June/July 2018
Onaway principal Eric Forman presents a Shaker's First Class preschooler and rising Kindergarten student with a  congratulatory button at the program's Bridge Ceremony on May 31. This was the first two-year cohort of preschoolers to complete Shaker's First Class at Mercer and Onaway. A new group starts in the fall.
The Shaker Schools Connection

A Message from the Superintendent
Congratulations to all of our students, families, faculty, staff and administrators on another successful year of learning, personal growth and achievement at Shaker Heights Schools! I am grateful for our school community's commitment to and passion for educating our children, always keeping in mind our aspirations of excellence, equity and exploration. I wish everyone a restful, happy summer. You've earned it.

For me personally, this month will be a mix of bittersweet emotions, farewells, and yes, a little anxiety, as I prepare to leave this fine community for my hometown, Alexandria, Virginia. As you know, I'll be fulfilling my lifelong dream of returning home to serve as superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools. It's the next chapter in life for my family and one that we're excited to face.

As I've said many times, my superintendency at Shaker Heights Schools has been the best five years of my career and also, the most challenging. This community has made me a stronger person and a better leader. Here in Shaker, I was consistently pushed to be my best by our leadership team, our families, our faculty and even our students. As an educator, I also hope that I proved to be a role model for our students.

I wish Dr. Stephen M. Wilkins all the best as he steps into the role of Interim Superintendent next month. Dr. Wilkins is a very capable leader and I am confident that he will continue on with much of the challenging work we've started here at the District, particularly as it relates to narrowing the achievement gap and ensuring that all of our students receive a high-quality education through equity, excellence and exploration.  

Finally, I offer our students the advice my mother gave me when I was a young man: Don't be afraid of anything in this world and always do your best. They're words that served me well and words that continue to guide me today.

Thank you all for sharing these past five years with me and my family.


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

Engage in the District's Strategic Planning Process
Last month, the District began developing its next five-year Strategic Plan, which will guide and inform the District's actions and decisions through 2024. The process is defined by transparency and continuous collaboration with all Shaker Schools stakeholders. You can learn more about the process by:
  • Reading Strategic Plan 101 to learn the basics of strategic planning and to better understand how the District will develop the 2019-2024 Strategic Plan.
  • Reviewing the Strategic Plan Timeline.
  • Visiting Strategic Planning Team to learn which teachers, administrators, community members and students are developing the plan.
Ms. Miata Hunter Named Principal of Shaker Heights Middle School
Incoming Middle School Principal Miata Hunter.
Miata E. Hunter, Assistant Principal at Shaker Heights Middle School since 2013, has been named Middle School Principal, effective July 1, 2018. She succeeds David Glasner, who will become Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction for the District.

Ms. Hunter is a 1992 graduate of Shaker Heights High School, a resident of Shaker Heights and a Shaker Schools parent. She emerged as the strongest of more than 120 applicants. She was chosen after a series of panel interviews and meetings with students, parents, faculty and staff, and community members. The District received feedback from more than 165 people. Many emphasized that Ms. Hunter's perspective as a Shaker Schools student, parent, teacher and administrator will enable her to build on the progress the Middle School has enjoyed.

"Ms. Hunter is passionate, thoughtful and knows our district," said one parent. "I have a current seventh-grader and he feels that she is approachable, which is so important at this age.  She believes in hearing from the students and engaging them in their own educational process, which is the embodiment of IB (International Baccalaureate)." Read more about Ms. Hunter and her commitment to Shaker Heights Schools.

Summer Construction Projects at Shaker Schools
There are several construction projects at our schools from June 7-August 3. Please be aware that there will be limited parking at the schools while the construction workers are on site.

For safety reasons, there will be no access to the playground at Onaway during the replacement of the asphalt play area and a retaining wall. As an alternative, we suggest families use the play areas at Boulevard or Woodbury.

Please note that the projected time frame for all projects is subject to change due to weather and other variables. The typical work day for operation of heavy equipment will be approximately 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Work on asphalt replacement could extend to 6-7 p.m.    

We expect congestion in and around the High School Oval as the following parking lots will be closed for the summer construction period:
  • High School south parking lot
  • High School north parking lot    
  • Onaway Elementary School parking lot
Please plan accordingly if you'll be visiting or picking up/dropping off students at the High School or Onaway. We suggest budgeting an extra 10 minutes for walking from your car to a building. The Administration Building lot will be restricted to building users only.

During the construction period, the SELF and Shaker Heights City Summer Recreation Programs will run according to schedule in the respective buildings. Walk-in routes to the buildings will be identified. Participants and employees should plan accordingly to gain access to the buildings.  

