District’s strategic planning survey, campus master plan underway

by Melissa Martin

March 20 school board meeting

Brecksville-Broadview Heights Schools Superintendent Jeff Harrison encouraged residents in both communities to take part in a survey distributed by the district as part of its strategic planning process.

Harrison told the school board the survey is being conducted to gauge residents’ perceptions of the school district and the direction the district should be headed in the next five years.

“This is the scientific survey that will go out mainly through phone calls and polling the community,” Harrison said. “Please remind your neighbors and friends that if they get a call asking about being surveyed for the school district that it is legit and our goal is to have 400 unique respondents that align with our census data from Brecksville and Broadview Heights. We want to make sure we get a good sampling from our community.”

Harrison said that once survey results are analyzed, the district will conduct a more informal survey through Google so everybody has an opportunity to provide feedback.

“We will be able to compare the results from both of those and hopefully they will further solidify the information we will gather from the scientific survey to show we got a good sampling from the community and its stakeholders. … “That is important,” he said.

Kindergarten enrollment

Harrison updated kindergarten enrollment, noting that to date, 220 students had been registered for the 2024-2025 school year.

“This appears to be lagging behind last year’s numbers at this time, and again our current kindergarten class stands at 250,” he said.

While enrollment discussions are typical throughout the year, Harrison said he continues to share information as a result of concerns about the elementary school’s size since fall 2022.

“We are kind of on pace with what was predicted to be our enrollment, and we will see if it continues in that fashion,” he added.

Mental health funding

Josh Haynes, pupil services coordinator for the high school and middle school, presented information regarding money the district has received as part of the Ohio Student Wellness and Success Funding Plan.

According to Haynes, the program, funded through Ohio House Bill 33, requires that school districts receiving the money, including BBH, host a discussion of the funding the district has received detailing how those funds will be used.

Haynes said the district has been allocated $140,345 by the state, all of which will be used to pay three behavior and wellness specialists through the Education Service Center of Northeast Ohio and ABA Outreach.

“We targeted tiered services around mental health,” Haynes said. “With that money, they were able to provide coaching to our teachers, consultative services to both teachers and our students, specifically designed instruction, crisis intervention, and co-taught lessons.

 “The direct impact of this is 144 students, but it’s a lot larger than that number, and it’s hard to quantify what that number would actually be.”

Campus master plan

The board approved a $76,000 contract – using $108,226 in reimbursables – to partner with Architectural Vision Group in Cleveland for the development of a campus master plan for the high school, middle school, athletic complex, board offices and the former Hilton Elementary School property.

“This is not a one-and-done. This is not a process that we’re going to go through for two months, and it will be over. It will be an ongoing process,” Harrison said. “The goal is to have a master plan, part of the strategic plan done and a state-of-the-schools address in October. That is our goal, and we’re hoping to get it across the finish line.”

An important part of producing the master plan is that Architectural Vision Group will bring in two partners, including one that will generate a survey of the entire campus. Harrison said this is an essential piece of the puzzle so that when the district looks at the different alternatives, it’s possible to know what is realistic.

The second piece of the process is the completion of an on-campus traffic study.

“They will come up with recommendations we can implement as early as next year to help some of the traffic flow on campus,” Harrison said. “If you come to our campus during arrival or dismissal, you know exactly why we’re doing a traffic study. … This is an effort to be proactive rather than reactive.”

Rescheduled board meeting

Due to conflicts with the schedules of board members and administrators, the April board of education meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 24, one week later than usual. ∞