The Hudson City School District would like to provide accurate information about the district. If you need to check a fact, please submit a question in 150 characters or less. Multiple questions on the same topic will be answered one time only if appropriate. Some questions may take longer to answer than others. Any questions that are personal in nature, request specific salary information for a person or include the names of an individual, single-out or ridicule an individual, or are inappropriate or just a statement of opinion with a question mark at the end of 150 characters, will not be answered. Only legitimate questions with readily available factual answers will be published. Questions about HCER will be forwarded to HCER but will not be answered on Fact Checker.
555) Are you not indirectly offering a certified teacher a job when you hire a certified teacher for a supplemental contract? No. A teacher who is hired on a supplemental contract has to go through the hiring process just like any other teacher when applying for a teaching position.
551) How much does it cost the district each year to pay the employee portion of pension contributions and how many employees receive this benefit? Twenty-six employees receive this benefit as part of their administrative compensation. The benefit totals $278,279.74.
550) Why does the district lay off employees, charge pay to participate fees and make other cuts before they cut administrators or their pay?The district has cut millions of dollars in operating expenses over the past several years. Two years ago, administrators were part of the first of those lay-offs and were the first to lead with zero pay increases and additional contributions to health care premiums. All the reductions, including the reduction in force, not increasing staff and the pay-to-play fees are necessary to help reduce expenditures.
549) P.E. extra credit needs to be adjusted to reflect the actual number of activity journals. This needs to be done before the report cards are issued, right? Please contact the building for more information about P.E. extra credit.
548) When the most recent group of principals had their contracts renewed, did the BOE require them to pay the employee portion of their pensions?The terms of the contracts were not changed. No raises were given and administrators will pay 15% in health care premiums in the fall, up from 10%. Pension contributions are paid for by the BOE.
547) What were the total collections for pay to play fees and activity fees for the school year just ended? Can you include all fees paid by parents?The total expenses for 2011-2012 as of 5/21/12 for coaches salaries, benefits and student transportation were $692,451.73. The total revenues from the fees were $513, 950.00.
546) Is it possible to hire a high school principal for less than 75% of what the current principal makes thereby saving the district more money than the proposed retire and rehire?The retire, rehire proposal is about the quality and experience and educational leadership skills needed to effectively manage a highly ranked, outstanding, large high school. It is highly doubtful that we could find a principal with these qualification at less than 75% of the current principal's salary.
544) Will Pay to Play fees be rescinded if the Levy passes in the Fall of 2012?The PIF levy that will appear on the ballot in November 2012 may only be used to pay for capital expenditures, such as building repairs and /or improvements, buses, technology, furniture, security, etc. These are things that last five years or longer. It cannot be used to help offset operating expenses. The pay to participate fees help to offset the stipends paid to coaches, club and organization advisors and the transportation needed for many extracurricular sports and activities.
543) What benefit is it to taxpayers, students, and staff to rehire a retired employee? Wouldn't it be financially beneficial to hire a non-retired employee.When used judiciously, this option can provide significant savings to school districts, help attract or retain talented administrators, and provide stability in key positions. Once an employee retires from a public school system, the State Teachers Retirement System or the State Employees Retirement System, is responsible for paying the employee's pension. In the recent proposal before the board, to accept the retirement and rehire Mr. Brian Wilch, an excellent High School Principal who would like to continue in his current role, the proposal is to permit him to begin collecting his pension from the State system and pay him 75% of his current salary saving the district and community thousands of dollars per year.
542) Are there any superintendents vying for Phil Herman? Phil Herman is the Assistant Superintendent of Schools. His primary responsibility is Human Resources. Highly qualified administrators are often approached by other districts. In most instances, an assistant superintendent would promote to a superintendent's position.
541) Do principals have administrative contracts and does the district pay the employees portion of the pension contribution for them?Yes, principals are administrators and have an administrative contract and benefit package that includes a fully paid pension contribution.
540) When will the current school levy expire?The PIF levy, which is used for capital expenditures on projects such as security, technology, roofing, paving, buses, etc. is a five-year levy and expires in December 2012. The Operating Levy is continuous and does not expire, but remains at the same amount of money collected when initially passed.
539) Why is there a notice at the bottom of emails from Human Resources about Public Records requests?The notice about public records requests is at the bottom of all emails sent from the Hudson City School District, including Human Resources. The notice explains that the content in emails sent to and received from our school district are subject to public records requests. This is part of Ohio Revised Code.
537) Is the hiring freeze still being implemented? There were three new and recent postings for two science teachers and one social studies teacher at the high The number of employees is not increasing. Staff is being hired to fill key positions and we have one lay-off this year. However, we are not increasing staff. We have a number of retirements this year, so these positions reflect no additional staff.
536) We are new to the Hudson School District and would like to know how students qualify for school transportation?Kindergarten students that live more than 1/2 mile from school ride the bus. All other students must live more than 1 mile from their school to qualify for school transportation.
535) If I am looking at my student's food account this minute and I see items like cookies, ice cream and snacks purchased and a negative balance, who should I contact?If a parent has a question about a student lunch account, Hudson Schools' Nutrition Services Office can help.
533) What math will be taught in Grade 8 next year?For next year only, the middle school students will use CMP as their text. Students in the accelerated pathway will go onto Honors Geometry in 8th grade for high school credit and grade.
532) What is the policy about senior skip day?The Hudson City School District does not authorize or recognize a senior skip day. If a student is not in school, it is considered an absence---and a reason for the absence must be reported by a parent or guardian. Doctor's notes are required if a student leaves school for a doctor's appointment and then returns to school.
531) Does the food service allow students to buy cookies and ice cream even when they have no money in their account, creating a negative balance?Once a student reaches $0.00, they are refused ala carte items(snacks). However, a student is never refused a meal despite funds; therefore, a negative account occurs only when a meal is served a student. Charging is allowed up to $5.00, after that an alternative meal is provided.
527) What administrative positions have their employee portion of their retirement paid by the District?If an employee holds an administrative contract, retirement is paid as part of the benefits package. There are 24 administrative contracts and 1 HCER contract; however the HCER administrative contract is covered by HCER.
526) What is the district's annual operating budget?The BOE approved 5-Year Forecast for General Fund Expenditures is $58,029,000. For complete information about the district's 5-Year Forecast for expenditures, visit the Financial Dashboard on the District web site. Follow the link to the Ohio Department of Education, 5-Year Forecast for the most current financial information.
525) Are coaches evaluated on win-loss records?No. coaches are not evaluated on their win-loss records.
524) Are any pay raises allowed for teachers during the current contract period?In the 2011-12 negotiated contract, there are steps for teachers but no raises.
523) Why do the K-8 schools keep sending home so many handouts when they could easily just post the info to a teacher's web site and save copying costs?Hudson Schools are going green, and saving time and money by using electronics for many student handouts that traditionally were sent home in backpacks. The only handouts that should be coming home are directly related to the classroom curriculum. We are working toward the reduction of forms, etc. through systemic on-line availability. It is anticipated that more and more information will soon be electronic.
519) On the high school grading scale, does a student receive a set number of quality points for a letter grade, whether it be a high or low A, for example?Yes, a set number of quality points are assigned to the regular, Honors and AP grading scale.
517) Why do some teachers update Progress Book more often than other teachers?Some teachers test and assess differently than others. This somewhat dictates how often the updates occur on Progress Book.
516) If the district puts another levy on the ballot, will pay-to-participate end?The levy that is currently being discussed is a PIF levy. This levy can only be used to pay for things that last 5 years or more. It is a levy that repairs buildings, helps purchase buses, paves parking lots, buys equipment that lasts more than five years and helps cover technology and security equipment. It cannot be used for salaries/benefits or to cover student fees.
515) This winter Hudson has been declared an emergency zone due to high wind. Could the roofing projects be paid for by by federal funds?If roofing repairs are caused by extreme weather, such as a few years ago when a portion of the Evamere roof blew off or when the flooding occurred in Hudson, the district was entitled to receive some federal disaster funding. However, most of the roof repairs needed now are due to wear and aging.
