District PTO November News

Posted on 01. Dec, 2011 by in District and School Board News, Minutes

Thanks to the hard work of Angie DeBernardo and Allison Wouters, the PTO website has been freshened up and made easier to read. We hope that all parents and PTO members find the site a good source for timely information. Please check out the PTO website at www.chagrinfallspto.org

In keeping with the PTO’s objective, “to provide information about community programs to help inform and educate our membership,” PTO board members will begin attending monthly meetings of the Social Advocates for Youth (SAY) Parent Committee.
SAY is a school based prevention and early intervention program of Bellefaire JCB for students in middle school and high school. SAY services are offered in eight suburban school districts including Chagrin Falls. Karen Kreinberg is the SAY representative working in the Chagrin Falls High School. Monthly meetings are held at the Bellefaire JCB location at 22001 Fairmount Blvd. in Shaker Heights.

Reminder – No December meeting.


Levy discussion: The levy will be on the ballot on March 6 and the amount will be discussed in detail at the Nov. 21 School Board meeting scheduled for 5:00 in the Sands Community Room. The final determination of millage will be decided at a special School Board meeting the week of 11-28 (date TBD).

PD Days: The staff at the Chagrin Falls Schools is engaged in on-going high quality professional development. This comes from two full day sessions, eight delayed starts and monthly staff meetings. During this time, the staff is working on a variety of building and district initiatives that all support our district goal to improve student learning. The following is a sampling of the types of activities our staff will be engaged in this year both at the building and district level:

• Learning about formative assessments
• Creating formative assessments
• Learning the functions of Testing Werks
• Learning additional functions of Compass Learning
• Communicating about curriculum and instruction both vertically and horizontally
• Investigating the New State Standards and Common Core Standards
• Analyzing the Crosswalk documents provided by the Ohio Department of Education comparing the current course of study with the New State Standards and Common Core Standards
• Analyzing student local, state and national test data
• Learning additional pieces of the K-4 language arts program adopted last year
• Learning about the new 6-8 language arts program
• Rewriting curriculum in science, guidance and art
• Reviewing curriculum in all subject areas
• Working on building and department goals
• Refining RTI procedures
• Integrated Units in the Related Arts
• Curriculum Mapping
• Aims Web Behavior Tools

Technology: We had our first technology meeting this week. We had administrators, teachers and parents on the committee. Mike Daugherty from Smart Solutions reviewed the progress on past and current technology projects and we had a discussion on the pros and cons of one-to-one computing. We will be meeting again in January to present a plan to the committee regarding the future of technology in the district.

Science Curriculum: I have been meeting with the science teachers to rewrite the science curriculum using the new Common Core Standards. We will be looking at materials next, with the expectation of adopting new textbooks for next year.

District PTO May News

Posted on 26. May, 2011 by in District, District and School Board News, Minutes

Treasurer’s Report-Angie Debernardo

Update on the grants we approved at the last meeting.:

  • At the High School, the 10 laptops requested for the Digital Art Studio have been received by the Art Department.
  • The chemistry balance has been received by Mrs. Salyers.
  • The printer for confidential records requested earlier in the year for the HS has been received.
  • The Livescribe digital pens have been received by Sheri Halagan at Gurney.  The Math Clickers for Mrs. Cymanski and the Stair Risers for Mrs. Haynish  have been ordered .
  • We are waiting on invoices for the three approved components of the kidsMoveSmart initiative.

Art Show ran slightly over budget  – only $65 – because the committee wisely decided to invest in reusable laminated signs for the sandwich boards instead of making new signs year after year.


We have received some of the checks from the Heinen’s Rewards program this year.  Here are the amounts:

  • District      2214
  • Gurney
  • CFIS       1289
  • CFMS
  • CFHS
  • We received the May Boxtops check for CFIS.  It was for $1459.


Final figure on the CFIS fundraiser profit this year:  $2692   GREAT JOB!!


