Home > Uncategorized > Parent Update – November 17, 2010

Parent Update – November 17, 2010

November 17, 2010

BOARD OF EDUCATION CONTINUES DISCUSSION OF STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

The Olmsted Falls Board of Education met this week, on Monday evening, and continued its discussion of future strategic priorities for our school district.  At this meeting, the Board of Education also received the verbatim comments shared by our community in the recent parent survey.  Additionally, our School Board scheduled a work session for Monday, November 29th at 7 PM to continue this discussion of future strategic priorities.  Future planning is a key to the continued success of any quality organization.  Identifying potential opportunities to build upon prior success is always important.

In 2012, 2.8 mills of prior approved millage is set to expire.  Specifically, bond millage that was approved decades ago by our community to build and maintain our District Facilities will be “paid off.”  As part of this strategic discussion, conversations have occurred as to how the District should move forward and respond to this 2.8 mill “drop-off.”

In the recent parent survey, several comments were submitted in regard to the current condition of the District’s High School.  Obviously, this 42 year old building has issues, both structural and cosmetic, that must soon be addressed.  Other District facilities, just like your own personal home, also have continual maintenance needs as well.

During the last levy campaign the District pledged that it would not seek additional operating revenue for a minimum of three years.  A lot of conversation has occurred as to how this “no new operating levy” pledge would be interpreted against a possible 2.8 mill facilities issue that would not increase the level of taxation.

Your input is very important to myself and the Board of Education.  I would encourage residents to submit comments to this blog, or email me directly with your thoughts on this important District matter.

DISTRICT BEGINS RELEASE OF PARENT SURVEY RESULTS

Thank you again to the more than 600 parents who participated in the recent on-line survey conducted by Olmsted Falls School District.  Results to each question will be posted on the District website, and will be accessible via the Blog as well.  Each question and its responses will be accessible as an individual PDF file.  We invite you to click on the links below to review responses to the rating scale format questions:

Question 7
Rating scale regarding importance of select educational program factors.

Question 8
Rating scale regarding level of emphasis for select areas of concentration.

A review of all narrative responses is currently underway to ensure no personally slanderous remarks or profanity are published.  It is the intention of Olmsted Falls School District to publish all submitted responses – redacting only mentions of personal names and/or profanity as needed.  All question responses will be posted by December 1, 2010.

Thank you again for this valuable input – receiving such in-depth feedback directly from the voice of our customer will be of great benefit as we move our District forward.

BULLDOGS ADVANCE TO REGIONAL FINAL FOOTBALL GAME AT BALDWIN-WALLACE THIS FRIDAY:  PRE-SALE TICKETS AVAILABLE

LET’S GO BULLDOGS!

Congratulations to our Bulldog football team for their win over Maumee High School in the Regional Semi-Finals last weekend.  Our Bulldogs advance to the Regional Final Game this Friday against Maple Heights High School.

The Regional Final Game will be played Finnie Stadium at Baldwin-Wallace College this Friday, November 19th at 7:30 p.m.

Students, parents and community members are invited to help give our Bulldog Football Team a spirited send-off as they depart this Friday afternoon for the Regional Final Game!  Team buses will depart Olmsted Falls High School between 5:00 – 5:15 p.m. and travel along Bagley Road toward Finnie Stadium at Baldwin-Wallace College (also located on Bagley Road in Berea).   Anyone interested in getting an early start to cheering on our Bulldogs is encouraged to be in place by 5:00 p.m.

Pre-Sale tickets will again be available at the high school office ONLY at the following times:

–Wednesday (11/17), Thursday (11/18) and Friday (11/19) from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

–Also Thursday (11/18) night from 6:00 to 8:00 pm

All pre-sale tickets are $7.00

–All tickets at the gate are $9.00

Please note:  No passes will be accepted for play-off games.  Everyone must have a ticket for play-off games.

OLMSTED FALLS VS. MAPLE HEIGHTS UP FOR REGIONAL FINALS GAME OF THE WEEK – VOTE TODAY!

