Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ August 31, 2015

Welcome Back!

Welcome to the 2015-16 school year! It was so exciting to see all the students returning to school last Tuesday morning! We have many new faces and families this year, by our last count, we have over 100 new children at Oak Grove for the first time! I hope you have had a great experience in your first week at our wonderful school. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as you familiarize yourselves with Oak Grove. We are here to help!

First and foremost, the entire faculty and staff want to say, “thank you” for entrusting your children with us. You have many choices in this region to receive an excellent education for your children. But, you have chosen wisely! I told the faculty at our opening meeting last week, that as I enter my fourth year, I am convinced that we have the best K-8 school district in the state. When you look at our “total package” of academic excellence, technology implementation, facility improvements, and extensive programming down to Kindergarten, I don’t know how any other districts can compare. I am so proud of the proactive stance our board of education has taken during my tenure to make our district great. The faculty and staff are committed to giving your sons and daughters a world-class education, both academically and socially.

We will introduce our new faculty later in the issue. We welcome them to our great team. Also, we will review our facility improvements and continued advancements in technology.

I am looking forward to another great year at Oak Grove. I am honored and blessed to be a part of this community and this wonderful team. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time at lemon@ogschool.org.

Drop off & Pickup for School:

Our school day starts at 8:20 p.m. We run a double shift of busses in the morning, but a single shift in the afternoon. Please remember that there is only one way into our school grounds, so it can become very congested. It can be disruptive to the learning environment, if our students arrive late to school in the morning. As we all know in Lake County, traffic can be very heavy, so please plan accordingly. We encourage students to ride the bus, if eligible to help us reduce traffic onto our site.

We have a staff member at the stop sign each morning and afternoon helping direct traffic. Please follow their instructions. Both are veterans at the position and do a great job of managing traffic.

The morning busses drop students off in the upper, or junior high lot. Please keep the left lane open for them. They have two shifts to run, so please do not obstruct their lane of traffic. If you drop students off in a personal vehicle, for grades 5-8 use the far right lane in the upper lot. Pull forward to the end of the chained area to let your student(s) exit the vehicle. Three or more vehicles can have their children exit at the same time. Traffic is one way in both of our parking lots. Please look left before exiting via the middle aisle.

If your K-4 children don’t ride the morning bus , you may drop them off at the elementary entrance. There is a single file line and we have staff available to assist your child out, if needed.

Whether it is at dropoff in the morning, or at afternoon pickup, PLEASE do not leave your vehicle. We try to keep the cars advancing in the lines. When a car is vacated, it snarls the process and inconveniences those behind you. We have a great system when the traffic continues to flow. If you need to leave your vehicle, please park in any available spot.

Please know that the lower, elementary lot is closed to vehicular traffic at the end of the day. We try to reserve this area for busses. Please do not “sneak” in the elementary lot to pick up your child. We kindly ask that you pick them up in the upper, junior high parking lot. Thank you.

Please remember that the use of handheld devices is illegal and carries an even stiffer penalty on school grounds in Illinois. We still see many parents using their phones as they are driving. Please know that we often have a police presence in the area and they can ticket you. The fine is very expensive and we would hate to see that happen to any of our families. Most important, we ask that you refrain from the use of handheld devices to best protect our students and ensure their safety.

For the “veterans” at Oak Grove, you know that there is an asphalt path that connects our two parking lots. It is for pedestrian use only. Oddly enough, about once a week we see a car taking this path! Please know that it is not a road, nor a shortcut!

Finally, I’d like to review some rules about when you can pass a stopped bus. The lane closest to the school—the far left—is reserved for buses from 7:30—8:20 a.m. If a bus is stopped, its red lights are flashing, and its stop arm is out---it is illegal to pass the bus! This is the fear of every bus driver and school district. If the bus driver is able, he/she will take down your license plate and you will receive a fine. Please never pass a stopped school bus under those conditions.

However, after our students are dropped off each morning, the drivers will turn off their lights and flashers. It is okay if you pass them under these conditions. Our drivers all pull forward, park their busses, and do a safety inspection to make sure no students remain on the bus. While they are doing so, you can pass their bus.

Meet the New Staff

Please join us in welcoming our new staff members to Oak Grove:

Welcome to Our Two New Administrators!

We would like to introduce Mrs. Michelle Jackson to the Oak Grove team! Mrs. Jackson is our new Assistant Principal. Mrs. Jackson is a University of Illinois graduate, where she was named as a Bronze Tablet recipient—the University’s highest academic honor, and began her career as a 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teacher in the Barrington school system. She taught at Grove Avenue School for eight years.

The past two years, Mrs. Jackson has served as a Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) at Beach Elementary, which is part of the Round Lake school system. In this position, Mrs. Jackson assisted the building principal, specifically in the Teaching & Learning Department. Michelle was responsible for organizing all building testing, assisted in building discipline, and facilitated much of the faculty professional development. Additionally, Mrs. Jackson coordinated the summer school program and served as a site supervisor.

