Awareness Campaign - 2003
The League of Women Voters, CH-UH Chapter of the newly reorganized
League of the Cuyahoga Regional Area, has prepared this program to
help the people of Cleveland Hts. and University Hts. to understand
the issues that are affecting their school system, and to begin to
rebuild the connection between the schools and the general community.
We are not trying to tell you what to think. This is not a pep
rally for the schools, nor is it a critique of the schools. This is
not a pro-levy, nor an anti-levy campaign. Our program is offered
in an attempt to stop the fear, the anger, and the rumors, and
replace them with knowledge of the facts, the issues, and the
You may not have noticed – the evolution has been so gradual
– but the people of the communities of Cleveland Hts. and
University Hts. have been losing touch with our schools. The simple
fact is that fewer people in the community have school-aged children.
The more complex facts are that the schools have become more closed
to the community (because of security concerns that all schools face
post-Columbine, and because their full attention is needed to deal
with the increasing complexity of education today), and the community
members have become so busy within their own lives that they aren’t
seeking out any more places to put their time or attention.
The cost of this disconnect is that when we hear things that
concern us, such as the fact that our schools are on academic watch,
we have very little personal knowledge with which to understand why.
It’s time to stop the fear, stop the rumors, and rebuild the
bridges of understanding and connection. Anyone who owns property in
the community is a taxpayer who is helping provide the primary source
of support to our schools. The schools are essential to the
community, and the community is essential to the schools.
We will be looking at two sets of comparisons to give you a basis
for understanding the facts of the situation – comparing
statistics to show changes in our community over time, and comparing
facts from four school districts – Heights, Shaker, Beachwood,
and Solon. Schools aren’t just buildings and numbers though.
Schools are people! We have also produced a videotape, called “A
Reflection of our Community” in which people talk about their
experiences with the CH-UH Schools. If you don’t have a copy
of the video, they are available at the 4 public libraries. We
strongly encourage you to not only look at the data, but also the
video – to meet the people.
First – let’s look at the demographics. We’re
comparing 1970 and 2000
There are two differences in the base data that must be noted.
The data for 1970 is based on census tracts for the communities
themselves, as opposed to the school districts. CH-UH data,
therefore, includes the little block that attends East Cleveland
Schools but not the section of South Euclid that attends our school
(probably a wash); the 1970 data for Shaker, more significantly, does
not include the portion of their district that is in Cleveland. I
know that some students from Solon attend Orange, and there may be
other variances for Solon. The data for 2000 is by school district,
and so more accurate for our purposes.
The second change in the census data is that 1970 defines
school-age as 5-18, and 2000 defines it as 5-17. We could have added
the 18-year-olds to the numbers for 2000, but because of the large
number of college students in our district, that really altered our
numbers for 2000 so it was at age 17. These differences will be
noted when they are significant.
Turn now to the graphs. These
numbers are from census data for 1970 and 2000, obtained from NODIS
of the Levin College at Cleveland State University. The numbers are
combined for Cleveland Hts. and University Hts.
* Total population
– 1970 and 2000 – [Total
Population 1970 & 2000] Shaker for 1970 should be
a larger because of the Cleveland tracts. Note that in 2000
Beachwood’s population has increased, Solon shows a large
increase, but both CH-UH and Shaker’s populations have
decreased. Since housing is not standing empty in these communities,
this indicates that there are smaller households now than 30 years
* Adults by Age –
1970 and 2000. – [Adults
by Age, 1970] [Adults
by Age, 2000] Note that 1970 data stops at age 75, but
2000 data goes to 85. The CH-UH dip in 1970 is the same dip in 2000
if you move forward 30 years in age. The large number of young
adults for CH-UH in 2000 includes students at CWRU and JCU. Note the
growth in Solon, predominantly in the 30-50 year span (The symbol was
inadvertently changed for Solon between the 2 sets of data). The
growth in Beachwood is in the senior age range.
* Median Family Income
Incomes in 1970 and 2000, unadjusted] [Same Median
Incomes adjusted to 2000 Dollars] These
two charts, the first comparing 1970 and 2000 in actual dollars, and
the 2nd chart with 1970 adjusted to 2000 dollars, show
visually the impact of inflation. Note that for 1970 Shaker is
missing the Cleveland tracts. The median income was actually lower
for Shaker in 1970. This same inflationary impact is present in the
price increases in our school budgets.
Age to Total Population – 1970 and 2000.
