Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ September 5, 2017

Oak Grove Custodial Staff Wins ISBE Award!

We are excited to announce that our custodial staff has won a "Those Who Excel" award, sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education. This is the highest honor a school employee can earn. It was an extensive application process, requiring forms be completed, and letters of recommendation written by admins, teaching faculty, parents, and community members. We secretly nominated the custodians late last spring and we found out last week that they had won. We believe this is the first time any Oak Grove staff member(s) have ever been nominated, or won this award. As an entire faculty and staff we recognize the hard work they have been asked to perform over the past five years of our renovation and wanted them to be the first group to be nominated.

The team will be recognized at a banquet in Bloomington-Normal on October 28th. At the banquet, various school employees will be honored. The Illinois "Teacher of the Year" will also be announced. It truly is a big deal! We are proud of Ozzie and his team!

No Dogs Allowed on School Grounds

We want everyone at Oak Grove to feel comfortable and to always feel safe. While many of our families do have dogs as pets, there are some students that do not. Some members of our learning community that do not have pets or have not had any experience with dogs might get a little uneasy around them and can be frightened. Please be sensitive to ALL students. Pets are not allowed at school, (see page 31 of the Parent/Student Handbook).

Thank you for your cooperation.

Please Label Your Belongings

We strongly encourage you to label your sons/daughters personal belongings. Each day several lunch boxes/water bottles/book bags are left on the bus, or inside school. It becomes very difficult to identify to whom they belong, so they can be returned.


It would also help if you can label outerwear, as well. Despite putting all of our "lost and found" items on display throughout the year, we end up donating hundreds of items to charity.


Please assist us by taking a few moments to put names on these items so we can make sure they are returned to you if they are misplaced or left on the bus. Thank you!

Band News

We are thrilled to get the bands back up and running this week. See below for the Band activity schedules.

All morning band rehearsals start at 7:30 sharp! Please plan to drop off students as early as 7:15 to get ready for the rehearsal.


  • Jazz Band (6-8th gr.) Starts today, Tuesday, September 5th


Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, September 6th-


  • Symphonic Band (6th-8th). In the Band room
  • Concert Band (5th, or second year students) In the small gym

Parents please drop off all band students in the upper lot by the junior high office and students can proceed to the band room down the walk through the exterior door.


Lessons during the day will begin Monday, September 11th. Students will be given a lesson schedule for their folders, and I will update the lesson schedule on the web page as soon as I have it finalized.


4th Grade Beginning Band Demonstrations Begin This Week

I will see each class one day this week to demonstrate the band instruments. If your child should miss the demonstration, please make arrangements with his/her classroom teacher to have them attend with another class.

The class schedules for demonstrations are:

Tuesday - Dunn

Wednesday - Henneberry

Thursday - Moroz

Friday - Seveska

One parent per family should plan to come to the Beginning Band Recruitment Night, which will be Monday, September 11th, at 6:30 p.m. in the band room. This will be about 45 minutes in length and will answer questions you have, and get you on the path to success as your child begins their journey in music! (This is a parents only meeting, as space is limited.)

If you are on the fence about having your child participate in band, please come to the meeting anyway. There is no pressure for you to join, and hearing more about the program will help you make an informed choice. The deadline to sign up and rent an instrument for band is Monday, the 18th of September.

PTO News

PTO Meeting

Please join us for the first meeting of the year. It is tomorrow, September 6 at 9 am in the Jr. High teacher's lounge. All are welcome - hope to see you there!


PTO Calendars

Thank you to Leah Parr for creating a wonderful calendar this year. All calendars have been distributed to the oldest student in your family. The last calendar was sold last week.


Lunch Ordering Information

Lunches this year are provided by Marla’s Brown Bag. Ordering is closed for next week's lunches, but you can still place your order through the end of January. Remember to submit your orders on Marla’s website by 9 am Monday for lunches the following week. Please go to the PTO section of the Oak Grove School website for more details.


Box Tops

Once again, it’s time to begin the Box Tops for Education collection drive. Every year this program earns about $3,000 for Oak Grove School. Please start looking at the products you buy, clip the Box Top coupons off the packaging, and send them in with your child at any time. It's that easy! A list of participating products and more information can be found at http://www.boxtops4education.com.


