Important information regarding SPS EZPay and myOlentangy portal

As we shared with you in June, the district has been working to implement a longtime vision of streamlining our methods of sharing information with parents and families. Our goal is for you to easily access the information you need, when you need it. To learn more about this initiative, click here.

As we prepare to transition to our new streamlined website and access to student information and payment through PowerSchool, we will be permanently shutting down SPS EZPay on Friday, July 17 at midnight. Our new fee system will be available to you to make fee payments and lunch deposits beginning Monday, August 3. All remaining balances will be transferred to the new payment system. Our new system will also be accompanied with a user guide for ease of payment.

In addition, the myOlentangy portal will cease to exist as of Tuesday, July 21. Any TerraNova reports, progress reports and other testing reports and results will not be transferred to the new system. If you would like to preserve any of your child’s testing or progress reports, please save or print them for your records prior to Tuesday, July 21.

Finally, anyone new to PowerSchool will receive an email notification on Wednesday, July 29, with access codes and instructions on how to set up a PowerSchool account.

We look forward to streamlining your access to information and fee payments in the upcoming weeks through PowerSchool and our new website. We are confident you will find this an easier method to manage information and fee payments.

Board of Education Meeting Rescheduled

Please note that the Board of Education has rescheduled its meeting originally scheduled for Thursday, August 6 to Thursday, August 13 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Olentangy Administrative Offices, 814 Shanahan Road, Lewis Center.

A Message From Incoming Superintendent Mark Raiff

Dear Olentangy community,

In light of the many transitions within our district leadership this summer, I would like to share the plan for a new leadership team structure that best serves the needs of the district for the future. This plan saves approximately $67,000 annually and $335,000 in our five-year forecast while streamlining the delineation of duties and balancing expectations and responsibilities amongst the leadership team.

A first-level organizational chart outlining the new responsibilities of the senior leadership team and the reporting structure for each team member is included at the bottom of this memo.

With Board of Education support, I have elected to fill the open positions throughout the organization prior to the July 10 deadline that enables administrators to move between districts at will. This allows us to most efficiently fill the number of open positions in the leadership team with high-quality, experienced, internal candidates.

The internal transfers are as follows:

Name From To
Jack Fette Director of Curriculum Chief Academic Officer
Todd Meyer Principal OOHS Chief Operations Officer
Randy Wright Principal OLHS Chief of Administrative Services
Peggy McMurry Principal SRES Director of Curriculum
Kathy McFarland Principal OHMS Principal OOHS
Derrick Gilliam Assistant Principal OHMS Principal OHMS
Bill Warfield Assistant Principal OLHS Principal OLHS

These changes will leave us with two administrative searches to be conducted: the Principal at Scioto Ridge Elementary School and the Assistant Principal at Hyatts Middle School.

I believe these steps and transfers will provide for an efficient transition and ensure district leadership stability from the start of the new administration. In addition, I believe this is critical for the short and long-term success of our organization. With the unique situation of a limited time window to hire a number of administrators, making the decision to hire immediately was the best option at this time. Moving forward, we have every intention of following our normal hiring practices and processes.

I appreciate that there are many changes underway and that movement of internal candidates does create additional transition. Please understand that I will work closely with the new leadership team to ensure that we will move through the transition to a new administration as thoroughly as possible. The depth of experience and knowledge this team brings, as well as expectations of the district and our current operations, will be beneficial to the success of our district and this team.

We all look forward to advancing our district to the highest degree possible. I welcome any questions or comments you may have about these changes. You may reach me at: Mark_Raiff@olsd.us.

Sincerely,

Mark Raiff

First-Level Organizational Chart

Superintendent
Chief Academic Officer/Assistant Superintendent Chief of Administrative Services/Assistant Superintendent Chief Operations Officer/Assistant Superintendent Director of Communications
Director of Curriculum and Instruction Building Principals Human Resources Supervisor and Staff Public Information Coordinator
Curriculum Supervisors Olentangy Academy Director of Business Management/Operations/Facilities
Director of Pupil Services OASIS Supervisor of Food Services
Pupil Services Supervisors Central Office Staff Supervisor of Grounds and Maintenance
Director of Technology Director of Transportation
Technology Staff Transportation Supervisors

 

Board Selects Mark Raiff as New Superintendent

Raiff_MarkThe Olentangy Local School Board of Education has announced that it has extended an offer to Mr. Mark Raiff to lead the district, and become its next superintendent. Raiff is the district’s current chief academic officer. The board will vote on the hire at its next scheduled board meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 25.

“We searched throughout all of Ohio, but we found that sometimes the best leader is the one we have trusted and worked with for so many years,” said Kevin O’Brien, school board president. “That is the case with Mr. Raiff. He is deeply committed to our students and schools as he understands the culture of excellence that we expect and believe in here at Olentangy. Throughout his 12 years with our district, he helped provide steady leadership during the years of highest student enrollment growth for Olentangy.”

Julie Wagner-Feasel, vice president of the school board, agreed. “The transition and learning curve for Mr. Raiff, regarding Olentangy will be a seamless one. He understands the complexities that accompany one of Ohio’s top 10 largest school systems and the demands for constant academic improvement. He is a proven leader in working with our community and families.”

During his tenure at Olentangy, Raiff has been entrusted with many responsibilities over time by the current superintendent, Dr. Wade Lucas. Some responsibilities have included leading and facilitating work accomplished through the district’s Cost Efficiency Committee and the Finance Committee while spearheading efforts to continue to improve the academic achievement of all students.