514) Please explain how the answers to questions #162 and #510 can both be accurate? As I undstand them, they are in direct contradiction.The answer in 162 may have been confusing. So, it has been corrected to more accurately address the question about neighborhood schools.
512) What should a student do if a teacher gives a student a specific time to meet during the day or before or after school and doesn't show-up?Certainly, confirm the time again with the teacher, or make sure something is written down. Email or call the teacher as a reminder. If the situation doesn't change, talk to a unit principal.
510) Do the increased class sizes in the elementary schools continue to help address large grade sizes and lack of neighborhood schools as indicated in questionHudson is a campus system, so at this time the information about class sizes does not include information about neighborhoods schools; however, it does address the total enrollment of students per grade level.
507) Are extra credit options offered to all students at the Middle School?Extra credit is an option that some teachers may offer to students, others do not. It is not mandatory. Check with individual teachers about posting extra credit on Progress Book.
506) Do you send parents to a CMP math web site that charges for information?No. We do not send parents to a CMP math web site that charges for information.
505) Are Board of Education members allowed to serve in another elected office while they are a sitting BOE member?The Ohio School Board Association publishes a guide for candidates that outlines compatibility of public offices and positions. The Ohio Attorney General has established seven questions to ask when the issue of compatibility is raised. All seven must be answered "no." To learn more, visit the Ohio School Board Association web site and view their "Run for Your Local School Board" brochure.
504) The current budget for Athletics is stated to be 1.4% of the General Fund Budget. By Law, what is the maximum percent of the genernal fund that can be speYes, the current budget includes all coaching salaries, benefits and athletic facility expenditures. There is a maximum. By law, interscholastic sports are classified as a "pupil activity program" because they received school supervision and support but are noncredit activities not in the curriculum. Consequently, the direct expenses of interscholastic sports must be funded under RC 3315.062, which limits the amounts which may be paid out of the general fund for student activity programs. The amount appropriated from the general fund for uniforms, supplies, game officials, security, and related expenses of interscholastic competition cannot exceed .5% of the operating budget. The amount spent under RC 3313.53 for coaching is not counted in the calculating of the .5% limit and presumably money spent for athletic facilities under RC 3313.37 should not be counted either.
502) Are smaller class sizes beneficial to students in elementary grades?Smaller class sizes at the primary grade level are important. The state determines the maximum number of students in grades K-3. Hudson has increased class sizes in most all grades over the past several years due to the reduction in teaching staff.
500) Are you considering changing the wording of the PIF levy language to something more general than the specific language used last time?Hudson has used specific language for some purposes on past PIF ballot language. Such as, a certain portion will be used for technology. The language can be more general. However, everything purchased with PIF money has to last longer than five years.
498) Is there a correlation between the employment freeze and the high percent of support personnel being hired? The positions hired this year have been to replace other employees who have left the district.
497) Will the full day kindergarten students have bus transportation?Yes, students in all day kindergarten will be transported to and from school.
496) What percentage of Hudson High School students placed on the Honor Roll during the past quarter? The Honor Roll appeared in the Hudson Hub Times this week. There are approximately 1,670 students in grades 9-12.
494) What is the special ed supervisor salary?The district no longer has a Supervisor of Special Education. The position was one of the more than 70 positions eliminated over the past several years.
492) Would it be possible to give HHS letters for academics, like varsity letters?The High School administration is open to the idea of students earning varsity letters for academic activities. In October, a new STEM Scholar Varsity Letter was recommended by the High School Administration and approved by the Board of Education.
491) Is it true that if the November 2012 PIF levy passes, funds will be used to build new offices for the administration?The PIF generates income for capital expenditures that last five years or longer. Of the current, approximately 1.5 mills revenue stream, nearly $300,000 per year is dedicated to technology. The funds can be used to make renovations and improvements to any facilities. Administrative offices are part of the district's facilities; however, there are many needs in the district that must be addressed using these funds.
488) Do the supplemental contracts for coaches include benefits or accrual toward pensions?Supplemental contracts are income for employees of the district. Benefits and pensions for full time employees are based on total compensation.
487) What is the status of the PIF levy proposed for November 2012?The District's Permanent Improvement Fund is a five-year, 1.5 mills levy that may only be used for capital expenditures that last five years or more. The levy expires in 2012. To continue this important revenue stream, a PIF request must be put before the voters.
483) I see the new Treasurer position is listed in places as Treasurer/CFO. Did the BOE adopt a new job classification/title CFO for this position?A few years ago, school treasurers began to make the title shift to CFO, or Chief Financial Officer. Some use only the CFO title, others have kept the Treasurer designation and our new treasurer uses the Treasurer/CFO designation. It is all one and the same position.
482) Is there a reason why an administrator might arrive to work around 10:00 am and leave around 2:30 p.m.? Administrators are often involved in meetings within the district and/or have obligations not located in their specific office or building. Arrival times and departure times for these activities vary.
477) Do you give incentives to employees to leave before their contracts are over?Under the right conditions, the District has offered early retirement incentives; however, incentives to leave have not been offered to anyone for any other reason.
476) Are current school start/stop times being evaluated given the late time our younger students reach their houses? The District conducted a three-year, researched study, which included an advisory committee of parents, staff and other expertise about adolescent sleep patterns. At this time, there is no consideration being given to change start and stop times.
475) Where can I find out the credentials of people who work in the district?This information can be asked of the individual or through a public records request. Public records requests are made through the Treasurer's Office.
474) Does the district pay for administrators' cell phones?The district does not provide cell phones for administrators. Administrators are paid a small stipend to help defray the cost of business use on their personal phones.
472) Why do we need a Dean of Students? The Dean of Students is a title that is used when the district is in need of a long term substitute for a Unit or Assistant Principal. It is not a new position.
469) Do you have the school year calendar for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014? The school calendar must be approved by the Board of Education. The recommendation will be presented at the December 19, 2011 BOE meeting. Once approved, the calendar for the next two years will be posted on the District's web site.
468) Are Board members elected for four years or two years?Board of Education members are elected to four year terms, although in certain instances, two-year terms must be filled to complete an unexpired term. The term begins on the first day of January and expires on December 31.
466) Did the treasurer really recommend another levy in 2013 to the school board?It is the responsibility of the treasurer to do a five year forecast of the financial needs of the district. The current interim treasurer, Lowell Davis, showed the Board a projection that would indicate that the Board should consider a levy in 2013. This projection is based on the loss of state revenue over the next several years. However, the Board of Education has the final say in managing the finances of the district, including cost saving measures, and when a levy would be placed on the ballot. At this time, the Board is not recommending a 2013 Operating Levy.
457) How often does the AD evaluate his coaches and assistant coaches? Head Coaches are on an annual cycle of evaluation by the Athletic Director. The Head Coach of a sport consults with the Athletic Director at the conclusion of each sports season about Assistant Coaching performance.
456) How much would the school district save if all qualified retirees were to retire?Retirement is a choice. Additionally, calculation of savings would be dependent on the replacement of staff needed to maintain programs.
451) How can I get a price list for Middle and High School activities?Hudson Middle School and High School activity fees are standard flat fees that are announced at the beginning of each school year. The activity fee is charged for clubs and organizations that have a paid Advisor. The high school activity fee is $100. The middle school activity fee is $80. This fee can cover more than one club or activity. However, the pay for participation fees for sports are separate fees.
450) Do teachers get paid extra to attend open houses and parent-teacher conferences?No, teachers are not paid extra to attend open houses and parent-teacher conferences. There are some activities that require much planning and preparation that fall outside of a teachers normal job requirement. In these situations, teachers may be paid additional stipends.
446) Is there talk of changing the age requirement for Kindergarten?Please refer to the answer in #433, under Academics.
439) Back when the BOE decided to pay a portion of the administrators' pension contribution, did the administrative team forgo percentage pay raises in lieu of those pick-up percentages in their retirements, over time?Yes, administrators at the time had to forgo raises in lieu of the pick-up percentages in their retirement. This was done over a period of several years.
