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

Ottawa Hills Local Schools

District Newsletter
December 20, 2013

Superintendent's Message

New Curricular Offerings Coming to O.H. in 2014-2015

After the 2010-2011 school year, the Industrial Tech program was suspended as part of almost $1 million in budget cuts made in response to economic downturns that had serious effects on the district’s revenues. At that time, the Board of Education determined that we would bring the program back at some point, but with curriculum that reflected Twenty-first Century themes focused on bringing science, mathematics, and technology together to develop engineering-related skills. Two years ago, we re-introduced computer programming into our course offerings, and this year, our “STEM for 8th Graders” class was added. Passage of this past November’s 6.9 mill levy allows us to bring back the Industrial Technology position with even more expanded curricular offerings for the 2014-2015 school year.
The curriculum for “STEM for 8th Graders” covers two modules: Design and Modeling and Automation and Robotics (for more information about this course, see the October 25, 2013 newsletter here). Next year, the STEM curriculum will also be offered to all of our seventh grade students. While eighth graders will experience these same modules in 2014-2015, the following year, different modules will be offered to eighth graders as a follow-up to their seventh-grade experience. The eighth-grade modules for 2015-2016 are yet to be determined, but they will come from Project Lead the Way’s “Gateway to Technology” program and may include topics such as “Energy and the Environment,” “Flight and Space,” and “The Magic of Electrons.”  
Other changes at the junior high level are focused on better preparing students for technology use, especially in the one-to-one environment. Seventh-grade students will take “Computer Apps,” which will consolidate Keyboarding and Computer Applications standards. Eighth graders will also take a semester of Computer Applications with content that is relevant to the students in the one-to-one environment.  
At the high school, we’ll continue re-introducing Industrial Technology curriculum through the addition of semester courses Modeling and Simulation I and II and Robotics I and II. The first level of these classes will be offered to all students, Grades 9 through 12, while the second level will be available to Juniors and Seniors. These courses will build on the STEM foundation developed in the junior high and will provide opportunities for students to experience three-dimensional design using Solid Works software and advanced Robotics using the VEX kits introduced initially in the “STEM for 8th Graders” course. 
Another curricular change will specifically impact seventh-grade students next year, but have an impact on students as they continue their educational career at Ottawa Hills. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, all seventh graders will take Pre-Algebra (as opposed to some students taking Pre-Algebra and some students taking 7th grade math). The change is being made for two basic reasons. First, through the curriculum mapping process, teachers in grades 6, 7, and 8 found an overlap in the curriculum taught under the previous standards in these grade levels, specifically in Math 7 and Pre-Algebra 8. Second, the math level placement in seventh grade has an impact on students as they move through high school, meaning that they are not on track to take AP Calculus or AP Physics should they desire to take these courses before graduation.
The sixth grade math standards prepare all students for Pre-Algebra in seventh grade while the new Common Core national standards outline an accelerated curriculum that can be implemented during the 7th and 8th grade years through Pre-Algebra and Algebra I. Math lab and the after-school study room will continue to be options of additional support for seventh graders (as it is for all students). When they take Algebra I in eighth grade, those students who need additional math exposure will be assigned an additional period of Algebra I support to complement their regular Algebra I class.
Changing the sequencing of the junior high math courses allows us to add two new courses to the high school curriculum. Beginning in 2014-2015, students will have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement Biology, taught by Mr. Nixon, and Advanced Placement Statistics, taught by Mr. Torio.
Another AP course will be added to our curricular offerings as a result of Ottawa Hills’ participation in a National Science Foundation Grant with Cleveland State University. O.H. will be part of a field study for a new AP Computer Science Principles course. This course will be introduced into our curriculum next school year and will be taught by Mrs. Hunyor. The framework of this course will focus on the creative aspect of computing and computational thinking practices that enable students to experience how computing impacts their everyday lives. An AP Computer Science Principles exam is in the development stage with a release date of spring, 2017. Ottawa Hills will be part of the field testing for this exam as part of the grant.
One last change will be seen in the delivery of Advanced Placement Physics because of changes made by The College Board, which regulates AP curriculum. To address these changes, Honors Physics and AP Physics will become a double-block course, offered the first two periods of the day. Honors Physics students and AP Physics students will take the course at the same time, but those who take the AP option will have Early Bird labs to complement the curriculum and prepare them for the AP test. Honors Physics students will earn 1.5 credits for this course with a weighted grade point based on a 4.5 scale. AP Physics students will earn 2.5 credits for this course with a weighted grade point based on a 5 point scale.
It might seem early to be planning for the 2014-2015 school year, but the reality is that students will begin the scheduling process for next school year the last half of January. Our Curriculum Guide must be printed in preparation for course selection, meaning that curriculum changes and additions must be decided on by December 31. Questions regarding our changes and additions in curricular offerings can be directed to Rosalice Manlove at or by calling 419-536-2713.
Many thanks go to our administrative team and teachers who have worked very hard over the past few years to investigate and research these changes, which will enhance the educational experience for our students at Ottawa Hills.      

