Transitioning to Spring!
Every time we turn around there is another cold spell or winter storm predicted. The "buzz" word or topic of many conversations is "calamity days" and fortunately we have not used as many days as other schools. As most of you know, the state allows us to use five (5) calamity days and any additional days must be made up in a specific manner. Presently, we have used eight (8) calamity days. We have already made-up one (1) day, which was Presidents Day on February 17th and still have two (2) more days to reschedule. As of this Superintendents Message, we don’t have a clear consensus from state legislators on how calamity days in excess of five (5) can be made up. What I do know is that the days are getting a little longer, the coolness in the air is changing and hopefully March Madness from high school and college winter sports season will help melt the snow and warm our hearts as we anticipate springtime.
It's Time for Kindergarten Registration
Kindergarten registration has started in all of our primary buildings. If you have a child, grandchild or friend who will have a child five (5) years old before August 1, 2014 please let them know that they need to register their children for kindergarten. Our elementary buildings: Jacobs, Jefferson, Northview, Whittier and Lincoln have registration open from 8:15 to 3:30 and we encourage you to stop in register your child/children. If you are unsure of the elementary building your child will be attending please contact our Welcome Center at Washington Administration Building at 419-425-8275.
Kudos to our students!
As usual, we have many outstanding accomplishments for our students' district wide and unfortunately I can’t highlight them all. However, I would like to draw your attention to just a few. I would like to congratulate Sarah Barkey for being named a National Merit Scholar finalist, our "We the People" for winning the State Civics Competition for the 13th year in a row, our Millstream Engineering students who competed in the North Dakota National Engineering Competition. Many of our students are involved in numerous extra-curricular activities and have performed with exceptional skill and have been extremely successful in their music performances, community events, competitive programs and athletic competitions. For example, last week our nationally acclaimed FFE Showchoir won all the awards at the Solon Invitational and will be traveling to Branson, Missouri at the end of this month. The Findlay High School Symphonic Orchestra received a "Superior" rating at the OMEA State Competition. Our Varsity Basketball Team is still competing on the Tournament Trail, Justin Joliff competed in the State Wrestling Tournament, the entire gymnastics team finished 8th at state, and we had a great representation from the FHS Swim Team at the State Meet finishing 12th in a relay. Our honors career mentorship students continue to gain a unique experience as they work with mentors in many fields around our community. FHS Freshmen Mentors collected 300 pairs of jeans in cooperation with the local Aeropostale store and will distribute them to teens who are homeless. Our middle school students have supported our community in numerous activities and 3 students from Donnell and 2 students from Glenwood will receive the "Absolute Incredible Kid Award" sponsored by Campfire Boys and Girls of Hancock County. The Glenwood 8th grade girls basketball team completed the 2013-14 season undefeated with a record of 17-0. Our elementary students are in the midst of many activities at their respective buildings. An example was Bakery Bingo for Northview, Bigelow Hill and Jacobs held at Findlay High School. Finally, kudos to Brahlen Tankovich who was the "standout spokesperson" in the Jefferson kindergarten registration video.
Renewal Operating Levy
The Board of Education has placed on the May 6, 2014 ballot a Renewal Operating Levy. Over the past several years the Findlay City Schools Board of Education, administration and staff have worked tirelessly and collaboratively to stabilize and improve our districts fiscal health. We have opened new buildings and transitioned staff members. We continue to set a priority on maintaining and enhancing school programs, adding needed curriculum, and to improve our performance together. We meet the numerous challenges of our students academically as well as socially and physically. We also continue to offer our great traditional programs for our special needs students, advanced placement students, gifted children in visual and performing arts.
Without this renewal levy our district would lose over $4.8 million that is currently budgeted from local tax payers for our strong educational system for our students. Findlay City School’s staff has worked in collaboration with us by negotiating conservative agreements, and many of our employees continue to choose a health savings account (HSA) to keep our insurance costs in perspective. We have worked hard to market our district and have more open enrollment students coming to Findlay this year.
This 5.9 mill renewal levy currently produces funds to hire personnel, utilities, transportation, maintenance, etc. This renewal levy will not raise your taxes and preserves the homestead role back exemption.
As we continue to transition through the month of March, my hope is, that the weather will warm, we’ll have more time to work with our students to prepare them for springtime assessments. We continue to be extremely appreciative of your support of Findlay City Schools. Help us think “springtime"!