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

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
February 21, 2014

Superintendent's Message
What's a Waiver Day?

Last Friday, Ottawa Hills Schools had a “waiver day," so students didn’t report to school. We also had a waiver day the day before students started the 2013-2014 school year. This is the second year that our district has used waiver days. So the question is, “What’s a waiver day?”
The Ohio Revised Code authorizes the state superintendent of public instruction to waive up to four days of student instructional days for the purpose of professional development for teachers. Ottawa Hills applied, and was approved for waiver days each of the last two years. During our waiver days, we have trained staff on issues related to technology, the new state standards, school safety and security, and literacy programs, such as The Daily Five.
Last Friday, the elementary teachers received training on the Six Traits of Writing program. Their training was actually a continuation of training that was received earlier in the school year. Trainers came from as far away as Dallas, Boston, and Orlando to provide instruction for our teachers.
According to “The Literate Learner,” “Six Traits of Writing is a systematic approach for looking at writing one part at a time. Since writing is such a complicated activity, this approach helps students break down the task and understand it better.” Writers and readers use Six Traits to focus on one trait of writing at a time to make the process more manageable. The six traits are ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. With practice, writers learn to be more critical of their own work and can make improvements in the quality of their writing.
First grade teacher Wendi Danzeisen appreciated the use of the waiver day to improve her knowledge of the Six Traits model. “The first graders are working towards becoming fabulous writers with the guidance through the Six Traits. They have focused on organization, gathering ideas, word choice, and sentence fluency.  The recent teacher inservice provided teachers with great ideas to incorporate the Six Traits into our everyday writing.”
Perhaps more than anything else, Six Traits gives teachers and students a common vocabulary for talking and thinking about writing. By training all teachers, grades K through 6, our students will experience a common approach and common vocabulary in their writing instruction throughout their elementary years.
Dave Wells, fourth grade teacher, affirms the advantages of using the Six Traits model: “The Six Traits of Writing model is very effective in providing students the necessary skills to be effective writers. It is designed to enable the students to focus their efforts on the key elements (traits) of writing during the writing process.  In other words, it provides opportunities to clearly understand all of the parts individually that are needed for quality writing.  In my classroom, the rubrics prove to be the most valuable tool.  They are clear and concise so when the students begin to evaluate their progress using a certain trait, they can efficiently discern the level at which the tasks are being completed.  This immediate feedback allows for timely revision and concrete topics to be discussed during conferencing.”
The training provided for teachers during our professional development days is paying dividends for students, as second-grade teacher Kim Clayton affirms: “As we've implemented the Six Traits of Writing in our classrooms, the most significant difference I've noticed has been the creativity and individuality in the students' writing.  The boys and girls are able to focus on specific traits, such as ideas, organization, or word choice, and truly put their personalized touch on each piece.  In addition, teaching writing through the Six Traits has allowed me to easily differentiate writing goals for each student.  Six Traits also improves students' writing by teaching parts-to-whole, which once learned, enables students to successfully create written pieces of any genre.”
As the elementary teachers received valuable training in the Six Traits of Writing, the junior high and high school teachers, along with the elementary “specials” area teachers, spent the waiver day increasing their knowledge about Student Learning Objectives (SLO’s) and working on SLO’s.
One element of the new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) is that part of each teacher’s annual evaluation will be based upon academic growth of the teacher’s students. In essence, half of each teacher’s evaluation will come from how much the teacher’s students learn over the course of the year. For some teachers, this academic growth—or “Value Added” data—is easy to identify because it’s determined by state tests. For example, we have an Ohio Achievement Assessment in fifth grade math, so a fifth grade teacher who teaches math will have Value Added data based on students’ performance on the fifth grade OAA test. However, not every grade level or every subject area has a state test.
For teachers who do not have state Value Added data, their student growth measure will be based upon one of two other options. The first option is a “vendor” assessment. The Ohio Department of Education has approved certain nationally-normed tests for use in measuring student growth. For example, the Terra Nova 3 assessment could be used to measure student growth in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade math since these grade levels do not have a state math test.
Student growth for teachers who do not have a state assessment or a vendor assessment must be measured by a Student Learning Objective (SLO). The ODE defines an SLO as “a measurable, long-term academic growth target that a teacher sets at the beginning of the year for all students or for subgroups of students. Student learning objectives demonstrate a teacher’s impact on student learning.”
Developing SLO’s can be time-consuming and complicated, as the SLO must include elements such as baseline and trend data, the population being tested, the interval of instruction, the standard being addressed, growth targets, and the assessments that will be used to establish baseline data and measure growth.
During the February 15 waiver day, junior high and high school teachers spent the day increasing their knowledge of SLO’s and writing SLO’s for their departments. Because they do not have OAAs or vendor assessments for their courses, elementary special-area teachers, such as technology, physical education, music, and art, also joined the jr./sr. high school teachers to develop SLO’s for their classes.
Ottawa Hills will officially begin using the new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System in January of 2015. Teachers will begin to implement their SLO’s during the 2014-2015 school year.

