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

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
April 25, 2014

Superintendent's Message
Volunteers Make it Happen at O.H. Schools

The purpose of life is not to be happy,
but to matter,
to be productive, to be useful,
to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.
--Leo Rosten
Tonight, the curtain will go up on our spring musical production, Oliver! Our students will be amazing, and we’ll all leave the auditorium in awe of how Mr. Broadway and his team create something that far exceeds expectations of what elementary, junior high, and high school students should be able to do. Their work is something in which we all take pride. But there’s a behind-the-scenes story that is an important part of the success that we’ll experience this weekend. It’s the work of many volunteers who do everything from sewing costumes to publicizing the event to selling tickets, program ads, and more.
Mr. McMurray sums it up when he says, "We are incredibly grateful for the work done by our volunteers at the junior/senior high school.  As you sit and watch this weekend's performances of Oliver!, know that behind the scenes is an army of volunteers helping to make the musical a magical experience. Quality programming from our educational, athletic, and extracurricular activities could not happen without the assistance of our parent and community volunteers."
A few weeks ago, it was yet another army of volunteers who produced a first-class event in the Emerald City Green Bear Ball. The night before the Ball, students in our fifth through seventh grade classes enjoyed “Mind, Body, and You!” It was an event designed especially for our middle grade girls and their mothers. Darcy Browne organized the event, but notes, “Recent events such as 'Mind, Body, and You!' could not have been successful without our generous parents and community volunteers.”  
Volunteers. They lead our Parent Association and our Music and Theatre Association. They work tirelessly on behalf of the Athletic Boosters and the Ottawa Hills Prevention Advisory Committee.
They organize daily lunches, sixth grade graduation, and after-prom. They work in concession stands and they man booths at the Fall Festival. They tend to the Wheel of Treats and the Goldfish Game at the elementary carnival.
They prepare meals for our staff and our athletic teams and our musical casts. They organize sports banquets and senior week.
They go on field trips to Sauder’s and the Toledo Zoo and Mud Hens games.
They run our book fairs and they run our copy machines. They listen to our kids read and they listen to the recitation of "Word Wall" words. They organize class parties and Mornings with Monet and help with Science Olympiad projects. The help to organize and serve at our Hall of Fame Legacy Luncheon.
They serve on the Facility Committee and the Marketing Committee. They serve as trustees for our School Foundation and as chairs for our levy campaigns.
They sell t-shirts and sweatshirts and Green Bear flags.
They are dedicated, devoted, selfless individuals who come together, time and time again, to give us their very best.  
Mrs. Zake shares her thoughts about volunteers in our school system when she says, “From reading to students in the halls to helping prepare for memorable elementary events, we are better because of our volunteers. Their time and commitment to our schools is second to none and allows us to provide the best educational programming in the state. I love seeing our volunteers flood the halls, inspiring our students to learn. They surround our students and staff with support and we can’t say thank you enough.”
And that’s true. We simply cannot say thank you enough. But during this Volunteer Appreciation Week, we extend one big, heartfelt “thank you” to our volunteers. And please know that behind that one big “thank you” is a world of sincerity and appreciation.  
We know that what we do would not be possible without what you do. We are one incredibly blessed school district because you decide, each and every day, to make a difference in the lives of our staff and students. Thank you.   

Could You Be Our Next AFS Host Family?

If you ask host families about the wonderful international exchange students that they have hosted through the years, they will tell you about the lasting memories and the warm friendships that they have developed with students from around the world. AFS students are hosted yearly by OH families-- students from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, India, China, Thailand, Argentina, and Venezuela.
Village resident and AFS community liaison Linda Sherry has hosted four times. Ask her about her students from Argentina, China, and Germany, or about her trip to Germany this fall to visit Max and Julia. Ask the Glossers about the close bond that continues years later between the Glosser boys and their Danish student. These students truly become a part of your family. This is the time of year that Ottawa Hills is looking for families interested in hosting next year's AFS international exchange students.
AFS is looking for a host family for Jeannette from Switzerland.  Jeannette is a 17 year old girl who loves sports. She enjoys running on a track team and playing volleyball. She describes herself as funny, helpful and motivated. Her teachers say that she is respected by everyone, that she is a group leader with a good attitude and cheerful personality. She has excellent grades in school and excellent English skills. The teacher who wrote her recommendation said that, "she would love to have Jeannette in her own family and in her school."
To find out more about hosting Jeannette or other wonderful international students please contact Linda Sherry at or leave a message at 419-539-6946. She will sort through hundreds of biographies to help you select a boy or girl that you feel matches your family's personality and interests.