438) Are there any activities that students or adults do not have to pay for?Yes, Hudson High School has a list of clubs and organizations with no activity fees.The current list is posted on the High School web site. Also, except for musicals, the band, orchestra and vocal concerts are free to attend. HHS Girls' Field Hockey league games and most Cross Country meets do not charge admission. However, there is a charge if the teams are participating in play-off games.
436) Do school board members, HCSD staff and administrators pay to attend athletic events?Two complimentary admissions for dramas, musicals and league sporting events are issued to staff. Staff members pay for OHSAA tournament and play-off athletic games. Passes cannot be used for benefit-type functions. In addition, with the acceptance of the pass, the employee is agreeing to be called upon to maintain student discipline at the event. Senior citizens, armed services personnel in uniform, Board members, municipal officials and former Board members are admitted without charge to school events.
435) During these tough economic times, why aren't administrators paying their own retirement and medical benefits?Administrators pay the same for medical benefits as teachers. School administrators are hired with compensation packages that include wages and retirement. It is part of a total compensation agreement when hiring occurs. Also, in these tough economic times, Hudson administrators agreed to no raises for the past two years.
433) Is it true that the district is considering changing the birth month requirements for Kindergarten next year?The district is examining data about this subject; however, Hudson's birth month requirement for starting kindergarten remains unchanged at this time for next year. The cut-off is September 30th.
430) When does Mr. Farnsworth's contract expire?The Superintendent is in the second year of his three-year contract.
427) Why are stimulus dollars considered a loss when they are known to be one-time monies?In discussions about stimulus dollars, the word "loss" is just used to mean "going away." The real loss comes in the reduction of programs and/or personnel that are supported by the one-time, limited distribution of stimulus dollars.
426) What are the consequences this time if the PIF levy and future operating levies don't pass?The PIF levy supports all capital improvements for the district and technology. These funds are needed to support classroom teaching, security, and repair or replacement of things that keep students warm, safe and dry. The district has said that based on current forecasts there could be a need for an operating levy in 2014. the district will not be speculating on any scenarios at this time.
425) How many hours do the teachers in Unity work?The unified arts teachers, or Unity teachers, at the Middle School have the same required length of day, 7 hours, as do all Middle School and High School teachers.
424) What is the process for recalling Board of Education members?The process for recalling any elected officials is fairly standard and readily available on-line.
423) If my child's Progress Book information isn't updated in a timely manner, what should I do?Teachers at the high school and middle school are asked to update information in a timely manner. The High School guideline is approximately two times per week. The Middle School is less specific but expectation is "in a timely manner." There are a few exceptions. Middle School Physical Education teachers have nearly 400 students to grade. Typically, all the grades are entered at once and then posted. Why? In Progress Book, if a teacher starts inputting grades and cannot complete the task all at once, the system reads the blank as a "0." Depending on when a parent or student looks, this "0" could be calculated as an "F" until the actual grade is recorded.
422) If Hudson were to offer all day, tuition based kindergarten, will these students have physical education, art and music?Yes, the all day kindergarten students will have regular physical education, art and music classes.
419) How much money has the school district collected from pay to participate?Since July 1, 2011, the school district has received $233,885.12 from high school athletic fees and $50,040.00 from middle school athletic fees.
418) What areas outside of Hudson are Hudson schools? How do you project enrollment? Isn't growth protected by the City's ordinance?The Hudson School District includes the City of Hudson and parts of the Village of Boston Heights, Boston Heights, Peninsula, Cuyahoga Falls and Stow. Hudson's growth management ordinance regulates the number of residential building permits issued in the City of Hudson but cannot regulate building permits in the areas outside of Hudson. Enrollment projection methodology tracks the number of live births, historical enrollment, new housing activity and changes in household composition, etc. Other influencing factors are also included such as program offerings. In 2010, the district hired DeJong-Richter, a firm that specializes in enrollment projection analysis for future planning purposes. A copy of the report is available by submitting a public records request to the Treasurer's Office.
416) Should all students get equal playing time since there is a pay to participate fee?Pay to participate is a fee that covers some of the costs associated with sports, including supplemental pay for coaches, transportation and equipment. It is not a fee that guarantees the amount of playing time for a student.
415) Would you consider hiring part time teachers without benefits to help lower the class sizes at the Middle School?Due to financial constraints, the District cannot increase the total number of current positions, regardless of it being a part-time or full time position.
414) Has participation in sports significantly dropped off since the implementation of pay to participate fees? No, participation remains about the same as before the fees became necessary. Overwhelmingly, the high school team rosters are full. Participation in Middle School track was down last spring.
413) Is pay to participate for a student per sport/season or per year?Pay to participate fees are per sport, per year. There is a family cap of $1,200 per year.
412) Is the pay-to-participate family cap of $1200 a yearly cap or does it extend through all the years that a family may have children in HCSD? The pay-to-participate family cap is a yearly or annual cap. Once the cap is reached during a school year, the family has satisfied the cap for the current year, no matter how many sports are being played.
408) Does the new teacher contract allow for any pay increase at all for any reason?Yes, under the new 2012-2014 contract teacher's will continue to receive additional compensation for advanced training.
407) With new start/end times for the schools in place, are there any plans to revisit these decisions and check that they are meeting the needs of our students at all levels?The start and stop times were implemented two-years ago after a nearly 3-year study conducted by community members and staff. The times are not being revisited at this time. However, the district reviews its operations on an on-going basis.
406) Does the new teacher contract provide for pay increases based solely on longevity?No, the new teacher contract for 2012-2014, freezes base and step increases.
405) Would developing an international baccalaureate program at the high school create a vigorous curriculum, and at the same time save parents money on college tuition? International Baccalaureate programs offer a rigorous curriculum, much like Advanced Placement courses or post-secondary options for students. Hudson offers both AP and post-secondary opportunities.. All of these programs can save parents college tuition, and colleges generally recognize the AP and IB high school programs as being on par. In post secondary programs, the student leaves their high school campus during the day or a portion of the day and attends college for credit.
403) Why do teachers earn supplemental pay?Supplemental pay is approved for teachers who coach, and/or serve as an advisor/director for extracurricular activities. In addition, a teacher may received supplemental pay for writing curriculum, mentoring other teachers, etc. These are district programs or processes that are not typical in a defined work day for teachers.
402) Is it true the $1,200 per family cap on pay-to-participate fees might be removed in the 2012-2013 school year?The district will evaluate the pay-to-participate fees each year. At this time, there has been no discussion about removing the $1,200 family cap in 2012-2013.
401) Can the parents/players in a particular sport do their own fundraising and rebate the funds back to the families to offset pay to participate fees? The Athletic Booster Association is the fundraising arm of all school approved athletic teams. This change was implemented over five years ago in lieu of each sport individually raising funds in the same community. If each sport would hold a fundraiser, regardless of the reason, the Athletic Boosters would have a much more difficult time raising the funds needed to support all athletes. Therefore, it is unlikely that individual team fundraisers would be approved to off-set pay to participate fees.
400) Do administration employees receive benefits based on those negotiated by the teacher's union or any other HCSD union?Administrators are not part of any school district union.
399) Do coaches have the ability to answer emails?Yes, all staff members have the ability to answer emails, and are asked to respond to inquiries or questions in a reasonable amount of time. Staff members also have the option of responding back to emails with calls, choosing the most appropriate venue for conversation. Emails are most often answered after the school day, and/or after their school activities have concluded.
398) Why didn't the board consider not having the band travel to away games this year to save families money? Marching Band students work extremely hard through the summer, during school and after school to prepare for their outstanding performances. The window for marching band performances is limited, and the opportunities would be be cut nearly in half if the band didn't go to away games.
396) In what cases might you recommend Petermann to other districts?The Hudson City School District is very pleased with the transportation services provided by Petermann and has shared this opinion with the public. The same information would be shared with other districts upon request.
395) How much did the Administrative Retreat cost?Administrator's typically spend two days per year setting district goals. The administrative team met in last spring and rented a room in the County Park system for $100. The meeting in early August took place in Hudson. There was no charge for the use of the facility.
