Kirschner boys

The Kirschner boys start school at Moreland Hills Elementary School in the Orange City Schools District, having moved three days before to a rental house in Orange while their new house, also in Orange, is being built. They are Noam, 7, Maverick, 7 months, and Leon, 9.

A family who built their first home in Pepper Pike because they were told the property was in the Orange City Schools District has now relocated to Orange to keep their children in the district of their choice.

Michael and Fani Kirschner used multiple legal channels to try to stay in their home and continue sending their two sons to the Orange schools, including seeking redistricting of their street from the Ohio Department of Education, a move backed by many of their neighbors on North Pointe Drive at The Point at Sterling Lakes, the Cleveland Jewish News previously reported.

Most of the development is in the Orange district but a small part is located in the Beachwood City School District, including the Kirschners’ property. The land had been incorrectly listed as being in the Orange district by the Cuyahoga County Auditor’s website when the family moved into their home in June 2017.

Three families on the street were directly affected by the error. One student, a senior at Orange High School, will stay at Orange for the 2021-2022 school year based on a superintendent’s agreement, Michael Kirschner said.

Orange Superintendent Lynn Campbell wrote the Kirschners and the other affected families about the problem in an April 4, 2020 letter and informed them they would not be able to continue sending their children to Orange schools. Instead, they would have to attend their “home” public school in the Beachwood school district.

Since then, there have been negotiations and the Kirschners filed a lawsuit, which ended with a settlement agreement allowing them to send their sons to Orange schools for the 2020-2021 school year from their Pepper Pike home.

In April, Michael Kirschner said he and Fani decided to relocate rather than to wait for the state to come to a decision regarding redistricting, he told the CJN Sept. 8. A year ago, their children were unenrolled from Orange the night before school began and they did not want to repeat that experience.

The family is building a home in Orange and renting a house in Orange temporarily, he said.

Looking back, “The kids … were far down on the priority list for all the governmental agencies,” Kirschner said.

The Kirschners said their sons are happy in Orange schools. Noam, 7, has his brother Leon’s former second-grade teacher. Leon, 9, is starting fourth grade. And there is another Kirschner boy who will likely attend Orange schools – 7-month-old Maverick.

“A lot of people said we’re so glad to see you back,” Michael Kirschner said. “We never actually left.”

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