Redmen Rumor Mill
In an effort to increase communications efforts with the community-at-large, the District has created the "Redmen Rumor Mill" designed to provide a platform to get answers to your questions and address rumors. Please submit your comments and/or questions in the box on the right under "Ask Your Question".
If I have a personal complaint or issue regarding my son or daughter, what should I do?
Thank you for visiting the Redmen Rumor Mill. We value your feedback and hope that you find this outlet in which to anonymously voice your questions or concerns helpful. However, we ask that in the event of a personal complaint and/or concern regarding your son and/or daughter, that you please address the proper channels. This will allow us to better serve you, while handling the matter in an efficient and timely manner.
Please follow the steps below:
1. Contact the individual staff member with whom you have a concern by calling the building in which your child(ren) attends
2. In the event that your complaint has not been resolved, contact the building principal
a. Bucyrus Elementary School: 419-562-6089
b. Bucyrus Secondary School: 419-562-7721
Thank you for your cooperation.
Please note, NOT ALL QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED, and it may take some time to get answers to certain questions. For individual or private concerns, please contact the school or the Bucyrus City Schools District Office at (419) 562-4045. Thank you.
Q. While checking my Facebook news feed, I came across a very disturbing post from a friend. I will quote it for you now. "Well after spending some time in a local watering hole over the holiday weekend...I got to overhear a conversation from some local school employees...I got to listen to how bad they dislike our kids and how bad they hate there jobs...I also got to hear them call some of our kids some pretty (expletive) names...All i have to say is dont ask any of us to vote for your school levy if thats how you feel bout our kids...If you dont like your job find another one...They tell our kids to respect them and respect others...Well maybe they need to take there own advise and start to respect our kids especially in puplic when other people can hear them...If any of them read this than good cause you need a reality check your nothing more than children yourself if you gotta speak about other people that way especially our kids...Thank you...Respectfully Yours, Scotty"
Now I have children in your school system from the grades of Kindergarten to tenth grade. I understand completely that children of all ages can be rather rambunctious at times and some even down right disrespectful. But what I do not understand is these employees of yours thinking they have the right to go into a public place and down right bash our children where everyone can hear them!?! Do you not have a policy in your employee hand book prohibiting this? We send our children to your school, intrusting you with their lives, education, emotional, and physical well being, and this is what we get in return? We teach our children to respect their teachers, other employees of the school, and other students with respect and so on, but how can we continue to do so if they are not shown this in return?? There should be a meeting with all of your employees to address this issue promptly, and let it be known that this will not be tolerated! I for one, along with some friends are considering pull all of our children from your school system if this is not addressed and stopped immediately!!
A. On behalf of the Bucyrus City School District, I want to apologize for the alleged actions by school personnel that were recounted by your friend on Facebook. This school district does not condone or support this type of behavior from its employees, and by no means does it accurately reflect the attitudes and feelings by the vast majority of professionals who work with your children every day. This serves as a reminder that our actions, both inside and outside the classroom, have the ability to cast a positive or negative perception of the district and its professionals.
Thank you for submitting this question. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up and hold individuals accountable for their actions. If you ever have any questions, concerns or issues specifically related to the district, its employees or its programs, I would encourage you to contact me directly at Central Office at 419-562-4045.
- Kevin Kimmel, Superintendent
Q. Is it true that the middle school swim team went to club but middle school wrestling with less members did not?
A. Thank you for your question. We have decided to partner with the YMCA program for our middle swim team members. Our middle students interested in swimming will now have the opportunity to be part of the White Sharks program at the YMCA. This will allow our students a longer season, more time in the pool, and more meets to be able to participate. Previously our middle school season was only 1 ½ months long and we had 5-6 meets. The “White Sharks” season is 4 months long and double the swim meets. The cost is currently being looked into being funded by the boosters. As for the question about wrestling, we do not have any other opportunity to develop a program at the middle school level for wrestling. We feel that this will help enhance the skills of our program for the future.
Q. My son and daughter have both complained of not enough time between classes (only 3 minutes). Both have had wall time and my son was not excused for being late because he stopped to the bathroom. It's difficult to go to your locker and then to another floor for your class. You can only carry so many books with you without killing your back. Why can't you give the students 5 minutes between classes? My daughter hates asking to go to the bathroom in class.
A. Thank you for your question. We have three minutes between class this in year order to have students move quickly to their next class and hopefully limit the time students have to be in conflict with each other. Our teachers are flexible with students who have difficulty navigating traffic and getting to their locker. Please contact the building administrator with specific concerns.
Q. I have a question about the current dress code also. It says that hooded sweatshirts are not allowed to be worn at school and must remain in their locker because it is considered outdoor clothing. My daughter actually wears hooded sweatshirts as everyday wear just like a regular sweashirt and she wears them zipped up. Does this mean she is not allowed to wear these anymore as part of her wardrobe without being sent home?
A. Thank you for your question. Regular hooded sweatshirts are permitted in the classroom. However, if a student wears a zip-up hoodie or sweatshirt, it needs to remain in his/her locker during the school day.
Q. In the new dress code, it states, "No plunging necklines or v-neck garments permitted unless worn with a crew neck or collared shirt underneath or fully covering over the v neck garment". I am wondering what is considered "fully covered"? Does that mean that my child can wear a v-neck garment as long as she is wearing a tank top underneath, or does it have to be crew neck? The term "fully covering" really depends on the person's point of view and I want to make sure that I don't buy my daughter school clothes that she could be sent home for wearing.
