November 1, 2013
ALICE Training for Students to Take Place Monday
One of our district goals for this school year is to continue building on upgrades to school safety and security issues that were started last year. To that end, we want parents to know that this coming Monday, all of our students will be trained on basic aspects of the ALICE program. But I’ll get to that a bit later. First, I want to summarize some of those security issues that we’ve been working on to ensure a safe environment for our staff and students.
One of the most evident has been the installation of the buzz-in system for each of our school district's offices. This system requires any visitor to the school, after the school day begins, to be recognized and “buzzed in” by a district secretary. The system has actually been going very well, and I express thanks and appreciation to all of our parents for their patience as we learned the ropes with our new system. I’m also thankful to our office staff members for their flexibility in implementing the buzz-in system.
Another action step that we undertook was the updating of our Emergency Response Team (ERT). The ERT is a district-wide team that would go into action should we
have any kind of emergency situation—from a building fire to a local chemical spill to a dangerous intruder and more. The ERT had become outdated as far as the personnel involved and as far as the team’s knowledge as to how handle various emergency situations. The team was reformulated and a half-day training session was held before the school year began. In addition to updating
the team, we’ve updated our district’s Emergency Response Plan. To update our emergency plans and to train our team, we’ve been working with Mark Weimerskirch of Impact America, who had helped the district develop emergency plans several years ago.
Impact America has also done a threat assessment plan for our district. To develop this plan, Mark and his team toured our buildings and our campuses to determine areas where we could increase security features. We will be reviewing that plan in the very near future. In addition, we’ve worked with Impact America to upgrade the Emergency Procedures Guide for our classroom teachers.
This is a smaller version of the district’s Emergency Response Plan and is a ready reference guide for staff members.
One of our biggest focuses since last spring has been training our entire team on the components of ALICE—a school security approach should there be a dangerous intruder in our buildings. In March, members of our administrative team attended a two-day training session in Sylvania. In April, our faculty and staff members were trained on ALICE. In May, we held a parent training session. On August 27, the day before the school year started, we did active shooter simulations with our staff members. The Ottawa Hills Police Department and the Sylvania Police Department have been instrumental in leading our training through every stage.
To provide a brief overview of ALICE, the acronym stands for:
A = ALERT. If there is a dangerous intruder, staff and students are alerted asap, along with alerting local law enforcement agencies via 911.
L = LOCK-DOWN. The traditional response is to lock-down students and staff members in their classrooms. This might still be the best response, but ALICE teaches that there are alternatives that might be smarter. However, a lock-down still remains a viable option.
I = INFORM. When possible, someone is informing staff and students as to the location and actions of the intruder so that the best decision can be made in individual classrooms as to whether to lock-down or evacuate.
C = COUNTER. If an intruder tries to enter a classroom, staff and students can take measures (blockade the door; throw things if necessary) to distract the intruder. Our maintenance men have provided a simple means of reinforcing our classroom doors (see picture).
E = EVACUATE. Depending on where the intruder is in the building, the best course of action may be to get out of the building as soon as possible. Evacuation is a viable alternative to a traditional lock-down. This is probably the most significant difference between ALICE training and earlier training which emphasized a lock-down as the only course of action.
On Monday, we will conduct the last phase-in of ALICE training for our school district by training the students. Our training will be age appropriate
. There will be no simulated intruder at either building—just discussion as to what to do if there would be such an intrusion. Again, this discussion will be age appropriate so as not to alarm students
For example, at the elementary, the word “stranger” will be used, especially with the youngest students. Elementary students will only
practice a traditional lock-down (as we typically do twice a year), and an evacuation (which will be a new concept). Students will receive instruction from their teachers in their own classrooms before practicing each drill. This allows each teacher to lead an age-appropriate discussion about safety issues.
Junior/senior high school students will receive instruction as a group in the auditorium. They will then practice three scenarios: a traditional lock-down, an evacuation, and a lock-down with counter measures.
The elementary training will take place first thing in the morning on Monday, while the junior/senior high school training will take place in the afternoon. As always, the Ottawa Hills Police Department will be at the school to help with our lock-down and evacuation practices. Our guidance counselors and school psychologist will be on hand as a resource to address student needs. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me in the central office, Mr. McMurray or Mrs. Patterson at the junior/senior high school, or Mrs. Zake at the elementary building.
No School Tuesday, November 5
A reminder to all parents and students that there is no school next Tuesday, November 5. The teachers will be using this day for professional development while the junior/senior high school
building is used as a polling place for the election.
The elementary teachers will be spending the day at the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West as they will receive additional training on the Six Traits of Writing program that they are implementing this year. The junior/senior high school teachers will remain in their building for training on a variety of issues--from value added data to curriculum mapping and technology.
Remember to cast your ballot on Tuesday on a slate of candidates and issues--including Ottawa Hills Schools' 6.9 mill operating levy, which appears as Issue 22 on the ballot.
