OHIO PTA NURSE OF THE YEAR
Congratulations to Olmsted Falls School Nurse Darla Haviland, RN, on being named Ohio PTA Nurse of the Year. Nurse Haviland does an outstanding job as head nurse for Olmsted Falls Schools and is based at the District’s Early Childhood Center.
Earlier this year, her expertise helped save the life of a young student exhibiting headaches and erratic eye movements that concerned Nurse Haviland, who suspected a possible tumor. The girl was taken to the ER that day and, ultimately, underwent surgery to remove a life-threatening brain tumor. Thanks to the actions of Nurse Haviland, the student has recovered and is back in school!
Darla Haviland received her Nurse of the Year award at a special recognition dinner held April 17th during the annual Ohio PTA Convention in Columbus.
FIRST ANNUAL OLMSTED FALLS BASEBALL YOUTH DAY THIS AFTERNOON
Young baseball players from throughout the community are invited to attend this afternoon’s varsity game against Avon Lake for the 1st Annual Olmsted Falls Youth Baseball Day. All young guests are encouraged to wear their team’s jersey. Fun activities in store include a baseball inflatable, radar gun and more! Don’t miss this first annual event TODAY – Varsity Baseball Diamond #3 (behind OFHS) at 4:15 p.m.
DISTRICT RECEIVES ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON STATE EDUCATIONAL FUNDING
In last week’s blog, information was shared that the Olmsted Falls District was notified in early April that a potentially large cut in state funding is looming on the horizon for Ohio’s public schools. Specifically, Ohio House member Randy Gardner released a memo to all superintendents sharing his projection that school districts around the state are facing a reduction in state funding somewhere in the neighborhood of 22.7% – 30% beginning in July 2011. Specifically, for OFCS, this would mean a state reduction of something between $2.4 million and $3.2 million. Click here to see the initial correspondence from Representative Gardner.
To keep you updated on this important topic, this week the District received additional information from Senator Gardner’s office. Specifically, the District received additional information that displays the variables upon which Representative Gardner’s calculation was determined (click here), as well as a spreadsheet that displays the potential funding cuts for each of Ohio’s public school districts (click here).
While it is important to remember that this financial projection is still speculative, the worry to me personally, as superintendent, is that Representative Gardner’s underlying logic seems to make sense. The current state budget for Ohio is using so much one-time money in this biennium budget, and state-level tax collections are also lagging projections. As such, there will be a major budget hole in the next biennium budget (beginning July 1, 2011)
Without a second stimulus package from Washington D.C. (unlikely) or a tax increase at the state level (unlikely and political suicide for the Governor) I simply don’t know how the Ohio legislature fills the upcoming budget hole without making major cutbacks in spending.
As such, as a District, our Board of Education and Administration will need to have a series of discussions about what level of State cuts we honestly expect to incur. Then, this decision will need to be built into our 5 year financial forecast. While these financial projections will likely look very ugly, at least the District can move forward with its planning and decision-making process.
DONAHUE ERA COMES TO A CLOSE AT OLMSTED FALLS HIGH SCHOOL
High School Head Coach Pat Donahue has resigned from his head basketball coaching position after twenty-one years.
“This is an outstanding community and school district that has supported the basketball program for many years, and for that, I am truly grateful,” said Coach Donahue. “I have been very fortunate to have the support needed to run a strong program.”
“The knowledgeable, loyal and dedicated assistant coaching staff has also contributed greatly to the success of our program,” Donahue added. “I have truly enjoyed my years as the head coach here.”
Coach Donahue career notables include:
• Head Basketball Coach at Olmsted Falls High School for past 21 years
• Overall record: 341-144
• Also served as Head Track Coach for a period of 5 years
• More than 800 high school players have come through Coach Donahue’s program at Olmsted Falls High School over the past 21 years
• Many have gone on to play college basketball, including Mike Gansey who currently plays in the NBA developmental league
• Donahue has led the OFHS Varsity Basketball Team to an impressive 11 consecutive SWC Championships. In fact, his team has won SWC Championships 13 out of the last 15 years.
