Home > Uncategorized > Parent Update – May 4, 2011

Parent Update – May 4, 2011

May 4, 2011


Unofficial election results indicate 46% of votes cast in favor of the 2.8 Mill P.I. Levy, with 54% of votes  cast against it in yesterday’s election.  Passage of this P.I. Levy – which would not increase the current level of taxation – was a critical component to the District’s financial health.  Looming cuts at the state level made passage of the 2.8 Mill P.I. Levy even more urgent.

District officials will discuss next steps within the week.  The 2.8 Mill P.I. Levy could be placed back on the ballot in August or November of 2011. Passage of this 2.8 Mill P.I. Levy would be needed before the end of calendar year 2011 in order to maintain the ability to redirect critical funding without increasing the current level of taxation.

Parents and residents are encouraged to post questions regarding the 2.8 Mill P.I. Levy here on the District’s blog. It is imperative that the education campaign about the benefits of this strategically timed levy continues.


The Olmsted Falls Athletic Department will offer a variety of Summer Sports Camps for students in grades 3 to 12.   All information and registration forms have been collected and posted together on the District website.

Please click here  for a link to the Bulldog Summer Sports Camp information page.

Go Bulldogs!


For the fifth year in a row, 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 demonstrate an unwavering commitment to providing music education for their students – even during these challenging economic times.

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


Students in the OFHS Chorale and Wind Ensemble traveled to New York City for special performances last week.

One of the highlights of the trip was a performance in front of the world-renowned Lincoln Center.

Above, OFHS Choral at Lincoln Center. At right, OFHS Wind Ensemble at Lincoln Center.

These talented music students represented Olmsted Falls School District with great poise and pride.  Well done!


The 8th grade team placed 1st out of the 41 schools in attendance, and several of the teams’ individual writers were recognized for outstanding achievement and placed in the top 20% of all competitors, qualifying them for the State competition.

Pictured at left are the members of the 8th Grade Power of the Pen Team:  Back Row (L to R) – Teresa Wang, Breanna Palkovic, Chloe Topolski, Kat Karolak, and Miss Scalley; Front Row (L to R) – Madeline Finau, Kathryn  Lesiak, Julia McFadden, and Chris Vandrasik.

Special congratulations go to State-bound 7th graders:  Zach Buchta, who came in 4th place overall and received a “Best of Round” award; Emmy Olszewski, who came in 10th place; and Christina Pedicini, whose strong performance also earned her a place at the state competition.  The eighth grade state qualifiers include Madeline Finau (4th place overall), Kathryn Lesiak (5th place), Breanna Palkovic (14th place), and talented writer Chloe Topolski.

Members of the 7th Grade Power of the Pen Team are pictured above:  Back Row (L to R) – Madeline Finau, Kathryn Lesiak, Breanna Palkovic, and Chloe Topolski; Front Row (L to R) Christina Pedicini, Emmy Olszewski, and Zach Buchta.

Good luck to all of these fantastic young writers as they prepare for the Power of the Pen State tournament hosted by the College of Wooster on Friday, May 27th!


The OFHS Baseball Team will host its 2nd Annual Youth Baseball Day TOMORROW, Thursday, May 5th during its game against Berea.  There will be a huge five-sport inflatable, radar gun station, and more! A name will be drawn each inning to warm-up the left fielder and keep the game ball!

When: Thursday, May 5th at 4:30pm

Where: Olmsted Falls Field 3

This is a great event for our young Bulldog baseball fans!  Hope to see you there!


OFHS Principal Dr. Bob Hill and OFMS Principal Mr. Mark Kurz jointly mailed a letter to all parents of high school and middle school students this week.  The subject of this important letter was “social media” and issues that the District has been encountering with students’ use of Facebook as well as texting.  This letter is an attempt on the District’s part to reach out to parents for their help in this matter.

While the District is limited from a discipline (reactive) standpoint, due to the social media activities taking place outside of school grounds, it is never limited in trying to work with parents, in a proactive manner, in order to prevent issues.

Access to Facebook is blocked on all District computers, however the impact of activities on Facebook outside of school inevitably spills into the regular school day.  To read the letter that was mailed home to all parents of Middle and High School students, please click here.


Parents, staff and interested community members are invited to a meeting to discuss aspects of the District’s “Severe Food Allergy Protocol” on Wednesday, May 11th from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Falls-Lenox cafeteria. Please call Darla Haviland, R.N. District Nurse at 440-427-6364 for more information.