A. Thank you for taking the time to ask for clarification of our building policy. If a student is wearing a shirt (such as a collared shirt, T-shirt, tank top, etc) underneath a v-neck garment which limits the level of exposed skin, that student would be in compliance with the dress code and would not be sent home. Please feel free to contact the BSS administration if you have additional questions.
Q. Can the student drug testing consent forms be made available online for downloading?
A. Thanks for your question. The student drug testing consent forms can be found in the Athletic Handbook. The specific information you are looking for begins on pg. 33. Click here to access the handbook directly.
Q. When will the new dress code for 2012-2013 school year be posted? I want to know what I should buy and stay away from while I'm shopping.
A. Thanks for your question. The dress code can be found in the Bucyrus Secondary School Student/Parent Handbook. The specific information you are looking for begins on pg. 23 and continues for the next several pages. Click here to access the handbook directly.
Q. I have a child who will be entering the 5th grade and she mentioned that the 5th graders may be moving to the middle school. Will this be happening now that the preschool kids are moving into the Elementary building?
A. Thank you for your question. You are correct that preschool is being moved to the elementary building for the 2012-2013 school year, but the 5th grade is not moving to the secondary building at this time. This is a topic that has been discussed at the administrative level but further discussions would need to occur with our parents and community before the board of education would consider moving in this direction. The earliest that this would be considered would be for the 2013-2104 school year.
Q. When is the first day of the 2012-2013 school year? It is not posted on the calendar as of yet. Thanks!
Thanks for your question! The first day of school is Aug. 20, 2012. To view the full 2012-2013 calendar click here.
Q. I was unable to get to my students' prom at BHS so was looking forward to seeing the photos on the local newspaper's website, but was disgusted by what I saw. After paying hundreds of dollars for tickets, tux rental, dresses, shoes, hair, accessories, makeup, and dinners, I was offended to see pictures of the boys with no shirts, hairy armpits, and wife beater t-shirts. Were there no chaperones? Is there no dress code? Have BHS students, parents and staff no sense of decorum? If the kids cannot handle a formal affair, save us our time, trouble and money and host a barn dance!
A. During the past year, the Student Life Committee completed an in-depth study investigating changes to the dress code. Through an effective partnership of staff, parents and community members the decision was made to address dress code issues without implementing Campus Wear. Instead, we are implementing a stricter dress code and investigating changes to our expectations of dress at extracurricular activities as well. The Prom is one event that we anticipate will be impacted by the new dress code. Thank you for your question and concern and I invite and encourage any parents or community members who would like to be a part of our committee.
Q. When are the elementary DRA'S scheduled for? And the Secondary DRA'S?
A. Thank you for your question. DRA’s will be held on the following dates:
• 7th grade - April 24 and 26
• 6th grade - May 8 and 9
• 5th grade - May 17 and 18
• 4th grade- May 10 and 11
• 3rd grade - May 7 and 8
• 2nd grade- May 8 and 9
• 1st grade- May 14 and 15
• Kdg. - May 15 and 16
Contact your son and/or daughter's building for more information.
Q. No question, but a suggestion from an alum who has relatives and friends' kids still in school. How about putting rosters *names, height, weight, class) on the athletics page for all the various teams? It would also be nice to have someone keep the schedules/wins/losses up to date with scores. Thanks!
A. Thank you for your feedback. Our scheduling program has gone through many updates in the last year. We will make a conscious effort to make sure all the scores and results are up to date moving forward. You can access the schedules and scores by going to the link. If you have any further questions you may contact Tom Jeffrey at 419-562-2739 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Is it true that elementary kids are being forced to wipe down tables after lunch with dirty water that has been there the entire lunch period and no gloves are being issued to the children to wear to protect them from bacteria?
A. Thank you for your question. For a direct response, please contact Bucyrus Elementary School Principal Todd Roll at 419-562-6089.
Q. My question is regard to the weighting of grades. I saw the response to the question below and yes although the weighting of grades does not affect admissions it does affect financial aid. Straight from the mouth of an admissions counselor at Loyola University Chicago "Admissions looks at the courses, financial aid looks strictly at GPA and ACT. Any high school who is not weighting grades is doing their students a disservice. “And with the economy and financial status of many students every little bit helps. I have talked with Tony Lipscomb about this topic and he seems amenable to it, but what I don't like about what I'm hearing is that if they put it into effect it will not affect any current high school students. Why? When it seems like it would be just a matter of telling the computer program which classes get a 5 point scale and which classes get a 4 point. His supposed reasoning was that current students wouldn't know that they could have worked harder to get those grades?? I have a freshman and a senior; I want at least one of them to benefit from the change if it happens.
A. Thank you for your question. We will consider weighting grades, if it proves to be a beneficial practice for our students applying to colleges. Colleges and universities differ in terms of value placed on weighted GPA's. Many universities and colleges place on a higher value on the types of courses taken (i.e. honors courses, AP courses, etc.).
In order to answer your question more thoroughly, we will discuss this issue with colleges and universities admissions departments to help formulate a plan to address this issue to the benefit of our college-bound students.
Q. When is spring break? I haven't been able to find out when it is....
Thank you for your question. Spring Break is April 6-9, 2012.