• In addition, his team has won nine District Championships, and competed in the Regional Finals three times (1997, 2004, 2007)
• Donahue has been named Greater Cleveland Coach of the Year three times, and was named State Coach of the Year in 1996.
“Coach Donahue has epitomized the Bulldog tradition of excellence during his outstanding career here in Olmsted Falls,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley. “He has long been held in high regard by players, parents, colleagues, and members of the greater Olmsted community.”
Athletic Director Rob Coxon added, “Pat has had a tremendously successful coaching career here at Olmsted Falls High School. His knowledge and passion for the game has contributed to his success. He has had quality, hard working players over the years, but his work ethic and the surrounding of himself by quality coaches, have made those teams extremely successful. Winning 13 conference titles over the course of 15 years pretty much defines the success that he has instilled into this program. We will miss Pat and we certainly wish him well.”
Pat Donahue currently teaches Chemistry, and serves as Science Department Chair, at Olmsted Falls High School. Donahue plans to continue teaching at OFHS four more years.
NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY MEMBERS
New inductees joined current members at the annual National Honor Society Induction Ceremony held on April 23rd at OFHS.
Students, staff and parents were in attendance as 24 new members were inducted into the prestigious National Honor Society (NHS).
A total of 45 OFHS students are now NHS members. Congratulations to each of them on this outstanding accomplishment!
OFHS STUDENTS RECOGNIZED FOR HIGH ACHIEVEMENT ON NATIONAL LATIN EXAM
Front row: Emilie Macek (Latin II, Cum Laude Certificate); Jessica Albright (Latin III, Cum Laude Certificate); Hayleigh Sanders (Latin II, Silver Medal); Pam Keller (Latin II, Magna Cum Laude Certificate); Ashley Michel (Latin II, Cum Laude Certificate); Emily Nageotte (Latin III, Silver Medal); and Magistra Czupik.
Back row: Madison Woods (Latin I, Magna Cum Laude Certificate); Sohan Vartak (Latin II, Gold Medal); Karissa Dodge (Latin II, Cum Laude Certificate); Trevor Munkachy (Latin I, Cum Laude Certificate); and Zachary Zuruba (Latin II, Silver Medal).
Not pictured: Lucas Alstadtt (Latin I, Gold Medal) and Nathan Seese (Latin I, Silver Medal).
Congratulations on these impressive achievements!
SUN POST-HERALD STUDENT OF THE WEEK
Congratulations to Olmsted Falls Middle School student Matt Harris for being named last week’s Sun-Post Herald Student of the Week. Please click here to read the article about Matt.
OFHS TREBLE CHOIR RATED SUPERIOR AT STATE
The High School Treble Choir gave an outstanding performance at the recent State Contest, earning a prestigious rating of “Superior.” Excellent job!
OFHS MATH STUDENT EARN STRONG RANKINGS AT STATE MATHEMATICS TOURNAMENT
OFHS tied for 15th place (out of 106) in the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2010 State Tournament of Mathematics. Individually, Kevin O’Brien tied for a rank of 57th; Adam Broski and Brad Sevcik tied for a rank of 68th (out of 1945 students). Rankings were determined based on test scroes from the State Tournament of Mathematics given at Olmsted Falls High School (and other test centers across the State) on February 27th. Congratulations!
ORIENTATION MEETING FOR 5TH GRADE PARENTS THIS WEDNESDAY, MAY 5TH
A reminder to all 5th grade parents that there is an orientation meeting at Olmsted Falls Middle School this coming Wednesday, May 5th. Click here for the invitation that was sent home with students.
OLMSTED FALLS GARDEN CLUB BRINGS “VEGGIE U” TO FOURTH GRADERS
Thanks to the generous support of the Olmsted Falls Garden Club, fourth graders had the opportunity to participate in a unique program called “Veggie U” as part of their science unit on plants. Created by the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Huron, OH, the “Veggie U” program focuses on sustainable agriculture and how food is grown (i.e. importance of soil, composting, worm farms). Hands-on elements, such as creating their very own worm farm and growing their own lettuce and squash under special “grow lights,” were popular with students.
