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“Linking Students to the World...� A Publication of Otsego Public Schools August 2013 District Newsletter Volume III Issue 1

In This Issue: Spotlight On... Camp Learn-a-Lot

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Community Connection Wish Ride Changes Lives

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From the Superintendent p. 4 Providing Balance to the Common Core Orientation Times Meet the teacher and more...

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Summer Trips for Teachers OMS Teachers on the Move

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Spotlight On...

camp learn-a-lot


hen you say “summer is almost over,” you might expect to hear moans and groans. But not at Camp Learn-A-Lot - Otsego’s summer school, “The kids can’t wait to come back,” says Washington Street Elementary Principal Heather Badders, “They’re so excited to start back up.”

There are 60 students here for school, but Badders feels it would look like a regular school day if they had more spots available. It’s a fun environment, “They are raring to go. And we greet every single one of them with a smile each morning, we’re excited they’re here,” she says, “The day just zips by because kids are busy learning.” The focus is on reading, writing and math. They attend school from 8:45am-12:15pm Monday-Thursday for three weeks. This serves as a refresher before school officially starts for the year to combat the loss of learning over the summer. Overall, the data shows summer school students have better gains from Spring to Fall when compared to their class as a whole. (Source: DSE DIBELS composite score – Summer-slide avoidance)

WSE Principal Heather Badders sings songs with the kids at the end of the day. story-telling. Along with Mrs. Badders, they have guests come in, too. Brenda Morris with the Otsego District Public Library and parent/music teacher Peter Conniff are sharing their talents with the students this year.

While the focus is on learning, it’s all done in a camp atmosphere, “A lot of times, kids don’t have the opportunity to go to camp in the summer, so I want to make this as much of a camp experience as possible.” There’s a tent in the library where students gather at the end of each day for campfire songs and

Along with the campfire gathering, each child receives a school supply or a book each day to put in a new drawstring bag. At the end of the session, they’ll leave with a full bag, ready for school to start. They also have a pool party at the end of the camp.

Summer Food Program going strong

Otsego area families had a new option for breakfast and lunch this summer thanks to a federal program. Otsego participated in the USDA’s Summer Food Program and was able to provide breakfast and lunch for free to any child under the age of 18. High School Head Cook Julie Guthrie is running the program and is passionate about it, “I really feel like there is such a need for this program,” she says, “I have had several families who come in daily. Not only do the kids get to eat and socialize, the parents have been so grateful.” It’s also served as an opportunity for incoming students; a few kindergarteners have come in to get a feel for the lunchroom process. Cross Country runners have come in a few days to volunteer and help serve lunches, “It is great to see the interaction between the high school kids and the elementary kids,” she says. On average, the program serves up 60 meals at breakfast and 75 at lunch at both Dix Street and Washington Street locations.

The program continues at Washington Street Elementary through August 23. Breakfast is served from 8-9am Lunch is served from Noon-1pm WWW.OTSEGOPS.ORG


Community CONNECTION Team Mackenzie’s Ride for Wishes “Life Changing”


ne day without worry. That doesn’t happen often for Otsego sophomore Mackenzie Warning who suffers from several chronic health conditions due to having only one lung. But on Sunday, July 28th, that’s exactly what happened thanks to Team Mackenzie – a group of teachers, friends and family who rode in her honor in the Make-A-Wish Michigan Wish-A-Mile bike event, “It was a life-changing moment for me and my family,” Mackenzie says. Her mom, Lori, says she was smiling all day; she couldn’t help but watch her react to it all, “The whole way home she was almost silent because she was so amazed,” she adds. During the ride, Mackenzie spent time with other wish kids and watched hundreds of people endure the miles to help grant wishes, “I’m grateful for all of these people who were willing to do this for me,” Mackenzie says, “It OHS soph. Mackenzie Warning and Nancy shows all of the love and support that I have.” Zyzelewski at the Kalamazoo Speedway night. In June, Otsego teacher Nancy Zyzelewski heard that Mackenzie’s wish (to go to Disney World with her family) would be granted in the next year and put the call out to form Team Mackenzie, “She has an upbeat, positive attitude that is contagious,” Nancy says. Friends, family, colleagues and the community jumped on board. With online donations and a star-studded night at the Kalamazoo Speedway, the team’s 11 riders raised $4,380 in just seven weeks. One of the team’s riders, Karen Hook, rode in the 3-day, 300-mile WAM event while the other ten rode in the one-day, 50-mile event Team Mackenzie riders pedal the final leg on the that ended on the track at the Michigan International Speedway. Michigan International Speedway track. Mackenzie isn’t alone in calling this event life-changing, “At the end of the ride, I had so many emotions running through me that it was a bit overwhelming,” says Erin Adamski, an Otsego elementary teacher. She says the entire team finished the ride together, “We rode through the silent mile, where there were pictures of the ones lost too soon,” she says, “and then we finished the ride with our whole team on the race track with thousands of people cheering for us, which filled my heart right back up.” It wasn’t an easy 50 miles. OMS teacher Tera Secord says one hill was particularly tough, but became an opportunity to reflect, “It reminded me that what I was going through was nothing like what some of these kids are suffering through,” she says, “I knew I was going to be able to approach the finish line and be able to get off of my bike, but many of them won’t have the privilege to walk away from their condition.” An extra boost, was meeting the team’s wish hero, Peter. He was assigned to their team and met them at the finish line to give them their medals. The money they raised will help fund his wish which was to be featured in a video game. The event has inspired Team Mackenzie to ride again, “I met some incredible people who are a vital part of Team Mackenzie; we now share a special bond, and are connected in ways that are indescribable,” Nancy says, “We are already making plans for next year.” Team Mackenzie riders at the finish with their Wish Hero, Peter.



