Parent Update – December 14, 2009
On Saturday morning, approximately 50 parents attended the Transportation Information meeting at Olmsted Falls High School. If you were not able to attend this meeting, but still have questions pertaining to the new transportation procedures (effective 1-4-10), please call the Bus Garage (427-6350) or the building principal where your child attends school.
A copy of the Power Point presentation that was utilized at Saturday morning’s meeting can be found by clicking here.
Finally, last week, letters were mailed to those parents who will have children riding school buses, effective 1-4-10. These letters identified the assigned bus, bus stop, and pick up locations for these students. If you have not received this information, please call the Bus Garage at 427-6350.
Drop-Off and Pick-Up Procedures
Over the past two weeks, letters have been sent home to parents outlining the new drop-off and pick-up procedures, effective 1-4-10, at District facilities. For a copy of the letter from the Early Childhood Center, please click here.
For a copy of the letter from Falls-Lenox Primary School, please click here.
For a copy of the letter from Olmsted Falls Intermediate School, please click here.
For a copy of the letter from Olmsted Falls Middle School, please click here.
Community Day Cares Offer Transportation
With the upcoming reduction in transportation services, a few local Day Care facilities have arranged for busing for students. While some local businesses have requested OFCS send promotional fliers home with students about this new service, OFCS policies prevent the District from distributing literature for “For Profit” businesses. If you are interested in possibly utilizing the services of a Day Care provider for transportation, please call these businesses directly.
Comments submitted to blog
Hopefully, as readers of this blog, you have found the information posted useful. If you have topics that you would like to have explained further, please email or submit a comment to the blog.
Unfortunately, over the past week, several comments have been submitted that do not ask questions, but attempt simply “trash” other posters or employees of the District. These comments will not be posted and will simply be deleted. Additionally, any submitted comment that contains profanity will be immediately deleted.
The purpose of the this blog’s comment section is for readers to ask questions about District operations. These types of comments are valuable and after they are reviewed by the moderator, will be posted. Additionally, respective replies to these types of comments will also be posted.
Did You Know – Cost Per Pupil is 4th Lowest in Cuyahoga County
During any levy campaign, District spending is examined closely by residents. According to the Ohio Department of Education, of the 31 school districts in Cuyahoga County, the spending per pupil by OFCS is the 4th lowest. Additionally, did you know that the Olmsted Falls school district spends less than 1/2 of what other Districts spend, per pupil, in a given school year?/ Click here to examine this data set. The District is proud of these financial facts and works daily to stretch the limited financial resources we have at our disposal.
There are a number of ways in which the District aggressively works to control costs. One is through the use of volunteers.
As many parents know, at Falls-Lenox, OFIS, OFMS, and OFHS, the number of students in many classrooms approaches 30 students. With the strategic use of volunteers (both parents and community volunteers) we can assure that students still receive the individual attention they need in order to achieve academic success. If you would like to volunteer your time, and help the District support our students’ academic needs, please call 427-6000 and express your desire to help out.
Another way the Olmsted Falls School District stretches financial resources is by leveraging partnerships with other educational entities. This year, a new Bio-Medical Science class has been introduced as a class option for OFHS students interested in pursuing a career in a medically related field. Forty-five students are participating in this new course offering. The operational costs of this class, including the cost of the teacher, are covered by Polaris Joint Vocational School. This District hopes to continue expanding course offerings through similar partnerships in years to come. Recently, I visited this new Bio-Medical Science class to observe the students dissect a sheep’s heart.
OFHS Academic Team Captures Another Tournament Championship
On Saturday, December 12th, the OFHS Academic Team competed in the Case Western Reserve University “TRASH” Tournament. A “TRASH” Tournament involves questions about Pop Culture, Trivia, Celebrities, Music, Films, TV, etc. There were 48 teams that descended upon CWRU for this tournament!
During the morning round-robin rounds, the OFHS “A Team” compiled a 7-0 record and the “B Team” compiled a 5-2 record.
The OFHS “A Team” bested Streetsboro in the quarter-finals and St. Edwards in the semi-finals. Finally, our Bulldog Academic Team captured the tournament championship with a final round victory over Aurora.
