Archive for October, 2009

Parent Update – October 30, 2009

October 30, 2009 2 comments

Olmsted Falls City Council Endorses OFCS Levy

I want to make you aware that the Olmsted Falls City Council has passed a resolution in support of Issue #107. The school district greatly appreciates the support of the Olmsted Falls City Council. A copy of their resolution of support can be viewed by clicking here.

S.O.S. Parade

I have also been asked to make you aware of a student-led initiative to bring awareness to the importance to Issue #107. A group of our High School students will lead what they have termed an S.O.S. march this Sunday at 2PM. These students, and anyone else who is interested in supporting their cause, will meet at Falls-Lenox Primary School and walk uptown (most likely to the covered bridge). Participants are asked to make signs and show their support of the Bulldog cause.

Varsity football goes after SWC crown

This evening, our Varsity football team will be playing for a league championship as they travel to North Olmsted High School. A win would not only allow our Bulldogs to capture the S.W.C. championship, but it would also create an opportunity to continue the season by making the state playoffs.


Flu Update

As you are aware, the District has been experiencing higher than normal absentee rates due to various illnesses. It appears that the “flu bug” is finally beginning to subside as the number of students absent from school is slowly returning to the normal range.
Yesterday, the number and percentage of students absent at District buildings were:
High School (71 absent) 6.2%
Middle School (44 absent) 5.1%
Intermediate School (29 absent) 5.1%
Falls Lenox (55 absent) 6.3%
Early Childhood Center (26 absent) 8.2%

National Recognition for OFCS Academic Program

Recently, the Olmsted Falls school district was highlighted in an article published by the National Staff Development Council. Congrats to Intermediate School Principal, Don Svec for giving a great interview. To read a copy of the article, please click here.

Did you know?

That the Olmsted Falls School District has the 4th lowest cost per pupil of the 31 school districts in Cuyahoga County? Click here to see a chart which displays the costs per pupil of all school districts in Cuyahoga County.

Middle School Construction Project

Our Middle School construction project is going forward and the project remains on-time and on-budget. As a reminder, this twenty classroom addition to our Middle School complex is being funded by a $7.7 million dollar allotment from the Ohio School Facilities Commission. We are expecting all construction to be completed by September 1, 2010. Here are some pictures of this construction project.


Construction at OFMS paid for by state $$


Construction at OFMS - $7.7 million project funded by the Ohio School Facility Commission

“Junior Core” Team

Regency Construction Services, the construction management firm overseeing the Middle School facility addition, is sponsoring a “Junior Core” team for Middle School students interested in learning more about construction. Over the course of this school year, approximately twenty-two students will meet on a monthly basis with representatives from the architectural firm, construction management firm, and contractors to learn the ins and outs of school construction.

The “Junior Core” team recently had its first meeting where the students learned about the responsibilities of the architect and the construction manager. The students were also shown several of the materials that will be used to build their new classrooms.


OFMS students learn about the materials used in the construction of new Middle School classrooms

Junior core team members learn about the role and function of the Construction Manager.

Junior Core team students learn about the role of a Construction Manager

Categories: Community Updates

Parent Update – October 27, 2009

October 26, 2009 1 comment

New Levy Video

Thank you to the members of the Pride in Olmsted Schools campaign.  Here is another video promoting our school system.  Click here to watch.

High School Quiz Bowl Update

On Saturday, October 24, our High School Academic Team traveled to Lancaster for the Golden Shamrock Academic Tournament.  Twenty-four teams from all over the state of Ohio participated in this event. This competition was conducted under the Ohio Academic Challenge rules, which means that teams earn 1 or 2 points per correct answer.

Our A Team (Jim Coury, Mike Coury, Chris Traylor, and Michaela Killik) finished the tournament in second place.  Their only loss for the day was in the finals to Copley 28-31.

Our B Team (Eric Miranda, Pam Keller, Tom Hoy, Sohan Vertek) made it out of the preliminary rounds to make playoff status.  In the quarter final round, our B Team faced off against our A Team where they were eliminated from the tournament.