School Age to Total Population]
School Age to Total Population]
Note that all four communities have shown a decrease in percentage of
school-aged children, due in part to the decreasing birthrate in the
white population. (Please note that 1970 includes 18-year-olds in
school-age.) The number of school-aged children in CH-UH has
declined by some 8500 (allowing for people aged 18), accounting for
more than half of our community’s population decline.
Beachwood’s percentage decline is artificially larger due to
the increased population of senior citizens, probably from the number
of nursing homes that have opened in that community.
* Ratio of children to
public school enrollment – 2000. [Public
School to Non-Public Enrollment] Note that in 1970
CH-UH was 34% NOT in the public schools (including people aged 18).
This includes children who are being home-schooled as well as those
in private/ parochial schools. There are 10 private/ parochial
schools in our community, compared to 3 in Shaker Hts. and 2 in
Beachwood according to the Ohio Dept. of Education Directory of
* Racial make-up of
population as a whole – 2000. [Racial
make-up of population] Note that “white_alone”
and “black_alone” is the census term for people who
identify themselves as only one race. Anyone who indicated they were
of more than one race are listed as “other.” CH-UH is
60% white, but our schools are 77% black. A very large segment of
our white households are not affiliated with our schools – a
source of some of the community’s disconnect with the schools.
* Racial breakout of
school age – 2000. [Racial
make-up of School-Age Children] This chart compares
census data for the community as a whole to data from the Ohio
Department of Education for the schools.
* Female head of
Household – 2000. [Female
Heads-of-Households] FHH-NonFam % of HH is households
headed by single women without family, as a percentage of all
households (primarily senior citizens, but also unmarried women
without children.) Note that in Beachwood this 26% of households,
compared to 11% in Solon. The second category is single mothers –
12-13% in Beachwood and Solon compared to 20-21% in CH-UH and Shaker.
This is a primary source of poverty in our District.
* Cuyahoga County –
Proficiency vs. Socio-Economics – 1999-2000. [Poverty
Impact on Proficiency Scores] This chart clearly
shows the impact of poverty on proficiency test scores. The higher
the percentage of disadvantaged students (as measured by the number
of students qualifying for the free lunch program, and the number of
families in the Ohio Works Program), the lower the scores on the
proficiency tests. The schools at the bottom right of the chart are
Cleveland and East Cleveland. CH-UH is indicated in the middle of
Why is poverty such an issue for the students and our schools?
After all, haven’t these families moved to the Heights now?
They’re here so they must be doing alright, right? First of
all, they are here because one of the qualities that we value in the
Heights District is that we have a broad range of housing, including
affordable housing. We have a rather large number of apartments, and
of duplexes and triplexes, which enable people to begin to move up –
to try to better their lives, but some of those people still
struggle, and some will fall back. We are also seeing the negative
impact of Predatory Lending and the clustering of Section 8 Housing
What does this mean to the schools?
Children who are growing up in poverty are impacted by many
factors. They are frequently being raised by a single mother, or a
grandmother, whose primary goal is to keep a roof over their heads
and clothes on their backs. They move frequently – the parent
getting a job and renting a place to live, falling behind on the rent
as they hit another setback, moving from relative to relative, saving
up enough money to meet another down payment. The parents, often
under-educated themselves, may not put education as a priority for
their children. They move from district to district instead of
making an effort to remain in one school district. When the bad
weather hits, the children may not have sufficient winter clothing to
get to school. They tend to be malnourished which can lead to
learning disabilities and developmental delays. There are rarely
books in the home, much less a computer.
Compare this to a child in a home that is not in poverty, where
the children are read to as infants, and are often enrolled in
preschool or daycare programs that teach them skills, and they have
been playing on computers since they were toddlers.
Again – we must keep perspective. Yes, poverty is an issue
that our schools must deal with – it is an issue that impacts
our proficiency test scores and therefore is of concern, but 2/3-3/4
of our children are NOT living in poverty.
Go back now to the chart about Proficiency Scores
vs. Socio-Economics. [Poverty
Impact on Proficiency Scores]
Bedford and Garfield Hts. are directly below us, Lakewood is
directly above us. They all have similar measures of poverty, but
Lakewood is predominantly white. This is a picture of the Minority
Student Achievement Gap. Perhaps you have heard mention of it. The
hard, cold fact of the matter is that black students score lower on
the proficiency tests than do white students. This is true across
all states, different tests, and all economic classes. Ohio began
breaking out test pass-rates by race a few years ago, and the Federal
No Child Left Behind Act requires all states to begin separating
scores by race and by socioeconomic status, in order to clearly show
the impact, and also to more readily measure progress against these
* Look now at the 2002 Proficiency Test Scores, broken out by
race, for Solon, Beachwood, Shaker, and CH-UH. [Solon]
Hts.- Univ. Hts.]You will note that the gap exists in
all four schools. (The gap is wider in CH-UH than in Solon largely
because of the added impact of poverty.) On the final chart, which
compares proficiency results by longevity, you will note that the
students who stay in the district – who stop moving from
district to district – do, in fact, score higher on the tests.
