Home > Uncategorized > Parent Update – May 12, 2010

Parent Update – May 12, 2010

May 12, 2010


An important decision was made last evening by our Board of Education during a scheduled Work Session.  After spending considerable time reviewing the District’s 5 year financial forecast and discussing multiple variables that will likely effect the District’s finances, a discussion occurred again on the topic of high school busing.

As you know, at the April 15th Board meeting, the Board of Education voted 3-2 to delay the reimplementation of HS busing.  However, last night, another vote was called for and, by a 3-2 vote, a decision was made by the Board of Education to re-instate high school busing service for the upcoming 2010-2011 school year.

Great trepidation still exists with both the Board and Administration regarding what the future holds for our District in terms of State funding cuts.  However, there is a strong desire by the Board and Administration to ensure that the commitments made during the levy campaign (click here to review) are followed to the best of the District’s ability.

As a school system, we serve many different customers.  We are, at times, faced with decisions that make one set of customers happy, while making another set of customers upset.  The decision regarding whether to restore high school busing under this continuing condition of economic uncertainty is a perfect example of such a decision.  While many of our high school parents will be pleased by the reimplementation of this transportation service, there will, at the same time,  be residents without children in school who will not understand this expenditure during these economic times.

While it is true that the state foundation formula assists school districts defray the cost of transportation services, the current amount of money received by OFCS from “the state” would neither increase, nor decrease, by implementing (or not implementing) high school busing.  In essence, the financial ramifications on implementing high school busing fall solely on the taxpayers of this community.

I am pleased by the Board’s decision and must express my great respect for the care and consideration each member gave to their final vote.


For the fourth consecutive year, Olmsted Falls School District has been named one of the “Best Communities for Music Education in America” by a national survey sponsored by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation.

The school districts named by the NAMM Foundation this year demonstrate an unwavering commitment to providing music education for their students – even during these challenging economic times.  This year’s roster represents schools and school districts in 30 states, including 15 in Ohio.

Congratulations to the staff, students, parents and community members who help make our music program a nationally recognized success!


Click here to download an informational flyer about tomorrow night’s meeting.


Click here for additional information about the Orientation Meeting for current 3rd grade students and their parents scheduled for this Monday, May 17th at 7:00 p.m. in the Olmsted Falls Intermediate School (OFIS) cafeteria.


OFIS art teacher Mrs. Magnone with Artsonia Artist of the Week winner Matthew McFadden.

Congratulations to 4th grader Matthew McFadden on being named Artsonia “Artist of the Week Contest” for his winning contour line drawing of a stuffed bear.  Matthew received a plaque featuring his award-winning art and a $50 gift certificate from BLICK art materials.  Matthew’s win also earned a $100 BLICK gift certificate for his school, Olmsted Falls Intermediate.

Artsonia is an on-line art museum featuring the largest collection of student artwork in the world.  Art teachers at both Falls-Lenox and OFIS regularly upload student artwork into individual on-line galleries.


OFHS mathematics teachers, Ms. Donna Langenderfer and Mr. Jeff VanArnhem, have each been selected to attend prestigious summer educator programs to increase their knowledge and skills relating to classroom technology.

OFHS math teacher Mr. Jeff VanArnhem will attend the 2010 Texas Instruments Leadership Training program in Dallas, Texas.

OFHS math teacher Ms. Donna Langenderfer will attend the SMART Exemplary Educator Summit in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Ms. Langenderfer is one of just 50 educators selected to attend the week-long SMART Exemplary Educator Summit taking place this summer at SMART Technologies (maker of the SMART Board) corporate headquarters  in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Ms. Langenderfer was selected from a pool of applicants for being a proven technology leader who has consistently demonstrated innovative use of SMART products to improve education outcomes in her classroom.  All expenses for Ms. Langenderfer’s trip and training in Calgary are being paid by SMART Technologies.  Congratulations on this outstanding opportunity!