"I am extremely excited for the opportunity to become a part of the Oak Grove team. I am looking forward to working with the students, the staff, the families, and the community in order to continue to strive for excellence for all students," says Mrs. Jackson.

We are excited to have Mrs. Jackson on the team!

Oak Grove would also like to introduce Mr. Andrew Fenton as the new Principal for grades K-8. Mr. Fenton began his duties in July. He was selected from a large pool of candidates and is excited about becoming a part of the Oak Grove team.

Mr. Fenton served as the Assistant Principal for Twin Groves Middle School, which is located in Buffalo Grove. Students from Twin Groves attend Stevenson High School. He also served as an administrator at W.J. Murphy Elementary School in Round Lake. Andrew has served as a Preschool director and was a classroom teacher in Northbrook and the City of Chicago. He brings a wealth of experience in all grade levels to Oak Grove.

Mr. Fenton lives in Vernon Hills with his wife, Tracey. They have three children, Campbell (5), Rory (3), and Walter (1). In his spare time, Andrew enjoys reading, spending time with his children, and watching sports—especially hockey and golf. Andrew was born in Canada and has served as the Director for the Glacier Ice Dogs hockey program, located in Vernon Hills.

He shares the following: “I am honored and excited to be joining the Oak Grove team, and I can’t wait to meet and get to know the wonderful students, staff, and community that make Oak Grove School so special.”

Welcome to the The Grove, Mr. Fenton!

No Dogs on School Grounds

Some children suffer from allergies to dogs, some are afraid of dogs, etc. We want everyone at Oak Grove to feel comfortable and to always feel safe. Pets are not allowed at school, (See page 33 of the Parent/Student Handbook).

Thank you for your cooperation.

Calling All OGS 5th-8th Graders!

Come by Mrs. Pusateri’s room (207) to grab a permission slip before our first meeting.

Meeting Day and Times:

Every other Thursday, after school beginning, September 10th, 3:30-4:15 (NOT 4:30)

***Bring your computer if you are 6th-8th

Activities: Educational Games, All about Google Docs, Presentation and Sheets, Book Creator, Smore, Kahn Academy Coding, EV3 Robots in the Spring, Glogster, iBook, and Scratch.

Meeting Dates are on Thursdays: September 10th and 24th, October 8th and 22nd, November 5th and 19th, December 3rd and 17th, January 7th and 21st, February 4th and 18th, March 3rd and 17th, April 7th and 21st, May 5th is our last meeting.

Curriculum Corner

Hello Oak Grove Community,

Welcome to the start of a new school year!

During our teacher institute day, our teachers had the opportunity to work with Paula Kluth. She is an energizing teacher presenter who focuses on getting students excited about learning through “brain breaks” and creative differentiation strategies. We were lucky enough to have her join us and give us a great boost to start the year! What is a “brain break,” you ask? It’s a quick physical activity that redirects the brain to a task so that the mind can re-focus on learning when trying to concentrate. Try this with your child tonight at dinner:

With your arms out in front of you, palms away:

  1. move your right hand up and down, then stop;

  2. move your left hand left to right, then stop;

  3. Now, move both hands at the same time (right- up/down & left- left/right);

  4. If you really want a challenge, cross your arms but keep the same pattern going.

If you started moving your arms on an angle, keep practicing and have a great week!

Way to Go, Oak Grove!

Here's how Oak Grove ranked with Artsonia!
Artsonia is the worlds' largest kids' art museum. Their dream is that every child will have a special art gallery online, reflecting their masterpieces from pre-school through high-school, preserved for all time.

PTO News

August 31, 2015

A Message from PTO Co-Presidents Lisa Perrone and Mia Hughes:

Lunches this week:

Monday - Quesadilla/Hot Dog

Tuesday - Panino/Potato

Wednesday - Pizza

Thursday - Panda Express

Hot Lunch Reminder
Just a reminder if you signed up for a lunch you get that lunch both times it is served that month. For example if you ordered pizza you will get both Pizza 1 and Pizza 2. This is the case for ALL our vendors.

Lunch Order Changes

To make changes to your lunch orders, use the PTO link from the schools' homepagewww.ogschool.org. Registration will remain open from August 31st until 3pm onSeptember 14th. NO CHANGES CAN BE MADE AFTER THAT. You will need your child's ID and password. If you don't have this please contact the school office. Changes will not take effect until September 21st.

PTO Calendars

A huge thank you to Shannon Schweiger for creating and printing a wonderful calendar this year. Where would we all be with out you and your amazing calendar! We still have a few PTO calendars available for $10 each. Please stop by the Curriculum Nights this week to buy one. We have limited quantities.

PTO Meeting

Wednesday September 2nd, 2015 in the Teachers' Lounge. All are welcome! The agenda is posted on the PTO website.

Welcome Back Teacher Lunch

The PTO provided lunch from the Picnic Basket to the teachers and staff on August 21st. Thank you to Cami Vandixhorn, Kim Konigseder, Joanie Sauers, and Beth Williams for hosting this event.