Please remember we only collect Box Tops for Education through the General Mills program, NO soup labels, NO Labels for Education, NO yogurt lids, or anything else! (example shown below). Stay tuned to hear contests and collection dates.

Oak Grove School Education Foundation

Congratulations to the OGSEF Soaring Eagle Scholarship Recipients!

As we announced last Spring, the Oak Grove School Education Foundation was honored to recognize Evan Pinsel and Amanda Mudd as the recipients of the Soaring Eagle Scholarship. These exceptional young adults truly represent the Oak Grove spirit as showcased through these excerpts from their thank you notes:


“Oak Grove was a special place, and it will remain in my heart for the rest of my days. I was taught the skills and gained the confidence to fly like an “Eagle”, and I will never forget it. I was made to feel like I was a priority, teachers made the effort to connect with me to try and obtain a deeper understanding of the way I learned.”

-Evan Pinsel


“In the not-so-far future, where I hope to be working for a spaceflight company such as SpaceX or Blue Origin, or even furthering my studies at graduate school, I will be able to say Oak Grove School is a paramount reason for my success. From providing me with a brilliant education to helping fund my dreams, Oak Grove School truly is my concrete foundation.”

-Amanda Mudd


Oak Grove could not be prouder of you, Evan and Amanda! Best of luck in your future endeavors.


OGSEF Grants

The OGSEF was proud to recently recognize the teachers who received a grant last school year with an Innovation Award. Thank you for your efforts to provide enriched and differentiated curriculum initiatives for our OGS students!

  • Project Lead – A summer program for rising 8th graders that focused on developing leadership skills: Mrs. Mahoney and her “Dream Team”, Mrs. Osterman, Mrs. Yarc and Mrs. Zurawski
  • Visit by Author Helen Frost: Mrs. Rappaport, in partnership with PTO
  • Erin’s Law Speaker: Mrs. Kiefer, in partnership with the PTO
  • Battle of the Books - Mrs. Rappaport, in partnership with PTO
  • Platform Stage Extension for performing arts - Mrs. Ludington and Mr. Farris
  • Multi-Media Printer for art projects - Mrs. Vance
  • How to Make a Music Video Summer Camp - Dr. Meltzer and Mr. Farris

Fall Intramural Volleyball

Who: Boys and girls in 4-6 grade

Dates: September 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27, October 2, 4

Time: 5:00-6:00 pm

Where: Patt Gym (Near the elementary parking lot)

Cost: $10 for all eight sessions (pay on RevTrak)

Contact: Coach Edelson edelson@ogschool.org

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Our vocabulary words to focus on this week are Listening, Respect & Empathy!


The difference between hearing and listening is big! We have focused on listening to our friends this week. Listening to directions and following them the first time. Please use that language at home when asking your children to accomplish a task. In the upper elementary grades, we focused on respectful listening as well. We were asked to show empathy when our friends told us a story about something that made them happy or angry. Empathy is understanding how someone feels. If you are LISTENING (eyes watching, ears listening, voice quiet & body still) it is much easier to make a connection and show EMPATHY!


Have a great week!

Curriculum Corner

Hello Oak Grove Community,

As the school year gets into full swing, so does the homework. One way to help everyone have a relaxed evening at home, is by establishing homework routines. Karin A. Bilich, writer for Parent magazine recently shared 7 tips for having a positive homework routine:

  1. Designate a regular homework spot: Try and keep the location away from the television. It should also be well lit and quiet.

  2. Choose a consistent time to work on assignments: Make a plan based on the child. Do they need a break after school before starting homework? Do they prefer to come home and get it done?

  3. Let your child participate in setting up the routine: If they help make the plan, they are more likely to participate in the implementation.

  4. Observe your child’s homework habits: Is the homework spot too distracting? Is the time determined working? You might need to adjust the plan.

  5. Don’t do the homework for them: It’s perfectly fine to review the directions or offer clarification but you should let them have some productive struggle with completing the work before offering to help with the assignment.

  6. Give positive feedback: Occasionally check on your child and praise them for the work they’ve accomplished.

  7. Stay in contact with the teacher: If your child is having on-going struggles with the homework, reach out to the teacher. Your child’s teacher can offer suggestions or ideas for support.

Virtual Backpack

Please click HERE to view the flyers in our virtual backpack.

Oak Grove School Board of Education

Click HERE to view Board Agenda and Minutes