The CTM Education Committee prepared and transmitted a letter with attachments to the Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education (BOE) and Superintendent Mary Ronan on February 4, 2017. This letter was written to summarize the work of the Committee in advance of a “Fact Finding” meeting with some members of the CPS BOE and CPS Administration on February 7, 2017.
The text of the letter in full is below with links for each attachment.
Attn: Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education, Superintendent and all other interested parties:
On September 14, 2015 Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) voted to create an ad-hoc committee made up of both CTM Trustees and community members to focus on education and improving access to quality public education seats. Over the past 15 months, this group has worked on community engagement, coordination and teamwork with other neighborhood groups, and collection and analysis of data related to school-aged children in the Clifton area. The following is a description of the educational access challenges that brought the Education Committee together and some of the specific efforts the committee has engaged in over the past 15 months.
A. Educational Access Challenges in Clifton
In the wake of the change in magnet school enrollment, many families in Clifton are unable to gain access to the only public school located within our neighborhood unless they win a lottery spot at age 3 to Rising Stars Academy. For those families who do not win the lottery during this small window of opportunity, significant barriers exist to gain access to quality public education in our neighborhood. We have heard from community members who are struggling right now to get their own children into KG (see Attachment A). To complicate this problem further, census data indicates while a robust number (approximately 180 children per year), are born in Clifton, CUF and SGV combined, many move out by elementary school years and a concerning number attend private schools with use of vouchers or charter schools (see and also see Attachment B). In the year 2015-16 alone, the cost to the taxpayers for oucher/charter enrollment was $895,000 (this number excludes the cost of transportation) just using data for 45220 (see Attachment C1 Voucher School data, Attachment C2 Voucher Charter Data, and Attachment C3 Charter School data $ 45220). With the change in magnet enrollment policy, we have concern that this number will continue to grow if the current situation does not change. The Clifton neighborhood has been negatively impacted by families moving out of the neighborhood and potential buyers deciding against moving here, as described by the realtor who sells more homes in Clifton than any other (see Attachment D ). We have collected other personal accounts giving insight into why many do not choose the Clifton neighborhood or choose to utilize vouchers or charter schools instead of public education (see Attachment E letter 2 and Attachment E letter 1).
B. Coordination with Neighborhood Groups to Identify a Solution
The Education Committee has engaged with representatives of the CCAC to form the “Working Group,” which is comprised of Fairview parents, and representatives of the CCAC, CTM, CUF Council and Spring Grove Village Council. This group has met regularly toward the goal of identifying positive solutions for our neighborhood. Together, we hope to achieve a two-building solution to gaining school access and maintaining the CCAC as a neighborhood asset. (see Attachment F Signed Joint Statement of Spring Grove Village, CUF and Clifton). As outlined in Attachment J, members of both the Working Group and the CTM Education Committee have identified and visited potential sites. Potential spaces for a permanent location are listed in Attachment J.
C. Community Engagement
Our group’s effort follows a detailed community engagement plan (as seen in Attachment G). Pursuant to this plan, we are continuing to implement many outreach activities, including community forums, door to door contact with neighbors, engagement at public events, contact with neighborhood day care and preschool facilities, identifying supporters to sign petitions and intent to enroll forms, social media advertising, mailings, visits to community groups, businesses and organizations, and play groups for families with young children. The community forums and door to door efforts have resulted in positive community feedback for starting a new school. Additionally, we have identified a growing number of supporters through a petition with 261 current signatures and enrollment forms with 38 current
potential students for a new neighborhood school (see Attachment H). Summaries from all 6 community forums in which this group has participated are described in Attachment I. Considering the connections with potential new families ready to attend the proposed neighborhood school together with a formal commitment from CPS, we expect to gather further support enabling a strong start. In addition, we are optimistic about potential Uptown community partners working with us and being a big part of the school’s success once the project has a CPS commitment.
D. Data Collection and Analysis
The Education Committee has collected and analyzed data that demonstrates the potential for our neighborhoods to have a unique and successful neighborhood school. Through our community engagement efforts, we have learned that racial, religious and economic diversity is a priority for a new school environment. We have completed extensive research of the old Clifton School and found that this school did include both racial and economic diversity (see Attachment K Cincinnati Magazine Aug 1975-Clifton and Attachment K Cincinnati Magazine Aug 1975-Clifton-school excerpts) into the 70’s and beyond, and that current data (see Attachment L) shows that diversity does exist in our neighborhoods’ population. We welcome and are open to having boundary lines for the new school that are parallel to old lines which included areas of Avondale (see Attachment M) in addition to the neighborhoods of CUF and Spring Grove Village. We have been working together with both CUF and Spring Grove Village since January of 2016 and look forward to engaging Avondale in addition to Rockdale in relevant conversations moving forward.
