Parent Update – October 22, 2009
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 www.flu.gov, 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 www.ofcs.net.
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 flu.gov 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.
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.
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mrs. Davis (email@example.com). Please contact either advisor for more information.
Here is a list of the Red Ribbon Week activities for our High School students:
Monday, October 26: SHOW YOUR SPIRIT MONDAY BY WEARING PAJAMA BOTTOMS!
Tuesday, October 27: SHOW YOUR SPIRIT TOMORROW BY PUTTING A CAP ON DRUGS, AND WEARING YOUR FAVORITE HAT TO SCHOOL.
Wednesday October 28: STAY IN SCHOOL AND AWAY FROM DRUGS, WEAR YOUR FAVORITE COLLEGE JERSEY TOMORROW FOR COLLEGE SPIRT DAY.
Thursday October 29: SHOW YOUR SPIRIT BY WEARING RED ON THURSDAY.
Friday October 30: SCARE AWAY DRUGS AND DRESS UP FOR HALLOWEEN. NO FACE MASKS ALLOWED, AND DRESS CODE APPROPRIATE PLEASE!