Home > Uncategorized > Parent Update – December 8, 2010

Parent Update – December 8, 2010

December 8, 2010


All schools in the Olmsted Falls School District will be closed due to inclement weather conditions on Monday, December 13th.


The Olmsted Falls Board of Education held another work session last week to continue strategic discussions regarding the District’s future.  Board members reviewed a summary of results from the recent parent survey, and also delved deeper into the 2.8 mill drop-off scheduled to occur in 2012.  As reported previously here on the District blog, this drop-off presents an opportunity for a capital issue that would not raise taxes.

The School Board is considering some type of capital issue for the May 2011 ballot, and will continue with their discussion to determine the best solution to maximize benefit for both our District and our taxpayers.  As all of our residents are hopefully already aware, the Board of Education pledged to make the February 2010 operating levy last for a minimum of three years.  Please note that any tax issue put on the ballot in 2011 would not be a tax issue to support District operations, but rather an issue to maintain a funding stream that would be dedicated to facilities, materials and maintenance needs.

Input on this topic has also been received from a number of parents involved with our recent operating levy campaigns.  A capital issue that would not raise taxes for our residents is something that many would be receptive to and willing to support.  Several have noted that, in this current economy, a “no new tax” issue that would maintain funds to protect our community’s investment in our school facilities would likely make sense to voters – as they face the same maintenance challenges with their own homes (i.e. roof replacement).

This discussion about the drop-off will continue at the next regular Board of Education meeting scheduled for December 15th.


Last week’s blog post included links to all responses from the recent on-line Parent Survey conducted by the Olmsted Falls School District.  Anyone who has taken the time to visit any of the links, quickly becomes aware of the large volume of information that is contained within them.  In an effort to consolidate the information into a more condensed format, a document summarizing the information – created through the use of an affinity diagram – is now available on the website.  Please click here if you have an interest in reviewing this information.

Every organization has room for improvement.  Olmsted Falls Schools is no exception.  Moreover, my own performance as superintendent can always improve and I appreciate the constructive feedback and the comments directed at my performance that were shared by members of the Olmsted community.

As written in this blog, over the past five months, the Board of Education, members of the Administration, and members of the Olmsted community, have spent several hours discussing possible strategic initiatives.  This “voice of the customer” feedback is an important component in good decision making and again, I appreciate the time spent by our parents who completed this survey.

Over the next several months and likely the next several years, this school district will face many strong challenges.  With the “hole” in the upcoming state budget, it is not just likely, but certain, that our District will encounter a reduction in the amount of funding we receive from the state level.  As these challenges occur, it will be important that the District react in the most productive way possible, and again, knowing what our community values, and knowing what our community expects to be improved, will allow us to focus upon the items necessary to build upon our tradition of excellence.


The Olmsted Falls Alumni Association hosted its annual holiday luncheon for retired bulldog staff members this past Monday at Falls-Lenox.  More than 50 retired bulldogs were in attendance at this popular event, sponsored by the Olmsted Falls Board of Education. 

Retired staff in attendance enjoyed a hot lunch served expertly by Mr. Ryan’s OWA students from OFHS. Guests were also treated to a special preview of an upcoming Christmas concert performance by the 3rd grade students.

To view additional photos from the 2010 Retired Staff Holiday Luncheon, please click here.


Six Olmsted Falls High School students from art teacher Mrs. Mariel Krakowiak’s class have been working diligently since the beginning of the school year to create special bulldog murals at both the Early Childhood Center and the Intermediate School.

ECC Mural Artists: Amanda Grueber and Aimee Jarboe

Thanks to the talents of students Amanda Grueber and Aimee Jarboe, three adorable bulldog puppies now adorn the wall just inside the entrance of the Early Childhood Center.

These playful pups are a perfect fit for our preschool and kindergarten students who began attending school in the Early Childhood Center at the start of last school year.

OFIS Mural Artists: Kit John, Sean Hirsch, Tori Alai and Christy Otonoga

At the new Intermediate School, art students Kit John, Sean Hirsch, Tori Alai and Christy Otonoga spent months creating an oversized bulldog that now greets all visitors to the building’s main office.

In addition to this big and friendly canine, these students also painted a trail of classic bulldog paw prints along the office hallway.

Be sure to admire these two outstanding works of art next time you find yourself in either of these two buildings – or make a special trip just to see them.  Both are well worth the visit!

New bulldog mural at ECC

New bulldog mural at OFIS


Beginning in September, Olmsted Falls High School Principal, Dr. Bob Hill, began a series of lunches which brings together students and building administrators to discuss building issues and events. These lunches are held monthly and alternate between a group of freshmen and sophomore students, and a group of junior and senior students. Students are selected by counselors to represent a broad cross-section of the student population.