E. Proposed Solution
The CTM Education Committee proposes both a short-term and long-term plan for creating a new, successful neighborhood elementary school in the Clifton area. We are eager to form an Advisory Steering Committee and partner with CPS for the purpose of working to finalize a temporary and, in time, a permanent location for a new school. In addition to location, we are ready to work with CPS to initiate programming planning and to establish beneficial partnerships. The CTM Education Committee believes it is important to offer a new opportunity to those who are now in the position of having to decide on public vs. private education. Opening both a preschool classroom along with a KG class this Fall (’17-’18) at Rising Stars Academy on Vine Street would meet an immediate need in the Clifton area and provide additional preschool slots for CPS. Growth of the new elementary school could then be executed by adding a grade each year and consequently would not disrupt other existing schools in the area.
Thank you for your consideration of our plans and we hope to work closely together soon.
Clifton Town Meeting Education Committee
At a public meeting held by Ludlow 21 LLC on January 19 at the Clifton Rec Center, members of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) presented the final report and conclusions from the study which began in March 2016. This study was supported through a grant from Uptown Consortium. The purpose of the TAP was to generate ideas for the redevelopment of the Clifton Merchant Parking Lot, a 1.4 acre site along Ormond and Howell Ave. The discussion focused on identifying the best, most feasible use of the site that at the same time would mesh with the fabric of the existing Clifton Gaslight district.
Everyone should note the report is focused on concepts and possibilities, not final designs and plans. Important stakeholders attended a meeting with the TAP members: Clifton Town Meeting Trustees, Clifton Market Board Members, Clifton Business & Professional Association Officers and members, City of Cincinnati administration, and Uptown Consortium.
The full report is at this link – Final ULI Clifton Merchant Lot TAP Jan 9 2017.
At the January 9, CTM Board meeting, the team that produced CliftonFest 2016 made a report on the event. The entire slide show is attached for your review –
CliftonFest 2016 Summary Report. The conclusion was the event was a great success, and the entire business district saw benefits. The event will move to the new date slot of Fri, Oct 6 evening through all day Sat, Oct 7 for 2017 and beyond.
Deer Project: Year 2
The Clifton deer sterilization project ended its second year of field operations on January 19th with ten new does sterilized, bringing our total to 51, and a bunch of soggy volunteers.
Three nights of operations were originally scheduled for early December but had to be postponed to mid-January because a bumper crop of acorns—deer’s favorite food—reduced the draw of the corn baited sites where darters planned to capture remaining untagged does. A fourth night was added when rain twice forced early termination of activities (unconscious deer are at higher risk of hypothermia when they get wet). Mother Nature rules!
A second year field camera population survey is now underway and will soon provide the first empirical data on migration patterns and population numbers and characteristics. One thing we already know is that 41 sterilized does this year did not add new fawns to the population. We also know that all of last year’s tagged does have been seen over the last year in locations close to where they were first darted allowing cautious optimism that the premise of the program and the hypothesis of the study—that does tend to stay in one area, could prove to be true. Close study of the camera photos will also help determine how many new does might have moved into the area.
In addition to the local news coverage you might have seen, the Discovery Channel was here this year filming and interviewing for a national program. Media interest is a good news/bad news situation. While we’re glad and even eager to share what we’re doing and learning, additional observers add more moving parts to an already intense and complex operation. Fortunately, all reporters have been understanding and cooperative for which we sincerely thank them.
Costs of operations this year were around $20,000, about half of last year’s. New volunteer veterinarian surgeons were trained, as was a capture specialist, providing progress toward the goal of developing local expertise that might one day take over the jobs now performed by consultants and greatly reduce ongoing program costs. In the meantime, we are very grateful to the Animal Welfare Institute, The Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust, our friend Karyn who gave up her house for a week to the out of town consultants, and to our friends and neighbors whose donations made this year’s work possible.
Finally, observations from neighbors are still valuable. Reports of tagged deer seen outside the study area (bounded by Clifton Ave, I-75, and Ludlow Ave.) are particularly important. Sightings of tagged deer inside the study area, especially of the newly sterilized does–#42 through #52, help us monitor the health and condition of our sterilized animals. And reports of untagged does within the area will help us locate the remaining unsterilized does next year (though bucks are now dropping their antlers making them and young antlerless bucks hard to distinguish from does). Sightings can be reported on the cliftondeer.org website at “report tagged deer.”
