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Senior Parent Letter

Jr/Sr High OH Logo




April 23, 2019


Dear Class of 2019 Students and Parents:

We are excited to celebrate the final chapter of the Ottawa Hills High School experience with you and your graduating senior. We are looking forward to celebrating years of hard work, focus, and dedication. We hope to make the events special and rewarding. The following contains important information about graduation and end-of-year activities.


College and Scholarship Information Forms

Mrs. Nagy will meet with the seniors on May 1 in their English classes. They will be asked to update their final college admission decisions and identify the college where they will enroll. They will also be asked to provide information about ALL scholarship and financial aid offers. This information will be used to send final high school transcripts and to update the graduation program. College admission decisions and specific monetary amounts will be kept confidential.


Senior Week Activities May 27-30

We are extremely appreciative of the work done by parents to create meaningful and safe experiences for seniors from May 27 through May 30. Please note that these are not officially school-sanctioned activities. Other than official Senior Week, seniors are asked to refrain from being on campus that week to avoid disrupting review sessions and final exams. Questions about activities can be directed to senior week parents, Julie Boesel or Wajiha Kazmi. You should be receiving an email in the very near future.


Graduation Rehearsal May 30 9:30 AM (Begins at OHES)

Seniors will assemble in front of the elementary school for a group photo in their caps and gowns and parade through the elementary school. Seniors typically wear a shirt from their future college or university under their gown. Immediately following the group photograph, the students will enter the elementary school through the Indian Road door near the old gym. They will proceed down the main hallway past the office and exit out of the door near the community room. Parents, family, and friends are welcome to join us. Immediately following this event, seniors should report to the main gym at the high school for a mandatory graduation rehearsal that will last until noon. Seniors must attend this rehearsal in order to participate in that evening’s ceremony.


Commencement May 30 6:00 PM OHHS Main Gym

Commencement will begin promptly at 6:00 p.m. in the main gym on Thursday, May 30. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. to begin seating. Open seating is available directly behind the students on the main floor as well as the bleachers. With the exception of tickets auctioned at the Green Bear Ball, there is no reserved seating. Of course, accommodations can be made for anyone who may need additional assistance. Graduation programs will be available on tables in the main hallway near the Arrowhead. Students are asked to report to the Chemistry Lab by 5:15 p.m. with their cap and gown. The ceremony will last approximately one hour and will include student speeches, a formal address by Dr. Miller, a presentation of the class gift by senior class officers and the conferral of diplomas. Please join us after the ceremony on the front lawn for light refreshments.



Professional photographers from LifeTouch will be taking a picture of each graduate on the stage receiving their diploma. Portraits will be available at Events.Lifetouch.com approximately ten days after graduation. Ordering information will be sent to your home, posted on the school website, and provided via OH Connections. For questions, please call 800-589-6411.


Graduation Dress

Seniors are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing under their gowns that is suitable for the formality of the event. Men should wear dress slacks (no jeans or shorts), dress shirt, tie, and socks. Women should wear a dress, skirt, or dress slacks. Everyone must wear dress shoes; no gym shoes or casual sandals. Seniors should be cautious about leaving valuables in the Chemistry Lab. Although we expect to lock the room during the ceremony, the room will not be guarded.


Senior Pranks

Obviously, pranks are not encouraged or condoned by the school. I am aware that senior pranks at OHHS are considered a tradition; however, I have witnessed senior pranks that resulted in considerable damage to the school and grounds and injury to staff members. I would like every senior to enjoy the final days of school and to take advantage of the many special senior activities that have been planned. I do not want any student’s year ruined by errors of judgment or misguided intentions.


Final Exams and Grades

Students should complete all exams and assignments by Thursday, May 23rd at 12:00 p.m. or they will not be able to participate in May Day, Senior Week activities, or graduation.


Diploma and Transcripts

As students are recognized individually during the graduation ceremony, they will be handed a personalized diploma folder. Actual diplomas will be handed to students after the commencement when they return to the Chemistry Lab, turn in their stoll, and gather personal belongings. Official transcripts will be forwarded to students’ designated colleges in late June. Additional official transcripts can be forwarded to other institutions in the future by contacting the main office at the high school.


Yearbooks and Supplements

Yearbooks will be distributed to students following a slideshow presented by the Mesasa staff on Thursday, May 23. There are a limited number of additional yearbooks available for purchase. Please contact yearbook advisor Lauren Hurst at lhurst@ohschools.org with any questions.



Seniors must clear up all obligations no later than noon on May 23rd. Students will need to verify with office assistants that they have no outstanding fees, fines, library books, etc. The diploma and final transcript will be held until obligations are cleared.


School Issued Laptops and Email Addresses

Students will be sent instructions via email for the return of the school-issued laptop from Director of Technology, Shane Patacca. The laptop must be turned in by Thursday, May 23rd. See note from Mr. Patacca below.


As the end of the year comes to a quick close, I would like to detail the procedure for returning your laptop for the summer. In addition, after graduation, your Ottawa Hills online accounts will remain active until September 1, to aid in transition to your post graduate education or career. Your laptop needs to be returned on or immediately following your last exam. If you have worked hard all year and are fortunate enough to not have to take any exams, your laptop needs to be turned in, no later than your last day of attendance for the year or no later than the start of May Day, on May 23. When turning in your laptop for the last time, please complete the following tasks.


  1. Backup your documents, movies, music and photos to an external drive, thumb drive or external hard drive.

  2. Google Drive documents must either be downloaded to an external drive or you must transfer ownership of the documents to your person Google account.

  3. Neatly wrap the power cord and charger and place them in the front pocket.

  4. Remove all stickers, sticky notes or other adhesives attached to the laptop.

  5. Remove all paper, pencils/pens, or headphones from the laptop case.

  6. Remove any pins, bracelets, patches, etc. from the laptop case.

  7. Leave laptop at login screen for screen check before turning in the laptop.

  8. Please inform us of any cosmetic damage and any non-warranty repairs. Any cost associated to the repair of your laptop must be PAID IN FULL before graduation.


OH Connections

Graduates and parents are encouraged to stay connected with the school via OH Connections. Please make sure your son or daughter registers for OH Connections with a non-school issued email address. We hope to expand our alumni outreach in coming years and profile former students on our website and the Ottawa Hills Schools Foundation Alumni Newsletter.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 419.534.5376 or via email at bmcmurray@ohschools.org or senior class advisor Jennifer Nagy at 419.536.8047 or email her at jnagy@ohschools.org. I look forward to marking this special occasion with you. Thank you for your continued support.



Benjamin McMurray, Principal



To Do List:

  • Pick up cap & gown from Mrs. Nagy

  • Submit final college decision and financial info to Mrs. Nagy

  • Return laptop

  • Pay fees

  • Clean out locker

  • Complete final exams and projects

  • Submit forwarding email address

  • Complete Lifetrack Exit Survey


Important Dates:

May 23 All Fees Due, Laptop Due May 20-23 Senior Exams

May 23 May Day-Yearbook Distribution May 27-30 Senior Week

May 30 OHES/Rehearsal 9:30am

May 30 Commencement 6:00 (Doors open at 5:00, Students arrive 5:15, No tickets required).


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