Contact the Shaker Heights Schools Business Office with any questions, 216-295-1400. Review this full list of construction projects.
Summer Fun 101: Shaker Schools Librarians' Guide to a Successful Summer 

Use this Guide to a Successful Summer, created by the Shaker Schools librarians, to keep your student engaged in learning and reading this summer:

  1. Read. Participate in the Shaker Public Library Summer Reading Program. The program runs June 5-August 11. More information can be found here.
  2. Read. Check out the Recommended Readings Lists from your school librarians.  
  3. Read. Utilize the digital library at OverDrive. These digital (audio and electronic books) are available here. Student login is their username (first initial, last name) and the last four digits of student ID.
  4. Write. Start a summer journal, write an email to a friend, send a postcard from vacation, or write your own story.
  5. Explore. Commit to getting out of the house and into the community each day even if only for a short time.
  6. Share. Talk to each other. Ask specific questions about the day. For example, what was the most interesting thing you did today?
  7. Set limits. Limit the amount of screen time. When utilizing screens encourage educational games and videos.
Teacher Google Training Update
Teachers participating in Google Training Session in May at the Middle School.
Last month, a team of Shaker Heights Schools representatives participated in a panel discussion at the May 2018 Instructional Technology Integration Partnership (ITIP) conference regarding the District's two-year project for 100% of Instructional Staff with Educator Licenses to earn the Google Level 1 Educator Certificate. The team included Executive Director of Technology and Media Services John Rizzo, Director of Professional Development Erin Herbruck, Network Manager Casey Ailiff and High School science teacher and Google Certified Educator James Schmidt. According to Dr. Herbruck, the group's presentation, titled "Google Certified or Certifiably Crazy: One District's Journey to Becoming 100% Google Level 1 Certified," received much interest from other school districts planning to roll out similar projects.

"We want to increase our student use of instructive technology. It's our responsibility to make sure that our teachers have a basic understanding of the Google suite," explains Dr. Herbruck. "Of course, this doesn't mean that we intend for technology to take over the classroom, but it is meant to be another instructional strategy. We want to give teachers another tool for their tool belts." Learn more about Google Staff Training Initiatives.
AASA Visit to Shaker Schools
Members of the AASA Early Learning Cohort.
On May 7-9, Shaker Schools welcomed nearly 32 superintendents and administrators from around the country who visited as part of the Early Learning Cohort of the AASA, the national school superintendents association. The group convenes twice a year to review emerging research, discover early learning best practices and plan to facilitate change.

The group spent time with Shaker's First Class at Onaway, visited classrooms at Fernway and learned more about IB at Boulevard. The cohort also had lunch at the home of Shaker parent Hallie Stewart and learned about equity and excellence in early childhood education at the Innovative Center for Personalized Learning.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Terri Breeden is a member of the cohort and was responsible for bringing the group to Shaker Schools. "It's an exciting time for this group to visit Shaker Schools-we're graduating our first cohort of preschoolers from Shaker's First Class and we've got more than a decade of experience with International Baccalaureate to showcase," Dr. Breeden said. "We're proud of the work we're doing here in Shaker and it provides a good learning opportunity for administrators to learn from us and vice-versa."
Shaker Wins First Place at HB's BYTE Coding Competition
Isabel Levin, Fenner Dreyfuss-Wells and Seamus Scanlon at the BYTE Coding Competition.
Congratulations to the Shaker Red Team for taking first place at Hathaway Brown's Bring Your Tech Expertise (BYTE) Coding Competition on May 22, Shaker's second ever appearance in the competition. Juniors Isabel Levin and Fenner Dreyfuss-Wells and senior Seamus Scanlon took the top honors at the competition which featured AP Computer Science A students from around the area competing to solve a series of Java coding problems. "The students here represent three of the finest minds in Shaker Heights," says Shaker Heights High School Science teacher James Schmidt.  Read more about the awards and these students' STEAM success .
2018 MAC Scholars and Sister Scholars Awards
Graduating MAC Sister Scholars pose for a picture following the annual awards ceremony.
The Minority Achievement Committee Scholars and Sister Scholars celebrated their end of year awards, honoring members in Grades 9-12 for their academic progress and achievement.

Senior Cielle Brady, who will attend Loyola University in Chicago next fall, shared farewell remarks at the MAC Sister Scholars Awards. "By discussing issues important to us, we were able to create a safe space to motivate and encourage one another," she said. "From my first day at Woodbury to my last day at the High School, this program has taught me how to exude my potential and to grow into a confident and intelligent young woman."

Read more about the MAC Scholars Awards and the MAC Sister Scholars Awards.

Registration for SELF Session 2 Ends June 18
SELF camps are filling up, but there are still spaces in available in several popular programs! Registration for July sessions ends June 18.  Learn more and register now online .