Congratulations to our Bulldog Quiz bowlers.

Members of OFHS Academic Team

Members of OFHS Academic Team display their 2nd place trophy from the Golden Shamrock Academic Tournament this past weekend.

Flu Update

From last week’s Blog posts, you are aware that the District has been experiencing higher than normal absentee rates due to various illnesses.  Yesterday, 485 of our 3,800 students were absent from school.

It appears that students in our Middle School and Intermediate school are beginning to get past this illness surge.  However, more children at Falls-Lenox and the Early Childhood Center are now ill.

Yesterday, the number and percentage of students absent at District buildings were:

High School (133 absent) 11.5%

Middle School (87 absent) 10.0%

Intermediate School (64 absent) 11.3%

Falls Lenox (148 absent) 16.9%

Early Childhood Center (53 absent) 16.7%

Again, the best way for parents to help ensure against a mass flu outbreak is to please keep sick children home and allow them to fully recover before returning to school.

Did You Know

In Ohio, when a property tax levy is approved by voters, the millage rate is instantaneously converted to a fixed dollar amount.  Then, over time, as the overall valuation of a community increases, the county auditor rolls back the original millage rate so that the levy produces the original amount of money for the school district.

Case in point, in Olmsted Falls, since the 12.9 mill operating levy was passed in 1999, the millage rate for that levy has now been rolled back so that it is now collecting 9.737926 mills.

This practice of “rolling back” voted property tax millage was created by the Ohio Legislature in 1976 with the passage of House Bill 920.  For more information on HB 920 and its affect on school districts, please click here.

Five Year Financial Forecast

Twice per year, our District Treasurer, Mark Hullman, creates a 5-year financial forecast for the school district.  By law, this document must be submitted to the Ohio Department of Education by May 31st and October 31st.

This 5-Year financial forecast shows the District’s annual total revenue and total expenditures for the past 3 fiscal years.  Additionally, this document must “predict” the District’s total annual revenues and total annual expenditures for this fiscal year as well as the next four fiscal years.

On Thursday, October 22nd, the Olmsted Falls Board of Education officially approved an updated version of our District’s 5-year financial forecast.  A copy of this document has been placed on our District website.  To view this document, please click here.

As you will see from this document, if the District does not secure additional revenue, it will be out of money at some point during the 2010-2011 school year.  Since it is not legal for a school district to end the year with a negative financial balance, additional cuts to personnel and services would have to be made in order to stave off this deficit.

Why Buy a School Lunch

In addition to being both convenient and nutritious, purchasing a breakfast or lunch at school can also save you money.  Click here for additional information.

OFHS Swim Boosters

A parent meeting for the OFHS swim boosters will be held on Thursday, October 29th at 6:00 PM.  For more information, please click here.

Sun Post-Herald Article of OFHS Golfers

In case you missed the recent article on the success of our OFHS golf team, which was recently highlighted in the Sun Post-Herald, please click here.

OFHS National Merit

Olmsted Falls High School is proud to recognize six students who have achieved status with the National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit Scholarship Program is based upon outstanding performance on the PSAT. Approximately 1.5 million students from 21,000 high schools across the country took the PSAT last October. Senior Alex New has been named a National Merit Semi-Finalist (one of only 16,000 students to achieve this status nationwide).

Seniors Brandan Bookman, Adam Broski, Steffany Meredyk, Holly Miller and Adam Sokol were recognized as National Merit Commended Students (only 34,000 nationwide). These academically talented seniors were recognized by Olmsted Falls High School Principal Dr. Robert Hill and members of the Board of Education at the October 22, 2009 Board of Education meeting.

OFHS 2009 Merit Scholars with Board of Ed -Supt -Principal

Six OFHS students who recently received National Merit recognition were honored at the October 22nd school board meeting.

