Home > Uncategorized > Parent Update – September 29, 2010

Parent Update – September 29, 2010

September 29, 2010

BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS DISCUSS FUTURE DIRECTION OF DISTRICT

The Olmsted Falls Board of Education has embarked on a series of discussions, during regular meetings as well as special work sessions, to take a strategic look at where the District is on a number of different levels (i.e., educational programming, financial stability, facilities).  The Board’s strategic planning process ultimately seeks to establish a clearer picture of where the District would like to be in one year, three years, five years and ten years.  With the completion of the new construction, and the passage of the operating levy, it could be tempting to sit back for a year and just recover from the flurry of activity.   We commend our Board of Education for taking a proactive approach to our District’s future.                     

As part of this process, the Board will also be seeking input from staff, parents and community members.  Please watch the blog for announcements regarding an upcoming on-line survey opportunity.                  

 CONGRATULATIONS TO NATIONAL MERIT COMMENDED STUDENTS         

In addition to the three National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists announced last week, Olmsted Falls High School is proud to report that six more students have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program. Seniors Natalie Brdar, Ben Brown, Tatiana Faria, Michaela Killik, Ethan Kocjan, and Nick Macek have been named National Merit Commended Students and are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the qualifying test used for program entry. 

These National Merit Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2011 competition by taking the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).   

Congratulations to these six outstanding students!  (Pictured alphabetically left to right, top to bottom, by last name.)

 
 
 

  

    

      

    
 
 
 
 
 
OLMSTED FALLS HIGH SCHOOL ADJUSTS BELL SCHEDULE

Based on feedback received from students during a recent principal/student luncheon event, the High School is going to make a 3 minute change to the HS bell schedule.

The new bell schedule will begin on Monday, October 4th as follows

  • Beginning on Monday, October 4, first period will begin at 7:37 a.m and will run for 46 minutes.  (3 minutes earlier than the current time; students are already in the building at this time.)  
  • Second period will begin at 8:27 a.m. and will run for 49 minutes to provide an additional three minutes for announcements at the beginning of second period.
  • We originally stated that announcements would take place at the end of second period, but after reading comments and discussing this, the announcements will begin promptly at 8:27 a.m.
  • Multiple announcements are being made to HS first and second period classes this week to inform them of the change.  There will also be reminders over the PA and a posting on the web page.
  • We will continue to have announcements on the screen in the cafeteria to serve as reminders and to allow information to be passed on to those students that might not have been present in the morning.
 
COACH BILL MCGRAIN REACHES MILESTONE WITH 100TH WIN  
 
Coach McGrain marked his 100th winning game as Middle School Football Coach last week as the Bulldogs took on Roehm Middle School.  Congratulations Coach McGrain! Coach McGrain also coaches the wrestling program at Olmsted Falls High School. 
 
 
Go Bulldogs!

 

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY TEAM TAKES FIRST PLACE OVERALL WINNING CHAMPIONSHIP AT VALLEY FORGE INVITATIONAL

Congratulations to the boys’ cross-country team on their championship at the Valley Forge Invitational this past Saturday!  In a very close race, the boys edged out four-time defending champion Normandy by just one point.  This marks the boys’ first title this season, and the first for Olmsted Falls boys’ teams in a few years!

OLMSTED CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CELEBRATES OPENING OF NEW OFFICE

The Olmsted Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the grand opening of its new office space this evening.  The Chamber’s new home is located within the Monin Insurance Company building on Bagley Road.  Click here  to read more about how this new Chamber headquarters will serve our local community.

OLMSTED FALLS PTA COUNCIL HOSTS MACY’S SHOP FOR A CAUSE EVENT – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16TH

The Olmsted Falls PTA Council is selling Shopping Passes for $5.00 for the Macy’s Shop For A Cause Event to help raise scholarship funds for graduating seniors.  Since 2006, Macy’s Shop For A Cause Event has partnered with non-profit organizations nationwide to raise more than $34 million for their ongoing charitable efforts. This is your chance to be part of this monumental event on Saturday, October 16, 2010.  Customers purchasing tickets benefit by receiving incredible store-wide shopping savings all day on October 16, 2010.  Macy’s will also host special events, prizes and other in-store excitement.  Plus, you can enter to win a $500 Macy’s Gift Card.  Click here for flyer with additional details.  For more information or to purchase a pass, please contact Kim Cleary (cleary101@sbcglobal.net).  

LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT BOOKS AVAILABLE THROUGH FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1ST

The Falls-Lenox/ECC PTA will be selling Entertainment Books this year.  If you would like to buy an Entertainment Book, please contact a Falls-Lenox or ECC student that you know.  Or you can stop in at the Olmsted Falls Board office to purchase one.  The price is $30.00.  Checks can be made out to Falls-Lenox PTA.  Thanks for your support!                       

UPCOMING EVENTS:                           

Olmsted Falls Youth Coaches Clinic – October 23, 2010 – Olmsted Falls Head Basketball Coach Chris DeLisio is offering a “Youth Coaches Clinic” targeted to area basketball coaches.  Please click here to download flyer with further information.

 
Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Tina
    September 29, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Do the Entertainment Books from Falls-Lenox students that weren’t bought get brought back to school tomorrow?

  2. September 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    What is the district’s take on the latest K-12 STEM Education Report [aka Prepare and Inspire]?

  3. Linda Parkowski
    September 29, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Yes, any unsold Entertainment Books should be brought back to either Falls-Lenox or the ECC. If the books could be returned by Friday, October 1st that would be great. Thank you!

  4. Just a mom
    September 30, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Reg. fund raising strategy – it’s always easier to sell five candy cars at @$1/ea than one big tub of chocolate stuff at @$15/tub…. based on this, I’d like to suggest schools look into some healthy things for fund raising strategies. I am mostly turned off with the catalogs kids bring home that sell expensive and small quantity of goods; it is quite embarrassing to even push them off to relatives and friends for support. I know it is fund raising but if the prices are so high, the return will be less than minimal especially when the economy is now more challenging than ever. Please consider. Thanks.

    • Just a Mom
      October 4, 2010 at 7:11 am

      I meant to say candy bars…sorry about the fat fingers.

  5. Just a mom
    September 30, 2010 at 5:05 am

    I also would like to financial forecast for the next year or two – I know there are many factors will be influencing the accuracy but with a conservative projection, it will give parents and people in this town a better financial picture of what we are facing. Thanks.

    • September 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm

      Thank you for your question about district finances. It is obviously a tough time, economic-wise, for our country, region and community. As a school we face the same difficulties.

      Presently, we are working on an update to our 5 year financial forecast. By law, our Board of Education must approve an updated 5 year financial forecast in October and May. Here is a link to the OFCS website, which displays the District’s 5 year forecast that was last approved (May 2010): http://www.ofcs.net/docs/May%202010%20-%20Five-Year%20Forecast%20with%20Assumptions.pdf

      Obviously, a lot has changed since May and right now, our biggest fear are impending state budget cuts that we continue to be told by our elected officials are on the horizon. If you look at the 5 year forecast, please look at line 1.035, which identifies our state aid. As you will see, about 1/3 of our operating budget comes from state tax dollars.

      During the month of October, our Board of Education will conduct a work session on October 7th and a regular meeting on October 20th. Each of these meetings are open to the public. Please check our district website for times and locations. At the work session, a main topic of discussion will be the assumptions that we use to create the District’s 5 Year financial forecast. This document will be approved by the Board of Education on October 20.

      As always, in our effort to maintain transparency, this document will be posted to our district website. We will also create a blog article on this topic and provide a direct link.

      Thank you again for your question and thank you for your support of the Olmsted Falls school system.

  6. Dr. Jim Lloyd, Asst. Supt.
    September 30, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Dr. Naegele…good question! The STEM Report to the President was just released in September. I have not read the entire report, but listed below are the recommendations contained in its Executive Summary. I have provided my “take” on each recommendation.

    RECOMMENDATIONS
    (1) STANDARDS: SUPPORT THE CURRENT STATE-LED MOVEMENT FOR SHARED STANDARDS IN MATH AND SCIENCE
    The Federal Government should vigorously support the state-led effort to develop common standards in STEM subjects, by providing financial and technical support to states for (i) rigorous, high-quality professional development aligned with shared standards, and (ii) the development, evaluation, administration, and ongoing improvement of assessments aligned to those standards.
    The standards and assessments should reflect the mix of factual knowledge, conceptual understanding, procedural skills, and habits of thought described in recent studies by the National Research Council.