Faculty, students, parents, alumni and community members are encouraged to go on-line TODAY and vote for Olmsted Falls. Votes can be cast until 5:00 p.m. TODAY at:

http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/community/youth-football/high-school-football.html

Each Game of the Week will be covered by Browns reporters with highlights appearing on www.ClevelandBrowns.com, as well as other Browns programming.

NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARS HONORED AT BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING

On Monday night, at the November meeting of the Olmsted Falls Board of Education, Board members honored nine Olmsted Falls High School students for their achievements in the National Merit Scholarship program.  Board members were joined by State Representative Matt Patten as these outstanding students were recognized in front of a crowd of family and friends.  OFHS Principal Dr. Bob Hill introduced each student individually as they were honored.  Congratulations to all!

Pictured Above:  Front row (L to R) –  Board Vice President Mr. Joe Bertrand, National Merit Semi-Finalists James Coury, Soumyajit Mazumder, and Michael Coury, and Board President Mr. Frank Pedicini.  Back row (L to R): – Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley, National Merit Commended students Benjamin Brown, Tatiana Faria, Michaela Killik, Natalie Brdar and Ethan Kocjan, OFHS Principal Dr. Robert Hill and State Representative Matt Patten.  Not pictured:  National Merit Commended student Nicholas Macek.

MIDDLE SCHOOL POSTS FIRST QUARTER ACADEMIC REVIEW LISTS

Congratulations to the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students at Olmsted Falls Middle School who have achieved Les Excellence (4.0), Honor Roll (3.5-3.999) and Merit Roll (3.0-3.499) status for the first quarter of this school year.  The Academic Review Lists (by grade) detailing this outstanding student achievement have been uploaded to the “Counselor’s Corner” page on the Middle School website.  Please click here for quick access to these lists.

Congratulations to all those students listed!

IMPORTANT HOLIDAY REMINDER:  NO SCHOOL NOVEMBER 24TH – 26TH

A reminder to all parents that Thanksgiving break begins next Wednesday, November 24th.  There will be NO SCHOOL Wednesday, November 24th through Friday, November 26th.  Additionally, because school is not in session on Wednesday, there will be no blog update next week.

Best wishes to all of our Bulldog students, staff and families for a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.  School will resume on Monday, November 29th.

LATEST SCHOOL REPORT AVAILABLE ON-LINE

Keeping our greater community informed is an important priority for the Olmsted Falls School District.  To that end, as you are likely already aware, Olmsted Falls School District publishes a regular newsletter which is mailed to all residents in the Olmsted Falls School District community.  The Fall 2010 issue of Our School Report has just been delivered to the printer, and will arrive in all residences and businesses shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday.  If you are interested in an advanced look at this latest School Report, we invite you to click here to download an electronic version.  If you are an avid reader of this blog, you will likely recognize many of the stories.  We look forward to sharing all of this District news with the community at large.

SUCCESS CONTINUES FOR OFHS ACADEMIC TEAM

On Saturday, November 13th, the OFHS Academic Team competed in the Parkersburg Catholic NAQT Qualifier Tournament in Parkersburg, WVA.  The A-Team placed 1st overall and the B-Team placed in a tie for 5th overall.  Thirty-six teams competed in the Swiss-pairs matched NAQT tournament, consisting of teams from Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

The OFHS A-Team posted a record of 6-0 on the day which included a tough match against Northmont (Ohio) and a championship match against Parkersburg (WVA).  The OFHS B-Team posted a 4-1 record on the day with their only loss coming to Northmont (OH).

COMMUNITY TRAFFIC ALERT

Please be aware that Columbia Road will be closed at Bronson Street effective Monday, November 8th at 6:30 a.m. for a duration of two weeks.  Please watch construction signage for any additional / updated information during this time.