From the Superintendent

Dennis M. Patzer

Providing Balancing to the Common Core Over the past few years, instructional and operational change has been the order of the day for K-12 public schools. During my career in education, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. Implementing the Common Core State Standards reverts back to an earlier time period when students’ took the core classes as a major portion of their daily schedule. At Otsego we have made the choice to have students spend more class time in these core areas. By following the state standards, our high school students will be taking a full year of math, ELA and in most cases, science and social studies for their first three years of high school. More time spent on these courses is good as we try to cover the standards and help students perform better on state assessments. As we strive for every student to be college and career ready, I believe our achievement goal must nclude our culture of addressing the needs of the whole child and not just a focus on the standards. We can do this by maintaining our commitment to Capturing Kid’s Hearts. By this, I mean carving out time for all of our staff to continue building positive relationships with students and helping them develop strong character traits. As Flip Flippen, the founder of CKH, has stated many times, “If you have a child’s heart, you have his head.” The values that form the base of CKH have a proven track record of developing the entire child as a well rounded student and citizen. So, while the core subjects remain the cornerstone of a solid educational foundation, we must remember that we are working with young people and are committed to helping each one reach their full potential with competency and high self-confidence and self-esteem.

NEW TEACHERS AT OPS! Taylor Stevens OMS / OHS Vocal Music Teacher

Erica Marshall Elementary Vocal Music Teacher, Alamo & Washington Street Meredith Morgan Special Education Teacher, Dix Street Elem. WWW.OTSEGOPS.ORG

Life Savers Club recognized for Paying it Forward


ight students who decided to turn their miles at school into dollars for charity were recognized this summer as a FOX 17 Pay It Forward story. They were featured on the evening news in mid July. This is the second year for the Life Savers Club which started with three girls in the 2012 summer. At the start of the school year last year, five more students joined in and the effort to help kids and animals around the world grew. The students kept track of how far they ran during Mileage Club at school; family and friends donated a certain amount per mile or lap. At the end of the school year, these eight students had a total of 276.2 miles. With other donations and a craft sale, they collected $345. Club members got together each month to learn about a different world organization of their interest. In the end, they decided to split the money between all ten groups. Club members are: Mina Bohl, Taylor Gagneur, Maria and Megan Germain, Delaney Boone and Jared and Cierra Swope. See more online at Fox 17 Reporter Tim Swore interviews news/lifesavers. members of the Life Savers Club.


Orientation Times

! W Meal Prices E N

Meet the Teacher, hear the schedule & more! Alamo Elementary

Parent Orientation (child care available) August 26th Kdgrtn & 1st grade: 5:15-6:00pm 2nd & 3rd grade: 6:00-6:45pm 4th & 5th grade: 6:45-7:30pm NEW FAMILIES MEETING (Get the scoop on Alamo!) 4:45-5:15 & 6:30-7:00pm Location TBD

Washington Street Elementary Parent Orientation (child care available) August 26th

Kdgrtn & 1st grade: 5:15-6:00pm 2nd & 3rd grade: 6:00-6:45pm 4th & 5th grade: 6:45-7:30pm NEW FAMILIES MEETING (Get the scoop on WSE!) 4:45-5:15 & 6:30-7:00pm Location TBD Also at WSE... *Free haircuts from Perfect Image *Clothing Exchange *Lunch Program Samples

Dix Street Elementary

Parent-Only Orientation Night August 26th Kdgrtn & 1st grade: 5:15-6:00pm 2nd & 3rd grade: 6:00-6:45pm 4th & 5th grade: 6:45-7:30pm

