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

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
March 21, 2014

Superintendent's Message
Pilot Testing of New Assessments to Begin Next Week

Beginning next week, students at various grade levels will be taking part in pilot tests in preparation for new state assessments that will be rolled out in the 2014-2015 school year. Schools across the state of Ohio are piloting these tests not only to help the state establish the validity and reliability of the tests, but also to give our teachers and students insight into what this new generation of tests will look like. Though the piloting of these tests will take some of our time and attention over the coming weeks, the benefits for our teachers and students are many. In addition to getting a preview of what is coming our way next year, piloting the tests helps us to test our technology infrastructure to ensure that we are ready for implementation of the tests next year. This is important because all of the new tests will be given online.
This week, I’ve asked Rosalice Manlove, our Director of Curriculum and Instruction, to provide an overview of the new testing system. 

What are the Next Generation Assessments?
In the 2014-2015 school year, Ohio’s New Learning Standards in all content areas and the assessments that measure student performance will be fully implemented across the state. English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies will be assessed in grades 3 through 12 based on these new standards.  Standards and assessments are not new to Ohio.  The previous academic content standards were adopted in 2001to 2003, and the current Ohio Achievement Assessments and Ohio Graduation Tests are aligned to these decade-old standards.   
The new assessments, like the new standards, are designed to be more rigorous and to measure deeper learning, critical thinking, and a student’s problem-solving skills. College and career readiness are the underpinnings of the new standards and the Next Generation Assessments are designed to measure student readiness by the end of high school.
Ohio’s English/Language Arts and Math standards are part of the nationally developed Common Core and these assessments are nationally developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).  Science and Social Studies standards were developed by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and the assessments were developed by American Institutes for Research (AIR) for ODE.
Current Ohio Achievement Assessments (OAA) test students in grades 3 through 8, and the OGT  tests students in grade10. Currently, state testing looks like the following:
  • Reading and Math - grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8
  • Writing – grades 4 and 7  [suspended in 2010]          
  • Social Studies – grades 5 and 8 [suspended in 2010]
  • Science – grades 5 and 8
  • Ohio Graduation Test - Reading, Math, Writing, Science, Social Studies – grade 10 [required for graduation]
  • American History and American Government End-of-Course Exam – locally created for 2014 school year as an interim assessment as required by the Ohio legislature.
All of the current assessments are paper and pencil tests that include multiple choice, short answer, and extended response questions, as well as writing prompts for the OGT writing component.  Each content area consists of one test given in the spring of the year.  As an interim step between the current assessments and the Next Generation Assessments, ODE required Boards of Education to adopt locally created end-of-course assessments in American History and American Government to be administered and scored locally at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Ottawa Hills students enrolled in these courses will take the end-of-course exams in June of this year. 
How are the Next Generation Assessments different from the current Ohio Achievement Assessments and the Ohio Graduation Test?
The Next Generation Assessments are designed to be more rigorous, measure a deeper understanding of concepts, and challenge students to demonstrate how they solved the problems.  The new tests are computer-based, not traditional paper and pencil. There are two parts of the new tests—Performance-Based Assessments (PBA) and End-of-Year (EOY) Exams, and each part may contain multiple subtests.  These assessments will take more time to administer.  The current OAA and OGT assessments allow a maximum of 150 minutes for each assessment.  Each subtest of the Next Generation Assessments will take between 60 to 130 minutes, depending on the test. There will be more tests in each content area at each grade level.
The Performance-Based Assessment allows students to show what they can do with what they have learned in the first seven months of the school year. The PBA takes more time to score, which is why this part will come first. Students will use more than words to answers these questions. They will use technology to create visuals as well as words to answer a question.
The end-of-year exam allows students to show what they have learned in the school year. These assessments will be digitally scored which will provide quicker results. This allows the end-of-year assessments to be given late in the school year. The majority of questions will be multiple choice.
The Next Generation Assessments – Online Performance-Based Assessments (March/April) and End-of-Course Exams (May/June) will be administered as follows:
  • English/Language Arts  - grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 [5 subtests – 3 PBA, 2 EOY]
  • Math - grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 [4 subtests – 2 PBA, 2 EOY]
  • Social Studies – grades 4 and 6 [2 subtests – 1 PBA, 1 EOY]
  • Science – grades 5 and 8 [2 subtests – 1 PBA, 1 EOY]
  • English 9, 10, and 11 [5 subtests – 3 PBA, 2 EOY]
  • Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II [4 subtests – 2 PBA, 2 EOY]
  • Biology and Physical Science [2 subtests – 1 PBA, 1 EOY]
  • American History and American Government [2 subtests – 1 PBA, 1 EOY]
In addition, all 10th grade students will take the PSAT as a Career and College Readiness Test.
Until new legislation is passed by the State Legislature – all 10th grade students will continue to take the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGTs) in Reading, Math, Writing, Science, and Social Studies that are linked to high school graduation. Ultimately the EOY exams for grades 9-12 will replace the OGT as a graduation requirement.
What are pilot field tests?
Students across the grade levels and content areas will participate in the pilot field tests beginning with Performance-Based Assessments beginning the week of March 24, 2014.To see the schedule of pilot tests that will be given in Ottawa Hills Schools, click here. 

