Why residents are voting on March 15
he Olentangy Local School District Board of Education has placed a combined levy and no-new-millage bond issue on the March 15, 2016 ballot. The board’s vote came after months of research and public discussion on the topic. The district wants all residents to be informed regarding this critical community issue. The following information details what voters are being asked to approve and why. The Basic Facts The 6.9-mill operating issue is expected to cost taxpayers an additional $241.50 a year per $100,000 of home valuation. The issue consists of three components: a no-new-millage bond issue, a 5.9mill operating levy, and a 1-mill permanent improvement levy. The bond issue component totals $79.6 million and would fund construction of the district’s fourth high school ($69.6 million), allow the district to purchase the Olentangy Academy building which it currently leases for $200,000 per year ($2.2 million), and fund bus purchases and specific roofing needs ($7.8 million). If approved, the fourth high school See BALLOT, Page 2
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Olentangy Local Schools has placed a combined levy and bond issue on the March ballot. In addition to funding ongoing operations district-wide, the issue’s approval would address overcrowding at the district’s three high schools by funding construction of a fourth high school. Pictured is a typical scene in the hallways at Olentangy Liberty High School. The schools were originally designed for about 1,600 students, but because of the district’s rapid growth, its current enrollment is 2,061 students. Olentangy High School and Orange High School are also operating over capacity (See graphic on page 2). Enrollment projections show the district’s growth will continue.
NEW BOARD MEMBER | Page 3
District enacts cost-saving measures
DIVERSITY CONFERENCE | Page 3
SHANAHAN’S FAB SPACE | Page 4
Olentangy Local Schools has a history of providing an exceptional education in a cost-efficient way. Olentangy is able to maintain its expenses by constantly seeking opportunities for operational efficiencies. This work allows the district to maintain the secondlowest cost-per-pupil rate among major suburban districts in central Ohio. Similarly, the district’s adminstrative, building, and support staff costs are all lower than those of most school districts statewide. Some of the district’s more recent efficiency efforts and what it is currently doing to identify more potential cost savings include: •An energy conservation program established by the district in 2014 has already saved $589,951 in electricity, water and natural gas expenses. • The district has saved millions by switching to self insured from fully insured. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year alone, Olentangy realized a savings of more than $230,000 in Workers’ Compensation premiums and related expenses. Since becoming self-insured in 2009, the district has saved a total of $2,290,979 in Workers’ Compensation premiums. Also as a result of switching from fully insured to self inSee SAVINGS, Page 2
COST PER PUPIL
FROM PAGE 1 sured, the district saved $2 million last year on medical insurance expenses. • A safety grant awarded to the district this school year for security camera installation in the schools has saved $111,000. • The in-house installation of two domestic hot water boilers has saved the district $10,000. •
% OF TOTAL
% OF TOTAL
Source: Ohio Department of Education, 2014
BALLOT, FROM PAGE 1
HIGH SCHOOL ENROLLMENT STATISTICS: 10-YEAR PROJECTION 3000
would be located along Berlin Station Road on land already owned by the school district. The 5.9-mill operating levy would pay for ongoing expenses, including costs associated with staffing the proposed fourth high school, hiring and retaining teachers, and providing utilities and classroom supplies. This portion of the levy is expected to meet the district’s operating needs for at least three years. “Everything asked for in this issue is needed by our district, and there is something in this issue for everyone in the district,” said Superintendent Mark Raiff. The 1-mill permanent improvement levy would maintain district facilities and property. As a permanent improvement levy, the $3.2 million generated annually by this component of the levy package would be used exclusively to pay for school facility repairs and maintenance, such as asphalt, HVAC and roofing needs. It would also provide for technology replacements. “This is good for everyone because it allows us to properly maintain the investment our community has made in
OLHS OHS OOHS
2000 B UI LD I N G C APACIT Y: 1, 600 STUDENTS
“Everything asked for in this issue is needed by our district, and there is something in this issue for everyone in the district.” — Olentangy Superintendent Mark T. Raiff
our school facilities over the years. It’s fiscally responsible and prudent,” Raiff said. Why Now? All three of the district’s existing high schools currently exceed their 1,600-student capacity. Enrollment projections show that by the 20182019 school year, the high schools — which are designed to hold a total of 4,800 students — will hold 6,600 students. The projections
Roger Bartz Vice President 7922 Manorgate Street Lewis Center, Ohio 43035 (740) 657-4093 firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Wagner Feasel 7636 Holderman Street Lewis Center, Ohio 43035 (740) 657-4091 email@example.com
Dave King President 5027 Lakeview Drive Powell, Ohio 43065 (740) 657-4094 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin O’Brien 3366 Westbrook Place Lewis Center, Ohio 43035 (740) 657-4090 kevin_o’email@example.com
Source: : FutureThink Consulting, 2014
also show the overcapacity issue extending for 39 years, with 12 of those years having more than 7,200 students and peaking at 7,563 high school students in 2043. A fourth high school is proposed to address the overcapacity issue. The district has not been on the ballot since 2011, when voters approved a 7.9-mill operating levy and a $24.4 million no-new millage bond issue. At that time, the district assured voters that the
OLENTANGY BOARD OF EDUCATION
issue would last for three years. The district has now made those funds last five years. Since the last levy in 2011, the district has grown by more than 3,350 students. The school board decided to place the issue on the March 2016 ballot in order to have a fourth high school constructed in time to open for the 2018-2019 school year. Placing it on a later ballot would delay its construction for another year, forcing the existing high schools to hold even more students. The state’s funding formula is another factor in the timing of the ballot request. Olentangy has been the fastest growing school district in the state for over a decade. But as a result of growth
caps on state funding, the district’s state basic aid has remained relatively flat throughout that time. Olentangy’s state basic aid per pupil is projected at just over $500, while the state average is closer to $4,100 per pupil. While the district has not issued a prioritized levy “cut list” Raiff cautioned that cuts are inevitable if the issue is not successful in March. In the event of a levy failure, all programs not considered state mandates are potential targets for cuts. “Please understand that any time we are not successful at the ballot, the reality is that the status quo of our programs is not sustainable and we will all wake up to a different school district,” he said.
