Oakwood Register

January 11, 2011

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www.oakwoodregister.com State of the Oakwood Schools 2011 By Elizabeth Reger President, Oakwood Board of Education I am privileged to report that the State of the Oakwood City Schools is very good. We have again received the Excellent with Distinction designation from the Ohio Department of Education. We achieved the sixth highest Ohio Performance Index Score out of the 611 public school districts. The Class of 2011 is second in the state per the Ohio Graduation Test and that Class has eight National Merit Scholarship Commended Scholars and 6 National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists - the list goes on. While all the awards and recog- nitions are valued and appreci- ated, the greatest value is in the substance of the work that goes on each day – work by parents, teachers, students, administrators, staff, and volunteers to prepare the students for each succeeding year and, ultimately, for the world they will encounter after high school – an ever changing world it appears. One of the members of the Class of 2011 has a t-shirt that reads: “The quality of your life is in direct pro- portion to the level of uncertainty you can live with.” While I gener- ally don’t pay too much attention to t-shirt quotes or bumper stickers, this struck me because, as we are all aware, our world in general is constantly changing, and the edu- cation world, in particular, seems to be on a fast track to change at this time in history. It also seems that many of even the immediate changes we may face are uncertain. For instance, we have a budget deficit in Ohio that most likely will mean less money for districts such as Oakwood in the next few years. Additionally, federal monies that states have received for educa- tion over the past couple of years will likely diminish significantly. Taking into account these factors, the Governor’s office will release a proposed state budget in the next several weeks and the Ohio leg- islature will finalize a budget by late June. This state budget will have an immediate effect on the Oakwood School District’s budget once it is finalized. However, we cannot wait on word from Columbus in order to proceed with our school activities and plans. So, we move forward with the best understanding we have of what may come our way in the next few months. In addition to the funding issues, there is a great deal of scrutiny on the functions and work- ings of our nation’s educational systems. Things that haven’t been subject to change in many years, and things that have come to be taken for granted, are being ana- lyzed and questioned from many directions. Not to mention the fact that our most recent past governor implemented a fairly complex plan for changing Ohio schools which is now subject to change by today’s new governor. Planning, adjust- ing, and re-examining just seem to be part of our everyday work. As we all know though, our mis- sion here is to do what’s best for stu- dents – no matter what uncertainty we may face. While serving on the Board I’ve witnessed time and time again our school community, and the Oakwood community at large, working together to live this mission and, to somehow always work within in any guidelines or statutes imposed while providing the substance of an excellent edu- cation that is right at the forefront of quality change. The engineering program implemented at the junior/ senior high this past year is just one shining example. The changes in scheduling and courses at the junior and senior high schools on tonight’s agenda also evidence our continuing efforts to press forward despite uncertainty. Finally, and these things can not be said enough: Thank you to our teachers for extending their contract for one year as we navi- gate through another year of eco- nomic uncertainty while not miss- ing a beat in the classroom. Thank you to our community for your overwhelming support of the 2010 Oakwood Schools Levy Request in November. This was one of the big events in our school life this past year. While a great deal of focus, ‘Ten Percent NOW’ energy program starts Jan. 13 The award-winning Oakwood High School Energy Team will offer home energy assessments to all Oakwood residents as part of ‘Ten Percent NOW,’ a program that aims to reduce Oakwood’s residen- tial building energy consumption by ten percent over the next year. This goal would help the Oakwood com- munity take a major step towards the US Department of the Energy’s goal, which is a 30 percent reduction for all buildings by the year 2030. “We received energy audit equipment last year from the Oakwood Educational Foundation. That included a blower door and an infrared camera.We worked with UD students and faculty to learn how to use and analyze the data we gathered,” said Heidi Steinbrink, OHS Geophysical Science teach- er and co-advisor to the Energy Team.. Home energy assessments are free and all collected infor- mation will be strictly confiden- tial. Interested homeowners will find an envelope for the ‘Ten Percent NOW’ in the Jan. 18 edi- tion of The Oakwood Register. This envelope should be used to provide contact information, area of your home (square feet), and portions of your most recent gas and electric bills to the Energy Team. Detailed instructions will be included within the ‘Ten Percent NOW’ envelope. Envelopes can then be taken to one of several collection boxes placed around town. Collection boxes can be found near the service counter in Dorothy Lane Market, in the lobby of the Oakwood Community Center, in the entrance area at Wright Library, and in the school offices at Harman Elementary School, Smith Elementary School, Oakwood Junior High and Senior High. Collection boxes will be in place at these locations from Saturday, Jan. 15, through Sunday, January 30. The Energy Team will collect and analyze this informa- tion to provide the homeowner with a personalized energy report card. Report cards will be available for pick up at an Energy Fair, which will be held from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, in the West Gym of the high school. “This is really an initiative to get us started toward the U.S. Department of Energy goal of a 30 percent reduction in energy consumption by 2030,” said Tony Rainsberger, OHS physics and engi- neering teacher and co-advisor to the Energy Team. “The initiative was driven by student interest. They see the value in taking knowledge and impacting their community,” he said. See Energy on page 28 u time and effort was spent on finan- cial issues including levy passage, as always student learning con- tinued to be our top priority. Dr. Scalzo led, and continues to lead, this effort and a talented team of administrators with great passion and skill. Although we say it every year, it is important to acknowl- edge each year how fortunate we are to have Mr. Philo stewarding the District’s financial resources. Both of these jobs seem to become more and more challenging each year so we cannot express enough appreciation to Dr. Scalzo and Mr. Philo for the way in which they take on the challenges presented to them in their service to the District. While we are definitely in the midst of a “sea change” in education, and, while we know it will take a good deal of time and effort to navigate this change, our focus will continue to be on our students and in providing the quality education everyone expects from Oakwood. We’re facing great change and so the quality of our lives should be very high in 2011! Jim Butler to fill Ohio House seat Oakwood attorney Jim Butler is the pick of the Montgomery County Republican Party screen- ing committee to fill a vacancy in the 37th House District. State Rep. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, was again sworn in as a House member on Monday but will resign her seat and join the Senate next week when State Sen. Jon Husted, R-Kettering, resigns to become secretary of state. Students examine fan that goes on the blower door. “Butler was recommend- ed on Sunday by the screen- ing committee after interviews with five candidates,” said Greg Gantt, Montgomery County Republican Party chairman. Gantt said the central com- mittee members from the 37th House District considered the recommendation on Saturday and he anticipates the House Republican Caucus will approve the recommendation and swear in Butler on Tuesday, Jan. 11. The 37th House District covers Students take picture-readings with infra-red camera. parts of Dayton and Kettering and all of Miami Twp., Miamisburg, Oakwood, Moraine and West Carrollton. SPECIAL PULL-OUT SECTION Arts, Etc...

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