Superintendent's Message - September 2016



September 2016

There’s a great deal of activity taking place in the Garfield Heights City Schools that the district would like to share with the community. First, this week is Practice Evacuation Drill week and each day, Monday through Friday, one school building will practice their respective evacuation routes. These routes and all protocols have been safely planned and communicated with the leadership of Dr. Gordon Dupree, and his team which includes district and building administrators. Since the Garfield Heights City Schools has conducted this exercise for several years in a row, the district expects that all will run smoothly, as it did this morning when Maple Leaf performed their evacuation. Participating in such an exercise allows the buildings to train in the event of an emergency. We thank the City of Garfield Heights and the Garfield Heights Police Department for their help and partnership this week.

Next, the community should know by now that the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cleveland has established a presence in Garfield Heights Middle School through a pilot program over the summer and will be continuing with an afterschool program this fall. The afterschool program is open for students ages 6 through 14 during the time frame of 2:45 p.m. until 6 p.m. There is a fee that is associated with your household income. Those who are interested should pick up enrollment packages at the Middle School between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. or downloaded at www.clevekids.org. This is a major opportunity for students in the Garfield Heights Community. Students enrolled in the afterschool program will receive homework help, and can participate in sports, art, music, technology and take field trips. Thank you to Dr. Dupree for his continued work with the Boys and Girls Club along with Mayor Collova… and a very special thank you to Garfield Heights Municipal Court Judge Deborah Nicastro for her help and leadership in bringing this opportunity to Garfield Heights.

Continuing on, the community will begin to see literature and activity as it relates to the Renewal Levy, Issue 113 in the coming weeks and months. Issue 113 will NOT RAISE TAXES, and renews approximately $4.1 million dollars of annual funding for the district, which goes towards transportation, building and facility maintenance and educational programming and resources. I have already spoken with city leadership to get their support and feedback from the Mayor has been positive. Please take time to get to know the facts about Issue 113… but the most important thing to know is that it will not raise taxes.

Finally, many in the community may have read about test scores at some point last week. Until the State of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Education can maintain a consistent testing protocol, by the same provider with the same methodology, test scores throughout the state will continue to plummet… and that’s exactly what happened during the last testing cycle. In three separate years, three different tests have been administered to our students, and consequently, comparing this year’s data to the year before is like comparing apples to oranges. I encourage the community to consider all of the positive things that the district is doing to promote education and prepare our students for the future. This list of academic and co-curricular endeavors will be emailed out and posted on our district web site.

Thank you for your continued support, and as always…

GO BULLDOGS!

Terry Olszewski

Superintendent of Schools

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