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

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
September 6, 2013

Superintendent's Message
Ottawa Hills Claims Ohio's Top Local Report Card

Recently, someone gave me some pretty simple advice: Do good things and tell people about it. We’re doing a lot of good things at Ottawa Hills Schools, and I’m pleased to tell you about it. Most recently, we were excited to find out that our school district earned a Report Card rating unparalleled by any other traditional public school system in the state
In late August, the Ohio Department of Education released the 2012-2013 Local Report Card for each school district in the state of Ohio. The new reporting system provides letter grades for each district and each school building in a variety of areas. Under this new system, no Ohio school district earned straight A’s, but one school system did earn all A’s and one B on its district report card—Ottawa Hills Local Schools.

To see Ottawa Hills’ new report card on the Ohio Department of Education’s website, click here. The site is very interactive, so take some time to visit the various categories and review the several graphs and charts to examine our school district’s performance.    
The new system issues letter grades in nine different categories. More categories will be added over the next few years. The first categories in the new reporting system fall under the heading of “Achievement.” The Performance Index measures the performance of each student on each test taken. In general, students can score at one of five different levels on each test: Limited, Basic, Proficient, Accelerated, and Advanced. In theory, if every student scored proficient on every test, a district’s Performance Index would be 100. Our Performance Index of 110.0 shows that a large number of our students are scoring at the Accelerated and Advanced levels on their tests (see the bar graph above). As a matter of fact, traditionally about 3 out of every 4 of our students’ tests score at the Accelerated and Advanced levels. The highest Performance Index possible is 120, which would be the result if every test taken scored at the highest level of Advanced. Our Performance Index of 110.0 was within 91.1% of that “perfect” score of 120, earning our district an A.
The other Achievement Category is “Indicators Met,” which refers to the Ohio Achievement Assessments and Ohio Graduation Tests that our students take. At least 75% of our students must score “proficient” or above in each test to “meet” the standard. Our students not only meet this standard, but they far exceed it every year. As an example, the bar graph here shows how Ottawa Hills third graders scored (in blue) as compared to our “similar districts” (in red—districts which are demographically similar to Ottawa Hills), and as compared to the state average (in yellow). All grade levels can be seen when you go to the ODE’s website (see link above). For the fourteenth year in a row, Ottawa Hills met the standard for 100% of the indicators, earning our district a letter grade of A.
Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) replaces a previous measure, which was called Adequate Yearly Progress. This grade shows how well all students are doing in reading, math and graduation, regardless of income, race, or disability. Our district earned 100% of possible AMO points, leading to a letter grade of A, illustrating our success with students across all subcategories.
The Progress category basically looks at the academic progress for students in math and reading, grades 4 through 8. As the ODE website notes, “It looks at how much each student learns in a year. It answers the question—Did the students get a year’s worth of growth? Did they get more? Did they get less?” This rating of academic growth was previously referred to as “Value Added,” and it’s always been a challenge for our district because this measure is statistically “stacked” against students and districts which are already performing at high levels. However, our letter grade of “A” shows that, overall, our district’s students exceeded the expectations for academic growth, as did our subgroup of students with disabilities, leading to another “A.” Our one “B” for the academic growth of Gifted Students reflects that this subgroup of students had academic growth which was closer to the expected levels. We received an “NR,” or “No Report” for “Students in the Lowest 20% in Achievement” because this specifically measures the progress for students identified as the lowest 20% statewide in reading and math achievement, and we don’t have enough students in this category (which is a wonderful thing) for the state to issue a rating for our district.
The final grades are given for graduation rates and looks back at the classes that entered high school four years ago (the class of 2012, which entered high school in 2009), and the class from five years ago (the class of 2011, which entered high school in 2008). In both categories, our district earned an “A.” 
All in all, it’s an excellent Local Report Card and we are pleased to share that there is not one other school district in the state of Ohio that can boast the number of A’s that our students, staff members, parents, and community have worked together to earn. However, we have areas where we need to continue concentrating on improvement.
Our Performance Index of 110.0 is slightly lower than last year’s PI of 110.7. We want to see this number grow instead of decrease, so we’ll take a good look at those areas where we can work harder to help students score at the Accelerated and Advanced levels. The junior high/high school’s report card shows an “F” for Progress for students in general, and a “D” for gifted students. These scores reflect growth in reading and math at the seventh and eighth grade levels. Once again, this is reflective of our challenge to keep already high-performing students “growing” at levels higher than expected. It’s not about test scores, as those are excellent, as shown in the chart here. It doesn’t get much better than a 98% proficiency rate in seventh grade reading and a 100% proficiency rate in eighth grade reading, yet we were “below” expected growth in those areas. It’s about continuing to help our students “grow” at or above expected levels. The challenge for us is that students have been growing at such a “brisk” pace that it can be difficult to keep up that rate of growth as they move through the grade levels.
So we pause to celebrate our many successes, and we challenge ourselves to address those areas that leave room for improvement. But leave no doubt, the results for Ottawa Hills Local Schools on the newly-fashioned Local Report Card confirm that our school district is one of the best performing districts, if not the best performing school district, in the state of Ohio. The proof is in the numbers. And that’s a real credit to our amazing students, our committed staff, our involved parents, and our supportive community.  