Q. What actually takes place during the schools intervention?
A. Thank you for your question, The Bucyrus City Schools has many interventions taking place before, during, and after school on a daily bases. Each one targets the needs based on the student(s) that are in those interventions. For more information about specific interventions being provided, please contact the staff member that is conducting the intervention or the building administration.
Q. I know that this forum is for asking questions and discussing rumors, however I don't know where else to express my gratitude. I also hope that this reaches the intended audience. My son participated in the Biddy Redmen Wrestling program on Monday and Thursday evenings. I just wanted to express my thanks to the coaches and high school wrestlers/coaches. Specially the high schoolers for taking the time out of their busy schedules and teaching our kids the basics of the sport. They showed great composure with the young ones as they can be quite rambunctious lol. So let me take this time to say, Thank you to all the coaches for offering the program.
A. Thank you for your kind words of gratitude and appreciation. We'll be sure to pass this along to our coaches.
Q. I have just finished filling out the questionnaire sent home with my child in which I was given one day to fill out and return. I read the current dress code and the suggested Campus Wear policy prior to filling out the questionnaire. I do not see a problem with the current dress code policy. I do see a problem in the obvious fact that it is not being enforced. As parents, my wife and I take great care to make sure that our child is well groomed, clean and appropriately dressed every morning before she leaves for school. We take great pride in the fact that we work for a living and provide for our family. I do not feel that a campus wear dress code will enhance our child's learning experience. She already achieves an "A" average. Our child did not achieve these grades because she was wearing a uniform. It would not make one iota of a difference. While my wife and I both have good jobs, but we would struggle to afford uniforms for our child to wear to school. Uniforms would only be worn to school. On top of any school forced expense for uniforms, we will still have to purchase every day clothing for our child to wear. I wonder, with 75% of the student population on some type of assistance, am I going to get stuck paying full price for these uniforms, while others, who refuse to work for a living, be extended the luxury of, once again, just sticking their hand out so their child can get a new uniform for each day all for free or nearly free? Who is going to pay for all of this?? It seems that the school system is pushing to remove any individuality from the student population. Soon, our children will only be robots dressed in like clothing. Do you really feel that putting these kids in the same colors and styles will stop the distractions and raise education levels? The clothing is not the problem. It is the responsibility of the parent first, the teacher second to teach our children respect for themselves and others. Campus wear is not going to remove the bad from the school system. It will only make everyone look the same. Enforce your current policies. If it inconveniences a "parent" who let their child leave their home dressed in an inappropriate manner, then that is just tough. I know there are a lot of families with good, hard working parents out there who will not be able to afford this extra expense. These families will be left out due to ineligibility for any financial assistance because of income levels. I suppose we could get rid of a car and walk to work to cover this extra expense. I like the idea of hiring a clothing enforcement officer, but isn't that what administrators are supposed to be doing anyway? It is not hard to tell a "kid" that their t-shirt with a marijuana leaf on it is inappropriate. It would not be difficult to tell them to report to the principal either. It would be fairly simple for a principal to look at the shirt and say, "Yes, it is inappropriate. Go home and change." It is not difficult to call a parent at home, or work, and tell them, "Your child's attire is inappropriate and we are sending them home to change." If this is a repeated problem, then go to the next level of disciplinary action. Eventually, the "parent" will wake up and take notice. If they don't, then would it be inappropriate to make a call to Children's' Services? You see, part of the problem is that school systems have gradually gotten to the point where the inappropriate "parents" and their "children" have forced the school system into a corner with their continued inappropriate dress and behavior. Why doesn't the school system deal with the problem by enforcing the policies that are already in place, rather than just band-aid the problem with Campus Wear? What happens when some "kid" decides to show up in blue jeans, a sweatshirt and tennis shoes, rather than a campus wear uniform? Do you deny that child an education, even though there is nothing inappropriate with their clothing? Simply put: stand up and enforce your current rules. Stop letting some "bad" apples dictate who is running things in the schools. Toss out the "bad" apples until there are none left. Then focus on the "good" apples who are in school to learn and develop into responsible young adults.
A. Thanks for your constructive feedback. Please know that your input, along with that of other parents, the students and the community, is being heard and strongly considered by the Dress Code Sub-Committee and the district administration. Ultimately, we want to ensure that we have given all our stakeholders the opportunity to have their voice heard before a final decision is made on this topic. We will be sending your feedback to the sub-committee. Thank you again.
Q. "This issue with holes in jeans is about self-respect, preparation for the work force, and the distraction a poorly-placed hole can cause. The secondary building is trying to uphold a standard of personal respect, health and safety and preparation for adulthood." Really!? So, if a child's family cannot afford to replace a pair of jeans that still have some wear in them, but have a hole, then that child has no self respect? A child with a hole in his/her jeans cannot be properly prepared for adulthood? (kind of a dumb idea anyway...kids are not prepared for adulthood, they are kids) Are administrators and teachers at the secondary building so unable to think on a reasonable, intelligent level that this is the best we get? How about we forget about holes in jeans, and the school employees get busy and do their jobs (fashion coordinator not being part of the job description). All of you should be embarrassed about this kind of nonsense!