Treasurer’s Report

May 18, 2011

Current Account Balances:

Money Market $ 19,802.00

Checking $ 93,729.00

Total:   $ 113,531.00

Accounts Payable: $ 4 5,132.00


School Building Funds

Gurney $ 17,480.00

CFIS $ 6 ,385.00

CFMS $ 4 ,311.00

CFHS $ 2 ,017.00

Total Building Funds: $ 3 0,193.00

Other Fund Balances:

Class Fees $ 5 ,108.00

Student Enrichment $ 795.00

Professional Development $ 2 ,048.00

General Fund $ 17,848.00

Major Disbursements $ 5 ,261.00

Student Assistance $ 804.00

Special Programs $ 6 ,342.00

Other Funds Total: $ 3 8,206.00



First VP Report – Gigi Kuper-Lewis

  • Membership Report: Final numbers for the year: 384 total members including 98 teachers/administrators

Second Vice President Report – Meg Nachtwey

Chagrin Falls Fine Arts Show, Grades 7 – 12

  • Had a great group of volunteers, a good number so that the set-up and take down were not exhausting for anyone. The focus of volunteer efforts was for the event set-up and take down. Poster-hanging and things of that nature were minimized.
  • A slide show during the awards program showing the student’s winning pieces, a mentor program with 6th graders, and some innovative art display equipment were added this year and will be considered again for next year.
  • There is some concern from the chairs that the judging is a little rushed and that students are potentially being overlooked for recognition. The teachers should have a list of students, especially graduating seniors, who are serious about their work and make sure they are appropriately recognized. This has been noted for next year.
  • $1000.00 budget was exceeded by about $70.00, but award stickers and ribbons had to be purchased this year, which last for 2-3 more years.

Financial Vice President’s Report – Laurie McCormack

School Supplies

  • MS, IS and Gurney have final supply lists, which will be posted on individual school web sites for those not purchasing Innisbrook boxes


  • On-line sale runs May 20-June 30. Prices have been finalized and approved.


  • Innisbrook order form flyer sent to Barb Wilson for approval (still waiting)


  • Each school will include Innisbrook order form flyer in their May newsletter and in separate e-mail blasts


  • Innisbrook flyer will be posted on the district web site.


  • Innisbrook posters in MS, IS and Gurney.


  • We received the TV for Mrs Riley.  We were able to buy it with our Giant Eagle points.
  • We have received checks from Heinens totaling $7234.


Financial Planning and Research

  • Vote on recommended Challenge Day request for $2800 – passed



District and School Board May News

Posted on 26. May, 2011 by in District, District and School Board News, Minutes

Board of Education Report – Mary Kay O’Toole

  • Thanks to Mr. Edmund Leopold a few staff members- Mr. Thompson, Mr. Hunt, Dr. Jones, Ms. Desantis, Mrs. Malone and Mrs.Dennison attended the annual President’s Council on Sports and Nutrition in Washington DC last Tuesday. This gave them the opportunity to review best practices in these areas and make valuable connections. There will be a presentation on this trip at the upcoming Board meeting on Monday, May 23rd @ 7pm
  • Currently there are a number of interviews being conductive for new hires in the district such as Director of Curriculum, High School Assistant Principal, Chinese teacher (7-12th), and Music teacher. It is hard to believe we are wrapping up this school year and preparing for next year!
  • The Board will have the honor of presenting Board Recognition Awards at Monday’s Board Meeting at 7 pm. A pre-congratulations to our hard working, amazing students! Please join us!
  • Chinese Students Exchange- On May 4th the Chinese students arrived to open arms and warm hearts of our host families, district staff, students, and community. It started with a welcome ceremony in the PAC. There were many activities planned for them with our students, including a trip to DC. Our host families became attached quickly to their visiting student but with heavy hearts returned them back to China on Saturday! If you have an opportunity to speak to a host student/family please ask about their experience. Our district is very fortunate to be able to provide a positive, life changing experience for so many! A big thank you to Brenda Thompson for her hard work in organizing this exchange. Of course, this exchange developed from Mr. Thompson creation of the ‘Bridge to World’ Program – Thank You Mr. Thompson!


