Superintendent's Weekly Update -May 27, 2016

Otsego Parents and Community Members:

The Otsego Board of Education held their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 24th. The highlights and approvals are below.

Recognition of Otsego High School Students of the Month for May: Jenna Lewis, Freshman, Isabella Bean, Sophomore, Maggie Long, Junior, and Tyler West, Senio

Mrs. Kao highlighted the FCCLA program and their accomplishments this year. In January, all of the 7th and 8th grade, Otsego students tracked their service learning hours in Ohio's FCCLA, service learning tracking portal. Out of the 6000+ hours logged from around the state, Otsego Jr. High students received first place after collectively volunteering 1,765 of those 6000+ hours. The top five, Otsego students who logged the most hours, having volunteered since last summer, were 7th graders, Brayden Timko - 47 hours, Erika Putnam - 54 hours; Emily Atkinson - 78.5 hours. Natalie Puffer - 100 hours and Ethan Lenox with 111 hours.

Other FCCLA news: Family, Career and Community Leaders of America is a Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) that is offered to students through Family and Consumer Science classes at the junior and senior high school levels. Otsego Jr. High school FCS had seven students compete in the FCCLA Career Development Events at the regional level in March qualifying them for state level competition in late April. 8th grader, Logan McKee, received a bronze standing in Recycle and Redesign; 8th grader, Abby Cox, received 2nd place and a silver medal in Career Investigation; and the 8th grade, Parliamentary Procedure team of William Agan, Joe DiFeterici, Noah Roseman, Kale Vollmar and Luke West received 2nd place and a silver medal. The Parliamentary Procedure team advances to the national level in July where they and their advisor, Mrs. Jill Kao, will travel with 25 other students and 4 other advisors from Penta Career Center to San Diego to compete against students from around the country.

Nathan Luce updated the Board on Senior Service Learning Projects. The Senior Capstone is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students during the final semester. It is a service learning project that integrates meaningful community service and/or internship with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen the community.

Several examples included:

Restoration of Natural Areas

  • Wildwood Park

  • Wintergarden Park (Tyler West, Richard Cheney, Michael Hoiles)

  • Mary Jane Thurston Park / Providence Park

Global Issues

  • Bake Sale with funds donated to No Kid Hungry (Kayla Allgire, Collin Harnishfeger, Grayce Vollmar)

  • Walk for Water (Josh Ignatowski)

Elderly and Disabled Assistance

  • Wood Haven (Samantha Kleman, Anna Becker)

  • BG Care Center, BG Manor, Gentiva Hospice, Kidred at Home, Briar Hill

  • Music Therapy with Hospice Patients (Annie Barnhart)

  • Sunshine Community Center (Brennan Schall, Raven Barrera, Jon Brown, Lauren Wynn)

  • Weston Yard Clean Up and Landscaping for elderly & disabled (Bronx Blunk, Kylie Gonzalez)

  • Riverview Mobile Home Park at Community Caring Day by Otsego Food Pantry (Alissa Jacobs)

Youth Services

  • Youth Olympics (Derek Morgan)

  • Toledo Children’s Hospital (art donation - Mackenzie Wenig and Zane Thomas)

  • U-8 softball (Lexie Rieger)


  • ProMedica Hospital (Courtney Grace)

  • Public Utility Office in Grand Rapids (water treatment - Mark Hendricks)

  • Schmakel Smile Design (Alex Wenig)

  • Bay Park Human Resource Director (Mackenzy Varner)

Other Community Services

  • Animal Rescue and Care at the Wood Co. Humane Society (Brant Kitchen, Allanis Hall)

  • Grand Rapids Historical Society (AJ Digby and Nick Miller)

  • Waterville Public Library (Gwen Amborski)

  • Care Packages for Troops (Marissa Garrett)

  • Lusher Park Artwork

  • Otsego baseball field maintenance

  • Glass City Marathon

  • Family House Shelter (Brianna Snow)

  • Food Drive with revenue donated to the Otsego Food Pantry (Alex Tolles)

Bob Furlong updated the Board on his "Flipped Classroom" This past year, Otsego High School became a one to one school with chromebooks. At the same time, the district has been helping to create online curriculum through the NWOi3 program that was primarily funded through the Straight A grant the district received. This allowed Honors Biology teacher Bob Furlong to utilize a blended learning approach in class. Blended learning is a pedagogy in which content is delivered both online and in the classroom. Traditional lectures are replaced by videos the students watch online. These 8 to 10 minute videos are produced by Furlong and assigned to students as homework about twice a week. This has freed up weeks of instructional time in class for students to use and apply the knowledge students learn from the video. This year students have conducted many investigations, made models to demonstrate learning, analyzed data, argued their conclusions from evidence, and published their results online.