They do receive an education in our District. [Impact
of Family Stability on Scores]
The good news is that this issue is finally being addressed. Our
school district is one of the founding districts of the Minority
Student Achievement Network – a group of fifteen urban-suburban
school districts across the country that have come together to do
intensive research about, and implement the means to ensure high
academic achievement of minority students. Their website includes
some interesting articles on the issue. You might also be interested
in reading John Ogbu’s book, which is based on research that he
conducted at Shaker Heights. [Minority
Student Achievement Network] [Suggested
Since the start of proficiency tests, schools are being judged for
their quality of teaching solely on the outcome of a single test –
the proficiency test. There is no college that bases their admission
decisions solely on a test score. According to Harold Hodgkinson,
who spoke at Reaching Heights’ PS21 series about changing
demographics, there is no correlation between SAT scores and success
Clear and consistent correlations have been shown between
socioeconomic status and test scores, and race and test scores. The
government, in an effort to have a clear means for assessing school
performance, has managed to reduce education to a score, and not just
a single score but a score based on a constantly moving target. Yes,
the schools that are in a high socioeconomic group, with virtually
all white students, will pass the test every time. This doesn’t
mean that every student is passing nor that they are getting 100% on
the tests, but simply that enough students are scoring high enough,
to pass the test. For the schools that are dealing with the Minority
Student Achievement Gap, and with the impact of poverty though, the
continuous changes in the design of the proficiency test, and in what
gets counted, just adds to the challenge of raising the scores.
* Look now at The District Profile. [District
Please note – several lines have been deleted from the
report – some that were 0 for all districts, and some that we
have more recent numbers for. Also note that some of the numbers are
from different years, and state numbers tend to differ from school
numbers for the districts. Some interesting lines to compare are:
3) TOTAL AVERAGE DAILY MEMBERSHIP – the average number of
students in school on the first full week in October. This method of
determining enrollment is about to change to an average throughout
the year. The payment from the state is calculated on a per-pupil
5) BLACK STUDENTS AS % OF TOTAL
10 & 11) Ohio Works First AND Disadvantaged Pupil Income Aid –
these are state rankings. The added line for the Free Lunch Program
is a percentage of students who qualify.
13 & 14) AVERAGE & MINIMUM TEACHER SALARY – remember
that a decision was made ten or more years ago that teachers’
pay had to be increased, commensurate with their profess-sional
training and responsibilities.
15) AVERAGE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE – this is for teachers.
CH-UH recently had a large “bubble” of retirees, which
was expected. It is assumed that our tenure will increase again.
19) PUPIL ADMINISTRATOR RATIO
38 – 43) COMPARISON OF COSTS BY CATEGORY
44 – 50) REVENUE FROM LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL SOURCES
51) TOTAL SF3 AID PER PUPIL – this is the total money
received from the state per pupil, based on a complicated formula
that includes factors for disabilities, average daily membership,
class size, experience of teachers, transportation, and cost based on
We are attempting to compare apples to apples here, and have been
careful to try to present the information without doing any fancy
statistical manipulations. These numbers are straight comparisons.
However, having said that, we must also say that we can never
actually compare apples to apples. If you’ve ever done data
collection with another person, you will know that there are many
break points in which you have to decide whether to record something
in column A or column B. Graduation rates are an example of this –
something that would seem to be very straightforward, but isn’t.
The state formula for calculating graduation is to divide the
total number of graduates in a year by the number of graduates + the
number who dropped out in ninth grade, + the number who dropped out
in 10th grade, + the 11th and 12th
grade dropouts. There are three factors in the way Heights
calculates their graduation rate that brings down their total.
First, we have required 21 credits for graduation. Shaker requires
20. Solon required 18 credits until last year. Second – if a
child drops out in 10th grade but returns in 11th
grade – we still count them as a dropout. If they drop out
again – that one student gets counted twice as a dropout.
Third – when students leave and say they are going to
home-schooling or to take the GED test, we continue to track them and
only count them as graduating if they pass the GED, because they are
still considered to be part of our district. Our district follows
the formula very literally.