A. Thank you for your question. If the reason the student is wearing pants with holes in them is due to a financial hardship with the family, the Bucyrus City Schools has an agreement with the Crawford County Family and Children First Council to provide school clothing to children in need. Families can contact either Beth Constantine, Student Advocate at the secondary building (419-562-7721) or Marie Stuckman, Family Intervention Specialist at the elementary building (419-562-6089) to inquire about the program.
Q. A 'mother who works for the state' says that Bucyrus City School system has to change its mascot and team name from Redmen because the Indian head is copyrighted .. and that school administration is considering changing us to The Purple Panthers with the colors of purple and gold; all to become effective in about three years' time. True or False?
A. Thank you for your question. The statement is false. Bucyrus City Schools is not considering changing their mascot at this time.
Q. I do not at all understand why students are not allowed to wear holes in their jeans. I think the dress code is already strict enough. Students should be allowed to have holes in their jeans as long as they are not too high up their legs or on their shirts. Why can't the school hold a voting during lunches and the students can vote whether or not they think they should be aloud to have at least a couple holes in their jeans?
A.This issue with holes in jeans is about self-respect, preparation for the work force, and the distraction a poorly-placed hole can cause. The secondary building is trying to uphold a standard of personal respect, health and safety and preparation for adulthood. We believe that there are many fashionable jeans without holes that allow a student to make a personal statement. We will continue to seek community and student feedback such as this to help make the best decision about dress code for our building. Thank you for your question.
Q. I have an issue that I feel needs to be brought to your attention. I have had a conversation with a particular 8th grade science teacher that I feel does nothing to monitor their class. I spoke directly to the teacher about the use of cell phones in their class and students posting on Facebook while in their class. Not only has it not stopped they are doing it more than before I spoke to the teacher. Could this be a reason our test scores are some of the lowest in the county? I find it hard for students to learn when they are busy on Facebook. Can you explain the district’s policy on students and cell phones during class hours?
A. Classroom use of cell phones is not permitted in any room at any time during the school day. Students must keep cell phones locked in their locker during the school day. If cell phones are being used in class, the teacher is expected to confiscate the phone and turn it into the office. If this is not happening and staff members are not aware of student use of cell phones, this will be addressed by administration. - Matt Henderson, BSS Principal
Q. I heard some parents talking about weighting grades and I wondered why Bucyrus does not weight Honors and AP classes. If not weighting more difficult classes puts our kids at a disadvantage compared to other kids in other districts shouldn't Bucyrus make that change? Wouldn't that change be in line with the BCS Vision to be the District of Choice in North Central Ohio by 2015?
A. Weighting AP Calculus (our only AP course) or honors courses does not put students attending other schools at an advantage. ACT and SAT scores, the types of courses taken, as well as the school profile are given more consideration as colleges and universities make their enrollment decisions. Weighting a course does not necessarily make it more challenging. Students will be successful in college if they take challenging, rigorous, and instructionally-relevant courses in high school. The point value assigned to the class has little impact on the type of instruction or delivery of curriculum within that course.
Parents are encouraged to share their viewpoint on this topic or others relating to the secondary school.
Q. The Parent Portal of Powerschool is not working, hasn't the last 2 days. this is totally ridiculous!!!!! How are we to monitor our kids grades if we can't access it?
A. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We've been in touch with TRECA (the organization that monitors PowerSchool) and have been told that updates are currently being made to the software. It is their hope that all updates will be made by the first of the new year. Thank you for your patience.
Q. Is there a way we can remind the staff at BES to remember to encourage the kids that try to behave all the time? My child seems a bit discouraged. For example I asked after her last grade card, which she had good comments on, I asked her why she’s only received 1 of those tickets for being nice & that was the first day they were handed out. Her answer was that now those are only for the "bad" kids who are good sometimes.
A. Thank you for your question. The PBS program was created with students in mind. The focus of the program is to help elementary students to foster important positive characteristics at a young age, encouraging them to go above and beyond in their daily routines while focusing on four main character traits: caring, honesty, respectfulness and responsibility.
Each staff member is responsible for handing out tickets throughout the day, rewarding students for good behavior as explained in the BESt Code of Conduct. Tickets are earned based on individual teacher evaluation and are handed out differently in each classroom. While we cannot oversee the ticket process of all our teachers, we would like to ensure you that we encourage our staff members to keep an open mind regarding each and every student, no matter what their “typical” behavioral patterns are. All students are encouraged to behave in a positive manner at all times, as we are doing our best to award them accordingly.
Q. While it seems like the Dress Code is a " done deal", I do hope that the administration will take into consideration the opinions and viewpoints of those in attendance Monday night. Is the school system prepared financially for those students that will leave due to this? Why not take the funds earmarked for campus wear subsidy, and hire a Dress Code enforcement officer?
A. Thank you for your question. Please be assured that no decision has been made, and the feedback that was received at the dress code open form meeting will be reviewed with the student life / dress code sub-committee at their next meeting. The committee is committed to continue to gather information and provide opportunity for public input.
As stated Monday night, the district is not required to purchase clothes for students of economically disadvantaged families if in the future the decision is made to implement a “Campus Wear” policy, just to have a program in place to assist.
Regardless of the outcome of the dress code study, the Bucyrus City School District’s teachers and administration will be working to improve consistent enforcement of the dress code rules.
Q. I was wondering where on the website do I locate the questionnaire that was given in the break out session of the Nov. 28 meeting regarding the dress code?