This led Furlong to be accepted into the Trailblazer Teacher program this school year. Run by Battelle Education, 16 high school teachers from the state of Ohio were accepted into the program. The teachers were given training on blended learning by national experts from North Carolina State University. The goal of the program is to have a repository of blended learning lessons on the Ohio STEM Learning Network and to foster blended learning throughout the state.

The students have responded very well to the blended learning environment. "It was an interesting experience. I learned a lot more by doing more hands on activities than by just sitting and taking notes bell to bell. I would greatly consider taking another class with this type of format." said Hunter Martinez-Buehrer. Hannah Snyder said, "I felt more engaged in my learning and I felt like I was getting the one-on-one teaching I needed watching videos by myself rather than take notes in a 20+ student class"

Treasurer’s Financial Reports / Recommendations

A. Approved the April Financial Report per Exhibit 2

B. Approved the Five Year Forecast with Assumptions for the May 2016 Click here to view a copy of the forecast

C. Approve the Student Fee list for the Elementary, Junior High and High school

Superintendent Recommendations

A. Approved the Propane contract with ADR Fuel, LLC

B. Approve the Onsite District Technician Service agreement with NWOCA

C. Approve the Nurse contract for Jane Gray - Otsego will now have a School Nurse on Campus!! We are very excited about this addition to the Otsego staff. Jane is a registered nurse and will be in the building for 8 hours a day next year. She will be a part time school nurse and she will continue to be an administrative assistant concentrating in enrollment and records.

D. Approve the agreement with Children’s Resource Center for the 2016-2017 school year

E. Approval of the membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) and agreement to conduct Otsego athletic programs in accordance with the Constitution, Bylaws, Regulations, Interpretations and Decision of the OHSAA for the 2016-2017 school year

F. First reading of the Preschool Handbook, OES Extended Care Handbook, Athletic Coach’s Handbook, and Athletic Code of Conduct

G. Final reading and approval of the High School/Elementary/Junior Student Handbooks

H. Approved a revision to the High School Program of Studies

New Business

8th Grade Class Trip – Mr. Wiley and parents Beth Vollmar and Jessica Makowski discussed the idea of a class trip in 8th grade to Washington D.C. This would be a great experience for our students. This would be funded by parents and fundraising. We all seemed very interested in this idea. More information to come. If approved, the first trip would be in 2017.

I recommended that the Board approved the following personnel changes for the month of May:


Deb Null, custodian, effective May 31, 2016

2015-2016 School Year Substitute Non-Teaching Employees:

John Phillips

Summer 2016 Student Workers:

Adam Baty, Joe Brown, Kilion Clark, AJ Digby, Alissa Jacobs, Austin Jacobs

Certified Employees’ One-Year Limited Contracts for 2016-2017:

Rachel Eckel Speech/Language Pathologist – Masters/Step 0

Jocelyn Blaufuss Intervention Specialist

Classified Employees One-Year Limited Contract for 2016-2017:

Jane Alexander Assistant to the Treasurer/Accounts Payable

Bonnie Armitage Administrative Assistant (Step 5)

Donna Baker Bus Driver (Step 5)

Christopher Feather Bus Driver (Step 5)

Greg Scott Custodian II

Classified Employees’ Contracts for 2016-2017:

Continuing: Judy Dussell, Jane Gray, Dana Grosswiler, Craig Haas, Bernetta Shedron, Jodi Sutter,

Chris VanNatta,

Two-Year Limited: Helen Bonnough, Kelly Dennen, Amy Gobrogge, Rachel Hitt, John Serrato,

Wendy Soto, Chase Welker

2016-2017 Supplemental Contracts:

Curriculum Writers: Molly Duhamel, Thomas Ferdig, Bob Furlong, Carrie Lockhart, Nathan Luce, Megan Pierce