Otsego Middle School 6th grade Student-Only Orientation Friday, August 23rd 11:30am-1:30pm

6th grade Parent-Only Orientation Tuesday, August 27th 6:00-7:30pm 7th & 8th grade Meet & Greet (Open House style) Tuesday, August 27th 6:30-8:00pm

Breakfast $1.25 Reduced Breakfast $0.40 Grades K-5 Lunch $1.75 Grades 6 -12 Lunch $2.00 Sub Station $2.65 Grill Station $2.15 Pizza $2.40 Reduced Lunch $0.40 Milk $0.40 A la carte $0.25 All families should apply to receive benefits of the “Free and Reduced Lunch” program and it is necessary to reapply every year. Our application process remains the same, but income guidelines have changed from the 2012-13 school year. New guidelines remain in effect through June 30, 2014. You can find the application in the “Parents” section of our website.

Otsego High School

Prepping for Back-to-School:

Open House Tuesday, August 27, 6:00-8:00pm Freshman Kickoff Thursday, August 29, 1:00pm

Important Dates First Day of School: First Day for Kindergarten: Winter Break: Spring Break:

2013-14 School Year

Sept. 3 Sept. 4 Dec. 23 - Jan. 3 April 7-11

School Day for Students Alamo Elementary 8:40am - 3:45pm Dix Street Elementary 8:30am - 3:35pm Washington Street Elementary 8:40am - 3:45pm Otsego Middle School 7:50am - 2:45pm Otsego High School 7:50am - 2:45pm **times are subject to change 5

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Early to Bed, Early to Rise Start putting the kids to bed about 5-10 minutes earlier each night until you reach the school night bed time. Start getting your child up earlier in the morning as well so they get used to the morning routine Reading, Writing, Math If your child hasn’t been reading, start now. Have them read aloud while you make dinner, or before bedtime. Practice math facts or get out flashcards in the car. Anything you can do now, will get their brains back in learning mode.



BYOD - Bring Your Own Device Otsego Public Schools is committed to moving students and staff forward in a 21st century learning environment. Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, students in Otsego Public Schools will be encouraged to bring their own technology devices to school. Technology plays a large role in our students’ lives and we feel that these devices can enhance and enrich their learning. Many students already bring personal technology devices to school (i.e. smartphones, iPods, etc.), but are typically required to keep it in their locker or their pocket. This year, with classroom teacher approval, students will be allowed to use their own devices in the classroom for educational purposes. Because Otsego Public Schools offers a wireless campus, they will be able to connect to our internet with their devices. Students will still be required to use our district internet filter which will prohibit them from accessing inappropriate content. Throughout the year, I will offer several Professional Development opportunities for staff members demonstrating ways they can effectively use these devices in their classrooms. While we are encouraging students to bring their own devices for classroom use, it is not a requirement. Students will continue to have access to district-owned technology devices during the school day. We have also been thinking of different ways to increase students’ access to technology outside of the normal school day. We are committed to making sure Director of Technology every student is part of a technology-rich environment, whether Michelle Triemstra they are using a district-owned device, or their personal device.


Using Free Time for Free Tutoring

ummertime is technically time off for school staff; them build a stronger foundation and mastery of skills but it isn’t hard to find teachers or tutors hard at work as they enter the last year before middle school, “There’s from June to August helping kids. a big difference from 5th to 6th grade. There is more “I love what I do,” says Julie Vilas, a tutor at Washington independent learning in middle school,” Julie says, “If Street elementary. As the school year was ending, she they aren’t ready for that cross over, it can be difficult.” thought up the idea of holding a few Each student set his or her tutoring sessions over the summer at own goals, got a library card no cost. That’s right, at no cost, “So and joined the summer reading many of them need more than what program. The tutors focused on they get during the school day, and reading and math but made it fun people can’t always afford a tutor,” with theme days, “For the beach she explains. theme, they brought in beach Another WSE tutor, Heather towels and we read outside on the Phillips, loved the idea and joined lawn,” Heather explains. in, “To help them learn and help The academic goal for these them want to learn is important,” she tutors was to help combat the says. Heather Phillips and Julie Vilas summer slide – the learning They contacted about 20 families loss that takes place when school to see if they would be interested, and ended up with 7-9 is out – and they saw great results; but they also saw a kids each session. The Otsego District Public Library confidence boost. offered up space for them to hold their session twice a “It was exciting to see how excited they were to learn and week for an hour and a half each time. reach their goals and want to continue on,” Heather says. They tutored only students going into 5th grade to help These women have plans to do it again next summer.



