Dear Community,

Happy New Year!  The start of 2018 has surely been interesting with the snow and cold weather that forced school closings not only in North Royalton, but all over Northeast Ohio.  As I have stated before, it is not an easy decision to cancel school and related activities, but we always try to put the safety of our students and staff first.  So far this school year, we have utilized five (5) calamity days.  In the past, this was the maximum that a school district was allowed to use before having to make up days.  Several years ago, the state made a change from minimum school DAYS to minimum school HOURS.  As we made the conversion from days to hours, it allows us some increased flexibility in the number of days we can be out of school for weather and other emergencies.  While we have flexibility, it has not changed my philosophy and process of determining when to keep schools open or to close.  I want students and staff to be in school and I want our after-school activities to occur without interruption.  My hope (as I cross my fingers) is that Mother Nature will be kind to us for the remainder of the season!

On January 3, we held a community meeting to update everyone on the progress of the design for the elementary school and high school and to seek input on the architectural styles for the outside of the buildings.  We continue to work with the staff in regards to the educational spaces.  We are at the end of our schematic design phase where we are looking at the spaces in general. In February, we will move to a more specific design development in which we will discuss and pan out the specific contents of a space, such as cabinetry, storage, desks, etc.  We will be scheduling another community meeting early in the spring to update everyone on the progress.  You can always find additional information on our website.

We have a great deal to be proud of at North Royalton City Schools and I hope that you take a moment to read this newsletter and stay informed of what is happening around our schools and with the Board of Education.  As always, my door is open. I welcome your thoughts and comments.  Please call me at 440-582-9030 or email me at


Greg Gurka
North Royalton City Schools

January 2018 UPDATE

On January 3, more than 100 people attended a community meeting to hear and discuss the progress of our facilities project, as well as provide input into the design of the exterior of the buildings. ThenDesign Architecture (TDA) presented the input received from various educational visioning sessions held this fall with a cross-section of community members.  They shared preliminary sketches of the interior layouts of the elementary and high school buildings, as well as a tentative construction timeline.  Residents viewed more than 10 schematic designs and pictures of what the exteriors of both buildings can look like and shared thoughts on their preferences.  These comments will now be taken into consideration as we move forward with the schematic design phase. We continue to meet with grade levels and departments to talk about spaces and specific needs.  TDA continually refines and redesigns based on these conversations.

The elementary and high school, due to the new construction that will be done, have specific timelines of design that must be completed so construction can begin late in the fall of 2018 and into 2019. The middle school, as it has no major new construction, will begin the programming and schematic phases later this spring.  There are other areas that are currently being addressed at the middle school like HVAC and roofing, but the discussion of the educational renovations will be later in the spring.


Graph 1 compares our monthly operating receipts to the prior year actual for the first six months of our fiscal year (July 2017 through June 2018). It further estimates our collection through our fiscal year end. You will notice two large collection points in our fiscal year which are August and February. These two months are considerably higher than the others due to real estate collection which represents over 70% of our revenues.
Graph 2 compares our monthly operating expenditures to the prior year actual for the first six months of our fiscal year (July 2017 through June 2018). 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.
Graph 3 illustrates the current actual cumulative monthly operating revenues and expenditures for the first six months of our fiscal year (July 2017 through June 2018). 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 and expenditures eventually meet.
Graph 4 illustrates our fiscal year to date operating expenditures by category for the first six months of our fiscal year (July 2017 through June 2018). Salaries & Wages represent approximately 59%, Fringe Benefits 25%, Purchased Services 12%, Materials Supplies &  Textbooks 3% and the combination of Capital Outlay and Operational Fees 1%.


Click here for the North Royalton City Schools' 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

North Royalton City Schools Recognize Students at January
Board of Education Meeting

On January 8, the North Royalton City Schools recognized several students at its regular board meeting.  

Royal View Elementary

The Weatherbie family was recognized at the North Royalton Board of Education regular meeting on January 8.   Ava (4th), Malia (6th), and Isabella (7th) all attended Royal View Elementary.  "These three young ladies are leaders, both in the classroom and in their various fields of athletics," said Principal Kirk Pavelich.  "They work extremely hard at all times and have outstanding grades because of the dedication they take with their academics. They are constantly kind to their fellow classmates and consistently go out of their way to make others feel welcome.  They have been outstanding ambassadors for the Royal Pride Way, the positive behavior program where we expect our students to be Respectful, Responsible, and Active Learners."

Pavelich also gave special recognition to the students' grandmother, Mrs. Sandy Bell. "I met Mr. and Mrs. Bell my first year in the building, primarily because they make it a point to come to as many events as they possibly can for their granddaughters. I knew right away how special this was because I found out early on that Mr. and Mrs. Bell live in Shelby, which I know very well as a neighboring community to Norwalk, where I used to commute over an hour to work each day when first starting off in the district," said Pavelich. Mrs. Bell and her husband, Steve, have come to all of the Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day parties, in addition to class plays, grade level concerts, and any other event involving their granddaughters.  "The best part is that Mrs. Bell has made it a point to create embroidered, personalized bags or other similar gifts for every child in her granddaughters' classes over the years. On behalf of the entire staff at Royal View, thank you to the Weatherbie girls, Ava, Malia, and Isabella, grandparents Sandy and Steve Bell, and parents, Stacy and Todd Weatherbie."

