Our fall 2015 edition of Ovid-Elsie Home & School Connections is now available.
To the Ovid-Elsie School Community:
Welcome back to the 2015-16 school year! School officially begins for all students on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. We hope you enjoyed your summer vacation and had an opportunity to recharge your batteries. We have had many exciting changes take place this summer and we are gearing up for your return.
One of the more dramatic changes that took place this summer was the restructuring of our schools to accommodate the loss of students and a budget shortfall as well as maximizing our current building capacities. North Community Center will no longer be operational. Leonard Elementary School will now house all preschool and daycare, Kindergarten and First Grade. Our Alternative Education program will also be at Leonard Elementary School but will be in a designated area within the building. Grades 2nd through 5th will be at E.E. Knight Elementary School while 6th graders will now attend the Middle School. Class lists and secondary schedules will be posted by Friday, August 21st. The elementary class lists will be posted on the school buildings while secondary schedules will be available in PowerSchool. Beginning August 18th, all of our buildings will be available for you to visit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. We ask that you check in at the office and please respect employees and contractors hard at work. We will conduct formal open houses for the Middle School and High School on Tuesday, September 1st from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. and the elementary schools on Wednesday, September 2nd from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. This will be a great opportunity for parents and students to meet their teachers, check out their classrooms and find their lockers. At Leonard Elementary School, Mr. Kirby will be having a school-wide meeting at 5:30 p.m. for all parents and students in the gymnasium.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Kirk Baese on his retirement after 23 years as the principal of Ovid-Elsie High School. We wish him the best! Mr. Jason Tokar will be taking over at the High School while Mr. Randy Barton will become the new Middle School principal. Mr. Cory Gavenda will remain at E.E. Knight Elementary while Mr. Kris Kirby will assume the responsibilities at Leonard Elementary School.
Our bond construction work remains on schedule and on budget. We are anticipating work to be completed in the next couple weeks – well in advance of the start of school. Our community will notice many improvements at the High School and Middle School campus and our students will experience an enhanced learning experience! Refreshed classrooms and technology upgrades will continue to make Ovid-Elsie Area Schools the best place to educate your children. Please keep in mind that our bond proceeds are not part of our regular operating budget and therefore may not be used to impact any operating budget shortfalls.
It is important for all parents to keep their PowerSchool information up-to-date and as accurate as possible. Schedules will soon be posted and available to parents and students. If you need any assistance, you may email our Technology Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be some directory changes as our phone system transitions. Many extensions will change over the next few weeks so it will be important for you to utilize our website (ovidelsie.org) for up-to-date information. We will post administrative contact information as well as a phone directory for your convenience. The District will still utilize One Call Now for notifications and post important information on our Facebook page. Our Home-School Connect newspaper will soon be available online and that will include further information.
Although we do not anticipate many changes within our busing system, you may still check your bus number and routes on PowerSchool. Further, your child’s driver will be contacting you with approximate pick up and drop off times. Please be patient with us the first couple of days as our bus transition takes a little time. Students quickly learn the routine but the first couple of days typically take a little bit longer. If you have any questions for transportation, please call (989) 834-2271 ext. 1964.
We are excited about the upcoming school year and all that we have to offer our community. We look forward to your continued support and we thank you for being part of our Marauder family!
Dr. Ryan L. Cunningham, Superintendent
Ovid-Elsie Area Schools
If you know anyone who did not complete high school due to entering the military, up through the Vietnam era, please have them contact Dr. Cunningham at Ovid-Elsie Area Schools. With the passing of recent board policies, Ovid-Elsie Area Schools will award an Ovid-Elsie diploma to any service person who did not complete high school due to the fact that they entered into military service. You may call directly at 989-834-2271 ext. 1120.
Elsie, Michigan – The Board of Education of Ovid-Elsie Area Schools is proud to announce the successful sale of its 2015 Refunding Bonds in the amount of $8,170,000. The Bonds will be used for the purpose of refunding a portion of the School District’s outstanding 2005 Refunding Bonds and to pay the costs of issuing the Bonds. The 2015 Refunding Bonds reduce the School District interest expense approximately $1,013,469 for the taxpayers and will occur through lower debt payments over the next 11 years.
In preparing to sell the 2015 Refunding Bonds, the School District, working with their financial advisor, Stauder, Barch & Associates, Inc., requested that Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (“S&P”) evaluate the School District’s credit quality. S&P assigned the School District the underlying rating of “A+”. The rating agency cited the School District’s good incomes and strong wealth levels, very strong available fund balance and good management practices and policies in their rational for rating the School District at this level.
“Taking advantage of lower interest rates is just good business. Our Board of Education is very astute and works hard to ensure maximum savings to the District and community,” said Superintendent Dr. Ryan Cunningham. “We work hard to be fiscally responsible as an executive committee.”