Administration’s Report – Dr. Rachel Jones

  • President’s Panel on Physical Fitness, Sport, and Nutrition: I was fortunate to have been invited to attend a meeting of the President’s Panel on Physical Fitness, Sport and Nutrition last week in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Edmund Leopold took me, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Hunt, Mrs. DeSantis, Mrs. Dennison, and Mrs. Malone to this event.  We heard informative reports given to the panel, descriptions of the work panel members are doing across the country to promote fitness, presentations from model schools/districts across the country, and more.  We were able to make connections with representatives from some of the model schools, with representatives from various businesses related to fitness, and with panel members who are so informative and rich in research in this area.  In the end, my head has been swimming with the benefits of bringing more kinesthetic movement into our classrooms each day and ideas for connecting fitness to all core academics.  The Brain Breaks and the new GeoMotion Math equipment are a great start!
  • Facilities:  Mr. Gabram has much going on related to our facilities for the summer.  You will be seeing work on our roofs, our vents will be upgraded, Gurney classrooms will be getting their projectors mounted, and more!  It’s been tricky scheduling these activities around all of the summer activities on each campus but we’ll get it all in!
  • Delayed Starts:  Just a reminder that we will be having delayed starts next year instead of early releases.  We will have only 6 next year and they are noted on the district calendar.  The delay is 90 minutes for all four buildings.

March District Report

Posted on 11. Apr, 2011 by in District, District and School Board News, Minutes

Administration’s Report –Bill Koons

  • State Budget – Although not finalized, there are indications that there may be further cuts in the tangible personal property tax that would impact our district.
  • House Bill 36 Update:  Not yet passed – would revert to old kindergarten language thereby not mandating all-day kindergarten and allowing districts to charge tuition for all-day option.
  • House Bill 30:  Has not yet passed, but is likely to – will raise the number of calamity back to five from the current three per school year.
  • Senate Bill 5:  Not yet passed, but likely to pass –  unclear what the ramifications will ultimately be for the district.  Will likely be referendum attempted to overturn.

District PTO Reports – (Various Officers Noted Below)

First VP Report – Gigi Kuper-Lewis

  • Gwenn, Lori Newbauer and I are meeting on Fri., March 18th to discuss next year’s calendar.  Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Second Vice President Report – Meg Nachtwey

  • Chagrin Falls Middle School/High School Fine Arts Show– We have 20 volunteers, a good number. The Art Club students will also help.- The opening will be Thursday, April 28 starting at 7:00 with awards at 8:00. Please note the date was changed from the date listed in the PTO calendar.- As in previous years, the show will be open for viewing Thursday through Sunday (April 28 – May 1) Teachers are slow to respond in regards to details of the event.

Financial Vice President’s Report – Laurie McCormack

  • Shopping

o   We have 841 points with Giant Eagle and are trying to fill an entire grant request for  a tv and dvd player for IS art dept.  We need 1065 points to fill the request.  We earn points based on the amount we spend there.  Giant Eagle is not retroactive and will end at the end of March.

o   We have 283 families registered for Heinens (492 registered in March last year).  Heinens gives us cash based on the amount we spend there.  The program runs October thru April and is retroactive.

  • Financial Planning and Research – Ballot presented below and vote on April 20th .


Financial Planning and Research Committee

Ballot for Building Fund Disbursement


The Financial Planning and Research Committee recommends the following grant requests be approved with costs taken from each designated building fund:

High School

YES   NO         High School portion of Kinesthetic Classroom                                    $2673.00

Initiative which integrates movement into regular education classrooms to break up lesson delivery and reengage student attentiveness. This Program will provide the necessary resources and professional development to prepare all teachers in grades K-12. Part of the KidsMoveSmart initiative.

Total High School Building Funds Requested                                             $2673.00

Middle School

YES   NO         Middle School portion of Kinesthetic Classroom                                    $1337.00

Total Middle School Building Funds Requested                                             $1337.00

Intermediate School

YES   NO         Intermediate School portion of Kinesthetic Classroom                           $2227.00

Total Intermediate School Building Funds Requested                                    $2227.00


YES   NO         15 Livescribe Smartpens                                                        $3775.00

Pen with a built in microphone and speaker, so that as the user writes, the pen records what is being said in the room. Special paper allows for audio playback. To be used by teachers and select students.

YES   NO         Choral Riser                                                                                       $882.00

YES   NO         Geomotion – 15 Math and Movement Package                                                       $7800.00

Program to improve academic achievement and increase physical activity. Package will help students learn the basic concepts of letters, colors and numbers while moving around the Learnercize Clock Mat. Part of the KidsMoveSmart initiative.

