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.    

Thursday, July 7, 2016

School Zone 7-7-16

By Superintendent Philip Pempin
I recently read a 2015 article entitled “How Athletes Inspire Us to Follow Our Dreams” by Mandy Antoniacci.  This is an excellent message that I would like to share, with some paraphrased experiences of my own included.

“Everyone always says, “Follow your dreams!”  But not everyone does it.  Channel the passion of those who do and make a career out of playing a game.”

While many of us won’t ever be able to dunk from a free-throw line or achieve LeBron’s trademark of chasing a down an opponent at full speed and rising up above the rim to block a shot, being “WITNESS” to such actions ignites a fire inside us.  It opens our eyes a wide as a child, and invites the roar of the crowd into our hearts as fuel for our own personal dreams.

I “witnessed” this first hand when I took my granddaughter and grandson to the Indians game on Father’s Day weekend.  Their anticipation was heightened before we even stepped foot into the stadium.  They were waiting impatiently for me, in full Indians garb, as I pulled into the driveway.  When we walked into the ballpark and started to see the lights and hear the crowd, pure magic occurred.  As the team, in pursuit of their dreams, took the field, I felt nearer to the age of the children.  Their faces, my feelings and the dreams of the players inspired me.  

The article continues:  “As everyday people, we may not share the likeness of an athlete’s physical prowess, but we can certainly relate to their passion and learn from their pursuance to follow their dreams.  Here’s how they do it …

They defy odds.  Whether it’s a modest upbringing, a career-threatening injury, or a classic underdog scenario, athletes are out to prove skeptics wrong.  Fueled by non-believers, they possess the ability to overcome adversity like no other.  Where others see fear, they see symbolism of what they want and go for it.”  LeBron and his teammates sure demonstrated this to Golden State!

They sacrifice.  Being an athlete is a lifestyle that consumes every aspect of your life – your free time, your body and for some early on, your collegiate experience as a kid.  In Kobe Bryant’s recent documentary “Muse”, he discusses the epitome of sacrifice when asked about “greatness”.  He said, ‘If you want to be great at something, there’s a choice you have to make.  We all can be masters at our craft, but you have to make a choice.  What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that.  Family time, hanging out with friends, being a great friend, being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be.  There are sacrifices that come along with making that decision.’

They have one option.  One of my favorite quotes by legendary football Coach Vince Lombardi is, ‘If it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, then why do we keep score?’  This sentiment encapsulates the game of life for an athlete.  They are so dedicated to making their dream of winning a reality that they banish any possibility of a backup plan from their mind.  Thoughts like, ‘If it doesn’t work, I’ll try something else’, etc. simply don’t exist.  Monomaniacal focus on a single goal is the ultimate success stratagem; and a pattern found in everyone from Edison to Einstein and Manning to Mantle.  If you want the power to follow your dreams, you must say no to all the alternatives.

They see life as a game.  Let’s face it, at its core, every sport is a game.  And if athletes are lucky enough, they get paid to play.  Having this vision and approach to life opens up space for playfulness and creativity, and eliminates limitation.  A gamification approach to life also cultivates qualities of resilience, and confidence and an appetite for risk – critical for advancement. 

As you ponder your own dreams in your career and in life, use this time to create your own wake-up call, and channel the fire of the inner athlete (and six-year-old) that exists inside us all.  While your personal game of life awaits, remember … the best dreams happen, when you’re awake.”