The School District’s financing was conducted by the Michigan investment banking office of the brokerage firm, Stifel, the financial advising firm, Stauder, Barch & Associates, Inc., and the law firm serving as bond counsel, Thrun Law Firm, P.C. The School District’s 2015 Refunding Bonds were sold at a true interest rate of 1.93% with a final maturity of 2025 (a repayment term of approximately 11 years).
Brenda Voutyras, Managing Director with Stifel states, “Ovid-Elsie Area Schools Bonds were well received by the bond market. We were able to take advantage of historic low rates that resulted in a very nice savings for the District and its taxpayers.”
I have some terrific news to share with you: Ovid-Elsie Area Schools, on February 3rd, was named an Academic State Champion by Bridge Magazine. Only 69 districts in the state received this recognition.
To determine the winners, Bridge partnered with Public Sector Consultants, Inc.to develop a value-added ranking system which measures a school’s test scores adjusted for student family income, which is often a predictor of academic achievement. Essentially, Bridge’s Academic State Champions are being recognized for over-achievement, rather than achievement.
This recognition reaffirms our dedication to exceptional education, as well as the exceptional performance of our students, teachers and building administrators. I am immensely proud of our faculty, staff, and – most of all – our students. We are also very grateful to our parents and others in the community who support our students and schools.
I encourage you to explore the Academic State Champs coverage and statewide rankings database at bridgemi.com and to share this wonderful news with friends, family and others in the community. Bridge also offers opportunities for us to display this award every day – go to http://bridgemi.com/2015/01/academic-state-champs-bumper-sticker/ to order a free Academic State Champs bumper sticker.
To the Ovid-Elsie Community,
January is typically reserved for Board Appreciation Month but I felt compelled to bring this recognition to our Board a month early. This year we are saying “good-bye” to two long-standing Board Members, Mr. Jamie Perrien and Mrs. Becky Holmes-Bukantis. I want to personally thank them for their commitment to Ovid-Elsie Area Schools, along with all of our other Board Members, and express to them our appreciation. I would also like to thank President Stacie Rulison, Vice-President Dr. David Huff, Secretary Steve Sopocy, Treasurer Amy Palus, and Trustees Erin Bancroft and Mike Schiffer. We also welcome aboard newcomer Mr. Josh Miller.
As citizen leaders, individual school board members face complex and demanding challenges. They are alternately described as having the most important volunteer jobs in the country and facing the toughest challenge in elected American government. Yet school board members are just ordinary citizens with extraordinary dedication to our nation’s public schools. All Michigan citizens should recognize the vital contributions of these men and women and the crucial role they play in the education of our children.
Public education is the backbone of American society, and local school boards are deeply rooted in U.S. tradition. It’s the foundation on which our democracy was built. Today local school boards continue to do the most important work of their communities—that of educating our youth.
Their job is to establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, ensure schools are accountable to the community and strongly advocate for continuous improvement in student learning. The job of a school board member is tough, the hours long and the thanks few and far between. Too often we’re quick to criticize school board members without really understanding the complex nature of their decisions. Now’s the time to thank them for their untiring efforts.
School board members come from a variety of backgrounds, yet they share a common goal—helping students achieve in school and life. As a state, Michigan has faced many challenges, but the key to a brighter future is a strong public education system.
We often forget about the personal sacrifices school board members make. Board members contribute hundreds and hundreds of hours each year leading their districts. The time spent in board meetings represents just a small fraction of the hours school board members spend leading their districts. Collectively, they spend almost 7,000 hours on professional development to keep abreast of the latest trends in educational leadership, are deeply involved in community activities and spend many hours at extracurricular events. They continually advocate for the children of our state, and in the past year school board members made countless passionate pleas to legislators, speaking out against budget cuts and pushing for smart reforms.
The month of January marks the annual observance of School Board Recognition Month. This is a time to show our appreciation and begin to better understand how local trustees work together to prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders. In January, join with others from throughout our district and state to salute the men and women who provide grassroots governance of public schools.
If you’re interested, I have some suggestions for things you might do to honor the Board. You might:
– Sponsor a public service announcement.
– Invite board members to your January meeting to recognize their efforts.
– Feature the board in your January newsletter.
– Sponsor a newspaper ad thanking the board for its dedication and service.
– Host a fun event for the board and their families.
– Send each board member a certificate for a free cup of coffee from a local coffee shop. Accompany it with a note that says, “You deserve a break!”
– Sponsor signs to be distributed to local businesses.
Please contact me at email@example.com to discuss how we can work together to honor the dedication of our locally elected school board members. Thank you very much for your support in this deserved recognition.
On behalf of the Board of Education I want to wish each and everyone a very safe and happy holiday season.
Dr. Ryan L. Cunningham, Superintendent
Ovid-Elsie Area Schools
Dear Marauder Families,
As 2014 comes to a close I wanted to take a moment to update the community on our summer bond work. We are very pleased with our progress and we look forward to wrapping up all work by next fall.
