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Superintendent's Welcome Letter to Parents

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August 17, 2012

August 2012

Welcome to a new school year filled with opportunities to learn, to lead, and to make a difference. As we begin
this year, I am grateful to our school communities for the support, collaboration, and the commitment to our
students as generated during last year’s threats to the high school and demonstrated by the passage of the operating levy. We move into this school year with the belief that together, we provide a strong and positive educational environment for the students of Orange.

The 2012-2013 school year will bring even more focus on Orange as a learning organization that prepares our
students for success in the 21st Century. Through strategic planning for curriculum and instruction, we will explore connections between the way students use technology for learning, and instructional techniques that engage them in authentic learning. We are also continuing the mentoring experiences to connect students with adults and older students with younger ones as we strengthen our sense of community and support.

Though we are focused on learning, we are also very much aware of the need to provide safe and secure schools. Over the last several years, the PTA’s Health and Safety Committee has funded and encouraged many programs and experiences addressing the safety and security of our schools. This concern is a natural part of the campus environment and the recent events across the country have strengthened our resolve to constantly be aware of safety measures. We are training staff in A.L.I.C.E. (A-Alert, L-Lockdown, I-Inform, C-Counter and E-Evacuate) that will become a part of classroom exercises, just like other safety drills.

In addition, House Bill 116 requires schools to annually issue a written anti-bullying policy statement to be sent home to parents. Orange Board of Education Policy 5517.01, Bullying and Other Forms of Aggressive Behavior, is available on-line if you access our website (www.orangeschools.org) and select the policies link under the “Our District” drop down menu. This policy addresses anti-bullying in school, on the bus, and includes cyberbullying; references to bullying and discipline consequences can also be found in student handbooks. Training on our anti-bullying policies will be provided to all staff. The essence of Policy 5517.01 is that any kind of bullying, harassment or intimidation is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.

In the next several months, the Board of Education will initiate a facilities study to determine how best to maintain, grow and improve the grounds and facilities and what priorities will be established to address the needs of the campus and classrooms. This work will certainly include community input in addition to the usual channels of communication. Community forums relating to the Orange Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, the grounds and facility needs for the campus, and the visioning of Orange in 2015 and beyond will be scheduled.

At the end of the 2011-2012 school year, ten staff members retired and we will miss their contributions to our
students and we wish them well in the future. As the new year school year begins, we extend a warm welcome to our new employees; a fantastic group who bring energy, excitement and knowledge to our district.

A great school year is about to begin as we move our students into learning appropriate to, and reflected in, the global context of this 21st Century. Again, I appreciate the dedication that members of this Orange School
community bring to their work on behalf of all students.

Sincerely,

Nancy G. Wingenbach, Ph.D.


Orange Schools
32000 Chagrin Blvd
Pepper Pike, OH 44124
PHONE: 216.831.8600
FAX: 216.831.8029