    Dr. Lloyd’s Take–How could you disagree with this recommendation? The “owness” is on the Feds and individual states to stimulate and support this movement. Ohio’s $400 million Race to the Top (RttT) funds will support this effort. Those districts that received individual allocations for RttT will likely use these dollars to support this work.

    (2) TEACHERS: RECRUIT AND TRAIN 100,000 GREAT STEM TEACHERS OVER THE NEXT DECADE WHO ARE ABLE TO PREPARE AND INSPIRE STUDENTS
    The most important factor in ensuring excellence is great STEM teachers, with both deep content knowledge in STEM subjects and mastery of the pedagogical skills required to teach these subjects well.
    The Federal Government should set a goal of ensuring over the next decade the recruitment, preparation, and induction support of at least 100,000 new STEM middle and high school teachers who have strong majors in STEM fields and strong content-specific pedagogical preparation, by providing vigorous support for programs designed to produce such teachers.

    Dr. Lloyd’s Take–Again…this certainly makes sense. It will be important to our country to develop a large cadre of teachers to support this work at the National, State and Local levels.
    ix
    (3) TEACHERS: RECOGNIZE AND REWARD THE TOP 5 PERCENT OF THE NATION’S STEM TEACHERS, BY CREATING A STEM MASTER TEACHERS CORPS
    Attracting and retaining great STEM teachers requires recognizing and rewarding excellence.
    The Federal Government should support the creation of a national STEM Master Teachers Corps that recognizes, rewards, and engages the best STEM teachers and elevates the status of the profession. It should recognize the top 5 percent of all STEM teachers in the Nation, and Corps members should receive significant salary supplements as well as funds to support activities in their schools and districts.

    Dr. Lloyd’s Take–How this works itself out may very well be contingent upon which states are collective bargaining states and which are not. If there is a shortage of expertise in a particular field of study, it follows that there would be a National effort to try and address the shortage. Incentives such as additional pay is one such incentive. There are many others as well. Relief on student loan repayment might very well be another.

    (4) EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY: USE TECHNOLOGY TO DRIVE INNOVATION, BY CREATING AN ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY FOR EDUCATION
    Information and computation technology can be a powerful driving force for innovation in education, by improving the quality of instructional materials available to teachers and students, aiding in the development of high-quality assessments that capture student learning, and accelerating the collection and use of data to provide rich feedback to students, teachers, and schools. Moreover, technology has been advancing rapidly to the point that it can soon play a transformative role in education.
    Realizing the benefits of technology for K-12 education, however, will require active investments in research and development to create broadly useful technology platforms and well-designed and validated examples of comprehensive, integrated “deeply digital” instructional materials.
    The Federal Government should create a mission-driven, advanced research projects agency for education (ARPA-ED) housed either in the Department of Education, in the National Science Foundation, or as a joint entity. It should have a mission-driven culture, visionary leadership, and draw on the strengths of both agencies. ARPA-ED should propel and support (i) the development of innovative technologies and technology platforms for learning, teaching, and assessment across all subjects and ages, and (ii) the development of effective, integrated, whole-course materials for STEM education.

    Dr. Lloyd’s Take–Technology will be a critical tool in helping students meet high educational standards. SmartBoards are certainly one such way to do this, but there are many more. Technology and the teaching of it can’t be something that simply exists in a lab. It must be integrated and embedded within the curriculum in order for students to harness its true power. In the commission’s recommendations in this section they talk about capturing student learning. That statement means summative assessment data to me. There is no doubt that more sophisticated data management tools are needed in order to help educators extrapolate meaning from data that is meant to report on student learning. It can’t stop here though and, in fact, it shouldn’t start here. Our district has been a leader in Ohio with formative assessment techniques and strategies. More advanced technologies can greatly assist students and teachers by providing feedback to both groups as to where they are in their learning in relationship to where they need to be. Student response systems are one such technology http://www.irespond.com/?gclid=CPKd_sfpr6QCFSVL5wodZ10E1A

    (5) STUDENTS: CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR INSPIRATION THROUGH INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP EXPERIENCES OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
    STEM education is most successful when students develop personal connections with the ideas and excitement of STEM fields. This can occur not only in the classroom but also through individualized and group experiences outside the classroom and through advanced courses.

    Dr. Lloyd’s Take: We are fortunate in Olmsted Falls in that we have 2 recently created STEM Programs. Through our partnership with Polaris Career Center and at 0 cost to the district, we have a Biomedical Science Program and a Pre-Engineering Program. Both programs offer rigorous, project-based experiences to students that not only give them insight and practice into STEM careers, but provide them with college credit during high school.

