Dear Bulldog Families,
On behalf of the school district, I want to first let you know how much we appreciate the support and cooperation during these strange days that we’re living in. The district has closely followed Governor DeWine’s press conferences and it was sobering, but expected news to hear that students will be unable to return to their school buildings for the 2019-2020 school year. While not ideal, schooling and learning will continue. The district will not end the school year early. Our intention is to continue distance learning through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The last day of school is June 9.
School will continue under altered circumstances for several reasons. First, students must continue to learn so that they can come back to school as prepared as they can be for the next grade level and obviously our seniors from the Class of 2020 will need to graduate. Secondly, we need to maintain a sense of routine and normalcy as best as we can. Finally, our staff remain under contract for the 2019-2020 school year. While the circumstances have had a profound impact on the work environment for our staff, everyone continues to work and contribute in a variety of different ways. The district continues to operate and the need to obtain resources to ensure that it operates continues to be critical.
During this time I have had several families reach out to me via email and express gratitude. Many have also indicated-- “I can’t imagine what it’s like to be talking about a levy during a pandemic.” Well--there certainly is not a manual for it, and no training was provided during my “superintendent school” to assist. Experience is the best teacher and we have a great team of people helping to lead the way.
The district’s financial needs remain the same as they were before the start of this pandemic. We spent considerable time and effort sharing information and engaging with the community regarding the need and what would occur if the 8.9 mill operating levy were to fail and what would happen if it passed. The economic need has not changed and while conducting school looks considerably different when compared to the beginning of the year, the district continues to operate and our contractual obligations with our employees and vendors continue to be met.
The 3/17 primary election was postponed until April 28 to align with the COVID-19 stay at home order. Our focus rightfully shifted to taking care of our students and families. It has been challenging to find opportunities to continue to educate and inform our community about the reasons for this levy and the consequences of a levy failure. I do not want to appear tone-deaf to the community. I recognize that the occurrence of COVID-19 has caused a significant number of problems for many--both personally and economically. I’m communicating because I feel an obligation to let the community know that the economic situation of the school remains the same. Our ability to effectively operate our school at the level that our community has come to expect rests on the outcome of Issue #29.
Voting for this election will be by mail ONLY. All votes must be postmarked by April 27 or dropped off to the Board of Elections by April 28. If you have not voted yet or requested an absentee ballot, I urge you to go to www.443vote.us, print off the application, and mail it to the Board of Elections TODAY. Once the ballot arrives, it is imperative to fill it out and quickly return it. With the high volume of ballot requests, we are finding that there are slower turnaround times for receiving your ballot. Please let others know that this is the case and that they should not delay.
At some particular point in time, the water will recede and school will resume. Throughout this crisis I’ve been reminded of the value of the reciprocal relationship between the school district and community. I have been proud of our staff, students and families.
Thanks for your time and consideration.
Be well and healthy.
Jim Lloyd, Ed.D.
Olmsted Falls City School District
26937 Bagley Rd.
Olmsted Township, OH 44138