Students Invited to Consider Kenya in Summer, 2014

Earlier this year, we shared through the district newsletter the adventures of three Ottawa Hills students, Jimmy Brunner, Jack Hylant, and Ben Bogart, as they went to Kenya in the Summer of 2013 as part of a service learning experience. You can see Part I of the two articles by clicking here. In Kenya, the O.H. students served as volunteer teachers at rural primary schools near the town of Naro Moru. Their trip was arranged through Fred Roberts, a 1979 Ottawa Hills graduate. Fred and his wife, Elizabeth Goodwin, lived in Kenya from 1986 – 2000 and own Batian’s View Experiential Education Center in Kenya, where our Ottawa Hills students stayed while there. Annually, Fred organizes trips for students to come to Kenya for a cultural experience that provides the opportunity to serve the children of Kenya while also exploring the wonders of the country.

We are now pleased to offer an opportunity for Ottawa Hills students who will be entering their Junior or Senior year in 2014-2015 to take part in a similar service learning trip to Kenya in the summer of 2014, specifically from June 25 to July 26, 2014. The trip will be organized and overseen by Fred Roberts, who has an abundance of experience in hosting students at Batian's View. An overview of the trip can be seen by clicking here.

For those interested in learning more about this trip, much more information will be shared at a student/parent meeting that will take place on Thursday, January 23 at 7:00 p.m. in the junior/senior high school's library media center. Fred Roberts will be there in person to share specifics about the trip and to answer any questions that parents or students might have as they consider this trip for the Summer of 2014.

Consider Kenya in the Summer of 2014. We have three students who will tell you that it will be a life-changing experience.   

High School Website Lists Summer Programs

The high school website features various opportunities for students to take part in summer programs offered through a number of organizations and universities. Mr. Nusbaum, OHHS guidance counselor, updates the list of opportunities as they become known to him. To see the list of summer programs, go to our district's website at and click on the junior/senior high school page and then click on "Summer Programs" on the left-hand side. If you have any questions on the programs, contact Mr. Nusbaum at


Sharing the Love of Reading

In a cross-campus collaboration between the elementary and junior/senior high school, students from Lauren Hurst’s Public Speaking class made a trek over to the kindergarten classroom of Heidi O’Connor to share their favorite picture books. According to Lauren Hurst, “It was truly magical watching the older students read to the kindergarteners. The younger students were mesmerized!” The kindergarteners all agreed that they enjoyed spending time with their new high school friends. 

Amazing Mathematical Competitors

The AMC 8 is a 25 question, 40 minute multiple choice examination in mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem solving skills. O.H. students who participated in the AMC 8 were Sarah Abdouni, Zara Ahmed, Sam Assi, Neha Kazmi, Catherine Kight, Daniel Liu, Kyleigh Meier, Urvish Patel, Connor Pellegrini, Elizabeth Ponder, Ella Wilson, Lauren Rownd, Sophie Summers, and Daniel Wimmers. Pictured here are school winners Neha Kazmi, Sam Assi, Urvish Patel, and Daniel Liu. Daniel Liu was the school 1st place gold winner and was also awarded honor roll status as he placed in the top 5% nationally of all students participating in the AMC 8. Neha Kazmi was the 2nd place silver winner, while Sam Assi and Urvish Patel tied as the 3rd place bronze winners. According to math department chair, Joan Keckler, “Competitions are great for generating enthusiasm for mathematics and providing challenging experiences that engage students beyond the regular classroom. We have extremely talented students at Ottawa Hills and competitions like this allow students to showcase their mathematical abilities and be recognized for their achievements.”

