your child’s selection process.

We are two months away from our IB authorization visit, and our staff is working diligently to prepare for a successful visit. Teachers have been planning, teaching, assessing and reflecting on their IB lessons, which are designed to engage your children in rigorous and relevant studies. Mrs. Garrett, the IB coordinator, recently presented at the staff meeting an overview of IB assessment for the teachers and will facilitate a full-scale training in March. We will plan a parent meeting to discuss how children are graded in the IB system, as the grading scales are a little different from traditional grades. Please let Mrs. Garrett know if you are interested in participating in the authorization visit as a parent representative.

The Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Team has finalized our school plan and the official kick-off assembly was held the first day back from winter break. Students were reminded of our school behavior expectations and were treated to a performance by Humble G the Fiddler, who reinforced the message that all students should be respected in school. Students will be able to earn ROARS cards from staff members when they are respectful, on time, accepting, responsible and safe. The cards can be turned in to the Tiger Store for treats.

Monticello recently had 17 students recognized by the City of Cleveland Heights for submitting high quality essays, poems, and posters about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the city’s 19th annual celebration of his life and legacy.

Three teams at the John Carroll University Model UN competition represented the school and six students took home awards for excellent delegation, position paper award, and honorable mention.

The Robotics Team will attempt to qualify for the state tournament on January 28 after narrowly missing out at their previous competition. The Science Olympiad Team will represent the school at their first competition of the school year on February 4.

The boys basketball season is coming to an end soon and the girls team as well as wrestling are just getting started so check the website for game dates and times if you would like to see the Monticello Tigers in action.

-Mr. Patrick McNichols, Monticello Principal

December 2016

The winter break is almost upon us. Monticello's focus for November was on the IB attribute of reflection, and our staff members have spent a lot of time reviewing our school program. We have made changes to our instructional program to align with the more rigorous expectations of the state assessments that seek to ensure students are college and career ready.

Our PBIS team has worked to revamp our behavior expectation and incentive program to promote a more positive climate in the building. Middle school is a challenging time as students are experiencing a lot of physical changes, and we are working to support our student's academic and emotional growth as they deal with their transition into adulthood.

Speaking of the IB program, Monticello's application for authorization has been accepted and we will have our site visit March 15 and 16. The authorization team will be interviewing staff, students and parents to determine if we are on the path to meeting the program expectations. The IB coordinator, Mrs. Garrett, presented to the PTA a status report on our implementation at the November meeting and is requesting parent volunteers to talk about the program to the authorization team.

Monticello staff are working to promote the IB attribute of being open-minded during the month of December as students are encourage to think globally while acting locally. We have recently had students from the National Junior Honor Society attend a leadership seminar in Columbus and MSAN went to the Maltz Museum to view a civil rights exhibit. 7th grade students will be visiting the Federal Reserve Bank to learn about how math helps you understand the inner workings of the economy.

The robotics team participated in a competition at Sheffield Middle School and earned 3rd place in a field of more than 20 teams. The robotics group finished one point away from earning the right to attend the state competition, and they have another chance to qualify in January--good luck Robotics!

6th Grade students will be participating in an interactive presentation by several local “Lost Boys” where they will be able to learn first hand what it was like to go through the Sudanese Civil War after having read A Long Walk to Water.

On December 8 students in the band, orchestra, and vocal programs will perform for their friends and family. Please join us at 7:00 p.m. to see how much our musicians have grown since the beginning of the school year. Boys basketball is under way, and the team has started the season well. Wrestling and girls basketball will begin soon after the break.

Progress reports are now available on Infinite Campus for families to review. Please contact the counselors to set up teacher meetings if your student is in need of a support plan. The next Parent Teacher Conference Night is not until March, so don't wait to meet with your child's teachers if they are struggling. We hope that all of our families have a safe and happy winter break. The break begins December 19 and students return to school on Monday, January 2.


November 2016

Monticello Families:

The first quarter is coming to an end and it is hard to believe how fast the school year is progressing. During the month of October, our Fall sports seasons concluded, and our athletes made progress with learning how to play as a team and further developing their athletic skills. The students looked great on picture day and for those who would like another sitting we will have retakes on November 10. On October 21 we had our first school dance, and we really appreciated the assistance of the parents who volunteered to chaperone as we had a great turnout for the GLOW party.

1st quarter report cards are now available on Infinite Campus and parents can schedule to meet with teachers on conference night November 2 using the TESSO system. A letter went home explaining how to register online, and families that need assistance can call the office at (216) 371-6520. Students will be dismissed at 1:30 p.m. on conference day so teachers have time to prepare for their scheduled meetings. If you are unable to attend on Nov. 2, you can call a counselor to schedule parent meetings with teachers at any time throughout the school year.

Our teachers have been working diligently to develop challenging classroom tasks to prepare our students for the increased expectations students will have to meet for the State assessments. Staff members have received training on how to use Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge framework to develop challenging assignments for students. Teachers have also received training on how to use our new literature series as well.

