April 2018
Lomond IB coordinator and Enrichment Resource Teacher Jim Henry (standing) helps Lomond's L-MAC Scholars saw wood for outdoor benches the students will make to place outside the school. Learn more about Jim Henry, a 29-year Shaker veteran, who will retire after this school year in this month's Employee Spotlight.
The Shaker Schools Connection

A Message from the Superintendent
This month, the District enters the final quarter of our fiscal year, which ends on June 30. I'm pleased to report that so far in 2017-2018, we've continued to achieve cost savings wherever possible, exercised prudent financial decision-making and, most important, the District and the Shaker Heights Teachers' Association collaborated, negotiated and entered into a new three-year contract. This spring, the District and our five other collective bargaining units will work together to negotiate their new contracts, as well. As you know, we've made a commitment to fiscal responsibility in our Strategic Plan: Goal Six of the plan promises effective use of financial resources as we provide all students with a high-quality education and educational experiences. In addition, we're persistent in our evaluation of District expenses and savings, understanding that Ohio's public schools are funded largely by your local property tax payments ( learn more about school funding in Ohio). We are grateful for Shaker residents' continued support of our schools.
Also, I'd like to congratulate our newest additions to the Administration team: Middle School Principal David Glasner was named Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction (effective July 1, 2018) and Dr. Lois Cavucci was named Director of Human Resources. Both appointments were announced last week, as well as our timeline to hire a new Middle School principal. I encourage all Middle School families to fill out the Middle School Principal Search Survey, as your responses will inform the selection of our next principal.

Finally, our Spring Recess begins tomorrow, Friday, March 30. I wish everyone a restful and warm break, whether that's at home here in Shaker Heights or wherever your travels take you. Be safe and enjoy the time off. I'll see you back at school on Monday, April 9 for our final eight weeks (and two days) of school.


Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools

Save the Date: Superintendent's Farewell Chat with Leon Bibb
Join Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. and former local news anchor Leon Bibb for a Farewell Chat from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 10 in the High School Small Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public, however registration is required as seats are limited. Register online now.
2018 Kindergarten Open House Dates
Parents and guardians of children entering kindergarten this fall are invited to attend a special Open House to learn about Shaker's kindergarten program, meet the principal, teachers and fellow parents, and ask questions of registration personnel:
  • Fernway: April 18, 9:30 a.m. (children are welcome)
  • Boulevard: April 18, 6:30 p.m.
  • Lomond: April 19, 7 p.m.
  • Onaway: April 20, 9:30 a.m. (children are welcome)
  • Mercer Muffins in the Morning (Open House was held in March): April 19, 9 a.m.
If you cannot attend your home school's Open House, you are welcome to attend one at any other K-4 building.
Woodbury Creating Change is Monday, April 23
A handmade planter for Woodbury Creating Change.
All are welcome to join the Woodbury School community from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, April 23 for Woodbury Creating Change---Woodbury School's fourth community and all-school event that mixes art, social justice and charity! This event is open to the public.

Register, then buy your ticket for only $6, if paying by cash/check, or $6.25 if buying online (PayForIt charges a 4% convenience fee). All proceeds will be donated to one of four charities---Drink Local, Drink Tap, Bellefaire JCB, Sanctuary for Senior Dogs, and ASPCA---and, in return, guests will take home one of more than 1,000 handmade succulent planters crafted by Woodbury students and community members.

Food will be available for purchase at Woodbury Creating Change: Guys Pizza by the slice for $1 and Barrio and Swenson's food truck items for $3-6. Desserts are included.

Learn more about Woodbury Creating Change online. Want to help out at Woodbury Creating Change? Sign up here.
Online Registration Now Available!
Registering students in the Shaker Heights City School District has never been easier. Parents and guardians can access our new online registration process that saves time and ensures the District has accurate, up-to-date information on students.