Otsego Public Schools

Transportation Notes: What You Need To Know Your Child’s Bus Information The Otsego Public Schools’ Transportation Department will be mailing out a postcard to every student on our bus routes that will include their bus driver’s name, the bus number and animal as well as expected pickup and drop-off times. Those postcards will be mailed out at the end of August. Please have your child at the bus stop about 5 minutes before their scheduled pick-up time. Bus Route Information Otsego Public Schools provides bus service to students within our district boundaries, and arrangements can be made for School of Choice students by contacting Carrie Barnhart, Transportation Supervisor, at 269-692-6245. Specific bus route information can also be obtained through that office.

Contact Us

Reminder for Kindergarten Parents There is no bus pick-up for kindergarteners on the first day of school, September 3, as it is not a full day for those students, but rather an open house. Parents must provide transportation for kindergarteners to the open house. Bus service for kindergarteners will begin on the second day of school, Wednesday, September 4. Patience, please There may be delays in pick-up and drop-off times for the first few days of school as everyone gets acclimated to a new school year. Contact Us If at any time you have questions about bus service, routes, times, etc., contact Carrie Barnhart, Transportation Supervisor, at 269692-6245.

Administration/Business Office 269-692-6066 Superintendent Denny Patzer 269-692-6076 Alamo Elementary 269-692-6150 Dix Street Elementary 269-692-6099 Washington Street Elementary 269-692-6069 Otsego Middle School 269-692-6199 Otsego High School 269-692-6166 Special Education 269-692-6233 Community Education / B.A.S.E. 269-692-6225 Learn N’ Grow Preschool Alamo 269-692-6152 Dix Street 269-692-6099 Washington Street 269-692-6092 Athletics High School 269-692-6163 Middle School 269-692-6225 Transportation Department 269-692-6245 Carrie Barnhart, Supervisor OPS Foundation

Otsego Public Schools News & Notes

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From the Directors’ Chair

Director of Elementary Instruction Alamo Elementary Principal Melissa Koenig

Director of Secondary Instruction OHS Asst. Principal Heather Kortlandt

Fill the Gap Fall As we look ahead to a new school year, we must also look back at where students were academically when summer vacation began. Typically, teachers begin the school year with review. This year, we are taking a different approach to the first six weeks of school for grades three through nine. The approach is called “Fill the Gap Fall.” The gap refers to the standards that students didn’t quite master last year, based on the State Assessment Test. Teachers are looking at data to pinpoint those learning areas and will combine those numbers with the pretest given in the fall. With a focus on those learning gaps, teachers will provide instruction and activities to move all students to mastery before starting new content. We believe that this will provide a strong base for our students to encounter their new learning at a much deeper level. Our teachers are working hard to revamp this time period so that we are giving students what they need to be successful on the MEAP and are prepared to learn new content with confidence and skill. We are excited about this approach and feel that it will benefit students’ learning progressions greatly. You can join us in the effort at home by engaging your students to talk about what they are learning and how they’re preparing for this state test. In addition, you can give them an academic and confidence boost the week of the test by making sure your child gets plenty of sleep, a healthy breakfast and your encouragement to do their best.



Middle School Teachers on the Move

Jake Knash helps others “Capture Kids’ Hearts”


ave you heard your child talk about sharing “good things”? Or shaking hands with the teacher before class? Or their classroom social contract or writing affirmations to each other? Those actions are a part of “Capturing Kids’ Hearts,” a program that Otsego Public Schools adopted in 2009. Almost every OPS staff member – including custodians, bus drivers and food service workers – has been through the CKH training. Now, Otsego Middle School teacher Jake Knash is doing the training. Capturing Kids’ Hearts is part of the Flippen Group; founder Flip Flippen says “If you have a child’s heart, you have his head.” At its core, CKH is about building relationships with students. Knash was among an initial group of teachers and administrators to go Jake Knash leads a CKH training session in through the 3-day training, “I really believed in it,” he says of first learning Hattisburg, Mississippi in July. the process. Upon returning, Knash also started teaching “Teen Leadership,” a class that is part of CKH where students learn to become good role models. Now, as a trainer, he’s going one step further. “In college, we were taught to build relationships with our kids; it’s something we’ve all done at some point in our careers,” he says, “This is a great way to give them (educators) a step-by-step process on building relationships with your kids that doesn’t take a lot of time away from your content.” In his first summer as a trainer, he led five sessions across the country including one in Oklahoma City just weeks after the devastating tornadoes hit, “It was hard, knowing that at every break they were checking in with insurance companies,” he says. He also went to North Carolina, Mississippi, New York and Tennessee, “I love it,” he says of the experience. Knash says he sees the positive impact of the program everyday as a teacher in the middle school, “We live the process,” he says, “Every teacher is in the hallway greeting kids, shaking hands, letting them know they’re happy they are there,” he explains, “Teachers are letting kids share good things every day.” A difficult part of this new assignment, though, is being away from his family for a week at a time, “It’s a huge sacrifice.” But CKH isn’t just a school thing, “We both use the entire process at home.” In fact, using his family’s support is how he ends each training session, “I tell them, ‘I would not leave my children for 5 days at a time if I truly didn’t believe in this process,’” he says. He reflects on the impact of each place he goes, “When I see 50 teachers walk out of the room, I think of how many kids that represents. There are hundreds, maybe 1000 students each time.”