Last Chance for Facilities Survey

A few weeks ago, the district newsletter summarized the Public Forum which was held on March 26. Attendees at the forum were updated on the work of the Facilities Committee, which has been charged with making a recommendation to the Board of Education regarding a Master Facilities Plan for the district.

Everyone in attendance at the Forum had a chance to ask questions and share comments during the meeting. A “clicker system” allowed 100% of those in attendance to respond to nine different questions. You can also answer those questions by clicking here and taking a short survey. Please realize that these are representative questions and are not meant to be all-inclusive regarding the focus of the Facilities Committee. These questions provided a means for those at the forum to be actively involved in the evening’s activities. They do the same here—they give you a chance to respond to the questions and make your voice a part of the bigger picture. Please take a few minutes to provide your input on these various questions. There is room after each question for your comments. This survey will close at midnight on Tuesday, April 29. 

Brian Matters Challenge 5K

The Brian Matters 5k Challenge run/walk will take place on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. at the Ottawa Hills High School stadium. The Challenge Run starts at 9 a.m. The course winds through the streets of Ottawa Hills. Sign up through the Brian Matters website by clicking here or through Dave's Running Shop website by clicking here. The deadline for early registration is April 28, but participants can sign up on the morning of the race.


March 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.   Congratulations to the March S.P.A.C.E students of the month: Kaleigh Carson, Vikram Madhira , Kyleigh Meier, Ben Roller, Vince Adduci, Libby Fruth, Peter Boice, Santiago Garcia-Mata, Enna McBride, Christine Crider, Christian Heidenreich, Corinne Aubry, Bella Brandstatter, Rameez Mahmood, Grace Dunbar, and Culver Whitehead.  Their names are posted in the junior high hallway and will be announced during Monday’s OH NEWS.

Theme for Agora 2014

Agora advisor James Kinkaid unveiled the theme for Agora 2014 during a student assembly on Thursday. “The Secrets of Life” will provide a conceptual framework for the events, speakers, field trips, travel, leadership opportunities, and workshops for Agora and Agora Junior next November.  The official logo for Agora 2014 will be developed by student Sara Eskandari in the coming weeks and unveiled at the smART show on Friday, May 2.  Many thanks to James Kinkaid for organizing the assembly and taking on the monumental task of being the creative organizer behind one of the programs that makes Ottawa Hills an exceptional place to learn, work, and, of course, explore the “secrets of life”.  Here is a small excerpt from Mr. Kinkaid's presentation:
Education is considered, by most, to be a necessary preparation for life. Educators are constantly immersed in the latest ideas that promise--somehow--to  provide a secret elixir to make the educational process work for everyone. It is a noble pursuit, I think. But is education really a preparation for life? Does education end when life commences? If not, then it does not stand apart from life. Perhaps what we should be asking ourselves is, not “What is the secret of education?,” but “What is the secret of life?”  
There is a proverbial cartoon in which some bedraggled pilgrim drags himself to the top of the Himalayas to ask a bearded yogi this most important of questions. In each instance, the yogi does not provide the answer, but often makes some silly, vague, or painfully obvious remark.   Perhaps this suggests that there is no one answer to this question. Perhaps this means that we cannot seek that secret from others, not in our education, and not in our own lives.
The questions then must be “What great potential lies inside the individual that can inspire him or her to overcome the greatest of obstacles? What deeper understanding or profound experience could add more meaning to what we do to prepare for our futures? How can education be more than a preparation for life and, instead, be infused with life itself?”   -James Kinkaid