394) Is the FOCUS curriculum at the Middle School underway?The FOCUS program at the Middle School is definately underway. The schedule for the programs and explanation about FOCUS is available on the Middle School web page at www.hudson.edu. Click on Middle School.
391) Who do we contact when we think something being taught in the curriculum is discriminatory toward another person's religious beliefs or culture?As with any questions about curriculum, the first contact is the teacher. If additional resolution is needed, the next step is to contact the principal of the building, and, lastly, the Curriculum or Superintendent's office.
382) How much of the HCSD budget goes towards the athletic programs?The budget for athletics is 1.4% of the general fund budget. This totals $839,817. The pay to participate fees are helping to offset some of this cost.
380) Per Question 243, if in fact the pay to participate fees DO NOT cover all the cost for athletics what are the cost for the athletics per sport? The athletic fees help to offset the cost of transportation and coaching supplemental contracts for all sports. The cost is assessed over the normal average of total participants.
379) Why has the Innovation Think Tank decided on block scheduling?The Innovation Think Tank has not yet made any recommendations. The members of the Think Tank are conducting research and considering many different aspects concerning district academics and operations.
377) Why do 7 Integrity, and 8 Service and Respect have two teachers for one subject? Wouldn't it have been more productive to just add a fourth community?Seventh grade Integrity does not have two teachers for a subject matter. The current 8th grade class has approximately 414 students. This is the last "large enrollment class" for a few years. The other classes at the Middle School have approximately 375 students. To help reduce class size in 8th grade, two teachers are teaching science and social studies. These two subjects were targeted due to offering enriched language arts and high school geometry which naturally reduces the class size during that school period. This was one way in which we were able to provide more individualized instructional programming while still meeting the financial bottom line and reducing staff.
376) Why is there sports?Student athletics/sports promote physical fitness and sportsmanship, leadership and cooperation with others. Sports also contribute to the culture of the school and community. Student athletes are also ambassadors from our schools when in other communities. Academics are an important aspect of team sports. Many of Hudson's athletes are recognized for their academic accomplishments as well as their accomplishment on the field.
374) Does the school district value the scaffolding work done by parents to assist their children with academics ? How can parents maintain their promptings?Yes, the school district very much values the work that parents do with their children to help support learning. Parents play a critical role in providing academic assistance both at home and school. Hudson is fortunate to have many active parents and community members who bring ideas and programs to the district that also enrich academics. Parents can talk to teachers, administrators or the Director of Curriculum about the district's curriculum.
373) If a student is signed up for high school band class and can't afford the fee, how will they be graded since they will not be able to attend any fall performances. The band fee for a student who is unable to pay this year has been taken care of by other means.
372) Will the MS consider renaming their communities?The new names for the Middle School Communities: Service, Respect, and Integrity, reflect attributes that are very important to the Middle School. In addition, the names honor the efforts of Community First in partnering with schools to support these same positive assets in children. Each community will work on their particular attribute throughout the year, focusing on activities and awareness that promote learning to serve, respecting the unique individual, truth, and positively contributing to our earth and world. There are no plans to rename the communities.
369) Did the MS retain its excellence with distinction rating? Yes, the Middle School has retained its "Excellence with Distinction" rating on the State Report Card. The Hudson City School District is rated "Excellence with Distinction", as well as East Woods Elementary. The Middle School and East Woods Elementary are only two schools eligible for the "with Distinction" State designation, which is based on value-added data.
368) Why did HCSD scores fall five percent?The district scores did not fall. In fact, by performance index and several other measures, Hudson City School District achieved higher scores on the State Report Card this year than in previous years.
367) How do you propose to equate rigor in academics with block scheduling? The district constantly researches ways to maximize learning for all students. Block scheduling only creates learning times that are extended on specific days and allows for fewer transitions during the day. Extended learning times allows for deep learning in labs, classroom projects, and discourse. Fewer transitions provides students with less stress in getting from one place to another and focused learning on fewer subjects for that specific block day. Scheduling is one of the topics of the District's Innovation Think Tank.
366) Why is there a fee for band since students get a grade in this program? Do students have to pay both the band and activity fee?The band fee helps cover the transportation of the band to multiple away performances and also helps cover the cost of the directors supplemental contracts for this elective course. The activity fee covers an unlimited number of extra-curricular clubs and helps cover the cost of the supplemental contracts of the advisors. The fees are separate.
365) Is Art, Music and PE being eliminated for Kindergarten students?Kindergarten students will no longer "go to" art, music and PE. The curriculum is being incorporated into the classroom.
357) Before the levy vote did the superintendent state that there would no longer be pay- to- play regardless of the levy passing or not? No, the superintendent and Board of Education stated throughout the levy campaign that pay-to-participate fees would continue regardless of the levy passing. This was stated at coffees, in a Hub article and in the Hub endorsement for the levy, as well as, in answer #339 in Fact Checker. State funding for Hudson Schools will be reduced $5.9 million over the next two years. The levy will help fill the gap; however, the district must continue to find ways to be more efficient while continuing to deliver outstanding programs.
356) The state is providing $80 million more and caps a district's losses at 20%. How does this change your projected $6 million in losses?The cap applies to only 30 districts out of 611: Hudson is not one of the 30. With suggested changes in the substitute House bill, Hudson will lose approximately $5.9 million over the next two years.
355) Did the current Superintendent implement the fully-paid portion of administrators' pensions? No. This portion of administrator compensation was implemented over a decade ago. The current administration nor Board of Education members held their positions at that time.
354) How do you determine the number of principals in each building?Principals are the educational leaders in their buildings, and they are responsible for all the staff and students in the building.This year, Hudson has a 1:196 administrator to student ratio. The state average is 1:158.
353) How much do you spend for students with special needs?Please visit the Financial Dashboard located on the District's web site. Click on Per Pupil Expenditures.
346) What was the criteria used to select members of the "Innovative Think Tank?The Innovation Think Tank members were selected from both the community and staff. The staff were selected for the committee because of the out-of-the-box thinking they have displayed in their instructional practices and district contributions. Some community members were asked based on their demonstration of success in their professional endeavors and their engagement with students in experiential work outside the classroom. In addition, other highly respected business and civic leaders in the community are also participants.
345) Will you be releasing the "sparks" on the Innovation Think Tank?Yes, as the Innovation Think Tank Action Committees report out their ideas, the district will provide periodic updates to the public.
344) Are the members of the administration current union members?No, administrators are not members of the union.
343) How can you say that the bond won't cost taxpayers more if it expires in 2014 and not 2012? Bonds are for specific amounts of money. The high school bond amount was $27,000,000 million to be paid for over a 23-year period. The debt retirement payment schedule is based on this length of time and equals no more than $27 million dollars, plus interest. In 2003, the bond was refinanced at a much lower interest rate, actually saving taxpayers $1 million dollars.
340) Why are you saying step increases are mandated by the state when other districts no longer have them?Districts still have the mandated steps in their contracts. However, in some recent negotiations of contracts the steps have been frozen in some districts. Hudson's new contract also calls for step for longevity to be frozen from 2012 through 2014.
338) Has the District considered reducing costs to the taxpayers?Yes, the district has reduced 71 positions since April 2010. Overall the district has reduced costs by over $13 million since 2007 through personnel reductions and concessions, aggressive energy management programs and highly competitive bidding processes for essential services.
335) Does the District pay the administrator's employee portion of their retirement? For many years, administrators in the state have received fully-paid retirement contributions as part of their overall compensation packages. This has been common practice throughout the state, and in Hudson for nearly a decade.
330) Why are substitute teachers who do not hold an education degree or a teaching certificate paid the same rate as substitutes who are licensed teachers?Substitute teaching licenses are granted by the State upon meeting the requirements to obtain the license. All substitutes granted a license must have a college degree or degrees. Substitutes are paid the same regardless of how a teaching license is earned.
326) Will all the levy money stay locally here in Hudson, or will some of the money be filtered into the new state budget and distributed to other districtsLevy money generated from the 4.9 mills Operating Levy generated for Hudson Schools stays here. Under the new proposed State Budget, the Hudson School District will lose $6 million dollars in State funding over the next two school years. The levy will generate $6.9 million over the same period, helping to fill the gap.