Mr. VanArnhem has been invited to attend the 2010 Texas Instruments Leadership training program in Dallas, Texas.  The 5-day, all-expense-paid workshop will explore a variety of topics relating to enhancing the classroom envirnoment through the use of technology.  Mr. VanArnhem was nominated to attend this workshop becasue of leadership qualities and technology skills he demonstrated during a past professional development workshop.  Congratulations!


7th and 8th graders show off their medals following the GCCTM Math Contest on May 1st. Front row (L to R): Katherine Grega, David Lance, Dan McFadden and Julie Wu. Back Row (L to R): Mrs. Miskimins, Cecelia Dahlinger, Adelin Leung, Yahia Ali and David Graham.

Students from Olmsted Falls Middle School competed in the Greater Cleveland Council for Teachers of Mathematics (GCCTM) Math Contest held May 1st (for 7th & 8th graders) and May 8th (for 6th graders) in Berea.

Students worked in teams of three on four themed problem solving events during the contest:  “Six Places to Start,” “Mental Math,” “Hurdles” and “The Pile.”   Performance in each event was scored by a group of volunteers, including teachers from the visiting schools.

Congratulations to our 7th and 8th grade students (pictured at right) who each earned a medal by scoring in the top 20% at the competition.  Congratulations as well to our 6th grade student participants who also each earned medals for scoring in the top 20% at the competition.  Sixth grade team members included:   Zach Buchta, Morgan Ashton, Claire Barratt, Jennifer Bertrand, Jake Conder, Logan Petruziello, Stephen Miller, and Chandler Laird.  Great job by all!


2010 Boys Summer Basketball Camp (for grades 3-8) – June 21st – 24th – Registration Deadline:  May 21st. Click here for additional information and registration form.

2010 Girls Summer Basketball Camp (for grades 4-9) – June 14th – 17th – Registration Deadline:  May 21stClick here for additional information and registration form.

13th Annual OFHS Baseball Camp (for grades 4-9) – June 14th – 18th – Registration Deadline:  May 28thClick here for additional information and registration form.


The 18th Annual 4 Man Scramble Golf Championship to benefit the Olmsted Falls High School Hockey program is scheduled for Saturday, August 7th at Pine Brook Golf Club in Grafton.

This fundraiser helps Olmsted Falls High School hockey players and their families pay for ice time to practice. 

Click here for additional information on this upcoming golf outing.


The American Red Cross has gratefully acknowledged Olmsted Falls High School for sponsoring an American Red Cross blood drive on April 30, 2010.  The American Red Cross was able to collect a total of 56 pints of blood for needed patient care.   Of the 74 presenting donors, 23 donated blood for the first time with the American Red Cross.  A considerable amount of work goes into every blood drive and precious lives have been saved or sustained as a direct result of the  dedicated support of our OFHS students and staff.  This year Olmsted High School has earned $1,000 in scholarship fund donations from the American Red Cross for their efforts!


Spring is always a busy time,  with annual art shows and concerts taking place throughout the District.  Below find photos of two of the most recent events:

Student artwork on display at Annual May Show.

Students, parents, staff and residents attended the Annual May Show held at OFHS on May 8th.

4th and 5th grade singers perform during OFIS Spring Concert event.

5th grade band students perfrom during OFIS Spring Concert.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Kimberly Altstadt
    May 12, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Thank you to the Board of Education for listening to parent concerns regarding high school busing and safety for our students. As a working parent I will be able to relax next year knowing my son will be safely transported to and from school rather than walking along the berm of Fitch Road. My son’t education is extremely important to me as is my other child’s. But at utmost importance is his safety.

  2. Just a mom
    May 12, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Thank you!!

  3. Kim Cleary
    May 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I encourage our community to become more aware of how our schools are funded. Our board is trying so hard to make the right decisions for our district but it is very difficult when the State is so vague on their plans for funding education. The State has warned all districts that cuts will be coming but no one knows what percent making it very difficult for all school boards. Please don’t wait until we are on the ballot again. Please be prepared so you will know next time who to aim your anger and frustration at.