It is a pretty good bet that any time you see Doe #24, aged 4.5 years, Doe #23, aged 3.5 years, isn’t far behind. The twosome was spayed together in December 2015 and their bond remains strong to this day. Photo credit: Mark Easterling
Welcome to 2017! We recommend you bookmark this post as below are some key information about Clifton Town Meeting for your use.
Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) has a Board of 15 Trustees. The organization has a set of bylaws that governs its operation and action. http://www.cliftoncommunity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CTM-Bylaws-Revised-Dec-2015.pdf
Your Trustees for 2017 are as follows:
Eric Urbas – President
Cindy Oakenfull – Vice President 1
Malcolm Montgomery – Vice President 2
Ashley Fritz – Secretary
Shaun McCance – Treasurer
There are many ways to interact, engage, volunteer, and communicate with CTM.
In person options
We have monthly Board meetings. The schedule is set every January at the first Board meeting of the year. Generally, the meetings are on the first Monday of the month from 7-9pm at the Clifton Recreation Center. Exact dates will be posted on the Clifton Community Calendar website page.
You can speak at these meetings on a specific topic or at the end of the meeting. Community members should sign up to speak on an agenda item before the start of the meeting. Not all agenda items will have time reserved for public input. Individual input on agenda items will be no more than two minutes. Community members are able to speak on non-agenda issues during the public questions and concerns agenda item. Individuals with statements are asked to sign in before the start of the meeting. Statements will be no more than three minutes during the questions and concerns agenda item.
Our Committees are always seeking volunteers for specific activities or for longer term participating on the work of the Committee. Your involvement, be it big or small, is welcome and desired.
Events CTM produces or co-sponsors annually:
•Memorial Day Parade & Cook Out
•Holidays on Ludlow
The Clifton House Tour is held every 3 years on Mother’s Day. Next Tour is 2018. Planning always starts in the year prior to the event.
2017 Event Captains
Event – Captain
House Tour – Adam Balz
Memorial Day Parade/Cookout – Nicholas Hollan
Clifton Fest Booth – Joyce Rich
Golf Outing – Eric Urbas
Lantern Walk – Adam Balz
Holidays on Ludlow – Joyce Rich
All events are more successful when we have volunteers from the community to participate in planning or on the day of the event.
Committees and Chairpersons for 2017
Committee – Chairperson
Beautification – Adam Balz
Business – Peter Block
Chronicle – Ashley Fritz
Website / Social Media – Shaun McCance
Membership – Kevin Marsh
Housing and Zoning – Christine Celsor
Nominating – Ashley Fritz
Public Safety – Kevin Marsh
Clifton Community LLC – Eric Urbas & Shaun McCance
Transportation – Seth Maney
Parks – Rama Kasturi
Education – Nicholas Hollan
Ad Hoc Committees
Fundraising – Brad Hawse
By-Laws – Malcolm Montgomery
Save the CCAC – Malcolm Montgomery
Uptown / NOU – Joyce Rich
Invest In Neighborhoods – Shaun McCance
TriHealth – Brad Hawse
Clifton Community Fun – Eric Urbas
CPBA – Peter Block
Ludlow 21 – Joyce Rich
Clifton Market – Rama Kasturi
UC Health – Brad Hawse
Some of our Committees hold public engagement / discussion meetings to gather input on specific topics. These are announced in advance by email and put onto social media channels.
Emails to CTM
CTM has multiple emails that you can use to convey information, concerns, questions, etc:
•Our primary email is contactctm@Cliftoncommunity.org. This email is monitored daily. Your email is forwarded to the most appropriate person or Committee for response. When in doubt, use this email for all purposes.
•Financial matter to address with our Treasurer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
•Matters dealing with Housing & Zoning, you can email the Committee directly at email@example.com
•Matters related to the Education Committee, you can email the Committee Chair directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
•Submit an article / photo for the Clifton Chronicle or wish to place an ad, you can email email@example.com
Emails from CTM
CTM has a subscriber, opt-in, email list that is used to send information & announcements related to Clifton. We never sell or share this list, and we do not email you constantly. 3-5 emails a month including the monthly CTM meeting agenda. You can opt-in at this link: http://eepurl.com/bemMm5
The Education Committee has has a subscriber, opt-in, email list that is in use for topics related only to guaranteed access to quality education and the current effort to create a neighborhood area public school. We never share or sell this list, and we do not email you constantly. You can opt-in a this link: http://eepurl.com/bR8pAn
Clifton Community Website
CTM maintains the Clifton Community website at http://www.cliftoncommunity.org/ This website contains a variety of news, calendar, public safety links, prior CTM meeting minutes, Clifton Chronicle issues, links to institutions & businesses in Clifton, and much more. There are links on the website to submit questions / concerns directly to CTM.