Building Leadership Team: Jocelyn Blaufuss, Steve Carroll, Jen Clark, Julie Danko, Molly Duhamel, Heidi Feehan, David Fryling, Bob Furlong, Katie Gregorsok, Ryan Hafner, Pam Heyman, Katie Hildreth, Nathan Luce, Lianna Mikesina, Steve Mohr, Freda Rehbein, Matt Rohn, Melissa Seeger, Don Smith, Gina Swartz, Kerri Ann Wendt, Curt Williams, Katy Word

District Leadership Team: Becky Buchman, Selene Bostdorff, Bob Furlong, Lisa Grimmer, Pam Heyman, Amy Luidhardt, Steve Mohr, Brooke Riley, Curt Williams

Peggy Apple Junior High Student Council (0.5)

Dale Bernard Asst. Varsity Football

Scott Bernthisel Junior Varsity Football

Scott Bylow Asst.Varsity Football

Ginger Caris Junior High Yearbook

Julie Danko High School National Honor Society

Julie Danko Junior Class Advisor

Julie Danko Senior Class Advisor – Commencement

Rhonda Doren LPDC

Rich Dubler High School Marching Band

Rich Dubler H.S. Instrumental/Solo/Ensemble/Concerts

Rich Dubler Jazz Band

Rich Dubler Pep Band

Rich Dubler Junior High Band

Matt Dzierwa Head Football

Matt Dzierwa Weight Room Supervisor

Kelli Euler Assistant Volleyball

Thomas Ferdig Asst. Varsity Football

Amy Fitch LPDC

Brandon Fitch Cross Country – Junior High

Bob Furlong LPDC

Ryan Hafner Cross Country – High School

Chris Heban 8th Grade Volleyball

Pam Heyman Book & Media Club Advisor

Cheryl Jones Head Volleyball

Carrie Lockhart High School Yearbook

Nathan Luce Head Girls’ Golf

Megan Pierce High School Student Council

Freda Rehbein Elementary Music Program

Brien Sewell H.S. Vocal Solo/Ensemble/Concerts

Brien Sewell High School Swing Choir

Brien Sewell Junior High Choir/Swing Choir

Brien Sewell Musical Advisor

Don Smith Junior High Student council (0.5)

Don Smith Boys Head Golf

Charlie Spencer Asst. High School Athletic Director

Charlie Spencer Junior High Athletic Director

Kaye Spicer Elementary Music Program (2)

Johan Svanberg Head Varsity Boys’ Soccer

Sarah Barkhau Junior High Cheerleading Advisor

Mallory Beach Asst. Cross County High School

Tim Bialecki Freshman Football

Cody Downs Junior Varsity Football

Kendra Henck H.S. Cheerleading Advisor

Mark Nofziger Head 8th Grade Football

Ashley Nye Asst. H.S. Cheerleading Advisor

Matt Rohn Asst. 8th Grade Football

Jason Shirkey Asst. 7th Grade Football

2016-2017 Volunteers:

Ed Estep, Laura Gantt, Daniel Moser, Brynn Peper, Chase Welker


Adam Koch, Superintendent


Immunizations Available on June 1st

New for 2016/2017 School Year, Ohio Law Requires:

12th Graders to have a booster dose of meningitis vaccine (unless first dose was given after 16th birthday)

7th Graders to have 1 dose of meningitis vaccine in addition to 1 dose of Tdap vaccine.

Click here for more info


Online Registration (InfoSnap):

We are excited to once again announce that we will be using an online Registration for the upcoming school year. This process replaces the paper forms sent home at the beginning of each school year. Parents will receive an email in the next few weeks with a link to the registration site.

When you receive your email, please click on the link and submit your registration for next school year. Please do this immediately.

If you have any questions please email laustin@otsegoknights.org.

Alternate Transportation request must be completed through InfoSnap by July 10th. ALL requests have to be made through the InfoSnap software.

All request received after July 10th will not be processed until after the second week of school and does not guarantee an approval.

Only ONE alternate stop will be considered for each student per year. The District will not reroute buses to stops that are alternates. The alternate stop must be located along an existing (current year) bus route and will be granted on a space available basis only.