YES   NO         Railyard Fitness                                                                                        $8073.00

Exercise conditioning course to be used during both PE and organized recess periods. Part of the KidsMoveSmart initiative.

YES   NO         Gurney          portion of Kinesthetic Classroom                                         $2673.00

Total Gurney Building Funds Requested                                                       $23,203.00

High School

YES   NO           Pioneer Analytical Balance for Chemistry Classes                                 $1975.00

YES   NO           Portable Digital Studio for Art Department                                               $6990.00

Ten computers to be used for Digital Photography classes and Design and Illustration classes. Additional computers available will aid in development of an Industrial Design Program.

YES   NO           Math Clickers                                                                                       $800.00

Classroom response system which engages students and provides instant feedback for teachers.

YES   NO           Tiger Times                                                                                          $1000.00

Total Major Disbursements Funds Requested                                             $10,765.00

PTO Funded Programs

YES   NO         Enrichment Fund:  Allocates $1500 per school to be used at the discretion of the principal for enrichment programs, such as speakers, assemblies, and authors.

Funding Recommended:                                                                        $6,000.00

YES   NO         Professional Development Fund:  Allocates $1500 per school to be used for staff development.  The fund is administered by the principal with final approval by the superintendent.

Funding recommended:                                                                        $6,000.00

YES   NO         Student Assistance Fund:  Allocates $2000 to be used to assist students in financial need with school fees such as field trips school supplies, etc.

Funding recommended:                                                                        $2000.00

PTO Funded Programs Total:                                                               $14,000.00



Nominating Committee is accepting recommendations for Executive Committee for next school year. Please contact Lisa Fredrickson with names.

Gwenn noted that parent volunteers have become increasing difficult to obtain. Gwenn recommended to administration that if a school feels an adult is vital to certain staffing needs, PTO will do its best to provide a volunteer but she reiterates parents are volunteers and they are becoming harder to obtain.

Please attend April 20th PTO General Meeting where members will vote on the ballot for grant requests as well as vote on officers for 2011-2012 school year.

March School Board Report

Posted on 11. Apr, 2011 by in District, District and School Board News, Minutes

Board of Education Report – Karen Wise

  • Drug Dog Search– The BOE did have a presentation outlining the process and procedures for the use of drug search dogs in the High School. The administration reports an increase in our schools of drug use.  The local police have reported a increase in drug use among teens in our area.  As with the alcohol detection devices, there are many factors for the board to consider. This will be on the Board agenda for final thoughts/decisions at the April 18th Board meeting.
  • Professional Development- The BOE was received ‘proposal’  for the 2011/12 school year regarding Professional development days. The Board is considering two full days and six- 1.5 hr. delayed starts replacing our current monthly early release days. All proposed delayed starts are scheduled to be on the second Tuesday of the month.  The Board will make a final decision in April.
  • Legislative News! The HB36 (Calamity days)- has passed the House of Representatives and is now pending in the Senate.

§  The SB9 (Kindergarten)- has passed the Senate and the House; hence, full day Kindergarten, tuition free, is not mandated. CFEVS will offer full day kindergarten with tuition.

February District PTO Report

Posted on 24. Feb, 2011 by in District, District and School Board News, Minutes

The following reports were submitted from district level PTO officers.

Second Vice President Report: Meg Nachtwey

  • The Art Show committee is hard at work and looking forward to a great show this spring.
  • At the February 7 Board of Education meeting, a demonstration was done of the new technology made available through Digital Academy.  The teachers were thrilled with their increased technological abilities and how it affects the kids’ learning.  They are very grateful to PTO for all for all of the funding provided.

Financial Vice President’s Report: Laurie McCormack

  • School Supplies – no update
  • Shopping credits programs

o   We have 335 families registered for GE (334 registered at January meeting)

o   We have 266 families registered for Heinens (432 registered in January last year)

o   We have catalog for Giant Eagle points. We will try to fill any grant requests with items from catalog and use our points to purchase.

  • Fundraising

o   Total profit from District Fundraiser is $18,238.

o   We received 1 additional order online from Cherrydale after the sale ended.

o   Financial Planning and Research

  • The Committee is currently reviewing 11 grant requests for funding this year.