Ottawa Hills Local Schools District Newsletter
3600 Indian Rd., Toledo, Ohio  43606


Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
February 7, 2014

Superintendent's Message
One-to-One: A Mid-Point Look (Part 1)

It will be a year ago this March that the Board of Education accepted a recommendation to enact a one-to-one laptop computer program in the 2013-2014 school year. The program has provided a 13” Mac Air laptop computer to each 7th through 12th grade student in the district in addition to adding more mobile laptop carts for use at the elementary school. The start-up of the project was funded by Permanent Improvement funds and a $43,000 donation from the 2012 Green Bear Ball.
 
I don’t think many people batted an eye when we made cultural transitions from stone tablet and chisel to slate and chalk and then to paper and pencil. But obviously the transition to readily available technology has more far-reaching implications than any changes that have come before. So before the Board decision to implement a one-to-one program, 18 months of investigation, discussion, and planning preceded the recommendation. This included several visits to schools already enacting one-to-one programs, discussions with faculty and staff members as well as students, public forums, and surveys of all stakeholders.
 
In the end, the decision to make the transition was based on ten major points. For example, one point was that the program could help with preparation for the integration of the new standards and the coming online assessments. Another point was that the program could provide a greater ability to provide opportunities for differentiation for students, meeting our district’s mission of challenging and inspiring each student to reach his or her unique potential. To see that complete list of major points, click here.
 
After the Board’s action in March, the ensuing months included the work of four major committees to prepare for implementation of the one-to-one program: communications, professional development, policies and procedures, and tech support. The teams worked together to ensure a smooth transition to the new program. The team members developed everything from rules and agreement forms for the laptop loan program to a new name for the program: OH Global.
 
Because of the work of many, OH Global became a reality with the start of this school year. Now that we’re more than halfway through the school year, the essential question becomes, “How is it going?”
 
To answer this question, Ottawa Hills Schools has partnered with Bowling Green State University’s Center of Assessment and Evaluation Services to provide an assessment of the program’s impact. Dr. Sondergeld and Dr. Vannatta Reinhart of the Center established baseline data by surveying students and faculty members at the beginning of the school year. The surveys measured items such as how students rate their technology skills, how they use technology as part of the learning process, how technology is used during their school day, and what concerns they have about the implementation of the one-to-one program.
 
Teachers also rated their skill level, described how they use technology in their classroom and to what frequency, rated professional development in a variety of areas, and shared concerns about implementation of the initiative.
 
Toward the end of the school year, BGSU personnel will once again survey students and staff to determine the impact that the OH Global project has had on the teaching and learning experience. A full report will be presented to the members of the Board of Education in June.
 
A formal evaluation piece is in place, but we also gain quite a bit of insight by checking with our students and staff to ask, “How is it going?” Anecdotal evidence is not scientific, but it can provide information that helps to guide us as we move forward. Junior/senior high school principal, Mr. McMurray, notes that when he asks students, “Would you go back to the way it used to be? Are you willing to give up your laptop?” the answer is typically an overwhelming “No.” That’s pretty good anecdotal evidence. But it’s just a piece of the puzzle, and this week and next week, my goal is to provide insight into the OH Global program by sharing the thoughts of some of our teachers and students. 
 
One question I asked of our department chairs was “How are the laptops being used to enhance the teaching and learning experience in your classrooms?” Technology isn’t new, and all of our teachers have been using it to some degree over the years. The question then becomes, “Has the introduction of one-to-one laptops provided more opportunities?” The answers are varied, but to give you a glimpse, consider the following: 
 
In the science department, the OH Global initiative has allowed teachers to add Gizmos, an interactive website of lab simulations/graphs and charts. Department chair Mrs. Hafemann notes, “We’ve increased our use of Logger Pro software which graphs and analyzes lab data. Both of these tools align nicely with the new Ohio Science Standards and prepare our students for the Biology and Physical Science Exit Tests. We feel the more students can practice these programs on their laptops, the better their chances of scoring high marks on the exit tests.” Some science teachers are using Google Docs for writing lab reports and giving presentations. Moodle is used to store lab documents and materials, while class videos are stored on teacher websites for easy access by students. It makes it easy for students to review a classroom lesson or view a presentation if they were absent. Many students choose to take their class notes on their laptop computers.      
 
