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.

High School May and End of Year News

Posted on 26. May, 2011 by in High School, High School News, Minutes


High School

Administrative-Bill Koons

  • Teacher Appreciation Luncheon thank you.
  • Drug Dogs
  • Youth Risk Survey
  • Grading Issues/Chagrin Valley Summit
  • Your Life, Your Choice- being discontinued
  • National Merit Commended students
  • CVC Sportsmanship
  • Art Show
  • Band Concert
  • Choir Concert
  • Students viewed video on texting and driving.
  • OGT test results in



PTO-Colleen Mahoney

  • Donna Ludwig coordinated the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon which took place in the Sands Community Room on May 6th.  Thanks to all the volunteers who donated food to make it a special event for our teachers.
  • On behalf of Dr. Koons and all the teachers at the high school, the section reps would like to thank the PTO Financial Planning and Research Committee for its generous disbursement to the high school.  Thanks to the hard work of many, the high school art, math and chemistry classrooms are receiving new equipment for student use this fall.
  • From the high school counseling department, Karen Lewis will attend a workshop this summer to learn more about the Naviance Family Connection software currently available to CFHS students.  This online program helps students and parents access college and career information. The counseling department’s continuing exposure to the Naviance Family Connection program will benefit parents and students as they move through the college application process.
  • In addition to using the Naviance system, the section reps thought it might be helpful for a group of senior parents to work with the counseling department and form a “parent’s advisory committee.”  This committee would pass along current information and advice to junior parents.
  • Next year’s high school head section rep will be Mary Donley.  She will be joined by Yvonne King, Laurie McCormack, Cindi  Munday, and Mary Jo Weber.

Middle School May and End of Year News

Posted on 26. May, 2011 by in Middle School, Middle School News, Minutes


Administration Report- Jen Remaley


  • The middle school will be welcoming Anny Gua, 7-12 Chinese teacher and John Scott, 7-12 Social Studies teacher to the middle school next year.


  • The middle school has adjusted our supplies list for next year. We will be color coding content areas and reducing the amount of supplies for next year.


  • The middle school will host an Orientation/Open House for all parents on the evening of August 22. Details to follow.


  • Our 8th grade Bridge to the World Project was a huge success. The Chinese students participated in a variety of activities including trips to North Chagrin Reservation, the Great Lakes Science Center, a Lake County Captains Game, and Kalahari Water Park. They ended their trip by traveling to Washington, D.C. with the 8th graders.


  • The eighth graders traveled to Washington, D. C. last Wednesday. We had great weather and the kids had a great time.


  • We held our Literacy Day on May 10. Our students made children’s books for our Gurney book buddies. Our students also participated in poetry slams and story telling n the afternoon.


  • We are looking forward to our 8th grade end of the year celebration on June 6. Parents have been working hard to organize a great day for the students.


  • Thank you for Teacher Appreciation and assistance during testing week.  We could not do what we do without the parents. Our partnership is invaluable.


  • Kindness month: May. Kindness wall started where kids and teachers can write kind messages

PTO:  Julie Andrews


  • PTO- Chagrin Falls Middle School recently hosted the annual CVC Art Forum for the second year in a row. The CVC art forum is open to all Middle Schools in the Chagrin Valley Conference. In addition to students from Chagrin Falls Middle School, 9 districts were represented and there were 12 workshops available.


  • Chagrin Falls Middle School had the privilege of hosting Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger, two accomplished poets for the day on April 18. They taught our students the art of writing and performing poetry.
  • The first week in May was packed with Ohio Achievement Assessments celebrated with a Roller skating party on the final day.


  • Bridge to the World hosted  a weeklong visit from 13 Chinese students from Linhai, China packed with activities and cross cultural friendship building.


  • Lori Guerrini directed a fabulous literacy day on May 10th and Gurney buddies joined us for this special event which included reading books that were written for them by our students.


  • The eight graders (exchange students included) had a fabulous time in Washington DC touring memorials and museums, visiting with Congressman LaTourrette, seeing Gettysburg and visiting the Flight 93 Memorial.


  • May is Kindness Month at the Middle School and some students presented at a very moving assembly which stressed the importance of recognizing that everyone has a deeper story.


  • In May, Middle School students performed at an exceptional Spring Choral Concert and displayed many talented pieces in the Art Show.
  • June 6th is Celebration Day for the class of 2015 with awards ceremonies, a cook-out at the Rec Center and the ever popular 8th grade dance.
  • June 7th is the long awaited trip to Cedar Point.

Intermediate School May and End of Year News

Posted on 26. May, 2011 by in Intermediate, Intermediate School News, Minutes

Intermediate School

Administrative-Heather Heartz

  • Thank you for Teacher Appreciation Lunch.