Q. As of August, 2011, there were 32 registered offenders in the city of Bucyrus. Now the BES is telling parents that they can't accompany their children up to the door, that they need to "stay back on the sidewalk so that the kids are not distracted." This seems ludicrous to many parents and we were wondering if you could get anywhere close to substantiating this?
A. I appreciate the opportunity to answer your question. The voice message I sent to our BES families using our district’s phone notification system on Sunday evening included the following excerpt:
“Third, we would appreciate the cooperation of our parents accompanying our students onto school grounds by requesting that you remain on our sidewalk instead of going onto our playground and ask that you remain back a reasonable distance from our entry doors so that our students will not be distracted when our staff is assisting them as they enter our building.”
The sidewalk that I was referring to was any and all sidewalk which surrounds and leads up to our building. We strongly encourage parents to continue to accompany their children as they have in the past. The request that our parents remain on our sidewalk, where they are welcome and encouraged to monitor their children, is a continuation of a year-long request that only school personnel enter our playground areas (gated kindergarten; fenced asphalt/mulch - 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades; fenced grass - 3rd and 5th grades) for the safety and security of our students. While we may be familiar with a number of the adults who accompany their children to school, we may not be able to positively identify every adult or be certain of her/his intentions for being there. Therefore, we err on the side of caution by limiting non-school personnel access to our playgrounds before, during and after school.
The request that parents/adults “remain back a reasonable distance from our entry doors” pertains primarily to our before-school entry time which is five minutes prior to the bell. We are making this request because we want to ensure that the students are not distracted from staff instructions, which can cause delays when entering our building. We simply request that good-bye hugs and kisses, backpack checks, and parental instructions be completed before they line up.
Finally, based on the results of the safe learning environment survey completed last spring, which showed that 22% of our students don’t feel safe at school and of that group 72% don’t feel safe on the playground, BES has taken steps to increase staff supervision in their proximity to students on the playground before, during and after school. On a typical day, 30 staff members are responsible for both before and after school student-supervision duties.
I hope this provides the clarification you requested and reaffirms that we are equally concerned about and are demonstrating the resolve required to provide for the safety and security of your children and our students. If you still have questions or concerns, I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss them with you. Please feel free to stop in and see me at BES or call me at 419-562-6089. Thank you. - Mr. Roll, Elementary Principal
Q. Could we look into possibly having the teachers exit the rooms to stand in the hall ways when each bell rings to deter the violence during school hours?
A. That’s a great question. Teachers at BSS are expected to be out and visible in the hallways because monitoring the building for the safety of staff and students is a priority. We make every effort to prevent physical confrontations between students. In those certain situations in which we are unable to prevent an altercation, we discipline the students to the fullest extent that the code of conduct, and in some situations, state law will allow. We also seek the help of local authorities and the court system when necessary. Physical violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Q. Are the students going to get uniforms next year?
A. Thank you for your question. The student life / dress code sub committee is currently investigating different dress code policies which include one option for a "campus wear" policy. This study is at the early stages and much more information will be available soon on our website. There will be many opportunities for public input prior to any recommendation to the board of education. The next committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 7th at 6:00 pm in the secondary media center. The meeting is open to the public.
Q. I cannot seem to find a copy of our district policies and administrative regulations on our website. Is it available for viewing?
A. Thank you for your question. All of our district policies and administrative regulations can be found on our website under the "About" tab. For an in-depth look at our Board of Education policies, click here. To view our non-discrimination policy, click here. For more information call the Lincoln Administrative Center at 419-562-4045.
Q: Why did you put the new sign at the high school parallel to the road? No one can read it.
A. Thank you for your question. After looking at all the options available for a one-sided sign, we felt this was the best location for traffic to see it, both driving on Perry Street and coming down Crawford street.
We would of liked to have purchased an additional sign so that people could view it coming from either direction, but we did not have enough grant money to afford that.
Q: Is there any particular reason why we can't get three swings replaced at the elementary school? The kids only get 15 minutes and most line up for the swings, only to waste their entire recess and finally get turned away. I mean, we are talking about a pre-existing structure that needs three pairs of chaings and three seats?!!!
A. Thank you for your question. The swings have been removed due to a safety concern recently identified by our maintenance team. However, we are currently investigating the necessary improvements to insure the safe use of all swings and will replace them as soon as possible.
Q: The letter with the PowerSchool Access info says, "For more detailed instructions please check out the Parent Portal User Guide on the Bucyrus City Schools website.." I used the search and it said there were no matches. It does not come up at any of the tabs at the top, however, ProgressBook does. Where can this guide be found?
A: Thanks for your question. You can find the Parent Portal User Guide here.
Q: When do we get to meet our elementary child's teacher and ask any questions we might have? Do we have to wait until conferences when possibly our child is struggling already and when we don't know what the teacher expects from the child?
A: Thanks for your question. It has been and remains my intention to organize grade-level orientations during which our teachers would collectively share their general grade-level expectations with our students and their parents in our auditorium. Following the general meeting, our students and their parents would be excused to visit their classroom where their teacher would share their individual classroom expectations. These orientations and any questions asked would be general in nature, so if a parent has questions specific to their child at any point in our school year, I would ask that they contact our school at 419-562-6089 and request to schedule an appointment with their child's teacher at a mutually convenient time. The date and time for the orientation is still being determined. As soon as that is set, we will send a note home to parents and share the information with the media for publication. - Mr. Roll, Elementary Principal
Q: When will the PowerSchool Parent Portal be available? Is this replacing Progress Book?