Beverly Rannow helps Sandy Victims Recover

eaching out to those in need is not new to Otsego Middle School teacher Beverly Rannow – she spent two years in the Peace Corps (1974-76) and revisited that same location in Sierra Leone, Africa, two years ago. This summer, she and her husband joined 21 other people with her church to go to Manahawkin, New Jersey, helping in the rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Sandy. They spent a week at the King of Kings church which took in over 50 refugees from the storm and “took a beating” in Hurricane Sandy. They did a lot of painting which did more than brighten up the walls, “Our painting has lifted their spirits,” Beverly says. Hurricane Sandy hit at the end of October 2012 and the rebuilding effort isn’t over, “It is amazing how much


has been done and cleaned up,” she says, “There is also an unbelievable amount of work left to do.” Beverly says the debris is gone, but many homes are still just a shell and families are still displaced waiting for government funds to come through so they can rebuild. Others in her group spent time at individual homes helping with repairs, or moving things out so they can be demolished. Her church group was organized through World Renew, a disaster response organization. Read more at www.


Fun with Summer Voyagers! nd als to fi l im n a s anima ts act a studen round for the s r e g a Voy layg n the p eme day. treats o th

About 50 people traveled to a Tigers game July 31st. It was the final activity of the Summer Voyagers season.

Voyager s st blind ta udents get to ta sting on ke part chocolat in a e theme day!

Get Involved with Community Education

Middle School Athletics

Swim in the Pool!

Open Swim, Lap Swim, Aqua Aerobics!

Volleyball Try-outs for 7th & 8th grade: August 26-28th 7th grade: 3:00-4:30pm 8th grade: 4:30-6:00pm

Spikers Volleyball

For grades 3-6, starts October 5th Look for sign-up sheets in September

Senior Life-long Learning

Senior citizens meet the first Tuesday of each month, 1pm, Otsego Administration Office Hear local speakers, take field trips! Come when you can!

Cross Country Practice begins Monday, August 26th, 3:00-4:00pm

B.A.S.E. - Before and After School Enrichment

Boys’ Basketball Season starts October 30, 2013 Sign-ups will start first week of October

Licensed daycare available for K-5 at all three of Otsego’s elementary buildings Hours: 6:30am - start of school day End of school day - 6:00pm

* Students must have a current physical, consent form and $10 activity fee by first practice.

**Info on all programs at



Legal Notices

Pesticide Control Act

The Otsego Public School District utilizes pesticide products from time to time at its buildings. The District has contracted with Rose Pest Solutions to have school buildings treated with pesticides when necessary. Rose Pest Solutions inspects the District’s buildings on the first Thursday of each month between 6 and 8 a.m. Sometimes treatments are needed as part of the school’s regular pesticide treatment program. Food service areas and bathrooms are treated before or after school. Locker room treatment is scheduled during vacations. Classrooms are treated only in an emergency and outside grounds are treated before or after school, when needed. Products like boric acid or baits may be applied in cracks and crevices, but Rose never applies a liquid, spray, or aerosol insecticide during a regularly scheduled service. When spray is needed to control an infestation, it is applied during a weekend, holiday or during summer vacation when students and staff are not present. All pesticide applications are made in accordance with the Pesticide Act of 1976.

