Superintendent's Message

Superintendent's Message

Superintendent's Board Report - May '18

May 2018


As many of you know, the Garfield Heights High School commencement took place last week and everyone who was in attendance knows how wonderful of a ceremony it truly was. On display were the accomplishments of the Class of 2018, an award-winning and highly successful group of students. I would like to congratulate our Valedictorian, Myron Spikes…who will be attending Cornell University and our Salutatorian, Adam Salem…who will be attending Stanford, for their class leadership and their accomplishments. In total, the Class of 2018 earned more than $4.8 million in scholarships and grants, a record-breaking and historic total for the Garfield Heights City Schools. I want to also thank the local organizations, who contributed more than $28,000 in scholarships and support for our students. The community should have a great deal of pride… BULLDOG PRIDE… in the Class of 2018.

The last day of school for students will be this Thursday, May 24, 2018 and I wish all of our students and staff a safe and enjoyable summer. Please continue to use the district’s website as a resource for how your student can remain engaged in schoolwork and activities over the summer. And please remember… READ…READ…READ.

The District has been engaged in a strategic process to share with our friends who attend community or charter schools, all of the opportunities for a better education in the Garfield Heights City Schools. Over the last six months or so, a multi-faceted micro-communications plan is unfolding to positively and proactively share the good news of our student and staff successes. Some of the important steps in that process have included:

  • Identifying the nearly 750 families who live in our community but go to a different school than ours.
  • Drafting and conducting an extensive survey of these individuals, to understand exactly what they are looking for in their education, why they left the schools and what factors would cause them to return.
  • The results of this survey were presented to the Board of Education during the regular March meeting.
  • My office then sent three separate letters to each of these families to inform them about the major accomplishments of our District.
  • A website was built, linked off the District’s website, called to outline all of the opportunities that our schools offer.
  • A video communications plan has begun with success, Mr. Fruits has taped individuals and activities in our District, and posted them on social media and this website. Some incredible results have already been delivered. Just consider:
    • The Maple Leaf video has garnered a lot of support and momentum, having over 130,00 views and reaching over 250,000 people! Over a quarter of a million people have seen our video show up in their Facebook feed in the past 6 days as well as being featured on Fox 8!
    • 142,300 Minutes of Videos Viewed (263 minutes of video viewed in the same period for the prior year)
    • 164,900 Video Views (818 videos viewed in the same period for the prior year)
    • Some of the other Top performing videos include Maple Leaf Lip Sync, School Bus Karaoke and the Boys Basketball team at City Council

***Make no mistake, these videos are being used to showcase the opportunities being pursued by our students and it is clearly making a big impact.

  • Presently, Mr. Fruits is following up with deliberate, one-on-one phone calls to each of these families to inquire about what can be done to bring these students back to the district.
  • We have established “Opportunities with Mr. O,” for the intentional sake of inviting these families to come in, meet with me and understand their concerns. We will be sure to keep the board posted on the progress that we make in deliberately sharing the good news of the GHCS. Thank you once again, and GO BULLDOGS!


Terry Olszewski 


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