International Foods Class Explores Spanish Cuisine

Walk through the main hallway of the high school on any given day and wafting through the air are pleasant aromas from the kitchen in the family and consumer science room.  Recently, Julie Visser’s International Foods classes have been exploring the culture and cuisine of Spain.  Working in teams, students researched and followed recipes for gazpacho, flan, croutons, and a Spanish-style cookie. If you would like to try one of the recipes, please contact family and consumer science teacher Julie Visser by emailing her at

TAAC Leaders Plan Student Summit

Since its formation in 1988, The Toledo Area Athletic Conference has created a strong history of providing meaningful competitive athletic competitions for its student athletes. Last week, student representatives from each member school met at Northwood High School to share ideas about developing leadership capacity, fostering school spirit, and finding ways to encourage community service. In addition, they began planning a student summit for this August.

Ottawa Hills was represented by freshman Nolan Greeley, sophomore Kelsi Berry, and junior Olivia Koury. TAAC principals and Athletic Directors hope this latest initiative will maintain positive relations and good sportsmanship between schools. Many thanks to Northwood principal Jason Koznia for hosting and providing lunch for the students. Thanks to Mike House, the Associate Director of Admissions for International and Residential Students at MVCDS, for facilitating the student planning session. We look forward to learning more from Nolan, Kelsi, and Olivia as their plans develop over the next few months.


Shhhh…Testing in Progress…

OAA testing is in full swing. By the time you have read this OH Connections, our third and sixth graders will be completely finished with the Ohio Achievement Assessments, with fourth graders midway through. Next week, fifth graders will be testing mid-week, with fourth grade finishing up on Friday. 
Ohio Achievement Assessments provide data on each student, measuring their knowledge and understanding of Ohio’s Common Core Standards, and providing a progress measure from year to year. The assessments are considered “high stakes” testing because the results guide many educational decisions for individual children, for individual schools, and for entire districts. Ottawa Hills students traditionally perform very well on these assessments, and we expect this trend to continue.
Teachers and students have worked all year to make sure they are prepared in a variety of ways for these assessments. Our teachers use Ohio’s Common Core Standards to plan their lessons, with the goal of teaching every standard thoroughly prior to OAAs. In addition, students learn test-taking skills, such as reading the questions, then the passage, then the questions again when answering comprehension questions. Another test-taking skill is eliminating obvious incorrect choices when responding to multiple choice questions to narrow the choices. Finally, all year long, students practice problem-solving skills across the curriculum. They identify important information, brainstorm possible solutions, and produce evidence to prove or support their solutions.
With a rigorous academic curriculum and amazing family support, OH students are ready to ace the tests!

A Note from Mrs. Zake Regarding Morning Drop-Off

In hearing several concerns about morning drop-off, and in recognizing that I, myself, am not secure in my understanding of the traffic rules governing morning drop-off on Indian and Ashborne Roads, we decided it was time for some clarification. Following a conversation with Chief of Police, John Wenzlick, earlier this week, Chief Wenzlick posted the following communication to his police force. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with these policies, as these rules will dictate future traffic violations.
“We have received a few questions from parents in regards to the rules during pick-up and drop-off at the elementary school. Just to refresh ourselves, below are some of the more commonly encountered parking violations.  
When reading the bus stop related parking ordinance, please note that it allows a driver to temporarily stop a vehicle, for less than three minutes, to drop off or pick up a passenger, as long as the action does not interfere with a bus entering or about to enter the bus stop zone and the action is not prohibited by posted signs.  

Currently, the curb is painted yellow within the bus cut out, and a no parking sign is posted.  For the remainder of the school year, we will PERMIT parents to drop off their children in the MORNING within the bus cut out, as long as it does not interfere with a bus attempting to enter the zone. Over the summer, I will reevaluate the signage and curb painting so that it is more consistent with how the area is being used.
Thank you for continuing to monitor the school traffic and helping to keep the school children safe.  Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions."

