Dear Community,

Happy New Year! I wish all of our school families and community a happy and healthy 2017.

For the North Royalton City Schools and our communities, 2017 is a critical time in our history. Once again, I would like to thank the more than 200 people who attended the Board of Education special meeting on January 4, where the board and administration discussed the decisions that need to be made regarding the district's facilities and future of educational learning in North Royalton. As you read last week in my email to the community, we outlined a possible plan to implement in the event of either another bond issue defeat or if the board determines not to place the issue back on the May ballot. Critical decisions that will be made will have long-lasting impacts on our district and our communities. Programs and services that allow us to meet the individual needs of our students are at risk of being eliminated. Services that the district provides to organizations outside of our schools, like the use of facilities and transportation, are at risk of being eliminated. This will change the course of our community for years to come.

For those of you who could not attend the meeting, I urge you to take a moment to review the summary of the meeting, the PowerPoint presentation, and the discussion questions/answers.   Click here to be directed to this information.

The Board of Education will determine whether to place the bond issue back on the  May 2, 2017 ballot at a special meeting at  7 a.m. on  January 23. In the coming weeks, we will outline a series of open houses and walk-in hours for the community to discuss with me, members of my administration, and the Board of Education, your thoughts about the future of our schools and community. I urge everyone to ask questions, get accurate information and work together to move our district and our community forward.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 440-582-9030 or at


Greg Gurka, 
North Royalton City Schools


Table 1 compares our monthly operating receipts to the prior year actual for the first five months of our fiscal year (July 2016 through June 2017).  It further estimates our collection through our fiscal year end.  You will notice two large collection points in our fiscal year, which are July and February.  These two months are considerably higher than the others due to real estate collection, which represents over 70% of our revenues.


Table 2 compares our monthly operating expenditures to the prior year actual for the first five months of our fiscal year (July 2016 through June 2017).  It further estimates our expenditures through our fiscal year end.  You will notice a consistent expenditure pattern throughout our fiscal year due to salaries and wages being evenly distributed throughout our fiscal year.

Table 3 illustrates the current actual cumulative monthly operating revenues and expenditures for the first five months of our fiscal year (July 2016 through June 2017).  It further estimates our cumulative revenues and expenditures through our fiscal year end.  You will notice a gradual increase in both revenues and expenditures as we approach our fiscal year end where revenues slightly surpass expenditures.

Table 4 illustrates our fiscal year to date operating expenditures by category for the first half of our fiscal year (July 2016 through June 2017).  Salary and Wages represent approximately 59%, Fringe Benefits 24%, Purchased Services 12%, Materials Supplies & Textbooks 3% and the combination of Capital Outlay and Operational Fees 2% .


Click here for the North Royalton City School District five-year forecast.

Interested in reading more?  District financial information such as our annual financial reports, forecasts, tax rates, etc., can be found by clicking here.

Biagio Sidoti,  Treasurer
North Royalton City Schools

Board of Education President and Vice President Sworn in at January Board Meetings

At the January 9 North Royalton Board of Education meeting, John Kelly, DDS was sworn in as vice president.   Susan G. Clark, Ph.D., J.D. will be sworn in as president later in the month.

Committee assignments are as follows:

Business Advisory Council -  Dr. John Kelly
Financial Advisory & Audit -  Heidi Dolezal 
Policy -  Anne Reinkober and Dr. Susan Clark
OSBA Legislative Liaison -  Jackie Arendt

Regular Meetings/Work Sessions and Regular Board Meetings were also approved.

North Royalton Schools Honor Two Dedicated Staff Members with the Crystal Starfish Award

On Tuesday, December 20, North Royalton City Schools announced the winners of the first semester Crystal Starfish Award presented by First Federal of Lakewood.
At North Royalton High School, teacher Mr. Jonathan Dietrich was presented the Crystal Starfish Teacher Award.   Besides the award he also received a $250 Professional Development Grant from First Federal of Lakewood, a $50 gift certificate to Cleats restaurant and flowers from Independence Flowers and Gifts.  Jonathan was nominated by his student, Ava Costello, and colleagues Rachel Undercoffer, and the Special Education Department at the high school. Here's an excerpt from Ava Costello's submission:  "Mr. Dietrich takes pride in what he does. He is a great role model and friend to everyone who is part of the Thespian family at North Royalton High School."

Here is an excerpt from Rachel Undercoffer and the Special Education Department's submission:

"If there is anyone in this district who exemplifies and personifies the Crystal Starfish Award motto 'making a difference above and beyond,' it's our colleague, Jon. Day in and day out, Jon is 100% dedicated and devoted to the students at North Royalton High School and ensuring that they have a positive school experience. He is a genuine person who cares about the needs of the students, no matter how big or small, and takes the time to reach those who may struggle. Jon thrives on a challenge and produces positive results, as seen in the students who improve their skills with his assistance. Combined with his personable manner and expertise, Jon is able to engage with students from all walks of life and makes them feel respected, valued and accepted. It is not always easy to be an instructor who works with the students with the most needs, but Jon does it every day with a smile. Not only is Jon working as a general education teacher in English Language Arts this year and being the Response to Intervention instructor at the high school, he also volunteers to run various clubs, activities and organizations. He has established connections with the community, staff and students. Jon is humble and collaborates with others daily to ensure student success. Whether he knows it or not, Jon Dietrich is a staff member to be emulated in the school setting and is a wonderful role model for our students here at North Royalton."

