February 3, 2020
Dear Bulldog Families,
Keeping our school families informed as we approach a critical crossroad for our school district continues to be a top priority. I am emailing today to update you on the staff reductions that will be taking place as part of our overall plan to reduce the budget and in conjunction with Issue #29, the upcoming school operating levy on the March 17, 2020 primary election ballot.
As we have been discussing, in order to keep the millage level of this operating levy as low as possible, Olmsted Falls City Schools has sought to reduce overall budget expenditures. The plan includes over $3.6 million in cost savings and will take place regardless of the outcome of the March levy. The reductions include 4 positions that will not be filled upon retirement at the end of the school year, a districtwide salary freeze for all employees, reductions in professional development, slashing all building and department budgets by 25%, and deferring or canceling purchases for new school buses, supplies and other materials. The 4 positions not being filled following retirements include: 2 teaching positions, 1 secretarial position and 1 administrative/exempt position.
In addition, the district provided notice to the teaching staff that there will be 13.5 teaching positions reduced at the start of the 2020-2021 school year. The district will also reduce 1 additional position from the administrative/exempt staff and 1 mechanic position. Finally, the district will reduce the number of hours worked by our paraprofessionals in the classroom effective with the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
As a service organization, approximately 80% of our budget is dedicated to people. With our school district already operating on an extremely lean budget, at one of the lowest cost-per-pupil rates in Cuyahoga County, the need to look to staff reductions in order to reduce overall costs comes quickly.
At the end of last week, we completed the direct, face-to-face conversations with our Bulldog staff members who will be directly impacted by the district’s reduction in force. These were difficult, emotional conversations as we are losing incredible staff members in this process. Even though we have been talking about it and working through the detailed logistics for months, now that it’s happening, it is understandably upsetting for all of us - and especially for those who will no longer be with our school district next year. Unfortunately with the district’s current financial situation, we had to take this action.
This makes our March levy more important than ever because failure in March will mean further cuts that will have a significantly more direct impact on the classroom experience. A failure will result in additional reductions that will have a profound impact not only on our culture and climate, but on the Bulldog student experience.
I realize that many of our families will have questions. I encourage all Bulldog parents and guardians to join me at one of the scheduled OFCS Operating Levy Information Meetings. In addition to the next scheduled meeting set for Monday, February 10th, we have also added an additional Levy Information Meeting session on Wednesday, March 4th. These meetings take place in Room 606 at Olmsted Falls High School and start at 6:00 p.m. If you have not already attended one of these important information sessions, I hope you will join us. There is much at stake and we want to ensure that each member of our school community has a full understanding of all of the facts before casting a vote in the upcoming election.
In closing, I want to ensure our Bulldog families that we have the utmost confidence in our staff and know that they will stay the course and continue to engage, inspire and empower our students in spite of these challenging times in the weeks and months ahead. As always, I encourage you to reach out to me directly with any questions about our school district and the upcoming operating levy. I can be reached by phone at 440-427-6001 and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your time and consideration, and thank you for your continuing support of Olmsted Falls Schools.
Dr. Jim Lloyd
Superintendent for the Olmsted Falls City School District
26937 Bagley Rd.
Olmsted Township, OH 44138
The above communication was emailed directly to all Olmsted Falls City School District families on 2/3/20.