News from Shaker.org
Catch up on other Shaker.org news you may have missed:
Employee Spotlight: Transportation Supervisor Mark Desmond and Fernway Teachers Jamie Harden & Ellen Battle
Mark Desmond, Supervisor of Transportation

Mark Desmond, the Shaker Schools Supervisor of Transportation, is responsible for the safe transportation of 1,994 students to and from school each day, 2,000 annual field trips, special events, and sports team trips. His department includes a staff of 45 drivers, six substitute drivers,12 bus aides, three mechanics, and a fleet of 48 buses. His work is no easy task, but it's one he enjoys. He is currently completing his certificate as a Master of Transportation Administration (MTA) by the Ohio Department of Education and is a veteran of the United States Air Force. 

Jamie Harden & Ellen Battle, Fernway First- and Second-Grade Teachers

Fernway second-grade teacher Jamie Harden and first-grade teacher Ellen Battle are the school's lone looping team, meaning that the pair keeps their students for two years, "looping" with them from first to second grade. This school year was the second year of the loop: Ms. Harden has had her students for two years and in the fall, Ms. Battle will advance with her current first-grade class to second grade. 

The pair is so glad they've had the experience and they share some of their learnings and challenges in this month's Employee Spotlight. 

IB in Action: Woodbury Wavemakers Advocate for New Doan Brook Sign
The Woodbury Wavemakers pose by a mockup of their new sign, along with representatives from Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, the City of Shaker Heights and the GPD Group.
The Woodbury Wavemakers Club recently learned a valuable lesson: advocacy and action leads to results. Members of the club, which focuses on promoting clean waterways and drinking water, wrote a letter to the City of Shaker Heights earlier this year to share their thoughts on the importance of the area's connected waterways and the effects of local water pollution. They also expressed their desire to raise money for new signage at the Doan Brook bridge (at the north east corner of the Woodbury School grounds) to explain to passersby the importance of local watersheds.

Their action led to contributions from the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, the City of Shaker Heights, architectural firm GPD Group, and the Woodbury PTO to install an updated sign later this summer. On May 25, the club invited representatives from each of the groups to an appreciation ceremony at the site of the new sign. Student Henry York read the group's letter out loud while his peers Erik Maier, Hudson Jones and Carter Marston a read poem they wrote for World Water Day.

Club advisor and Woodbury sixth-grade teacher Christine Farren spoke at the event. "These students are empowered. They learned that someone's listening to them and that they can make change," she explained. "We're a small group that really coming together to put service into action for something that will benefit the community."
Community Engagement: Native Garden Club Awarded $5K Grant
Onaway students planting at the school's Woodbury Road garden beds in May.
The Native Garden Club for students in grades 2-4 at Lomond and grades 3-4 at Onaway recently was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Shaker Lakes Garden Club. Club co-advisor and art teacher Tim Kalan says that most of the money will pay for signage for the club's growing gardens at each school and will enable participating students to fulfill one of their outreach goals: education of our community. This year, the club has also received a $1,500 enrichment grant from the Shaker Schools Foundation to purchase plants.

Nearly 100 students from both schools participate in the club, whose mission is to encourage students to take an active role in growing plants and designing habitat native to Northeast Ohio, and to create partnerships within the community to educate others on the need for preservation. The students meet 10-11 times each year and in May, they planted beds at Onaway and at Lomond. 

Student Spotlight: Dalton Mosley
SHHS Student Dalton Mosley.
When Dalton Mosley finished eighth grade last year, he had earned a 2.9 GPA. At the end of the third quarter of this year, his freshman year, he'd improved his GPA to a 4.0.  His significant improvement turned heads and earned him the Minority Achievement Committee Scholars Gold Medal Award last month. 

Spend a few minutes with Dalton and it's clear he has a self-awareness about him that's far beyond his 15 years. He doesn't have a universal recipe for success, but he has one that works for him: work hard at school and spend time with family. 

Come, Play! Fest is on Saturday, June 23, 2-6 p.m.
A block party meets field day meets festival for all. Come, Play! Fest is a free community-centered street fair in the Moreland neighborhood. Come enjoy a day filled with music, art, games, and interactive exhibits - a summertime event to stretch out, sip lemonade, and soak up some sunshine with friends and neighbors. The event is sponsored by the City of Shaker Heights and produced in partnership with Ingenuity Cleveland. Location: Chelton Rd. between Hampstead Rd. and Scottsdale Blvd. and nearby City-owned vacant lots.
Calling all Students and Parents: Instagram Photo Contest Now Open
What makes Shaker "Shaker" for you? Show us by submitting a photograph to the Preservation Month Photo Contest. The Shaker Heights Landmark Commission photo contest was created in honor of National Preservation Month. In a nod to the widespread use of cell phone cameras and social media, this year submissions will be via Instagram using #PreserveSH18. The contest is open to all ages, including all Shaker  Schools students, parents, and caregivers. Photos can highlight a particular architectural detail, landmark building, neighborhood, street, park, place to eat or shop, view, or anything else that represents Shaker Heights to the photographer. Get contest details at bit.ly/contestdetails18.
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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