Making the World a Better Place With Music

At last Sunday’s high school band and choir concert, vocal music director Donna Wipfli shared her thoughts about the importance of music. She explained that music helps make the world a little bit more beautiful. In fact, our OH music students made the world a lot more beautiful with their performances on Sunday.  The parents, students, alumni, and community members who attended the annual band and choir concert were treated to over an hour of wonderful music fit for the holiday season. The symphonic band selections included Let Evening Come, Bashana Haba’ah, and Silent Night. Favorites from the high school choir included Good King Wenceslas, Feliz Navidad, and Home from "The Wiz".  The Choraliers sang many favorites including Carol of the Bells, O Holy Night, Sleigh Ride, and Shalom Rav. Continuing a beautiful tradition, several Choraliers alumni joined in singing Sleigh Ride and Home Again. Many thanks to accompanist Nate Leoanard. Congratulations to Donna Tozer Wipfli and Michael Leeds, and to the students of the symphonic band, high school choir, and the Choraliers. Bravo!

Junior High Choir and Band

On Thursday, December 12, the junior high band and choir held their winter concert. The students have shown incredible growth since the beginning of the year. Vocal music director Donna Tozer Wipfli and instrumental music director Michael Leeds chose a wonderful selection of music for the holiday concert. The band’s performance included Joyeux Noël, You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch, and a Jewish Folk Medley. The audience enjoyed One Small Voice, Festive Madrigal, Song of Peace, and O Sifuni Mungu from the junior high choir. The junior chorale finished the concert with a Huron Indian Carol, Sing We All the First Noel, and Winter Wonderland. We are extremely proud of our vocal and instrumental music programs and the role they play in providing our students with a well-rounded education.

Junior High Students Recognized for Collaboration

During the month of December we were on the look-out for students who were strong exhibiting the quality of "collaboration". Students were nominated by their 4th period teacher to recognize them for their hard work, collaboration and their acceptance of their peers and their teachers. The following students were recognized: Zara Ahmed, Catherine Kight, Elise Porter, Dylan Schreder, Lauren Stevens, Emma McMurray, Ed Shimborske, Liz Ponder, Will Koury, Caelan Carter, Justine Steven, Michael Nichols, Gigi McCluskey, Peyton Broce, Maddie Saul, Rebecca Kona Stanciu, and Ethan Riepenhoff.  S.P.A.C.E. continues to be the theme for the junior high this year as the 4th period teachers and the students work together on Self-Control, Patience, Acceptance, Collaboration and Encouragement. Congratulations to our December S.P.A.C.E. students!

Challenge Crew Spreads Joy and Peace

Challenge Crew hosted holiday party at Kids Unlimited last week. Renae Goik, Alisa Martinez, Lucy Bogart, Natalia Cortez, Audrey Rotman, Katie Justison, Paulina Mendez, Molly Roman, Jessica Kona-Stanciu, and Gillian Heckler frosted cookies and made ornaments.

The mission of Kids Unlimited is to offer children in under-served areas the opportunities they need to reach their fullest potential. They do this by helping children develop the necessary academic and social tools, along with a strong sense of values and character, within an atmosphere of love and respect.

Corn Hole Competition

Jenny Gill’s seventh grade students competed in a corn hole tournament during lunch last week as a culminating activity to the unit on target games. Students were to demonstrate critical elements of specialized manipulative skills in a variety of settings, including target games like corn hole. “Round Robin” tournaments were completed in each of the three 7th grade Physical Education classes with the top record holders in each class advancing to the lunchtime playoff. Qualifiers and their tournament place finish were the following:
3rd. Place:  Austen Charles & Eliot Cummings
2nd Place:  Joe Boesel & James Silk
1st   Place: Tommy Coil & Ethan Krupp

Exam Schedule Posted

Semester exams for O.H. students will take place on January 15, 16, and 17. To view the schedule along with directions regrading scheduling should there be inclement weather, click here


ABCs of December

Wearing their holiday finest and great big smiles, the first graders’ performance of “The ABC’s of December” delighted the audience on Thursday. In preparation for the show, they worked very hard learning poems and songs from A to Z. Thank you families for filling the high school auditorium with your support.  We are very proud of our little stars!


Service to Our Community

Ottawa Hills art classes teamed up with St. Paul’s Community Center this year to decorate Holiday Gift Bags for residents of St. Paul’s. These bags are filled with general hygiene items, hats, gloves, scarves, and socks and other donated items. During St. Paul’s Christmas dinner on December 24, Santa, with the help of volunteers, comes and hands out the gift bags to each person who attends the luncheon. He usually hands out about 250 bags. The Ottawa Hills Elementary students are pleased to help brighten the holiday with this great community outreach event.

Did Somebody Say Culture Fair?