Look now at the COMPARISON OF REVENUES &
EXPENDITURES - 1987 to 2002.
These are figures from the CH-UH School’s financial reports
for 1987 and 2002. Some points of interest to note:
- Ratio of Property Taxes to State & Federal is
similar. (According to records provided by the Ohio Department of
Education, in 1982 local revenue provided 71.6% of the money,
compared to 65.8% in 2002 by their calculations.) The numbers on
this chart were taken from the schools prepared financial reports
for 1987 and 2002.
- Food Services has been made an enterprise fund.
- We have removed the Kaufmann’s money from the revenue
total for 2002 because it is a one-time payment, but the schools
have, correctly for accounting standards, included it in the total.
This payment is in lieu of the taxes that were abated for the
parking garage at the new shopping center in University Heights.
- Special Education is approx 16% of teacher cost for 12% of
students, and is a major cause of the increased need for support
- The largest increase is in support services.
- Operation & Maintenance is high in 2002 due to higher
utilities, building insurance, and the installation of a new phone
system (which provides voice-mail for every teacher –
certainly an aid to increased communication between teachers and
- Enterprise funds include food service, bookstore, customer
services, community services, and early childhood programs. They
are expected to be self-supporting.
As a side note, one of the state’s unfunded administrative
mandates can be shown clearly by a comparison of the two financial
reports. The report for 1987 is 20 pages long and the various
accounts are summarized. Note that in the comparison there are only
totals for each category, e.g. Total Instruction. The report for
2002 is over 200 pages long and includes detailed breakouts of every
sub-category of spending. The State of Ohio now requires every
district to produce a CAFR, or a Comprehensive Annual Financial
Report. In addition to the increased printing cost for this
publication, there is the increased accounting staff required to
track this more complex accounting system. This is just one example
of the increased administrative requirements.
After adjusting for inflation, the cost of our schools has gone up
18% since 1987, the earliest year for which we could obtain budget
data (due to water leaks in the barn at Millikin where the older
school records were being maintained.) That equals 1.2% per year
increase beyond inflation. What accounts for these increases? After
all, enrollment in our schools has gone down rather steadily since
1970, but the cost has gone up. Where are the savings from having
There are several factors here. One fact about the per-pupil
average cost is that efficiencies can only be achieved at certain
break points. There are some costs that are a given, regardless of
how many students are in a building (such as the salary of the
Superintendent, and the cost of heating a building), and so their
cost on a “per pupil” basis increases as enrollment
decreases. Closing buildings is an option, but school systems are
slow to do that because there are other costs then – loss of a
neighborhood school, and increased busing costs as students travel
farther to get to their school, and if the building is sold and then
enrollment increases again, the school system has a bigger problem.
The public school system must be able to take in any and all students
in the district, including the children who are currently in private
schools or home-schooling. If all of the private schools were to
close this summer, our schools would have to incorporate those
students into our schools. Remember from the demographics that there
are some 3000 children in the community who are not currently in the
The second factor, and it is huge, is the cost of unfunded and
The largest single mandated cost is special education. The
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was first passed by the
Federal Government in 1975, and requires that ALL children receive a
free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive
environment possible. If the child is able to benefit from being in
the public school, then they must be educated in the public school.
If they require a more sheltered environment, then the public school
is responsible for the cost of that education. Although the Federal
law included a commitment to pay 40% of the average per-student cost
for every special education student, the federal government currently
pays only about 14% of the cost – the highest percentage to
date. The national average per-student cost is $7,320.00. (N.E.A.)
The national average cost for educating a special education student
is $16,689.00. These costs are included in the per-pupil average
How big of a factor is special education in our schools? In 2001,
12.4% of our students were diagnosed as having a disability. Over
the past 10 years, the number of students enrolled in special
education classes has increased 30% nationally. Why? Some of the
factors are better diagnosis, especially of learning disabilities;
increased incidence of ADD and ADHD; and better medical care for
children who might not have survived previously.
In 1997 when the I.D.E.A. was reauthorized, it was
expanded to include the requirements that students with disabilities
have access to the general education curriculum and appropriate
general education classes, and that schools assure the accurate and
appropriate assessment of the academic achievement of students with
disabilities. These two changes carry with them the need for
training for the regular classroom teachers on how to incorporate the
children with disabilities into their classroom, and the need to
develop new assessment tools
There are some 65 Special Education teachers, and 70 Special
Education classroom aides and a dozen tutors – a part of the
support staff number, providing services to over 1,000 children. We
have children diagnosed with mental retardation, learning
disabilities, autism, severe behavior disorders, and multiple
handicaps – in total, children representing all 14
federally-defined categories of disabilities. Some of the children
require a personal aide through most of the day; some require special
adaptive equipment to enable them to participate within the
classroom. Special funding was made available to pay for this
equipment, but it had to be applied for – more administration.