Proceeds from the Olmsted Falls Garden Club’s annual plant sale in May were used to purchase all of the educational materials, related supplies and equipment for the implementation of the “Veggie U” program at Olmsted Falls Intermediate School. This year’s Olmsted Falls Garden Club “Perennial Plant Sale” takes place THIS SUNDAY, MAY 2nd at the Jenkins Center (next to Olmsted Falls Library) from 11:00 a.m. until sold out.
Many thanks to the Olmsted Falls Garden Club for its support of this innovative learning opportunity, which will be back again for next year’s fourth grade classes to experience.
REMINDER: MOTHER’S DAY FLOWER SALE
The OFHS Academic Team is having a Mother’s Day Flower Sale. All hanging baskets are from Schuster’s Greenhouse right here in Olmsted Falls. All orders must be turned in to Mrs. Rhonna Smith AT Falls-Lenox by this Tuesday, May 4th. (Mother’s Day is May 9th this year!). Pick-up of the baskets will be on Friday, May 7th from 6-9 p.m. at the High School. Payments are to be included in advance with the order form. You can click here to access the order form on the High School web page.
FREE CYBER BULLYING WORKSHOP FOR PARENTS
A free informational event for parents on cyber bullying will be held on Thursday, May 6th from 7-9 p.m. at Lorain County Community College. Special guest speaker Dr. Patricia Agatston, co-author of Cyberbullying: Bullying in the Digital Age, will discuss what parents can do to prevent cyber bullying and how to respond when a child is involved in cyber bullying. The event is free, but advance registration is required. Click here to download event flyer for additional information.
SAFETY TOWN 2010 SEEKING VOLUNTEER STUDENTS (7TH – 12TH GRADE)
The Olmsted Early Childhood PTA is seeking volunteer student instructors for the seven safety town sessions being offered this summer. Deadline for applications is May 14th. Click here to download a copy of the application.
LOCAL ISSUES ON MAY 2ND ELECTION BALLOT
There are several local tax issues on the election ballot this Tuesday, May 2nd. Click here for information available about the Olmsted Township Fire Levy (Issue #49).
RE-IMPLEMENTATION OF HIGH SCHOOL BUSING PUT ON HOLD AS BOARD ASSESSES NEW FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS FROM THE STATE
In light of new financial projections from the State level, the Olmsted Falls School District finds itself in the difficult situation of choosing between competing campaign promises. On one hand, the campaign pledged to restore High School busing services; on the other hand, the campaign also pledged that this levy would last for three school years (2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013).
Knowing that our District’s finances would still be considered “weak or fragile” and that additional state revenue cuts are being predicted, the District has been exploring ways to reintroduce HS busing in a way that would not be as costly as the delivery of high school busing services in the past (approximately $300,000 annually).
Based on a review of the various busing options, at the April 15th Board of Education meeting, a recommendation was made to restore High School busing, effective at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. This recommendation (which has been titled the “3-2 option,” meaning that the District would have operated three AM bus routes and two PM bus routes) would have re-implemented HS busing, but reduced the total number of bus routes by placing HS students on bus routes that currently transport students in grades K – 8. Some of you may have read and commented upon this proposal, which was discussed on the April 8th blog.
For the “3-2 option” it was estimated that the re-implementation of HS busing would have cost the District an estimated $230,000 annually (approximately $140,000 in local busing services for OFHS students, and approximately $90,000 for required busing services for non-public high school students).
At the April 15th Board of Education meeting, the School Board reviewed this transportation proposal along with the broader funding issues percolating at the State level. A detailed discussion and debate of the topic spanned more than an hour.
To give you further background, prior to the April 15th Board meeting, the District received written correspondence from Columbus (click here to read memo) indicating further state-level financial cuts to education funding are on the horizon (FY 12), which could mean a major decrease (ranging from an estimated $2,400,000 up to $3,200,000 annually) in our District’s overall State revenue projections. Additionally, local funding amounts are also deteriorating as property values and the number of delinquencies have increased. Specifically, the District is expecting to receive approximately $858,006 less in local tax revenues this year as compared to last year (Actual Local Tax Revenue in FY09 = $21,078,972 and Projected Local Tax Revenue in FY10 =$20,220,966).