Olmsted Falls Intermediate School will host its annual Career Day on Tuesday, May 17th from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.   OFIS is looking for additional speakers to add to our list of guests who will meet with kids in the classroom to talk about their interesting careers.

If you are interested in volunteering for this fun and educational event, please contact OFIS School Counselor Mr. Mark Tabar at 427-6520.


Congratulations to senior Zach Sanford, who recently represented Olmsted Falls High School and Polaris Career Center at the State Skills USA competition in Columbus.

Zach took first place and was presented with the Gold medal for the Criminal Justice Competition!

Zach will be headed to Kansas City, Missouri for National Competition during the week of June 18th.

Congratulations and good luck Zach!


Congratulations to the following winners of last Friday’s 24th Annual High School PTA Friday Night Live Talent Show:

First Place Overall – Kevin Thompson

Dara Hosta Vocal Performance Award – Maurene Kawecki

First Place – 8th Grade and Under – Neil Spooner

Second Place – 8th Grade and Under – Lindsay Rader and Emily Laycock

Third Place – 8th Grade and Under – Ashley Campbell

First Place – High School – Lauren Roney

Second Place – HighSchool – Nicole Sloan

Third Place – High School – Ryan Kody and Joe Gibson

Congratulations to All!!!

A special thanks to Mr. Moore for hosting the Talent Show. Also, thanks to Carson Moore for performing the National Anthem. Tatiana Faria and Sean Hirsch were our student judges and our faculty judges were Mrs. Reimer and Mrs. Gulden. Great Job Everyone!!!


Olmsted Falls Schools Endowment and Alumni Association hosted its annual Retired Staff Luncheon this past Monday.  Approximately 25 retired Bulldog staff members attended and enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with former colleagues.  Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley also attended, expressing heartfelt thanks to the group for their role in creating and maintaining the District’s tradition of excellence.


Last Saturday, the Academic Team traveled to Cloverleaf for the Ohio Academic Competition Regionals.  The team won its Region in dramatic fashion with a final match that went into overtime.  Students participating included Jim Coury (captain), Mike Coury, Sohan Vartak, Marty Mendenhall, and Emily Nageotte.  These students will participate in the State OAC Competition this coming Saturday in Columbus.

Last Sunday, the Academic Team participated in the semi-finals and the finals of the Scholastic Games of Lorain County for WEOL Radio.  The team’s semi-final match was against Vermilion.  The score was 680-240 in favor of the Bulldogs. The team then competed in the finals against defending champion Lake Ridge Academy.  The Bulldogs again prevailed with a 510-330 victory to claim the Scholastic Games title for 2011.  These episodes will air on May 16 (versus Vermilion) and May 23 (versus Lake Ridge Academy) on WEOL Radio 930 AM at 6:05 pm.  The broadcasts are saved as podcasts and can be listened to at any time.  The podcasts are available on their webpage http://www.weol.com click on Scholastic Games.  The podcasts are posted to the website after they air on the radio.

From the victories on Scholastic Games this year, this team brought back over $3500 in college scholarship money that will be awarded to deserving seniors attending the schools offering the grants.  These are $500 tuition credits to:  Oberlin College, Ohio Weslyan, Baldwin Wallace, Case Western Reserve, Lorain County Community College, Notre Dame of Ohio, and Ashland University.  These scholarships are awarded to seniors attending these schools and not to the students on the team.  The students participating for Olmsted Falls were:  Jim Coury, Sohan Vartak, and Marty Mendenhall.  Jim Coury was named the standout scholar for both broadcasts.  Writeups from the matches can also be found on the http://standoutscholars.com/.

Finally, last week, the team participated in the online Knowledge Master Open competition.  The Bulldogs finished 1st in the State of Ohio, and 21st internationally out of all the teams participating.  The results of this competition can be viewed here:  http://www.greatauk.com/kmoh.pdf  (Scroll down to Ohio.)


Cuyahoga County Public Library is seeking input on the future of the Olmsted Falls Branch. As you may already be aware, CCPL has a Facilities Master Plan that will reduce its operating costs to ensure excellent library services for years to come. Replacement of the existing Olmsted Falls Branch is part of this plan. The current location is costly to operate and does not meet customers’ needs.  CCPL intends to move forward with plans for an approximate 6,000 square foot replacement branch. This project is currently in the design phase.

