On Wednesday August 26th, the Cleveland Plain Dealer displayed the District Report Card results for school districts in NE Ohio.
Olmsted Falls was listed with 11 other school districts who received the rating of “Excellent with Distinction” and met all 30 standards.
To see this data and the results for all school districts in NE Ohio, click here.
According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, Ohio ranked 19th in the nation in per-pupil spending for the 2006-2007 school year. At $9,799, Ohio spent $133 more per student than the U.S. average. New York led the list, at $15,981 per student. Utah spent the least: $5,683.
The start of the 2009-2010 school year is filled with energy and optimism. Continued academic excellence and a new educational facility are causes for celebration. I would like to take a few moments to cover some important items with you.
Excellent With Distinction
I am very proud to inform you that the Olmsted Falls School District has been notified that it has once again met the criteria to be classified as Excellent with Distinction on the annual Local School District Report Card published by the Ohio Department of Education.
Based upon the results obtained during the 2008-2009 school year, students in the Olmsted Falls School District met all 30 benchmarks (based upon academic achievement testing, graduation rate, and attendance rate). Additionally, the District met all of the Federal benchmarks for Adequate Yearly Progress (often called AYP). Please click here to view the official 2009 State Indicators and Rating Report provided to our District by the Ohio Department of Education.
This marks the 10th year in a row that the Olmsted Falls School District has received the highest rating possible, a success that can be claimed by only 2% of school districts in the state of Ohio. While I am very proud of this accomplishment, frankly speaking, our challenge now will be to maintain these high standards of academic excellence, after reducing our teaching staff by 10 teachers.
Levy Information Meeting
It was great to see a strong turnout at the Levy Information Meeting this past Tuesday (August 18th). We are pleased that five community members have volunteered to step forward to lead the campaign process. At the 8/18 meeting, attendees created a list of important questions that the District must answer in order to create an informed and supportive electorate. You may click this link to download a complete list of the questions generated by community members at last week’s meeting.
A second levy information meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in the Olmsted Falls Middle School cafetorium. While we realize this important meeting will run against 5th Grade Open House, we are hopeful that many parents and residents will attend. This meeting is planned to last approximately 60 – 75 minutes and babysitting will be provided.
At this meeting, an overview of District finances will be provided, along with a short question and answer period. Following this presentation, our community levy chairpersons will describe their plan, and specific action steps, for the upcoming levy information campaign.
If you cannot attend, but are interested in volunteering or you have questions, please contact The Pride in Olmsted Schools Committee at PrideinOlmstedSchools@gmail.com. You can also continue to contact me directly if you wish.
Several people have asked how to get registered to vote in time for the November 3, 2009 election. The deadline for voter registration is 30 days prior to the election date. In order to be eligible to vote in the November 3rd election, individuals must be registered to vote by October 5, 2009.
In addition to registration for new voters, we are also encouraging anyone who has changed residence during the last 12 months or who has had a name change in the last 12 months to re-register to vote so as to avoid voting with a provisional ballot. For additional information and to download a Voter Registration Card, you may visit the Cuyahoga county Board of Elections website.
Crisis (Grief Counseling) Plan Enacted at High School for Day #1
Approximately two weeks ago, a male student at Olmsted Falls High School passed away due to injuries associated with a skate-boarding accident. While this unfortunate accident occurred out-of-state, many of our students, as well as school officials, have become aware of this tragedy. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family.
In order to ensure that tragedies like this are handled in a caring, professional manner, the Olmsted Falls School District has a crisis plan that includes grief counseling. The grief counseling portion of the plan will be offered to students beginning on Day #1 at the High School by trained counselors who will be on-site to assist any student struggling with his/her grief over this very unfortunate accident.
Update on Intermediate School
Your investment in education with the passage of the 2 Mill Bond issue in May 2007 has yielded another facility designed to support the needs of student learning and community activities. This is especially helpful as enrollment has grown by 28% since the passage of the District’s last operating levy more than a decade ago in February 1999. The new Olmsted Falls Intermediate School is designed to accommodate the enrollment growth, while providing students and staff with the learning spaces and tools they need to prepare for their futures.