(A)   No person shall stand or park a vehicle, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or to comply with the provisions of this title, or while obeying the directions of a police officer or a traffic-control device, in any of the following places:
(2)   In front of a public or private driveway;
(3)   Within an intersection;
(5)   On a crosswalk;
(6)   Within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection;
(12)   Alongside any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street;
(14)   At any place where signs prohibit stopping;
(25)   Adjacent to any yellow curb.

Oliver! Takes the Stage

Our elementary students, along with junior high and high school students will be taking the stage for an amazing production of “Oliver” this weekend. The time and energy that so many people put into the OH productions will amaze all eyes and ears. We hope to see you there, and to all students involved in the production: Break a Leg!

OH Happenings

4/25/14 Friday
4:30 PM Coed Varsity Track and Field @ Gibsonburg HS
Gibsonburg Invitational
5:00 PM
6:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity  Lacrosse @ Northview HS
5:00 PM Girls Varsity Softball @ Hilltop High School
7:30 PM OHHS Spring Musical – Oliver!
HS Auditorium
4/26/14 Saturday
10:00 AM
12:30 PM
Boys Varsity & JV Baseball vs Southview HS
OH Baseball Field
11:00 AM
1:00 PM
Girls Varsity Softball vs Montpelier HS
OH Softball Field
1:00 PM Boys Varsity Lacrosse vs. Eastlake
OH Stadium
2:00 PM OHHS Spring Musical – Oliver!
HS Auditorium
7:30 PM OHHS Spring Musical – Oliver!
HS Auditorium
4/27/14 Sunday
2:00 PM OHHS Spring Musical - Oliver!
HS Auditorium
4/28/14 Monday
4:30 PM Boys Varsity Tennis @ Wauseon HS
5:00 PM Boys Junior Varsity Baseball @ Start HS
6:00 PM Boys Varsity Lacrosse vs Southview HS
OH Stadium
4/29/14 Tuesday
4:15 PM Coed Varsity Track and Field vs Emmanuel Christian HS
OH Stadium
4:30 PM Boys Varsity Tennis vs Bryan HS
OH Tennis Courts
4:30 PM
5:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity  Lacrosse @ St Ursula Academy
5:00 PM Boys Junior Varsity Baseball @ St. Johns
High School
5:00 PM Boys Varsity Baseball vs Danbury HS
OH Baseball Field
5:00 PM Girls Varsity Softball vs Danbury High School
OH Softball Field
4/30/14 Wednesday
4:00 PM Boys Varsity Tennis vs Maumee Valley Country Day School
OH Tennis Courts
4:30 PM Boys Junior Varsity Baseball @ Evergreen HS
4:30 PM Boys Varsity Baseball vs Evergreen HS
OH Baseball Field
4:30 PM Girls Varsity Softball vs Evergreen HS
OH Softball Field
5:00 PM
6:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Lacrosse vs Maumee Valley Country Day School
OH Stadium
5/1/14 Thursday
4:30 PM Coed Junior High Track and Field @ Northwood
4:30 PM
5:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Lacrosse @ Notre Dame
4:30 PM OHLS Special Board Meeting
Community Room
4:45 PM Boys Junior Varsity Baseball @ Northwood HS
4:45 PM Boys Varsity Baseball vs Northwood HS
OH Baseball Field
4:45 PM Girls Varsity Softball vs Northwood HS
OH Softball Field
6:00 PM Boys Varsity Lacrosse vs. Central Catholic HS
OH Stadium
Village of Ottawa Hills:

Ottawa Hills Parent Association:
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 miracle is this--
the more we share, the more we have.
--Leonard Nimoy

Copyright © 2014 Ottawa Hills Local Schools, All rights reserved.
Ottawa Hills Local Schools • 3600 Indian Rd. • Ottawa Hills, OH  43606