SIGN UP FOR WINTER BASKETBALL PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES 1 – 3

Please be aware that tomorrow, November 18 is the deadline to register your child for our winter basketball program for students in grades 1 – 3.  Please click here for a copy of the registration form and for more information.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Kim Cleary
    November 17, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Would the school board put on a Bond Issue or would this be called a renewal? I think Renewal sounds better than Bond Issue. I think a lot of voters don’t know the difference between a Bond Issue and Operating Levy. I would be afraid that would think we went back on our promise and are asking for more money for the schools. Even though this WOULD NOT raise our taxes.

    • November 17, 2010 at 9:39 pm

      Kim, the term “renewal levy” has a legal definition and this 2.8 mill issue could not be classified as such.

      However, conceptually, this 2.8 mill issue would act the same as a renewal levy as a yes vote would not increase taxes.

      Your concern as to how the community would interpret (or misinterpret) another levy is very legitimate. Even a levy that would not increase taxes would take a strong campaign in order to achieve success.

  2. turnip
    November 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    (In 2012, 2.8 mills of prior approved millage is set to expire.)

    This is NOT a new tax that will be imposed, it is a current expense we are already paying. This is an expense that is needed to insure the safety of our buildings and our students. Safe buildings, security, quality teachers, programs, sports, music and more are vital tools my kids and grandkids need to build a life.

    I have no problem voting for renewal of this pre-existing tax. You must emphasize, make it clear to residents that this is not a “NEW” tax, but a continuation of a much needed, existing fund.

    I struggle with the monthly budget. Gas prices are unstable, I will have heating bills in the coming months, the holidays are looming, car insurance is due and we still have to eat. Money is tight, however I feel that if the three grandkids I am raising get a good education, a well rounded education, they will stand a better chance of having a better life than I.

    We are all our children have, it is up to us to guide them into adulthood with the best ammunition for a bright future.

  3. Steve
    November 17, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I would support a levy that does not increase taxes as long as the money gained would not be used for salary increases. I think everyone understands how necessary it is to maintain what we have already invested in.

    Just like I have to put money into my car and my house, I want our schools to be kept in good condition.

    2009 and 2010 have been very difficult years for my family and several of my neighbors. However, as long as this new levy would go for buildings and not salary increases, you have my support.

  4. Mike
    November 18, 2010 at 7:25 am

    A few years ago we voted for tax that was to be used for this very thing. However, we added on to the Middle School. In this addition another choir room was built, I guess one wasn’t enough. This tax was to be used to make improvements. I didn’t think it would have been used to build an extension to a school that seems big enough.

    The High School was in need of many repairs or improvements when this was passed, and nothing seems to have been done. The middle school has a newly repaved driveway, put in just before the school year started. The old seemed to be in good shape. If any thing the high school could have had this done as well. The high school would not turn on the heat until November, but the Office was had their heat going. I think an improvement long ago should have been the heating issue at the high school.

    So, will I vote for this or any new tax would be NO. We need to get problem solvers that can come up with ways to get it done without running to the votes every time a problem arises.

    This past election showed that voters are not passing school levies. Why is this? Just like I have to deal with is home repairs, I have to budget and fine away to fund the repairs, pay the bills, put food on the table, pay the insurance, etc.. Get creative and fine another way, this could help all of us.

    • November 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm

      Mike, thank you for your comments. There are a couple of items that I would like to clarify so as to better allow you (and others) to understand why this discussion is occurring at this time.

      In November 2007, a 2 mill permanent improvement (PI) levy was placed on the ballot for consideration by our community. This PI levy would have given the District a dedicated revenue stream for the upkeep of our buildings. Unfortunately, this levy was voted down.

      That failed 2 mill PI levy was then followed up with a 2 mill bond issue in the spring of 2008. This 2 mill bond issue was dedicated to the construction of a new Intermediate School.

      This 2 mill bond issue was approved by the voters of the Olmsted community and a new Intermediate School has been constructed. This facility was completed on-time and on-budget and it opened its doors to students in August 2009.

      After this 2 mill bond issue was passed, the district administrators applied for participation in a new program being offered by the Ohio School Facility Commisssion’s (OSFC) This program is called the Exceptional Needs Program. District officials applied for participation in this program based upon the overcrowding situation that was present in our facilities.

