August 2017
SELF campers fine-tune their writing skills in preparation for the start of school at Publish Your Own Book Camp.
The Shaker Schools Connection

A Message from the Superintendent
As our summer fun comes to an end, I hope that students are taking time to complete summer reading, engage in activities on Khan Academy, or visit our local libraries.  It's almost time for school to begin and we are so excited about welcoming back our students, staff, and faculty to another school year. Our administrative team and staff have been working extremely hard and diligently to prepare for a productive school year.
Our teachers and administrators have been working on curricula and building professional capacity through summer workshops. We've almost completed all of our necessary summer 2017 facilities and maintenance projects.

Last week at our annual Leadership Institute, the instructional and administrative team collaborated and grappled with the District's 2016-17 metrics data and Five-Year Strategic Plan efforts. Also, we worked with our international consultant, Dr. Fran Prolman, on instructional leadership, evaluation and conflict management. 

A few reminders for parents and students, in preparation for our first day of school on Wednesday, August 23:
  • K-8 classroom assignments should arrive in your mailboxes no later than one week before the start of school.
  • High school schedules will be available online at ProgressBook.
  • Be sure to download the Shaker App to subscribe to building-level calendars on your mobile device and to get notifications about news and upcoming events at your student's school ( read more below ).
  • Suggested and required summer reading lists for all students are available online at (read more below). 
  • Take advantage of the Sales Tax Holiday, which runs this weekend, Friday, August 4-Sunday, August 6. Learn more about the Sales Tax Holiday, from the Ohio Department of Taxation.
In the meantime, enjoy these final few weeks of summer. I look forward to seeing everyone in three weeks!
Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools

Facilities Update
Middle School Roof and Cafeteria Ceiling 

Weather permitting, the Middle School roof replacement and repair project is expected to be completed on August 18. Three sections of the roof were completely torn off and replaced. Repairs included insulation, flashing around drains and sealing. Crews may still be on the rooftops for final checks for the following two weeks, however, school operations will not be affected.

The Middle School cafeteria ceiling project is nearing completion, as well. The new ceiling is expected to be completed no later than August 14.
Woodbury Vestibule Project

The Woodbury School east side vestibule staircase has been demolished and subsequently replaced. 

The staircase was cracked and has been replaced with new tiles. The project was completed in early July.    

Students and staff will be able to safety access the entrance at the start of school.

Important Back-to-School Information
Get the App
For the most up-to-date calendar and the latest news from the District, be sure to download the free Shaker Schools App. It's available in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Enable push notifications to receive building- or District-level news and emergency alerts. 
Add the Calendar to Your Phone
Subscribe to your building calendar and events will pre-populate your iCal/Google Calendar. No more hand-recording your events! It's easy and paperless! Questions? Visit our  FAQ.

Still like a paper calendar? A limited number of print copies of the 2017-18 calendar are available for pickup at all school buildings and at Shaker Heights Public Libraries starting August 17. 
Reading Lists
For students in grades grades 5-12, there's still time to finish up required reading. View book options, as well as assignments:
Students in lower grades can check out our Recommended Reading for Grades K-4 at

Fees & Supplies
Visit Fees & Supplies for up-to-date information for all grades (please note, the Middle School supply sheet will be posted mid-August). And once school starts, be sure to log in to PayForIt to pay any student fees and to add funds to student lunch accounts.
Equity Task Force Update
The Equity Task Force held its second meeting Monday, July 10. Speakers this month included Shaker Heights High School academic advisor for the MAC Scholars Program Mary Lynne McGovern and former School Board member Reuben Harris. Ms. McGovern shared her experience of participating in the Shaker Schools Plan, a voluntary integration plan in the 1960s and 1970s. At that time, the McGovern family lived in Fernway, but opted to send their children to Moreland Elementary School (now the Shaker Heights Public Library main library). Mr. Harris was co-founder of the advocacy group Caring Communities Organized for Education and has served on the Project Achieve committees, and helped establish the Sankofa celebration. He was instrumental in having such noted researchers as the late Dr. John Ogbu of Berkeley and Dr. Ronald Ferguson of Harvard analyze Shaker's black-white achievement gap.
Visit the Equity Task Force Online
Learn more about the Equity Task Force, its leadership and members. Visit the Equity Task Force on the District website.
Another Successful SELF Summer
SELF campers at Publish Your Own Book Camp
Shaker students enriched their minds and improved their skills this summer at the District's Summer, Exploration, Learning and Fun (SELF) camps. In addition to camps focused on the arts, STEM, and global languages, this year included an SAT/ACT prep camp. Also new this year, SELF partnered with the Shaker Heights Recreation Department, Shaker Heights Public Library and the Shaker Heights Historical Society on some of the camps.

Approximately 1,200 Shaker students participated in SELF this summer---nearly 200 more students than last summer. A total of 62 camps (up from last year's 52) were offered at Mercer Elementary School, the Middle School and the High School. Overall, SELF cut expenses from last year by nearly $50,000 and increased revenue from $52,000 to $71,500. 

Registration for the 2018 SELF camps begins late February-early March 2018.
Student News
High School German Students Visit Goslar, Germany

A group of 16 rising seniors and recent graduates traveled to Goslar, Germany this summer with German teacher Kristen Harter and High School English teacher Chuck Kelly. Founded in 1978, the Shaker-Goslar Exchange is the oldest partnership between an American and a German school.

