March 16, 2012
Dear Parents / Guardian:
On behalf of the district, I’d like to say THANK YOU to our community and parents for the levy victory on March 6th. The 9.4 mill operating levy passed with 3,028 for votes vs. 2,894against votes. The Garfield Heights community stood up for education. We extend our “thanks” to the campaign’s unwavering co-chairs, James Fruits and Mike Hopkins, and to the hundreds of volunteers who were dedicated in their efforts to communicate the importance of this levy through five campaigns.
This funding will allow us to remain economically stable in the near future as we continue to focus on academic excellence to meet student needs. I know we are all anxious to immediately restore everything that was cut. However, we must temper those thoughts for two reasons: (1) we will not collect the proceeds from this levy until January 2013, and (2) we must show the taxpayers that we are wise stewards of the money they have graciously given us to improve education for our students. Over the coming months, I will be working with the Board of Education and the administrative team on the changes that will take place as a result of the passing of Issue 10. Currently, principals are reviewing educational needs for their buildings. Once those needs are complete, we will be in a better position to know what additional courses we will offer for next school year.
One area we will be able to restore fairly quickly is transportation for students in grades K-3 residing over 1 mile from their school. This service will begin on Monday, March 26th. (If your child qualifies for transportation, a letter will be sent home with your child by March 22, 2012.)
We are committed to following our campaign promises by implementing the following beginning with the 2012 – 2013 School Year:
- Provide Music, Library, Physical Education, and Art experiences in grades K-8. (Note: This means we will be extending the student day from 5 ½ hours. We will let parents know of the new start and ending times later this spring.)
- Restore hot lunch program for students in K-8.
- Eliminate the $50 student fee for students in grades K-8.
- Allow select out-of-district field trips for students.
- Extend building hours for parent and community use.
Later this spring, we will also share with parents a new minimal pay-to-participate fee for sports and extracurricular activities. This new fee will be in effect beginning with the fall 2012 sports.
Finally, we must not lose sight of our academic accountability and efforts to improve ourContinuous Improvement rating on the State Report Card. Our goal is to continue to give our students a competitive edge, and passing this levy keeps that goal in clear sight. Thank you again for your support. Great days are ahead.
Linda N. Reid
Superintendent of Schools