Home > Community Updates, District News > Parent Update – February 3, 2010

Parent Update – February 3, 2010

Thank You Olmsted Voters

As most of you may already know, yesterday’s levy met with success, passing by a respectable margin of 54.5% FOR / 45.5% AGAINST.

I am truly humbled by the commitment and dedication of the Pride Committee members, who never waivered in their efforts to tell our great story and mobilize the Olmsted Communities in support of our schools.  This army of volunteers included parents, students, grandparents, community members, faculty, staff and Board members – all coming together to preserve Excellence in Education in this community.

On behalf of the Board of Education and myself, I would like to thank each and every one of you who took an active role in this levy campaign.  These countless campaign efforts were only made possible by the collective effort of all.  Thank you for your personal time and support.

Thank you for your support!!!!!

What Comes Next?

In the weeks ahead, we now turn our attention to repairing our School District.  While the passage of the levy will not bring new revenue to our District until January of 2011, we will soon begin the process of reinstating K-8 busing services.  We are targeting Monday, February 22nd as the date in which we will “switch back” to the K – 8 transportation system that was in place from the start of this school year through December 31, 2009.  A letter providing additional transportation information has been prepared and we hope to mail letters to parents this Friday.  Please note that as the District begins designing bus routes for the 2010-2011 school year, some of the efficiencies, such as “group bus stops” will be reintroduced into operation.

As we begin to tend to the logistical matters that will put our District back together, we must not lose sight of the fact that our community has, in these difficult economic times, entrusted us with their financial support, and our community expects us to continue to operate in our tradition of both excellence and efficiency.  We must continue to make cost-savings a top priority, as it will still take a great bit of time and effort to put our District back on a solid financial footing.

In closing, I again extend sincere thanks to all who voted in yesterday’s election.   As school district leaders, our mandate from this election is that we must extend an attitude of gratitude toward these persons who have given us the tools we need to continue our mission of providing the children of this community the quality education they need in order to be prepared for this very competitive 21st century.

Unofficial Precinct Results

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has released the unofficial precinct results from yesterday’s election.  To view a copy of these results, please click here.

This is the first message posted to the new OFIS sign.

  1. Mom of three
    February 3, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Thank you Dr. Hoadley for all your hard work as well! You are a wonderful advocate for our children! With the passage of the levy, will the school system attempt all day kindergarten in the fall?

    • February 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm

      Thank you for your kind words. The campaign that led to the successful passage of the levy was really the result of a large number of our community members coming together, taking control of the levy campaign, and clearly communicating to the members of the Olmsted community the importance of providing excellent educational opportunities for our children.

      The true credit and thanks needs to be passed on and given to these individuals.

      Thank you again.

  2. mom
    February 4, 2010 at 6:31 am

    I am very grateful for all the people that took their own time to rally for this levy passage. Thank you!! I am still disappointed though that only 1/2 of the registered voters in our community voted and from what it looks like not even all of the parents that have a child in the school system voted. What a disgrace to the people of our past who fought to give us that right. Now lets get this great school system on track. Have a good day:)

    • February 5, 2010 at 7:12 pm

      On the positive side, around 8,000 votes were cast in this February election. While you are certainly correct that this only represents about 50% of eligible voters, it was a very large turnout for a special election.

      As a US citizen, it is troubling that many Americans do not exercise their right to vote. Our ability to vote as Americans in a Democratic society should never be taken for granted as it is a right that has been secured for us by many who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

    • Just a mom
      February 10, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      I agreed with the right to vote is a special previledge that has been fought for, especially for women, but please don’t call it a disgrace just because someone who is eligible to vote but didn’t. We don’t know what the reason was about their not voting; like voting, non-voting is also what this country stands for since it is part of American people’s right. For the record, I voted. My neighbor didn’t because they had a very sick child in the hospital. Just an FYI.

  3. mom
    February 4, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Thank you to all in the community that took the time to vote. To all that were involved in the Pride Committee and, our schools who took the time and effort to get the information to the community. As a long time resident and mom of two I appreciate all your hard work. Im glad to see all the BULLDOG PRIDE show through!!

  4. Lana Mobydeen
    February 4, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Parent concern regarding the Parent Update:

    I wanted to make other parents aware of something that was in the Parent Update.

    One thing that concerned me in the Parent Update was the following information:

    Please note that as the District begins designing bus routes for the 2010-2011 school year, some of the efficiencies, such as “group bus stops” will be reintroduced into operation.