    • Chris
      May 12, 2010 at 2:42 pm

      I think most people are at least partially aware of how are schools are funded and the problems with that system. We certainly all understand that the board has to make difficult decisions, most businesses have had to make tough decisions in the past several years. And your comment “please be prepared so you will know next time who to aim your anger and frustration at” – parents were certainly justified in their feelings of anger and frustration at the school board’s decision. A promise is a promise. But in end, the school board did the right thing.

      • Jim
        May 13, 2010 at 7:41 am

        I agree whole-heartedly with Kim here.s. The numbers are dismal. All day Kindergarten will cost the district 350K a year (without increased funding) , and proposed state funding cuts are estimated anywhere from 5% to 30%, and will probably fall somewhere in the middle. People need to wake up. It’s time to rattle some cages in Columbus. The problem is not on Bagley Rd, but at the state capital.

  4. Kim Cleary
    May 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Kim Cleary :I encourage our community to become more aware of how our schools are funded. Our board is trying so hard to make the right decisions for our district but it is very difficult when the State is so vague on their plans for funding education. The State has warned all districts that cuts will be coming but no one knows what percent making it very difficult for all school boards. Please don’t wait until we are on the ballot again. Please be prepared so you will know next time who to aim your anger and frustration at. I too would like to thank the school board for reconsidering high school busing and bringing it back next year.

  5. Joyce Zivcsak
    May 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you for holding up your end of the deal & reinstating high school bussing. I know it was a tough decision but the right one. You have definitely helped decrease my stress for the upcoming school year.

  6. Chris
    May 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    This was the right thing to do.

  7. Pam
    May 12, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Thank you for keeping your promise. I know that during these tough economic times hard decisions need to be made. Keeping your promise now will help in the future when other levies need to be passed. We need to be able to believe the school board and superintendent will do what they say. Thank you for putting our children’s safety first

  8. Mike
    May 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Unbelievably bad decision during these hard economic times. We’re not out of the woods economically yet and once the money is spent on busing it is gone. We’ll never get it back.

  9. Linda Parkowski
    May 12, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    For those parents who have not signed up on the Artsonia website – I encourage you to do so. What a wonderful way to view your child’s masterpieces and for you and your child’s fans to leave encouraging messages about their artwork. A big thanks to Mrs. McConnell-Paul and the volunteers who upload all of the pieces at Falls-Lenox!

    • Jim
      May 13, 2010 at 7:43 am

      Linda, I agree. my son is in Freshman Photography, and it’s cool seeing his work on the website.

  10. MJion
    May 12, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I want to thank the OF Board of Education for their consideration in reinstating the busing for the OFHS in the fall. I can breathe a sigh of relief at knowing that I don’t have to worry about transportation next year as it was a migraine headache this year for me! As a single mother who works 45+ hours a week this upcoming school year will be welcomed as I was fearing the reoccurring call or text from my daughter that she didn’t have a ride home or this one is sick and not able to take her. I commend you all for coming through for us parents!! Thank you!

  11. turnip
    May 12, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    I actually started to cry when I read this. As a Grandma raising 3 grandkids I am already on a very limited budget.

    The current fuel costs took a toll on my bank account and the cost of driving my oldest to school was eating away at my grocery fund. Not only was I driving my own, I couldn’t stand to see a kid slogging down the road in the rain or snow if his/her parents were unable to drive them, so I took them home as well. I had already cut out fresh fruit and good meats. Dinner was often tomato soup, grilled cheese, or hamburgers and generic fries.

    I was spending more on fuel in my 18 year old, 4 cylinder car than I was paying for the tax I voted for.I mourn the loss of our teachers, language classes and more, but our kids have to make it to school for a basic education.
    Let’s hope we can rebuild the rest as time goes by.

    This decision gives me renewed confidence in our school board, and if it is within my means I would vote “yes” on future school levys.

  12. Crash
    May 13, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Although it may not affect me in the upcoming school year, I am pleased to see the school board reconsider on the High School Busing for next year. I realize that this may become a luxury for future years, but for credibility I believe it was the right thing to do. The people of Olmsted Falls/Township understand that some sacrifices have to be made for the bettering of our children and I applaud the efforts made to pass the levy originally. Paying more for school fees, sports, and clubs is just becoming the norm, so credibility goes a long way. Especially when we know an additional levy in a few years will have to be addressed. Thanks..