Bill Miller, chair of the English Department, shares the following: “Members of the English department have taken advantage of the one-to-one environment in various ways. Moodle, wikis, and Google Drive are all used as tools for both publishing and collaboration. That collaboration occurs between students, but also between students and teachers. For example, I can work alongside a student on an assignment while we are in the comforts of our respective homes. Another example involves making more classroom use of web-based services like Flocabulary and Turnitin.com. Gone are the days when we have to schedule two days of computer lab time in order to guide students through the use of such sites. Finally, just being able to access both student writing and the internet at a moment's notice has returned a certain level of spontaneity into our classroom interactions with words and information. Research can happen anywhere and at any time.”
 
From the science and English departments, that’s a bit of insight into how OH Global is impacting the learning process. There are more examples from other subject areas, and I will share those next week. We’ll also consider the input of students and take a look at what students and teachers see as the challenges of the OH Global program.
 

Flip over Flapjacks on February 21

A Pancake Dinner, sponsored by After Prom, will be held on Friday, February 21 (not January 21 as originally reported), from 5:00 - 7:00 PM in the OHHS multi-purpose room. The cost is $7.50 per dinner, and includes all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, applesauce, coffee, milk, and orange juice. After dinner, come and cheer on the OH boys’ varsity basketball team in their game against Northwood. Tickets to the pancake dinner will not get you into the game. If you have any questions, please contact Julie Boesel at jboesel@ottawahillsschools.org. Come on out and join the fun while supporting a good cause.
 

No School Friday, February 14

Remember that there is no school on Friday, February 14. This is a professional development day for our faculty members. In addition, Monday, February 17, there is no school in observation of President's Day. Enjoy the four-day weekend with your family!



 

Botany Students Learn About Biofuels

Jeanine Bailey’s Botany students have been learning about the importance of plants, including how plants can be used as a source of renewable energy. During a lab, students learned how plants (in the form of newspaper) can be transformed into a biofuel through a simple chemical process. Students also debated the pros and cons of using plants as biofuels and the importance of continued research on renewable sources of energy for our future.
 

Students Use Blogging to Study Sociology

  Recently, Jessica Temple's Sociology classes launched their blogs that they will maintain throughout the remainder of the semester. Each week, students will reflect on the content learned and relate it to their own lives and experiences. Ms. Temple cites a number of reasons for blogging, including  "the necessity to increase technical literacy, encouraging students to be producers in a consumer-based society, allowing the students to become the teachers by providing real life examples of the content learned, and providing an alternative to typical assessments and measures of student growth."  Ms. Temple hopes that blogging will help sociology "come to life" for her students.
 

January S.P.A.C.E. Students Recognized for Encouraging Others

S.P.A.C.E. is a program that recognizes students within the Junior High community who are making a difference with their Self Control, Patience, Acceptance, Collaboration and Encouragement. During the month of January, the junior high focused on encouragement. Students were recognized for encouraging others to be the best they can be by showing leadership, setting good examples, and by offering insight and enthusiasm in the classroom.  Congratulations to the January S.P.A.C.E students of the month: Joe Boesel, Brea Fields, Amy Sun, Ethan Krupp, Maya Chandar-Kouba, Eli Zink, Bridgette Lay, Adam Sari, Jack VanSlooten, Ellie Westmeyer, Samantha Webne, Nolan Paterwich, Jana Kassem, Bridget O'Neal and Randall Johnson. Their names are posted in the junior high hallway and were announced during Monday’s OH NEWS.
 

It All Adds Up! Johnson Heading to States

On Saturday, February 1, our junior high MathCounts Team placed fourth out of 19 schools at the annual Chapter Competition. The top three teams go to state competition, so the Green Bears just missed out; however, eighth grader Randall Johnson received one of the top individual scores and is headed to states. Out of 139 students from all over the region, Randall Johnson placed 5th, Urvish Patel placed 20th, Sam Assi placed 21st, Steven Randall placed 24th, William Koury placed 32nd. Other O.H. placers were Neha Kazmi (43rd), Rahul Bais (49th), Mason Langenderfer (54th) and Frank Fuhrman (55th). That's an impressive showing by all of our students! Many thanks to our advisor Diane Drabek. For more information about MathCounts click here. Congratulations to the team, and good Luck at states, Randall!
 