    The Federal Government should develop a coordinated initiative, which we call INSPIRE, to support the development of a wide range of high-quality STEM-based after-school and extended day activities (such as STEM contests, fabrication laboratories, summer and afterschool programs, and similar activities). The program should span disparate efforts of science mission agencies and after-school programs supported through the Department of Education funding.

    (6) SCHOOLS: CREATE 1,000 NEW STEM-FOCUSED SCHOOLS OVER THE NEXT DECADE
    STEM-focused schools represent a unique National resource, both through their direct impact on students and as laboratories for experimenting with innovative approaches. The Nation currently has only about 100 STEM-focused schools, concentrated at the high school level.
    x
    The Federal Government should promote the creation of at least 200 new highly-STEM-focused high schools and 800 STEM-focused elementary and middle schools over the next decade, including many serving minority and high-poverty communities. In addition, the Federal Government should take steps to ensure that all schools and schools systems have access to relevant STEM-expertise.

    Dr. Lloyd’s Take: The Common Core Standards movement has created a set of National Standards in English-Language Arts and Mathematics. Ohio is revising its standards in Science and Social Studies as well. The question here will be whether or not the Feds feel you can “have your cake and eat it to.” Do STEM schools have an equal emphasis on reading and writing in order to develop literate students who write well? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’m sure we could find it out.

    (7) ENSURE STRONG AND STRATEGIC NATIONAL LEADERSHIP
    Stronger leadership, coherent strategy and greater coordination are essential to support innovation in K-12 STEM education. Toward this end, the Federal Government should (i) create new mechanisms, with substantially increased capacity, to provide leadership within each of the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation; (ii) establish a high-level partnership between these agencies; (iii) establish a standing Committee on STEM Education within the National Science and Technology Council responsible for creating a Federal STEM education strategy; and (iv) establish an independent Presidential Commission on STEM Education, in conjunction with the National Governors Association, to promote and monitor progress toward improving STEM education.

    Final Take: STEM Programs and initiatives are important to our Nation’s future. More importantly, schools must be provided adequate resources to do the things that we have been charged to do. Resources extend beyond money. In order to more effectively and efficiently integrate technology into teaching and learning, educators must be able to learn and practice these skills. Such an endeavor takes time. Educating children has always been a responsibility of each state. No Child Left Behind, the National Standards Movement coupled with the STEM report as outlined here shows evidence that the Federal Government is assuming a more active role in public education.

    • October 1, 2010 at 8:14 am

      I think what’s most interesting in the report is that there is no actual detailed budget analysis. If all areas were to receive full funding, the cost would be about $1B per year.

      Maybe some of the cost can be absorbed with the existing funding of current programs, but the additional cost [as was suggested by PCAST itself] would have to come from private foundations and corporations, as well as from states and districts.

      But I’m not sure that I buy Lander’s analysis. Sure STEM is receiving a lot of bi-partisan support in congress, but do we really want to give the federal government a larger role what is supposed to be under the control of state and local government?

      Does the OFSD seriously think that, based on the performance of the recent-past programs, ARPA-ED can run and regulate effective programs better at their level then at local levels? I certainly don’t!

      • Dr. Jim Lloyd, Asst. Supt.
        October 12, 2010 at 5:39 am

        I agree with you Dr. Naegele. I think that we have the capacity to be able to run and regulate effective STEM programs locally. I think that this is another example of a commission making some recommendations for something that very well may not be able to be funded.

  7. Mary
    September 30, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Thank you to whoever is responsible for the installation of the lights on the grass area used by our high school marching band. When I picked up my son tonight after band practice, it was nice to see how quickly this problem was solved.