Falcon Millionaires--A Financial Boot Camp for Savvy Kids

Seventh graders are invited to apply for "Falcon Millionaire," a one-week camp which teaches the importance of finances and is aligned with the middle grades content standards in financial literacy and career development. Topics covered during this camp include Philanthropy, Banking, Budgeting, Investing, Career/Business Development, Interviewing Techniques, Networking, and Public Speaking. The camp will be offered in two sessions: June 9 to 13 or June 23 to 27. One lucky camper each week will win an iPad. Camp runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.

Camp registration is $125 per camper, which includes a t-shirt, a flash-drive of the week’s activities, field trips to local businesses, the opportunity to interact with entrepreneurs, and a $50 debit card to teach budgeting and allow students to purchase lunches and snacks for the week.  Students must be entering the 8th grade in Fall 2014 to attend.

For more information contact Jane Clinard at or at 419-367-6470. To register, visit Camp Millionaire is sponsored by the BGSU College of Business Administration, BGSU College of Education and Human Development, and the BGSU Office of Admissions.

Green Bear Ball--Be A Patron!

The GBB has been an important fund raising event for Ottawa Hills Schools for more than 25 years. This year’s Ball will fund three different projects along with ongoing student athletic programs. The projects have a focus on “STEAM” which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Please consider being a Patron of this year's Green Bear Ball. The Program Patron form can be found here

The Green Bear Ball 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. Silent and Live auctions will be taking place. In addition to the auctions there will be a reverse raffle with only 200 tickets being available for $100 each. The winner will receive $5000! Ticket prices for the Ball are $80 each, but remember that after March 15, ticket prices go up to $90. If you have not already been contacted by a ticket ambassador and would like to purchase tickets, contact Vanessa Prince at

Postsecondary Enrollment Options Program Meeting Next Monday

The Postsecondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEO) was established by the state legislature to permit high school students in grades nine through twelve to earn college and/or high school graduation credit through the successful completion of college courses. There is a proposal pending in the legislature that may change the design of the Post Secondary Enrollment Options Program; however, Ottawa Hills Local Schools will follow the current plan in place in Ohio as we plan for the 2014-2015 school year.
The program is intended to provide opportunities for appropriately qualified high school students to experience coursework at the college or university level. Any high school student admitted to a course by an institution of higher education will be expected and required to perform at the same level as the institution's regular students. College courses should either contribute to or supplement the broad academic preparation needed by high school students. Program eligibility requirements include that students must be accepted at the participating college or university, and must be less than a full-time student in high school.
Ottawa Hills High School students interested in the program and their parents should plan to attend an informational meeting and counseling session on Monday, February 24, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. in the Library Media Center at Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School.
Detailed information about the Postsecondary Enrollment Options program is available through the guidance office at the junior/senior high school.


Green Bears Take TAAC--Sectional Final Action Tomorrow

The Ottawa Hills Girls' Basketball Team finished the season with a 17 - 4 overall record while finishing 13 - 1 in Toledo Area Athletic Conference play. They tied for the TAAC Championship with Toledo Christian. The Green Bears’ only conference loss was to Toledo Christian early in the season, but they came back to avenge that loss with a win over the Eagles on January 30. Congratulations go out to Coach Mercer and the members of the basketball team on their conference title!
The Green Bears earned the number 2 seed for Sectional play, which earned them a bye into the Sectional final game on Saturday, February 22. The game will be played at 8:00 pm at Lake High School against the winner of the Otsego/Swanton game.
Come on out on Saturday to support the Green Bears as they begin tournament play. Go Bears!  