CCPL is encouraging library patrons to participate in a survey to provide input to help it better understand the needs and expectations of our local library patrons, so to better serve them.  If you are interested in participating in this important survey, please click the following link and take a few minutes to complete the on-line survey:



OFHS Baseball Team 1st Annual Cure Tay-Sachs Classic – This Saturday, May 7th at Olmsted Falls Field 3.  Olmsted Falls, North Royalton, Midview and Clearview will compete in this first annual event to benefit the Cure Tay-Sachs Foundation.   A Fausto Carmona signed baseball, Shin-Shoo Choo signed baseball, Carlos Santana signed baseball and Bob Feller signed poster will be raffled off at the Classic. One after each game – tickets will be a $1 each – all proceeds will go towards CTSF!  Click here for event flyer which includes game schedule.

Boy Scout Troop 201 Annual Flower Sale – Saturday, May 7th (9 am-dark); Sunday, May 8th ( 8am-2pm); and Saturday, May 14th (8am-2pm), at the Jenkins Center located at the corner of Columbia Road and Main Street, right next to the Olmsted Falls Library.  The Boy Scouts will have hanging baskets and flats of annual flowers available at good prices.  Stop by, shop locally, & support Scouting!  Contact Mike or Sharon Knaggs, 440-816-0372, with questions or visit www.troop201.org.

OLMTED FALLS RELAY FOR LIFE EVENT – Saturday, June 11, 2011 from noon to noon Sunday, June 12, 2011 at Olmsted Falls High School. It is never too late to join this great cause and register as a survivor or to start your own team. For questions please call Co-Chairs Michelle LaGruth at 440-476-4697 or Lisa Brady at 216-870-8256.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 4, 2011 at 6:49 am

    I’m confused as to why the wording (I can’t remember the exact word used, unfortunately) on the ballot would lead people to believe that this was a new tax. I was surprised to see that, knowing that this was not going to increase taxes. Our older residents, who typically vote against us, could easily misconstrue it as an increase.

  2. jvitale1
    May 4, 2011 at 6:49 am

    It was disappointing that the City passed, overwhelmingly, a tax increase, but yet the school levy failed.

  3. Kelli Castrigano
    May 4, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Could the verbage be changed on the ballot if this levy is put back on in August? We voted ‘yes’ but the verbage can be confusing for those that are not informed about this levy.

  4. Parent in OF
    May 4, 2011 at 7:40 am

    While I am applauding the school system for sending a message as such about the facebook & texting awareness, I am appalled that a situation had to arise in which parents have failed to be aware of what is going on in their children’s lives, and actually believe it is the school’s responsibility to take care of it. At the same time, I am also dissapointed that it took the school so long to send a message about how social media can affect children in school.

    I have children that are students in OF Schools (and yes, in both the middle school and high school), and I have to say that I am very aware of the situation with what happened with facebook. While it is disgusting, I am not suprised. There are so many parents that aren’t involved, and dont check in with their kids. Yes, kids will keep secrets and lie, but it becomes harder with so much access to social media.

    Parents, if you don’t know how social media works and affects social circles, then you need to get on board and educate yourself. Period. That is your job as a parent. You are to do your best to lead and educate and hope that your children do the right thing. And, yes…you should be checking up on them because kids do stupid things. Parents do stupid things. Educators do stupid things. But, with more involvement, the less likely things will become devastating because they are caught earlier.

    • OF Taxpayer
      May 5, 2011 at 10:24 am

      It’s sad indeed that the school has to send a letter home reminding parents that they need to be parents. Of course, the “parents” that need to read it the most will probably be too busy on Facebook to be bothered to read it.

      That being said, why block Facebook, etc. from school computers? If a student uses a school computer to post something derogatory, at least the school would have the grounds to discipline them.

      Is there a “social media policy” in place for the district? Most companies have had to add them to their employee handbooks to lay out what is / is not acceptable use. Create one (the US Army has a very good one that you could use as a starting point) and make the students adhere to it.

    • OF Mom
      May 12, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      Friend your kids and their friends…you’ll see what is going on and it’s a good way to monitor things…

  5. Ray Kling
    May 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Saying the levy would not increase taxes simply isn’t enough to justify it. Everyone is facing hard financial choices. We don’t decide to buy a new car, just because the old car loan got paid off. We buy a new car when we need a new car. The taxes that are expiring are the same as a car loan we are about to pay off. We expected the expense to end, and it should unless a case is made for why we need to make another investment. If the case isn’t made for why we should take on another payment, then many people will be happy to keep driving the car we are about to pay off.