STEM in the Park Takes Place Tomorrow at BGSU

STEM in the Park is a free event held at Bowling Green State University for all northwest Ohio families and the entire community. The event takes place tomorrow, September 7. STEM in the Park features interactive displays and activities created by community partners, local businesses, and area universities to engage children of all ages in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The event takes place, rain or shine, and features a free lunch, take-home STEM activities, and everything from sea creatures to pop rockets. Don't miss this great event!  The event takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Visitors should report to the Perry Field House to register, or, you can download the registration form ahead of time by visiting the STEM in the Park website here.

Pigskin Barbeque Slated for September 27

The start of the fall sports season means that the annual Pigskin Barbeque isn't too far behind. This year's event will take place on Friday, September 27 on the front lawn of the junior/senior high school from 5:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Advanced tickets for the barbeque buffet are $14. Tickets at the event are $16. A children's hot dog meal is $4. Advanced tickets must be purchased by Friday, September 20. To access the order form, click here.

Good food isn't the only feature of the evening, as diners will be treated to face painting, the O.H. Marching Band, the Trash Can Band, and much more! The Pigskin Barbeque is the beginning of Ottawa Hills' "Super Weekend," with the football team taking on Hilltop at 7:00 and the annual Fall Festival taking place on Saturday, September 28.

District Calendar Available Here

Wondering if it's an A, B, C, or D day at the junior/senior high school? Want to make sure when your children will be taking state assessment tests? Looking for the dates of this year's homecoming, picture day, or the beginning of spring break? Then make sure you take a look at the Ottawa Hills District calendar.

In the past, the calendar has been delivered to each home in hard-copy format. However, this year, the calendar is available in a pdf format that can be downloaded to your computer and printed out if you so desire. To access the entire calendar, click here. If you would like to access just the month of September, click here

Many thanks to Patti Robb for investing a lot of time and energy in developing this year's district calendar.

Science Department Wins Thomas Edison Award

Congratulations to the Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School science department for receiving the 2013 Governor's Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in Youth Science Opportunities.  Members of the department include Tim Adkins, Brandon Aigner, Jeanine Bailey, Mary Kate Hafemann, Jeremy Nixon, and Nicole Silvers.  Our school was also given the award due to the efforts of music teacher Michael Leeds for his Music Technology Course and for math Teacher Diane Drabek’s work as advisor of Math Counts. 

Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School was one of only five schools in Ohio to receive the maximum median score of 10 points. This was the first time our district has received a 10. “These awardee schools are engaged in project-based curricula, the central element of any STEM education program,” said Dr. Lynn E. Elfner, the Ohio Academy of Science's CEO.  "Receiving a Governor's Thomas Edison Award for Excellence sends a clear signal that these schools and teachers value student-originated, inquiry-based science and technology education as envisioned for the Next-Generation Science Education Standards available now,” said Dr. Elfner. "Whole new worlds of opportunities open up to students when they complete research or technological design projects and have them assessed by the professional STEM community," he continued. 

