Superintendent's Weekly Newsletters & Reports

May 19, 2017

It’s been another successful year at Keystone Local Schools!  From our outstanding academic student development, to our athletic programs, and extracurricular organizations, I would like to recognize all our wonderful staff who make our success possible.  I would also like to thank the community for their continual support as this is an integral part of our District. 

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!  Our Valedictorian Adelyn Smith and Salutatorian Lexie Febel have set wonderful examples for their class and for Keystone classes to come.  I would like to recognize all 2017 Keystone graduating seniors and wish them luck in their future endeavors.

We are presently taking applications for summer cleaners.  Please call the Board Office at 440-355-2424 for more information.

We are also hiring for bus drivers, substitute bus drivers, cleaners, and a full-time high school English teacher for the 2017-2018 school year. 

Have a wonderful summer Keystone.  See you on Monday, August 28! 

May 12, 2017

Congratulations to all of our senior college scholarship recipients.  This year, school organizations, local businesses, and individual donors awarded over $56,000 in scholarship funds to help our students dreams of a college education become a reality.  Thank you to all our community and school organizations for your continued support!

Thank you to all the Keystone Elementary, Middle, and High School teachers and parents who organized Fine Arts Week! The week featured the Northeast Ohio Rocks’ program, a family gallery art night, fine arts trivia, an art and chalk walk show, and concerts from all three schools!

In addition, thank you to Keystone Social Studies teacher Scott Schuster for organizing the sophomore class visit to Washington, DC and to the trip’s chaperones.  They make long-lasting memories on this trip while learning about our nation’s capital.

Lastly, please remember that our Open Enrollment period is in progress now through Wednesday, May 31.  See our website or contact the KES office at 355-2300 for more information.

May 5, 2017
May is here, and we only have three weeks of school left! With that being said, we have many awards assemblies coming up for our students as well as concerts, and of course, graduation!

Keystone High School’s academic awards assembly will take place on Tuesday, May 16 at 8am in the KHS gym. The sixth and seventh grade awards assemblies will both take place on Tuesday, May 23, with the sixth grade beginning at 9am in the KES Café, and the seventh grade beginning at 12:30 in the KMS Gym. Lastly, graduation will be held at First Baptist Church on Friday, May 26 at 7pm.

Numerous music concerts will also be held, including the KHS band concert on Thursday, May 11 at 7pm, the KMS band concert at 7pm on Tuesday, May 16, sixth, seventh/eighth grade choir concerts on Thursday, May 18 beginning at 6:30pm, and lastly, the KHS Kabaret on Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 at 6pm. Be sure to attend these events to support our students and all the hard work they put in to perform these amazing concerts!

Also coming up is the second annual Relay for Life on Friday, May 19 from 6pm-10pm at Wildcat Stadium. This funds raised from this event go directly to the American Cancer Society. Visit our website for more information or check out our weekly Q and A video page to view event details at http://www.keystonelocalschools.org/district/superintendent-video-q-and-a. Also, remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on all things Keystone!

Lastly, thank you to Shannon Heffernan, Kari DoveDeal, and Sarah Robinson for holding a successful and fun senior citizens breakfast! We look forward to fostering continuing ways to celebrate and thank our community for their support. I would also like to recognize the KES PTA for their wonderful Read-a-Thon! The two-week event was highly enjoyed by students and staff!

April 28, 2017
It’s hard to believe, but there are only a few weeks of school left.  Even though the school year is wrapping up quickly, we still have many upcoming programs and events throughout the month of May.

Please plan to participate in the second annual Relay for Life. This event is hosted with the help of Keystone High School's Youth 4 Youth Organization and members of the Lagrange United Methodist Church on May 19, 2017 at the Keystone High School Track. The event is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.  Navigate to our website at www.keystonelocalschools.org or social media pages to learn how you can participate and support this event. Last year, with your help, we were able to raise over $5,000 to help the American Cancer Society.

Tickets are now on sale for our 2017 Keystone Kabaret: TIME WARP! Please come to support our choir students!  Kabaret will be performed Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 in the KHS cafetorium. Dinner will be served at 6pm both nights, and will be catered by Fligner's.  The concert begins at 7pm.  Tickets are $13.50 for adults and $11 for children 10 and under and senior citizens 65 and over.  Ticket order forms are available in the KHS main office and in the music room. All ticket orders are due by May 5. Contact Mrs. Pearce with any questions.

Lastly, please keep in mind that our Open Enrollment Period is in progress now and closes on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Navigate to our Elementary School’s website at http://www.keystonelocalschools.org/keystone-elementary or contact the KES office at 355-2300 for more information.