Families wishing to register students have two options:
  • Visit registration.shaker.org and complete all necessary documents online prior to your appointment at the Registration Office. This will dramatically reduce the time it takes to register your child.
  • For those who would like assistance completing the forms online, please make an appointment at the Registration Office, 216-295-4321, and our staff will most graciously walk you through the process.
With either option, parents/guardians must schedule an appointment to review completed forms and to complete registration for a student. Please contact the Registration Office located in the Administration Building, 15600 Parkland Drive. Office hours are from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Schedule an appointment by calling 216-295-4321. The appointment lasts a maximum of one hour (additional time will be needed when registering multiple children). A parent/legal guardian must appear in person to register their child.
Spaces Still Available in SELF Programs
Register for 2018 Summer Exploration Learning and Fun (SELF)! SELF provides a wide selection of summer program options for all students in our District. Our programs address barriers that currently exist and focus on equity, excellence and exploration by providing differentiated services and enrichment opportunities for all Shaker students at the elementary, middle and high school levels.  

Programs focus on the arts, STEM, global languages, skills, career and personal development.  All of our programs offer a robust curriculum that includes a focus on the Literacy and Math standards.

Sessions fill quickly! Learn more and register now online.

Shaker Heights Schools Strategic Plan Committee Opportunity
The District began implementation of the current five-year Strategic Plan---which establishes priorities in academics and student experience, continuous improvement, policy, human resources and facilities, communications, and finance---in July 2014. Today, with 15 months remaining, the District is looking ahead to develop the next five-year Strategic Plan. A variety of voices and insights are invaluable and necessary to informing the next Strategic Plan.

The Committee will be comprised of 44 representatives from various stakeholder groups: students, community members, parents, Shaker Schools employees, Board of Education members, administrators, business owners, etc. Meetings will be held in May and June, followed by a summer recess, and then again September through November. Committee members will be finalized later this month.

Interesting in applying to be on the committee? Complete the Strategic Plan Committee Application by April 10.
Spring Concert/Show Season is Here!
There are a dozen opportunities for the Shaker community to enjoy student performances in music, theater and dance in April. Parents/guardians with younger students, these performances are the perfect opportunity for you and your students to witness the strength of Shaker's fine arts programs!
  • April 11, 7 p.m.: High School Evening of Jazz
  • April 12, 7 p.m.: Middle School Jazz Fest
  • April 13-14, 7 p.m.: High School Concert in Dance
  • April 18, 7 p.m.: Middle School Band Concert I
  • April 19, 7 p.m.: Middle School Band Concert II
  • April 20-21, 7 p.m.: High School Spring Ensemble Show
  • April 24, 6:30 p.m.: High School Ice Cream Social and Band Concert
  • April 25, 7:30 p.m.: High School Spring Choir Concert
  • April 26, 7 p.m.: Woodbury Evening of Jazz
  • April 30, 7 p.m.: Middle School Orchestra Concert
News from Shaker.org
Catch up on any recent Shaker.org news you may have missed:
Shaker Heights High School students hold posters with the names of the 17 Parkland shooting victims during the March 14 walkout.
Shaker Student Voices are Powerful
Shaker Heights students in grades 5-12 spoke out and took action last month, demonstrating their solidarity against racially motivated incidents, demanding an end to gun violence and advocating for tougher gun control laws. On March 14, students at the High School participated in a walk-out to remember the 17 students who were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February (read the Cleveland.com article) and in a sit-in to show their disapproval with the response to racial incidents that have occurred nationally and in Shaker. Students at the Middle School also participated in a commemoration of the Parkland shooting victims, followed by a march around the building. Woodbury students held community circles in each classroom and reflected on ways that they could continue to live the school's theme this year: Be Kinder Than Necessary.