Mr. Bryan Sheffield, North Royalton High School Head Custodian was the recipient of the Crystal Starfish Support Staff Award . Along with the award, First Federal of Lakewood presented him with a $50 gift certificate to Cleats restaurant and flowers from Independence Flowers and Gifts.  The High School administrators nominated Bryan. Here's an excerpt from their submission:

"Bryan leads the day time and night time custodial and cleaning crews with confidence, integrity, patience and authenticity. He has made an incredible difference in the lives of all he touches on a daily basis. His commitment, care and collaborative style are a tremendous asset to the high school and the entire staff. Bryan takes pride in providing the best possible environment for our students in spite of the limitations and age of our facility. The building is always looking clean and maintained, not to mention inviting. We have never once heard him say something was impossible or too difficult to do. In talking with others about Bryan, everyone mentions the attributes that make him so worthy of this award: organized, dedicated, conscientious, dependable, exhibits great judgement, eager to learn, willingness to teach others, works independently, always willing to lend a hand, outstanding attendance, self-motivated and maintains a positive attitude no matter the job or situation."

"Both Jon and Bryan are so deserving of this recognition," said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools. "I have known Jon since the day he started working here and he always is willing to do whatever he can to make a difference to our students. Bryan sees the big picture and that picture is to provide the best for the students and staff of North Royalton City Schools. Congratulations to both Jon and Bryan and thank you to those who nominated these staff members."

The First Federal of Lakewood Crystal Starfish awards are presented to support staff members and teachers who make a difference in their schools and go above and beyond in all that they do. "Every day, teachers and staff of North Royalton City Schools are making a difference," said Branch Operations Manager Michelle Cabassa, First Federal of Lakewood. "Our bank is honored to partner with the district, enabling these special individuals to be recognized publicly for their contributions."

North Royalton City Schools Receives Grant from Ohio EPA
Purchase Two School Buses

North Royalton City Schools applied for a grant last fall from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to assist in the replacement of two school buses for next school year. The district's grant was one of 29 that were awarded state-wide. North Royalton City Schools will receive $178,418.00 to assist in the replacement of four 2005 school buses with four new diesel-powered school buses. Each bus costs approximately $90,000 so with the grant, the district will be able to purchase two of the four that need to be replaced. Through the Ohio Diesel Emission Reduction Grant Program, the Ohio EPA estimates the monies awarded for these new buses will achieve an estimated annual emission reduction of more than 136 tons of air pollutants in Ohio counties that do not meet or are struggling to meet federal air quality standards.

In 2009, the district was awarded a Diesel Emission Reduction Grant for the amount of $46,171 for the addition of catalytic converters on a number of our buses. This project greatly reduced emissions coming from our buses that affect students, staff members, and residents of our city. In 2011, the district was awarded another Diesel Emission Reduction Grant in the amount of $86,133 for the installation of 23 bus pre-heaters. This grant helped clean up bus exhaust emissions and saved the district money by reducing the amount of fuel used on cold morning start-ups.

Every year since 2009, the district has applied for state and federal Diesel Emission Reduction Grants for the replacement of older, less efficient buses with new buses that would also improve its overall fleet exhaust emissions. These efforts have been unsuccessful until now.  "We contacted institutions that have received grants for buses, as well as the EPA to ask what exactly they were looking for in awarding grants," said Transportation Supervisor Joe Marcinowski.  "They said they were looking for the largest air quality improvement for the dollars awarded. In the past, we would offer to remove our four oldest buses from service and ask for four new replacement buses. Our research indicated the EPA realizes the average age of school buses pulled from service is 15 years. By offering our oldest buses, they were replacing buses that were not going to be on the road much longer anyway. In our latest grant proposal, we offered to remove four 2005 buses that had four or five more years of service life. We also offered a 50% in kind match which meant we would purchase four replacement buses but we were only asking that two of those be subsidized with grant money. We are pleased that we were awarded this sizeable grant toward the replacement of these new school buses."

"Our district does everything we can to apply for grants, like this one, to lessen the financial burden placed on our taxpayers," said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools.  "I want to thank Transportation Supervisor Joe Marcinowski and Mechanic Supervisor Jon Capadona for their efforts and persistence in securing these funds for our district."

Marco's Pizza Night to Benefit STAND - January 13
STAND is having one of their very few fundraisers on Friday night,  January 13. Proceeds from pizzas purchased at Marco's Pizza when mentioning the STAND group name will benefit the groups efforts to promote good decision-making this year.  Events like the mock car crash, dual high school and middle school mentoring events, and school decorating events are funded through our fundraising.

Other Useful Links for you . . .  

to read the North Royalton City School District's Quality Profile.  

for the 2016-17 school calendar 
Click here
for the NR Board of Education meeting minutes and agendas.  Click here for meeting dates for 2016-17.