As the District has stated all along, the construction schedule to have the new Intermediate School ready for the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year was very aggressive. However, I am very happy to share with you that today we received the temporary occupancy permit. This was the final step necessary in order to allow students into the facility for the first day of school. Contractors will now adjust their work schedules to the 2nd shift so as to finish some of the cosmetic aspects that still need to be completed.
I want to thank our faculty and staff who have been working evenings and weekends in order to prepare their classrooms and properly clean the building for the grand opening of this new Intermediate School. For more information on our new Intermediate School, please click here to see the article that appeared in a recent News Sun article regarding our new facility.
Finally, I would like to once again invite you to attend the Dedication Ceremony for this new building. This special event will be held on Sunday, September 20th at 2:00 p.m.
In closing, I would like to wish all of our students and parents an outstanding first day of school. I intend to send a final e-mail recapping the start of this exciting new school year early next week.
Yours in education,
Dr. Todd F. Hoadley, Superintendent
With less than two weeks to go before the start of the 2009-2010 school year and so much happening in our District, I am writing to update you with the latest information on important District news:
November 2009 Operating Levy
As you are already aware, residents of the Olmsted communities – including residents of parts of Berea, Columbia Station and North Olmsted who live within Olmsted Falls School District boundaries and pay Olmsted Falls School District taxes – will vote on an operating levy November 3, 2009. At a meeting held last night, the Olmsted Falls Board of Education finalized the millage amount for this critical operating levy. Board members voted unanimously to pass a resolution placing a 6.4 mill property tax levy before voters in November to generate needed funds for operational expenses.
I again invite and encourage all parents to attend the Levy Campaign / Information Meeting this Tuesday, August 18th at 7:00 p.m. in the Olmsted Falls Middle School Media Center for additional information on this 6.4 mill operating levy and its critical impact on our District.
This 6.4 mill levy is significantly smaller than the previous 9.9 mill operating levy placed before voters in February 2009. Just as our community has had to tighten its belt, we, as a District, are doing the same while attempting to keep in tact the outstanding educational program we provide to more than 3,750 students each school day. Since the failure of the last levy, District officials have continued with ongoing cost-saving and cost-cutting efforts through the implementation of the District’s Educational Reduction Plan. As part of this extensive reduction plan, all District administrators, teachers and support staff have taken a wage freeze as well as insurance concessions.
It is primarily the wage freeze and insurance savings, coupled with the temporary infusion of the ARRA (American Recovery & Reconstruction Act) federal stimulus funds, that have enabled us to lower the millage rate while still maintaining our staff levels, and thereby the quality of our educational program. Please keep in mind that the federal stimulus dollars provide our District with a one-time, one-year only “bandage approach” to financial shortfalls. We will continue to assess the need for implementation of further financial reductions to maximize efficiencies and minimize the burden on our taxpayers during these challenging economic times.
The 6.4 mill levy is anticipated to last through the 2012-2013 school year. The cost of the 6.4 mill levy will be $98 per half for a $100,000 home. The cost per half for owners of a $150,000 home will be $147; $196 per half for owners of $200,000 home; and $245 per half for owners of a $250,000 home.
Record-Breaking Summer Readers
The Olmsted Falls Schools and the Olmsted Falls Library have a strong, positive relationship. Promotion of the library’s annual summer reading program to our Pre-K through 8th grade students at the end of this school year yielded record-breaking results in terms of participant levels for our community. I am pleased to report that this summer 2,862 children participated in the Olmsted Falls Library’s summer reading program, an increase of 545% over last year’s 536 participants for the same age groups! Library officials estimate that there was an average of 8-10 hours spent reading per child. This means our kids read for a total of approximately 23,000 to 29,000 hours this summer!
I want to congratulations all those students who participated and commend our parents for supporting reading as a priority this summer. Great job Bulldog readers!
Class List Postings / Student Schedules
Class assignments for kindergarten students attending Olmsted Falls Early Childhood Center will be posted on the building website at www.ofcs.net by the close of business on Wednesday, August 19th.
Class assignments for students in grades 1 to 3 attending Falls-Lenox Primary School will be posted on the building website at www.ofcs.net by the close of business on Wednesday, August 19th.