Thanks to our science teachers for creating amazing opportunities for our students. Congratulations on earning this great honor!

Open House is Next Wednesday

Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High will host an Open House on Wednesday, September 11 at 7:00 PM.  We will follow a shortened schedule to allow parents to visit each class period. Please note the schedule below. We look forward to meeting you at Open House next Wednesday! 
Time Period
7:00 – 7:20 1st Hour
7:24 – 7:34 2nd Hour
7:38 – 7:48 3rd Hour
7:52 – 8:02 4th Hour
8:06 – 8:16 5th Hour
8:20 – 8:30 6th Hour
8:34 – 8:44 7th Hour
8:48 – 8:58 8th Hour

Seventh Graders Get a Great Start  

Before the start of school, incoming seventh grade students participated in a program to help them make a successful transition to the junior high school. On August 22, students met with guidance counselor Darcy Browne, assistant principal Jackie Patterson, and seventh grade teacher and English Department chair, Bill Miller, to discuss various strategies students can use to improve their organizational and study skills. On August 23, seventh graders attended an orientation program that included team-building activities, tours, presentations by school staff, and a picnic sponsored by the Student Council.

Many thanks to staff members Steve Bobak, Jackie Patterson, Chris Hardman, Dan Feuerstein, Darcy Browne, Tim Erickson, and members of the Student Council. Thanks to the OH Boosters, Darcy Browne, and the Ottawa Hills Schools Parent Association for purchasing t-shirts for incoming seventh-graders.

New Bike Racks Honor Dave Larabee

Four new bike racks were purchased with donations from the Ottawa Hills Schools Parent Association, former teacher Dave Larabee's sister, and from many of Dave's colleagues and friends. Dave Larabee was a Physics teacher at Ottawa Hills High School, who was tragically killed while riding his bicycle to school in 2005.  

The old bike racks were fixed and painted and will be placed near Niedermeier Stadium and other locations around campus. On May 18, 2014 OHHS will be a stop on the annual Ride of Silence in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways. The ride, which is held during Bike Safety month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. You can find out more about this worldwide campaign at  Bike Toledo promotes safe cycling and hopes to place dozens of new bike racks across greater Toledo.  Thanks to Keith Webb and Bike Toledo for collaborating on this project.  Many thanks to Dennis Clere who installed the new bike racks and the landscaping.

OHHS 2013-14 Leadership 

Thanks to advisor Steve Bobak and members of Student Council for providing assistance with orientation programs for new students and seventh grade students. The Student Council has been busy planning activities for the 2013-14 school year that foster Green Bear spirit and a positive school climate. In his opening day address, Student Council President Michael Geisler asked students to become passionate about making a difference through philanthropy and community service. Other Student Council officers include: Vice-President, Mara Horn; Treasurer, Robert O’Connell; Secretary,Claire Oxford; and Sergeant-at-Arms, Noah Hupp.

Class of 1993 Celebrates Twentieth Reunion

Members of the class of 1993 celebrated their 20th high school reunion during the weekend of August 24. Many thanks to O.H. Athletic Director, Tim Erickson, who gave up a Saturday morning to give our alumni a tour. Mr. Erickson was asked to give the tour because this class graduated from Ottawa Hills the year he started working at Ottawa Hills.


Open House

This year’s Open House was a great success! Hundreds of students and their families flooded our halls, reacquainting with friends and meeting their teachers for the first time. Families were able to purchase items from the OH Spirit Shop and the  annual OHSPA bake sale. In addition, families had the opportunity to learn about scouting, community events, such as the Fall Festival, and about how TARTA works to provide safe and pleasant school transportation for many of our OH families. Thank you for attending this fantastic event. It is a wonderful way to get students excited for the start of the school year.

Gizmo Training

On Tuesday, August 27, as part of our school district's waiver day, most of our third through sixth grade teachers were trained in Gizmos software. Gizmos is an interactive online program that focuses on math and science standards. Our OH Parent Association generously contributed to the purchase of this software, and the teachers are excited to be able to provide such fun learning experiences for our OH students. Sherri Stern, presenter from Explore Learning, provided this exciting professional development, and teachers left the training with lessons already prepared with this new software.

