Dear Bulldog Families,
We made it! As we officially bring the 2019-2020 school year to a close this week, I wanted to reach out and personally extend a huge thank you and debt of gratitude to the students and families of OFCS. Over the past 13 weeks, you have persevered along with our dedicated Bulldog staff, during a historic time. I am incredibly proud of how our school community stepped up to support one another.
I realize we are ending the year with many unanswered questions about what lies ahead, and I hope you will take a few minutes to read on as I share where we stand and how we will plan for moving forward into the new school year. I encourage you to monitor emails over the summer as we will plan to continue to provide relevant new information as it becomes available.
Keeping our community informed about the status of district finances remains a priority. I wanted to make you aware that our Board of Education approved a new Five Year Financial Forecast for the district at their regular meeting at the end of May. The immediate reductions in state funding for this fiscal year due to state cuts as a result of COVID-19, combined with our anticipated loss of revenue from future state funding cuts, has certainly made this forecast more sobering than originally planned. In addition to the approved forecast document submitted to the Ohio Department of Education, community members can also review a detailed Five Year Forecast Financial Report which includes information on financial assumptions incorporated into the district’s latest Five Year Forecast.
We continue to be grateful for the community support with the passage of the 8.9 mill operating levy. But because we anticipate more cuts in future state budgets, our financial situation has only improved slightly with the passage of Issue 29. We will continue to share the latest information about our district finances as the situation evolves.
PLANNING FOR FALL 2020
We continue to wait for further guidance from the Governor’s office and state/local health officials regarding requirements surrounding the reopening of Ohio’s schools this fall. While there is no definitive date, we anticipate receiving the information we are eagerly waiting for by mid-July, although we obviously hope it will be sooner. We are currently working to assemble groups of people into working committees so that we are ready to move forward with concrete planning as soon as the parameters are known.
We have data from the previous family survey and appreciate your attention and time completing it. It will help us with planning. This next survey will provide an important opportunity to share your thoughts with us regarding reopening plans and logistics. While some school districts have already surveyed families about a number of hypothetical scenarios to assist with planning, we have strategically decided to wait for the pending guidance from the Governor’s office. This will allow our questions to be focused on actual scenarios relating to educational instruction, physical building spaces / procedures, and transportation services. We will use our email notifications and social media to help promote this important survey. It will be critical that we get a great deal of family representation.
The likely scenarios of a re-start will include: 1) Going back full-time with all Department of Health protocols; 2) Some form of going back to a partial day or dividing the students into groups due to strict social distancing guidelines or 3) A complete distance learning experience due to a spike. The district recognizes that there may be some families not comfortable with sending their student back to school until such time there is a vaccine. As a result, we would consider working with those families by creating a virtual experience for their students as well.
One of the most frequently asked questions we have been receiving is regarding the start of school date. Our calendar as previously approved has students returning beginning on Wednesday, August 26th. In an effort to provide our families with as much advance notice as possible, I do want to let you know that preliminary discussions are being had regarding the possibility of pushing back the start date for students to Tuesday, September 8th, after the Labor Day holiday. In the event that we decide to push back the start date for students, the end of the school year date would not change. While no decision has been made, I did want to mention that it is something that is being considered.
We will continue to keep you updated during the summer break with information as it becomes available. Keeping our families updated with as much information as possible will remain a priority in the weeks and months ahead, just as it has been throughout the closure to date.
RETURNING STUDENT REGISTRATION
Our Returning Student Registration portal will open, as normal, in early August for parents/guardians to complete ahead of the start of school. Please plan to watch for additional information via email and complete returning registration for your student at your earliest opportunity. Note: There may be questions added this year relating to changes due to COVID-19 and having responses as soon as possible will be of great benefit in our final planning stages ahead of school restarting in the fall. Thank you in advance for giving this annual task extra priority this year.
SUMMER FOOD RESOURCES
We recognize that our school lunch program is of great importance to many of our Bulldog families and that the need for food assistance does not take a summer break. I want to draw attention to two great summer programs that can provide needed nutrition resources for our families in need until the regular school program resumes in the fall:
1) Neighboring North Olmsted City Schools is serving grab-and-go breakfast and lunch from now until August 16th. Meals will be served Monday-Friday from 11:15 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. or until the food runs out. Children do not need to be present and the parent/guardian can state how many meals they would like for their children (ages 1-18). Please click HERE to access the flyer for pickup locations.
2) Olmsted Community Center will have a sharing table available for any student who stops by the center Monday-Friday from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. A variety of snacks and drinks will be available for students to pick up. This program is made possible by an awesome collaboration between OCC, Christ Church, and OFCS PTA! Please click HERE to access the flyer for full details.
DISTRICT CHROMEBOOK DEVICE SUPPORT
All Bulldog families with a student who currently has a district-issued Chromebook device (with the exception of graduating seniors) should have received a detailed email last week regarding keeping the devices over the summer. The OFCS Technology Department will continue to provide device repair assistance for students with a district-issued Chromebook device during the summer months under a reduced drop-off/repair schedule. Beginning Monday, June 8th, summer repairs will be handled two days a week - on Mondays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 AM. If your student experiences an issue with the Chromebook device and/or an issue with any educational programs/virtual tools on any device, please complete the Tech Support & Repair Form and a member of our technology team will reach out to provide assistance.
CLASS OF 2020 SEND-OFF
Finally - before I close - I want to invite the entire Bulldog school community to come out and support our Class of 2020 graduates next week as we celebrate them one final time! A special parade will be held in their honor along Bagely Road on the evening of Wednesday, June 17th at 7:45 p.m. as they make their way to the Aut-O-Rama Drive-In, where they will enjoy a private screening of their special commencement ceremonies which took place individually.
Community members are invited to come out and support the graduates by lining the route down Bagley Road from Olmsted Falls Intermediate and Middle School to Shakers IGA to cheer them on. Please plan to use social distancing protocols. You are welcome to create encouraging signs for the graduates! Community members can park in the Olmsted Falls Intermediate and Middle School lots – the high school lots will be reserved for students, family and staff participating in the event.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to our building principals or any member of my district administrative team should you have questions or need assistance. School building offices will remain open with limited hours through the end of next week. As always, our Board of Education office will be open all summer for assistance. Please plan to call ahead before coming in so that hours of operation can be confirmed and we can guide you in proper COVID-19 protocols currently being observed. We are here and we are happy to help!
Thank you again for all of the efforts you have put forth during the course of this extended school closure! I cannot express my sincere appreciation enough.
Please continue to stay well Bulldogs. Have a safe and happy summer!
Jim Lloyd, Ed.D.
Olmsted Falls City School District
26937 Bagley Rd.
Olmsted Township, OH 44138