Class assignments for students in grades 4 and 5 attending Olmsted Falls Intermediate School will be posted on the building website at www.ofcs.net by the close of business on Friday, August 14th. Additionally, a letter from Principal Svec has been mailed home containing important back-to-school information related to the new building.
Homeroom assignments for student in grade 6 attending Olmsted Falls Middle School will be provided at their Open House event on Monday, August 24th. Sixth grade students will also receive their class schedules and lockers at this Open House event.
Homeroom assignments for students in grades 7 and 8 will be posted on the building website at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, August 21st. Seventh and eighth grade students will receive their schedules and locker assignments when they report to their homerooms on the first day of school.
Fall 2009 class schedules for students in grades 9 to 12 attending Olmsted Falls High School were mailed last week, along with other important information relating to the 2009-2010 school year. Please contact the High School office at 427-6100 if your student has not yet received his/her schedule.
Special Events Reminder
Mark you calendars! Finally, below find a recap of a number of upcoming events which we hope you will plan to attend:
Tuesday, August 18th – Levy Campaign Committee Meeting (7:00 p.m.)
Thursday, August 20th – Heritage Days Parade (6:30 p.m.)
Saturday, August 22nd – Meeting the Teams Night
Sunday, September 20th –Olmsted Falls Intermediate School Dedication Event (2-5 p.m.)
As always, I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns. I look forward to providing additional District updates to you throughout the year.
Yours in education,
Dr. Todd F. Hoadley, Superintendent
Olmsted Falls City Schools
It continues to be both an exciting and challenging time for the Olmsted Falls School District. With only a few weeks left until the start of the 2009-2010 school year, I wanted to personally update you on a number of important happenings within our District:
OFMA Fundraising Success
I am proud to begin this District update with an outstanding example of what can happen when our community unites and works together for the betterment of children. After a year and a half of fundraising efforts, the Olmsted Falls Music Association has reached their goal of raising enough private dollars to cover the purchase of a complete new set of uniforms for the Olmsted Falls Marching Band. While the order for new uniforms will not be delivered before the start of the fall season, it is anticipated that they will arrive in time to be worn for the last 3-4 games of the football season. We look forward to updating you again this fall regarding when – for the first time in 35 years – the “Pride of Olmsted Falls” will take the field in new uniforms. I want to congratulate the OFMA leadership and its members – as well as all of those community members who supported their efforts – for an outstanding job!
Levy Campaign Committee Meeting
A meeting has been scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 18th at Olmsted Falls Middle School to discuss the District’s upcoming Operating Levy in November. Over the next two weeks, the Olmsted Falls Board of Education will be finalizing the millage amount for this critical operating levy. Passage of this levy will only be possible with a high level of support from our parents, staff and community. We invite all parents and staff interested in volunteering with campaign efforts to attend.
Information Letter for Intermediate School Parents
Parents of 4th & 5th grade students attending the new Olmsted Falls Intermediate School this year will be receiving an important information letter from Principal Donald Svec early next week. This letter will outline plans for the first day of school in the new building as well as other important back-to-school information.
Elementary Class Lists Posting
Class assignments for kindergarten students attending Olmsted Falls Early Childhood Center will be posted on the building website at http://www.ofcs.net by the close of business on Wednesday, August 19th.
Class assignments for students in grades 1 to 3 attending Falls-Lenox Primary School will be posted on the building website at http://www.ofcs.net by the close of business on Wednesday, August 19th.
Class assignments for students in grades 4 and 5 attending Olmsted Falls Intermediate School will be posted on the building website at http://www.ofcs.net by the close of business on Friday, August 14th.
Attention: High School Parents
Finally, just a quick reminder for High School parents that the fall 2009 class schedule for your student(s) will be mailed out to homes at the end of this week, and will identify the start time for your student(s). Please note that the High School has implemented dual start/end time schedules this year to help alleviate overcrowding and anticipated traffic/parking issues due to elimination of High School busing services.