319) How are the teacher union representatives selected? Are there any limits on the length of time they serve, and the authority they have to negotiate contract terms? Teacher representative elections are held annually by the membership. Collective Bargaining laws in Ohio set the terms by which they may negotiate.
316) Does HHS send transcripts with letter grades or numbers and why?The High School Records Office sends out transcripts upon student or alumni request. Final transcripts contain letter grades, grade point average and test scores, such as ACT, SAT and AP test scores.
308) Is an administrator's share to the State Retirement System paid for as part of their compensation? Yes, this is part of an administrator's compensation package.
293) Why are the Pay to Participate fees higher than some other districts?The fees may be higher than some districts or lower than others. The fee in Hudson is an averaged portion of the cost to the district for sports. The costs in each district varies based on a variety of factors including the number of sports, coaches, transportation, etc.
292) Can a student with an IEP remain in the school system if they move outside the district?Students must live in the district to attend Hudson Schools. However, should a parent move in a student's senior year, the student may finish the year in the district.
288) Do teachers do team building during the school day?Yes, team building is considered a necessary part of professional development and can be scheduled during the school day. Many of the programs for professional development are paid for through grants.
287) How many students are in a REACH class?The Ohio Department of Education Gifted Operating Standards state that no more than 15 can be in a gifted resource class, with total numbers of students not to exceed 60, K-5. The total number is 15, 6-12. Our classes align with the standards.
284) How much will it cost the district to employ a summer administrator for Summer School?Nothing. Summer school is tuition-based and cost neutral to the district and taxpayer.
283) What is the cost for family health insurance in the district?The Board share of family health coverage for full-time employees is $14,729.26. The employee pays $1,636.58 (10%). For part-time employees, the Board share is $7,364.63. The employee pays $9,001 (45%).
282) Is it easy for a teacher to receive tenure?Under current law, a teacher must have a least seven years experience, excellent evaluations and demonstrate effectiveness in the classroom to be considered for tenure.
280) Is it true we offer speech and language for special needs students?Yes, we offer speech and language for special needs students who qualify. If this service is part of a student Individual Education Plan, by law, it must be paid for by the district.
268) Why are field trips not being eliminated?After much consideration, it was determined that trips could be approved if the cost to the Board of Education was eliminated, not the field trip. The issue was cost to the Board and taxpayers. In addition, field trips must be academic, endorsed by the principal, and no child can be left behind due to an inability to pay for a trip.
263) Is it true that most school districts quit programs such as Race to the Top because the main target is to help develop students who are academically at risk living in urban districts. Race to the Top is a program that requires a lot of commitment and time on the part of school districts. Hudson is part of Race to the Top. The program has the potential for helping all student regardless of where they live.
251) Has the district investigated the possible cost savings by contracting out food services and janitorial work to private contractors?The Hudson Schools' Food Service is a self-sustaining, cost neutral operation for the District. In addition, the District is looking at all aspects of its operations for efficiency, effectiveness and cost savings.
245) Is the police officer at the high school paid for by the District or the Hudson Police Department?The Hudson Police Department provides a school resource officer, liaison police officer, to the district that is paid for by the Hudson Police Department. The officer is not specifically assigned to a particular building.
243) Aren't taxpayers still picking up part of the tab for athletics as a result of the $1200 cap per family?The pay-to-participate fees for athletics help off-set the cost of athletics. They do not cover all the costs of the programs.
242) Why are some K- 8 tests not sent home?Many of the K-8 tests in core subjects are now common tests given to student across entire grade levels. Not all teachers cover the core subjects in the same order. Students do go over their missed questions with teachers. Parents can come in and view the actual tests. Since the district is striving for common experiences with mastery of the same learning standards for all students, it is important to use the same tests for the subjects.
241) Will the 7th grade science trips continue in the future?Field trips in the future will have to meet three criteria: 1) The trip must have an academic purpose and be endorsed by the principal, 2) The trip must be cost neutral to the Board of Education, 3) No student may be left behind because he or she cannot pay the fees for the field trip. A determination has not been made about the 7th grade field trips for next year. Field trips must go through the formal process of evaluation, endorsement and cost assessment each year before they can be approved or denied. Questions about specific field trips cannot be answered on Fact Checker. When/if a field trip is approved, the Middle School will communicate the appropriate information to parents and students.
240) Since Hudson has a public library and all homes have computers, wouldn't it be more efficient to consolidate the school libraries?Our school libraries function as the resource nucleus for literacy education and curriculum integration for students and teachers. Our media specialists are certified teachers. In addition, students are taught HOW to appropriately use the Internet for research. Perhaps, in the future, electronic books will be used in lieu of paper versions, which could allow for some consolidation. In addition, an assumption cannot be made that all students have access to a computer and the internet in their homes.
234) Where did the money for the fingerprint scanners and stadium come from?The stadium is being fully funded for construction by private donations. To date, the Tom and Joy Murdough Foundation has donated $3 million and the Malson Family has contributed $2.1 million in memory of their son, Scott, for the athletic center (field house, weight room and meeting rooms) and to build the new Scott Malson Stadium, located near the Middle School. Money from private donations will also be used to maintain the stadium. The fingerprint scanners were purchased from general funds. The district is required to fingerprint employees and, as a courtesy to the community, offers fingerprint services to Hudson residents.
233) What directives have been given to school principals in the "go green" campaign?The "go green" campaign is in its first year of implementation. All organizational flyers are being posted on the Flyers web page and announcements are being e-subscribed to remind parent to check the web site. Our buildings still need to send some important school information home with elementary students. The Middle School, High School and Ellsworth Hill are using the web for newsletters. Over the course of this year, more electronic information will be posted on the web.
232) Are the buildings still open for public use such as by the Boy Scouts, churches, etc.? If so, who pays for the cleaning staff and utilities?Yes, the buildings are still open for public use. There are Board approved room fees which are paid for by profit and non-profit groups that cover the cost for room use and custodial staff. In addition, the scout troops are asked to do a service project for the schools.
229) What is the importance of teacher performance on value-added assessment?At this time, value-added does not drill down to the teacher level. The data reflects a group of students. There are some districts that are piloting a series of data points including value-added data to get a complete look at teacher quality linked to student achievement. Battelle for Kids, a non-profit organization operating out of Columbus, is the leader for the data project. There is no specific "value-added assessment". The data is taken from the Ohio Achievement tests in grades 4-8. Value-added is a formula to predict where a group of student perform year-to-year on one given test. Ex: Did the 6th grade students in math and reading make the growth they should have comparing their 5th grade math and reading scores to their 6th grade scores.
226) Can parents choose a particular Middle School Community for their child?Parents have always been able to talk to guidance in each building about any unique concern that they may have about their child's placement. These concerns are taken into consideration when placement assignments are made.
224) How many classes does a teacher teach in a day?Elementary teachers teach all day except when their students attend art, music or PE during the week. The vast majority of Middle School and High School teachers teach 5 classes, have an assigned duty period or MS team support and a planning period.
223) How much does the Assistant Superintendent, the Directors, the High School principal and High School assistant principals make?Fact Checker posts the average salaries for teachers, principals and assistant principals. These answers are located in this section. Individual salary requests and/or length of contracts may be obtained through a public records request. Public records requests are made through the Treasurer's Office.
222) How much does a substitute teacher make, and how does this compare to other districts?A teacher substituting in the Hudson School District makes $105 per day. Our substitute teachers are obtained through the Summit County Educational Service Center. The SCESC would have comparable data for substitute pay in other districts.
221) Do administrators work in the summer?Central office administrators and the high school principal work year around. Elementary principals, the Middle School Principal and assistant principals work in June and August. They are off work in July.
217) What percent of the staff have a spouses working in the district?There are 11 employees, out of nearly 700 total employees, that have a spouse that works in the district.
210) Who answers the Fact Checker questions?The responses are from different people in the district who have the most content knowledge about the question.