  6. Jim Baldwin
    May 4, 2011 at 10:21 am

    If you could maitain all aspects of your home…roof, heating and cooling, driveway, structure, carpeting, plumbing, electrical, basement and foundation for no extra cost per month, would you? If you say no, then you are not being honest with yourselves. Passage of 2.8 PI would have done that for all Olmsted Falls District structures, and that is all it can be used for. It also would have made the levy passed last winter last that much longer. Hopefully, we’ll have another chance to pass this levy in November.

    • Mike
      May 5, 2011 at 4:51 am

      Yes, we have to maintain our homes. With everything increasing Jim, how do we pay for the thing at our homes? Can we come to you for the money to repair these items?

      • Jim Baldwin
        May 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm

        Mike, at our current tax rate, we could have maintained the buildings at no additional cost to us. It was not an extra tax. In my opinion, it is a wise investment. I’m sorry we do not see eye to eye.

  7. Ray Kling
    May 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Jim Baldwin :If you could maitain all aspects of your home…roof, heating and cooling, driveway, structure, carpeting, plumbing, electrical, …

    “Maintaining” and “Permanent Improvements” are not the same thing are they? I sure hope they are paying for heating and cooling as an operating expense.

    Kelli Castrigano :Could the verbage be changed on the ballot if this levy is put back on in August? …

    The verbage is correct. This is a new additional tax as defined by law. It won’t increase the amount you pay because it is timed to replace a tax that if I recall correctly was for a bond issue. This is not an extention of an existing tax, but a completely new tax to replace the expiring tax. This would be like the bank saying, “I know you are about to pay off your car loan, but since it won’t cost you any extra you shouldn’t mind continuing to send us payments.”

    I am just saying the schools will need to make a better case for how they plan to spend this money so that the voters can decide if they should support it. Just asking home owners to keep sending in the payments on the loan that is paid off won’t cut it (at least not for 54% of the voters).

    • Jim Baldwin
      May 5, 2011 at 12:34 pm

      Fixing a roof on a 42 year old building is a permanent improvement. It’s about structure. Heating systems and cooling systems often need maintained and upgraded, again, an improvement.

      • Ray Kling
        May 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm

        I don’t disagree, but if improvements are needed, they need to make a case for the improvements they want to spend money on. My point is that simply saying it isn’t an increase won’t cut it.

  8. OF Taxpayer
    May 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    The reason the levy failed is not the language on the ballot. People in OF are not stupid as it seems several suggest. From talking to several people, the consensus was that they (including myself), voted NO because the levy was PERMANENT, meaning it has no end. I think most taxpayers are tired of approving taxes where there is never a need to seek approval ever again. It is just a continuous flow of money forever. If you need to repair something, great I would be more than happy to approve a short-term levy (3-5 years) in order to accomplish that. But to just say, well here you go, here is our money from now until the end of time, does not make anyone accountable, nor does it force them to justify their needs or actions. Giving the people that are paying the bills the occasional opportunity to voice their approval or disapproval on how things are operating, or how their money is being spent is only right. The district should be forced to seek approval every ‘x’ number of years, not try to pass a permanent levy that has no end, and leaves our next generation of residents without a future voice regarding this money.

    • Olmsted Citizen
      May 5, 2011 at 6:50 am

      PERMANENT was definitely the key issue here. I work with the public & heard people say they were generally for something that renewed, but against something permanent. Some just simply were having hard financial times & know that their taxes will go down if it fails.

    • May 5, 2011 at 7:35 am

      I was in no way suggesting that any of our voters are stupid. I felt the wording implied that it was going to create additional taxes rather than a continuation.

