Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ June 8, 2015

Message from the Superintendent

As we draw near to the end of another school year, I’d like to say “thank you” to the 100’s of parents, volunteers, faculty and staff who work together to make Oak Grove the best K-8 school district in the region. In my opinion, no district provides the “total” educational experience than what we offer here at “The Grove.”

There is no way to properly “thank” everyone for what you do to make our school such a special place. From the parent volunteers in the classroom, to the phenomenal accomplishments of the Foundation and PTO organizations, along with the 140 parents who showed up to help out with the Olympic Field Day; every time we ask for help, the community responds. These efforts are just a small sample of the team effort that takes place each and every day in our school.

Today, we read so much about student and family apathy toward education. Most certainly, that could not be farther from the truth at Oak Grove. We have a tremendous faculty and staff, an ever-improving facility, and most important-the best students in the state. We look forward to your return in the Fall. We wish the best of luck to all of our 8th grade graduates as they enter the high school of their choice in August. You are always welcome at Oak Grove! It is my hope for all of you that the upcoming summer vacation is your best ever!

Oak Grove Honored!

Congratulations to the entire Oak Grove community! The magazine Chicago Agent reported that Oak Grove has been ranked as the 4th best school district in the state and the 78th overall in the entire nation based upon rankings conducted by the website Niche.

The Digest of Education Statistics reports that there are 13,588 school districts across the United States and 132,183 individual schools. Based upon these numbers, Oak Grove would rank in the top ½ of 1% nationwide! Be proud, Eagles!

Please click on the following link to read the article.


Summer Hours at Oak Grove

We will be continuing our building renovations again this summer. For the 4th consecutive summer, major building improvements will be taking place. Much of the building will be “off limits” to visitors and even our Oak Grove staff. The Elementary office will be the designated entrance. Our administrative assistants will be available for most of the remainder of June at both ends of the building, but visitors will need to report to the Elementary office in July. The building offices will be open each day from 9-1. However, building administrators will be available throughout the day. As a safeguard, you may want to call ahead before coming to school.

Curriculum Corner

Hello Oak Grove Community,

If you are a parent of a 2nd, 3rd, or 5th grader, you may be wondering…”Why did I get this letter from Sarah?” And if you are a parent of a child in the other grades, you may be wondering…”Why didn’t I get a letter from Sarah?” Well, here’s the scoop:

Last year, a board driven Communication Action team was established to increase the transparency between the school and the community. One of the themes that came out was the desire to learn more information about what the students are doing within the classroom and keeping the families informed. This school year, the board initiated a CES action team that was to address the current Curriculum Enhancement Services program. Again, a theme that emerged was a goal to increase parent communication. Both of these separate groups included board members, parents, teachers and school administrators.

In an effort to meet the goals of increased parent communication, 2nd grade and 5th grade parents were sent an email in February letting them know their child would take the Cognitive Abilities Assessment (CogAT). This assessment is used along with other data to determine a student’s placement into CES English-language arts and/or math, depending on the child’s grade.

After the scores were returned to the district from the outside scoring company, the CES placement team met to review the scores and determine which students should move to the next step of the CES screening process by either taking a math problem solving assessment or writing prompt, again based on the student’s grade and CogAT scores. If a student was on the cusp of being placed into the CES class based on those components, an additional piece of data was gathered from the classroom teacher.

After all the assessments were given, fall/winter MAP scores were reviewed and teacher observations were shared. This information was used to craft the letters that were ultimately sent to the parents of students in grade 2 (for math placement), grade 3 (for ELA placement) and grade 5 (for math and ELA placement). It was the intent of the school administration to provide the adults with all of the data gathered for each child and share it in a fair and consistent manner for everyone.

In previous years, CogAT scores were not shared with families, and placement into the CES program was not released until the student’s first day of school. This year, to meet the goal of increased transparency, we shared CogAT scores with the parents of students in grades 2, 3 and 5 because those scores had an impact on whether or not the student was placed into the CES program. Please let me be clear that there was no intent to hurt anyone’s feelings by sharing this information with you; we simply wanted to let parents know about CES placement before the end of the school year as well as the CogAT scores that supported that decision. CogAT scores/letters were not sent to any parents outside of these grade levels because they had no impact on class placement.

