June 2017
Members of the Class of 2017 who attended Lomond returned  to their 
elementary school   for a final round of applause at Senior Clap Out.
The Shaker Schools Connection

A Message from the Superintendent
Today, we welcome the start of summer break, and tonight, the Class of 2017 will celebrate Shaker Heights High School's centennial graduation at the State Theater. I wish our returning students and all our staff a fun, safe and restorative summer. And to our graduates and their families, I offer you my congratulations and best wishes.

Of course, there's still plenty for us to do at the District over the next 11 weeks. All of our buildings will receive annual maintenance and repairs to prepare us for the start of the 2017-18 school year. District-level administrators will spend the summer evaluating our curriculum and finding ways to incorporate constructive feedback---because we can always do better. 

Beginning Monday, June 19, all full-time administration building employees will work extended work days  Monday-Thursday with Fridays off through July 28. In keeping with our strategic plan's human resources goal, we are open to flexible scheduling that helps retain (and recruit) high-quality employees. 

I'll be in touch this summer to keep you posted on progress at the District. In the meantime, enjoy the warmer weather and longer days.

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

Watch Class of 2017 Graduation Tonight Via Live Stream
Visit Shaker.org tonight to live stream the pomp and circumstance of the Class of 2017, as they receive their diplomas at the State Theater in downtown Cleveland. 

The stream begins at 5:30 p.m. Graduation begins at 6 p.m.
Equity Task Force Members Announced
Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., has announced the members of the newly formed Equity Task Force. Dr. Hutchings and the two co-chairpersons of the Task Force, Lisa Vahey and the Rev. Colin Jones, made the selection from a group of 25 finalists. The group includes 11 educators, nine community members and two students. These members will serve a two-year term.

More than 80 residents and staff members applied to serve on the task force, which is charged with identifying, understanding and taking action on equity issues in our schools. They will work alongside the two Shaker Heights High School student-members, both of whom are involved in the Student Group on Race Relations (SGORR). The Task Force will identify equity issues, particularly those that relate to race, and make recommendations to the Board of Education on policies that will enable us to remove barriers to student success. The formation of this group and its ability to continuously foster equity through the coordinated efforts of our schools, our community and our young people is an important step to ensuring that the dialogue we have on race is not only productive, but lasting. 

Read more about the Equity Task Force.
Service Tea Honors School Employees
Service Tea honorees included Danny Young, Kevin Ivey, and Seretta Wilson.
The annual Shaker Heights Service Tea was held Thursday, May 18, at the Shaker Heights High School Cafeteria. 

The event honors Shaker Heights City School District employees for milestone years of service. 

Read more about the  Service Tea honorees .
2017-18 District Handbook and Calendar Information
For 2017-18, the handbook will be available  online  and on our Shaker Schools app in lieu of mailed packets. Look for an updated version of the handbook online in August. 

Also,  copies of the 2017-18 printed calendars will be available for pickup only  at any District building or office and at both Shaker Heights Public Library branches beginning on August 17. Printed calendars also will be available for pickup at all back-to-school and PTO events. 

Download our free Shaker Schools app, available at the  Apple App Store or at  Google Play. It's got the most up-to-the-minute event information and all the school and District news that's been posted to social media. Even better, you can  sign up for notifications and get daily or weekly alerts  on what's going on at your student's school. 

Y ou also can  subscribe to individual school calendars through the app (or online)    so that your smartphone calendar is pre-populated with school events---you'll see everything from field trips to PTO meetings to college planning nights and more. 
Read the  Calendar FAQ  for information about calendar distribution and instructions for downloading the Shaker Schools app and subscribing to our calendar online.

Student Art on Display at Administration Building
Olivia Forsyth's self portrait.
Senior Olivia Forsyth admits her self-portrait, which she painted last year in Meryl Haring's painting class, is not her favorite piece. But she does appreciate its value as a learning experience. "Doing this painting gave me a better understanding of how to use oil paints," she says. 

For this painting, Haring instructed students to incorporate techniques used by two other painters. Forsyth chose to Malcolm T. Liepke, a figurative painter whose "wet" look is reminiscent of 19th century portraitist John Singer Sargent. She also chose Robin Eley, an Australian hyper-realist painter. "I'd seen his paintings of subjects wrapped in plastic wrap online," she recalls. "It was so realistic that it looked like a photograph."

Read more about Olivia's artwork
First Senior Clap Out is a Success
Seniors return to the halls of Lomond Elementary
Nearly 150 Shaker Heights High School seniors returned to their respective Shaker Heights elementary schools on Thursday, May 25 for Senior Clap Out, an event organized by the Shaker Schools PTO. Senior Clap Out was modeled after Shaker's long-standing tradition of "clapping out" students when they transition to a new school building. A crowd of students, teachers, staff, retired teachers, parents, and other community members applauded participating Shaker grads at each of the elementary schools. Visit For Shaker Schools on Facebook to see more photos from the event.
Mercer Meerkat Club
The Meerkat Club bulletin board at Mercer.
In 2015, the Mercer PTO invited students to come up with ideas for spending the PTO budget. The students came through with some big ideas that benefited the whole Mercer community. Those included a Magic Treehouse in the Mercer library, a school play, and a new after-school club that all students could join.
The Meerkat Club, as it is now known, has been a big success. This past year, more than 275 students participated in the after-school club, which provides late bus service and has no activity fee. Their most popular activity involves assembling activity kits for children who are hospitalized over the holidays. University Hospitals was the beneficiary in 2015 and the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital received the kits in 2016.  
Read more about the Mercer Meerkat Club.

Family-Friendly Van Aken Beer Garden Returns June 16
The tradition continues, but moves to the Shaker Plaza parking lot while construction of Shaker's new downtown progresses. Enjoy food trucks, live entertainment, beer, wine, cocktails, kids activities, and an evening with your friends and neighbors. Sponsored by Scene Magazine, a portion of the beer and wine sale proceeds benefit Shaker-based non-profits. Admission is free and the event is bike- and pet-friendly. 

2017 Beer Gardens will be held 6-10 p.m. on June 16, July 21 and August 18. 
CTE Prepares High School Student for Work and Higher Ed
Senior Cydney Calhoun
As a three-season athlete with a burgeoning interest in health and fitness, Cydney Calhoun ('17) knew she wanted to be a physical therapist. So at the start of her junior year, the MAC Sister Scholar enrolled in the Exercise Science and Sports Medicine Program offered through the Tri-Heights Career Tech Consortium and began balancing school, athletics and forging her own career path. 

High School Guidance Counselor and Consortium Liaison David Peterjohn estimates that annually, 40-60 students from the high school participate in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at the Consortium, which is open to juniors and seniors in Shaker Heights, (Cleveland) Heights and Warrensville Heights High Schools. "My older sisters had done the CTE program and my counselor asked if I was interested," she explains. "I knew I wanted to go into physical therapy and personal training, so I decided to do it." 

Read more about CTE and Cydney.
Denice Benton: Nurturing by Nature
Denice Benton in her Kindergarten room at Boulevard Elementary
When she was in the seventh grade, Boulevard Kindergarten teacher Denice Benton signed up to volunteer at a school for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities in her native Philadelphia. She had no personal connection to anyone with disabilities, she only knew she wanted to help. 

Over time, her desire to help led her to study special education as an undergraduate student at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, pursue a master's degree, and ultimately, live a life that's focused on nurturing, both in her day job and in her spare time. 

Read more about Denice Benton and her work as a teacher and community volunteer.
Community Engagement
Ruth Heide and her team of students.
David Peake with signed Rodney Hurst books.
Woodbury Students Fold Paper Cranes for Hiroshima

Inspired by the book, "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes" by Eleanor Coerr, Woodbury teacher Ruth Heide led 16 students on a lunchtime mission to fold paper cranes. Heide's parents---Shaker residents Pearl and Fred Livingstone---traveled to Japan with 693 origami cranes in tow last month. The couple promised Heide they would scatter the cranes around the Children's Peace Monument at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. 

But when the Livingstones arrived at the Monument, they were told the cranes had to be strung. The couple's tour group was kind enough to step in and help them string the cranes. Thanks to the international community effort, the Woodbury cranes for peace are now flying proudly (and beautifully strung) in Hiroshima.

See more pictures of the Woodbury paper cranes in Hiroshima.

David Peake and High School Students Start NAACP Youth Council Chapter  

Last fall, when a group of SHHS students approached High School Guidance Counselor David Peake about forming a student group, there was one organization that came to mind.

"As I listened to them, it was clear they wanted to form an inclusive group," Peake explains. "I thought about the NAACP because it's rooted in inclusion."

Peake made some calls and within hours, the NAACP suggested he form a Youth Council at the High School. So Peake completed the paperwork, assembled an executive board of students, and shortly after the start of 2017, the High School was granted a charter to begin an NAACP Youth Council.

Read more about the NAACP Youth Council and a special gift Peake received from a history-making Youth Council President. 
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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