A: Thanks for your question. We hope to have the Power School parent portal open for parents and families in the next few weeks and will send a mailing to families with log in information. You are correct, Power School is replacing Progress Book. As a parent, you should find this new system more informative and easier to navigate. Plus, you will have the ability to acces teacher comments. In the future, we hope to be able to add the ability for two-way communications between parents and teachers to the system.
Q: Why don't you send out the schedules for the high school students?
A: Thanks for your question. We didn’t send them out this year because our PowerSchool program did not go live until two weeks before school starting and many adjustments had to be made to the schedules. We did provide schedules to our Freshman during Freshman Orientation. We also provided schedules to our sixth graders at sixth grade orientation. In the future we plan on having schedules available for pick up prior to the start of school. As a cost savings measure, we will probably not mail schedules home to parents. However, parents will have online access to student schedules via the PowerSchool Parent Portal. We will notify parents as to when those will become available to view online.
Q: What will freshmen need the first day of school? Is any information going to be sent home about homeroom?
A: Thank you for your question. Freshmen will need the basic supplies (pens, pencils, paper and notebooks) for the first day of school. Each of the teachers will have individual supply lists that will be supplied during the first day of school.
With regard to homeroom information. We strongly recommend that you attend the freshmen/new student orientation that will be held on August 18 at 1pm at the Bucyrus Secondary School. During the orientation, you will have an opportunity to tour the building to help your student get acclimated to their new surroundings. Schedules, including homeroom information, will be available at the High School office on August 22. At this time, we are not planning to send schedules or homeroom information to individual homes. If you have additional questions, please contact the High School office at 419-562-7721.
Q: Will the Middle School schedules be available before school starts? (Other than 6th graders) And will there be any school supply lists for the Middle School?
A. We are transitioning to a new student information system for the upcoming school year. It is our hope that we are able to learn and utilize the new program to generate student schedules prior to the start of school. If we are not able to have schedules ready, students will be asked to report to the high school commons prior to school where we will have homerooms/first period class lists posted. Students will then report to their first period class and receive their schedules.
Supply lists are created by individual teachers and can vary from class to class. During the first day, students will only need the essentials: pens, pencils, paper, and folders.
We appreciate the opportunity to answer questions that parents might have about the start of the school year and encourage everyone to call or stop by the Secondary Building so that we can offer help in any way we can.
Q: Why are lunch prices going up for the 2011-2012 school year?
A. Prices have changed this year due to the signing of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The act requires schools to raise the average full price meal to be equitable to the free meal reimbursement rate. For more information visit the USDA website or call BCSD Food Services at 419-562-5355.
Q: When is Freshman Orientation?
A: Thank you for your question. Freshman Orientation will be held on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011, at 1 p.m. in the Bucyrus Secondary School Little Theatre. All incoming freshmen and their families are invited to attend. For more information call the Secondary School office at (419) 562 -7721.
Q: Why was Mr. Roll returned to a supervisory position after the troubles of his in that same position, and the ensuing lawsuit?
A: Thank you for your question. Mr. Roll is a good educator and leader who has dedicated a lifetime to the Bucyrus community and school system. The events of April 2008 were unfortunate indeed and have not gone without a great deal of reflection. However, Mr. Roll has grown and given our recent budget reductions and the retirement of Mrs. Showers, Mr. Roll was a natural fit, especially with the elementary age group. We are confident he will lead the staff and students of Bucyrus Elementary to academic success.
Q: Why was Mr. Burke moved to the elementary school this late in the year and without a notice to students and parents? Mr. Burke had an excellent rapport with both parents and students. He has been with those students since their 1st day at BMS. Did anyone consider the impact on the students?
A: Thank you for your question. I (Dr. Nichols) can assure you that, regardless of the types of decisions we make, students are at the center of our decision making process. This move, like all staffing decisions, was made with great consideration for the overall mission of the district. Student growth and achievement are our primary concerns across the organization and we expect our staff to respond with a heightened awareness of customer service (thus, the Redmen Rumor Mill). Given the circumstances, we found ourselves in a position to reassign personnel more rapidly than expected. Ultimately, the timing and reassignments will benefit the p-12 organization.
Q: Is a yearly school year calendar available with the days of school and vacation days listed? I haven't been able to locate a copy since the new website was released. The full events calendar has so much information listed that it is difficult to follow. It is also not as convenient looking at each month individually as it was to look at the entire school year.
Q: Why does Bucyrus not have a more urgent approach to why the test scores seem to go down when students enter the 4th grade and above? There is a feeling in the district from parents that some of the BES teachers need to be replaced as they have been around too long and we need new ideas and approaches. There are many licensed, excellent teachers sitting at home waiting for jobs to open and could really help our kids now. My son had a sub the other day, Mrs. Heinlen, and I have heard nothing but great things about her from other parents. Our teachers now seem to miss too much work as there are 10-15 subs daily at BES.
A: That’s a wonderful question and I (Dr. Nichols) assure you we are being very proactive with student growth and achievement data specifically in reading and mathematics, but also across all subject areas. Recently, we have made staffing decisions based on the aforementioned data and will continue to do so. Our principals, curriculum department, teacher leaders, and paraprofessionals have all been charged with a singular expectation: “meet every child where they are, cognitively, and move them….” Specifically, the growth and performance of our students is of primary concern.