The Clifton Community Calendar has a moderated submission link that you can use to create entries for community events on the calendar. http://www.cliftoncommunity.org/calendar/
CTM operates various social media accounts:
•Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/CliftonTownMeeting
•Twitter account – https://twitter.com/cliftontownmeet @cliftontownmeet
•NextDoor Clifton account – https://clifton.nextdoor.com/login
•The Education Committee has a Facebook Group called “Citizens For Clifton Area Neighborhood School” https://www.facebook.com/groups/1165996130112593/
Social media “likes”, shares & retweets do not imply Board positions or agreement. We like to promote Clifton related events for the good of the community.
We accept mail at PO Box 20042, Cincinnati, OH 45220. This is the slowest way to contact us.
Our organization is always seeking the financial support of the community through a variety of membership options. You can start or renew a membership online at http://www.cliftoncommunity.org/products-page/membership/ We run a more detailed membership drive effort each year as well describing the benefits of being a member.
Thank you. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you.
From the City of Cincinnati Budget Office, Department of City Planning, and Office of Communications
Hello Cincinnati Neighbor,
Each biennial budget cycle, the City of Cincinnati asks for your feedback on the proposed city budget. We continue to offer new and convenient ways to stay engaged with the community and broaden our outreach. The Budget Office, The Department of City Planning, and Office of Communications have collaborated to further enhance communication and engagement strategies throughout the budget process. The main goal of this budget engagement campaign is to keep you informed and engaged throughout the entire process.
Here are the multiple opportunities to participate in the budget engagement process:
Please visit our website (http://cincinnati-oh.gov/finance/cincinnati-budget-engagement/) where you will find all of these links and more information about when and where the sessions and forums are taking place this summer and fall.
We welcome and greatly appreciate your feedback. Please feel free to pass the word along to your neighbors as everyone’s input is important!
City of Cincinnati Budget Office, Department of City Planning, and Office of Communications
The Clifton deer fertility control pilot program is a citizen response to the Cincinnati Parks’ invitation to collaborate on a non-lethal alternative to bow-hunting for reducing overabundant herds in 3 Clifton Neighborhood parks. Operating under a permit granted in 2015 by the Wildlife Division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the program involves a three to five year study of deer migration patterns and the efficacy of sterilization for deer population management.
CliftonDeer.org, is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed to sponsor, assist, and provide funding for the program. It builds community support – financial and otherwise – to create an infrastructure of expertise and funding needed to complete the study and to secure the viability of the program on an ongoing basis.
First Year Results:
In December of 2015, project consultant Dr. Anthony DeNicola of White Buffalo, Inc. led a team of wildlife biologists, veterinarians, and volunteers (including U.C. students, Cliftonites, and U.S. Humane Society personnel) through six nights of field operations in which 41 does were sterilized and tagged and 3 incidental male fawns were tagged and released. Detailed results of that effort are reported at 2015 Field Operations Report on the project’s website, www.cliftondeer.org.
Two important findings resulted from last Fall’s work. First, field observations and a post-operations camera survey revealed that the deer population in the study area (bounded by Ludlow Ave., Clifton Ave., and I-75) was much larger than estimated based on the Parks’ aerial infrared population counts—roughly 100 instead of 60. Faced with unexpectedly large numbers, Dr. DeNicola focused his efforts on the mature does who would be likely to reproduce this Spring and planned to target the female fawns in 2016. Second, despite the unexpectedly large deer population, Dr. DeNicola believes that his team sterilized approximately 86% of the adult doe population within the study area, and that this should be enough to stop herd growth and may begin reductions.
This Fall Dr. DeNicola plans to capture and sterilize the few adult does missed last year, new immigrant does, and newly matured female fawns in the study area. He and his team will also devote extra time to training a local darter and a local veterinarian with the goal that they can eventually carry on the program with less reliance on expensive outside involvement. Finally, he will conduct a 2-week post-operations field camera population survey.
The dates of field operations have not yet been set, but will most likely occur in December.
With the discovery of nearly twice as many deer as originally estimated from the Parks’ surveys, and the need for more accurate counts, costs of operations this year, while 25% lower than last year, are expected to be higher than originally projected. Funds are being requested from two national and one local foundation. If successful, these grants will cover at least 60% to 80% of this year’s operating expenses, reducing significantly the amount of fundraising that will be required. We should know the status of those grant requests within weeks. As promised last year, no funds will be requested from CTM.