We were saddened to learn about the passing of Spanish teacher Hallie Wolf. Ms. Wolf had taught in the CHUH School District for three years and was in her second year at Monticello. Grief counselors were provided to support our students and staff who struggled with hearing of Ms. Wolf’s passing. Her family expressed appreciation for the numerous cards and notes that they received from the student body. Retired Heights High School Spanish teacher Mrs. Argheta-Gomes has agreed to provide instruction to our students until the District finds a permanent replacement for Ms. Wolf.

November will be a busy month as the second quarter gets underway. The Winter Sports program starts with boys basketball, and several grade levels take students on field trips including the 6th grade trip to the Natural History Museum and the 7th grade trip to the Federal Reserve Bank. The 8th grade class trip to Washington, D.C. has been finalized, and trip information is available either from Ms. Durrah or Mr. Diligente. Students will not have school on November 8 as Monticello will be a polling site and teachers will have a professional development day. Schools will also be closed from November 23-25 for Thanksgiving break. Our music programs will be rehearsing for the December 8th concert and we hope you will join us.

Mr. Patrick McNichols
Monticello Middle School Principal


September/October 2016

Monticello Families:

Students are now halfway through the first quarter, and progress reports will be available by the end of the week. We have had a good start to the school year as the students and their teachers have been getting to work on mastering their grade level content. Teacher teams have been working with the Student Assistance Team, made up of counseling staff and administrators, to develop the process we will use to support students who are struggling academically and socially in school.

The start of the school year was hot, but that did not deter families from attending the 6th grade orientation and curriculum night. We look forward to a cool down in the temperatures, and are currently planning for the move to the Wiley Campus so both middle schools can start their renovation work next year to update our heating and cooling systems.

We want to thank the Monticello community for being supportive of our school program as we had a strong turnout for the Father’s Walk and at many of our fall sporting events. Currently the Volleyball, Girls Tennis, Soccer and Football teams are representing our school well so please join us for our next sporting events.

The Monticello staff is in the process of completing our application to become an International Baccalaureate World School. We have developed our school policies including Language, Assessment, Academic Honesty and Special Education. The policies will be available for community review on the school website soon. Staff members are in the process of completing all required training and we anticipate our authorization visit sometime in the spring. We are excited to become an IB World School, as the program will help teachers provide students with ways to connect the content they are learning in class to real world experiences and hopefully thoughts about future career opportunities.

Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on November 2 and families will use the TESSO system to schedule meetings. A letter will be coming home in the next few weeks explaining the process and how to get support if you do not have access to a computer to register. Families are able to schedule teacher conferences at any time through the guidance counselors so if you need to meet with teacher teams please contact the school.

We thank you for letting us work with your children and look forward to a productive school year!

Mr. Patrick McNichols
Monticello Middle School Principal


August 2016

Families of Monticello Middle School Students:
As the new school year begins, I would like to take an opportunity to introduce myself to the Monticello community. Ms. Moore, the former principal, has transitioned to the Board of Education for the 2016-17 school year where she will work with the Student Services Department.  It is with great excitement that I join your community from Roxboro Middle School. I have spent the past six years learning about the middle level as well as the International Baccalaureate Programme, and I am excited to bring my experience to Monticello Middle School. 
My work in the education field over the past 20 years has helped me learn how to support the academic, social, and emotional needs of students as they transition to and from middle school.   It is my goal as an instructional leader to ensure academic success in a rigorous curriculum for all students at Monticello Middle School.  I am excited to work with Ms. Armstrong, the new assistant principal, and the teaching staff to improve our instructional program so that we continue to be a School of Momentum where students exceed academic growth expectations set by the State of Ohio.  During the upcoming school year, I will be focused on supporting the authorization of Monticello as an IB World School while planning the transition of both CHUH middle schools to the Wiley Campus so renovations of the existing structures can begin.
As the parent of two school-aged children, I have always sought to provide my students with the kind of educational services that I would want and expect for my own children. What I would expect for my children and plan to provide the families of Monticello Middle School is:
  • An environment that is safe, orderly, and conducive to learning. 
  • An opportunity to learn what students need to know to be successful 21st century citizens who are prepared to achieve in a competitive world economy. 
  • The opportunity for students to develop a positive young adult identity. 
  • Equal partnership on the educational team that is working hard to assist your student in the achievement of academic success. 
  • Timely communication about academic progress, supports for struggling learners, enrichment opportunities, and school programs.
The adolescents of today face a dizzying array of challenges and opportunities. Together we can help them make good decisions while focusing on learning the skills and knowledge to be successful.
I look forward to meeting each of you and relish the challenge of assisting your student with having a successful school year starting on August 22, 2016.   If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call me at 320-3700 or email me at  
Mr. Patrick McNichols
Monticello Middle School Principal 
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