Categories: Community Updates

Parent Update – October 22, 2009

October 22, 2009 3 comments

Flu Update

As many of you are already aware, the District has been experiencing higher than normal absentee rates this week due to various illnesses.  Today a parent of a Middle School student reported a confirmed case of the H1N1 virus involving her child.  Based upon the increased number of students absent across the District, we can assume that it is likely that other students may have unconfirmed cases of this virus as well as various other strains of flu.

This morning, a recorded telephone call was made to parents of students in grades PK – 12 informing parents of this confirmed case of H1N1.

Yesterday, 425 of our 3,800 students were absent from school.  Several of these students stayed home with flu-like symptoms.  Many in the Olmsted communities, as well as across our nation, are very concerned about influenza outbreaks, especially the H1N1 virus.  As you may know, flu can be easily spread from person-to-person.  Yesterday, the number and percentage of students absent at District buildings were:

High School (115 absent) 10.0%

Middle School (124 absent) 14.3%

Intermediate School (93 absent) 16.4%

Falls Lenox (70 absent) 8.0%

Early Childhood Center (23 absent)  7.3%

The Olmsted Falls school district has developed a plan, based upon recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), to help prevent students from contracting and spreading the flu.

The best way for parents to help ensure against a mass flu outbreak is to please keep sick children home and allow them to fully recover before returning to school.

SYMPTOMS OF FLU: Cough, fever (usually over 100 F), body aches, fatigue, nasal congestion, sore throat, occasionally vomiting & diarrhea.

For more information you many visit, or call 1-800-CDC-INFO for the most current information about the flu. Additionally, please see additional influenza information posted on the District website by clicking here.

Finally, we will continue to closely monitor recommendations from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and CDC and will notify you of any additional changes to our schools’ strategy to prevent the spread of the flu. Updates will be posted on the District’s website

Olmsted Falls City Schools Influenza Preparedness Plan

The Influenza Preparedness Program will be comprised of two major components:   Prevention & Containment

I. Prevention  (There are four parts to the prevention program)

1. Student Education
a. Programs: Created & developed by district nurse and based on CDC recommendation.
1. Pre-K: live, in-class programs presented by School Nurse.
2. Primary -High School:  Tape 2 minute program to be presented on Morning Show.

b. Age appropriate Posters: Created by students in art classes grades Primary-Middle School.
1. Posters to go in strategic places in hallways and on inside door of each bathroom stall.
2. Additional posters from CDC will also be utilized.

2. Parent/Teacher Education
a. Add link to OFCS web page

b. Utilize the CDC template letter for parent education to include steps OFCS is implementing to prevent, educate and handle flu.

3. Disinfection Practices in the Classroom

a. Custodians to spray all desk tops with disinfectant at end of day

b. Teachers to encourage hand washing/sanitizing at least twice a day in the classrooms: Focus on Pre-Primary and Primary school

4. Increase opportunities for kids to disinfectant hands:
a. Purchase of 105 hand disinfectant dispensers/product for all restrooms.

II. Containment (There are two parts to the containment plan)

1. Masks for health care providers including teachers, if necessary, and symptomatic students

2. Isolation Rooms: If significant outbreak occurs during school day utilize an extra room in each school to quarantine children with flu-like symptoms until parents can arrive to take child home.
a. Most clinics can only hold 4-5 children at time.

b. PTA volunteers will assist in monitoring children in isolation room.

Did You Know
Recently, a “Denim Day” fund raiser by District faculty and staff member raised $12,318 to help fight breast cancer.

Levy Meeting

This Sunday is the last public meeting to get questions answered about the upcoming school levy before November 3rd.  Come to the High School Auditorium at 4:30 PM to learn how the District conservatively manages its resources.  If there are questions or perceptions keeping you from being comfortable with a yes vote, please come and raise those questions.  This District simply asks all residents to cast an informed vote on November 3rd.

Two videos have been created promoting this levy.  To view video #1, please click here.  To view video #2, please click here.  Regardless of your position on this levy, I would encourage you to view each of these videos as they are both uplifting and highlight many of the great things happening in our community and in the Olmsted Falls School District.

