Home > Community Updates, District News > Parent Update – October 6, 2009

Parent Update – October 6, 2009

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 www.atapark.com 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.

  1. peter naegele
    October 6, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    My straw polls are catching on I see! 😉

    • October 7, 2009 at 1:17 pm

      I am still learning the “bells and whistles” available with this software program. For a free software program, I am really impressed with the quality of this program.

      Thanks for all of your assistance in helping me with my tech questions.

  2. Jim Kerver
    October 7, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I have a question about high school transportation. What is the amount of funds which have been saved by eliminating high school busing? It is my understanding that no bus driver positions were cut. If you could please clarify, that would be great. Thanks!

  3. October 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I will preface my comments by saying that we will know more exact daily mileage totals at the end of next week, which is our state transportation reporting week. I can also say with a good deal of confidence that our mileage numbers will be pretty close because we utilized our VersaTrans (computerized transportation software package) route miles as our basis for the mileage numbers.

    Last school year we traveled 1,669 school miles per school day for all Public, NonPublic and Special Education yellow bus routes. This year, with the confidence mentioned above, we travel 1,106 school miles per day, inclusive of all Public, NonPublic 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.
    I hope that this is the information that you are looking for and if you need anything else, please let me know.

  4. TomM
    October 7, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    I see that an operating levy has not been approved for 10 years, but that alone is not a reason for requesting an increase. I would like to see more numbers:
    1) What is the current millage of the operating levy?
    2) Does the operating levy have an expiration date?
    3) Is 6.9 the total mills for the school district or is the ballot proposal an increase of 6.9 mills above the current mills being collected?
    4)I also see that the number of students has increased in the school district which would explain increased costs to the district. What are the corresponding increases in tax revenues, if any? (e.g. Has there been a corresponding increase in property owners paying more property taxes or are many of the new students’ parents property renters who are not increasing the property tax base?)

  5. October 8, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    1) The millage being asked for is 6.4 mills. This is a reduction from the last millage request, which was for 9.9 mills in February of 2009.

    2) This levy is a continuing levy.

    3) The millage rate is 6.4 mills of additional taxation.

    4) Actually, according to the Ohio Department of taxation, the effective millage rate for residents living in the Olmsted Falls school district has decreased from 45.62 mills in 2003 to 40.07 mills in 2008, a 12.17% decrease. This decrease is caused by the “920 effect” which occurs when development in a community “pushes down” the millage rate necessary for the collection of taxes on previously approved levies.

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