Parent Update – January 13, 2010
If you are involved in the AM or PM process of dropping off or picking up students, you have witnessed the improvements over the past week. Thank you to those who have made suggestions for improvement.
While it is still time consuming, improvements have been made, and in reality, things are probably as good as they are going to get.
Drug Search at OFHS
Last Thursday, upon the invitation of District officials, law enforcement officers from 13 local cities conducted a drug search of OFHS. Drug sniffing dogs were utilized to search lockers, locker rooms, and the parking lots. While no drugs were found inside the school, marijuana was found in one student’s car.
As many parents will remember, drug searches were conducted last school year at both the High School and the Middle School. The District will continue its efforts to work with the local law enforcement agencies in an effort to ensure that our school buildings remain drug free zones for our students.
How Our World Is Changing
After viewing this video, you will see why it is so absolutely necessary that our children receive a quality education that allows them to be competitive in this 21st Century Global economy.
OFHS Football Team Receives State Academic Honor
Congratulations are in order for the Bulldog Football team and two of its members.
The football team has been recognized by the Ohio Football Coaches Association as Academic All-Ohio. A total of only 22 teams throughout the state received this recognition. In addition, Ryan Petitti and Cameron Trefny have been named to the Academic All-Ohio Football Team. A total of 111 student/athletes received this recognition out of over 35,000 players in the state of Ohio.
The District would like to congratulate our Head Football Coach, Mr. Jim Ryan, his coaching staff and players for this outstanding accomplishment.
OFCS Partners With Polaris JVS
Hopefully you are aware that the per pupil spending of OFCS is the 4th lowest of the 31 school districts in Cuyahoga County. OFCS is able to accomplish this feat, while at the same time achieving top academic ratings because of its continual search for alternative sources of funding.
Specifically, OFCS is receiving $19,647.50 to cover the expenses of our afterschool elementary Chinese program; $139,005.22 for the new Bio-medical Science class which is offered to OFHS students; $2,881.90 for the online Study Island computer program; and $1,562.63 to help cover the expenses of printing the OFHS course selection guide.
As stewards of the District’s finances, OFCS will continue to search for alternative sources of funding.
More Student Athletes Recognized For Academic Accomplishments
The South West Conference recently released its 2009 Falls Sport All-Conference Academic Honorees:
Boys Cross Country Adam Broski
Girls Cross Country Alaina Clark
Football Ian Sparks
Boys Golf Neil McGrew
Girls Golf Taylor Eyssen
Boys Soccer David Levin
Girls Soccer Lauren Mesaros
Girls Tennis Erin MacIvor
Volleyball Corinne Manley
Cheerleading Samantha Nicolay
Competition Cheerleader Lauren Purirani
Congratulations to these students for being true student athletes.
Did You Know
Did you know that during the month of December that OFHS students donated 1,326 food items to the Olmsted Community Food Bank. We are very proud of this noble effort by our HS students.
I would like to thank the 52 persons who came to the Pride in Olmsted Schools Levy meeting last Thursday evening. Despite the winter conditions, these dedicated persons continued their efforts to ensure that all community members are made aware of the importance of the February 2nd levy vote. For more information about the upcoming levy vote, please visit the Pride in Olmsted Schools levy website by clicking here.
Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO)
On February 2nd, at 7 PM in the OFHS auditorium, an informational meeting will be held for any student interested in participating in the PSEO program, next school year. If you have any questions about PSEO, or this meeting, please contact the school counselors at the High School.
All-Day, Every-day Kindergarten
Over the past several months, several residents have asked District officials questions pertaining to when or if OFCS will begin offering all-day, every-day kindergarten classes. As many know, new laws in the state of Ohio require school districts to offer all-day, every-day kindergarten next school year, unless the District requests a waiver from this requirement.
Because of the tenuous financial condition of OFCS, I have recommended to the Board of Education that they approve a resolution requesting exemption from this unfunded state mandate for next school year. On this same topic, yesterday a bill was introduced in the Ohio House to eliminate this unfunded financial mandate. As reported by the Hannah News Service, here is an overview of this proposed legislation:
|HB366||SCHOOL DISTRICT RULES (Gardner R) To allow school district boards to exempt their districts from certain spending rules and the requirement to provide all-day kindergarten and to direct duties of the Ohio School Funding Advisory Council.|
|Rep. Gardner began his comments on a mildly defensive note, saying apparent criticism that he himself had introduced unfunded mandates on school districts in the past were not well taken, to the extent all unfunded mandates are not created equal. He said academic requirements on districts under Core curriculum bill 126-SB311 (Gardner) are proper to the role of state government, while direct funding mandates under HB1 (Sykes) are not.”I would suggest – and I hope this will not be quoted out of context – there is evidence that that the evidence-based model (EBM) can generate positive results. There is also evidence that it will cost more than most school districts can sustain,” Gardner said, suggesting fully incorporating EBM would require districts to sacrifice local priorities. He flipped the mantra of unfunded mandates on its head.”I believe there are a billion dollars of un-mandated funds” at the local level, Gardner said.He called it “almost impossible” for districts to plan for implementing – or not implementing – EBM in the near future while facing a $497 million school budget hole at the state level, saying the out-clauses of HB1 provided little comfort.
“I think it is curious that a new ‘constitutional’ system would include so many waivers.”
During questions, Rep. Phillips suggested HB366 was seeking to make an end run around the rulemaking authority of State Superintendent Deborah Delisle and the State Board of Education under EBM. Gardner responded by deferring to the local control of the past.
“I’m one of these people who believe a lot of good decisions have been made by local schools,” he said, pointing to Ohio’s rise to sixth out of all states under one national ranking of academic progress.
“They have to cut those teachers, those programs, that staffing to comply with what Columbus says is best.”
Gardner indicated at several points that he did not oppose HB1 and EBM outright, though there was little evidence of that in his comments.
“I wouldn’t undo all of HB1 – though I suppose in some cases that I would.”
He said the state, and the Legislature, might have as easily turned to different “evidence” provided by the Gates Foundation, the National Center on Education and the Economy, and the Kinsey report.
“There is evidence those strategies are better than this one.”