OFCS Administrator Selected as Emerging Leader by PDK

Congratulations to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jim Lloyd who has been recognized as an Emerging Leader by PDK International, a global association of education professionals.  The PDK Emerging Leader program recognizes top educators under age 40 from across the world for their service, research, and leadership.

Dr. Lloyd serves on Ohio’s Leadership Advisory Council (OLAC) and assisted in the creation of Ohio’s Leadership Framework.  In 2007, he was named the Amy Allen Educator of the Year for the Council for Exceptional Children in the State of Ohio and Educator of the Year for the Council for Exceptional Children in Region 1.

For more information on PDK’s 2009-2010 Class of Emerging Leaders, including a podcast interview with Dr. Lloyd, please click here.  For information about PDK International, please click here.

Westfield Insurance Teacher of the Month

Westfield Insurance Teacher of the Month program recognizes teachers throughout the state of Ohio for their remarkable acts of selflessness and their willingness to serve their school and their community.

Each month, the Ohio News Network (ONN) will acknowledge one teacher in Ohio who has been nominated by a student, parent or other educator. The teacher will receive a plaque from both Westfield Insurance and ONN and a news vignette will be created about the teacher that will air on ONN. The winner will be announced the third Monday of every month during the school year.

Please consider nominating one of our Olmsted Falls teachers today! A nomination form is available by clicking here.

Scholarship Opportunity
I want to make you aware that the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is sponsoring a “Stop the Hate; Youth Speak Out” essay contest for students in grades 6 through 12.  Prizes and scholarships, amounting to $100,000, will be distributed to winning essays.

Essays must address three components:
1. Describe an act of discrimination—have you or someone you know been subjected to discrimination? Or have you seen or heard of acts of hatred and intolerance that disturbed you?

2. Reflect upon your response—why were you disturbed and what did you feel and/or do about what you experienced, saw or heard?

3. Commit to a plan of action—Stop the Hate! Youth Speak Out! What have you done already and/or what will you commit to doing in the future to stop hatred and intolerance and affect change in you, your school and/or community? How will you implement your plan of action?

Discrimination is defined as any act of prejudice or intolerance perpetrated upon one individual by another; a group against an individual; or one group against another group.

The deadline for entries is November 4th for students in grades 6 to 10 and the deadline for students in grades 11 and 12 is December 16th.

Additional information on this contest can be obtained from our building principals or by visiting the website of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Did You Know
According to a survey recently conducted by the American Association of School Administrators, approximately one in four school districts, across the United States, have reduced transportation services for the 2009-2010 school year in order to reduce operational cuts. These reductions include elimination of routes, reduced number of bus stops, and larger walking zones.

Students against Destructive Decisions (SADD)

Red Ribbon Week is October 26-30

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) is a high school leadership group that spreads the message of the importance of healthy choices. The National Red Ribbon Celebration is a time set aside annually from October 23-31 to increase awareness about the negative effects of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and to promote safe and drug-free environments for everyone. The celebration serves as a tool for involving all aspects of the community in the process of prevention.

The Red Ribbon Celebration originated to honor the work and memory of a Drug Enforcement Agent who was murdered by drug traffickers in 1985. The Red Ribbon symbolizes a commitment to healthy drug-free lifestyles.

SADD also sponsors a safe driving program at the High School, offering safe driving messages to all students through posters, seat-belt checks, and a birthday card to all students turning 16 to remind them of the responsibilities and risks of driving. High School SADD leaders will visit the Middle School, Intermediate School, Falls-Lenox and the Early Childhood Center on October 28, 2009 in order to promote a drug free message.

To find out more about SADD, please click here for student and parent resources.

Our High School SADD advisors are Ms. Meinhardt ( and Mrs. Davis ( Please contact either advisor for more information.