April 7, 2017
I would like to recognize KHS teacher Jennifer Fehlan-Jones and her fellow teachers for their exemplary work in holding our first Family Science Night at KES.  It was an awesome, fun-filled night and was provided for FREE. At the event, students learned about rockets, stars, solutions, animals, worms, electricity, and much more! There were also hands-on experiments, a family photo booth, and science fun tools families got to take home! The event also featured over 20 stations presented by organizations such as LCCC, OSU, Black River Astronomy Club, Lorain County Metroparks, and more! We had teachers from all three buildings, parents, and even some students oversee over these science experiments, demonstrations, and a science magic show.

In upcoming events, the High School’s Youth-4-Youth organization is hosting their second annual Relay for Life on Friday, May 19 from 6pm-10pm at the Keystone Stadium. Funds raised from this event go directly to the American Cancer Society. Last year, they raised over $5,000 in donations!

To be a part of this wonderful event, create a team of 8-15 members. Go on to www.relayforlife.org/lagrange-keystoneoh and register your team and have members sign up! Share the link on social media to raise money for your team! If you sign up before April 12, you will receive a prize from the American Cancer Society.  At the event, teams will set up a “camp” area around the track. Members of the team will take turns walking or running around the track.  Each team must have a member on the track at all times while music, games, and activities are being run by others.  

The opening ceremony features a relay event, a Survivors Lap and Caregivers Lap, in which participants and survivors will celebrate what they have overcome. They walk the track as others cheer them on.

There will also be a Luminaria Ceremony. During this ceremony, we remember people lost to the disease, and honor people who have fought or are fighting cancer.  A speech is made and glow sticks are distributed.  The luminarias are lit and the lights are turned off. A silent walk is then taken around the track to think of those that we have walking for.

The closing ceremony inspires Relay participants to take action against a disease that has taken too much.  Please contact Kari DoveDeal at KHS at 440-355-2400 or at karidovedeal@keystone.k12.oh.us for additional information.  Please participate in this event to support cancer survivors, caregivers, and recognize those lost to this disease.

March 31, 2017
I would like to thank our parents, staff, and community for their tremendous amount of support during this very difficult time. Our strong community is an invaluable part of Keystone. As we continue this grieving process, it is important for us to try to keep things as scheduled as this is suggested to help our students maintain a semblance of normalcy during this tragic time. 

With that in mind, I would like to share with you a few of our upcoming events. Our final parent series will take place on Monday, April 3 at 6pm in the Middle School Café.  This session focuses on the impact of social media on our students.  Parents will be provided with information about social media, including cyberbullying, online predators, and the permanent digital footprint.

We are currently in the process of developing a strategic plan that will guide our District in the future. In order to do this, we need your feedback to share with us the programs and policies that are working and those in need of improvement.  To foster this, we are holding strategic planning meetings at which we will ask you for your input.  We have three upcoming meetings in April, which are focused on our plans for individual school: KMS is on Tuesday, April 11, KHS is on Wednesday, April 12, and the KES is on Thursday, April 27. All meetings will be at 6pm, are in their respective school’s café, and will last one hour at maximum.

Lastly, I would like to thank KHS Art Teacher Kevin Wacker and the HPAC organization for hosting a free community paint night.  Attendees enjoyed free snacks and painting materials, which they used to paint a dark starry night picture.  We will have two more FREE community paint nights on Thursday, April 6 and Wednesday, April 26. Both events will be held in the KHS Art Room from 6pm-8pm.

March 27, 2017

It is with a heavy heart that I write this newsletter.  Last Friday night, we lost a member of our Keystone family, junior Nate Barrett. We would like to express our deepest sympathy to his parents, siblings, family, friends, and loved ones. We are here for you as we all mourn your loss and ours as well. You are in our prayers. In this time of tragedy, our Keystone community comes together to support each other, and I would like to recognize the strength of the LaGrange community and our commitment to each other.

A Celebration of Nate’s life will be held on Saturday, March 25 from 12-2pm at Keystone Middle School.  A brief ceremony will follow from 2-2:30pm. 

March 17, 2017
We have begun our strategic planning initiative. This initiative will help guide our District over the next five years.  With parents, residents, and community members, we can determine what to keep and what to change at Keystone.  To do this, we are asking you to donate one hour of your time to provide this feedback. At the meeting, all we need you to do is provide your input. We will ask you questions about both the positive things at Keystone as well as the elements in need of improvement. There are two opportunities to attend at each building.  All meetings will begin at 6pm and will take place in their respective buildings. KEYSTONE ELEMENTARY: Monday, March 27 & Thursday, April 27. KEYSTONE MIDDLE: Thursday, March 23 & Tuesday, April 11. KEYSTONE HIGH: Wednesday, March 29 & Wednesday, April 12.

