Superintendent's Message

Superintendent's Message

Superintendent's Board Report - Mar '18


March 2018 

To start my report, I want to once again congratulate the Music Express Team for finishing this season with a number of awards, accolades and success. Their string of victories included winning the Walsh Jesuit Great Lakes competition, the Medina High School competition, the Olentangy competition and the Solon competition. Once again, thank you to Mr. Pernod and Ms. Carey and all of the participants for their hard work, practice and determination.

Next, the Little Bulldog Kindergarten Registration Event Took Place on Wednesday, March 14 from 4:30 until 6 p.m. at the High School, where the district’s registration team invited all those who would be turning 5 years old on or before September 30th to begin that process. For those of you in attendance, you know that the Garfield Heights City Schools goes above and beyond to make the evening a welcoming experience for our future bulldogs. We cook food, we have activities and games, parents get to meet teachers, gave bus rides all in addition to receiving the important information about registration. Please keep in mind that final registration begins on Monday, March 26th  and runs through Thursday, March 29th and then again on Monday, April 9th, running through Thursday, April 12th.  For more information, please call 216-475-8100.

As you may have read in the Neighborhood News, on Thursday, March 8th, a number of representatives met in this building’s cafeteria to observe firsthand the Breakfast in the Classroom program being piloted here at William Foster and intended to be expanded to all buildings next year. This program gives students a choice for breakfast and provides hot breakfast foods, including pancakes, fresh fruit, breakfast pizzas and yogurt. According to Mr. Patton, over 450 students out of the 700 who go here participate in this Breakfast in the Classroom program each and every day. It is a great program for our students, and I want to thank the Children’s Hunger Alliance for their $56,000 grant to help make this possible. Thanks also to the William Foster and High School kitchen staff, Ohio Education Association, Mr. Sluka and Pisanick Partners for their continued support and guidance in this process.

Finally, I want to make a statement about my pride in this District. The Garfield Heights City Schools is dedicated to providing a better education, filled with opportunities for students to succeed and grow in the 21st Century. Throughout the entire district, at all grade levels, students have the opportunity to take unique academic offerings at the High School level, including AP Government, AP Studio Art: 3D and more than 19 Honors Level Courses. The Garfield Heights City Schools has some of the most successful co-curricular student-based programs in the area, such as the award-winning Music Express Program, our boys and girls athletic teams, the highly acclaimed drama theater department and a solid Academic Challenge Team.  Garfield Heights High School graduates in 2017 earned nearly $4M in scholarships and have gone onto attend some of the most prestigious colleges or universities in the state, including Case Western Reserve University, The Ohio State University, Miami University of Ohio and Cleveland State University. Our District’s vision is to equip students with 21st Century Skills, and that’s why we proudly encourage nearly 250 students to participate in more than 25 vocational training courses at the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center. Tutors, intervention and specialists are available at each of our buildings for students who require a little extra help. At the Middle School, the Garfield Heights City Schools is proud to have created a partnership with OverDrive, a local business with global reach, who has provided our district the online platform for students to access millions upon millions of books, periodicals and other publications from anywhere on the planet. Opportunities and success occur every day throughout our District, including at William Foster Elementary School, which was recently awarded the Silver Medal from the State of Ohio for Positive Behavior Intervention Supports. Elmwood Elementary School is currently sending 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students to positively interact with Jennings Home senior citizen residents with an opportunity to learn how to perform the play Peter Pan, as part of an intergenerational learning activity sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council. At Maple Leaf, the LETRS program is providing teachers with the opportunity with quality learning experiences that are sensitive to their social emotional needs while promoting strong literacy skills for our youngest students. Our intent is to expand the LETRS literacy program to all elementary schools next year.  The Garfield Heights City Schools’ technology team deploys nearly 600 desktop computers, 2000 Chromebooks and nearly 300 ipads, in addition to brand new, traditional textbooks. The Garfield Heights City Schools are blessed with some of the most dedicated parents, who take time to participate in extra opportunities that every building provides, such as Math Night, Literacy Night and All Pro Dads. ALL OF THIS TAKES PLACE IN THE DISTRICT EVERY DAY, despite the community’s poverty, mobility and the fact that the State of Ohio has slashed more than $1 million from our budget this year.

Sometimes it takes a Bulldog to succeed in life, and that’s exactly what we’re raising here, in the Garfield Heights City Schools, where opportunities for a better education exist for all those who are passionate…and dedicated to pursuing one. 

Terry Olszewski 



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