Here is a list of the Red Ribbon Week activities for our High School students:






Parent Update – October 19, 2009

October 19, 2009 9 comments

Student Illness at OFCS

Today, more than 100 students were absent from Olmsted Falls Intermediate School due to various illnesses.  While this is a large number of absent students, it does not exceed the County’s current average absentee rate of 18%.  We have learned that one of these students has been diagnosed with Type A influenza.  We have also been notified by this student’s parent that, while this is not a confirmed case of H1N1, the child’s doctor plans to treat it as such.

Cases of Type A influenza, the type that includes H1N1 influenza, have been confirmed throughout Cuyahoga County.  Local media outlets have reported confirmed cases of H1N1 in surrounding school districts.  Residents and staff members should assume that the H1N1 virus is present in the community, and not confined to any one school, neighborhood, or age group.  The Olmsted Falls School District is monitoring our student population district-wide and following the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health. School closure is not recommended at this time.

We will continue to keep you informed with any change in status of this situation and will provide information on our District’s website at  We will be continuing to promote basic prevention habits in our classrooms and encourage you to do the same with your children at home (i.e., hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and not sharing personal items like food, drinks, or utensils).  For additional information on influenza, please also visit

The percentage of students absent at District buildings are:

High School (98 absent)                      8.5%

Middle School (114 absent)               13.1%

Intermediate School (101 absent)  17.8%

Falls Lenox (63 absent)                         7.3%

High School Quiz Bowl team
On Saturday, the Academic Team made the trip to Columbus for their Novice Invitational Tournament. The Novice Tournament is open to all teams and players that did not participate in Nationals in 2009.

Our A team (Jim Coury, Mike Coury, Emily Nageotte, Chris Traylor, and Marty Mendenhall) won the overall tournament with a record of 10-1.
Since our only loss was to Monroeville (305-310), in the finals (double elimination) we had to beat Monroeville twice in order to win the championship.
The scores of the finals were:
game 1–OF 505, Monroeville 80 and
game 2–OF 395, Monroeville 220.

Our B team (Eric Miranda, Natalie Brdar, Pam Keller, Tom Hoy, and Sohan Vertek) won their bracket with an overall record of 7-2 for the day. Their only losses were to Monroeville and Brush (the second and third place teams in the tournament).

Levy Update

A quick reminder that tonight at 7:15 PM, an information meeting to answer residents questions about the upcoming school levy will be held in the High School Auditorium.  Additionally, the 4th and final levy information meeting will be held this coming Sunday, October 25th at 4:30PM in our High School Auditorium.

On this same topic, the Pride in Olmsted schools has put together another video entitled “My Turn.”  This video can be see viewed by clicking here.

Upcoming Issue of School Report

Later this week, you should receive a copy of the School Report, which will update you on important District information.  To view an advance copy of this document, please click here.

Columbia Road closure

We have been informed that Columbia Road will be closed at the southerly railroad tracks for three days beginning Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m. until Friday morning at 7:30 a.m.  Crews will be working 24 hours to expedite the construction of the relocated railroad crossing.

Categories: Community Updates

Parent Update – October 8, 2009

October 8, 2009 Comments off

Reminder – Community Meetings

As a reminder, members of the Board of Education will be participating in a series of information meetings so as to answer community members’ questions about the operations of the Olmsted Falls City School System. The meetings, which will all be held in the High School Auditorium, will occur on the following dates and times:

Thursday October 8th 7:15 PM
Monday October 19th 7:15 PM
Sunday October 25th 4:30 PM

How much was saved by “cutting” High School Busing?

I have been asked this question several times since the beginning of the school year.  Including this week, in a comment on the October 6th blog post.

Last school year District buses traveled 1,669 school miles per school day for all public, non-public and special education yellow bus routes. This year, we traveled 1,106 school miles per day, inclusive of all public, no-public and special education yellow bus routes. The difference is that we have saved 563 daily yellow school bus miles.