Thanks to the Keystone Empowers You Collaborative, Chef Catherine DeWitt, and our staff members who coordinated our recent NO-COST healthy cooking class at Keystone Middle School! We will continue our efforts to promote healthy lifestyles by holding these types of events as well as continuing to offer our weight room, indoor walking facilities, and track for community members.

Lastly, we are still selling approximately 500 bricks from the Liberty Street Building. These bricks will be sold at KMS between 7am-3:30 on school days and are $5 each. Sales will be on a first-come-first-serve basis and a portion of the money raised will help fund the Keith Heck Memorial Garden at KMS. Contact KMS at 440-355-2200 with questions.

As a reminder, the final free tax preparation opportunity at KES is this Thursday, March 23 from 3:30-8pm. Call the Keystone Board Office at 440-355-2424 to make an appointment. There are limited walk-in appointments available. For more information about this service, visit Lorain County's Free Tax Prep Coalition's website at http://www.loraincountyfreetaxprep.org/.

March 10, 2017
Our Keystone entertainers and musicians are in full force this month! Great job to our Keystone High School band and choir students who performed amazing concerts over the past two weeks! 
Upcoming, we have our Keystone Middle School band concert on Tuesday, March 14 at 7pm in the KHS Café.  This performance will be followed by our High School’s Drama Club’s spring play “Ghostchasers.” Performances will be held on Thursday, March 16th and Friday, 17th at 7pm and on Saturday, March 18th at 2pm and 7pm at the high school.  Tickets will be $10 for Adults and $5 for students.

In wellness news, the Keystone Empowers You Collaborative invites you to join Chef Catherine DeWitt for a NO-COST cooking class at Keystone Middle School THIS Monday, March 13, 7-8 PM. This class is designed to continue our healthy living initiative by showing you easy ways to prepare quick, wholesome, healthy meals!! Space is limited. Ages 10-110 are welcome! Email KeystoneEmpowersYou@gmail.com or call 440-355-2424 to reserve your spot!

Lastly, we are still selling approximately 500 bricks from the Liberty Street Building. These bricks will be sold at KMS between 7am-3:30 on school days and are $5 each. Sales will be on a first-come-first-serve basis and a portion of the money raised will help fund the Keith Heck Memorial Garden at KMS. Contact KMS at 440-355-2200 with questions.

As a reminder, the final free tax preparation opportunity at KES is Thursday, March 23 from 3:30-8pm. Call the Keystone Board Office at 440-355-2424 to make an appointment. There are limited walk-in appointments available. For more information about this service, visit Lorain County's Free Tax Prep Coalition's website at http://www.loraincountyfreetaxprep.org/.

March 3, 2017
The Keystone Empowers You Collaborative invites you to join Chef Catherine DeWitt for a NO-COST cooking class at Keystone Middle School on Monday, March 13, 7-8 PM. This class is designed to continue our healthy living initiative by showing you easy ways to prepare quick, wholesome, healthy meals!! Space is limited. Ages 10-110 are welcome! Email KeystoneEmpowersYou@gmail.com or call 440-355-2424 to reserve your spot!

In another upcoming event, plan to attend Keystone High School’s Drama Club’s play GHOSTCHASERS, a Two Act Comic Thriller Farce by Tim Kelley. Performances will be held on Thursday, March 16th and Friday, 17th at 7pm and on Saturday, March 18th at 2pm and 7pm at the high school.  Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for students.

Congratulations to our Keystone Middle School and High School choir members who recently participated in the Lorain County Solo and Ensemble Contest. All students took significant time out of class to prepare their songs and performed them for a professional adjudicator! All Keystone high school vocal students received Superior (I) or Excellent (II) ratings. Great job students and Choir Director Mrs. Bethany Pearce.

Lastly, we are still selling approximately 500 bricks from the Liberty Street Building. These bricks will be sold at KMS between 7am-3:30 on school days and are $5 each. Sales will be on a first-come-first-serve basis and a portion of the money raised will help fund the Keith Heck Memorial Garden at KMS. Contact KMS at 440-355-2200 with questions.