"Emerald City Ball" to be Theme for the 2014 Green Bear Ball
In keeping with past tradition, Mr. Steve Wipfli challenged his Graphic Design students to create a logo for the theme of the Green Bear Ball. This year's theme will be "Emerald City Ball." Out of the many outstanding entries, two designs were selected and combined to create the logo. The design winners are Sarah Baehren and Olivia Perz. The Green Bear Ball Committee members would like to thank Mr. Wipfli and all of his students for their time and efforts in designing the logo. This is a creative and fun design for what promises to be an exciting event! Mark your calendars--this year’s GBB takes place on April 12, 2014 at the historic Valentine Theatre.
Soccer Team Wins District Title; Ends Great Season in Sweet 16
With two amazing goals from Max Isenberg and an incredible defense, the Green Bears beat the Archbold Blue Streaks to clinch the District Championship last Saturday afternoon. The Green Bears then faced off against the Kalida Wildcats on Wednesday evening at Tiffin-Columbian in Regional semi-final action. Unfortunately, the Green Bears lost 2 to 1 to the Wildcats in the second overtime. Though it's tough to see it come to an end, the boys had an excellent season, capturing the TAAC title along with their Sectional and District Titles. Congratulations on a great season, Green Bears!
All Things Beautiful at the Fall Collage Concert
Like a patchwork quilt sewn together to keep us warm on a crisp fall evening, Vocal Music Director Donna Wipfli and Band Director Michael Leeds wove together a beautiful selection of music for all ages on Sunday evening for the annual Fall Collage concert. Carefully chosen songs helped stretch the skills and talents of our young musicians. The audience was delighted to hear pieces that touched on themes
of family, friendship, and Fall. Favorites included the song Vanitas
by the Junior Chorale, All Things Beautiful
by the Junior High Choir, Carry On My Wayward Son
by the Marching Band, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
by the high school choir, Prelude to A Festival
by the OHJH Concert Band, and Home
by the Choraliers. Congratulations to all of our performers and to directors Donna Wipfli and Michael Leeds. Thanks to our guest accompanist, Jill Roth.
J.H Track: Crossing the Finish Line
It's never too late to recognize our student athletes for their great achievements. In May, our junior high track team competed in the TAAC league meet at Gibsonburg High School. Only the 7th graders competed because the 8th graders were gone for their annual Washington D.C. trip. Eight league teams competed in the meet, with the Green Bear girls taking 4th place and the boys finishing 5th. OHJH athletes who finished in the top three of their respective events included the following:
1st place Girls Pole Vaulting - Rebecca Kona-Stanciu
1st place Girls 1600 m - Abby Hauck (with a new TAAC record!)
2nd place Girls 4x100m - - Adrienne Johnson, Shruthi Varier, Rebecca Kona-Stanciu, Fiona Arnold
3rd place Girls 4x 200m - Adrienne Johnson, Shruthi Varier, Rebecca Kona-Stanciu, Fiona Arnold
3rd place Boys 1600 boys - Aidan Byrne
3rd place Girls 200m Hurdles - Bridget Lay
1st place Girls 800m - Abby Hauck (with a new TAAC record!)
3rd place Boys 4x400m - Nyle Yumeen, Adam Sari, Weston Hecklinger, Charles Cassis
Congratulations to all of our student-athletes for representing our school district in such fine fashion!
Last Home Game Hurrah for Hardman
Hundreds of students, colleagues, players, parents, alumni, and community members turned out for Chris Hardman’s last home game after serving as head coach for the OHHS football team for the last 16 years. The game against Northwood was followed by a recognition ceremony in the main gym emceed by OH Alum Tom Puffenberger. Former players and parents stepped up to the microphone to say thanks and share stories. Coach Hardman thanked the school and community for the “wonderful opportunity to do what I love.” Many thanks to Athletic Director Tim Erickson for organizing yet another terrific event to celebrate the end of an era.
Positive School Climate and the Power of Language
On Thursday, October 24, junior high counselor Darcy Browne and assistant principal Jackie Patterson visited eighth grade health classes to discuss the power of words and the impact they can make in forming positive relationships with peers. They asked students to stop, think, and evaluate before speaking or texting something they may regret. The presentation helped reinforce lessons the students learned from previous speakers Richard Guerry and Scott Aubry. As part of the lessons, students used their laptops to create word clouds of positive and powerful messages which will be displayed in the junior high hallway.
Kick for the Cure Raises Money for Komen
The girls soccer team raised over $300 for the Susan G Komen affiliate during their "Kick for the Cure" breast cancer awareness week. According to parent Jane Lyon, “It was a
very meaningful week for the girls especially since one of our girl's mother is currently being treated for breast cancer. They wanted to make a difference and hope they can do more next year.” In addition to a league-winning season, the team has taken part in a variety of community service projects since August.