If you have any questions, please contact Otsego Transportation.

Eva Vasher Transportation Director Evasher@Otsegoknights.org 419-823-4381 #5



The Weston Library and Otsego Schools are excited to announce that we will be teaming up this summer to offer a summer reading program in each Village the month of June and July. We will have weekly story time for children birth to 4 years old, and programs and prizes for students 5-18, and weekly sensory activities and library time for special needs individuals. The theme this year will be ON YOUR MARK GET SET READ.

There will be a combined Reading RewardsDay on August 1st from 10:00 to 12:00 at the Otsego Elementary Commons. There will be games, pizza, and drawings to win prizes such as a Fitbit, IPAD, Gift cards, Bikes, Mini Scooter, Xbox and lots more! There will be bussing available from Weston, Haskins, and Grand Rapids on this day.

The more you read and attend the weekly events, the better your chance at winning awesome prizes! Please contact the school or the Weston Public Library for more information.

Click here for more information regarding the summer reading program

Summer Reading Program Schedule for June and July




Hard to believe we are thinking about next year already! Click on the following link for more information regarding advertisement opportunities for the Fall Athletic Programs. Program Ads and Senior Ads

Elementary and Junior High Basketball and Football Camp - SIGN UP SHEET

Spring athletic awards are Tuesday, May 31 at 7:00.

Questions, Concerns, Comments, or Rumors

I would like to introduce a way for the community to ask the Otsego Team a question, clarify a rumor, address a concern, or comment on anything Otsego. Please use the form below to ask your question. We will answer them throughout the year in this update. Our goal is to be transparent with the Otsego Community and give you another avenue to ask us questions. If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or email. Thank you!

Click here to submit your question

Community Events Section

Reminder: Please send me any and all community events that you might know of. I love sharing things in and around our great community. I will start sending out updates every Friday starting the first week of school. If you could email me community events by Thursday evening that would be great. Thank you.

3B's production of "Legally Blonde", will be presented at the Maumee Indoor Theater, May 26-29th. Staring in the lead role as Elle Woods is Otsego's Music Alum, Nicole Navarre a 2008 OHS Graduate. Music directed by Janine Baughman, and 3B Productions produced by Joe Barton 1989 OHS Graduate. Tickets can be purchased at www.3bproductions.org Legally Blonde Musical

GRAC Art Camp

The Grand Rapids Arts Council will be sponsoring its annual Art Camp for elementary-age students from June 13-17. Each session will run from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. and will be held at Hosanna Lutheran Church, 12019 Kellogg Road, Grand Rapids. The instructors this year will be Jo Ascunce, Brian Preston, and Kathy Donahue. On Friday of that week, a program will be presented by the children at 11:00, followed by a potluck lunch. The Arts Council will provide hot dogs, chips, drink, and cookies. The theme this year is “It’s Fiesta Time.” Children will need to bring a plain white tee shirt to dye. Registration forms will be sent home with Otsego Elementary School students before the end of the school year. If children living in the district do not attend Otsego Schools and would like to attend the art camp, please call 419-832-ARTS and a registration form will be sent to you. Cost for the first child is $25.00; for a second, $20.00; and for a third, $15.00 Space is limited, so please send in your registration form and check early!

Club Soccer Tryouts

Farm Camp

Mud Day at Carter Historic Farm

Summer Theatre Workshops - register at horizonyouththeatre.org

Community Vacation Bible School

Cub Scouts

Grand Rapids Community Vacation Bible School

Dayspring Church VBS

Heritage Farm Fest - FREE

Otsego Board of Education

President: Brad Anderson banderson.otsego@gmail.com

Vice President: Judy Snyder jasnyder715@gmail.com

Board Member: James Harter jameslharter@gmail.com

Board Member: Mark Tolles mdt814@cs.com

Board Member: Elizabeth Gorski jegorski@frontier.com

Lisa Austin, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent/EMIS Coordinator

Lori Rea, Curriculum and Technology Integration Director

Lauri Dunham, Special Education Supervisor

Stephen Bihary, School Psychologist

Marc Opsincs, Assistant Elementary Principal

Eva Vasher, Director of Transportation

Jeanne Jeffers, Director of Food Service

Rick Haskins, Director of Maintenance and Custodial