Hoops for the Cure

The main gym was packed for the Hoops for the Cure game against Toledo Christian on Thursday, January 30. More than $2,000 was raised and will be donated to fight breast cancer. Although the girls lost to the Eagles during their first face-off of the year, this time the Green Bears dominated the entire game to beat the Eagles 45-34. Congratulations to the girls and to Coach Mercer and his staff. Many thanks to instrumental music director, Michael Leeds, and the OHHS pep band for creating a festive and spirited atmosphere. Finally, many thanks to all who were involved in organizing this great event and to everyone who made a donation to help fund the battle against cancer.
 

Hockey Team Prepares for Tourney Time

The varsity ice hockey team dropped a game to Columbus Bishop Watterson 7-0 last weekend. According to faculty manager Mark Nusbaum, “Although they lost, they played well and fought hard.”  The Bears play again tonight at 8:00 against Perrysburg in Bowling Green. Tomorrow night, they'll take on Southview at Tam-O-Shanter, and on Sunday, the team will be at Fremont Ross. The tournament draw will take place next week. Good luck, Bears!
 

Geoff Beans Joins Elite 1,000 Point Club

Senior Geoff Beans put his name in the record books when he broke the 1,000 point plateau at Tuesday's O.H. basketball game versus Gibsonburg. Geoff hit a three-point shot with 2:45 to go in the first quarter to break the mark. He went on to have a fantastic game as the Green Bears beat Gibsonburg in an important TAAC  show-down. His point total is now 1,025. Geoff is the 16th player in Ottawa Hills basketball history to reach the 1,000 point mark. Geoff's brother, Phillip, joined the 1,000 point club as an O.H. player in 2009. This is the first brother combo to score 1,000 points in their careers as Green Bears. We also have a father-daughter duo in the club--Paul Abendroth in 1980 and Lauren Abendroth in 2011.  Geoff will continue his basketball career at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina next year. Congratulations, Geoff--job well done. Keep on scoring!
 

Give It Up for the Pep Band!

The OHHS Pep Band played at the recent Hoops for the Cure girls' basketball game. The band has a broad repertoire of songs to keep our fans pumped up including: Free Ride, Hips Don’t Lie, and Thrift Shop.  Many thanks to Mr. Leeds, the Pep Band, and the Band Booster parents for all they do to create a fun and festive atmosphere at our home games.



 

Group Yearbook Pictures Next Wednesday

Group yearbook pictures will be taken next Wednesday, February 12. Please plan to send your child in his or her club uniform, sashes, or other team/club distinguishing attire for this fun day. The elementary produces its own yearbook each year (thanks to Miss Shelley in the office!). Orders for the yearbooks are sent home in the spring. 
 

Kindergarten Registration is Happening Now

If you have a child who will be 5 before August 1, 2014, and are considering enrolling him or her in kindergarten for the 2014-15 school year, please contact Shelley Demko in the elementary main office at 419-536-8329. Once your child’s name is on file, you will begin receiving mailings about the registration process.
 

Spelling Bee Success

Fifth grade student, Nick Mack, represented Ottawa Hills Elementary School at the Lucas County Spelling Bee on Tuesday night. Out of 67 students, Nick, along with 11 other students, progressed past round 2. These 12 students will continue on to the Northwest Ohio Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 8. Nick’s performance at the Bee gave his parents, sisters and grandparents a reason to be proud. Nick is pictured here with parents, David and Lisa Mack, and sisters, Sydney and Emily. We join in with them when we say, "Great job, Nick!" Nick was also cheered on by OHES student, Eddie Griffin, and his mother Jennifer.
 

Elementary Green Bears Show Great Leadership

For the month of January, OHES students have been working on building leadership skills and demonstrating leadership to improve our school. Students exhibited leadership by stepping up to take care of a friend, putting aside their own comforts to help someone else, giving an extra effort to keep our building clean, and more. Through the month of February, our students will be working on using their creativity to make Ottawa Hills Elementary School a better place. Following are students who were recognized for displaying excellent leadership. 
 