  8. Just a Mom
    October 1, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Reg. financial forecast report

    1. With the levy passed, we are expected to pay the increased tax in FY2010 – so currently projected to be $4,7mm. Do I understand it correctly that this fund will not be available for schools’ operating expenses until FY2012? If so, how does this “delay” impact the schools overall function especially in high school bussing?
    2. With all the projected increases on personal services (assuming this is the wages / salaries for the teachers and staff) – this is a guarantee by the tax payers to have apprx. 1.75% increase on average, for the increase. Is this a cross-the-board increase regardless the performance of the teachers/staff? Here is another often hushed question, if the city is not performing well financially, will teachers / staff take raise freeze like most private sectors?
    3. The health benefit is projected at 12% increase starting 2011 unless repeal of Obama care is in motion, I am certain the increase will not stay idle at 12%. There are also other coverages such as life, dental and vision (5%, 10% & 10%) increase respectively starting 2011 – I’d like to know what other options this can be modified for better quality and lower cost.
    4. Other expeses (supplies/materials/purchased services) – I am sure schools are looking into what competitive business partners they can work with to reduce costs. The question that bothers me for a long time is this: Parents are required to purchase school supplies from pencils to even the tissues and we are also required to pay school fees for each child. Will you please explain why we still pay out apprx $1mm for this category?
    5. The state published the salaries for teachers and staff also indicating that on average, OF PT teacher salary is around $56k. If we are all in this together, I cannot feel any warm and fuzzy feelings about this- I can tell you not too many pt positions now making that kind of money – again, this may be just my misread the report –

    I probably asked many dumb questions by browsing through the report from the link provided. Please help me understand how schools run their businesses and perhas we all can contribute to help run better and more effectively. Thanks.

    • October 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm

      Thanks for your questions, I will try to reply in order of the question asked:
      1. Yes, revenue from the 8.7 mill operating levy will not start to “flow” to the district until 1/1/11. As such, for only half of Fiscal Year 11 will the district receive this new tax revenue. This is why is it absolutely necessary that the district slowly return services that were cut over the two years of failed levy attempts.

      2. Regarding teacher and support staff salaries, there is a step scale that each year an employees moves to the next step. This gives the employee approximately a 2% increase in pay. This is often referred to as a step raise.
      While employees receive these increases during most years of employment, there are some years where there is no step scale, thus the net effect on the District is a salary increase of approximately 1.75% (which is reflected in the 5 year financial forecast).

      3. We have been fortunate to have single digit percent increases in health insurance the last few years. However, as you noted in your question, the new federal health care legislation will increase our costs. To date, we are unable to accurately gauge this exact increase but I am sure over the next year, as we all better understand the true ripple effects of the health care legislation, we will be able to better predict this increase of costs on the District’s financial budget.

      4. Two answers. First, parents are not charged for all supplies that are used in the classroom. Second, families who qualify for free lunch (approximately 17% of students) are not required to pay for school fees. As such, the district must cover these costs.

      5. Value is a difficult thing to gauge. The district is working with all of our employees to help them understand the economic conditions that the members of our community are facing and we are asking our employees to help stretch the recently passed operating levy by being prudent in our requests for future spending.

      Thanks again for your questions.

  9. Just a mom
    October 6, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you, Dr. Hoadley for answering most of my questions.
    Reg. 2 – I don’t believe you answered the key element of the question – my concerns are more about the raise “across the board” for all teachers “regardless their performance” than raise itself. Moreoever, recently I found that the high school band director, Mr. Edgar, who was arrested last year and resigned early this year is still on 2010 salary database according to the state accounting – for his annual base of $70k+. My point is this, we all have to look around more these days and get a clear picture what our true financial situations are and tackle what can be scaled back, eliminated, reduced, in order to be ready for more rainy days to come. If the database shown on the state accounting for teacher salary is correct, and the accumulative benefit package increase remain true, you are asking the taxpayers continue to fork out for this sort of continue fund – as a parent, and as a taxpayer (and believe me, less and less of us left because of the unemployment rate), I am asking,on many working parents’ behalf, for schools to consider teachers’ pay raise, pay scales, benefit package, etc. I do hope that state can confirm if the salary for Mr. Edgar is not true – this kind of irresponsible accounting is not what we wish to see either schools conduct or state make a “oops” in public accounting statement.

    Reg. Q4. I understand in order for my children to be accepted to go to the schools here in Olmsted Falls, I will somehow establish a verifiable residence here either in the Falls or Township. I am grateful that my children are not eligible for free lunches and other benefit so that more people who REALLY need them can benefit from these. What I don’t understand is when in the beginning of school year, when I reviewed school packages kids brought home, that the free lunches are offered to the “run-aways” and do not require US citizenship. Please explain why such expansion to subsidize these two categories? Do the school fees waiver also available to the above? I know by asking these questions I might be viewed as uncharitable, I am concerned about the state of our city economy and how we can continue extend such inclusive “freebies” – the bottomline is, this expense will eventually be our backs to carry either out of property tax or on the state income tax level. Perhaps there are more to above “qualifications” than what they mean on the surface – will you elaborate? And what percentage of the $1.1 mm is tendered for such?