207) Isn't it the Board of Educations job to represent the community and not the administration?Within the extent of their legal powers, the Board has responsibilities for operating the District. This includes employment, determining the annual budget and appropriations, providing needed facilities and providing the funds necessary to finance the operations of the district. They require reports of the Superintendent, Treasurer and others concerning the conditions, efficiency and needs of the District. They also evaluate the effectiveness with which the District is achieving the educational purpose of the district. They keep the public informed about progress and the needs of the District and they weigh public opinion as it affects the District.
206) Will parents be given the opportunity to opt out of the "new math" curriculum for a more "traditional method-based" curriculum next year?The math curriculum in Hudson has been in place since 1996. Over the past several years, there have been textbook changes and more math options provided at the High School. In addition, High School and Middle School math teachers have collaborated to assess Algebra l skills before students transition to the High School. All students participate in the same core curriculum, K-12. Students at the High School may elect to take additional math classes and Calculus-based Physics classes depending on their level of achievement and interest.
205) What is the percent of teachers who have kids in the school district and how does this compare to other districts?Nearly 50% of all Hudson City School District employees live in the Hudson School District. We don't have a comparison of this number with other districts.
204) Why don't students get to evaluate teachers when age appropriate?Some high school and middle school teachers do have student evaluation systems in place. However, there is no formal process.
203) Should professional advancement such as teachers attending workshops be paid for by the district?Professional development is based on student data. If a group of students are struggling in reading, lead teachers are often sent to training so they can train their colleagues. Almost all of our professional development is based on state and federal mandates, student data and student programming (i.e. AP training for high school teachers). Salaries are not increased due to teachers attending training (workshops). Teachers earning graduate credit from a university is the only way in which teachers are compensated for advanced training in their craft.
202) Do students with special needs have to pay fees if they participate in band, athletic or go to private tutoring?Yes, if a student with an IEP participates in band, a sport, or receives private tutoring outside of the school day, their parents pay the fees like any other parent.
200) Does the Hudson School District spend any money to lobby the state senate?Public school district's cannot spend money to lobby the state senate. Most school district's, including Hudson, are members of various professional associations that regularly meet with Ohio Department of Education officials and state legislators to advocate for improvements in academics and adequate and equitable school funding.
197) How can we be assured there is no favoritism involved on the part of coaches when it comes to cutting potential athletes from sports?It is the responsibility of coaches to make decisions based on performance about placing athletes on teams, positions, and playing time. Like dealing with questions about performance in the classroom, students (depending on age) and/or parents are encouraged to discuss their concerns directly with the coach. The Athletic Director supervises coaches, but typically would not have enough knowledge about individual athletic performance to place a student on a team.
189) Is it true that the superintendent is paid mileage to drive back and forth to work?No, it is not true. No employee in the district is paid mileage to drive back and forth to work.
188) Is there any thought to putting curriculum coordinators back in the classroom?The district changed its direction this year with math, science and the gifted program. Two teachers and the Director of Curriculum now coordinate math and science in the district. In addition, the Gifted Coordinator is also in the classroom.
178) Since the state won't address school funding through real estate tax, what can local representatives do to force compliance of the federal mandate?Over a decade ago, Ohio's courts ruled that school funding was over reliant on property tax. Different legislation has tackled the problem, but it has not been resolved. However, most of the proposals won't help the Hudson School District or taxpayer. So far, suggested solutions still rely on local tax dollars to solve the problem and most favor using transferring tax dollars from communities like Hudson to fund areas that have less property wealth.
168) Since you have "pay to participate" sports, why can't you have "pay to attend" field trips?(Updated information about Field Trips will be released shortly- posted February 3, 2011)
Field trips take place during the school day or extended school day and are part of the curriculum. All students must be given equal opportunity to participate in curricular activities, not just those who can pay. Sports are very important to our students; however, they are optional. Students chose to participate in athletics, which are extracurricular activities. In addition, practices and games for sports take place outside the normal school day.
166) Why don't you use a Six Sigma process to see what things could be eliminated or consolidated?Six Sigma is a business management strategy that was originally designed for manufacturing processes. This process is typically used in engineering practices where the goal is to eliminate product defects to improve the company's profit margin. Six Sigma has since been expanded to other types of businesses. Other types of quality improvement programs have been used over the years by companies as well, such as, the Malcolm Baldridge method. These programs are very costly to implement. However, the methodology of focusing on what we do best, which part of the Sigma process, is one of the district goals this year.
165) Why not compare to districts that run things more cheaply and see what we are doing that is extraneous?District costs vary for a many reasons, such as, some are smaller, may not offer AP, and may not provide high school busing, etc. We do check our comparison districts and we are always looking for ways to efficiently deliver the curriculum that our community demands. Similar districts typically have similar enrollments, programs and produce similar results. Within that group we compare slightly above average in per pupil expenditures.
162) Is the district considering re-organizing into neighborhoods schools rather than having students change schools so often?The district has looked at this option from time to time. In 2000, neighborhood focus groups were held about this and other facilities issues. There are pros and cons to this issue. Re-organizing schools, equipment and teachers requires redundancy, contributing to higher costs. The issue was also revisited during discussions about all day kindergarten. However, the cost continues to be a significant factor. In addition, during the 2000 focus groups, residents voiced their concerns about how neighborhood schools could potentially create a different social structure within our entire community. Hudson does have higher student populations in our buildings. Acknowledging this, we consider it important to have programs that create smaller peer groups within larger groups of students.
161) What is being done to balance the count of students with special needs in Hudson with other districts?Students with special needs who live in the Hudson School District are entitled to go to school here and receive services. The state average for students qualifying for special needs services is 15% of the total student body. Hudson compares similarly as a percent of its total student body, at slightly above the state average.
160) What happens if the budget goes into the "red?"If a deficit is shown within a two-year period in a district's 5-Year Forecast, the Ohio Department of Education notifies the district and asks for a deficit reduction plan. Should the situation worsen, the state has the option of putting the district in fiscal watch or fiscal emergency. Since districts, by law, are not allowed to operate in the "red", there are numerous things that would happen along the way such as reducing programs to state minimum standards.
154) What qualifies a student for help with a district reading specialist?Supplemental reading services are provided to students who are struggling with reading based on data from their DRA, Dibles, sight word fluency, Rigby Comprehension test and who below grade level in reading.
153) Why don't we close our preschool classes and use the space for full-day kindergarten?Federal legislation, IDEiA (Individuals Disabilities Educational Improvement Act), requires Hudson Schools to provide preschool classes for eligible students living in the district. The district applied for a waiver for full-day kindergarten this year. It is an unfunded state mandate that would cost the district approximately $750,000 per year to pay for additional staff.
150) Is there a credit card option for the new sports fees?The district is looking at options for all student fees to be paid on-line by next year. However, at this time the service is not yet available.
148) Who pays for band camp?Parents pay for their students to go to band camp.
147) Who pays for the high school band to travel out of state?Band trips out of state were paid for by the Buffalo Bills when the band performed at the Toronto Dome. In addition, band students earn trip money by holding a fruit and candy sale each year. Parents also pay a portion of the fees and the Hudson Music Boosters Association raises money and contributes toward the cost of the trips.
143) How will the district verify what student fees have already been paid?The district maintains a database that shows what fees have been paid by students for what purposes. The new fees for sports will also be tracked in a central database.
141) What does Hudson City Schools do to ensure that all students are in fact Hudson residents?Students who attend Hudson Schools must reside within the school district boundaries. Children assigned to foster care and/or legal guardian appointments to residents living in the district are considered legal residents. Like other districts, we have had a few (very few) instances in the past where residency has been challenged and students were withdrawn. We investigate all such instances using the same process for all student, regardless of the special needs or cost of the student.
135) Why not charge the same amount for both High School and Middle School sports?The new pay to participate fees are calculated on the number of participants in each programs, the number of coaches, the stipends paid to the coach, transportation, and other costs associated with each sport. The fee is covering only a portion of these costs. The Middle School programs do not cost as much as the High School programs.