Relative to 4th grade and above, some of the downward trend in these grade bands reflect statewide downward trends. That said, we use multiple assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses in our curriculum and instruction at all grade levels and significant changes are taking place. Thus, professional development and new standards are the cause for teacher absences. We wish, and are making plans, to provide professional development outside the student day on a more regular basis. Thank you for your question!
Q: Why aren't you answering serious and important questions anymore that the community is wanting to know the answers to? There haven't been any new posts for weeks now.
A: Thank you for your question. We have a system in place to ensure the most accurate response is given. Currently, we are receiving approximately one (1) question per week. And, most recently we have addressed questions pertaining to Art as a graded subject, calamity day legislation, and this question. The frequency of our posts is dependent upon the frequency of valid questions.
We do receive questions deemed invalid and/or argumentative/combative. We have stated from the beginning of this feature that any question presented in such a way should be handled by suggesting the person having the inquiry schedule a face-to-face meeting with the most appropriate administrator. All of our administrators have an open-door policy and would much rather discuss resolutions as opposed to engaging by way of social media.
Q: Why do we need Mr. Roll and Mr. Burke to fill in while Mrs. Showers is off? Isn't there already an associate principal at BES?
A: Thanks for your question. This is part of a permanent plan to address the needs at BES, the special education program in the district, and budget reductions. There will be more changes as we learn more about the impact of losses in revenue from state and federal funding sources.
Q: Thank you for answering my question about the possible cuts in BCS staff, but a pay freeze for Admins.?? I'm sure that staff that may be let go would much rather take a pay freeze rather than loosing they jobs. Do they have that option also or just the Admins.?? Are the Admins. going to step in and teach when there aren't enough teachers?
A: Thanks for your follow up question. At this time, we do not know how many cuts will be made. For that, we wait on language from HB 153. When and if cuts are necessary they will be made fairly and at all levels of the organization. The staff does have the option to freeze salary, however, that is a negotiated item not solely an administrative decision.
Q: Why is the subject Art a graded subject when the answers are very subjective. Why is it not a pass fail grade like Gym?
A: Thanks for your timely question. Art has academic content standards in which teachers must follow from ODE. Using a rubric, a child can be assessed on the skills outlined by the state in the Fine Arts standards. The standards for art or as it is called in the standards “Visual Arts” is much more than the skill of an artist. It encompasses historical, cultural and social contexts, creative expression and communication, analyzing and responding to visual art, valuing the arts/aesthetic reflections, and the final area of connections, relationships, and applications of visual arts with other disciplines. Visual arts is not a content area that is evaluated only on a student’s skill ability.
Q: With the passing of the new law increasing the number of calamity days allowed, how many days will need to be made up this year and what dates will be make-up days?
A: Thanks for the question! BCSD has missed eight (8) days this year. It is important to note, the bill has not been signed into law yet. If it is and the number of forgiven calamity days is increased from three (3) to five (5), we will have to make up three (3) days. As it stands, we have to make up five (5) days, the first of which is scheduled for April 21. Any additional days will be added to the end of the school year.
Q: With parking being a huge issue for drop off and pick up at the elementary, I'm wondering why the snow hasn't been cleared to open up six or seven spots that are still covered in the south parking lot. Thank you!
A: Thanks for your question. Our maintenance staff attempts to clear as much snow from our driveway and parking areas as possible without infringing upon adjacent neighbors' property and buildings. The sheer amount of snow and ice from our last two storms made it impossible for our staff and equipment to do anything more than to pile it up as high as possible. Unfortunately, those piles of snow become piles of ice which would damage our equipment if we attempted to move them again, so we have to anxiously wait for warmer temperatures to melt them.
Q: I'm a former student trying to start a college education. How can I get a transcript sent to the college?
Thanks for your question. To get a transcript, call the High School office (419-562-7721) and give them your name as it would appear on your transcript and the year you graduated and they will work with you to make arrangements for your transcript. There is a $2 charge associated with a transcript request. If you have additional questions or need further assistance, please call the High School office and they will be glad to assist.
Q: With the possible cuts in BCS teachers, are there any plans to cut administration jobs or reduce compensation packages for the admins?
A: Thanks for your question. Be assured that every person, position, and program is under the scrutiny of cost-benefit analysis. Some administrators, including the superintendent, have already taken salary freezes for the next two years. Likewise, the administrative team salary schedule is up for renewal commensurate with the certified staff negotiations. While cost-benefit analysis is part of every annual budget appropriation process, this year is particularly difficult given the change in leadership in Columbus (governor, senate, and house); however, the biennium budget is due to be released Tuesday, March 15. Additionally, Senate Bill 5 and other legislation will drastically impact a number of operational factors including compensation and benefits for all public employees. Ultimately, the answer to your question is: YES. That said, stay tuned. We hope to have more details for the April meeting of the board of education.
Q: What is the reason why school is let out on Wednesday early?