On March 24, several Shaker students attended and helped organize Cleveland's March for Our Lives. Juniors Kevin Lamonica and Katrina Cassell both spoke at the march, which drew a crowd of 20,000. Both Kevin and Katrina received media coverage for their efforts (read the Cleveland.com article and the FreshWater article). Cleveland's march was one of many that took place across the country, enabling communities to demand an end to gun violence.  
IB in Action: Lyle Yost Shares Why He Chose the IB Diploma Programme
Shaker Heights High School Junior Lyle Yost
Lyle Yost first joined Shaker Schools at Lomond Elementary as a fourth grader. Today, he is a junior who has immersed himself in Spanish as much as he can (it's the language selected on his phone) and he's a two-time state-champion diver. Lyle also has hopes for his future: he'd like to learn other languages in addition to Spanish and, once he achieves his short-term diving goals, he hopes to one day participate in the Olympics. In the meantime, Lyle's choice to become an IB Diploma Programme student is one that will shape his final two years at Shaker and encourage his natural curiosity about learning.   

On why Lyle chose the Diploma Programme:
A lot of what appealed to me about the DP is that I've always like reading and writing. It's how I learn best, so I thought the DP would be a good fit. Also, the DP is a more holistic style to learning and that appealed to me. The IB teachers understand that what you learn in one class connects to another class and they work together to make everything balance.

On the workload for DP students versus students in other paths:
It's a lot of work, but the work is meaningful. It's not busy work. The focus in the DP is on learning the material.  

Why he would encourage a student to take the DP:
Take the DP if you like to express yourself through writing and if a holistic style to learning appeals to you. Sure, there's extra work, but if you do it right, then things don't have to be extra burdens. So for something like the Creativity, Activity and Service component, it's important to consider things that you've already done, whether it's art, participation in a sport or service.

What he's considering for his extended essay:
I'd like to do something on languages. I've got two ideas: either examining the way foreign languages are taught in the United States versus other countries (where the ability to speak multiple languages is often crucial to be a functional member of society), or how teaching languages in the United States has evolved to adapt to a more global society.

Learn more about the IB Diploma Programme (offered to juniors and seniors), its requirements and whether it's a good fit for your student. Questions? Contact Dr. John Moore, District IB Coordinator and Diploma Programme Coordinator.
Chante Thomas-Taylor Publishes Her First Children's Book
Chante Thomas-Taylor poses with her book, "Where I'm From"
When Woodbury fifth-grade teacher Chante Thomas-Taylor was growing up, her mother, who was a teacher, took advantage of any opportunity to travel with her children. Mrs. Thomas-Taylor traveled with her mother to Hawaii when she was eight, and later accompanied her on bus trips to Toronto and Washington, D.C., among others. "I saw that there were so many differences in the way people lived," she remembers. "I saw that where we're from shapes who we are, and that everyone has a story to tell."

Mrs. Thomas-Taylor's childhood travel experiences, coupled with her fondness for geography and two decades of teaching students from all different backgrounds, provided the foundation and motivation for her to complete her first book, "Where I'm From," published last month and available for purchase at Amazon.com.

The book shares the geographical and cultural stories of five children and encourages readers to consider their own roots. The book's illustrations (by local artist Jennifer Price Davis) are beautifully painted and include maps of different parts of the world---and when paired with Mrs. Thomas-Taylor's whimsical words, readers are drawn in to explore the images further.

"Every year, my classes talk about what's special about their families," says Mrs. Thomas-Taylor. "I hope that my book helps young people to consider where they're from and where they've been, and to talk about it from a place of love."
Lomond Celebrates Women's History Month with Lunchtime Girls and Coding
Lomond third grade girls coding with Mrs. Durkalski (top left) during lunch.
Lomond school librarian Mary Ann Durkalski knew she was onto something this past winter when she hosted Lomond's first Hour of Code. She offered it during Library time to first- and third-grade students and their response was beyond enthusiastic.

So when Lomond principal Carina Freeman asked the staff to think of ways they could engage students in Women's History Month last month, Mrs. Durkalski came up with with Girls and Coding. "Throughout the month, we told girls in grades two through four that they could come to the library on Thursdays to spend their recess coding," Mrs. Durkalski says. "We had 74 girls sign up the first week and another 80 the second week."