Different students are invited each month, and a pizza lunch is provided by Dr. Hill. Assistant principals and school counselors sit in as well. Both students and administrators bring items to the agenda for each meeting. The first lunch of the year resulted in an adjustment to the High School bell schedule to better meet the needs of the students.


Olmsted Falls Middle School is up for the Fox 8 News “Cool School of the Week!”  Parents, students and staff are encouraged to help make our Middle School the next “Cool School of the Week” by voting today. Voting is taking place on-line now at: http://www.fox8.com/news/education/coolschools/


Congratulations fundraising grand prize winner Kyle Kruichuk!

A big thanks to all of the family, friends, and neighbors who bought Entertainment Books and Sally Foster gift cards from the students at Falls-Lenox and the ECC.  The fundraiser was very successful, raising over $20,000 for the F-L/ECC PTA.  The funds raised are used to send all K-3 students to Playhouse Square, provide the end of the school year field day, provide the 3rd grade graduation picnic day, support Right to Read Week, and provide the funding for Publishing Company, which laminates and binds students’ books and special projects (along with many other PTA events).

Congratulations to the winner of the grand prize, Kyle Kruichuk, a second grader.  Kyle will receive 2 tickets to be part of the Cleveland Cavaliers Fan Tunnel.  Also a big thanks to Kristie Patton and the volunteers for all of their hard work!  Once all of the prizes have been received, they will be distributed to the students.


Olmsted Falls Relay For Life Co-Chairs, Lisa Brady and Michelle LaGruth, were presented with an award for the Olmsted community at the 2010 Relay for Life Leadership Summit for the State of Ohio held November 19th in Columbus.  The American Cancer Society named The Relay For Life of Olmsted Ohio’s Largest Rookie Event of 2010.  The “Rookie” award goes to the largest NEW relay in the entire state of Ohio each year.

The Olmsted community rallied together last June and raised more than $112,000 for cancer research during its first-ever Relay for Life event.  This recognition is truly well deserved and appreciation is extended to every member of the Olmsted Relay for Life family for all the hard work and dedication.  Congratulations Olmsted Falls!

Relay for Life 2011 is scheduled for June 11& 12 at the OFHS Stadium.  If you are interested in participating in Relay For Life of Olmsted, please visit the website at www.relayforlife.org/olmstedfalls.


OFHS SWIM & DIVE BOOSTERS ANNUAL HONEY BAKED HAM SALE – Through This Saturday, December 11, 2010 – Order delicious Honey Baked Spiral Sliced Hams, Turkey Breasts, Boneless Hams, Combinations, Desserts, and Gift Certificates for your holiday entertaining.  Pick up your orders close to home and beat standing in line!  You pay the same price as in the actual stores – no mark up!  Support OFHS Swim & Dive Boosters and get your holiday HoneyBaked from us!  Click here for additional information and order form.

OLMSTED FALLS ATHLETIC BOOSTERS ANNUAL BULLDOG SPORTSWEAR HOLIDAY SALEThis Saturday, December 11th,  9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Olmsted Falls High School cafeteria.  Plan to make a big dent in your holiday shopping at the OFAB Bulldog Sportswear.  Tons of great items for mom, dad, kids, grandparents, and friends!  In addition to our wide selection of Bulldog clothing, there will be floor mats, flags, decals, stadium seats, ties, hats, two styles of earrings and much more. OF Cheerleaders will be on hand to wrap your gifts too!

OLMSTED TOWNSHIP PRESENTS:  “RAIN BARREL WORKSHOP” – Wednesday, December 15th, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Olmsted Falls Middle School Cafeteria – Learn how to harvest rain water for all your garden needs and to combat Storm Water Pollution in your community.  Click here for more information.

1ST ANNUAL OLMSTED FALLS BASEBALL HOLIDAY SKILLS CAMP FOR PLAYERS IN GRADES 3-8Wednesday, December 22nd & Thursday, December 23rd, from 2-5pm each day. The cost will be $30 for both days -OR- $20 for one day. Please click here for details and registration form. REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 15TH.

OFHS NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY ANNUAL POINSETTIA SALE – Through Friday, December 17th Click here for additional information and order form.