  13. Denise
    May 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I am elated, yet surprised of the quick decision to reinstate it. Is it possible to find out what changes were made to reinstate the Highschool busing for the fall?
    I qant to personally THANK each person who signed the petition to restore ALL k-12 busing-with over 300 signatures to date, it has been a very fulfilling moment for me to see people are willing to stand up for what they feel is right!
    I still plan to hand the signatures to the BOE, I feel they need to see the support all of you gave to such an important levy promise. Dr. Hoadley, more than one person has told me that it is just for this year……I hope that is not the case, since this levy was for at least 3 years. I know working together we can make the proper changes to keep this in place. If not, I don’t mind hitting the pavement again for signatures to keep it and have the support of a community that stands behind their vote. Again, A HUGE thank you to the BOE and the community for helping the children get back a SAFE and RELIABLE way to school-GREAT JOB!

  14. Stacy
    May 13, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    WOW! Can no one but Kim Cleary see the path ahead of us. When two years down the road, not three, we are asked to pass another levy because the STATE cuts 5 to 30% funding and all day kindergarten starts. Will all those who bashed the BOE and Mr. Hoadley condem them again for not keeping their promise of a three year levy? It will be one or the other (busing or three year levy) unless more is done at the STATE level. You can’t have your cake and eat it too when the STATE takes away the money unexpectedly. Look at Parma where they are cutting back this fall to STATE minimums and taking away choir, art and phys. Ed only to replace them with study halls for the children. My friends son will have Three study halls next year in 8th grade. I hope we never get that far. I’m glad the busing is back, but at what expense!

  15. Just a mom
    May 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    We are to embrace the possible hardship that is worse than now. Before any thoughts of busing for HS being cut, please consider scaling back liberal arts classes and extra curriculums; and please don’t tell me teachers cannot teach when there are more than 30 students in one class, how did you think the nuns did it? Most of us wanted to learn turn out well, I may say.

    This is not about we don’t see what’s coming – there are people out there voted for the busing to be passed in exchange for their struggling finance already. There are many other alternatives can be cut, reduced, delayed, before busing needs to be eliminated. When you have to be the one to take kids to school and making the living, you will not think too much about other stuff but the basic – getting your kids to schools safe and keep the family alive.

  16. Darleen Caraffi
    May 19, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Thank you for standing behind your promises.

  17. denise
    May 20, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Working together is what the BOE and the community needs to do-several bloggers have state very smart way to look into saving monies for the district. People have discussed to have no additional raises to staff-and maybe some clubs or even extra-curricular activities can be looked into, so we can save money….after all they are EXTRA activities. We have to remember parents and grandparents need all their children to get to school safely and reliably-in order for them to get to work and pay these additional taxes. I am curious to see what the attendance rate was when we had busing at the high school and what it was without buses. I would bet it dropped-children were left to walk in rain and cold and for long distances-others were put behind a wheel of a car before they should have been. I know of at lease two accidents this year with high school students-one involving a teacher and one a car pool of kids. I mean-come on….safety should always come first! We are a very smart community and have a great district—we can make this work.
    Write to your government-address your concerns of money being cut to the districts. Let your voices be heard. It takes one person to make a difference.

    • Jim
      May 21, 2010 at 5:56 am

      Just a reminder to everyone….”Extra Activities” can be the difference in getting accepted to the college of choice.

    • May 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm


      Thanks for your comment. There was no drop-off in HS student attendance this school year with the busing reductions.

      While I am sure many parents experienced difficulties without HS busing, the numerous car pools that were created proved to be another great example of the citizens of the Olmsted Community coming together for the good of all children.

  18. May 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


    • May 24, 2010 at 6:03 pm


      Thank you for your kind words. I am very happy the community has reacted in a positive manner to this blog. We have found this to be a great, and inexpensive way to keep the community informed on the many great things that happen on a daily basis at Olmsted Falls schools.

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