Parent Update April 20, 2010
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).