"It was truly an incredible experience that taught me more about the language, culture, and lifestyle than I could have ever learned in a classroom setting," says rising senior Ellie Shafron. The students experienced typical German school at Goslar's Ratsgymnasium and attended the school's graduation ceremony in the Kaiserpfaltz, the Imperial Palace of Goslar.

Read more about the Goslar Exchange.
Chachi Gustafon Competes in Swimming in Israel's Maccabiah Games

Junior Chachi Gustafson represented the USA Juniors Swim Team at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 4-18. The Maccabiah Games, hosted by the Maccabi World Union are held every four years in Israel. The Union is the largest and longest running Jewish sports organization spanning over five continents, more than 60 countries, 450 clubs, and 400,000 members.

Chachi was one of 10,000 participating athletes from 80 countries. He won silver and bronze medals in the 100m and 200m butterfly. Both times are currently in the top 10 and top 20 in the US. He was also on the Team USA 400 medley relay that won a silver medal. 

Read more about Chachi's experience.

Come to the Final Summer 2017 Van Aken Beer Garden
Say sayonara to summer at the final Van Aken Beer Garden of the season on  Friday, August 18 from  6-10 p.m. Enjoy an evening with your friends and neighbors while dining at food trucks La Taqueria, Lobster Louies, Slyman's Tavern, Sander's Concessions, and Shaker's own 'Nawlins City Express. There will also be live entertainment from the rock-folk band, oldboy; beer, wine, cocktails; and activities for kids.
A portion of the beer and wine sale proceeds will benefit the Sussex Community Association. Admission is free and the event is bike- and pet-friendly. Located in the plaza anchored by Walgreens (20200 Van Aken Blvd.). Park in the Farnsleigh lot on the other side of the tracks.

Employee Spotlight
Lori White, Shaker Heights High School Math Teacher

Whether Lori White is talking about teaching math, her hobby of puzzling, or taking a walk, it's hard not to share in her excitement. 

And the best part: it's not an act. White's enthusiasm for the things she's passionate about is so completely genuine that it's no wonder she's been such a student favorite at Shaker Schools for the past 35 years. 

In fact, one of her past students who was at Stanford University was able to invite a teacher to watch him receive an award. From all his teachers, he invited White."He had to give a speech and spoke about the passion that I have and how excited I can get about things like the mean value theorem," she remembers fondly. "The thing is that if you get excited about something as a teacher, then that spreads to the kids."

White's commitment to lifelong learning---no matter the source--is very much a part of who she is. "I learn so much from the kids because they say things differently than I would and they say it in a way that makes sense to them," she says. "I steal from them. The kids often come at things in a different way and it's fantastic."

Read more about Lori White.
Lester McDonald, Boulevard Building Assistant

Lester McDonald enjoys a bit of celebrity status among Shaker Schools students. 

Not only is he a highly visible District employee in his work as a custodian (for the past nine years he's worked at each elementary school,  serving as substitute, assistant or head custodian), he also truly enjoys engaging with Shaker families. 

"When I started out at Fernway, I'd play football with the kids," he says. "It's so rewarding because to this day, some of those kids see me and remember every aspect of every encounter I had with them. I can't believe they remember it!"

Even better, he says he always had the support of the school staff and parents. "The community in Shaker is so outgoing. That's one of the great things about being here," he says.

McDonald says that his commitment to providing stability and income for his own four children is what brought him to Shaker. Today, his children are all grown college graduates. 

Read more about Lester McDonald.
Community Engagement
Staying IB Strong All Summer Long

Rising sixth grader Evelyn Rossman is proof that even over the summer, Shaker students still keep IB attributes top of mind.  

Evelyn is the latest in a host of Shaker students who have either shaved their heads to raise money for cancer research organizations like St. Baldrick's or donated their hair to organizations that make wigs for children and adults who experience hair loss from cancer treatment or autoimmune disorders like alopecia.

Evelyn's reasoning behind lopping off 10 inches of her hair this summer started out as a practical matter. "It was hot," she says.  But since she wanted to cut off so much, why not do something good and donate it?

Read more about Evelyn Rossman.
Kevin Ekeberg Soccer Fest Returns

On Saturday, August 12, join the Kevin Ekeberg Shaker Soccer Fest and Alumni Game, an event that honors Kevin Ekeberg, a Shaker Heights High School ('09) soccer alumni and raises money for No Stomach for Cancer, which funds stomach cancer research and awareness. Kevin tragically passed away in 2015 from stomach cancer.

The Shaker Heights High School soccer program organizes the event, which includes a 3-on-3 soccer tournament, bubble soccer, raffle, concessions, and the annual Men's Alumni Soccer Game. 

Learn more about registration, donating and volunteering for the event.

Shaker CommUnity Market is August 31

Learn about local w ellness resources and take home a bag of fresh produce at the inaugural Shaker CommUnity Market, from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, August 31. Come to Onaway School for this free event featuring fresh food, cooking demonstrations by local chefs, an information fair, and family-friendly activities, including yoga, line-dancing, and more.

The CommUnity Market is part of a new effort by the Shaker Schools PTO Council, CommUnity Builders and the Center for Family and Community Engagement (F.A.C.E.) to help families connect with food and wellness resources in the community. Partners include the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and the City of Shaker Heights. Contact Keith Langford for more information.
We Want your Feedback
Have a comment, suggestion or concern? Share it with us using our new Feedback form on the District's website, . 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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