Picture 1 includes:
Joseph Sweeney, Delaney McCullough, Claire Sigler, Liam Ratcliffe, Tyler Wood, Keelie Wimmers, Devin Jessee, Maria Frost Murnen, Mercer Smith, Meghan Meier, Ella Douglas, Kate Bode, Sauya Talla, Jake Storey, Ryan Mather, Anna Ellingson, Madeline Heben, Ana Reca, Emma Khaskhely, Micah Walker, Audrey Lenavitt, Sam Brown, Vivian Suhy, Shayne Lin, Zara Sediqe, Elsa Klaas, Freya Klaas, Brynn Furey
 
 
Picture 2 includes:
Robert Kanarowski, Sarah Boice, Alex Kasper, Priya Bhatt, Donavan Bridges, Michael Lohmeyer, Megan Storey, Sam Kim, Petar Isailovic, Victor Tavtigian, Meredith Randall, Gabriel Robinson, Blake Josza, Mallory Carter, Drake Furey, Paxson Koury, Stella Cooper, Sammie Kamran, Avril Niemann, Liam McCullough-Campbell, Bazil Frueh, Ra’eed Bhuiyan, Roger Xie, Zac DeWalt
 

Book Fair 2014--Muey Bueno!

Though the weather played havoc with Family Night on Wednesday, overall the Book Fair turned out to be a great event for our students and families this past week. Thank you to the many volunteers who made this event possible. Special thanks to parent volunteer, Michelle Walker, and library media specialist, Rebecca McLean for the time, effort, and energy that they invested in making this year's book fair such a fun experience for everyone. Many thanks to OHSPA for sponsoring our annual book fair. 

OH Happenings

2/7/14 Friday
8:00 AM OHES Book Fair
ES LMC Library
4:30 PM
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Boys Freshman, JV & Varsity Basketball @ Toledo Christian Schools
8:00 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey vs. Perrysburg HS
Bowling Green State University
2/8/14 Saturday
9:00 AM Boys 7th Grade Basketball vs. Northwood -TAAC Tour Semi-final
Northwood HS
10:30 AM Girls 8th Grade Basketball vs. Toledo Christian TAAC Tour Semi-final
Toledo Christian
12:00 PM Boys 8th Grade Basketball vs. Kateri Catholic Academy - TAAC Tour Semi-final
Northwood HS
1:00 PM
2:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Basketball vs. Cardinal Stritch HS
OH HS Gym
2:15 PM Girls 7th Grade Basketball vs. MVCD School
Toledo Christian
4:00 PM
5:30 PM
Boys JV & Varsity Basketball @ Northwood HS
7:30 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey vs. Southview HS
Tam-O-Shanter
2/9/14 Sunday
3:30 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey @ Fremont Ross HS
2/10/14 Monday
5:30 PM Boys 7th Grade Basketball - TAAC Championship
Northwood HS
(with win on Saturday)
5:30 PM Girls 7th Grade
Basketball - TAAC Championship
Toledo Christian
(with win on Saturday)
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Basketball @ Evergreen HS
6:45 PM Girls 8th Grade Basketball - TAAC Championship
Toledo Christian
(with win on Saturday)
7:00 PM Boys 8th Grade Basketball - TAAC Championships
Northwood Middle School
(with win on Saturday)
2/11/14 Tuesday
8:15 AM OHSPA Meeting
Community Room
4:30 PM
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Boys Freshman, JV & Varsity Basketball vs Maumee Valley Country Day School
OH HS Gym
2/12/14 Wednesday
6:00 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey vs. Lake HS
Ottawa Park
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Basketball @ Gibsonburg HS
2/13/14 Thursday
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Basketball @ Northwood HS
7:00 PM OHMTA Meeting
HS LMC Library
 
Village of Ottawa Hills: http://www.ottawahills.org

In partnership with our community,
Ottawa Hills Local Schools
will challenge and inspire each student
to realize his or her unique potential;
to embrace learning as a lifelong process;

and to become an active, responsible citizen.

The best way out
is always through.
Robert Frost
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Ottawa Hills Local Schools • 3600 Indian Rd. • Toledo, OH  43606