A: Thanks for your question. Wednesdays are board approved, early release days for professional development for the Bucyrus City Schools staff. These are set up to provide for ongoing work of the waiver days, which are state approved professional development days. One Wednesday a month is for leadership meetings (Faculty Advisory Committee & Continuous Improvement Plan), one Wednesday is for Department/Grade level chair meetings with administrators, one Wednesday is for departments/grade levels meetings to work on the curriculum, and the final early release Wednesday is for continued professional development. Even with the early release of students on Wednesdays, we still meet and exceed the state minimum hours of education for students required by the State of Ohio per week. If you have additional questions about the work that is being done during the professional development activities on Wednesdays, please contact Donna Stanfield at the Administration office at 419-562-4045.
Q: What will be served for breakfast for the elementary when school closes?
A: Normally, the menu for the day school closed will be served when school resumes. This will vary based on availability of food items and milk if it is cereal is on the menu. The elementary food service staff will notify the elementary principal of any changes to the breakfast menu.
Q: What will be for lunch the day after school closes?
A: Normally, the menu for the day the school closed will be served when school resumes. If we are closed for 2 or more days in a row, the menu will depend on availability of food items and if we were able to receive our food deliveries. Administration and staff are informed of menu changes.
Q: What is the wind chill cut off for school? When I went to school today, it was -9 and the Weather Channel said it felt like -20. With all the kids that walk, isn't that not safe?
A: Thank you for your question. Here is Dr. Nichols' response. Indeed it was cold this morning and there is no firm rule; however, I look at -10 WCF as a guiding point. At 5:00 a.m., it was well below that mark and we delayed. In fact, we were the only school district in the county to do so. That said, the forecast for 9:30 a.m. (after the two-hour delay) was above the guiding point and the sun was shining. Furthermore, the examination of wind chill charts will reveal that the frost bite danger zone begins with exposure to wind chills colder than -20 for more than 30 minutes; thus, our students were in no danger. Without question, our students’ safety is my number one priority. Thank you for your question.
Q: When will a decision be made about the make up days needed due to missing school for inclement weather?
A: Thank you for your question. We have used six (6) calamity days to date. Currently, the days to be made up will be April 21, May 31, and June 1.
However, HB36 has been introduced in the legislature. To summarize, HB36 would allow a school district to excuse up to five, instead of three, calamity days for the 2010-2011 school year, to broaden schools' authority to make up calamity days by lengthening remaining days in the school year, and to declare an emergency.
While HB36 is in its second hearing and the final version has not been adopted, the recent past would suggest that school districts could add time to their current school days to make up for calamity days, if they were forced to use more than ten (10) days. Again, the final version has not been adopted and we are preparing for three (3) make up days.
Q: What can we do about all of the behavior problems? Bucyrus is starting to look really bad.
A: Thank you for your question. Like you, we are well aware of both perceived and real behavior problems in our district. Mr. Kimmel, Secondary School Principal, and Mrs. Showers, Elementary School Principal, have each provided a response to your question so you have a better understanding of what is being done to address behavior issues in each of our buildings.
Mr. Kimmel - The majority of the students in the Secondary Building never require any disciplinary action. When a student does violate the code of conduct, that student is disciplined quickly, appropriately (as determined by the infraction and the number of previous incidents), and in some cases, removed to a more appropriate educational setting for the benefit of that student and others. The primary goal of disicpline is to change behaviors. Along with open communication between parents, teachers and administrators, the discipline plan in the Secondary building is designed to create a safe learning environment.
Mrs. Showers - Although there has been a slight decrease in inappropriate student behavior during the second nine weeks, Bucyrus Elementary School administration continues to investigate ways that will improve student behavior. We have added a Dean of Students to our staff who brings much knowledge and experience in addressing behavior concerns. Staff visibility in the building and on grounds has increased. Improved communication with families has also positively impacted student behavior. BES is kicking off its Positive Behavior Support Program for students and staff on February 7. We welcome any input and suggestions by our families and the community, and are appreciative of their support as we work together in improving student behavior. The district is currently gathering input from parents, community, staff, and students in the form of a safe learning environment survey. Please take a few minutes and share your thoughts with us.
Q: How is our district going to maintain and keep great coaches? My husband came home from work and said he heard that are football coach is leaving for another job! This will break my son's heart. We seem to never keep the good coaches like Brunner, Martin, Sagar, etc. Let's keep our good ones here.
A: Thank you for your question. We understand the concern you have with respect to our coaches and your child. While we cannot speak directly about particular coaches at this time, we do the best we can to keep our coaches in place. Consistency is vital to successful program development. We, as a community, need to continue supporting our coaches and show them they are appreciated for the work and time they dedicate to our district and to making our students better individuals on and off the field.
Q: How can I KEEP informed about the school closings and delays?
A: Thanks for your question. The best way to stay informed is through the local media. We share our closing and delay information with WQEL-92.7 FM, WBCO 1540 AM, WVNO-106.1 FM, and others.
We also have a district wide calling system that allows us to record a message about the status of the district (delay/closed) and that message is then delivered via phone to those individuals who are registered in our system. If you have a student in the district, you should be receiving these calls. If you’re not, please call your student’s building to learn how you can be included in the calling system.
Q: Is the Substitute levy a new levy?
A: No, the substitute levy replaces the emergency levy that's been in existance for the past 18 years.
Q: Is the district transitioning from 2 mile driving distance to 1.5 mile driving distance for the secondary building?
A: Yes, we anticipate the transition to be made in the next couple of weeks. We've had set backs due to the weather and Ohio Department of Education audit requirements.
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