Vocalists Receive High Praise at Honors Choir

Congratulations to Junior High vocalists Peyton Broce, Claire McLean, and Mason Langenderfer, who were selected to sing with the District One Junior High Honors Choir this past weekend.  Congratulations also to High School singers Alec Frye, Zi-Yang Liew, and John Sun for being selected to sing with the District One High School Honors Choir.

These musicians were selected from over 600 applicants who auditioned for selection to the Honors Choir. Both guest conductors, Dr. Julie Skadsem from the University of Michigan and Jodie Ricci from the Hawken School, were very complimentary of the work ethic and talent of the singers with whom they worked this weekend. The music was difficult, engaging and inspiring. The Honors Choirs held their concerts at the Stranahan Theater last Sunday, living up to the title of Honors Choir.

Bravi to our talented singers and to our wonderful director, Donna Wipfli!

Gymnastics Districts Today at BG

Green Bear Sophomore Margaret Nichols will represent Ottawa Hills at the district gymnastics meet today at Bowling Green State University's Anderson Arena. Gymnasts from 20 different schools will be competing for the right to move on in the OHSAA tournament and compete in the state finals on March 1 at Hilliard Bradley High School. The district schedule has Margaret beginning her rotation on the beam. For more information about the tournament, click here. Good luck, Margaret!  

Golf Team Receives Acclamation at the State House

The OHHS State Championship Golf Team members were honored guests at the State House this past Wednesday. The team was invited by Barbara Sears, the District 47 representative to the Ohio House of Representatives. The team was honored with a proclamation which was supported by all members of the House. Congratulations to coach Jim McGill and our championship golfers: RJ Coil, Ben Silverman, Matt Abendroth, Ben Dayton, Michael Denner, Justin Judis, and Brett Hoffman. Thank you to Representative Barbara Sears for this very special invitation! 

OHMTA and OHSPA Purchase New Timpani for Music Program

Mr. Leeds and the instrumental music program are excited about four new additions to their inventory. Through the support of OHSPA and OHMTA, a brand new set of four timpani have arrived and are being put to immediate use. The new timpani feature wheels for easy transport to and from concert and rehearsal settings. They also feature tuning guides to find pitches immediately. Their increased range and tone quality are remarkable, causing great excitement among the band students, who are excited to add the timpani to their ensemble of instruments. These drums replaced two aged sets that were 40 and 60 years old. The two older drums will be turned into tables and auctioned off for the Green Bear Ball, so you too can own a piece of OH history and a unique musical coffee table. These new timpani will make beautiful music for decades to come. Thank you, OHSPA and OHMTA for your support!

Ceramics Students Learn to Make Ocarinas

High School art students have had the unique opportunity of creating their own musical instruments modeled after the Ocarinas. Ocarinas are believed to date back approximately 12,000 years and originated in Chinese and Mesoamerican cultures (Aztecs and Mayans). Ocarinas were originally made of clay, although they are made out of many materials today, including wood and plastic. Students created individual designs inspired by either Taoism (reflecting the natural world in some way- they could make a bird, a plant, or a bug for example) or lattice patterning (the geometric patterns found in Chinese architecture).

Students used a technique called scraffito to decorate their ocarinas. Scraffito is achieved by painting a layer of underglaze onto a leather hard clay body and scratching through it to reveal the clay body underneath. Underglaze is a thin, colored slip that can be painted onto unfired or bisque-fired clay. Unlike glaze, it does not run or smooth out in the final firing, it stays put, allowing for specific details to remain exactly as they were painted. The Ocarinas will be on display at the annual smART show on Friday, May 2, 2014.

Girls Basketball Team Makes Winter Smiles

The globes were round, but no shots or fouls were made as the girls basketball team shared a winter's day with the residents of West Park Place. The team worked with the seniors at the home to make a special winter snow globe project and played rounds of bingo with the residents. The girls enjoyed listening to the many stories the ladies told and took in the numerous art projects they had created. Even Coach Mercer enjoyed assisting as numbers were called, instead of plays, and his players got dominated by "Seniors" on the opposing bingo team.