First Day of School

Though our teachers have spent countless hours in their classrooms this summer making their spaces cozy and organized, the excitement of the “First Day” hit students and staff alike! Teachers were excited to begin getting to know the children who will grace their classrooms each day, and the students were eager to see what makes their teachers special. The 2013-2014 school year is off to a great start, thanks to our terrific students and the hard work of our teachers and support staff. 

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Procedures

At 2:30, students are released from school each day. This is a hectic time, as there are almost 500 children leaving our building at the same time.  Our crossing guards are amazing at keeping students safe as they move through the crowds to find their ride home. In an effort to make these afternoon procedures run smoothly, teachers will be reminding students that they must exit through the doors they are assigned to enter each morning. 

Parents are reminded as they move through the pick-up line that the lane closest to the school curb is intended for quick pick-ups, and the line is expected to move fairly quickly through our parking lot. Please do not leave your car if you are parked along the curb, either in the morning or in the afternoon. If want to escort your child to the door in the morning, or if you expect to wait for your child, if you need to leave your car to meet your child, or if your children are taking longer than expected in the afternoon, please move your car to a designated parking space in order to maintain the flow of the traffic circle. The same is true with morning drop-off. If you need to leave your vehicle, please park in a parking space. Leaving your car unattended in the drop-off lane even for a short period of time creates traffic congestion and problems for other parents who are trying to drop-off and pick up their children. If everyone follows these simple rules, drop-off and pick-up will go smoothly every day!

OH Happenings

9/6/13 Friday
4:00 PM Girls Varsity Tennis vs St Ursula
OH Tennis Courts
7:00 PM Boys Varsity Football vs Ayersville HS
OH Stadium
9/7/13 Saturday
9:00 AM Coed Varsity Cross Country @ Tiffin Carnival
9:00 AM Girls Varsity Tennis - Port Clinton Doubles Tour@ Port Clinton HS
11:00 AM Girls JH Field Hockey @ Hudson High School
10:00 AM
11:00 AM
Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball vs Scott High School
OH Gym
12:30 PM
2:00 PM
3:30 PM
Girls JV, Varsity & JV  Field Hockey vs Magnificat HS
OH Stadium
2:00 PM Girls 8th Grade Volleyball vs Liberty Challenge
OH Gym
2:00 PM Girls JH Field Hockey @ Stow-Munroe Falls HS
9/9/13 Monday
4:00 PM Boys Varsity Golf vs Gibsonburg HS
4:30 PM
5:30 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Volleyball @ Emmanuel Christian HS
4:30 PM Girls JH Field Hockey @ Maumee Valley Country Day School
4:30 PM Girls Varsity Tennis vs Toledo Christian Schools
OH Tennis Courts
5:00 PM Girls Varsity Soccer @ Toledo Christian Schools
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball vs Emmanuel Christian HS
OH Gym
7:00 PM Boys Varsity Soccer vs Emmanuel Christian HS
OH Stadium
9/10/13 Tuesday
4:30 PM Girls Varsity Tennis vs Wauseon
OH Tennis Courts
9/11/13 Wednesday
3:45 PM Boys JV Golf @ Cardinal Invitational
Maumee Bay State Park
4:30 PM Girls Varsity Tennis @ Perrysburg HS
7:00 PM Jr./ Sr. High School OPEN HOUSE
9/12/13 Thursday
4:30 PM
5:30 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Volleyball vs Toledo Christian Schools
OH Gym
5:00 PM
7:00 PM
Boys JV & Varsity Soccer vs Northview HS
Timberstone Jr. High
6:00 PM Boys JH Football vs Toledo Christian Schools
OH Stadium
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball @ Toledo Christian Schools
7:00 PM OHMTA Meeting
HS LMC Library

Village of Ottawa Hills:

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 beginning is the most important part of the work.
Plato  The Republic

Copyright © 2013 Ottawa Hills Local Schools, All rights reserved.
Ottawa Hills Local Schools • 3600 Indian Rd. • Toledo, OH  43606