February 24, 2017
Keystone Middle School is currently selling approximately 500 bricks from the Liberty Street Building for $5 each.  These bricks will be old at Keystone Middle School between 7:00am and 3:30pm during school days.  Sales will be on a first-come-first-serve basis and a portion of the money raised will help fund the Keith Heck Memorial Garden at KMS.  Please contact Toni Filut, Principal at Keystone Middle School at 440-355-2200 if you have any questions.  

In high school news, Congratulations to the KHS students who make up the entire Kickin’ It Tumbling and Cheer dance team!  They placed 2nd in a competition over the weekend at Ashland University and will compete next on March 26th at Mount Vernon. The team members, led by Coach Shannon Heffernan are Alexa Olic, Adelyn Smith, Hannah Posey, Samantha Nelson, Lindsey Reitz, Addie VanMeter, and Jessica Kun.

In District news, we are soliciting our parents’ and students’ feedback on our school lunches.  Please navigate to our website at www.keystonelocalschools.org to fill out the five-question survey.

Lastly, it is not too late to take advantage of the free tax preparation services offered at Keystone Elementary School. The last two tax services will be offered February 27 and March 23 from 3:30-8pm. Call the Keystone Board Office at 440-355-2424 to make an appointment. There are limited walk-in appointments available. For more information about this service, visit Lorain County's Free Tax Prep Coalition's website at http://www.loraincountyfreetaxprep.org/.

February 17, 2017
Many congratulations are in order this week to our amazing students and staff.  Keystone High School vocalists recently participated in the OMEA District IV Solo and Ensemble Contest. All of our vocalists earned either received Superior (I) or Excellent (II) ratings. Great job to the following students earning these stellar scores and to their Vocal Music Teacher Mrs. Bethany Pearce! Jessica Kun, Cole Stoots, Sarah Verderber, Job Butcher, Rebecka Haun, Isabel Knowlton, Sydnee McCollum, Abigail Sandrock, Ariana Ahart, Paige Dillen, Jennifer McDonald, Karlie Rising, Cameron Vance and Isabelle Wulf.

In upcoming events, there are still two opportunities for residents to take advantage of Lorain County’s free tax preparation service at Keystone Elementary School. The services will be offered on February 27 and March 23 from 3:30-8pm at KES. Call the Keystone Board Office at 440-355-2424 to make an appointment. There are limited walk-in appointments available. For more information about this service, visit Lorain County's Free Tax Prep Coalition's website at http://www.loraincountyfreetaxprep.org/.

Also, thanks to all our Elementary School parents who volunteered their time to help with the Valentine’s day festivities at KES. There were at least two-five parents in each room who planned different crafts for the students.  Additionally, thank you to all of our students, parents, and community members who have donated to our Keystone Kindness Closet. We are still collecting used clothing for all ages, new toiletries, and school supplies. Donations can be dropped off at the KHS office. If you know of any students or families that need these items within our district, please contact Sarah Robinson or Kari Dove-Deal at KHS 440-355-2424.

Lastly, we are hiring substitute teachers, bus drivers, and substitute bus drivers.  Please call the Board of Education Office at 440-355-2424 for more information.

February 10, 2017
It’s been an exciting week at Keystone and will continue as we enter this busy time of year! 

Congratulations to KHS Wrestlers David McCullough, Garrett Coe, and Cody Foster as they are Conference Wrestling Champions! Great job as well to Coach Chris Vondruska as his intensity, commitment, and dedication to the wrestling team is exemplified in their success!

In addition, the competition dance team Kickin It Tumbling & Cheer, comprised of all Keystone dancers, earned the titles of Division Champions and Grand National Champions of the dance division, winning rings and a full paid bid to the Xtreme Spirit National competition. Great job girls and to Coach Shannon Heffernan.

Thank you to all of the parents who attended our third parent seminar, titled “My Kids Are Tired of Testing.”  If you were not able to make it to the presentation, please contact Dave Kish, Curriculum Director at david.kish@keystone.k12.oh.us to attain information shared at the meeting. Our final parent series will take place on Monday, April 3. This presentation will focus on the impact of social media on our children.

Lastly, we are hiring substitute teachers, bus drivers, and substitute bus drivers.  Please call the Board of Education Office at 440-355-2424 for more information.

February 3, 2017
It’s hard to believe that February is already here!  The year is flying by and continues to do so! 

First, I would like to congratulate and honor the students who participated in the Middle School’s Honors Independent Study & Entrepreneur Open House. Led by Ms. Knight, the students showed their creative skills as well as their awesome abilities to acquire and analyze information!