Jozsa and Kropp Win Medal at Science Olympiad

Maddie Jozsa and Kendall Kropp earned a second place medal in the "Write It Do It" event for Science Olympiad in Mentor, Ohio this past weekend. The event has two parts. In the first part, one team member will view a constructed object (k'nex, legos, tinker toys, pipe cleaners, styrofoam bowls, magnets, beads, etc) and write a description of how to build it without using any pictures, diagrams, or symbols. The written description will then be given to a teammate who has not seen the object. Given a corresponding set of materials, the team member will then attempt to rebuild the object from the written description. Both the junior high and senior high teams will compete in regional finals at Defiance College. Congratulations, Maddie and Kendall!


Think Spring! A Note from Mrs. Zake

The weather this week gave us hope that spring is around the corner! The snow is melting, the sun is shining, and students are going outside for recess…finally!!!  Students enjoyed sitting by the “beach”, designed by Mrs. Bodziak, that was displayed before school on Tuesday.
When the snow has been heavy and the roads have been slick, we have allowed students to enter school a few minutes late without being marked tardy. We would much rather have your student here late than risk safety to be on time. As the snow melts and the streets are safer to travel, we will revert back to our standard tardy policy. Here are some guidelines:
*Students may be dropped off as early at 7:45 a.m.
*First bell rings at 8:00. Students may begin heading to their classes at this time.
*Second bell rings at 8:10.  Students are expected to be in their classrooms and ready to learn by this time. Students who are still at their lockers getting unpacked for the day may be marked tardy. If your child takes more time to unpack and prepare to start his/her day, please plan for this and have him/her at school by 8:00 to allow for that time.
Our students are excited to get outside and run around now that our temperatures are above 18 degrees. In order to maintain safety, please note the following reminders:
*The continuous melting and re-freezing of the snow is creating slick spots. Though we are mindful of this, and constantly checking and salting these spots, there are slick areas that are stubborn against the salt. Please remind your child to slow down on the sidewalks and watch for slick spots.
*Students must be wearing both waterproof boots and snow pants to play in the snow. The discomfort of wet clothing is difficult to ignore once back in the learning environment.

Are You Ready for the Art Fair?

The Ottawa Hills Elementary artists would like to invite parents, family and friends to visit our building the week of February 24-28 for our annual Art Fair. All students in grades 1-6 have chosen their best artwork to be displayed outside their classrooms. The hallways are brimming with beautiful drawings, paintings and sculptures! To encourage parents to take some time to see their child’s art, OHSPA will host a free early morning family event, "Breakfast with DaVinci," in the new gym. On Wednesday, February 26, families with last names from A-K can come from 7:30-8:00 to enjoy a continental breakfast with their children and browse the art work on display. Families with last names from L-Z are invited to come on Thursday, February 27, also from 7:30-8:00, to enjoy their continental breakfast and to view the art displays. We hope to see you there!

End of the 2nd Trimester is Near

The end of the 2nd trimester for OH Elementary is next Friday, February 28. Grade cards will come home the following Friday, March 7. Only work that is turned in by February 28 will be considered in the 2nd trimester grades

2014-2015 Kindergarten Registration

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.

OH Happenings

2/21/14 Friday
4:30 PM Margaret Nichols competing in the OHSSA
District Gymnastics Tournament @
Bowling Green State University
5:00 PM Pancake Dinner
HS Multi-Purpose Room
4:30 PM
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Boys Freshman, JV and Varsity Basketball vs Northwood HS
9:30 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey vs. Maumee HS
Ice House
2/22/14 Saturday
8:00 PM Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Swanton HS
Sectional Final
Lake High School
8:30 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey vs Springfield HS
Ice House
2/24/14 Monday
7:00 PM Postsecondary Enrollment Options Parent Meeting
HS LMC Library
2/27/14 Thursday
6:15 PM Girls Varsity Basketball
vs. TBD
State District Semi-Final
Anthony Wayne HS
(with win on 2/22)
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.

Three grand essentials to happiness
in this life are
something to do,
something to love,
and something to hope for.
--Joseph Addison

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