    This is a deep concern that parents should be aware of. We must be able to make sure that when the bus stops are set for next year, that they are spaced out so that parents/caregivers have peace of mind that the children got on the bus safely. Currently, some parents wait in their cars to make sure that their children get on the bus safely because the bus stops are so far away from home. Others just end up taking them to school because of time constraints. In addition, the group bus stop in our development also has children crossing the street alone. This type of situation is not why the levy was passed.

    Although this is efficient for the District, safety of the children should always come first.

    • Suzanne Varney
      February 5, 2010 at 11:10 am

      I also have a similar concern for our bus stop next year. The group bus stop is fine with me, but the area that our children are picked up on is a busy road that people often drive 45-50 mph on (speed limit is actually 35mph). And the children have to cross that busy street to get on the bus! It’s my hope that when planning the bus routes for the next school year, the administrators involved don’t just sit in front of a map and plan it out. I hope they actually get out to some of these intersections and see the traffic/safety issues that parents have been pointing out and take that into consideration. In our area, the bus could easily pull into our development and pick up the group of children at an intersection with MUCH less traffic and continue straight threw to the exit of our development. No extra time would be required and the distance is the same as going around our development (as they do now). This is an easy change and one I hope the people in charge keep in mind!

    • February 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      When designing the bus stop locations for next school year, the District will look to find a middle ground on this topic. Effective February 22nd, the District will return to bus stops that are in our computer system from the beginning of the year.

      However, when new routes are established over the summer, the District will be looking to “space out” bus stops at larger intervals. These larger intervals will NOT be the 1/2 mile distances that were put into place on 1/4/10. However, they will not be the “every third house” bus stops previously utilized.

      The rationale for this is simply that spacing out bus stops creates the need for fewer bus stops. This, in turn means the bus stops fewer times which makes for shorter timed routes, which are less expensive for the District to operate.

      Again, I want to reinforce that the District will not be creating bus stops at the 1/2 mile intervals that were put into place on 1/4/10.

      I feel this is not “going back” on any levy promise as we will be restoring K – 8 busing to all students. We are simply trying to ensure efficiency in operation so as to stretch the tax dollars that the district will be receiving from this new levy.

      In the summer, when parents receive the “yellow postcard” that has the new bus stop for their children, if there are concerns, please call the bus garage to discuss.

      • HS Parent
        February 9, 2010 at 10:32 am

        Dr Hoadley,
        I have a handout that says that K-12 busing will be reinstated with the passage of the levy in February 2010. Will High School busing return next year as promised? Please reply
        Thanks

  5. peter naegele
    February 4, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Congratulations! I believe the impact of the reality of the loss of services played a major role in the campaign!

    I posed these questions to Mike Cleary w/r/t the reformation of school funding in Ohio and would like your input as well…

    IS the district/BOE/Levy committee working with the E&A Coalition or another organization on reforming school funding?

    How will/did the Governor’s plan benefit the district? I realize that the plan is 8 years out, but what steps/changes could be taken in fiscal forecasts in light of the proposed changes?

    What is YOUR opinion of the evidenced based funding model he proposed [i.e. section 6 of the plan]?

    Finally, what does John Kasich bring to the table regarding the issue? I have not seen anything in his platform related to reforming school funding, he only addresses achievement.

    • A net G
      February 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

      Peter- I really enjoy reading your posts! I think you truly have the better interest of ALL at heart. You pose great questions and play both sides of the fence with great poise and understanding! I truly hope that this doesn’t end here – that people truly strive for change! Have a great day.

      • peter naegele
        February 5, 2010 at 7:14 pm

        Thanks!

    • February 5, 2010 at 7:25 pm

      Olmsted Falls schools are a dues paying member of the Coalition of Adequacy and Equity and have been since the origin of that organization. The District is also a member of the Ohio School Board’s Association which also advocates for reforms in the ways public schools are funded.

      Regarding the Governor’s plan, it is really hard to tell for two reasons. As you mentioned, full phase in is a long way off, and the second issue is that the general fund coffers of the state of Ohio are worse than the financial condition of our school district. Additionally, the state is really living off of the Federal stimulus money and there is a major giant hole in the state’s budget that will have to be filled when the stimulus money runs out (7-1-11).

      While the evidence based model has advantages, it is far from a perfect system. I like the break down of funding particular items that are necessary for an adequate education. Unfortunately, much of the payment for the evidence based model will fall upon the local communities and thus, the inherent injustice of our current funding system will still be a factor.