Pesticide Application Notification

Otsego Public Schools either contracts with private vendors or applies its own pesticides within District facilities and on its grounds. Under PA 121 of 1993, parents and guardians have the right to receive prior notification of such applications, if desired. Any parent, guardian, or care provider of an Otsego Public School District student who wishes to receive prior notification should complete the following form and return it as soon as possible. If a form is not received, it is assumed that notification is not desired. REQUEST FOR NOTIFICATION OF PESTICIDE APPLICATIONS _____Yes, I would like to receive prior notification of pesticide applications scheduled during the 2013-14 school year. ________________________________________ Parent/Guardian Signature Date: __________________ Address:__________________________________ _________________________________________ Student’s Name:____________________________ Student’s School: ___________________________ Grade: _____________ *Return To: Student’s Building Principal


Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

In compliance with Federal regulations, Otsego Public Schools has established the following guidelines concerning student records. Melissa Koenig, Director of Elementary Instruction, is the Records Control Officer for the District and is responsible for the processing and maintenance of all student records. She can be reached at 400 Sherwood St., Otsego, MI or (269) 692-6149. Each student’s records will be kept in a confidential file located in each building principal’s office. The information in a student’s record file will be available for review only by the parents or legal guardian of a student, an adult student (18 years of age or older), and those designated by Federal law or District regulations. If not satisfied with the accuracy of the records or with the District’s compliance with the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act, a parent, guardian, or adult student has the right to request a change or addition to a student’s record, and to: A. Obtain a hearing with District officials, or B. File a complaint with the U.S. Office of Education. The District has established the following information about each student as directory information and will make it available upon a legitimate request unless a parent, guardian, or adult student notifies the Records Control Office in writing within 10 days from the date of this notification that they will not permit distribution of any or all information: A. Name, address, and telephone number B. Date and place of birth C. Photograph D. Major field of study E. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports F. Height and weight, if a member of an athletic team G. Dates of attendance, date of graduation, and awards received H. Any other information the District considers would not be harmful or an invasion of privacy, if disclosed. A copy of the Board of Education’s policy and the accompanying District regulations are available at the Superintendent’s office, 400 Sherwood St., Otsego. There will also be a person available to answer any questions concerning the policy or regulations.

Weapons are prohibited

The Board of Education prohibits visitors from possessing, storing, making, or using a weapon in any setting that is under the control and supervision of the District for the purpose of school activities approved and authorized by the District including, but not limited to, property leased, owned, or contracted for by the District, a school-sponsored event, or in a District vehicle without the permission of the Superintendent. State law establishes a “Weapon-Free School Zone” that extends 1,000 feet from the boundary of any school property. The term “weapon” means any object which, in the manner in which it is used, is intended to be used, or is represented, is capable of inflicting serious bodily harm or property damage, as well as endangering the health and safety of persons. Weapons include, but are not limited to, firearms, guns of any type, including air and gas-powered guns (whether loaded or unloaded), knives, razors, clubs, electric weapons, metallic knuckles, martial arts weapons, ammunition, and explosives. The Superintendent shall refer a visitor who violates this policy to law enforcement officials and may take any necessary steps to exclude the visitor from District property and District sponsored events. Exceptions to this policy include: A. Weapons under the control of law enforcement personnel; B. items approved by a principal as part of a class or individual presentation under adult supervision, if used for the purpose of and in the manner approved; (Working firearms and ammunition shall never be approved.) C. Theatrical props used in appropriate settings; D. Starter pistols used in appropriate sporting events. These restrictions shall not apply in the following circumstances: A. A parent or legal guardian of a student of the school, who is properly licensed to carry a concealed weapon may carry a concealed pistol while in a vehicle on school property, if s/he is dropping the student off at the school or picking up the child from the school. B. A county corrections officer, a motor carrier officer, a State Police Capitol security officer, a member of a Sheriff ’s posse, a police or sheriffs reserve or auxiliary officer, or a State Department of Corrections parole or corrections officer, provided s/he is properly licensed to carry a concealed weapon and is on duty or in the course of his/her employment carry a concealed firearm on school property; C. A retired police or law enforcement officer, if properly licensed to carry a concealed weapon may do so on school property. The Superintendent shall take the necessary steps to prosecute for a violation of the Weapon-Free School Zone.