      District administrators spent several months working with the OSFC and we were ultimately approved to participate in this Exceptional Needs Program. We feel very fortunate, and also very proud that we were able to secure $7.7 million of additional revenue dedicated for school construction.

      During the application process for the Exceptional Needs Program, all school facilities were examined by the OSFC. During this review process it was determined, by the OSFC, that the Middle School was the only facility that was eligible for the Exceptional Needs Program. This was the case because the Middle School had originally been constructed as part of a previously offered State Construction Program and that facility already had a 0.5 mill maintenance fund established (which was a pre-requisite for participation by the OSFC).

      As such, the District had the choice to either accept $7.7 million in state funding, and use the money to renovate and expand the Middle School (which the District had already outgrown and we were using trailers as classrooms), or turn down the $7.7 million and allow it to be utilized by another school district.

      Again, just to reiterate, the District did not have the option to use the $7.7 million to renovate and add onto Olmsted Falls High School. The only choice was to use the money on the Middle School or return the money to the OSFC.

      As you noted in your comment, our High School is in need of both renovations and repairs. It is a 42 year old building and while the District has worked diligently to maintain this facility, any 42 year old structure requires continual upkeep.

      Finally, some may question the rationale for a capital issue at this time. However, this discussion is occurring only because 2.8 mills of bond debt, which was approved by our community decades ago, will be completely paid off in 2012. As such, a 2.8 mill capital campaign in 2011, would not increase taxes on district residents and it would provide the District with a dedicated revenue source to maintain the investment the community has already made in school facilities.

  5. Janet
    November 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I would vote 100% for a renewal. We have the best school system and need to support it! As long as people know it’s not going to raise their taxes, it shouldn’t be a problem.

  6. bulldog parent
    November 19, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Maybe you should consider only advertising this renewal to district parents and put it up during a slower voting time. It might be easier to explain the “no tax increase” to parents than to put it out there for the whole community and take the chance that less informed voters could twist the perception of what this levy truly represents.

  7. Falls Parent
    November 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Good Morning,
    While getting together with some of my neighbors, I was informed by second hand information that with all of the information that is being put out there about the financial state of the school district, that we the public do not necessarily have all of the information. I was told that all of the school administrators have their entire retirement picked up by the school district while every teacher has to pay a certain percentage of their salary towards their retirement. I am not exactly sure what these numbers are, but I was wondering if this was true, and if this is typical of administrators to not have to actually pay into their retirement?

    • December 1, 2010 at 1:18 pm

      Dear Falls Parent:

      Thank you for your question related to the differences in compensation packages between administrators and teachers. Transparency – especially as it relates to finances – is a top priority of the Olmsted Falls School District, and we are happy to be able to answer questions about District contracts with our administrators, certified teaching staff and/or classified staff.

      Regarding your specific question about retirement pick-up for Olmsted Falls School District administrators and teachers, the answer is yes. The Olmsted Falls School District does pick up the entire retirement percentage for District administrators. All employees of Olmsted Falls School District have 24% of their gross wages put toward the appropriate retirement program each pay period, with 10% paid by the employee and the remaining 14% paid by (the Olmsted Falls School District). For District administrators, the employee share is picked up by the District.

      To answer your second question, this practice is very typical and almost universal across public schools in the State of Ohio. For any given job, a set of compensation and benefits is agreed upon. When a prospective administrator is contemplating accepting the increased responsibilities associated with the position, an entire compensation and benefit package is reviewed. The total pick-up of administrators’ retirement contribution has been in place in the Olmsted Falls School District since 1984. This element of an administrative contract allows school districts, like Olmsted Falls, to attract and maintain top quality administrators.

      It should also be pointed out that there are many other differences in the compensation and benefit packages between administrators and teachers. It makes sense that different positions have different compensation arrangements. Number of days worked, length of work day, etc. are defined by the needs and responsibilities of a particular position.

      I hope this response clearly answers your questions, and that you will let me know if you have any additional questions on the topic. Thank you again for your question and the opportunity to respond directly.

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