In the end, the Board voted 3-2 against the recommendation to implement the “3-2 option” bus route system that would have placed HS students on the same bus with K – 8 students.
After this vote, the Board of Education then voted to institute bus services for only grades Pre-K to 8 for the start of the 2010-2011 school year, and to re-examine this decision again in the late Fall in reference to District finances with the possibility of re-implementing high school busing sometime after January 1, 2011, once the District begins receiving revenue from the February 2010 levy.
Sun Post Herald reporter Joanne DuMound was in attendance at Thursday’s school board meeting and she has posted an article on their online paper. Here is a link to the story: http://www.cleveland.com/sunpostherald/index.ssf/2010/04/olmsted_falls_high_school_busi.html
Ultimately, this decision was a very, very difficult decision to make by our Board of Education as, with this new financial information from the State, the District is forced to make a choice between two important campaign promises. In fact, much of the School Board’s discussion at the April 15th meeting centered around the publicized plan to re-institute high busing services and the efforts made by our campaign workers to communicate this plan to our residents. However, in the end, the Board of Education voted on the side of utmost fiscal responsibility and, again, it is their intention to review this decision again in the late Fall so as to better ascertain the District’s finances.
OFHS STUDENT ATHLETES SIGN LETTERS OF INTENT
Congratulations to (pictured, L to R) OFHS seniors Chaz McGrain, Corinne Manley and Matt Stenger who signed formal letters of intent last week to pursue their academic and athletic careers in college.
Chaz McGrain signed to play baseball at Ashland University; Corinne Manley signed to play volleyball at Clarion Univerity; and Matt Stenger will join the track team at Western Carolina University. Well done Bulldogs! Good luck!
JOINT ELECTED OFFICIALS MEETING
Elected officials from the Olmsted Falls Board of Education, City of Olmsted Falls, and Olmsted Township came together on April 14th for a joint meeting to share information about a variety of community happenings.
Local officials make it a priority to come together for such meetings generally once or twice a year. The April 14th meeting took place in the Media Center at Olmsted Falls Middle School, and lasted approximately two hours. Items discussed included local construction projects impacting the community, upcoming tax levies, and other areas of common interest.
“BALLROOM BLITZ” EVENT RECEIVES RAVE REVIEWS
More than 200 guests attended the Ballroom Blitz held March 20th featuring the OFHS Jazz Band and Vocal Ensemble (Golden Expressions). Attendees were treated to an evening of dinner, live music (compliments of our talented students) and swing dancing, too. The event took place at the Columbia Ballroom with great success. Congratulations to the Olmsted Falls Music Boosters and OFHS Music Department for an innovative collaboration!
OFHS JAZZ BAND PERFORMS AT OSU JAZZ FESTIVAL
Congratulations to the members of the High School Jazz Band on their participation at the Ohio State University Jazz Festival yesterday.
Special honors went to Joe Pedicini, who was named to the “All Star Jazz Band.”
TWO OFHS SENIORS CHOSEN TO PARTICIPATE IN ALL-STAR FOOTBALL GAME
Congratulations to OFHS seniors Ryan Petitti and Cameron Trefny who have been selected to participate in the Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association East-West All Star game.
This event will be held on June 18th at John Carroll University.
HIGH SCHOOL ACADEMIC TEAM FINISHES RUNNER-UP AT STATE
On Saturday, April 17, the High School Academic Team participated in the National Academic Quiz Tournament held at the Ohio State University.
The OFHS A-Team brought home the State Runner-up Trophy for 2010, going 9-2 on the day with their only losses coming to State Champion, Northmont High School. Those students competing on the A-Team were: Jim Coury, Mike Coury, Emily Nageotte, and Marty Mendenhall.
Junior Jim Coury was the top individual scorer in the State Tournament for the second year in a row. OFHS also entered B, C, and D Teams into the tournament and all of these teams posted respectable records for the day against A-Teams from across the state.