Important Information Safe & Drug Free Schools Act

Otsego Public Schools and the Allegan Area Educational Services Agency recognize and abide by the standards of the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug Student Use of Phones is Limited Free Workplace Act. A student may possess a cellular telephone or These standards prohibit the unlawful manufacture, possession, use, sale, distribution, or other electronic communication devices (ECD) concealment of illegal drugs and alcohol in school programs, school vehicles, school premises, and electronic storage devices (ESD) in school, and at school sponsored activities on and off school property. Drugs include all controlled on school property, at after school activities substances as defined by law, as well as “look-alike” drugs, steroids and alcohol. and at school-related functions, provided that These standards apply to all Otsego Public Schools and Allegan Area Educational Service during school hours the cell phone or other Agency students and staff. The use or abuse of drugs and alcohol poses serious health and ECD remains off. safety risks to students. We urge students, parents, guardians, and care providers to work handCell phones or other ECD can be used for in-hand with our district to ensure that these important standards are upheld. classroom purposes if permission has been granted by the teacher to do so. The unauthorStudent Vehicle ized use of cellular phones and ECD/ESD to Registration and Parking communicate or access information during Student vehicles must be parked only in the areas designated for student parking. Each classes or testing, in locker rooms and restmotor vehicle must be registered in the Principal’s office on the form provided before a rooms is prohibited. student will be allowed to drive and park at Otsego High School. Possession of a cellular telephone or other Forms must be signed by a parent/guardian. Upon completion of the registration process, ECD/ESD by a student is a privilege, which a sticker must be placed on the lower right-hand corner of the front window. Vehicle may be forfeited by any student who fails to registration and permits are valid for the current year only and the cost is $1 per vehicle. abide by the terms of this policy, or otherwise Use of the school parking lot is deemed consent to a search if a violation of school rules is engages in misuse of this privilege. Violations suspected. If this consent is withheld, all driving and parking privileges will be revoked. of this policy may result in disciplinary action against the student. Notice to Volunteer Drivers In addition, portable music layers, MP3 playTransportation for field trips and extracurricular activities is sometimes provided by ers, DVD players, audio and video recording volunteers in private cars. devices (including cameras) and other elecThe district provides liability coverage for employees, but no insurance or liability tronic entertainment devices are not allowed coverage for the ownership, maintenance, operational expenses, or any injury or damages to to be used in the building during school hours people or property that may occur in any manner from the use of non-school vehicles. except in classes where permission has been Drivers under the age of 18 cannot serve as volunteer drivers for school-related functions. granted by the teacher or an administrator. Students with a cellular phone or ECD/ESD shall assume responsibility for its care. At no time shall the District be responsible for preTitle IX & Section 504 venting theft, loss or damage to cell phones or The federal government has made legal provisions to ensure that no person is ECD/ESD brought onto its property. discriminated against on the basis of sex or handicap. In order to protect these rights

No Smoking in or Around Schools

All public school districts, including Otsego Public Schools, are tobacco free as of September 1, 1993, as mandated by Public Act 140 of 1993. This law was enacted to protect children, school employees and visitors from the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke. The Tobacco-Free Schools Act bans the use of tobacco products at all times in all buildings and grounds owned by the Otsego Public School District. The Environmental Protection Agency has classified secondhand smoke as a Group A carcinogen. Tobacco smoke is now considered as lethal as asbestos, benzene and radon gas. Eliminating the use of tobacco products by persons on school property is expected to provide a healthier environment in which children can learn and promote healthier behavior.

and assure compliance, Denny Patzer, Superintendent, and Alice Hoekstra, Special Education Director, serve as the Title IX and Section 504 Coordinators respectively for Otsego Public Schools. Any parent or guardian of a student or an employee who feels that the rights of a male or female handicapped person may have been misused in relationship to the provision of equal opportunity in educational programs and activities or in employment may contact the school. Inquiries concerning the application of, or grievances for either of these regulations should be addressed to: Dennis Patzer, Superintendent, or Alice Hoekstra, Special Education Director, Otsego Public Schools, 400 Sherwood St., Otsego, Michigan, 49078 or (269) 692-6066.

Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act Awareness Update

DeLisle Associates completes a regularly scheduled inspection of all remaining asbestoscontaining materials in Otsego Public Schools. These inspections and routine six-month inspections performed by District personnel are part of our Management Plan. All asbestos materials in floor and ceiling tiles were removed during the renovation work that was completed during the summer of 2006. Parents who wish to review the District’s Management Plan may do so by contacting Rosemary Zink, Director of Finance & Operations, at (269) 692-6070.



From: Otsego Public Schools 400 Sherwood Street Otsego, MI 49078-1281

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Otsego, MI Permit No. 23

To: Postal Customer **ECRWSS**

Otsego High School Fall Sports Schedule

* Schedules are subject to change

VARSITY FOOTBALL AUG. 29 @ Edwardsburg SEPT. 6 South Haven 13 @ Berrien Springs 20 @ Plainwell 27 Comstock OCT. 4 @ Allegan 11 Vicksburg (Homecoming) 18 @ Paw Paw 25 Dowagiac AUG. 28 SEPT. 5 12 19 26 OCT. 3 10 17 24

JV FOOTBALL Edwardsburg @ South Haven Berrien Springs Plainwell @ Comstock Allegan @ Vicksburg Paw Paw @ Dowagiac