Some of our children go to other school districts that provide
programs for their specific needs, for which we pay that district.
Some children from other districts come to our schools for our
programs, for which their districts pay us. Tracking this requires
more administration. Special Education must be provided from birth
through age 21 if needed, and so we have preschool programs. We also
have home tutors on staff for the children who are unable to come in
to school for various reasons. This is all federally mandated and
upheld by the courts.
Where did these children come from? Where were they before 1975?
They existed, although the incidence of some disabilities has
increased. Some of the children – especially those with
learning disabilities – went through public schools but were
generally not very successful. They were often thought to be stupid,
or just not trying hard enough, working below their potential.
Children with physical disabilities went to the school for crippled
children. Children with more severe disabilities often just stayed
at home, or were sent away to state institutions. They existed, and
their cost to society was being paid for in various ways – both
through governmental costs of providing care, and through the
negative cost to society of the loss of these people’s
participation in society.
Today, many of these children – children who were previously
put into institutions or just stayed at home with Mom – are now
being educated and are able to be independent and self-supporting as
adults, or at least able to live semi-independently at far less cost
than was required for institutional care in 1975. They are able to
be contributing members of society. Furthermore, the other students
in the school have the opportunity to interact with these students
with disabilities, and to gain a greater understanding of the broad
spectrum of life.
Another government mandate cost factor of some
significance here is private schools. The Heights area has always
had an exceptionally large percentage of students attending private
schools – both the elite schools, and also the Catholic and
Jewish schools. Remarkably, there are 10 private schools in
Cleveland Hts. and University Hts. There are only 3 in Shaker and 2
During the 1990’s, State legislation was
passed providing significant government benefits to private schools –
we are the most generous state in the country for providing public
support to private schools. You may recall that we are required to
bus students in the district to their private schools, within the
same distances as for the public school children. We provide busing
for distances greater than 1 mile for elementary students and 2 miles
for middle and high school.
The private schools receive what is called
auxiliary funding. This is funding that they can use to meet their
special needs. This funding is paid to the Heights schools system
and we manage it on behalf of the private schools, creating
additional administrative work. One of the uses of this funding by
schools is special staffing needs – frequently for learning
disabilities, gifted & talented programs, school nurses, and
psychologist services. A scan of the staff roster shows 8 employees
who are assigned to St. Ann’s, Beaumont, Gesu, Ruffing
Montessori, and Mosdos Ohr Hatorah. These people are on the Heights
roster, but are then assigned to the private schools and are paid for
by this auxiliary funding. Assuming that the payment is sufficient
to cover the cost, this is not an expense to our schools beyond the
administrative cost of managing the money, but if you only look at
the bottom expenditures line, this is an additional cost.
A third, and significant
factor that the Heights schools must deal with, is the growing
percentage of children who qualify for Title I assistance, or
Disadvantaged Pupil Impact Aid. (Another caution, I’m afraid.
When we look at percentages, such as the number of students
qualifying for free lunch, we need to note that if the total number
of students decreases, the percentage will increase even if the
actual number doesn’t increase.) These funds, and other
restricted government funding streams, pay for, or at least help to
pay for, preschool programming, the 2nd half of the
full-day kindergarten, the breakfast program, subsidized lunch, and
enrichment programming in the form of after-school and Saturday
programs. These programs do help the children who are from
low-income homes have a greater chance to succeed in school, and our
schools are required to do everything they can to help our children
These programs are another source of the increased
number of Pupil and Instructional Support Staff. Although funding is
available to help defray these costs, that funding is obtained by
filing copious paperwork to prove eligibility and regulatory
compliance, and filing government grant applications for special
funding programs. We currently have 33 Special Revenue Funds –
moneys that can only be used for the very specific purpose for which
they were established, requiring increased record-keeping to track
The per-pupil cost is not the cost to educate one of the average
kids, but rather the average cost of educating all of the children in
the school, including all of the children who are receiving
“Disadvantaged Pupil” Services, and students receiving
Special Education Services.
In fact, though, the cost of educating all of the children has
increased because the breadth of knowledge, and the complexity of
what the children need to learn, is growing at a breathtaking rate.