Field tests measure the quality of the assessment. Information learned from the field tests are critical to the development of quality assessments that are aligned to the content standards and appropriately measure what students know and are able to do when they take the Next Generation Assessments in the 2014-2015 school year.  These tests will also give students and schools an opportunity to determine technology capacity and needs for testing for the 2014-2015 school year. 
Links to the ODE website:
Ohio’s New Learning Standards:

Next Generation Assessments:

Public Forum Regarding Facilities to be Held  Next Wednesday

This past school year, a 38-member facilities committee has been working with Fanning Howey Architects of Celina. The goal of the committee is to make a recommendation to the Board of Education in December of this year regarding a master facilities plan. The committee is comprised of representatives of the community, the Board of Education, administrative team, faculty, and staff. Committee members are shown here as they worked during their most recent meeting this past Monday.

The District Facilities Committee will be hosting a Public Forum on Wednesday, March 26 at 7:00 p.m. The purpose of the Forum is to share the work of the District Facilities Committee to this point and to give community residents an opportunity to provide feedback regarding district building needs. The meeting will be held in the junior/senior high school library/media center.

Please consider sharing some of your time by attending the Public Forum next Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The input of the community is a very important part of the process as the Facilities Committee prepares a recommendation for the Board regarding the future of our school district's facilities. 

Countdown On to Green Bear Ball!

Only twenty more days until the Green Bear Ball, which will be held on Saturday, April 12, from 6:30 p.m. to midnight . This year's event is being held at the historic Valentine Theatre.

One way to support the Green Bear Ball is by purchasing VIP box seats for the Ball. The GBB Committee is auctioning off ten VIP box seats for the Emerald City Ball. The top ten bids  will win:
•seating for four in exclusive box seats during the live auction;
•desserts and a bottle of wine for four VIP guests;
•following the silent auction, this VIP seating is yours for the rest of the evening,which will keep you close to the dance floor.

Bids are placed by filling out the Box Seat Auction Form and mailing it to Sue Carson. Don’t miss out on having the best view in the house! The deadline for bids has been extended. All bids must be postmarked by tomorrow, March 22, 2014.

In addition to the auctions at the Ball, there will be a reverse raffle with only 200 tickets being available for $100 each. The winner will receive $5000! Fill out the reverse raffle ticket order form today--don't miss out on your chance to win $5,000!

And finally, don't wait another day to order your GBB tickets. Ticket prices are now $90. If you have not already been contacted by a ticket ambassador and would like to purchase tickets, contact Kathy Lathrop at


O.H. Freshmen Earn Superiors at District Science Fair

Congratulations to 9th graders Renae Goik, Natalia Cortes, and Alicia de la Serna on earning Superior ratings at the District Science Fair recently held at the University of Toledo. Renae and Natalia's project was titled "The Role of Factor H in the Protection of Red Blood Cells from the Complement System," and Alicia's project was titled "The Effect of Vitamins on Melanocytes That Are Exposed to Ultraviolet Radiation". The superior rating earns our students a trip to Columbus for the State Science Fair in May. Great Job ladies!

Students Move on in "You Be the Chemist" Competition

The "You Be The Chemist" challenge is an academic competition about chemistry for students in grades 5-8. On Wednesday, February 19, several of our junior high school students chose to participate in the local "You Be The Chemist" examination. A total of 29 students from the local competitions are moving on to the state competition at Imagination Station on April 19, 2014. Twelve of the twenty-nine state qualifiers are from Ottawa Hills.

These students are Randall Johnson, Will Koury, Steven Randall, Rahul Bais, Neha Kazmi, Maya Chadar-Kouba, Sam Assi, Justine Steven, Caroline Cerilli, Ellie Westmeyer, Urvish Patel, and Tessa Koury. Congratulations to all of these students and good luck at the state competition.

Fun With Forensics

Jeanine Bailey’s Anatomy students turned to forensic science to study blood spatter patterns. Using simulated blood, students learned about the different shapes and sizes blood takes as it falls from different heights, lands on different materials, and is subjected to different forces. Overall, students discovered that the pattern produced by blood is predictable and could be used to help solve a crime scene.

Power of the Pen Competes at Regional Tournament

The Ottawa Hills Power of the Pen team competed at the Regional Tournament on Thursday, March 13. The event was held at Lourdes University. Writers competed in three rounds of writing against students from 21 schools from all over northwest Ohio.  Representing Ottawa Hills, were 7th grades Neha Kazmi, Zoe Behnfeldt, and Maya Chandar-Kouba, and 8th graders Joe French and Mason Langenderfer. Seventh grader Neha Kazmi placed 13th and eighth grader Mason Langenderfer placed 12th. They have both qualified to compete at the state tournament. The team will find out in the near future if anyone else has qualified to join them.

How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice!