    Reg. Q5: From the bottom of my heart, I applaude the hardworking teachers in schools and they have my deepest respect. Somehow, there should be a quantifiable QM for teachers’ compensation (referred also back to Q2 for raise increase). Teachers are teachers because they love what they do, monetary compensation should not be the reasons to attract good teachers even though it is a good way to do so. However, if you are trying to vonvince paretns that the only way we can get quality teachers because of high salary or they won’t come then we must ask these teachers if they really want to teach??! I certainly hope that teachers in our schools here are more passionate about teaching than the attractive compensation packages this town is offering, after all, if that untrue, when the town dries up, teachers will go as well.

    I appreciate your taking time to read and reply – I apologize for this somewhat rambling posting – I am one of those parents just got off work not long ago.
    Thanks

    • October 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm

      Thank you again for your questions. I appreciate your time in posting these questions as I am sure other residents have the same questions and concerns.

      Regarding Q2, the teacher you referenced resigned his position with the school in January 2009 and is not on the school payroll. The database you are searching must be providing you with information from the 2008-2009 school year. This would be considered Fiscal year 2009.

      Regarding Q4, the free and reduced lunch requirements are governed by both state and federal law. As a District, this is what we must follow. Persons who qualify for free lunches also qualify for a waiver of class / instructional fees. Again, this is state and federal law. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program. Since the district receives federal funding we are required to follow the regulations developed by federal and state elected officials. There are limitations to which non-citizens can receive SNAP benefits. This link may be helpful: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/faqs.htm

      In the end, the District does understand, and greatly respect, the severe sacrifice that Olmsted residents made by approving the 8.7 mill operating levy in February 2010. It is imperative that all districts employees work to control spending so as to stretch this operating levy for as long as possible.

      I applaud our Districts administrators who have taken accepted another year (two years in a row) of a true wage freeze (Note: administrators do not have step raises as previously discussed) so their current salaries are the same as the salaries they received in the 2008-2009 school year.

  10. colleen
    October 7, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Where is the district in terms of all day kindergarten.

  11. CC
    October 8, 2010 at 5:34 am

    I am hearing through the grapevine that the district will not offer all day kindergarten in the 2011/2012 school year… if this is true, can you explain how the district is able to sidestep state law?

    • October 8, 2010 at 6:46 am

      There’s a waiver districts can apply for. It can be renewed for ’11-’12 as well. A lot of schools are doing it due to budget constraints.

      I hope OFSD applies for the waiver if the budget cannot take the additional costs!

      http://education.ohio.gov/GD/Templates/Pages/ODE/ODEDetail.aspx?page=3&TopicRelationID=778&ContentID=78128&Content=81170

      • CC
        October 8, 2010 at 10:02 am

        With all due respect… there are many families in OF that may be willing to engage in a dialogue on how to make this work.
        1- Has anybody polled dual-working families to determine their needs?
        2- What is the percentage of existing families in OFSD that are paying for all day care today or for alternative care for their children who goto 1/2day?
        3- Has anybody evaluated the psychological impact on the increasing number of children who are in all day care since infancy when going to a less structured day?
        Another waiver will only drive financially strong tax-paying families away from OFSD and towards other districts that are embracing this new law… is this really what we want for our community?

    • October 8, 2010 at 9:56 am

      Thank you for your questions about all-day Kindergarten (ADK). I am very well aware of the small community rumor mill and I thank you for taking the time to submit your question so that you can receive accurate information directly from District officials. That is one of the main purposes of this blog and again, I thank you for submitting this question.

      It has been the district’s quest to offer an ADK program for parents who desire this option for the past 4 years.

      Four years ago, the district did not have space to offer any type of ADK program. However, knowing that a bond issue had been passed and additional classroom space at the ECC would become available, the district starting moving forward with its plans to offer ADK.

      At that time, the model that the district was working toward was implementing an ADK program, that would contain an additional fee for parents who desired to have their children receive these extra educational services. Note: this is a model that is utilized by several neighboring school districts.

      However, about two years ago, Governor Strickland and the state legislature changed several laws regarding the operation of schools. (Often referred to as House Bill 1). These laws mandated that districts offer a free ADK program.