A clear indicator of the increasing complexity is the size of the
high-school course descriptions book. Most schools, including CH-UH,
now print books listing all of the courses available in the High
School, plus the various requirements of the school. Some schools
even include flow charts to help show the order for taking various
science and math courses.
The schools have gone to a full-day kindergarten which, again,
costs more than the government reimbursement, but the number of
things that children need to know by the end of kindergarten is
greater than can be taught with just a half-day program. It used to
be that the requirement for admission to kindergarten was to be
toilet trained, able to tie one’s own shoes (which indicated a
level of fine-motor coordination and the ability to sequence a series
of steps to complete a task), and to follow simple directions.
Today, a child entering kindergarten may not be toilet trained
because of a physical disability, may not be able to tie their own
shoes for the same reason, or because they have never worn shoes with
laces thanks to the advent of Velcro and elastic. On the other hand,
the experiences of children entering kindergarten cover the range
from having played on a computer since they were two and being taught
lessons in a day care or preschool since infancy, to children who
have grown up malnourished, with no books in the house, where the
main objective of the parent is to keep a roof over their head and
just make it to the next day.
Did you know that children now have homework in kindergarten? My
office-mate’s child was expected to display the concept of 100
by January of his kindergarten year. A CH-UH kindergarten teacher
recently received a grant for a math program that includes teaching
the concept of probability. Another co-worker watched in amazement
as her daughter and her classmates read out loud from a big-print
book on the first day of kindergarten. When I was in kindergarten I
learned to play nicely with others, to color in the lines, and to
handle scissors safely. For a child growing up in a household that is
not focused on education, the set-back starts on the first day of
Thirty years ago people could finish high school, or even drop out
before 12th grade, enter a trade as an apprentice, and
become a skilled craftsman with a good income. Today, those students
who would not have finished high school are now being required to not
only finish high school, but to go to college in hope of making a
sufficient income to support a family.
In fact, in Ohio hourly wages for people with anything less than a
college diploma are decreasing. From 1979 to 2000, wages for people
with no high school diploma have gone down 33%, wages with a high
school diploma have gone down 14%, and for those with 1-3 years of
post-High School education, wages have gone down almost 9%. People
in lower-skilled professions are having a harder and harder time
maintaining a living wage.
Public education – a quality public education – is the
cornerstone of our country, and essential for maintaining a country
based on democracy and capitalism. We really must educate the
children of today, because they are the workers, and the leaders, of
As John Adams said – “The preservation of the means of
knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public
than all the property of all the rich men in the world.”
(If you do not have a copy of the video, “A Reflection of
Our Community”, they are available at our public libraries.)
And now – as mentioned earlier – it’s time for
the people of the schools. It’s so easy to get caught up in
all the numbers, but the schools are really all about people. The
video is truly a project of the community, paid for by the community.
The people you will see are some of the students, parents, teachers,
and graduates of our schools, talking to you – the community –
about what the schools are really like. Let’s hear what they
have to say.
Our purpose is not to tell you what to think, it is to stop the
rumor and misinformation, and replace it with knowledge and
understanding. We hope we have made the first step toward that goal.
The next step is to restore the connection between the community and
the schools. We urge someone – perhaps the cities or the Arts
Consortium – to develop signs that let people who are driving
past at least know what school they are driving past. Fairfax has a
beautiful sign, and I love the informational signs that Monticello
and Oxford have – signs that tell the people going past little
success stories and announcing events. We strongly urge the schools
to find a way to put information into the hands of the public –
perhaps through the Focus magazine and the University Hts. newsletter
– about concerts, plays, and sporting events that are open to
the public, complete with information about where, how to access, and
if there is a fee.
As for you, the public – check out the list of ways to get
to reconnect] They range from simply joining a
listserv if you have an e-mail address, to picking up a copy of the
Black and Gold – you’ll find them at the libraries, and
in many stores, restaurants and offices around town. Then pick one
event – check out the CHUH.Net site for a list of scheduled
events – and attend it. Go see who the students are, and who
their parents are. You’ll find out that they’re your
neighbors. Begin to rebuild the bridge. Remember – the
schools are essential to the community, and the community is
essential to the schools.
Thanks to the Committee that worked on this project for the last 8
and Allen Wilkinson
to Mark McCue, our videographer, parent, and resident of
to The Church of the Saviour for allowing us to tape in their
and to the many people in the schools, in the community, and in
the greater education community, who helped to provide information,
resources, and understanding to us, so that we could pass it along to
Presented by Wendy S. Deuring, League of Women Voters