Eighth grade French horn player Will Rand has been selected to participate in the 2014 Middle School Honor Band in the Carnegie Hall Performance Series! After a recorded audition against other middle school musicians nationwide, Will was selected for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall with other outstanding middle school musicians this coming June. Will will be in New York City June 25 through 29. Along with rehearsals, he will enjoy the sights of New York and a Broadway show. The culmination of the trip is a performance in Carnegie Hall on the evening of June 28.

OH instrumental director Mr. Leeds notes, "Will's hard work and determination have been evident ever since he joined the Ottawa Hills family this past fall. We are proud of Will and to have him represent OH in the most famous of concert halls in the world is an amazing accomplishment."

Congratulations, Will!


Mrs. Zake Updates Destination Imagination Regional Tournament Results

Last week, I gave you an update on how two teams performed at the regional Destination Imagination tournament in Delta the weekend before. Little did I know that we did not have just two teams perform with high honors, but a third team competed as well, and also earned high honors!  This third team, named The Winning Team, was led by parents Michelle Walker and Lisa Brown. Team members included Zachary Amonett, Sam Brown, Maya Pande, Claire Rotman, Hugh Wagoner and Micah Walker.  This team competed in the same division as the Fast Thinking Cheetahs, that were mentioned in last week’s OH Connections. Nice job Winning Team!

6th Grade Team Wins CAL League

One of Ottawa Hills' two 6th grade basketball teams made it a clean sweep of the season as they finished the season undefeated, taking out Emmanuel Christian 26 to 23 in the championship game of the Christian Athletic League tournament.

Shown in the picture are team members (back row): Coach Greg Kasper, John Kight, Drew Hoffman, David Heuring, Nikko Martinez, and Coach Jim Hoffman. In the front row are Jack O'Brien, Alex Kasper, Will Lohmeyer, Scott Davis, Rohit Mukherjee.

Congratulations, Green Bears!

To Catch a Leprechaun…

The First Graders had their traps ready to catch a leprechaun. Excitement filled the air as the children entered the classrooms on St. Patrick’s Day. The mischievous, little leprechauns had definitely been there. There were footprints, notes, and messed up classrooms. Although no leprechauns were caught, “gold” was left for all to enjoy!

Artists at Work Preparing for the Green Bear Ball

Elementary students are busy in the Art Room creating projects for the Green Bear Ball. Classes are using paint, glaze, decoupage and brilliant pieces of glass to make these special creations: Kindergarten Step Stools, First Grade Ceramic Popcorn Bowls, Second Grade Wooden Perpetual Calendars, Third Grade French Floral Buckets, Fourth Grade Decoupage Chairs, Fifth Grade Game Tables, and Sixth Grade Stone Garden Benches. All will be auctioned off to the highest bidders at the Green Bear Ball on Saturday, April 12.

Happy Birthday Girl Scouts!

This year, Girl Scouts turns 102 years old! Last Friday, in order to honor the Girl Scouts, OHES students held a Happy Birthday breakfast before school and finished out the day with a Father-Daughter dance, themed “Beach Party.”  This dance provided an opportunity for dads and their lucky gals to create everlasting memories while earning money to support our school-based troops. In order to make the week extra special, troops took turns reading an announcement each morning and leading the Pledge of Allegiance for the entire school.  It was quite a week for Ottawa Hills Girl Scouts!

Brown Bag Chorus Sings Pure Imagination

Music teacher and vocal music director, Kimberly Bright, with the piano accompaniment of fellow teacher and OH alumnus, Jonathon Siebenaler, showcased the Brown Bag Chorus in "Pure Imagination" on Wednesday evening. "Pure Imagination" was a musical performance of familiar songs from both classic and new films, with a twist. Several students performed solos and dances to add to the magic of the performance. Audience members had wonderful things to say about the performance, recognizing the impressive talent of our fifth and sixth graders!

Variety Show

Our students have another upcoming chance to shine, as the Student Council Variety Show is sure to impress, as well! Students prepared acts and auditioned for this year’s show. Since the auditions, they have been working hard to rehearse and make sure they are ready for their moment on the stage. The show will take place on Friday, March 28 from 8:30-10:00 a.m. in the new gym.  It will consist of student performers from grades K-6 and will be filled with an abundance of talent, such as singers, dancers, musicians and even magicians! Please come early to reserve your parking spot and support our wonderful performers.

OH Happenings

3/22/14 Saturday
TBA Boys Varsity Lacrosse @ Marysville HS
3/23/14 Sunday
3:00 PM JH/HS Spring Choral Concert
HS Auditorium
7:00 PM JH/HS Spring Band Concert
HS Auditorium
3/25/14 Tuesday
8:00 AM –
1:00 PM
Red Cross HS & Community Blood Drive
HS Multi-Purpose Room
5:30 PM
6:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Lacrosse vs Anthony Wayne High School
OH HS Stadium
3/26/14 Wednesday
6:00 PM Boys Varsity Lacrosse vs. Bowling Green High School
OH HS Stadium
3/27/14 Thursday
6:00 PM
7:00 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Lacrosse vs. Southview 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.

If we had no winter,
the spring would not be so pleasant.
If we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.
--Anne Bradstreet

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