As per our T-2 (State of Ohio Transportation Report) (08-09) most recent Transportation cost assessment as provided to the Ohio Department of Education, our cost per mile is $1.91 and that does not include driver wages/benefits or extra labor. That number covers all other overhead such as utilities, maintenance supplies, insurance, fuel, tires, bus maintenance, compliance, mechanics, secretary, other miscellaneous items not covered by the preceeding categories and supervisor. Thus, our projected savings per day for operational miles is $1,075. Extend that out for the school year and the savings are approximately $193,559 in miles alone.
Now, savings related to personnel are as follows: we lost one driver to lay-off, and we reduced daily total hours from 170.6 hours to 150.8 hours. This translates out to a dollar savings of approximately $373.55 per school day. If we extend that out for 189 days, inclusive of holidays, that is a school year savings of approximately $70,601. This number does not include health insurance benefits.

So, adding up savings from reduced mileages and reduced personnel hours, we are projected to save approximately $264,160, again without the benefit component added to the health insurance savings.

We do know that by reducing busing this year, we will receive a lower amount of State aid next school year.  Because of the great uncertainty of the State budget, how much (loss of State Transportation $$) is an impossible dollar amount to calculate.

PTA meetings for the month of October

Be an active parent and join the PTA.  If you are already a member, please remember that PTA meetings for the month of October will be held on:

Early Childhood PTA     tonight at 7PM at OFMS.

OFMS PTA    Tuesday, October 13th at 7PM

OFIS PTA      Tuesday, October 20th at 7PM

OFHS PTA     Monday, October 26th at 7PM

Falls-Lenox PTA   Tuesday, October 27th at 7PM

OFMA Razzles Wing Night Fundraiser

Olmsted Falls Music Association is sponsoring a fundraiser event this Saturday, October 10th at Razzles on Bagley Road.  The event will run from 7-9:00 p.m. Tickets cost $15 each…This includes all you can eat pizza, wings, and limited beverages! Your ticket also includes automatic entry into a drawing for a $100 door prize! We will have side boards and raffle baskets available as well!

There will be an OFMA table outside the gates at this Friday’s football game for those interested in purchasing tickets to this event.  Or, just show up on Saturday and get your ticket on arrival at Razzles!

Here is a list of just some of the prizes to be included in raffle baskets:

Home Copier
Digital photo frame and weather station (2-in-1)
Cleveland Playhouse tickets
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tickets
Gift certificates to: Oasis Salon and Hard Rock Café
Oil change gift certificates
Olmsted Falls Music Association merchandise
High school concert tickets

Volley for the Cure
Everyone is invited to attend the annual “Volley for a Cure” event to be held Saturday, October 10 at the Olmsted Falls High School. The event is organized by the Olmsted Falls High School Girls Volleyball Program and proceeds support the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The event features Olmsted Falls vs. North Royalton volleyball games starting with freshman at 10:30 a.m., junior varsity at 11:30 a.m. and varsity at 1:00 p.m. There will be a 50/50 raffle, cookie jar sale and Chinese raffle featuring a variety of gift baskets.

Kiwanis Homecoming Pancake Breakfast

As part of the Olmsted Falls Homecoming festivities, the Olmsted Kiwanis will be hosting a Free pancake breakfast (donations are accepted) from 8AM – 1PM on Sunday, October 11th.  The location of this event will be the High School Cafeteria.

Categories: Community Updates

Parent Update – October 6, 2009

Straw Polls

Please note a new edition to this blog.  A new page has been created entitled Straw Polls (See the top of this page for Straw Polls).  I would encourage you to view this new page and participate in the published poll.

High School Quiz Bowl Team

Congratulations to our High School Quiz Bowl team, which went 7 – 0 this past Saturday at the Falls Kickoff Tournament. Our Bulldog A team, consisting of  Jim and Mike Coury, Michaela Killik, and Chris Traylor, defeated Solon in the semi-Finals and Beachwood in the finals to claim the tournament championship.

Levy Promotional Video

I have been asked by the Pride in Olmsted Schools Levy Committee to share a link with you that displays a recently created levy video.  Please click here.