North Royalton Middle School

The middle-level school years of a student's life mark a time when he or she is forming attitudes, values, and habits of mind that will largely direct his/her behavior as adults.  Claire Casey is making the most of her opportunity at NRMS.  She is a leader at our school and will continue to do so while at our high school and certainly into adulthood.  Not only does Claire achieve at a very high academic level, but she is a member of the NRMS Honor Society, Student Council, and 8th Grade Leadership Group. She runs cross country and plays basketball, all while participating in the 8th grade band where she plays the baritone saxophone.  Mr. Burdick says that she plays very confidently and musically, and is always engaged in the rehearsal process so she is always getting better at what she does.  Claire is a great student and an even better person who helps to make our school the best it can be each and every day.

North Royalton High School

Teachers Mrs. Kristin Hubbell and Mr. Brad Klingbeil, Athletic Director Bo Kuntz, and some of the student members of the North Royalton High School Leader Academy, sponsored by Chick-fil-A, were recognized by the North Royalton Board of Education at the regular meeting on January 8.  This group is part of our Letterman's Club and these student-athletes were selected for their roles as leaders within their sports and among the student body. The Chick-fil-A restaurant in Strongsville, and its owner Brian Wellman, are big supporters of this group.

The Chick-fil-A Leader Academy is a national high school leadership program that focuses on "impact through action."  High school students desire an outlet to learn and lead. Most programs that transfer information with speakers, seminars, or books offer short-term motivation but long-term frustration without an outlet for action. Chick-fil-A Leader Academy engages students in monthly leader labs with a focus on important leadership skills that they will use to create student-led community impact projects.  The Chick-fil-A Leader Academy engages students where they are with what interests them. "Through a combination of inspiring storytelling and technology, we create compelling ways for students to re-imagine leadership and what is possible," said Hubbell.  "We expose students to new and unique ideas and insights. Positive stories of impact are all around us. We bring these stories to light through monthly leader labs that highlight inspirational and informational ways to make a difference.  We equip students with tangible tools for their leadership journey. Ideas demand action and we know our students have the ability to change the world. Our approach helps put students' ideas into practice to positively impact their local communities."

Students recognized include Zachary Antonio, Emma Glickberg, Gabrielle Horvath, Chazzlyn Jackson, Anna Krikke, Jacob Mantle, Ryan Newman, Claire Novak, Paige Rider, and Anna Weber.

Celebrating School Board Recognition Month at North Royalton City Schools

The North Royalton Board of Education members were recognized for their unselfish devotion of time and service to carry on the mission and business of the school district during School Board Recognition Month.  Superintendent Greg Gurka thanked each member on behalf of the entire school community for keeping their attention focused on progress towards the school district's goals and always maintaining two-way communication with all segments of the community.  Dr. Susan Clark is the Board President; Dr. John Kelly is the Board Vice-President, and members include Jacquelyn Arendt, Heidi Dolezal, and Anne Reinkober.

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

On Thursday, January 11, North Royalton City Schools announced the winners of the first semester Crystal Starfish Award presented by the First Federal of Lakewood.

At North Royalton High School, music teacher and band director Mr. David Vitale was presented the Crystal Starfish Teacher Award.  Besides the award, he also received a $250 Professional Development Grant from the First Federal of Lakewood, a $50 gift certificate to Cleat's restaurant and flowers from Independence Flowers and Gifts.  

Vitale was nominated by several students and community members Highlights of Vitale's nomination state . . .
  • He makes me work to my potential and beyond.
  • He taught how hard it is to be a part of a team and also time management.
  • He has helped me build character and self-discipline.  He takes his occupation seriously and creates the impression that his job is not even a job.  My entire perspective of music and the level of appreciation that I have for it has grown immensely due to the knowledge, care and dedication he has shown.
  • He uses music to not only teach us how to make beautiful sounds, but also to teach us valuable life lessons like punctuality, following instructions, and working together to achieve a common goal.
  • He puts countless hours into the band program, starting in the summer when he begins to design a competition show and continuing throughout the year as he teaches us how to improve our skills and techniques as performers.
  • He is one of the positive influences on why I want to continue a career with music.

Karen Svoboda, a Paraprofessional at Royal View Elementary was the recipient of the Crystal Starfish Support Staff Award . Along with the award, the First Federal of Lakewood presented her with a $50 gift certificate to Cleat's restaurant and flowers from Independence Flowers and Gifts.  

Her colleagues wrote . . .
  • She is a true professional.  Her role in our co-teaching classroom is instrumental for our students' success.  She makes an amazing difference for all students and works tirelessly to ensure the students in our room with special needs are making progress.  From writing out the morning message to helping students take notes in social studies, she never stops creating opportunities for all students to show all that they know and can do.  She is a true champion for students.
  • She demonstrates patience, dedication, and kindheartedness.  She goes above and beyond her expected duties.  She greets each student with a smile and if you stop by her desk, you will see notes displayed from students proclaiming her as "the best teacher ever."
  • I trust her and value her as a fellow educator.
  • She is a great example of what makes North Royalton such a great place to work and learn.
"Both David and Karen are deserving of this recognition," said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools. "Our vision of providing support to students to meet their individual needs is at the forefront of what each of them do on a daily basis. Whether it is Karen assisting a student in the classroom or David inspiring students to reach their maximum potential, both are an inspiration to those around them. Congratulations to both David and Karen 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."


Be sure to visit our district Facebook page for pictures and stories from all of our buildings.

Other Useful Links for you . . .  

to read the district's Quality Profile.  

to view the 2017-18 School Calendar.

2018-19 School Calendar will be approved at the February Board of Education meeting.
Click here
for the NR Board of Education meeting minutes and agendas.  Click here for meeting dates for 2017.