The Academic Team will be back in action on Saturday at Copley High School where they will participate in the Regional Ohio Academic Challenge.
Continued good luck to our OFHS Academic Team. The District is very proud of your efforts.
MOTHER’S DAY FLOWER SALE
The OFHS Academic Team is having a Mother’s Day Flower Sale. All hanging baskets are from Schuster’s Greenhouse right here in Olmsted Falls. All orders must be turned in to Mrs. Rhonna Smith by Tuesday, May 4th. (Mother’s Day is May 9th this year!). Pick-up of the baskets will be on Friday, May 7th from 6-9 p.m. at the High School. Payments are to be included in advance with the order form. You can click here to access the order form on the High School web page.
SENIOR CLASS CALENDAR AVAILABLE ON-LINE
These final months of the school year are always busy for the senior class at OFHS. Students and parents in need of a copy of the 2009-2010 Senior Class Calendar can download the calendar from the High School website by clicking this link.
DARA HOSTA / OLMSTED SPIRIT 5K RACE/WALK
The Dara Hosta Olmsted Spirit 5K race/walk is scheduled to be held on Sunday May 2nd at 9:00 AM. This event is held annually in memory/celebration of Dara Hosta, an OFHS student who passed in 2000.
The 5K race/walk is followed by a trophy presentation, free post-race breakfast, and prize raffle. All proceeds from this event go directly to college scholarships for graduating OFHS seniors.
Please consider participating or volunteering at this community event. If you would like more information on registering for this event, please click here. If you would like to volunteer and help out on the day of the race, please call the OFHS office at 427-6100.
FAMILIES INFORMED AND EMPOWERED BY POWER UP PARENT ACADEMY EVENTS
More than 100 students and parents attended the recent series of free “Power Up Parent Academy” events, made possible by a grant through three mini-grants awarded to the District by the Ohio Department of Education.
Attendees enjoyed a nutritious and delicious family-style dinner together, followed by an opportunity to learn from experts about balanced nutrition, labels, and exercise.
The evening culminated with a healthy desert bar where participants could make their own smoothies or yogurt parfaits.
OFHS STUDENT COUNCIL RAISES $1,500+ FOR HAITIAN EARTHQUAKE RELIEF
Thanks to the support of faculty and staff, and the hard work of student organizers, OFHS Student Council raised $1,508 for Haitian Earthquake Relief during “Stall Week” held just prior to spring break. All funds are being directed to COCINA’s Earthquake Relief Fund. It is rewarding to see our students – across all grade levels – continue to find innovative ways to lend helping hands where they are needed. Our High School Student Council is to be commended for the success of this recent effort!
LOCAL ISSUES ON MAY 2ND ELECTION BALLOT
There are several local tax issues on the May 2, 2010 election ballot. Click here for information available about the Olmsted Township Fire Levy (Issue #49).
SPRING MUSICAL THIS FRIDAY & SATURDAY
The Olmsted Falls High School Masquers will present two performances of the award-winning musical “Bye Bye Birdie” this weekend – Friday, April 9th @ 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 9th @ 7:30 p.m. – in the Olmsted Falls High School Auditorium.
Tickets may be reserved in advance through Friday afternoon by calling 427-6070, or tickets may be also purchased at the door.
Ticket Costs: $7 each adult; $5 each student / senior citizen.
RE-DESIGN OF TRANSPORTATION ROUTING FOR 2010-2011 HELPS DISTRICT CONTINUE COST-SAVINGS, STRETCH LEVY FUNDS
As stated during the campaign, the passage of the operating levy in February 2010 will allow the Olmsted Falls School District to resume K-12 busing services for all students for the upcoming 2010-2011 school year. Efficiencies implemented over the past school year – such as single, designated pick-up / drop-off locations and group bus stops – will remain in effect. Group bus stops for students in grades K to 8 will not extend to the full ½ mile walk zones in place during the District’s reduction to State Minimum Busing Requirements this past January, but will still be implemented to a certain level to help streamline pick-ups / drop-offs throughout the community. High school age students may have their assigned stop more than 1/2 mile from their residence as needed to maximize efficiency of routes.