130) Are sophomore students allowed to drive to school?Any student who possess a valid driver's license may drive to school as long as they obtain a proper parking pass and pay the fee. The high school has designated senior and junior parking lots. Typically, underclassmen park in the south lot by the baseball diamond.
128) Is there a procedure to force a recall election of School Board members?To learn more about School Board members, requirements of the job and ethics, we recommend going to the Ohio School Board Association web site.
127) Why can't you cut a percentage of the entire district budget instead of targeting certain areas.Each area of the entire school budget has been examined. The district has mandated reductions in expenditures for all operations. In addition, cost cutting measures had to include reduction or elimination of programs or staff.
126) Why not have a citizen's committee to review the budget line items and have the BOE justify them?The Hudson City School District has a Financial Citizen's Advisory Committee. The Committee was established three years ago to look at our District's finances line-for-line and to make recommendations for the 5-Year Forecast. They meet monthly and their recommendations are presented at the Board of Education meetings.
123) As a new citizen of Hudson, when does the School Board come up for election?School Board members are elected for a 3-year or 4-year term. Joy York and Gary Mushock were elected to the Board in 2007. Their terms expire on December 31, 2011. Patti Engelman, Steve DiMauro and David Zuro were elected in 2009. Their terms expire on 2013.
122) Why aren't you charging a flat fee for insurance instead of a percentage of the salary?Employees are paying a percentage of the premium cost of their health benefits, not a percentage of their salary. Flat fees do not grow with the inflationary cost of health benefits, a percentage of the premium does.
114) What has been the annual impact on the school district's budget due to changes in the Ohio State Law regarding the Tangible Personal Property Tax?Ohio has accelerated the loss of Tangible Personal Property Tax this year. The District will begin losing $2 million per year for the next two years until the revenue is gone.
112) Why do we need counselors in the lower grades?Elementary counselors provide resources to families, meet with building intervention assistance teams (OAT) to help mediate social/behavioral problems and assist with student intervention design. They also monitor student progress and coordinate home instruction requests for students. They conduct developmental group sessions and coordinate and conduct individual and group sessions to assist students with building to building transitions, and newly enrolled students. They also provide group and individual sessions to address appropriate social skills, bullying, showing respect, problem-solving, friendship, and safety among other topics. Counselors can provide individual, short-term counseling for students requesting help or referred by teachers, parents and other school personnel. Prolonged issues or more involved situations require outside services due to the clinical nature of the topics or the counseling or therapy needed that goes beyond school counseling. The goal of having elementary counselors is to intervene early with kids who are presenting with social/emotional and mental health issues at a young age.
111) Why don't you consider charging tuition for AP classes?While Advanced Placement (AP) Classes provide college-level instruction, they are still high school classes. We do charge for the tests that are administered to receive AP credit at colleges; however, we cannot charge to teach the classes.
109) Is the district's CAFR available for the year-ending June 30, 2010?Yes, the 2010, award-winning CAFR is available from the Treasurer's Office and also on the District's Financial Dashboard at www.hudson.edu
108) Do families of students who live outside Hudson's city limits but attend Hudson Schools - Boston Heights for example, have to pay Hudson's school taxes.Yes.
107) Is there a forum for taxpayers to evaluate the school district, teachers and administrators?The District regularly asks its citizens for input concerning their schools. In addition, residents may contact Board members or any administrators with questions about the operations, curriculum and student achievement.
106) Do you allow spouses to be covered by insurance without checking if their employer provides insurance?As part of the coordination of benefits, our insurer does ask if a spouse is covered by any other insurance. The negotiated agreement with the teachers calls for family coverage for health insurance purposes. The Health Insurance Committee, made up of teachers, administrators, and classified staff have been looking at the possibility of insurance changes, including spousal insurance.
105) Why do administrators have their share of retirement paid for by the district?The vast majority of school districts in Ohio pay the employee share of the retirement contribution for administrators as part of their market value compensation package. Hudson has been doing so for many years.
103) Are there internal tools to evaluate different department so they can improve?Departments in the Hudson City Schools are evaluated regularly as are the administrators in charge of them. In addition, we are constantly reviewing efficiencies in practice.
98) If a student could not ask their parents for birth control, such as the pill, would the clinic provide them with this birth control?No.
97) Is it true that the High School Clinic distributes condoms to students?No, this is not true. This rumor resurfaces from time to time; however, the Hudson High School Clinic has never dispensed any kind of birth control to students.
94) Are there changes in the art programs? Yes, art is being incorporated into the Kindergarten classroom. Kindergarten students will no longer "go to" art.
93) Will the High School football stadium be completed next year?The current plan is to have the stadium ready for use by August 2012. However, this time line is contingent upon raising the required funds.
91) Compared to a like-sized community isn't Hudson's staffing top-heavy with elementary principals?It is typical for most communities to have 20-25% school-age children; however, Hudson has 40% school-age children. There are approximately 2,100 elementary students in Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. Evamere Elementary and Ellsworth Hill Elementary each have 1 principal. An assistant principal is shared between the two schools. McDowell has 1 principal. East Woods, with a student population of 718 students, has 1 principal and 1 assistant principal.
90) As a student, I would like to know why we need high school principals?Principals in all buildings are the educational leaders and business managers of each school. At the high school, each principal is assigned to a grade level and is responsible for discipline, management of student issues, attendance issues, scheduling, and they are part of the team that develops individual education plans for students with special needs. They also must manage the safety of all students. In addition, they have responsibility for teacher observations, evaluations and department Professional Learning Community visits. They also attend hundreds of student social and sports activities. They are strategic leaders, problem-solvers, evaluators, crisis managers, advocates for every student and part of the overall leadership team of one of the best school districts in the State. This is just a short list of the duties that high school principal performs each and every day in a school with 1,750 students.
89) Why does the High School need a parking lot attendant?The parking lot attendant is needed for security.
88) How does Ohio rank in a variety of educational categories compared to the rest of the country?In the Ohio State Board of Education January 14, 2010 report, State Superintendent Delisle announced that Ohio was ranked 5th in the nation in Education Week's 2010 Quality Counts Report. Another comparison might be the national No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Awards given to schools that demonstrate high levels of achievement in reading and mathematics. Hudson High School is a 2008 Blue Ribbon Award winner. This designation lasts for 5 years.
82) Why isn't K-8 math fixed when parents have identified the problems and solutions?The data shows that our students do well in mathematics. Our math scores on the Ohio Achievement Assessments rank in the top 3% in the State consistently. We do recognize that some of our families are not happy with the methodology of how we teach K-8 math. The new common core standards will provide us a way as a school community to review our instructional practices and the materials in which we teach mathematics.
80) How does the school district terminate a teacher that is simply not a good teacher?Fortunately, Hudson Schools has outstanding teachers that perform well. In addition, the district has a strong teacher mentor program and Professional Learning Committees that help teachers share and identify best teaching practices in the classroom. The Hudson School District also has an evaluation process in place for teachers, staff and administrators. A teacher not on a continuing contract (Tenure) is more easily removed than a teacher on a continuing contract (Tenure). Tenure is determined by law, not by the local district.
78) How many K-12 students reside in the Hudson School District but go to home school, private school or participate in an on-line school?Trends across the state indicate that as class sizes increase at high schools more parents will opt to send students to smaller private/parochial schools. This trend is true in Hudson as well. Some of our largest classes, 430-450 students, have graduated in the past five years. However, our biggest fluctuation is trended in Kindergarten. Hudson offers half-day Kindergarten and more parents are opting to send their children to all day kindergarten programs offered elsewhere. Overall, the Hudson School District serves 4,900 students, preK-12.
(Federal Data Base) Hudson students attending K-12 private/parochial schools: 2011 - 695, 2010 - 685, 2009 - 651.
73) Does the district receive funding from the State to cover the costs associated with special needs students?The District receives Title 6B money for students with special needs. However, it does not nearly cover the cost of the programs needed.
63) What is the average salary for principals?The average salary for Principals is $101,229. The average salary for Assistant Principals is $90,258. All principals and assistant principals have contracts that require more days than a teacher's contract.