On Tuesday, many of our third grade parents brought stories, artifacts and tasty treats from their diverse cultures to our third grade students. Parents were stationed in various places in the building where students rotated around to hear about cultural traditions and lessons such as the Three Kings of Spain, artwork from Ghana, the tin whistle, music from Germany, Chinese writing and Polish Christmas. Students were eager to learn about these cultures, asking questions and sharing their own knowledge. Students were also encouraged to try many foods from different countries provided by our OH families. Together, the third grade teachers and many families provided an unforgettable experience for our third graders.

Rainbow Loom Bracelets Bring Students Together

On Thursday, three 6th graders met with the 5th grade girls to teach them complex patterns on the Rainbow Loom. Students ate together, then worked in 3 different small groups, spread out across the Library Media Center. Students teaching students provided a fun environment to expand friendship circles.

Exceptional Character Exhibited at OHES

Through the month of December, students were recognized for going out of their way to be accepting to others. Today, we recognized students who demonstrated acceptance at an exceptional level this month.  

In photo #1: Christian Allos, Chase Josza, Piper Downing, Rowyn Hansen, Chase Miller, Teddy Szyperski, Bode Wray, Isabell Lee, Suhani Aggarwal, James Sprott, Pearl Thurston, Brooklynn Gilsdorf, Addison Watson, Georgia Matukewicz, Luke Gnepper, Willah Hoelzle, Shelby DeCocker, Madeline Heben, Mia McCullough, Emme DeMilt, Zoe Cooper, Miles Weaver, Barrett Downing, Caroline Perz, Bre Rotterdam, Karsyn Ruth, Max Chandar-Kouba, Mina Ashton, Emma Cole.

In photo #2: Evelyn Flanigan, Anne Rosenberg, Jack Julius, Meredith Greeley, Jonas Hoelzle, Blake Gnepper, Madeline Jacob, Robbie Witte, Walker Kight, Amanda O'Loughlin, Ellie Scigliano, Marisa Kadrovach, Deen Sari, Cameron Jednak-Kasunic, Conner Underwood, Abby Westmeyer, Oliver Smirnov, Jamie Yark, Shiraz Hasan, John D'Souza, Catherine Byrne, Lindsey Smith, Sean Yalcinkaya, Nate Moynihan, Amelia Frueh.

Congratulations to these students. Thank you for making Ottawa Hills Elementary a great place to learn! 

OH Happenings

12/20/13 Friday
  Last Day of Instruction Before Winter Break
Elementary, Junior High, High School
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Boys JV & Varsity Basketball vs. Gorham Fayette
7:00 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey vs. Maumee
12/21/13 Saturday
10:00 AM
11:00 AM
Boys 7th & 8th Grade Basketball vs Danbury
10:00 AM
11:00 AM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Basketball @ Danbury
12:00 PM Boys Freshman Basketball @ Hilltop HS
1:00 PM
2:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Basketball vs. St. Ursula HS
12/26/13 Thursday
5:30 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey vs. Alumni
12/27/13 Friday
4:30 PM
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Boys Freshman, JV & Varsity Basketball @ Pettisville HS
12/28/13 Saturday
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Basketball @ Maumee HS
12/30/13 Monday
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Basketball @ Woodmore HS
1/2/14 Thursday
4:30 PM
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Boys Freshman, JV & Varsity Basketball vs. Delta HS
1/3/14 Friday
7:00 PM Girls Varsity Basketball vs. MVCD School
9:30 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey vs Whitmer HS
Ice House
1/4/14 Saturday
4:30 PM
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Boys Freshman, JV & Varsity Basketball vs. Toledo Christian School
7:30 PM Boys Varsity Ice Hockey vs. Bedford HS
1/6/14 Monday
8:00 AM Classes Resume
Elementary, Junior High, High School
1/7/14 Tuesday
5:00 PM
6:00 PM
Boys 7th & 8th Grade Basketball vs. Northwood
OH Elem. Gym
5:00 PM
6:00 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Basketball @ Northwood
1/9/14 Thursday
5:00 PM
6:00 PM
Boys 7th & 8th Grade Basketball @ Kateri Catholic Academy
5:00 PM
6:00 PM
Girls 7th & 8th Grade Basketball vs. Kateri Catholic
OH Elem. Gym
6:00 PM
7:30 PM
Girls JV & Varsity Basketball @ Cardinal Stritch
High School
7:00 PM OHMTA Meeting
HS 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.

May peace be your gift this holiday season
and your blessing all year through.

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