KHS Science Teacher Ms. Stratton also deserves recognition for her hard work in putting together the Carnival, Powderbuff game, and support rally for the Heck family!  The event was well-attended and a huge success!
Also, great job to the High School’s Academic Challenge Team, led by teacher Mr. Habenicht for winning the first round of the scholastic games against Lorain. Senior Luke Peters won top scholar at the match!

The High School’s wrestling team also had a great weekend as they competed at West Holmes. Randy Hartle took 6th place at 106, Clay Todd took 3rd at 138, Garrett Coe earned 3rd at 152, Justin Ocheltree took 4th at 182, and David McCullough took 1st at 195! Great job wrestlers and Coach Vondruska

Lastly, the FCCLA would like to thank all that purchased an American Heart Association t-shirt.  With your support, they were able to raise $350 for the American Heart Association!

January 27, 2017
We are continuing our Parent Series with our upcoming third program, called “My Kids Are Tired of Testing.” The program will be held on Monday, February 6 at 6pm in the KMS Cafe. In this session, parents will learn what state and district tests their children have to take and secrets that both the students and parents can use in order to ensure the best score possible on those tests.

Please plan on attending our Powderbuff game, Carnival, and Support Rally on Thursday, Feb 2 for the family of Keith Heck, a beloved Keystone staff member who passed away this summer.  The Carnival begins at 6:30pm and concludes at 8pm, and the Powderbuff game will begin at 7pm.  The event features face painting, a photo booth, crafts, and other popular carnival games! Game tickets, basket raffle tickets, and concessions will be available throughout the event. Also, raffle tickets will be sold for numerous items. 

Lorain County’s Free Tax Preparation will be offered at Keystone Elementary School on February 9 and 27, and on March 23 from 3:30-8pm for qualifying families. Call the Keystone Board Office at 440-355-2424 to make an appointment. There are limited walk-in appointments available. For more information about this service, visit Lorain County's Free Tax Prep Coalition's website at http://www.loraincountyfreetaxprep.org/.

Lastly, we are hiring substitute teachers, bus drivers, and substitute bus drivers.  Please call the Board of Education Office at 440-355-2424 for more information.

January 20, 2017
Great job to all of our students on a wonderful first semester here at Keystone.  They have been working hard, and this is shown in their exemplary academic progress!

We have many upcoming events that we encourage you to attend.  First, we are holding a Powderbuff game, Carnival, and Support Rally on Thursday, Feb 2 for the family of Keith Heck, a beloved Keystone staff member who passed away this summer.  The Carnival begins at 6:30pm and concludes at 8pm, and the Powderbuff game will begin at 7pm.  The event features face painting, a photo booth, crafts, and other popular carnival games! Game tickets, basket raffle tickets, and concessions will be available throughout the event. Also, raffle tickets will be sold for numerous items.  T-shirts will also be sold.  Anyone wearing the t-shirt will be admitted free into the event.  If you do not choose to purchase a t-shirt, admission is $5 at the door. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Heck family. Please see our website at www.keystonelocalschools.org for more information.

In addition, our third parent series, titled “My Kids Are Tired of Testing” will be on February 6 at 6pm in the KMS Cafe. In this session, parents will learn what state and district tests their children have to take and secrets that both the students and parents can use in order to ensure the best score possible on those tests.

Lastly, we are hiring substitute teachers, bus drivers, and substitute bus drivers.  Please call the Board of Education Office at 440-355-2424 for more information.

January 13, 2017

Welcome to the 2017 school year!  We are excited to foster continued success as we enter the second part of our school year. The grading period concludes on Friday, January 20.  The High School will administer semester exams on January 18, January 19, and January 20. The exam schedule is posted on the High School’s website and has also been distributed in paper copy to your student.

In addition, we would like to remind parents and students of our school cancellation policies. When there is a potential school cancellation, administrators attempt to make a decision by 6am. The all-call system, website, Twitter, and Facebook pages are updated immediately, and local media outlets are notified. Two-hour delay schedules are available on each school's website. Our #1 priority is always the safety of the students, and decisions on school closings are based on this priority. If you have questions concerning the school cancellation policy, contact the Board Office or the respective school offices.

Congratulations to our High School wrestling team as they recently held their senior night celebration.  The wrestlers have been working hard, and this is shown in their season’s success.  Also, congratulations to their coach Mr. Vondruska on their stellar performances!

We are hiring substitute teachers. The pay is $90 a day. A substitute license is needed. Please contact the Board Office at 440-355-2424 for more information. We are also hiring substitute bus drivers.  Please contact the Board Office at 440-355-2424 for more information.