61) Is it true that teachers receive Social Security Benefits along with their State Retirement pensions?Teachers who have worked their entire careers in the teaching field are not eligible for Social Security Benefits.
55) Why do districts run out of money?For a more comprehensive explanation, visit the District's Financial Dashboard at www.hudson.edu.
54) Why does the school district need multiple principals at the Middle School and High School?Principals and Assistant Principals are responsible for instructional leadership, daily operations, including finance, defining and communicating policies, supervising and evaluating staff and supervising students. Their instructional leadership and supervision is core to the educational mission of our district. When you examine the facts, our school district is a major public service enterprise with fewer management personnel than are found in many businesses and industry that have 653 employees and 4,900 students. Hudson High School has 1 principal and 3 unit principals who supervise 183 staff members and approximately 1,700 students. Hudson Middle School has 1 principal and 2 unit principals who supervise 136 staff members and approximately 1,200 students.
50) What percent of expenditures in the district are for employee benefits?Employee benefits account for approximately 22% of the district's expenditures.
49) What are the duties of a communications manager and why is the position needed?The Communications Manger of the Hudson City School District develops and manages the strategic communications of the school district. This includes all public relations programs, media relations, crisis communications (including H-Alert, E-connect), district web communications (including e-subscribe) and coordination of web communications and content, web announcements, web e-Newsletter (new), social media (Twitter and Linked In), the web Fact Checker and all district print content materials. The Communications Manager facilitates the district's planning, delivery and assessment and on-going improvement of strategies to enhance the District's image, promote the accomplishments of district goals and engage the community through survey and other two-way communications programs. The position is a Cabinet-level position and reports directly to the Superintendent. The position is needed to support these and other functions of a comprehensive communications program for a $60 million dollar business.
48) How much do teachers pay for health care premiums upon retirement?Once a teacher retires we are no long responsible for paying their health care. They have the option of purchasing health care on an individual basis or through the STRS Retirement System. The premium paid depends on years of service, whether or not they are Medicare Eligible, dependents, and the actual plan they select. STRS Info about premiums without Medicare and with Medicare
33) What does the district contribute to teacher pensions while they are working?The teachers contribute 10% toward their pensions and the Board of Education contributes 14%. The 14% is mandated by Ohio law.
29) Are the budget cuts really only a cut to an increased budget and not a cut to actual spending?A reduction in the budget for the school system is a savings to our taxpayers over what would have been spent had the reductions not occurred. Significant reductions to the budget have been made over the past three years.
27) Why are there a minimum number of days for school and minimum hours in the day?The Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio Department of Education set the minimum standards for the number of school days and years. The minimum is 182 days and the hours for grades 7-12 are five hours. Grades 1-6 are also five hours, including morning and afternoon recess. Hudson exceeds the minimum standard as do most school districts.
25) How do you get feedback on the state of technology in the Hudson Schools?Hudson Schools has a district-wide Technology Committee that meets monthly to address strategic planning for technology and to address problems and problem-solving. Each building has a technology aide to assist teachers/students with their curricular needs. Student technology issues are resolved as they arise. The district has the same occasional issues with technology as any other medium-sized business that must maintain 2,400 computers, printers and the network that supports them.
23) What is the single biggest expenditure flow from the district?As in every school district, between 80-85% of the district's expenditures are for wages and benefits. School districts are a people-driven business that provides an educational service for children.
22) What are the long-term obligations of the school district for pension after retirement? Does the district pay the pension or the union?Neither the district nor the union is responsible for paying pensions once an employee has retired. The State Teachers Retirement System or the State Employees Retirement System is responsible for pensions. The retirement benefits for teachers vary. Retirement benefits for teachers vary based on certain factors determined by a formula set by STRS. Some of the criteria used would be the length of time the person was employed before retiring and wages earned.
20) Why doesn't the school district consider fundraisers for the money they need?The school district has a newly formed Hudson Schools Foundation whose mission is to raise funds for the school district in a wide variety of areas that cannot be covered by school district funds. At this time, the community is most familiar with the work of the Foundation to raise funds for the new athletic facilities. However, there are many other areas the Foundation is hoping to help fund in academics and the arts. These programs will be supported by private dollars from donors who have a passion to support children, the schools and community.
19) What are the details of the school district's health care plan?The Hudson City School District is self-insured vs. a traditional medical plan. This saves the district about $1 million per year in health care costs. In addition, the district negotiated a new contract with our health provider in 2010 which is saving an additional $400,000 annually. Administrators and teachers pay 10% of their health care benefit premiums.
18) What is the range of teacher salaries? How does this compare with similar districts?Salaries range from approximately $40,500 to $93,800. Salaries are based on levels of education and/or certification, years of experience and additional duties. Hudson teacher salaries compare in the middle of other similar school districts. Hudson salary and benefit expenses as a percent of operating expenditures are in the middle of our comparable districts.
13) What is the current revenue received from property tax?Visit the District's Financial Dashboard at www.hudson.edu for comprehensive information about our school finances.
12) What impact does home foreclosure have on district funding?Foreclosures as well as delinquent payments do affect revenue. In FY2010, the district had approximately $500,000 in outstanding delinquent money owed to the district. This is typically offset from payments from prior year delinquencies and foreclosures.
11) How can you change the policy of last in/first out to a skill/merit policy of reduction?Teacher and support staff reductions are determined by the negotiated contracts with the unions. These contracts are legally binding as they are written. Changes to the contracts have to be negotiated and, in some cases, Ohio laws would have to be changed.
9) What is the average teacher's salary?The average teacher salary is $72,860. The average years of experience is 15, and 80% of the staff has a master's degree plus additional education.
8) Where do we stand on full day kindergarten?The State is no longer mandating all day Kindergarten. However, there is some discussion about offering an all day tuition-based Kindergarten program on a limited basis. Nothing is finalized at this time.
7) Do you pay mileage for administrators to drive back and forth to work?No. Administrators are not paid mileage to drive to their jobs. Mileage is paid for approved professional business that must be conducted out of district.
6) Do you pay for administrators to have cell phones?Administrators are required to buy their own cell phones and to be able to conduct business via cell phone. A small monthly stipend is paid for business use.
5) What percent of households in Hudson have school-age children?Approximately 40% of households in Hudson have school-age children. This is much higher than the State average which is approximately 20-25%.
4) Does the ranking of the district as "Excellent" without the "with distinction" mean that student performance is declining?No. Our students are performing extremely well. In fact, there are districts that currently have the "with distinction" rating that did not meet all 26 Indicators on the State Report Card. Our district met all 26 Indicators. Hudson has been ranked Excellent and Excellent with Distinction for 10 years. Value-added measures the individual grow of students in grades 4-8, and determines the "with distinction" ranking. Another very important category on the report card is the Performance Index Score. This category includes the High School Ohio Graduation Test and indicates the number of students scoring in the accelerated and advanced categories on the OGT and Achievement Tests. The district was 8th in the State out of 611 school districts in 2010. The High School ranked 6th and the Middle School ranked 5th. Preliminary results have just been release for this year. Our students did very well. District comparisons will be released when the results are finalized in August 2011.
2) Do you pursue partnerships with the business community?Yes, but we are working to do an even better job of partnering with our business community. Currently, we have Finance Committee that is made up of local community business finance professionals. In addition, our entrepreneurial curriculum engages the community as business mentors for our students. We also have a strong business/student relationship with the Hudson Chamber of Commerce. The district has representatives on the Destination Hudson Committee, as well as, the H.O.M.E Committee, which is the Hudson Officials for Mutual Endeavors Committee. The primary focus of this group to regularly share what is going on with the city and the schools.
1) What is Race to the Top?Race to the Top is a federally funded program that awards money to states for school improvement. Ohio is one of the recently selected states to receive this funding. Hudson Schools is also one of the participating districts and will receive $100,000. These funds will be distributed over a 4-year period at $25,000 per year. The funds may only be used by the district for professional development to help teachers change instruction to meet new standards, develop a database that tracks student data, and to include this data in principal and teacher evaluations.