Board of Education, July 2018

September 3rd, 2018  |  Published in Observer Reports

Shaker Heights Board of Education

July 17, 2018

Shaker Heights Administration Building


The meeting was called to order by Board President Jeffrey Isaacs at 6:00 p.m.


Present: Board President Jeffrey Isaacs and Board members: Bill Clawson, Lisa Cremer, Heather Weingart; Interim Superintendent Dr. Stephen Wilkins, and Treasurer Bryan Christman.  Board member Ayesha Hardaway was absent.


The Board Approved the minutes of the June 12th Board Meeting.


  • Interim Shaker Schools Superintendent Dr. Wilkins thanked Fire Chief Sweeney and his crew in attendance for their hard work on Fernway.  Over 20 neighboring fire companies also responded to spell Shaker’s crew.  Dr. Wilkins and Chief Sweeney also thanked the Fernway community for providing water, food, bathrooms for the firefighters. Mayor David Weiss also recognized and thanked the SH Fire Department for their efforts and dedication.
  • Updates were provided by several students and the Superintendent regarding the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council. There are several groups of students meeting to consider proposals and projects.  Note there was no public comment offered at the meeting.
  • Wilkins recognized the following students: senior Leo Schirokauer who is the first place winner of the Bayer Bee Care Program’s Young Beekeeper Award and won $3,000 for his work.  Rising sophomore Dalton Mosley won the MAC Scholars Gold Medal for his academic improvement from a 2.9 to 4.0 from 8th grade to 3rd quarter of his freshman year.  The MAC Scholars program was founded in  1990 and gives mentoring opportunities to high-achieving African-American male juniors and seniors to younger students.  SHHS ’18 grad Josie Lowell and rising senior Elizabeth Bugenske for earing All-American Hornors for Lacross.  Rising senrios Chachi Gustafon and Lyle Yost earned All-American Honors in boys swimming and diving.
  • The Equity Task Force update by Carina Freeman, Lomond Principal, gave highlights of work done and future projects on the books including a Book Chat by the authors of “All-American Boys” on October 1 at the SHHS at 7 pm and a film night discussion on the struggle for integration.
  • New operations manager Dave Boyer reviewed the various school building projects currently being worked on.  His report was supplemented by consultants and architects assigned to these projects: Onaway parking lot, District’s capital classroom pilot upgrades, MPH room Mercer; Mercer water line installed and inspected, fire alarms bidding out; security cameras mostly installed.
  • The bulk of the meeting covered the Fernway School fire July 10th.  Dr. Wilkins reviewed a power point presentation that covered status so far.  NOTE — please go to orgdistrict’s website for a new page highlighted on the home page that deals solely with Fernway.  All district communications/photos/task force plans have been added to this new page on Fernway.  This is the best place to get the most up to date information about the fire.  Daily staff meetings have been happening – and daily communications are coming out from the Communications and Public Relations department.  Ideas were discussed on how to let non school families be updated on this situation.
    1. Bottom line -the fire did not go below the roof level due to a cement fire deck between the roof and the rest of the building.  However, it is estimated 400,000-500,000 gallons of water were poured on the fire…so there is water damage.  Not so much smoke damage below again due to the fire deck.  At this point in time (July 17), the ongoing investigation by the fire department has not been completed.  This will determine insurance implications.  No one was hurt in the fire.
    2. An interesting presentation by the company doing the fire recovery (All Disaster Services of Cleveland) highlighted the various complicated steps involved in recovery/stabilizing the building: first securing the site, then removing water and debris, removing and accounting for contents, restoring utilities, adding eventually a temporary roof.  The school board members and Fernway personnel have walked through the building and those who work in Fernway were able to go to their classrooms and account for their belongings and identify what is important to them.  The company has been salvaging what it can — lots of students chairs and desks; most of contents of the Library is salvageable.  Air quality is being tested for particulate matter; and monitors for mold are working.
    3. A goal of August 1st has been set for the district, whose Fernway task force is meeting daily, to come up with temporary locations for Fernway students for August 22 — looking at other buildings, modular classrooms, and spaces in Shaker school buildings.  A community meeting for Fernway residents was set for July 19th at Lomond School.
    4. People often ask what they can do in crisis situations and a fund within the Shaker Schools Foundation to aid Fernway teachers to make their new classrooms their own has been set up.  Go to org/foundationfor more information or one can donate here.
  • The following business items were approved: a change order for the High School parking lot and Onaway parking lot improvements to accommodate more drainage repairs and ADA ramp improvements; an acceptance of a bid to purchase 2 more school buses.
  • The third reading of board policies revisions listed in the agenda occurred and were approved.
  • Financially, the fiscal year 2018 closed June 30th.   Christman also reported on the following legislative items:
  • State Rainy Day Fund is nearly at its statutory maximum of $2.7 billion after Governor Kasich announced a deposit of $657.5 million from the FY18 surplus.
  • ECOT: The 10th District Court of Appeals ruled that ECOT has the right to seek court review of the State Board of Education’s vote to claw back $60million in per student funding. The court ruled that the recovery decision was a quasi-judicial proceeding and thus subject to appeal, overturning a Franklin County Court of Common Pleas ruling.
  • Fiscal 2017-18 State Budget Final Status: State General Revenue Fund fiscal year revenues through June 2018 ended with a $280 million favorable variance while expenditures ended with a $537 million favorable variance,for a net favorable variance of $817 million.
  • Crowd Funding: The Auditor of State has issued a report entitled “BestPractices on Crowd Funding by Teachers”. Some of the suggestions includerequiring crowd funding (CF) campaigns to be reviewed and approved bydesignated school administrators; reviewing to ensure no violations offederal or state laws; ensuring that they comport with the district’sphilosophy; determining appropriateness of the direction of proceedsdistribution; in addition to others.
  • Fair Share Fees: The U.S. Supreme Court issued their ruling for the “Janus vs. AFSCME” case declaring that “fair share” union fees are no longer allowed. The District received lists of non-member “fair share” contributorsfrom the applicable union organizations for which the District ceased such payroll withholdings effective with the July 1st paycheck.

10)  Dr. Wilkins reported that the June session of SELF (Summer Exploration, Learning and Fun) had 543 participantes in 39 programs in June and now 413 participants in 19 programs for July.  A group of students and staff from the HS Asian Studies program traveled to Japan.  Also, a groups of HS German students visited Shaker’s sister school in Goslar; this exchange program is the longest standing exchange between a U.S. school and a German school in the country.  Lastly a group of 11 Shaker students traveled to and performed in Italy with the Cleveland Wind Youth Symphony.


The Board adjourned the public session at 8:01 pm.


Respectfully submitted by Observer Holly Wang



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