STAY NOTIFICATIONS: IN TOUCH ONLINE E-NEWS http://www.olentangy.k12.oh.us/Page/129 Mindy Patrick 403 Rosewood Court Powell, Ohio 43065 (740) 657-4092 firstname.lastname@example.org
BOARD OF EDUCATION: www.olentangy.k12.oh.us/board-of-education SUPERINTENDENT’S BLOG: www.olentangy.k12.oh.us/superintendent/ GET THE FACTS BLOG: www.olentangy.k12.oh.us/facts/ FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/olentangylocalschools TWITTER: @OlentangySD
Olentangy to host 2nd annual diversity conference Our world is rapidly changing in many arenas as it responds to societal “hot button” topics in education, law enforcement, economics and politics. In order for our youth to be prepared to offer healing solutions to these issues, we need to be able to model cooperative, collaborative problem-solving across differences as adults. To help initiate dialogue on these and other diversity-related topics, the Olentangy Local School District will host its second annual “One Community” diversity conference in the form of two evening events: the first will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 4th at Liberty High School. The second event will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. April 6th at Olentangy High School. Both events are free and the public is invited to attend. The purpose of the conference is to provide the opportunity for parents, community members, students grades 9-12, teachers and administrators to engage in authentic and honest dialogue on the unifying theme of “Building Bridges of Understanding.” More than 20 workshop sessions will be provided to build personal and collective cultural competence. The workshop topics will focus on the following essential questions: • How does diversity and inclusion improve an organization? • How does feeling misunderstood influence people’s lives? • How does unconscious bias interrupt our ability to build relationships? • How does inclusive leadership
improve people’s lives? The Feb. 4th event will feature keynote speaker Javier Sanchez, a graduate of the Ray Miller Institute for Change and Leadership and the founder of R.E.A.C.H Communications Inc. As an author, performer, and filmmaker, Javier works to inspire and equip youth and adults to be intentional about adding process to their passion. His experience and expertise in effective student and community empowerment comes from more than 10 years of work with the Youth-to-Youth International Program both in the United States and abroad as a Youth Program Coordinator. In 2003 he was awarded the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation’s Developing Leaders in Reducing Substance Abuse Fellowship. He also works on projects focused on health and wellness in urban communities. Register now to be a part of this engaging opportunity to learn and dialogue with students, parents, staff and community members across Olentangy and beyond! Each evening conference will offer a completely separate and different agenda of general sessions and concurrent workshops. Both evening conferences are free and free babysitting will be provided on site. For more information visit www.olentangy.k12. oh.us.
AT A GLANCE TWO EVENING CONFERENCES
• 6 p.m. February 4 at Liberty High School, 3584 Home Road • 6 p.m. April 6 at Olentangy High School, 675 Lewis Center Road
WORKSHOP TOPICS INCLUDE
• Economic Diversity • Community and Law Enforcement: Javier Sanchez Perspectives from a Delaware County Sheriff Deputy • Overcoming Hurdles in Building Relationships between Americans and Indian Immigrants • Exploring Implicit Bias • In-between Spaces: Mixed-Race Identity in the 21st Century • Connecting the Dots: A Session on Mental Health • How Does Feeling Misunderstood Influence Lifes?
Olentangy School Board welcomes newest member Olentangy residents voted in November 2015 to elect three board members. Roger Bartz and Kevin O’Brien were both re-elected to a new term in office, ending December 2019. In addition, Mindy Patrick was newly elected to serve on Olentangy’s school board, with a term ending December 2019. Patrick earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Finance from Oakland University in Rochester,
Michigan. She worked in corporate finance at General Motors and Detroit Diesel before leaving Mindy Patrick the automotive industry for commercial and residential construction finance. She is currently employed at CAMS,
Inc. in Powell, Ohio. Prior to her election, Mindy was involved in the district by serving on Olentangy’s Cost Efficiency Committee. In addition, Mrs. Patrick was a founding member of the Olentangy Dyslexia Network, advocating for higher literacy standards at both the local and state level. She and her husband, Michael, reside in Powell with their two children.
Visit www.olentangy.k12.oh.us for more photos!
COLLABORATIVE CLASSROOM » Shanahan Middle School‘s new FAB (fabrication) Space classroom features collaborative workspace and technology that allows students to apply what they learn to the world around them. The project was made possible by a grant from The Columbus Foundation.
ENGAGED LEARNING » Superintendent Mark Raiff looks on as students in the FAB Space demonstrate a hands-on biology lesson. The unique classroom provides an ideal educational environment for next generation science learning.
The FAB Space was made possible thanks to a generous grant provided by ...
CULTIVATING CREATIVITY » A Tyrannosaurus Rex head made out of
corrugated cardboard is displayed in the FAB Space. The dinosaur head was created using a laser engraver, one of the fabrication machines used in the classroom. 4
INNOVATIVE APPROACH » Students in the FAB Space are encouraged to explore their curiosity about how things work and to embrace failure as part of the learning process.