More Levy Information

Recently, several have expressed a concern as they try to calculate the cost of the 6.4 mill operating levy on their home.  A common mistake is attempting to take the 6.4 mills (0.0064) times the appraised value of their home.

Rather, by law, the assessed value, which is 35% of the appraised value of your home, is the number that you would use when multiplying by the 6.4 mills.

A second mistake is not subtracting the Homestead and Rollback savings, which is 12.5% of the taxable amount, which is paid by the State of Ohio.

Here is an example of how to figure the taxes on a $200,000 house for this 6.4 mill operating levy:

Appraised value:  $200,000

Assessed value of home ($200,000 x 35%) is $70,000

Millage rate of 6.4 mills (0.0064)

Calculation = $70,000 x 0.0064 =  $448

A Rollback of 12.5% is paid by State of Ohio.  Therefore, 87.5% of taxes is paid by homeowner.

Taxes = $448 x 87.5% = $392 per year.  ($32.67 per month)

Kiwanis Homecoming Pancake Breakfast

As part of the Olmsted Falls Homecoming festivities, the Olmsted Kiwanis will be hosting a Free pancake breakfast (donations are accepted) from 8AM – 1PM on Sunday, October 11th.  The location of this event will be the High School Cafeteria.

Upcoming School Report article


Further Cuts to Educational and Extracurricular Programs and Services At Stake

With more than a decade since the last operating levy was passed, and a 28% increase in enrollment over that time, the Olmsted Falls School District will again ask voters to pass a new operating levy on November 3rd in order to preserve its educational programs and services.  The 6.4 Mill Property Tax Levy marks the District’s third attempt to generate much-needed additional funds for the operation of the District.

Failed ballot issues in both November 2008 and February 2009 forced the District to begin implementation of an Educational Reduction Plan that has already cut jobs and services including 10.5 teaching positions, 3 administrative positions, and high school busing.  Additionally, all District employees have taken a wage freeze and increased their personal contributions to the District’s health insurance plan resulting in a savings of approximately $600,000 to the District.

With the fourth lowest cost per pupil in Cuyahoga County, Olmsted Falls School District has built a reputation for achieving outstanding results through the efficient and responsible use of tax-payer dollars.  (The District has received the highest rating on the State Local Report Card for 10 consecutive years.)  According to data from the Ohio Department of Education, Olmsted Falls School District also has the leanest administrator per pupil ratio in Cuyahoga County, and 7th leanest administrator per pupil ratio in the entire State – meaning that administrators in this District are responsible for more students per administrative position than administrators in most of the 611 school districts across the State of Ohio.

“With our District already running a lean operation, making cuts is difficult,” said Jim Weisbarth, President of the Olmsted Falls Board of Education.  “We immediately find ourselves facing cuts to core programs, activities and services that people value because there is not a lot of fat to be trimmed out of our operations.”

The District is urging residents to be fully informed about the impact of the November 3rd election results before casting their vote on November 3rd.  Following is an overview of the next phase of reductions that will be necessary if the levy is unsuccessful on November 3rd:

What’s At Stake If The Levy Fails?

– Additional Busing Cuts for K-8 Students

In addition to continuing with no high school busing services, levy failure will result in a reduction to State minimum busing requirements including 2-mile cut-offs surrounding each building and the elimination of ALL alternate transportation request forms. A 2-mile cut-off means that any student in grades K-8 who lives less than two miles from the school they currently attend will no longer receive bus transportation.  Maps with 2-mile cut-off zones highlighted can be viewed by clicking here.  Additionally, Alternate Transportation Request service is not included in State minimum busing requirements and therefore will be eliminated across the Board – even for students outside the 2-mile cut-off points.

In the event of levy failure, State minimum busing would be implemented in January 2010.  New bus routes, and likely new transportation hub locations, would be established and communicated in advance of implementation.  Additionally, State minimum requirements allow for up to a half-mile distance to bus stops, which would also be a factor in new routes and pick-up / drop-off locations.