New Building Dedication Scheduled
As you are already aware, the new Olmsted Falls Intermediate School will be completed in time for the start of the new school year. A special building dedication event has been scheduled for Sunday, September 20th from 2-5 p.m. I hope you will all mark your calendars and join us for this exciting District milestone – another example of the great things that can happen when our community comes together to support a high quality education for our students! Funds from the May 2007 Bond Issue made this new facility possible. Please note (and share with friends and neighbors) that bond issue funds can be only used for construction purposes and may not be transferred to a district’s general fund for use on operating needs.
Middle School Addition
I also want to update you on progress being made with the addition of new classrooms to our existing Middle School building. As you all know, funds from the May 2007 Bond Issue were also leveraged to secure State funding through the Ohio School Facilities Commission for the expansion of our Middle School. A total of $7.7 million was awarded to Olmsted Falls Schools allowing for the addition of 20 new classrooms for our Middle School which will greatly help ease overcrowding for students in grades 6-8. This project also represents our District’s commitment to continually stretch tax dollars to provide residents with the greatest return on their investment in our educational system.
Earlier this week, the Olmsted Falls Board of Education met to approve the bids from the contractors who will break ground on this new addition in the coming weeks. Following is a summary of the contractors who were approved as the lowest responsible bidder for this project: Telamon Construction (General trades); Fire Protection Inc. (fire protection); Lake Erie Electric, Inc. (electrical); John F. Gallagher Co. (plumbing); and PK Mechanical Inc. (HVAC).
District Secures Temporary Stimulus Dollars
Olmsted Falls School District applied for and received approximately $800,000 in Title I and Special Education funding made possible through the American Recovery & Reconstruction Act (ARRA). These newly obtained Federal funds will allow us to restore some positions recently lost as a result of the implementation of our Educational Reduction Plan, and temporarily allow us to reduce some class sizes at the 1 – 3 grade levels. Funds are earmarked for use to serve special education and Title 1 students. Specifically, the Title I funds allow us to hire additional support staff at Falls-Lenox and Olmsted Falls Middle School, as these are the buildings currently designated as Title I school based on their percentages of students qualifying for the Federal free and reduced lunch program. I encourage you to contact me directly if you have any questions about the use of these temporary stimulus dollars.
Update on State Funding Levels & Status of All Day – Every Day Kindergarten
Overall, school districts across the State of Ohio faired significantly better than other agencies in the newly approved State budget. While some agencies had significant portions of their budgets cut, funding for school district was left mainly in tact. Overall, in Olmsted Falls School District, we will receive slightly less over the next two years as compared to what we have received from the State over the past two years.
However, school districts are being asked to offer more services for less money. As you may have heard, an all day – every day kindergarten requirement is among new unfunded mandates put in place by House Bill 1. All districts in the State of Ohio will be required to offer an all day – every day kindergarten program by 2011, and districts will not be allowed to charge parents for costs associated with additional staffing and materials necessary to run the extended program. While waivers will be available for districts without resources to launch all day – every day kindergarten initially, the availability of these waivers will only be temporary. The Olmsted Falls Board of Education will begin analyzing the best path for our District in this matter, and I will continue to keep you updated as decisions are made.
Our School Report – Special Back-to-School Edition
The latest issue of Our School Report has been completed and will be in homes early next week. As usual, this summer edition is packed full of important back-to-school information. Please click this link to review an advanced copy of this School Report on-line.
Olmsted Falls Heritage Days Parade
Just a reminder that Olmsted Falls Heritage Days will kick-off with the annual Heritage Days Parade on Thursday, August 20th at 6:30 p.m.. Our Board members and administrators look forward to seeing parents and students along the parade route. Important note for kids: Don’t forget to bring an extra large bag to catch all the candy!
Meet the Teams Night
All parents and students (of all ages) are invited to attend the annual “Meet the Teams Night” sponsored by the Olmsted Falls Athletic Boosters on the evening of Saturday, August 22nd. Share your Bulldog pride at this great community event as members of the Fall 2009 sports teams are introduced on the field at the OFHS Harding Memorial Stadium.
In closing, I sincerely hope we will have the opportunity to see many of you get involved in these events during the coming weeks. I wish you and your families a fun and relaxing end to the summer, and look forward to the start of another successful year for the Olmsted Falls School District.
Yours in education,
Dr. Todd F. Hoadley, Superintendent
Olmsted Falls City Schools