    • Mary Mariotti
      May 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm

      The word “Permanent” is the problem, but it’s not the problem that you’ve mentioned. The problem is that the word “Permanent” refers to the way that the money can be spent. A “Permanent Improvement Levy” funds items of a more permanent nature: the High School roof that was mentioned, plumbing repairs, buses etc…

  9. Mike
    May 5, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Let see last November we passed and 8.7 mill operating levy. This was for the SD everyday operating? In yesterdays paper I was reading about the other districts that lost. These one district indicated that they cut $2.4 million and another cut $4 million and reduced there staff by 75 positions. Yet, in OFSD we have 5 people in a treasurers office? We have 2 assistant principles in the High School, 3 Guidance Counselors in the Middle School, we have 2 choir rooms at he middle school, one that was just built, and we wonder why we need more money. Try a budget and show that we really need the money. To hire more teachers to drop class sizes is nice, but in today’s economy just can’t work. Repairs to buildings comes from the general account.

  10. Mike
    May 6, 2011 at 4:30 am

    Jim Baldwin :
    Mike, at our current tax rate, we could have maintained the buildings at no additional cost to us. It was not an extra tax. In my opinion, it is a wise investment. I’m sorry we do not see eye to eye.

    When I see a permanent tax that means forever. There was no time frame for this tax. When this tax drops off the books we get a little discount and in today’s economy a little can help. Gas prices are increasing on a daily basis. the water bill will see a major increase as we were all informed of this increase. We still haven’t seen the increase to the tax bill on the 8.7 levy just passed in November. So, Again a little can help.

  11. 4 kids at OF
    May 9, 2011 at 4:48 am

    What a great idea to take the OFHS Chorale and Wind Ensemble to New York City for special performance. And since this was their first trip, they wanted to use an experienced travel agency.

    PLEASE DON”T EVER, EVER, EVER use Educational Travel Consultants again!!

    The first sign that things were going poorly was when they raised the cost, AFTER WE PAID A DEPOSIT. I have been in business for over 25 years and that has never happened.

    Then they provided an itinerary that was impossible to make and they ended up performing to a few passerbys, OUTSIDE of the Lincoln Center, no tour of Central Park, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ground Zero or Macy’s Department store.

    Serious consideration should be directed towards a partial refund!

    • Margaret
      May 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

      Yes, many students were disappointed at the promise of the listed stops, and then there was no time alotted to visit those places. Perhaps it’s time to find someone other than ETC to handle future student trips. The students were also told to be prepared to pay for 2 lunches. Instead, they were responsible for buying 6 meals, not 2. Thankfully, my student had extra money, but many didn’t.

    • OF Mom
      May 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Mr. Strelau told the kids that they will not use ETC again. Since this was their first year, they tried this company and will not contract with them again.
      Even though there were obvious problems with the tour conductor, they kids had a great time.

      • 4 kids at OF
        May 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm

        ETC was not impressive from the first meeting and fortunately, inspite of them, the kids had a great time.

  12. Proud Parent
    May 10, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I heard yesterday that some of the parents received a letter stating a young student was approached some time recently by a gentleman driving a car. Can anyone validate this for me and if so give the details of the letter? I have 2 children in the Middle School as well as younger children at home and am concerned. Thank you.

    • Suzanne Varney
      May 10, 2011 at 10:22 am

      My son (at Falls-Lenox) brought the letter home last Friday and my daughter (at OFIS) brought the letter home Monday. It stated that a child had been approached after getting off the bus. It also gave detailed information on the man’s appearance/description as well as a description of the car. You can probably call the school and ask for another copy to be sent home.

    • Ray Kling
      May 10, 2011 at 11:31 am

      It is true, I got the letter. It said were approach by a suspicious person after getting off the bus. It said there was a similar incident in Berea. It gave a description of the person and the car. Sorry I don’t have the details with me.

  13. May 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Yes, my daughter brought a letter home last week from Falls Lenox. Gave a description of person and car. Mid 50’s male, 4 door tan car with broken left side view mirror

  14. Proud Parent
    May 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Thank you for the responses – both of my kids at OFMS said they did not receive letters. I will contact the school for the full details.

  15. Ann
    May 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Why doesn’t the school publish this incident on this blog and the school website. Even if we have older kids it would be helpful to have the entire community looking out for eachother.

  16. Susan
    May 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I agree, I am disappointed that all schools did not get involved in notifying parents. I also checked the City’s website thinking possibly a brief news description would be mentioned but nothing. Maybe it is because I do not have all the details and they did not want to put the community in fear but in this day and age we have to be so cautious each and every day because as much as it saddens me, it is real and we need to protect our children and watch out for others around us.

  17. Mike
    May 11, 2011 at 5:10 am

    At that time the tax issue was the important issue. Now the important issue is getting the issue back on the ballot for August or November.

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: