Golf Tourney to Help Joe's Place; MRH Alumni Return

Maplewood Richmond Heights alumni who graduated in the 1960s will return this weekend for a series of get-togethers and activities. It's one of the subjects that came up at the Sept. 15 meeting of the MRH Board of Education.

A golf tournament being sponsored this weekend by alumni who graduated in the 1960s will raise money for Joe's Place, an MRH school board member said last week. Additionally, will have its second public showing next month at the .

Organizers hope to raise $3,000 for the home, Treasurer Nelson Mitten of the MRH Board of Education told the group .

The Joe's Place board has welcomed two new members. Dr. Jerry Rosenblum is a faculty member at Saint Louis University. Sharon Ayres is vice president of human resources at Maplewood-based Moosylvania, a marketing firm. At its most recent meeting, the board talked about how to further its capital campaign and market Joe's Place more effectively.

Mitten also noted that the district's chief financial officer, Kay Lesley, has succeeded him as bookkeeper for Joe's Place.

The Tivoli showing will happen Oct. 6, Mitten said. Seating will be limited to 350 people. Ayres has offered to develop a Joe's Place logo, and shirts bearing the new design are expected to be on sale at the showing.

Meanwhile, what appears to be only the second such residence nationwide recently opened in Ohio, Mitten said. Coaches Corner is a project of the Painesville City Local School District. Earlier, representatives from the district visited MRH to learn about the residence. Joe's Place sent flowers in honor of the grand opening of Coaches Corner. 

MRH alumni to visit town this weekend
Tom Wickersham, , said 1960s alumni are expected to hold events Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week. He said another event is possible Sunday.

Activities will include the golf tournament; a tour of the high school; and tailgating planned before the MRH football game at the parking lot. A whole set of bleachers will be reserved for MRH alumni at this week's football game.

Wickersham described the get-together as a grassroots effort. Approximately 240 people are expected to go on the MRH tour, and attendance at a Thursday night meet-and-greet at was expected to be in the 300s.

More information about the 1960s MRH alumni reunion is available on the organizers' website.

Finance updates provided
Lesley, the district's chief financial officer, said she will present a budget amendment and provide an update on district revenues at the board's next meeting. She said tax collections are down compared to those made last year. Energy expenses also are down.

The district also will review whether it needs to take out a tax anticipatory note (TAN) later this year to help pay employees and bills, Lesley said. Mitten described TANs during the meeting as a loan against taxes that is used to provide cash flow. The short-term notes incur a low level of interest, Lesley said.

Update given on district improvement goals
Assistant Superintendent Karen Hall gave the board an overview of progress on six goals the district set for itself last October as part of a five-year Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP):

  • Small class sizes: The district is examining class schedules, technology and partnerships in an effort to maintain small class sizes, Hall said.
  • Home visits: Administrators at each school are developing a plan for home visits, and a grant will provide funding to evaluate the program.
  • Foreign language: Hall said she and Dr. Tony Arnold, principal of MRH Elementary School, will form a committee to explore options for exposing students to foreign language. They expect to present a plan in the spring. A local company is willing to partner with the MRH Early Childhood Center on an afterschool program, and the district already uses Rosetta Stone computer software for language instruction, Hall said. MRH also is looking into partnerships with community colleges.
  • High school rigor: Progress has been made in this area, Hall said.
  • Educational alternatives
  • Teacher retention: Progress has been made in the area of exit interviews, and the process for conducting these will be published and made available in the future.

The board will receive a more thorough update on these goals at the end of the year, Hall said. Principals already meet with Dr. Linda Henke, superintendent of schools, to set goals for themselves and their buildings. Next fall, a small community group will be reconvened to review the district's progress over two years and to make course corrections as needed, Hall said. The district will then continue to pursue its five-year goals.

Common Core State Standards Initiative update provided
Also on Sept. 15, Hall updated the board on discussions regarding the Common Core State Standards Initiative in Missouri. The standards are meant to guide education so that students remain competitive internationally, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website states.

Legislative updates given
MRH High School's auditorium will host legislators for an Urban Agriculture Bill meeting at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 4, Board Treasurer Nelson Mitten said. Earlier that day, legislators will tour the district's facilities.

He called a Farm Bill forum the district hosted earlier this year "a tremendous success," noting it was well attended. He also updated the board on the .

Other action

  • The district's African-American Community Advisory Council has been reviewing achievement data for African American students and will present a portion of the data to the board in November, Hall said.
  • Board President Maria Langston said the board will try to meet once every six weeks this for a work session. Finance will be the focus of one of such meeting.
  • The board approved bus routes for the school year at its meeting.


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