OLMSTED FALLS FIRE DEPARTMENT HOSTS COMMUNITY BLOOD DRIVEFriday, December 17th, 3 – 7 p.m. – Come to the Olmsted Falls Fire Department located at 9274 Columbia Road to donate blood this holiday season.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Daniel E.
    December 8, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    The Olmsted Falls School System is recognized throughout the state of Ohio for their academic excellence, athletic teams that are consistent champions, an educated and dedicated teaching staff and an administration working to be fiscally responsible with finances provided by the public. I am amazed that so many people do not have an understanding of issues regarding academic programs, the quality of staff and coaches ( held in high esteem by the way by competitive surrounding schools) and the many services ( cafeteria, custodial and support) that are provided everyday by people dedicated to the profession of shaping and educating children. Is there a process that is used to correct misinformation regarding the school system on the survey?

    • December 10, 2010 at 6:09 am

      Dan, thank you for your comment. The District will use upcoming blog posts to address some of the misconceptions that are evident in some of the parent survey responses. From a broader standpoint, we are looking for trends in the misinformation so that future communication efforts can be structured in a way to better prevent these misconceptions from occurring.

      The out of state graduate school trip, that is addressed in a comment submitted in last weeks blog, was a feature story in a school report about 2 years ago. We will go back and review that specific school report story to see how that misconception was formed. Perhaps the story could have been framed a certain way that led to this misconception or perhaps the reader just skimmed the story and did not take away the correct information.

      To identify some of these misconceptions was one purpose of the parent survey. There is always misinformation in any community and this survey was a great way to bring items to the surface so that they can now be addressed.

      As far as persons not recognizing the positive things about our District, one positive outcome of the survey was that over 90% of parents who participated in the survey rated OFCS as either “above average” or “best in the area”. While there are specific areas of concern, by some parents, I believe the overall results of the survey show a public that is generally pleased with our school system.

  2. Steve
    December 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I really appreciate the fact that the results of the parent survey have been summarized and shared with the parents. This action builds trust in the community, which is always good to do after the past levy failures.

    As I scanned the comments last week and then examined today’s summary, many of the things that I think need some attention have been outlined by other parents as well. While my family is very happy with the schools, any thing can be improved upon and with attention, made better.

    • December 10, 2010 at 7:47 pm


      Thank you for your comment. I am pleased to hear that you and your family are happy with OF schools. It was great to see, in the survey, that our parents rated their satisfaction with our school system at such a high level.

      Overall, we have excellent teachers and a very supportive community. With that combination, OF schools will be able to continually improve and ensure that all of our students receive a high quality education.

      Thanks again for taking to time to participate in the parent survey as well as post your thoughts on this blog.

  3. 4 kids at OF
    December 13, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Just to confirm, is the concert tonight also cancelled?

    • December 13, 2010 at 9:08 am

      Yes, tonight’s concert is canceled.

  4. 4 kids at OF
    December 14, 2010 at 4:51 am

    The wind chill is below zero and 400+ systems are closed. What are you waiting for?

    • December 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm

      Each year, with the arrival of winter, we receive a number of questions regarding our District’s policy for closing school due to inclement weather conditions. We understand that the decision to close schools has an enormous impact on all of our families. The District makes a great effort to make the final determination about whether or not to close the schools sometime between 5:30 – 6:00 a.m. There are several factors that are taken into account during the process of making the decision including road conditions, building and grounds condition, air temperature, and weather forecasts.

      When severe weather exists, we typically begin monitoring the situation at 4:00 a.m. with District personnel on-site to assess the condition of both roads and facilities. When road conditions are less than ideal, District personnel are in direct communication with local safety forces and local road crews to determine whether buses can travel safely on our local roads. In most instances, if roads are deemed safe for travel by our fleet of buses, school will be in session for Olmsted Falls School District.

      In regard to cold weather or wind chill, please keep in mind that one variable that differentiates Olmsted Falls School District from neighboring districts (such as Berea, Fairview Park, North Olmsted and Strongsville) is that our District provides transportation services for all of its students and does not have a walking zone for students, like many of the surrounding communities. Because of this level of transportation service, there may be times when Olmsted Falls School District is able to remain open while other surrounding districts are forced to close.

      Ultimately, the decision on whether to send your child to school is your own. We do ask that you notify your child’s school building as you normally would if he/she will not be in attendance on a day that school is in session.

      Should the decision be made to close schools, all efforts will be made to notify local media outlets by 6:00 a.m. In addition, a school closure notice will also be posted on our District website at http://www.ofcs.net.

      Please Note: When our schools are closed for the day, this also means that school activities and events (including evening events) are canceled as well – with the exception of High School level athletics only. While actual High School level athletic games are always canceled on snow days, team practices may be held at the discretion of the coach, and with the approval of the Athletic Director and the High school Principal.

  5. 4 kids at OF
    December 14, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I appreciate the thoroughness of your response and for giving me a better understanding of the thought process behind the decision.

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