FRESHMAN FOOTBALL AUG. 28 Edwardsburg SEPT. 5 @ South Haven 12 Berrien Springs 19 Plainwell 26 @ Comstock OCT. 3 Allegan 10 @ Vicksburg 17 Paw Paw 24 @ Dowagiac VARSITY VOLLEYBALL AUG. 24 @ Hamilton 26 @ Vicksburg 27 @ East Kentwood 28 Bulldog Classic SEPT. 5 South Haven 10 @ Varsity Tri 12 @ Berrien Springs

VARSITY VOLLEYBALL cont. SEPT. 17 @ West Ottawa 19 @ Plainwell 21 @ Portage Northern 26 Comstock OCT. 3 @ Allegan 8 Varsity Six Pack (H) 10 Vicksburg 17 @ Paw Paw 19 @ Wayland 24 @ Gobles NOV. 2 Conf. @ Three Rivers AUG. 24 SEPT. 3 5 7 10 12 19 26 OCT. 1 3 10 12 17 24

JV VOLLEYBALL @ Comstock @ South Christian South Haven @ West Ottawa JV Tri @ Berrien Springs @ Plainwell Comstock JV Six Pack @ Allegan Vicksburg JV Conf. Tourney @ Vicksburg @ Paw Paw @ Gobles

FRESHMAN VOLLEYBALL AUG. 23 @ Comstock SEPT. 3 @ FHE, Fr. Quad 5 South Haven 10 @ Freshman Tri 12 @ Berrien Springs 19 @ Plainwell 24 Freshman Six Pack 26 Comstock 28 @ St. Joseph OCT. 3 @ Allegan 10 Vicksburg

FRESHMAN VOLLEYBALL cont. OCT. 12 Conf. Tourney @ Paw Paw 17 @ Paw Paw AUG. 24 27 SEPT. 4 7 11 14 17 18 23 25 26 30 OCT. 3 7 OCT. 9 12

VARSITY SOCCER @ Hackett Tourney @ Edwardsburg South Haven Wayland @ Plainwell Thornapple-Kellogg @ Hopkins Comstock @ Allegan Vicksburg @ Hamilton @ Paw Paw @ Parchment Conf. Semi-Finals Conference Finals Niles

AUG. 27 SEPT. 4 7 11 14 18 23 25 26 30 OCT. 7 9 12

JV SOCCER @ Edwardsburg South Haven Wayland @ Plainwell Thornapple-Kellogg Comstock @ Allegan Vicksburg @ Hamilton @ Paw Paw Conf. Semi-Finals Conference Finals Niles

VARSITY GOLF (girls) AUG. 26 @ Allegan 27 @ Otsego 28 @ Dowagiac

*Go to for game times

VARSITY GOLF (girls) cont. SEPT. 9 @ South Haven 10 @ Comstock 16 @ Point O’ Woods 17 @ Three Rivers 23 @ Vicksburg 25 @ Plainwell 30 @ Paw Paw OCT. 3 Conf. @ Lake Doster VARSITY TENNIS (boys) AUG. 21 Otsego/Plainwell Invite 26 @ Caledonia 28 @ Edwardsburg 29 @ Lakewood-Portland SEPT. 9 @ Plainwell 11 Comstock 14 @ St. John 16 @ Allegan 18 Vicksburg 21& 23 GK @ Portage Central 24 @ Paw Paw 30 Crossover @ Holland Christian OCT. 4-5 Conference Tourney @ Otsego VARSITY SWIM (girls) SEPT. 3 Mattawan 5 Hamilton 12 @ Sturgis 19 Harper Creek 24 Thornapple-Kellogg 26 @ Marshall 28 @ GRCC OCT. 1 Allegan 8 @ South Haven 10 St. Joseph 15 @ Plainwell 19 Plainwell/Alma NOV. 8-9 Conference Meet @ Allegan

OPS Connection is published 4 times per year with printing by Premiere Printing Corporation, 720 N. Main St., Plainwell. It is distributed to all residents of the Otsego Public School district. Residents in the district who live north of “F” Avenue receive their newsletter via the Community Shopper’s Guide. Residents who live south of “F” Avenue and residents with Allegan and Gobles addresses receive their newsletter via the U.S. Post Office. Changes of address, suggestions, questions and contributed articles should be signed and sent to Holly McCaw, OPS Connection editor, Otsego Public Schools, 400 Sherwood Street, Otsego, MI 49078-1281. For more information, call Holly at (269) 692-6073. The Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, including sexual orientation or transgender identity, disability, age, religion, height, weight, marital or family status, military status, ancestry, genetic information, or any other legally protected category, (collectively, “Protected Classes”), in its programs and activities, including employment opportunities.


OPS Connection August 2013  

Otsego Public Schools' back-to-school edition.