End of Year Activities

  • We will have our annual awards assembly, cookout, talent show and clap out on the last day of school.
  • We will have our annual field day and end of year picture movie on the day before the last day of school.
  • Thank you in advance to all the parents that help to make these two days memorable.

One Book One School

  • It is up and running
  • The book we are reading is the Indian in the Cupboard.
  • We have many activities planned throughout the month of May.
  • Our culminating assembly will be May 26.
  • Our opening assembly was a big hit.  We had an outstanding guest speaker who is a Native American.

Early Release Days

  • We worked on goal setting for next year.
  • The staff generated several ideas for next year after reviewing this year’s goals.
  • The grade level chairs will work with Chuck to pare down the ideas.


  • We had a band concert on May 17, and will have an orchestra and select choir concert tomorrow night.
  • Susan Smith will be doing a “Drum with Me concert” throughout the day on May 20. 

Third Grade Parent Orientation

  • The Third Grade Parent Orientation is May 24 at 7:00 in the IS auditorium.

Sixth Grade Dance

  • We will have our annual sixth grade dance Friday, June 3.
  • Silent cake auction before concerts since car washes have been rained out.


  • Paws raised $4200 for Harvest for Hunger, Leukema Lymphoma Society, Tsunami Relief
  • Art in 4th grade – making puppets from recycling.
  • 5th grade rockets to launch on Saturday.

PTO- Maggie Kwasny

  • In addition to the ongoing volunteers working at the clinic, libary and on the playground thethe art/decorating, 6th grade talent show, hospitality and field day committees have been very busy this past month.  Since our last PTO meeting 193 Intermediate School parents have volunteered a total of 364 hours to the school!


  • Since we will not be having a June meeting and these committees will be continuing their efforts through the end of the school year we have estimated that an additional 128 parents will be volunteering 352 hours between now and the end of school.

Gurney School May and End of Year News

Posted on 26. May, 2011 by in Gurney, Gurney News, Minutes

Gurney Elementary School

Administrative –Vicky Pelsozy

  • On behalf of the entire staff at Gurney, thank you all so much for the thoughtful attention you gave us for Staff Appreciation.  The luncheon was AMAZING!
  • Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped to make Kindergarten Screening run so smoothly!
  • Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped to make the Gurney Art Walk spectacular!
  • Finally, thank you in advance to everyone who will be helping us with Tiger Trek, field day and yearbooks coming up very soon!
  • Kindergarten:  Although we will probably have a handful of additional kindergarteners register over the summer, our numbers are strong enough now to determine sections for next year.  We will have five sections of full day kindergarten next year, each at approximately 20 students.  We will have one section of half day kindergarten and it will be in the morning with approximately 15 students.  This means that Miss Shanaberger (1/2 day kindergarten teacher this year) will be teaching a full day kindergarten class next year and we will be hiring a half day kindergarten teacher soon.
  • Staff Changes:  Mr. Rose, current first grade teacher, will be moving up to teach second grade next year.  We will have a new speech and language therapist at Gurney; she is being recommended for hire by the Board on Monday night and so, assuming all goes well, will be introduced in our June newsletter.  We are also adding another intervention specialist at Gurney – Mrs. Martina Kehoe will be moving in from the Intermediate School.
  • Transition to CFIS:  Our 3rd graders are heading over to CFIS this month to tour the building, meet Mr. Murphy, and learn about 4th grade.  Don’t forget the parent night at the Intermediate School which is designed to give parents of current third graders an overview of CFIS and 4th grade.
  • Early Release Day:  We were fortunate to be able to have an early release day in May that allowed us to meet in small groups with a teacher representative in each group from grades K-4.  With a discussion guide, we focused on our new language arts program, Literacy by Design, and learning how each component was taking shape in each grade level.  We learned from each other new strategies that were working in different grade levels, how to make smoother transitions for our students from one grade level to the next, how much stronger our comprehension and vocabulary instruction is now that we’ve got very specific, common instructional approaches, and in what areas we are all feeling the need to supplement or receive additional training for next year.  This kind of cross-grade-level dialogue is invaluable for enhancing our program and targeting our professional development activities.
  • Field Day:  On the last day of school, third graders will participate in an Olympic-style field day at the high school stadium.  Kindergarten-second graders will participate in field day rotations on the Gurney campus.  All grade levels will gather back at the building for grade level pizza lunches provided by PTO!  After some closing activities in each classroom, we will line the back playground with the parents of third graders and at 12:45 we will clap-out the third graders!  Dismissal is at 1pm for all K-3 students that day.
  • Parent Communication:  Report cards will be mailed home to you the week of June 13th.  We will continue to post information on our website through the summer that may be of help to parents such as school supply lists and calendars.  Class assignment letters for next year will be mailed home the second week of August and will contain information regarding your child’s teacher as well as our walk-through dates and times.

