Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District News Article

Message to Families From Superintendent Kirby - January 24, 2021

Dear CH-UH Families,

This was, of course, a historic week in our nation, with the inauguration of our new president and our first woman of color vice president. I know that our teachers have engaged students in rich, thoughtful discussions on the importance of this moment in our country.

One highlight of the inauguration was the incredible poem written and recited by our nation’s first youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman. That poem, “The Hill We Climb,” conveys not only a message of overcoming struggle, but of unity and hope. The ending of that poem is especially inspiring to me as we enter this new year and new chapter in CH-UH.

The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we're brave enough to see it
If only we're brave enough to be it.

Semester 1 feedback survey
Last Thursday, we sent this survey asking for your feedback on the first semester of the school year. This survey will help us learn about what went well and what didn’t during the year thus far. We have also sent feedback surveys to students and staff. Please feel free to assist your student with their survey as needed.

School staff vaccine news
Governor DeWine announced that COVID-19 vaccinations will be available for personnel in Ohio schools starting the week of February 1. For school staff to be prioritized, their districts or schools must have alerted the Ohio Department of Health of their commitment to return to in-person or hybrid education by March 1. Our district did submit the signed agreement for CH-UH to implement a hybrid model of education by March 1, ensuring that our staff will have early access to the vaccine.

We are working with the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio to determine a local vaccine distribution partner and solidify dates/locations for administering the vaccines. I will keep you informed of these details as they become available.

District to remain in remote learning through at least February 1
As you know, I have recommended to the Board of Education that our students remain in a fully remote learning status until at least Monday, February 1, due to the county’s stay-at-home advisory being extended through January 31. The next board meeting to discuss reopening will take place on January 28 at 6:30 p.m. We will share updates on next steps as we continue to consult with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and receive their recommendations. Next week, we will also send out the hybrid model selection surveys for families to declare their intention to enroll their children in hybrid learning. Please note that we will continue to have a fully remote option for families for the second semester.

On Friday, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health released this revised guidance to schools. In short, this guidance indicates that districts should consider moving to either a hybrid or 5 day per week instructional model by March 1 at a pace that works for districts, depending on their ability to align their mitigation strategies to the CDC and ODH guidance. We will factor this information into our timeline for reopening, which we will share during the upcoming work session on January 28. Further, we will continue to consult with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health on our reopening plans.

I understand that there may be some angst about what these new developments mean for you and your children. As we’ve seen in our surveys and in conversations with families, there is a wide range of feelings about a return to school, given that each family has their own unique situation. This is why we continue to rely on the Cuyahoga County Board of Health recommendations to inform our in-person instruction reopening plans. We remain committed to aligning our recommendations to their health and safety guidelines and will keep our families informed on where the District stands in the process of welcoming our staff and students back to school.

COVID-19 case summary for the week of January 18
Since Monday, January 18, we have received reports of five staff members and zero students testing positive for COVID-19. Of these cases, four of the staff members had been working/learning remotely. These cases are reflected on the District’s case reporting dashboard. The county remains in Level 3 “red” alert level status in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. The data released by the Ohio Department of Health on Thursday show that three of the seven indicators are currently met.

When staff and students who have been in District buildings test positive for COVID-19, we send notices to the families whose children attend the affected schools and to the staff members of those schools. We also post the notices on and our District app, available for Android and iPhone.

Families, enjoy the rest of the weekend and stay safe. I look forward to connecting with you again soon.

Superintendent Kirby

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