Community Meeting Offers Ideas for Planning District's Five-Year Future

Nearly 70 people  participated in a Strategic Planning Committee community meeting Wednesday, March 4 in the Heights High Social Room. For nearly two-and-a-half hours, parents, students, teachers, staff  and community members provided deep thinking about how to plot the future over the next five years of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District.

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Parents, community members and alumni who weren't able to attend can contribute to the planning by taking this online survey by March 22.

Strategic Planning Consultant Amy Morgenstern challenged participants to think outside the box and share ideas from their individual tables with a ‘popcorn approach’—participants commenting, one after another.

Each table had a member of the Strategic Planning Committee serving as a facilitator to ensure that everyone at the table was able to share their concerns and ideas.  Questions such as: “What should the District set as its number one priority over the next five years?”,  “How important are test scores?” and  “What has the District been doing that it should stop doing?” brought deep and passionate feelings to the surface.

As questions appeared on the projector, hands went up to share suggestions and opinions for the District.

Some comments about teaching students as it relates to the District’s five-year plan:

  • “We must teach them that success is not immediate, but it’s a process.”

  • “Schools must form citizens.”

  • "Students must understand the importance of having a moral compass."

  • "Students must create and contribute." 

Heights High Students Akash Bartlett and Emma Zordan were among the voices that stood out and they appreciated the opportunity to be a voice in the discussion. "This was very beneficial to hear the viewpoints from our staff and parents,” Emma stated. “It was great to see how the process works and that people are trying to make a difference," added Akash.

To gauge how the District should move forward, the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) held several small group facilitated discussions in January and February with key stakeholders, including community members, parents, students, staff, and teachers and parents of charter and private school students who live in the Heights.

The SPC wanted to provide another platform for the community to be engaged in the planning process.

“Everyone had an opportunity to share their hopes and dreams for the District,” stated Jane Harris, SPC member. “Anyone who couldn't be here tonight should take the online survey.”

The survey for parents, community members and alumni can be accessed hereA separate survey each for students and teachers/staff also will be shared this month.

The SPC will hold a six-hour joint Board/SPC meeting on Tuesday, April 14 from 3-9 p.m. at the Delisle Options Center.

The purpose of this collaborative meeting is for both parties to engage around and discuss key implications of stakeholders’ input and hard data from the District that CH-UH should seek to accomplish over the next five years.

Information from all of the SPC meetings and online surveys will be assimilated and made available to the community.