PTO –Gigi Kuper-Lewis

  • Hospitality: Teachers were honored at a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon on Friday, May 6th.    Thank you to Tina Nepouni and Joan Newell for coordinating this luncheon.  In addition, teachers, staff members and district bus drivers were given potted flowers.
  • Box Tops: The spring Box Top Blitz concluded last month.  We are still awaiting the results of the amount collected.
  • Kindergarten Screening: Kindergarten screening was held on Thursday May 5th and Friday May 6th.  Thank you to Chrissy Barr and Vicki Orazen for all of their work both coordinating volunteers to assist with the screening process as well as volunteering at all of the shifts of screening.
  • Tiger Trek: Tiger Trek will be held on Thursday, May 26th.  T-shirt sales were very good.  There were a lot of donations for additional t-shirts to be purchased – allowing at least all third graders to receive a t-shirt.  Orange chagrin Frisbees were ordered to be given as a prize to the class that raises the most money in sponsorship.  Thank you to Debbie Darden and Libby Young who are coordinating this event.
  • Student Book Production Center: There will no longer be a Student Book Production Center next year.   Many teachers are now using alternate forms of publishing students’ work- such as blogs or podcasts.  PTO has offered to assist teachers that still would like to produce a book – by using comb-back binding.  The sewing machines and leftover materials were given to Joann Mynchenberg to be used to supplement her art curriculum.  Thank you to Maggie Kwasny and Lori Newbauer for their years of service to the SBPC.

March Gurney School Report

Posted on 11. Apr, 2011 by in Gurney, Gurney News, Minutes

Gurney Elementary School

Administrative –Nancy Lodge

  • Thank you in advance for the wonderful dinners you always provide for us during conference nights!  Our conferences are next week   on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
  • Thank you to all of the parent volunteers who helped so much with One School One Book!  And thank you for the financial support to make it all happen!  If you’d like to see an 8-minute movie that captures our memories from all of the activities, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKlrSqfQ-rc or go to the Chagrin Falls Website to Tiger TV…or the Gurney webpage!  You’ll get to see all kinds of photos and video from the month-long program and hear some of the music that was discussed in the novel.
  • Kindergarten:  We have received the official word from Columbus and we are for sure going to be offering full day kindergarten, tuition-based, for next year.  Tuition will remain $2500 as in past years and a $200 deposit will be due to our Treasurer’s Office by May 5th (which is kindergarten screening).  We will post this information on our website and announce it at Kindergarten Kick-Off on April 7th.
  • Early Release Day:  Our March early release day was spent in grade level teams working continuing to work through our new language arts program, Literacy By Design.  Each grade level is now implementing all components of the program.  We are really happy with the building-wide vocabulary and reading comprehension strategies.  The program is very flexible so we have been able to keep some of our current, effective instructional practices and add to them.  This program as our base has definitely made our language arts instruction more uniform across the building.
  • Summer Programs:  Our last newsletter contained information about two summer programs we offer at Gurney.  First, our summer reading and math camp, Tiger Up!, is for students entering 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade next year.  It provides a jump-start to the school year in reading, math and school routines.  It is scheduled for the last 2 weeks before school starts in August.  Second was our science camp, Camp Invention.  This is a week-long, hands-on camp in June that our students have traditionally enjoyed.  The information will be repeated in upcoming newsletters as well as be made available during conferences.
  • Bouncy Balls:  Please read the article I have posted on the Gurney webpage about our new bouncy balls in many Gurney classrooms.  This was a wonderful donation from Mr. Edmond Leopold and we are both enjoying them and seeing the benefits.  The article gives an overview of the research behind their use and there is a video on TigerTV of one of our classes using them.
  • Staff vs. Students Volleyball:  We will wrap up for spring break with our traditional Staff vs. the 3rd Grade Students volleyball game on Friday, March 25th!  Students take on the 3rd Grade Staff and Dr. Jones in groups using a very large beach ball.  It’s not as easy as you’d think!

PTO – Meredith Goodwin

  • One School/One book: This month has been the One School/One Book program at Gurney.  The children read “The Cricket in Time Square.”  Each child received a copy of the book (books were donated by PTO).  Children read an assigned chapter every night at home with their parents.  Special activities included: working with high school students to create an issue of a gurney school newspaper, an assembly by an opera singer, the opportunity for some 3rd graders to skype with Chinese students, fortune cookies and other special foods in the cafeteria (foods related to the book) and many other activities.   This book study has been the ultimate partnership between parents and teachers.  Rachel Jones suggested we add a One School One Book committee for PTO volunteers next year.
  • Conference Dinners: Planning is under way for conference dinners.  Conference dinners will be held next week, March 22nd and 24th.
  • Zero Waste Challenge: Gurney will be participating in the “Zero Waste Challenge” for lunches again this year.  Kathryn Garvey coordinates these efforts.  More information will be forthcoming.
  • Box Tops: A spring Box Top Blitz will be held the week of April 11th