      This law (HB1) also allows districts to apply for a waiver to delay implementation of this ADK requirement. For the 2010-2011 school year, Olmsted Falls City Schools applied for, and received this waiver.

      Please note that while HB1 mandates the implementation of ADK, no additional $$ from the state was provided to help local school districts with implementation. In fact, with the economic crisis facing our state, our amount of state aid actually was reduced.

      As such, ADK is an unfunded mandate and it is expected that local school districts find the necessary funds, either by utilizing the $$ in their existing budget or by asking taxpayers to approve additional millage.

      The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has been stating to school districts that it will not approve waivers for the 2011-2012 school year. However, nothing in House Bill 1 precludes ODE from granting waivers for the 2011-2012 school year.

      The Olmsted Falls school district has calculated that, at a minimum, implementing ADK would increase district expenses by $300,000. Additionally, this expense would grow, on and annual basis by around 3%.

      With school funding so uncertain and further budget cuts being predicted at the state level in the next biennium budget (which begins 7/1/11), I am personally fearful that implementing ADK will not allow the District to maintain its pledge to make the recently passed operating levy last 3 school years.

      There are other options, rather than adding six additional teachers, the district could simply move currently employed teachers out of their present teaching assignment to teach kindergarten. This would reduce the number of sections offered at grades 1 – 8, which would further increase class sizes at those levels.

      Another option would be to reduce / eliminate educational elective courses currently being offered at the MS and HS and redirect the $$ from those programs to hire teachers for ADK.

      It is my belief that neither of those two options are beneficial for our total educational program.

      There is a political component to this as well. Many sections of HB 1 may change depending on who is elected Governor in November. HB1 is the educational vision of Governor Strickland and ADK is one of his main platforms. If he is not re-elected, the ADK requirement will likely be stricken from this law.

      Finally, please note that all of what I have written above is based upon the present and perceived future condition of district finances. I consider myself a strong proponent of early childhood education and ultimately would love to see OFCS offer ADK.

      However, I also consider myself a realist, and if the implementation of ADK requires a degradation of other parts of our educational program, then I feel it is best to wait until other funding options become available.

  12. Just a Mom
    October 8, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Thank you for your reply, Dr. Hoadley – I appreciate your quick response and open communication with the parents.

    • October 8, 2010 at 10:13 am

      Thank you for your kind words. Please note that all district administrators have been set up to answer questions on this blog.

      Should any resident have a question about district operations, please submit your question / comment and the appropriate school administrator will respond.

      It is a fundamental value of Olmsted Falls City schools that we operate with full transparency.

  13. Just a Mom
    October 8, 2010 at 7:17 am

    So is the 1.75% – 2% raise for the teachers are ajusted according performance, or not?

    • October 8, 2010 at 10:10 am

      No, the step raise is simply granted for another year of employment with the district.

      Pay for performance is a part of several educational initiatives, and will likely become, in the future, a part of all school districts compensation package. However, at this time, the only components that effect a teacher’s pay is their number of years working in education and the amount of education they have obtained.

  14. October 8, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Th

    CC :
    With all due respect… there are many families in OF that may be willing to engage in a dialogue on how to make this work.
    1- Has anybody polled dual-working families to determine their needs?
    2- What is the percentage of existing families in OFSD that are paying for all day care today or for alternative care for their children who goto 1/2day?
    3- Has anybody evaluated the psychological impact on the increasing number of children who are in all day care since infancy when going to a less structured day?
    Another waiver will only drive financially strong tax-paying families away from OFSD and towards other districts that are embracing this new law… is this really what we want for our community?

    I think you should read Dr. Hoadley’s response.

    As far as any “psychological impact” goes, research has shown that children who are enrolled in a pre-school are more socially and intellectually developed than children in home care [for example, see Clarke-Stewart, “A Home Is Not a School: The Effects of Child Care on Children’s Development”, Journal of Social Issues Volume 47, Issue 2, pages 105–123, Summer 1991]. This does vary by the quality of the day-care facility and there will be exceptions and individual differences, but in a general sense, it has a positive impact over home care.

    In any case, the district isn’t “side-stepping the law” as you suggested above. As evidenced in Dr. Hoadly’s post, they are proceeding cautiously and with great care and consideration. In my opinion, that is one of the reasons that our district has been able to maintain a record of excellence for over a decade; the care and dedication of the administration, faculty and staff.

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