The students are using a free Massachusetts Institute of Technology web-based coding program called Scratch, which enables children to create stories, games, and animation. Using Scratch, students exercise their math skills, develop a better understanding of computational ideas and learn more about the design process---all in a fun and motivating environment. And because the program is free, anyone can access Scratch at home.  

"We all know that as girls age through their education, they're not always taking the math and science path," says Mrs. Durkalski. "You don't have to become a software programmer with these skills, but programs like this may spur girls to want to pursue math or science as a career path or just as a hobby."

Mrs. Durkalski says that she foresees doing more coding sessions with groups of Lomond students. "It's impressive when you see it and then when their sprites do the commands they've programmed them to do, they have these oh-my-gosh looks on their faces," she says. "But the most rewarding thing is watching how girls in different classes are working together and helping each other. They're all really engaged."
Employee Spotlights: Dawn Rivers and Jim Henry
Dawn Rivers, Onaway School Librarian

Onaway school librarian Dawn Rivers was not a kid who read. In fact, when she was a student at the former Wiley Middle School in Cleveland Heights, she only went to the library to work as a library aide. And that was only because students who worked as library aides could take a free trip to Cedar Point at the year's end.

But today, this 15-year Shaker veteran librarian spends her days surrounded by Onaway's collection of just over 19,000 books, thinking of ways that students can connect to their interests through reading. Ms. Rivers' passion for reading and libraries came late, but once she caught the bug, she refused let it go.

Read our Q&A with Ms. Rivers and learn about her awakening to the world of libraries and her passion for yoga.
JimJim Henry, Lomond IB Coordinator

Lomond IB coordinator Jim Henry wraps up his 29 years of teaching in Shaker Schools this June. In all, he's been a teacher for nearly 40 years and, at last, retirement beckons.

Mr. Henry is a gentle soul with an unassuming way (he'll reluctantly admit that he's built his own house, competed in an Ironman last year and will run his fifth Boston Marathon on April 16). He captivates his students with stories and pictures from the four years he spent teaching in the far reaches of Alaska, which is where he honed his reading instruction skills and strength in building relationships with students. 

Read our Q&A with Mr. Henry and learn about his incredible past and his plans for his future.
SHHS Boys Basketball Team are Stars Off the Court
2017-2018 SHHS Boys Basketball Team
Last month, the Shaker Heights High School Boys Basketball team celebrated its fifth District title in recent years. Coach and Woodbury School Principal Danny Young says he couldn't more proud of the entire team for their accomplishments on the court and, just as important, by who the players are when they're within the walls of Shaker Schools.

"These are kids from great families who are supportive of their success and who they are as young people," says Mr. Young. "And this group was connected to the entire student body in a way that I've not experienced. When I looked up in the stands during the District game against Garfield, there were kids from so many different groups there to support the team."

Read more about this year's District champion basketball team and how they've reached out to mentor younger Shaker students.
Onaway Staff Team Wins Shaker Schools' Biggest Loser Challenge
(L-R) Susanne Peterjohn, Karen Rice, Karmi James, Paula Klausner, Connie Scott and Bevin Grant
Six Onaway staff members on team Fab Five +1 won the District's Biggest Loser Challenge, a six-week competition that encouraged Shaker Schools employees to get fit and stay healthy. The challenge was just one of several wellness initiatives piloted this year by the Human Resources team at Shaker Schools. Kudos to Onaway fourth-grade teacher Susanne Peterjohn, administrative assistant Karen Rice, music teacher Karmi James, school nurse Paula Klausner, skills tutor Connie Scott and intervention specialist Bevin Grant for losing 5.84% of the group's total weight. Together, all five Biggest Loser challenge teams lost a total of 194.3 pounds. Congratulations to all participating Shaker employees for achieving their health and wellness goals!
Community Engagement: FACE Hosts First Volunteer Recognition Event
Families and Community Engagement will host the first District-wide Volunteer Recognition Celebration on April 27 at Shaker Heights High School in the Large Auditorium. The FACE Center will work with PTO Council to identify PTO Unit Presidents to assist with the event.
Shaker Schools Foundation News
Remaining Shaker Street Signs for Sale: April 16-20
The Shaker Schools Foundation will offer approximately 400 unsold Shaker street signs through an online sale on a first-paid, first-served basis.The sale begins at 9 a.m. EST on Monday, April 16 and ends at 3 p.m. EST on Friday, April 20. Signs are priced at $50 each, and shipping and handling charges are $18 per sign for those who cannot pick up locally. Successful purchasers can pick up their signs at the District Warehouse,3620 Lee Rd. (entrance on Hampstead Road) on Saturday, April 21 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. View a  list of signs and get more details at the  Shaker Schools Foundation.  