Save the Date – Band UNIFORMraiser – Saturday, November 16; 9:00 am – 11:00 am
The OH Marching Band has grown from very humble beginnings to the group of 48 members we have now. With 30 junior high band students and more
on their way from the 5th
grade, our band future looks bright in terms of continued growth. Currently, there are only 40 uniforms for our 48 band members. Mr. Leeds creatively solved this dilemma by having the percussion section dress in black for the football season. As our band program continues to grow, there is a need to add at least 20 more uniforms. Each uniform (i.e., black suspender pants and a wool jacket) costs approximately $300. This does not
include a hat, which will also need to be ordered at some point for all
So, with great anticipation and excitement, OHMTA reveals the details of the BAND UNIFORMraiser
at the Village Inn on Saturday, November 16. This “All You Can Eat” breakfast will be served from 9:00 am – 11:00 am and 100% of the ticket sales will go to our band uniform fund. Many thanks to Village Inn owner Nick Tokle for his incredible generosity! Many thanks to parents and band liaisons Sherri Cousins and Teresa Leinweber for coordinating this event. To access an order form for tickets to the event, click here
. Ticket orders must be submitted by Friday, November 8.
AFS Students Help Strengthen Cultural Connections
On Friday, October 25, students, staff and community members gathered for the annual AFS assembly. AFS students Piriya Piriyakrit from Thailand and Maria Ullberg from Sweden addressed the entire student body and shared information about their families, hometowns, and native countries. Maria is living with Tim and Ann Heckler. Piriya is living with Carol Stepien-Calahan and Jim Calahan. In addition to the presentations, students enjoyed short video messages from former exchange students Julia Helner and Jacob Ankjaer. Thanks to AFS president Meredith Heckler who acted as the emcee and to AFS coordinators Kate Hunyor, Edwina Ledgard, and Linda Sherry for organizing a spectacular event. We are fortunate to have a unique partnership with AFS.
Follow OHES on Twitter
Follow Ottawa Hills Elementary School news on Twitter by following elementary principal, Mrs. Zake, at @OHESPrincipal. Get updates and reminders of school events to keep you informed of the latest information.
There is More to Art then Meets the Eye!
Third Grade students were mesmerized by the magnificent glasswork collection at the TMA’s Glass Pavilion Friday, October 18. Local expert Leonard Marty demonstrated his glass making techniques at The Hot Shop, creating beautiful bowls on the spot. Students were especially impressed with the stunning glass-walled architecture and 9 ft. tall Chilhuly chandelier.
OH fifth graders examined TMA American art from colonial times through contemporary on October 23. A special treat was viewing the exhibition “Perry’s
Victory: The Battle of Lake Erie” on display through November 10. This visit culminates a month-long study of early American artists such as Paul Revere, Edward Hicks and Gilbert Stuart.
Mrs. Bodziak’s after school artists built creepy, candy-covered confections in the form of haunted gingerbread houses last week in Zombie Fun! The Village Life program ran four weeks through the month of October.
Keep your eye open for other fun art opportunities throughout the year!
A Wet, Windy and Excellent Halloween!
Yesterday’s Halloween celebrations were a huge hit! Despite the rain, students enjoyed the opportunity to follow
Michael Leeds and the OHHS band as they led students into the new gym for an indoor parade. Hundreds of parents, grandparents and close family friends cheered as students proudly wore costumes ranging from princesses to ninjas to Minecraft characters to Dracula!
After the parade, students ate creative ghoulish snacks and participated in games and activities to celebrate the fun holiday. Classroom parents came throughout the day to set up for the parties to make sure that all activities went on without a hitch. Though trick-or-treating was postponed due to the weather, nothing could have stopped OHES students from having a wonderful Halloween! Thank you to everyone who crowded into the gym to celebrate the children, and to those who helped with classroom parties. Halloween 2013 was a great success!
Also at the elementary…
Pumpkins Come to Life in Second Grade
This past week, each second grader selected a favorite book to read and focused in on the main character. The students then created pumpkins depicting their chosen character. The
thoughtfulness and creativity were evident, as Clifford
, Jack from the Magic Tree House
, Splat the Cat
, and the boy from The Giving Tree
came to life. Next week, students will write a summary of their story.
First Graders Study Owl Pellets
This week, The first graders experienced a very cool, inquiry based science activity. Drs. Lena and Emilio Duran brought in a mysterious object and the students used their scientific observation skills to figure out what it was. There were some interesting answers--all the way from mud to dinosaur bones. The students worked in pairs to discover fur and bones, and to later realize that their object was actually an owl pellet. They also learned the feeding habits of owls. The activity made it clear that the first grade has some wonderful, budding scientists. The first grade teachers and students extend thanks to the Durans for their time and enthusiasm.
Boys Varsity Football vs. Toledo Christian Schools
Perrysburg Junior High School
Junior High Halloween Dance
8:10 AM –
Inservice Day - No Classes
Elementary, Junior High & High School
OHLS Special Board Meeting
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.
It is understanding that gives us an ability
to have peace.
When we understand the other fellow's viewpoint,
and he understands ours.
Harry S. Truman