Parent Update – December 9, 2009
Closing of District Buildings
Due to the failure of 3 operating levies, it is necessary for the District to continue to reduce expenses. Effective January 4, 2010, District facilities will be closed at an earlier time so as to reduce electrical, heating and custodial costs. These times will be in effect Monday – Friday, and affected community groups were notified in writing last week. The new closing times, effective January 4, 2010, will be:
Early Childhood Center—–5:00 PM
Falls-Lenox Primary School—–5:00 PM
Intermediate School—–6:00 PM
Middle School—–6:00 PM
High School—–9:00 PM
The closing times listed above were developed around the needs of the District’s winter extracurricular activities that occur in January and February. Should the operating levy fail in February, closing times will be adjusted, effective March 1st to reflect spring after school extracurricular activities. The closing times would then be 5:00 PM for all District buildings, except the High School, which would close at 6:00 PM.
Update on Transportation
Yesterday afternoon, letters were mailed to the parents of Middle School students who will continue to receive bus services on January 4, 2010. This letter identifies the student’s new bus stop location, as well as the new pick up and drop off time.
This same letter is being prepared for students in grades Kindergarten through Grade 5 who will still receive bus service on January 4, 2010. Because all of these routes must be hand scheduled, this task is taking quite a bit of time. The District plans to mail letters to these parents today and Thursday.
Pick Up and Drop Off Patterns
Another letter that has been prepared is the new pick up and drop off procedures for parents who will be transporting their children to school effective January 4th. These letters will be sent home in students backpacks (except Middle School) on Thursday.
Questions Regarding State Transportation Reimbursement
This week, a reader of this blog posted a series of comments regarding the financial savings of reducing transportation services for busing K – 8 students as well as questions regarding State reimbursement that the District receives for providing transportation services. There is a belief by this reader that the District will be losing State revenue based upon the upcoming reductions in transportation. Since this question has also been asked by some other residents, I am also answering this question in the main blog commentary so that more readers will have access to this important information.
The quick answer to this question is that the District will lose some amount of state funding due to reducing transportation services. However, according to information from our Business Department, the loss of state revenue will not occur until next school year. Additionally, if an operating levy is passed before the end of the school year and transportation services are reactivated by the beginning of next school year, then no loss of state revenue will occur due to the reductions in K-8 busing.
Next year, it is a given that the District will receive a lower amount of state aid due to the elimination of High School busing. Since the state of Ohio has enacted a new system for funding public schools, any dollar amount estimated would merely be a guess. According to District Treasurer, Mark Hullman, the Olmsted Falls District receives approximately 55% of its funding from local tax revenue and 43% from state tax revenue. For a more accurate description of tax revenue sources, please click here
In the December 3rd parent update, it was written that the District estimates the financial savings, due to the reduced transportation services that will go into effect on January 4, 2010, will save the District approximately $1,000 per day. The following is an explanation from our Business Department on how this savings was calculated:
“Looking at the personnel side of this reduction, the District will layoff 8 current drivers (officially approved by the Olmsted Falls Board of Education on Friday, December 4, 2010) and reduce hours for 12 additional drivers. Six (6) of those 12 drivers, who will have their work hours reduced, will drop from partial medical benefits to no eligibility status for medical benefits. Two (2) would drop from full medical benefits to partial medical benefits, one (1) would remain at full medical benefit status and three (3) would remain at partial medical benefit status. The total estimated personnel savings per day, without medical benefit costs included, will be $781.10 per day.
Furthermore, as a result of reducing the number of buses on the road and the partial combining of several routes with bus routes that are discontinued, it is estimated to save approximately 256 miles per day, based on our T-1 report (State Transportation report) for 2009-2010. This further translates to approximately $1.00 per mile in savings which represents the mechanical/operational side of the bus only. Thus, estimated mileage savings per day will be approximately $256.00 per day.
The combination of savings from personnel reductions and mileage reductions would equal approximately $1,037.10 per day. This number does not represent any reductions from the ODE in transportation reimbursement monies, due to reduced service levels. From my understanding, this would occur only if this condition would continue into a new school year with the reporting of a 2010-2011 T-1. Finally, this dollar estimate does not reflect any additional unemployment costs associated with the layoff of the 8 school bus drivers.”
High School Collects Winter Clothing to Help Needy Families
During the month of December, the OFHS National Honor Society, and the senior class, will be taking donations of winter clothing items: hats, gloves, scarves & coats. Please feel free to donate these items to our holiday tree in the High School cafeteria. All donations will be delivered to the Olmsted Community Church to help families in need.
SWC All-Conference Soccer and Tennis Selections
Congratulations to the following OFHS volleyball players who have received All-SWC honors for their efforts this past fall sports season:
Dayna Roberts (11th Grade)
Corinne Manley (12th Grade)
Shannon DeLeur (12th Grade)
Kelsey Snider (10th Grade)
Jaclyn Brandt (10th Grade)
Closing School for Inclement Weather
While it is a rare day that Olmsted Falls Schools are closed because of inclement weather, it does occasionally happen. With the winter months approaching, I want to make you aware of a new service from WKYC that allows veiwers to sign up to recieve a text message when schools are cancelled. In order to learn more about this new feature, and possibly sign up for this service, please click here.
High School Academic Team Update
On Saturday, the High School Academic Team competed in a tournament at Wright State University in Dayton. The field of teams came from Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan. There were 32 teams competing. Our A Team finished in a tie for 5th place which qualifies them for the HSNCT National Tournament in Chicago.
OFHS junior Jim Coury was named to the All-Tournament Team by posting the second highest point total from the tournament (he was one question from being the top scorer!). Our B and C teams also competed in this very competitive tournament because they needed two more teams to round out the field. Our B Team ended in a tie for 21st and our C Team ended in a tie for 23rd. This is the equivalent of sending your JV and Freshman teams in versus varsity teams and they held their own and took down some very good teams along the way.
On Tuesday, December 1st the High School Academic Team participated in the Knowledge Master Open. This is an online competition open to every high school in the US and in the world. There are 200 questions and 60 seconds a question to answer. Our team finished #2 in the State of Ohio and #35 in the field of 678 teams. The results of the Knowledge Master Open can be seen online at http://www.greatauk.com/kmoh.pdf
Yesterday. the Academic Team concluded the Fall Northeast Ohio Academic League (NEOAL) play. The standings are as follows:
Olmsted Falls 7-0
Garfield Heights 5-2
Lutheran West 4-3
Olmsted Falls won the fall league and qualified for the OAC Regional Tournament in April. The spring league tournament will take place on February 17, 2010 at Baldwin Wallace College.