Competing on the OFHS A Team were: Emily Nageotte, Natalie Brdar, Michaela Killik, and Mike Coury. Competing on the OFHS B Team were: Chris Traylor, Katie Pinter, Sohan Vartak, Ethan Kocjan, and Pam Keller.
The OFHS Academic team will be off until after the Winter Break.
6th Grade Holds Dare Graduation
Annually, the elected officials for the Olmsted Communities have supported Olmsted Falls Schools by providing a DARE program for our Middle School students. Recently, our 6th graders “graduated” from DARE. Thank you to Olmsted Falls police officer, Bob Swope, for his dedication as DARE officer for the Olmsted Falls Schools.
Once A Bulldog – Always A Bulldog
Each December, retirees from Olmsted Falls schools return to the District to attend the annual Retired Staff Luncheon. Last Monday, 52 Bulldogs returned to attend this event and were entertained by our 3rd grade students who sang songs from their Holiday Concert.
Governor Strickland Issues Warnings of Dire Education Cuts
(This article was originally published by Focus Education, which is a daily journal that highlights issues facing public education in Ohio)
On Friday, December 11, Gov. Ted Strickland turned to the Office of Budget and Management (OBM)for the second in a series of warnings on draconian cuts to public education and state universities should the Legislature fail to make whole $851 million in budget deficits by Dec. 31.
Governor Strickland issued the same projections in September after the Ohio Supreme Court held up video lottery terminals (VLT) for next year’s General Election, with Strickland saying school districts could lose a combined $1.7 billion in General Revenue Funds (GRF) and federal State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF) if the state did not make up $851 million expected from VLTs. Those figures were provided by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) at his request. The governor followed on Sept. 30 with recommendations that the state delay the final phase-in of income tax cuts – a position he continues to argue, but which Republicans have so far rejected without further state belt-tightening. (Click here to read Plain Dealer article on this topic)
The Office of Budget and Management said Friday that Ohio’s K-12 and higher education systems risk losing $1.4 billion in SFSF absent a state budget fix, due to federal “maintenance of effort” (MOE) requirements.
“Reducing state support to K-12 by $851 million means that Ohio fails to meet the test for SFSF dollars,” OBM Education Section Chief Tracy Najera said in a memo to Budget Director J. Pari Sabety. “Ohio would not meet the SFSF MOE waiver requirements because the state has to show that it is devoting the same percentage of revenues to education expenditures in both K-12 and higher education in FG10 as in FY09.”
Under this predicament, she said, Ohio would also fail the related “use of funds” test to bring FY10/11 up to FY09 levels. “There is not a federal waiver available for the use of funds test.”
With additional K-12 losses in federal IDEA special needs funding, the total hit to the state, not including the $851 million in GRF, would be $4.2 billion total.
OBM’s section chief said the state shortfall could also jeopardize the federal Race to the Top (RTTT) funds for education.
“Ohio is in an enviable position in that the state is a leader in many of the competitive categories and plans to request funding for innovative statewide and local initiatives….” she said. “Ohio may be deemed ineligible to compete for RTTT if the state is no longer eligible for SFSF dollars, since SFSF participation is a requirement for eligibility to compete for RTTT.”
The Strickland administration offered three different scenarios to deal with the looming $851 million shortfall and threatened federal funding, saying the first two are mostly distinguished by their “time horizon.”
The first scenario assumes SFSF losses would fall in the second half of FY10 through FY11. “Essentially, institutions of higher educational and local school districts will be required to absorb two-year’s worth of budget reductions in 18 months,” Najera said, based on a split of the $851 million into cuts of $285 million in FY10 and $566 million in FY11.
“The likely implications will be large-scale layoffs of teachers and other school district employees….” she warned.” The impact will be felt throughout the state, but will be concentrated in those districts where state funding makes up a larger share of the total operating budget, which are the lower wealth districts.”
Combining state and federal dollars, the total loss to public education would be $1.7 billion over the biennium (2 year time frame commencing July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2011), the same figure ODE provided in September, the administration said.
At the district level, the public schools would face their first funding cuts in January 2010.