Best Practices

Mayor Beryl E. Rothschild

Committee for the 90's

From its very beginning some 90 years ago, the public school system which serves the community of University Heights and our neighboring community of Cleveland Heights -- inner ring suburbs of the central city of Cleveland -- has been committed to excellence. Its educational program, reflecting in its design the collaboration of devoted teachers and parents, has effectively prepared young people for their futures.

This tradition, commitment and imperative of educational excellence extends back almost a century and, it is hoped, will continue with increasing conviction and accomplishment well into the next century.

It is against this background that we established our "Committee for the 90's" just three years ago. Notwithstanding the history of enviable achievement in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights public school system, the decades of the 1970's and 1980's saw changes in the community. The minority population in the eight elementary schools, three middle schools, and one senior high school of the CH-UH system increased by significant numbers while white population declined.

The school system suffered from an erosion of public confidence due to changes in demographics, perceptions, and constant need to pass levies to compensate for the State of Ohio not solving funding problems. Mayor Rothschild invited some two dozen school and community persons to join an unprecedented effort. This group decided to use a building block approach to rebuild confidence by creating a plan of action. They met with feeder schools (day care facilities, nurseries) to bring them up to date about schools and to ensure correct information was passed along to potential parents of the school system. Recommendations were made to improve communication with parents of pre-schoolers and a series of events were held to bring attention to the schools. One example was a : conference held last year with officials from the national organization, Parents for Public Schools, in order to reignite the interest of University Heights residents. Additionaly, the city celebrated the International Year of the Family, as designated by the United Nations in 1994, with a special event for parents and children as part of our series of outdoor band concerts on the lawn in front of the local middle school. The city's planning committee is organizing other measures, such as a parents' manifesto to recognize the excellence of the public school system and proclaim this to the community.

Contact: Office of the Mayor: (216) 932-7800

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