After the May election we were able to put out a summer scope to tackle some of the small items on our list. We purchased many new technology devices throughout the District increasing our students’ accessibility to the Internet and other educational resources. We installed The Boot security device on every door in the District, adding safety and a feeling of comfort for our staff and students. We completed a small section of the High School roof eliminating leaks and weathering, and also installed bathroom partitions. We purchased two new school buses and those should arrive this month.
One of the more noticeable projects is the completion of the stadium façade. This beautiful new façade was laid in by a local contractor (brick by brick) after the excavation of the old slat. New scoreboards adorn many of our athletic areas giving new life to our gyms and fields. The Middle School gym also received a makeover.
We are currently wrapping up our technology infrastructure needs that involve the replacement of switches, increased wireless access, new phones, fire panels, security cameras, and secured entry points.
This winter we will continue with the planning and bidding of the remaining projects on our list. The replacement of heating units, roofs and parking lots will take place in the summer of 2015. We will also wrap up the purchase of any other technology devices and infrastructure, athletic equipment, additional buses and any new furniture that was planned for. Finally, our science labs will receive their long overdue makeovers in order to make those learning spaces more appropriate for today’s learners.
Dr. Ryan L. Cunningham, Superintendent
Ovid-Elsie Area Schools
Our fall 2014 edition of Ovid-Elsie Home & School Connections is now available.
Welcome back to the 2014-15 school year!
The 2014-15 school year is just around the corner. School officially begins for students on Tuesday, September 2nd. Fall sports are already in full swing and our home opener in football against Portland is on August 28th! The Middle School and High School Open Houses will take place on Tuesday, August 26th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. and the Elementary Open Houses will take place on Wednesday, August 27th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Whether you are new to the community or have been a Marauder for life, I want to officially welcome you back to the new school year. It has been a busy summer (albeit it a bit shorter this year) but we are ready and anxious to get school started. With construction work and the welcoming of new faces, it is certainly an exciting time to be a Marauder!
It is hard to believe that I am beginning my 15th year here at Ovid-Elsie and my 5th year as Superintendent! Over the years I have seen Ovid-Elsie Area Schools become one of the absolute best districts in the area. Our mission at Ovid-Elsie Area Schools is to create a caring educational community that prepares all students for a global society. I truly believe that we do this on a day-to-day basis and feel confident that we meet the changing needs and interests of our school community. We boast high student achievement, competitive athletics and progressive educational programming. We have demonstrated a commitment to the community and established global classrooms in an effort to have a greater impact on our students.
With the sad loss of employees comes the exciting opportunity to welcome new personnel. We would like to welcome Dan Davenport, Jared Hyzer, Jennifer Gavenda, Sarah Martin, Sara Smith, Toni Thompson, and Stacy White to our schools. These individuals will make outstanding contributions to our schools and leave their legacy just as so many before them have done. We are grateful to each and every one of our employees.
As always, we welcome your thoughts and invite you to be a part of our very special school. Have a great school year and we will see you on September 2nd!
Dr. Ryan L. Cunningham, Superintendent
Ovid-Elsie Area Schools
Elsie, Michigan – The Board of Education of Ovid-Elsie Area Schools is proud to announce the successful sale of its 2014 School Building and Site Bonds. The Bonds are being issued for the purpose of installing security measures for, remodeling, equipping and re-equipping and furnishing and refurnishing school buildings and school facilities; acquiring and installing instructional technology and instructional technology equipment for school buildings; purchasing school buses; developing and improving athletic fields and facilities, parking areas and sites, and paying the costs of issuing the Bonds.
In preparing to sell the 2014 School Building and Site Bonds, the School District, working with their financial advisor, Stauder, Barch & Associates, Inc., requested that Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (“S&P”) evaluate the School District’s credit quality. S&P assigned the School District the underlying rating of “A+”. The rating agency cited the School District’s good income and strong wealth levels, very strong fund balance and good management practices and policies in their rational for rating the School District at this level.
“We are very pleased with the results. Our work with these companies has led to strong interest on the market and will save our taxpayers considerably,” said Ovid-Elsie Superintendent Dr. Ryan Cunningham.
The School District’s financing was conducted by the Michigan investment banking office of the brokerage firm, Stifel, the financial advising firm, Stauder, Barch & Associates and the law firm serving as bond counsel, Thrun Law Firm, P.C. The School District’s 2014 School Building and Site Bonds were sold at a true interest rate of 2.92% with a final maturity of 2029 (a repayment term of approximately 15 years).
Brenda Voutyras, Managing Director with Stifel states, “Ovid-Elsie Area Schools Bonds were well received by the bond market. We were able to take advantage of historic low rates that met the goals of the District and provided a lower cost of borrowing than originally anticipated.”
Cunningham added, “We are excited to get things moving along and phase in our projects. We anticipate completing all projects by December 2015”.