      Until the state plays a larger role in funding public schools, which will only occur if business taxes are collected at the state level and redistributed back to local districts, no system that is based largely upon local property taxation will ever create adequacy and equity.

      Regarding John Kasich, I do not know enough of his educational policy positions to give an informed opinion.

  6. C from Olmsted
    February 4, 2010 at 9:34 am

    If the other 1/2 wuold have voted then this levy probably wouldn’t have passed!!

  7. C from Olmsted
    February 4, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I am happy for the students and staff that this levy has passed but now it will be even more expensive for our tax payers in these financially difficult times. Hopefully our economy will make a turn for the best this year!

    • February 5, 2010 at 7:27 pm

      The District clearly understands that the passage of this levy was a true gift from our community during these very difficult economic times.

      It will be our mission to stretch these financial resources for as long as possible and also work to ensure that these financial resources are utilized in a transparent and ethical way.

  8. Glenn
    February 4, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Dr. Hoadley, as you wrote in your update, “some of the efficiencies, such as “group bus stops” will be reintroduced into operation.” I can understand this to save some money. I can assume then the “alternative busing” will not return, and those who utilized this in the past will still not have this option?

    • February 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm

      By Alternative busing, I am not quite sure what you mean. If you mean “alternative transportation requests” which allow a student to be picked up and dropped off at a location other than his or her home, the District is looking to return to the format utilized this past summer.

      Previous to the 2009-2010 school year, the District allowed parents to alter pick up and drop off locations almost on a daily basis. While a very nice service, this practice created great inefficiencies in our transportation system as we could not develop bus assignments that fully maximized the bus. It was always necessary to allow for empty seats in case students needed to ride a bus to a different location. Again, while convenient, this was obviously inefficient.

      The District will return to the practice utilized this past summer where parents who desired to have their child picked up and dropped off at a location other than the home completed and turned in a form by early June. This allowed the transportation department to develop routes with the maximum allowable number of students on each bus. This practice acts as a middle ground as it provides parents some amount of transportation flexibility without forcing the District to expend additional financial resources.

  9. A net G
    February 4, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Dr. Hoadley, Can you expand upon the “group bus stops” statement? Is that continuing the way we were this year – no true door to door or does that mean the current system in place now with cuts? Thanks!

    • February 5, 2010 at 7:36 pm

      Repeat of answer given above:

      When designing the bus stop locations for next school year, the District will look to find a middle ground on this topic. Effective February 22nd, the District will return to bus stops that are in our computer system from the beginning of the year.

      However, when new routes are established over the summer, the District will be looking to “space out” bus stops at larger intervals. These larger intervals will NOT be the 1/2 mile distances that were put into place on 1/4/10. However, they will not be the “every third house” bus stops previously utilized.

      The rationale for this is simply that spacing out bus stops creates the need for fewer bus stops. This, in turn means the bus stops fewer times which makes for shorter timed routes, which are less expensive for the District to operate.

      Again, I want to reinforce that the District will not be creating bus stops at the 1/2 mile intervals that were put into place on 1/4/10.

      I feel this is not “going back” on any levy promise as we will be restoring K – 8 busing to all students. We are simply trying to ensure efficiency in operation so as to stretch the tax dollars that the district will be receiving from this new levy.

      In the summer, when parents receive the “yellow postcard” that has the new bus stop for their children, if there are concerns, please call the bus garage to discuss.

  10. Pam
    February 4, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    What about high school busing? You are reinstating the K-8. That is really not fair to the high school parents that have had to deal with this all year. I see parents are worried about group bus stops. How about the high school kids getting a bus at all? I am sure they won’t mind if it was down the street and not at the front door.

    • February 5, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      After the failure of the November 2009 operating levy, it was announced that High School busing would not return this school year but that if the levy was successful in February 2010, that High School busing would returned for the start of the 2010 school year.

      This announcement was made at the transportation meeting on December 12 and the PowerPoint presentation from this meeting has been on the front page of the District website since that announcement.

      Here is a link to that information (please view slide number 11): http://www.ofcs.net/userfiles/613/file/Transportation%20Information%20Meeting%20-%2012-12-09%20Presentation%20-%20WEB%20UPLOAD%282%29.pdf

      The rationale for this decision is that it takes quite a bit of time to design bus routes and since no bus routes have been developed for the High School for this school year they will not be re-implemented until the start of the 2010 school year.