It is recommended that children are not made aware of their actual raw scores. While in some cases students may ask why or why not regarding their placement, sharing that your child will be able to be successful regardless of what classroom they’re in should be the focus. All of the OGS teachers are exceptional educators and are aware of how to meet the needs of individual learners. In addition, differentiation will be the theme of next year’s professional development which will give our teachers additional strategies to support your child on their individual learning path to meet their educational goals.

Thank you for your continued interest in making Oak Grove the best it can be and have a great summer!

Class of 2015 Donates Bench

The recently graduated Oak Grove Class of 2015 donated a bench to the school. Special “thanks” to Mrs. Formica for spearheading the project and especially to Mr. Kirk Townander who built the bench from scratch. It will be a lasting testament to the Class of 2015 for years to come!

Oak Grove Honors Society

The Oak Grove Honors Society is proud to have inducted 22 new members on June 3rd. These 7th graders have demonstrated exemplary character and academic excellence. As 8th graders the members will select service projects to improve our school and community. Congratulations to the following students: Kaitlyn Brown, Sammi Burkett, Helen Clifford, A.J. Frantz, Emma Gleason, Anna Heard, Maggie Hutchins, Kavi Jalota, Autumn Jermakowicz, Nathan John, Tyler Jurzcyk, Jessica Li, Sara Manian, Hope Moody, Rebecca Rockenbach, James Schmidt, Jason Sekili, Kevin Stone, Victoria Villanueva-Guzman, Maddie Weaver, Colleen Welch and Constance Zanze.

PTO News

June 8, 2015

A Message from PTO Co-Presidents Joanie Sauers and Julie Goodman:

Thank you 7th Grade Families

Erin Heard, Maria Calsin & Karen Kato helped organize the 8th grade graduation reception. Many volunteers helped set up, serve, and clean up - Svetlana Kleandrova, Amy Franz, Julie Jermakowicz, Maria del mar Guzman-Bueno, Lisa Rockenbach, & Jennifer Hutchins. There were also many 7th grade student volunteers along with 27 families who baked treats for the reception. It is a tradition at OGS for the 7th grade class to host the graduation reception. Thank you for a wonderful night!

Reminder – PTO Registration closes on June 12th at 3pm. Late fees will apply.

Thank you to the 2014-15 PTO Board:

Beth Williams – Vice President

Mia Hughes – Treasurer

Lisa Perrone – Registrar

Ruby Bennett – Secretary

Thank you for your commitment to OGS and the PTO!

The PTO wishes everyone at OGS a wonderful summer!

Lost and Found Items

We have accumulated an extensive collection of clothing, lunch boxes, drinking containers, and even eyeglasses that have been left in the school. We have placed it on display the past two weeks in the respective lunchrooms. Since Wednesday is the last day of school for students, please check to see what they are missing and encourage them to take a few moments to review the “lost and found” items. If they are not claimed, we will donate them to charity next week. Feel free to stop by school yourself if you’d like to review the items.

Summer Meal Program

During the school year, over 21 million children receive free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch through U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) national school lunch program each day. But, when school is out, many children who rely on these school meals go hungry. USDA's summer meal programs help children get the nutritious meals they need even when school is not in session. Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently kicked off the Summer Meals program in Illinois: http://www.isbe.net/news/2015/may26.htm. More information, including a list of Summer Meal's Open Sites, is available on ISBE's Nutrition and Wellness Programs' Summer Food Service Program page:http://www.isbe.net/nutrition/htmls/summer.htm.

Tech Sale

The Oak Grove Tech Department has used desktop and laptop computers for sale. Each computer will be available for $50. The specs of the computers are as follows:

20 inch iMac mid 2009

Processor speed: 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo


Hard drive: 160GB

Has CD/DVD read/write drive

No bluetooth for bluetooth keyboard or mouse

Comes with Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) but could go up to current OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)

Full specs here: https://support.apple.com/kb/SP616?locale=en_US

13 inch MacBook 2010

Processor speed: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo


Hard Drive: 250GB

Has CD/DVD read/write drive

Comes with Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) but could go up to current OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)

Full specs here: https://support.apple.com/kb/SP584?locale=en_US

We will contact you in mid to late July to let you know if you are receiving a computer and how to pick it up. There will limit be a limit of one iMac and one MacBook total per family. Please use this link if you are interested in purchasing one: http://goo.gl/forms/yo0P2Nu5FL

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