Thursday, September 22, 2016

Vermilion Students Take a Step Back in Time

Students from both Vermilion Elementary School and Sailorway Middle School had the opportunity this week to participate in a Pioneer Craftsman Experience presented by the Lorain Country Metro Parks.

Our 3rd and 4th graders traveled down to Mill Hollow and spent the day going to different stations set up throughout the park to learn about the day-to-day lives of the pioneers.

This included getting the opportunity to pan for gold, dip candles, try on pioneer clothing, make their own butter, and help with the chores a pioneer child would normally have. There were a total of 29 stations set up, so it was a fun-filled day for everyone.

This is just one example of the many community events that our students are able to participate in. Many of our district’s teachers and administrators look for opportunities to get the students more engaged with what they are learning through field trips and hands-on experiences. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

SCHOOL ZONE 9-1-2016

We had an amazing start to the school year last week with very few challenges.  I would like to give a shout out to our secretaries, custodians, transportation and maintenance staff who worked all summer with our administrators to order supplies, clean buildings, complete repairs and ready buses for our returning students.  Our buildings, grounds and buses are a testament to our students and the community that supports them.  We believe that Vermilion is a great place to raise children, and we strive to offer superior educational opportunities at all grade levels.  Please feel free to visit us to see for yourself what we have to offer. 

The return to school signals the start of the fall sports season.  Fall activities include golf, girls tennis, boys and girls soccer, volleyball, cross country, cheerleading, marching band, flag corps and football.  The students are very talented and would love to share their success with you.  A calendar of events is posted on our district website.  We hope that you will come out and support all of our teams at one of the many competitions held on campus.  This Friday please join us for the first home football game of the season, where we will dedicate the new scoreboard that was made possible through a generous donation from Pat O’Brien. 

At the State level, the Ohio Department of Education is actively engaging with stakeholders, school leaders, teachers and parents as the department works to develop the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. In an effort to reach out to more Ohioans about these important issues, the department created a survey to get feedback on several focus areas within ESSA.

The survey can be found at

In an article in the future I will discuss ODE’s testing process and teacher accountability system.   Welcome back and have a great year!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

School Zone 8-18-16

By Treasurer Suzanne Wilson 
Question:  Did Vermilion Schools hit the jackpot with the Casino Tax?

There are four casinos in Ohio located in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. The casinos pay a daily tax of 33% on gross casino revenue.  Gross casino revenue includes the total amount of money exchanged for the purchase of tokens, tickets, chips, electronic cards and similar objects, less winnings paid to wagers.

According to the Ohio Department of Taxation, after the revenue is collected by the state, it is distributed in the following funds: 51% to the County Fund; 34% to the County Student Fund; 5% to the Host City Fund; 3% to the Casino Control Commission Fund; 3% to the Ohio State Racing Commission Fund; 2% to the Law Enforcement Training Fund; and 2% to the Problem Casino Gambling and Addictions Fund.

Semi-annual payments are distributed to individual school districts based on their total student count. During Fiscal Year 2016, almost $91 million dollars was distributed to traditional schools ($80,846,853), joint vocational & technical schools ($3,793,038), and non-traditional school districts ($6,192,152).  

The amount Vermilion School District received in 2015-2016 from the traditional school fund was $96,446.00.  The accumulative total to the Vermilion School District since 2013 is $347,500.  These unrestricted funds are deposited into the district general fund to be used for payment toward total operating expenses.

Answer to the Question:

Yes, Vermilion Schools won the jackpot! Even though the amount of money received was small compared to the total revenue collected for schools, we appreciate the additional funding that we receive to benefit the students of Vermilion. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

School Zone 8-4-16

By Superintendent Philip Pempin

At a recent meeting with our administrative team, Vermilion Elementary principal Bonnie Meyer shared the following short article titled “All Kids Can Learn”.  The article compares different ‘schools’ of learning outlined below.    

The Charles Darwin School – “We believe that all kids can learn …based on their ability.”
We believe that all students can learn, but the extent of their learning is determined by the innate ability or aptitude.  This aptitude is relatively fixed, and as teachers we have little influence over the extent of student learning.  It is our job to create multiple programs or tracks that address the different abilities of students and then guide students to the appropriate program.  This ensures that students have access to the proper curriculum and an optimum opportunity to master material appropriate to their ability.

The Pontius Pilate School – “We believe all kids can learn … if they take advantage of the opportunity we give them to learn.”
We believe that all students can learn if they elect to put forth the necessary effort.  It is our job to provide all students with an opportunity to learn, and we fulfill our responsibility when we attempt to present lessons that are both clear and engaging.  In the final analysis, however, while it is our job to teach, it is the student’s job to learn.  We should invite students to learn, but if they elect not to do so, we must hold them accountable for their decisions. 

The Chicago Cub Fan School – “We believe all kids can learn ... something, and we will help all students experience academic growth in a warm and nurturing environment.”
We believe that all students can learn and that it is our responsibility to help all students demonstrate some growth as a result of their experience with us.  The extent of the growth will be determined by a combination of the student’s innate ability and effort.  Although we have little impact on those factors, we can encourage all students to learn as much as possible and we can and will create an environment that fosters their sense of well-being and self-esteem.

The Henry Higgins School – “We believe all kids can learn … and we will work to help all students achieve high standards of learning.”
We believe that all students can and must learn at relatively high levels of achievement.  We are confident that students can master challenging academic material with our support and help.  We establish standards all students are expected to achieve, and we continue to work with them until they have done so.

Opinions vary widely on the best way educators can prepare students for college and future careers.  Our team of administrators and teachers have high expectations for our students.  We believe that our focus on blended learning and personalized instruction guides our teachers to facilitate and encourage pupils as they master challenging academic material.  We continue to emphasize these principals, and remind ourselves that we are to make the student the focus of every decision, and stay true to our vision of inspiring students to be lifelong learners.