In the meantime, we invite the community to:
Every two years the City asks Community Councils to submit up to three projects for consideration in the new biennial budget process. CTM wants to know what you are interested in our proposing for the new cycle which has a deadline in September. CTM will make a final vote at our Sept 12 Board meeting on what to submit. Please click here to read about prior projects that have occurred city wide as well as guidelines on eligible and ineligible projects.
Please click here to email CTM with your ideas, or bring them in writing to the next CTM meeting.
Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) is your local community council. CTM advocates on behalf of the Clifton community. Issues we have promoted in the past year include supporting the CCAC, seeking high quality public education seats for your children, removing invasive plants from Burnet Woods, more events at Clifton Plaza, reducing the speed limit on McAlpin and Ruther Avenues, more bicycling infrastructure for Clifton, and resolving the noise from the roof of Good Sam hospital. We have worked on zoning variance issues as well as providing community input into the City’s Land Development Code revisions.
CTM also sponsors many activities and festivals throughout the year for our community including: Memorial Day Parade & Cookout, Lantern Walk, CliftonFest, the House Tour, Holidays on Ludlow and more. We provide funding for beautification projects such as the flower pots & holiday decorations on Ludlow Avenue. We provide communications including the community email list, Clifton Community website and the Clifton Chronicle. We partner with the Clifton Business and Professional Assocation (CBPA) to keep the Clifton Plaza operating. To support this important community work, we need your generous support. Membership dues are tax deductible and make up the second largest source of income for CTM. If you paid membership dues sometime in 2015, thank you for your support. Memberships are based on the calendar year, and we need your support again in 2016.
Starting or renewing your membership will help us keep Clifton a vibrant, desirable, and fun place to live, work, and play. CTM also accepts donations, and you can do that at the same time you renew your membership online. You can click here to renew online.
If you wish, you can also use this Membership Form to do a mail in membership renewal.
Thank you for your support.
CTM Membership Committee
Find CTM in social media on Facebook and Twitter
The Esquire Theatre is holding free movies for kids again this summer. Every Monday and Wednesday. Doors open at 9:45am and movie starts at 10:30am.
Lots of cool kid flicks that parents or child sitters will likely have fun watching also. Click here for the details. Check the poster below.
The Summer Music Series on Clifton Plaza started May 6. There will be music every Friday and Saturday evening through end of July. There is also beer for sale. Don’t let the roped off area scare you aware – the rope is required by the beer permit. Come out and join your neighbors in the Business District. Check out the full schedule by clicking on the poster photo below.
At 9:45pm, May 11, CTM received a copy of the public meeting agenda to be held by CPS Board of Education in conjunction with Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Fairview-Clifton LSDMC, and CTM. All are invited to this meeting at the CPS Administration building on Burnet Woods. Conference Room 1-A. The meeting duration is scheduled for one hour. There is no time on the agenda for public speaking.
A G E N D A
SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING
CPS Board of Education & Clifton Cultural Arts Center
May 12, 2016
Vision: Cincinnati Public Schools will be a community that ensures equitable access to a world-class education, unleashing the potential of every student.
Mission: We educate all students with rigor and care in a culture of excellence to develop engaged citizens who are prepared for life.
A. CALL TO ORDER
1. Pledge to Flag
2. Roll Call
C. Vision 2020 – Strengthening Neighborhood Schools – Mary Ronan, Superintendent; Laura Mitchell, Deputy Superintendent
D. Lead agency & CLC definitions – Julie Doppler, CLC Coordinator
(Brainbox at Fairview School site)
E. Proposed outcomes – Ericka Copeland-Dansby, CPS Board President
· Carriage House
· Shared Space Agreement
F. Response to zoning issues – Bill Moehring, Interim Chief Operations Officer
G. Other issues
Office of the Board Members
May 12, 2016
1. Cultivate a robust and inclusive network of engaged parents, community and other stakeholders that work together to build safe, vibrant schools at the center of safe, vibrant communities (GREAT COMMUNITIES);
2. Support the creation of highly engaging learning environments in which every child, every day, engages in an ideal balance between rigorous learning opportunities relevant to our dynamic world, and at the same time enjoys the focused concern of caring adults (GREAT LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS);
3. Provide for expanded learning opportunities and choices for all students that reflect a shared concern for the whole child and demonstrate appreciation for every student as a unique individual (GREAT LEARNING CHOICES);
4. Enable the recruitment, growth, and advancement of distinguished professionals committed to serving diverse students with a high regard for equity, and in a manner characterized by rigor, innovation, and accountability (GREAT PEOPLE); and
5. Ensure that all operations, and resources of every type, are equitably distributed, and singularly and systemically focused on high academic achievement for all students (GREAT SYSTEMS).