– Elimination of Athletics & Extracurricular Programs

Beginning with the loss of Middle School sports this spring, all athletic and extracurricular programs at both the Middle School and High School are at risk of elimination if a levy is not passed before the end of this school year.   The District will NOT be implementing any pay-to-play or pay-to-participate programs as it would establish a financial barrier for participation by some students.  The Olmsted Falls School District believes that all students should have an equal opportunity to participate in all programs and activities offered by the District.

– Elimination of Building / Grounds Usage for Non-School Groups

In an effort to maintain availability of District facilities, changes in building usage policies were implemented last spring.  Fees were instituted for weekend building usage in order to make usage cost-neutral to the District.  Failure of the upcoming levy and the subsequent elimination of athletics and extracurricular activities will eliminate the need for school facilities to remain open outside the regular school day.  Therefore, building access would no longer be available for groups.

– Risk of Increased Millage Rate for Next Request

If the 6.4 Mill Levy is successful on November 3rd, the District will begin collecting revenue on the levy in January 2010.  If the levy is unsuccessful on November 3rd, the District will make additional attempts to pass a levy in February and May 2010.  A levy passed in calendar year 2010 will not begin generating revenue for the District until January 2011, resulting in the loss of a year of revenue for the District.  This lost revenue would need to be generated through an increase in the millage rate of future levy requests.

Passage of the levy on November 3rd eliminates the need for any of the above outlined cuts to be made.  Passage of the levy on November 3rd would also allow for the restoration of previously lost programs and services including the return of high school busing services and the return of four of the 10.5 teaching positions eliminated with the previous reductions.

The 6.4 Mill Property Tax Levy will raise approximately $3.5 million in additional revenue annually for the operation of the Olmsted Falls School District and prevent further cuts to District programs and services.  Below please find a chart showing the cost of the 6.4 Mill levy per year, per half, per month, per week and per day for a $100,000, $150,000, $200,000, and $250,000 home:

Property Value*






























If you would like a calculation based on the specific market value of your home, please contact Olmsted Falls School District Treasurer Mark Hullman at 427-6000 for assistance.

Middle School Homework  Help

Olmsted Falls Middle School offers a homework lab for students before school and after school.  For more information, please click here.

Reminder – Community Meetings

As a reminder, members of the Board of Education will be participating in a series of information meetings so as to answer community members’ questions about the operations of the Olmsted Falls City School System. The meetings, which will all be held in the High School Auditorium, will occur on the following dates and times:

Thursday October 8th 7:15 PM
Monday October 19th 7:15 PM
Sunday October 25th 4:30 PM

Are Stimulus $$ Flowing to Public Schools

I am sure that everyone is aware of the Economic Stimulus package that was approved by Congress.  I am often asked if these funds are finding their way to public schools.  According to this report, the answer is NO (click here).

Turn “A’s” on Report Cards Into Discounts on Stays at Ohio State Park Resorts

Hard-working OFCS students can celebrate the ultimate report card success – an A – by treating their parents to a discounted stay at an Ohio State Park Resort any time during the school year. The Stays for A’s program is simple: show report cards and get $10 off the published room rate for each A up to five A’s or $50.00!

To reserve online, visit and use the promo code “Stay4A.”

For additional information about the Stays for A’s program and other offers at Ohio State Park Resorts, call 1-800-ATAPARK (1-800-282-7275).

Early Childhood Center

Many are aware that our Preschool and Kindergarten classes have moved from the Falls-Lenox building to the Fitch Building and the District has renamed this building the Olmsted Falls Early Childhood Center.  Many have asked for more information about our Preschool program.  For more information, please click here.

Olmsted Falls PTA Brings FLU Clinic to Olmsted Community on October 20th

Olmsted Falls PTA and Flu Busters will offer a Flu Vaccination Clinic in three locations in the District on Tuesday, October 20th.  Advance registration is recommended by Friday, October 9th.  For more information, please click here.