  11. Clarence
    February 5, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    The schools sent home to the parents a PDF document that explained the cuts.

    http://www.prideinolmstedschools.org/resources/Educational%20Reduction%20Plan.pdf

    Why does this PDF which is on the Pride website still show inaccurate information?

    My kids came home with this paper that said K-12 busing would be restored if the levy passed. At what point did that turn into 9-12 busing being restored next school year?

    If the schools sent home this information shouldn’t the schools also be responsible for sending home a correction once this changed?

    • February 5, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      Please see response directly above your question for answer.

      I would offer that this information has been available on the front page of the District website and was communicated at several meetings over the past six weeks. I am sorry you were unaware of this decision. We are continually attempting to refine our communication efforts which is one reason for the creation of this blog.

      Thanks for your question.

  12. dissapointed parent
    February 7, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Just a question about teachers in the middle school. Why is it that some teachers feel the need to tell the students that they cannot do certain projects due to the levy not passing and materials are not available. And, if the levy would have passed the first time around they could do these projects. Also, teachers in the middle school are complaining in front of the students that now that the levy passed they would not be seeing any benefits of the money until Dec. 2011? Our children are there to learn in the schools not to be targets of their complaints. I would love to tell my child to tell these teachers that they are lucky that the levy did pass and should be thankful they get to teach in a community like ours. If they are so unhappy with the school system on the community maybe they should find a job in the Cleveland public school system and see if the grass is greener there.

    • It is my kids turn
      February 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm

      Disappointed Parent – ( I don’t want to sound harsh but..)What should they say about why some things are cut? Was it a lie? As for the teachers not getting raises for a couple more years- me too. They are members of the “salaries frozen in time” club. I think most teachers understand the sacrafice the voters are going to have. I am about to bundle my phone internet and cable to save money in preparation for the tax increase. I am not complaining, just saying…

    • Just a mom
      February 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm

      I concur your sentiment!! My daughter loves art and it burns me to hear her saying that they would not have this, that, if the levy didn’t pass…. teachers did not have to burden the children of levy issues but making it simple that they are trying to make this work with the community to pass the levy. And yes, things have to cut, my daughter sees it what’s going on in our house, she doesn’t need to hear any more from teachers literally complaining about what classes they won’t have!! Thanks.

    • February 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      It is unfortunate, but true, that the levy was discussed in some classrooms leading up to Election Day. However, it is important to note that students often initiate these conversations.

      Both as superintendent, and as a parent with 4 children attending OFCS, I have the highest amount of respect for our teachers and I completely trust their professionalism and judgment in handling these types of discussions. I have observed on many occasions that our teachers are very skilled in redirecting students back to the topic of the day and away from off-topic conversations.

      If the levy would have failed in February, additional cuts would have been necessary and these cuts would have further impacted the quality of life for our community’s children. It is only natural that students brought up this topic for discussion in classrooms. I believe the example you sited at the middle school was a good example of a teacher expressing honesty in answering a student’s question.

      In the end, it is a great positive that the levy has now been passed and everyone can now go back to fully concentrating on ensuring our students receive a great education.

  13. Tina
    February 9, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Will the Summer Magic program be coming back?

    • February 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      The District is state mandated to offer remedial classes in the summer for students who are below grade level in reading and math. Just as last summer, these classes will again be offered.

      Discussions have not occurred as to whether the art, food, foreign language courses will be again offered at the elementary level. Should these classes be offered in the Summer of 2010, the tuition costs would have to be set so as to ensure a zero cost to the District.

      The District will continue to send fliers home to parents for summer opportunities at BW and the Community Center. Also, as in the past, the District will be partnering with the Cuyahoga County Library system to promote its summer reading program.

      • Just a mom
        February 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm

        I want to thank you for your willingness to communicate with parents. I appreciate it.

  14. peter naegele
    February 9, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    HS Parent :
    Dr Hoadley,
    I have a handout that says that K-12 busing will be reinstated with the passage of the levy in February 2010. Will High School busing return next year as promised? Please reply
    Thanks

    Could you please email me a copy of what you received? My email address is dr.peter.naegele@gmail.com.

    Thanks!

  15. A net G
    February 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Dr. Hoadley – Could you post the maps with the bus routes that are currently in the computer? I would like to see how the stops are spaced out, etc. for the current year (before the additional levy cuts). Thank you.

    • February 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm

      The computer software system utilized by the District does not create maps. The only bus route maps that have been created have been by hand by members of the District’s transportation department. I will scan these and attempt to post at a later date.

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