"Shaker Speaks" Features Notable Shaker Alumni
Don't miss your opportunity to get "up close and personal" with notable Shaker alumni at this speaker's series, hosted in private Shaker homes. Only 50  tickets will be sold to each event and proceeds benefit the Shaker Schools Foundation.

World-renowned violinist Andrew Sords,'03 - Thursday, April 19 at 7 pm
Andrew will perform selections from his repertoire and share stories from growing up in Shaker, studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and traveling the world as a soloist with celebrated orchestras and conductors. Hosted by Amy and Marc Morgenstern, '68.

Restaurateurs Zack Bruell, '71 and Julian Bruell '08 - Monday, May 7 at 7 pm
Zack and Jullian will discuss their involvement in the Cleveland food scene and provide culinary treats to delight the palate. Zack is founder, proprietor, and head chef of The Zack Bruell Restaurant Group, and Julian recently returned to Cleveland as Director of Service for the group. Hosted by Maia Hansen.

Celebrate Spring at Bloom & Buzz on April 13
Though it doesn't feel like it (yet), winter is officially behind us and spring is around the corner. Residents and non-residents alike are invited to shed their winter layers and spend much-needed time outdoors with friends and neighbors at Bloom & Buzz on April 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Van Aken District. If springtime is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" then Bloom & Buzz, the next not-to-be-missed outdoor community gathering in Shaker Heights' emerging downtown, happily extends that invitation. World-class Van Aken District restaurateurs including James Beard award-winning chef Jonathon Sawyer and his team will serve up seasonal bites alongside District newcomers Restore Cold Pressed and Mitchell's Ice Cream as well as local favorites J. Pistone, Saffron Patch and others. Belly up to our "Buzz Bar" and toast to the new season with spring-themed libations. Featured entertainment includes two live bands to be showcased on an outdoor stage, activities for all ages, as well as spring shopping in the "Bloom Bazaar" featuring new Van Aken District merchants including Stump, Double Rainbow, CLE Clothing Co. and Whiskey Grade. Location: 20040 Van Aken Blvd.(west end of lot; on the corner of Van Aken and Farnsleigh Rd.). Free and open to the public.
Shaker Makers is on April 28
Join us on April 28 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. for our second annual show-and-tell-and-make-and-touch AND build-a-business event for innovators, creators, engineers, and entrepreneurs of all ages. Shaker Makers is sponsored by the City of Shaker Heights and produced in partnership with Ingenuity Cleveland. View the schedule and learn how exhibit at Shaker Makers (there are opportunities for adults and students in grades 6-12) at bit.ly/SH-makers. For information, contact: Katharyne Starinsky, 216-491-1335. Location: The Dealership (3558 Lee Rd.). Free and open to the public.
We Want your Feedback
Have a comment, suggestion or concern? Share it with us using our new Feedback form on the District's website, www.shaker.org . Simply choose the "Contact" drop-down menu at the top of the website and click on "Feedback." You can select the particular department you want to receive your message.  

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