Principal's Message


Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Principal's Message

Principals Dr. Johnston and Mr. Mc Nichols

November 2017

November is the month that Heights Middle School promotes the IB attribute of being Reflective, and just as we ask our students to reflect we also do so as a staff. We have been working diligently to continue to develop a unified middle school program that includes efforts to create common traditions for the Monticello and Roxboro staff and students as part of this initiative. Just prior to the start of the month, all students and staff were able to celebrate Halloween by coming to school dressed in their best costumes. The 8th grade class took their annual trip to Washington DC and had an opportunity to take in some of the most important sites our nation has to offer. We had 376 students qualify to attend the first quarter Honor and Merit Roll Breakfast celebration. We have also provided our students with numerous opportunities to visit colleges such as Kenyon College, John Carroll University, Notre Dame College, and Youngstown State University. We would like to thank all of the parents who were able to attend Parent Teacher Conference Night and want to remind all of our families that you can schedule meetings with teachers throughout the school year by contacting your child’s counselor.

All District schools have been charged with developing building plans that addresses academics, assessment and climate. Teachers continue to work hard to develop common instruction and assessment plans that serve students in both middle school’s classrooms. We have also been collectively working to develop a positive climate in the building through revising our initial plans as we work to understand the needs of our student population in our new setting. The teachers have identified areas to focus on such as improving hallway transitions, using respectful language in school and responding positively to staff directives. We are starting counseling groups for students who need academic and emotional supports, parent meetings have been held with students who need targeted support plans, and the administrative team will review school expectations this week with grade level groups as a means of reinforcing correct behavior in school. We have modified our lunch plan to lessen the number of students transitioning into the lunch periods by providing fun and informative lessons to 6th and 7th grade students on a rotating schedule based on the content class they attend prior to lunch. The first PBIS breakfast was held prior to the Thanksgiving break to recognize students who are getting to school on time and we are administering school level consequences to students who fail to get to their classes on time. Additionally, our staff has initiated a Game Club on Tuesdays from 3:00pm to 4:00pm. Students are invited to join our staff and participate in fun tabletop games with their friends and staff. All of these efforts are intended to recognize our students who meet our expectations daily and provide supports to the students who need assistance so we can ensure all of our children are receiving a quality education. We welcome a partnership with our parents and community members to support these efforts to ensure Heights Middle School is a safe, respectful and responsible learning environment. 

Please mark your calendar for the following upcoming events as we hope to see you in the schoolhouse for all of the wonderful activities we will host in December.

On December 1st the PTA will be hosting a family game night where pizza will be provided by Dewey’s. Families are encouraged to bring side dishes and board games to play. The event will start at 6:00 and end at 8:00.

The HMS PTA will have their executive meeting on December 4th in the media center.

The annual Spelling Bee will be on December 5th starting at 7:00 pm.

The 5th grade Sneak Peek will be on December 6th.

All community 5th grade students and their families are invited to learn about the middle school program from 6:30-8:00.

The Choir concert will be December 12th, the Orchestra concert will be December 13th, and the Band concert will be December 19th.

The HMS staff thanks our families for letting us work with your children and encourage you to contact us if you need any assistance or information about the middle school program.
Dr. Johnston and Mr. McNichols 


October/November 2017

The Administrative Team for the Heights Middle School (HMS) Campus would like to thank all of our families for your patience as we have worked to transition two middle schools into the same location as our home sites prepare for renovations. This summer we undertook the monumental tasks of moving Heights High School into their new space while simultaneously moving two schools into the temporary home of Heights Middle School. Our staff has worked hard to assist students with the initial transition and modified plans as needed. As we start the second quarter we feel confident that students and staff have adjusted to their new space. Again, your patience with this transition has been greatly appreciated.

With the move behind us, we are developing a common middle school program that will continue after we return to our home sites in two years. The students have adjusted well to being in the same building as they enjoy common lunches, music programs, dances and afterschool programming such as student council and clubs. Teachers from both middle schools have been using common planning time to design instruction, including IB units, for each grade level and content area that gives all of our students the same learning experiences aligned to State of Ohio content standards. Bringing all of the middle school teachers together has allowed our teacher teams to be more efficient with their instructional planning so they can spend more time developing intervention and enrichment activities that better meet the learning needs of our students.

Although we are operating as one campus, we are still two schools when reporting information the the State of Ohio, the IB Program, and in delivering educational services to individual students and their families. Students are taught by teachers from their home schools. If you need assistance with classroom issues you should contact your child’s teachers, guidance counselor or principal. The teams for each school are listed below:

Monticello MS

Roxboro MS

Principal: Dr. Johnston

Assistant Principal: Ms. Lackey

Counselors: Ms. Anderson and Ms. Bradley

Athletics: Mr. Jeske

Principal: Mr. Mc Nichols

Assistant Principal: Ms. Armstrong

Counselors: Ms. Carr and Mr Dixon

Athletics: Mr. Mahoney

In order to maintain a competitive schedule within our athletic league and provide opportunities for more students to participate in the sports program, we offer large teams like football as a campus program and smaller teams like basketball by school. Please reach out to the faculty managers if you have questions about how your child can join a team.

As part of our efforts to build a common middle school program, staff members from both schools have created common goals and action steps for our building improvement plans. The District has set the goal of having 90% of our students graduate college and career ready as defined by the State of Ohio. To achieve that goal, all buildings have been asked to design action steps for academic, assessment and climate targets. The middle school program’s academic action steps focus on using the Ohio Improvement Process to design challenging lessons targeting skills student need to master to be college ready, implementing common literacy strategies across all content areas, and utilizing all the tools our new curricular adoptions provide to support student achievement. We recently shared MAP results with families as part of our assessment plan so each family can have a better understanding of their child’s strengths and areas for improvement. We want to work with families to create support plans that will assist students with meeting college and career readiness standards. Our climate action steps focus on explicitly teaching students HMS behavior expectations, recognizing when students meet the expectations, and supporting students who struggle to meet the expectations with intervention programming.

After our busy start to the school year we are excited to transition to a focus on developing a common middle school program. The first quarter ended on October 20th and we will be hosting our first Honor/Merit Roll breakfast on October 30th. The window for registering for Parent Teacher Conferences opened on October 22nd and closes October 29th. Families that need assistance with registering for conference night on November 1st can call the main office and please note that students will be dismissed at 1:25 pm the day of conferences. Fall sports have concluded their seasons and we are now starting tryouts for our winter sports programs. School will not be in session for students on November 7th as many of our buildings are used as polling stations, but teachers will report for professional development sessions. The 8th grade class trip to Washington DC will be November 8th - 10th. Finally, mark your calendar for November 9th if you want your child to retake their school picture.

Dr. Johnston and Mr. McNichols 

Summer 2017

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.

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