To off-set a portion of the cost of bringing back high school busing, the District is also looking into a new routing system that would reduce the number of bus routes district-wide thereby saving further dollars. Several people have asked about the possibility of combining bus routes. The District is currently exploring routing models used by more than 500 Ohio school districts, which function based on student addresses as opposed to building / grade-level transports. These models include combining high school and middle school riders, and/or combining high school and elementary school riders, in order to most efficiently transport students from school to their neighborhoods.
While this would be a paradigm shift from what we are accustomed to in the Olmsted Falls School system, it presents an opportunity to save on operating costs annually. We invite parents to share any thoughts or opinions on these proposed bus routing changes by leaving comments here on the blog.
Important note: For those parents needing to designate a single, alternate pick-up / drop-off address for their student for 2010-2011, the deadline for submitting Alternate Transportation Forms is Tuesday, June 15th. Please click here for additional information and to access Alternate Transportation Forms for the 2010-2011 school year.
OFHS VARSITY BASEBALL TEAM WINS TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP IN BLUFFTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
Congratulations to the OFHS Varsity Baseball Team for winning the BATR-UP Tournament in Bluffton, South Carolina, over the spring break. Our Bulldogs won four games straight over four days earning them the tournament championship. Congrats to Bulldog Cam Trefny for being named Tournament MVP, and to Cory Maddocks (3B), Erik Kolar (1B), Chaz McGrain (C), and Denton Sagerman (P) on being named to the All-Tournament Team. Other players with solid performances during the week included David Venezuela, Nick Riolo and Nate Ferster.
OHIO SCHOOL FUNDING WORKSHOP THIS SATURDAY– ALL WELCOME
The Olmsted Falls Intermediate School PTA, along with volunteers from the recent levy campaign, have partnered to present a special workshop on school funding in Ohio. The workshop, scheduled for this Saturday, April 10th from 10 a.m. to noon at Olmsted Falls Middle School, is open to all Ohio voters interested in learning about the current state education funding policies and potential opportunities for reform. Click here for additional information.
3RD GRADERS RAISE $1,600 FOR AMERICAN RED CROSS WITH LAUNCH OF “THE DOGGONE GOOD CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZEL COMPANY”
As part of their economics unit (studying consumers, producers, factors of production, competition, supply and demand), students in Mrs. Stanczak’s and Mrs. Blake’s 3rd grade social studies classes decided to start a business called “The Doggone Good Chocolate Covered Pretzel Company.” Students produced a variety of chocolate covered pretzel products and sold them at Falls-Lenox for a week. Students learned about assembly line production, and implemented a number of advertising and promotional strategies. Over the course of the week, the company used 135 pounds of chocolate and more than 3,000 pretzel rods! In the end, the company’s profit of $1,600 is being donated to the American Red Cross to benefit Haiti relief efforts. Well done!
“PARENT ACADEMY: POWER UP MOVES & FOOD” SERIES BEGINS TONIGHT
Olmsted Falls City Schools and our local PTA are proud to present a special series of wellness events for parents and students. The “Parent Academy: Power Up Moves and Food” events are made possible through a grant from the Ohio Department of Education. These fun and informational events will include dinner, preparation and enjoyment of a healthy snack, physical activity for the kids, and an interactive presentation for parents that will cover topics like portion sizes, food labels, and purchasing produce.
Events are scheduled for Thurs., April 8th at OFIS, Tues., April 13th at Falls-Lenox, and Thurs., April 15th at OFMS. The events are free, however an R.S.V.P. is required. There is still room available and time to RSVP for the April 15th Parent Academy at the Middle School. Please call the Food Service Department at (440) 427-6441.
FALLS-LENOX STUDENTS PRESENT PRINCIPAL ROSEBERRY WITH BUILDING FLAG
In recent weeks, students at Falls-Lenox have been learning about flags, including the meanings of symbols found on flags (i.e. State flags). As part of this ongoing learning project, students had the opportunity to create flags of their own. Earlier this week, a group of students involved with the flag project presented Principal Roseberry with a special flag they had created which included symbols with special meaning to Falls-Lenox.