“I am really proud that Mr. Raiff was selected,” stated Lucas. “Under his academic leadership Olentangy has attained some of its highest achievement records ever and is competing with top tier districts in the state. The role of superintendent requires the wearing of many hats and no one is more ready than Mr. Raiff.”

Raiff started with Olentangy 12 years ago as the assistant principal at Olentangy High School. He then continued to be promoted within the district, first as principal at Olentangy Liberty High School and most recently as chief academic officer, responsible for the entire 19,000-student body. Prior to joining Olentangy, Raiff worked in some of central Ohio’s largest and most competitive school systems including Westerville City Schools and Bexley City Schools.

Mr. Raiff was one of 12 candidates vying for the position due to the retirement announcement of current superintendent, Dr. Wade Lucas. The other candidates came from both inside and out of Ohio. Of those 12, the board members selected six outstanding candidates to interview for the position. “The board was extremely pleased with the number of high-caliber candidates we had to select from, each with deep administrative or superintendent experience,” said School Board President Kevin O’Brien. “It was very difficult to narrow the list to the three final candidates for second interviews.”

On Wednesday, June 17, second interviews were conducted with Raiff, Superintendent of Euclid City Schools Keith Bell and Superintendent of Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Schools Scott Prebles. “Prior to those interviews the three candidates took the Achiever pre-employment assessment and board members conducted extensive reference checks,” explained O’Brien. “The June 17 interview process included second interviews with the five school board members along with interviews with groups of selected community members and leaders as well as administrators. All of this information was thoroughly evaluated and helped us make our final decision.”

“I am humbled, honored and thrilled to have the chance to lead the Olentangy Local School District. I share what we value and that is an excellent academic experience for every student combined with strong fiscal stewardship and operational leadership for the district. I have been with Olentangy during its most formative years; years that have transformed us into a high-performing school district. I look forward to leading the district as it continues to mature, and to even higher levels of excellence in the years to come,” states Mark Raiff.

District Now Operating On Summer Hours Schedule

The Olentangy Local School District will operate on a summer hours schedule June 1 through July 30, 2015. During this period, the Central Office will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday (Deliveries must be made by 4 p.m.).  The office is closed on Fridays. Individual school building hours vary. The summer schedule is part of the district’s energy conservation initiative.

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

Listed below are upcoming meetings of the Olentangy Board of Education:

Meeting Name Date/Time Location
First Round Superintendent Interviews Monday, June 8, 2015 at 5:15 p.m. District Administrative Offices, 814 Shanahan Road, Lewis Center, Conference Room C, 2nd floor
First Round Superintendent Interviews Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 5:15 p.m. District Administrative Offices, 814 Shanahan Road, Lewis Center, Conference Room C, 2nd floor
Second Round Superintendent Interviews Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 5:15 p.m. District Administrative Offices, 814 Shanahan Road, Lewis Center, Conference Room C, 2nd floor
 Business Session Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 6 p.m.  District Administrative Offices, 814 Shanahan Road, Lewis Center, Conference Room A & B
 Business Session Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 6 p.m.  District Administrative Offices, 814 Shanahan Road, Lewis Center, Conference Room A & B
Business Session Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 6 p.m.  District Administrative Offices, 814 Shanahan Road, Lewis Center, Conference Room A & B
 Retreat Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 6 p.m.  District Administrative Offices, 814 Shanahan Road, Lewis Center, Conference Room A & B
Business Session Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 6 p.m.  District Administrative Offices, 814 Shanahan Road, Lewis Center, Conference Room A & B

 

Board Sets Superintendent Search Timeline

The Olentangy Local Schools Board of Education met on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 to discuss the timeline and parameters for hiring the district’s next superintendent.  The Board has hired the Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) to perform the search.  Below is the approved superintendent search timeline.

Objective Date
Planning Meeting Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Board Gives Final Approval for Brochure Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Materials Sent to Print Thursday, May 7, 2015
Brochure Mailed (officially launch search) Friday, May 8, 2015
Recruiting & Collection Period Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Focus Groups in District TBD (May 7, 11, 12, 18, 20, 21)
Closing Date for Applications Wednesday, May 27, 2015
OSBA Screening Committee Meets Monday, June 1, 2015
Board Receives Screening Committee Report Thursday, June 4, 2015, 6:00 PM
First Round Interviews June 8 – 10, 2015
Reference Checking Period & Achiever Testing June 11 – 16, 2015
Second Round Interviews June 17 – 19, 2015
School Community Meet and Greet with Finalists June 22 – 23, 2015
Board of Education Deliberation, Decision June 24 – 26, 2015
Board Takes Official Action to Employ Week of June 29, 2015
New Superintendent Begins Employment TBD/negotiated

 

Olentangy Academy STEM Program Announces Kick-Off Event

The STEM program at the Olentangy Academy will welcome its first academic year with a kick-off event for its incoming students. The kick-off will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 28 at the school located at 7774 Graphics Way, in Lewis Center.

Educators have been busy during the summer months setting up a STEM environment in the building and are excited to help students get acquainted with the program’s high-tech instructional tools, including 3D printers, robots, and more. The popular program will focus on preparing students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

The Olentangy Academy will be the new home to four of the district’s innovative educational programs, including the Academy for Community Transition (ACT), Mentorship, OASIS and the STEM program. For more information, visit the Olentangy Academy website.