Parent Update – September 22, 2009
Dedication Ceremony for Intermediate School
Thank you to all who were able to attend the Dedication ceremony, this past Sunday, for the Olmsted Falls Intermediate School. It was certainly a day in which I will long look back upon with pride for our community and our school system.
Pictures of the Dedication ceremony have been uploaded to our district website. Please click here
Board of Education Announces Community Meetings to Discuss Upcoming Levy
In an effort to continue to answer questions from our residents about the November levy, the members of the Olmsted Falls Board of Education have set up 4 public meetings. These meetings will all be held in the auditorium at Olmsted Falls High School.
The times and dates for these meetings are as follows:
Wednesday September 30 7:15 PM
Thursday October 8 7:15 PM
Monday October 19 7:15 PM
Sunday October 25 4:30 PM
Did You Know
Did you know that for the second year in a row, Polaris Joint Vocational School is providing the financial backing for the Olmsted Falls school district to offer after-school Chinese language instruction to students in grades 1 – 8.
Olmsted Falls schools continue to gather information and implement plans in order to do our best to safeguard our students and employees against an outbreak of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus.
Recently, the information below was released by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health:
1. What we know about the H1N1 virus
• The timing, spread and severity of novel H1N1 virus – in addition to our regular seasonal influenza viruses – are uncertain.
• The total number of cases in Cuyahoga County is no longer available due to recent changes in the State of Ohio Infectious Disease Reporting rules.
• Outbreaks of H1N1 have been reported at several colleges in SW Ohio.
• The seasonal flu vaccine does not protect against the novel H1N1 influenza virus.
• H1N1 vaccination will not be mandatory.
• Vaccine will be distributed to approx. 90,000 vaccine receiving sites. Approximately 50% of these sites are part of the VFC (vaccine for children) sites. Provider agreements will need to be in place for the other sites in order to receive vaccine.
• Some people will need THREE vaccinations this fall: one for seasonal flu and two for H1N1. It appears that they may be able to be co-administered.
• Currently, the CDC is recommending the following PRIORITY population to receive the H1N1 vaccination first until vaccine is available for all recommended groups:
o pregnant women
o people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
o health care and emergency services personnel with direct patient contact
o children 6 months through 4 years of age
o children 5 through 18 years of age who have chronic medical conditions
Once the recommended PRIORITY population is vaccinated or additional vaccine supplies are available, the following groups will be targeted:
o persons between the ages of 5 through 24 years of age
o people from ages 25 through 64 years who are at higher risk for novel H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems
Once demand for the vaccine for the prioritized groups has been met at the local level, programs and providers will begin vaccinating everyone from the ages of 25 through 64 years. Once vaccine demand among younger age groups has been met, programs and providers should offer vaccination to people 65 or older.
• Unless Health Care/Emergency Services Personnel with direct patient contact, staff doing vaccinations will probably not be in the first priority group.
• There may be some type of minimal fee that can be billed to Medicare or private insurance or charged at the time of vaccination. If a person cannot pay, they will be referred to a public health vaccination site. Public health cannot turn anyone away. A financing Q&A document is currently being finalized for distribution.
• Ohio Department of Health is planning to ask the Governor for a “public health emergency” declaration in conjunction with the H1N1 vaccination program.
2. What we don’t know
• When we will begin receiving vaccine – likely mid-October.
• How much vaccine we will get and increments we will get it.
• Who else is getting the vaccine – Vaccine For Children (VFC) providers, hospitals, others?
• If school based clinics will be requested for vaccination of school age children.
3. School Guidance
a. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidance information for schools on August 7th, 2009.
b. Emphasis is not on school closure.
c. Rather, the focus is on stepping up basic good hygiene practices like hand washing, keeping sick students and staff away from school.
d. Some key points
– Those with flu-like illness should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, without use of fever-reducing medicines and regardless of whether or not they are using antiviral drugs.
– School staff should routinely clean areas that students and staff touch often with the cleaners they typically use. Special cleaning with bleach and other special cleaners is not necessary.
– Students and staff who appear to have flu-like illness should be sent to a room separate from other students until they can be sent home.
Relay for Life
We are excited to announce that Olmsted Falls will host its first American Cancer Society Relay for Life, set for June 12-13, 2010. Please watch for future information on this event.
Olmsted Chamber of Commerce
Recently, I have been asked about the ways the Olmsted Falls school district promotes business development in the school district. The quick answer to this is that while business development is not the District’s primary focus (educating children in an efficient manner is the District’s primary focus), we do support and advocate the use of local vendors.
The District has also been “at the table” and “provided financial support” to the Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) as well as participate in abatement incentive meetings with business located along Bagley Road in the Berea corridor (which is still in the Olmsted Falls school district).
I have been very surprised that during conversations on this topic of business development, that several members of our community were not aware of the existence of the Olmsted Chamber of Commerce. While the organization does not maintain an office in the community, it does have a web presence and has approximately 90 members.
I would invite you to view the Olmsted Chamber website by clicking here.
Did You Know
Did you know that of the 31 public school districts in Cuyahoga County that the Olmsted Falls School Districts cost per pupil is the 4th lowest in the county (as per the Ohio Department of Education). We are very proud of this fact. While the District’s spending per pupil ranks among the lowest in the county, our academic results continually rank among the best in both the county as well as the state of Ohio.
Ohio Schools Council
In my September 4th update, I wrote to you about the Olmsted Falls school district’s participation in the Energy for Education III program which will allow the District to purchase electricity for our school facilities at 5.1 cents per kilowatt hour. I have been asked how the District was able to secure this great financial savings.
To answer this question, I want to make you aware that the Olmsted Falls school district is a member of a group purchasing consortium. The name of this consortium is the Ohio Schools Council. To learn more about the Ohio Schools Council, please click here.
Did You Know
The Olmsted Falls school district was recently awarded with the rating of Excellent with Distinction by the Ohio Department of Education. This marks the 10th year in a row that the District has received the top possible rating by the ODE.
School Bus Transportation
If you are a parent of a student attending Olmsted Falls High School, you are aware of the discontinuation of busing services that has resulted from the two failed levies. Recently, several parents have asked what transportation reductions will occur should the levy fail this November.
The Olmsted Falls Board of Education has always taken efforts to display transparency, and within that spirit, the Board of Education recently approved a document entitled Levy Choice Points. This document displays the reductions to education programming and services which would occur to maintain the financial solvency of the school system.
A copy of this document can be seen by clicking here.
Many parents have been asking questions pertaining to what transportation changes will occur if the levy fails in November. The quick answer to this is effective 1/1/2010, as per the Levy Choice Points document, no busing services will be offered to students (grades Kindergarten through 8th grade) who live within two miles to the student’s school facility.
Additionally, for students who live outside the two mile distance to their school, expanding walking zones to bus stops will be implemented. Finally, no bus service will be provided within the two mile zone for pick up or drop off for students being transported under the Alternative Transportation (alternative pick up and drop off) services. It is my hope that in the next week, diagrams outlining the two mile zones for each of our school facilities will be uploaded to our District website.
While these transportation changes would be an unfortunate step backward for our District, these changes will allow for additional cost savings which would be necessary should voters choose not to support an operating levy.