Welcome New Family Night

We had a fun night welcoming our new families to the Oak Grove community on Wednesday, August 19th. We had 25 new families, representing all grades, meet in the Jr. High cafeteria. Dr. Lemon welcomed the new families, talked about all Oak Grove has to offer and explained some of the renovations that have been going on at the school over the last few years. Our new principals, Mr. Fenton and Mrs. Jackson were on hand as well as Ms. Waehner and Peter Graves. Members from the PTO and OGSEF were also there to answer any questions about Oak Grove. The families finished up the night with a tour of the school. Thank-you to the Administration, and PTO and OGSEF members Ashley Miller, Maria Roberts, Mia Hughes, Lisa Perrone, Liz Howard, Andrea Haan, Julie Furlough, Cindy Gleason and Christine Merrild for making it a successful event.

Fall Spiritwear Sale

It is that time of year again – time to stock up on your Oak Grove spirit wear. Online ordering with credit card is available again for this year’s purchases. Log ontowww.headsupapperal.com and enter Oak Grove School on the home page. You will find Oak Grove’s personalized spirit wear selection including new, updated choices and some old favorites. All you need to do is choose, click and order! All proceeds benefit the programs provided by the Oak Grove PTO.

Deadline is Thursday, September 10th at 11:59pm. After that, we will be gone until Fall 2016. Get online and check it out! Merchandise will be distributed at school approximately mid-October. All sales are final.

Questions? Email Katrina Treutelaar at katrinatreutelaar@me.com or Juliana Furlong at jcf2465098@yahoo.com.

Room Parent Need

Mrs. Seveska's class is in need of a head room parent. If you are able to help please contact Erin Heard at erin.heard@yahoo.com or Lisa Perrone atlisa@millcreekpkg.com

Oak Grove School Education Foundation (OGSEF)

Save the Date: Gala 2016

Our biennial Spring Gala will take place on February 27th, 2016 at Independence Grove. Mark your calendars and look for more information on tickets, sponsorships, auction donations and volunteer opportunities soon! The Gala is OGSEF’s biggest fundraising initiative and we need the support of our community, parents, faculty and students to make it a great success. Plus, it is a great opportunity to network and socialize with your community…not to mention a ton of fun! The event features food, drinks, entertainment, auctions and more. This is an event you will not want to miss!

Project Spotlight: The Oak Grove Green Screen Room

The Gala supports funding for teacher-driven grants that focus on innovative and differentiated curriculum. This year we have a spotlight project we are funding: The Oak Grove Green Screen Room. The Green Screen Room offers our students a unique opportunity to intersect creativity, technology, science, math and communications.

Green screen technology is the basis of the effects seen in everything from the latest Hollywood blockbusters to the weather forecast. The Green Screen room will work in conjunction with the school’s computer lab to provide a high-end experience for students. Students will use these spaces for a variety of uses including learning the basics of multimedia production (stills, videos, audio), digital broadcasting, programming, and filmmaking. One of the purposes of these classes is to try the various equipment and software to determine the most effective ways of use. In addition, teachers will be able to use these spaces to support instruction.

Through the Green Screen room, students can focus on the curricular value of multimedia production that include:

  • Media Literacy
  • Student Voice
  • Self-Expression
  • Creation
  • Collaboration
  • Authentic Audiences
  • Digital Storytelling

In the future, students will need to be able to collaborate, communicate, create, and think critically. They need to be able to articulate themselves in both speaking and writing. They will also need to work in a collaborative environment, problem solve through careful analysis, and create original content. The use of multimedia production aligns to the Common Core standards in areas such as Writing Standards, Speaking and Listening Standards, Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas and Language Arts.

We are excited to support this new and innovative use of technology to enhance the educational experience of the students and faculty of Oak Grove School!

What is the Oak Grove School Education Foundation?

With the help of the parents, community residents and businesses, Oak Grove School Education Foundation (OGSEF) funds targeted teacher-initiated program grants and school programs focused on engaging, empowering and inspiring children, teachers, administrators, parents and the community to advance to new levels of learning. Grants focus on the development of the whole child and enable teachers to differentiate programming in the classroom and incubate new ideas in areas such as:

  • STEM
  • Arts & Language
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Physical Activity
  • Innovation & Creativity

OGSEF funds programs that go beyond the core curriculum. These programs often define the difference between a good and a great school. They unite the community, corporate partners, and the school around a common purpose of making our district a better place in which to live and raise a family.

OGSEF grants has funded over $150,000 for projects and grants over the last five years

  • Science of sport curriculum
  • Kindergarten Teachers “Daily 5” Professional Development
  • Library Technology & Reading Resources
  • “Rekenrek” Math Manipulative Racks
  • Science SPARK Lab
  • Robotics
  • Dance & Yoga Instruction
  • Audio Visual Technology
  • Playground Renovation
  • Cafeteria Improvement
  • Community Service Projects
  • Motivational Speakers
  • And much more!

Innovation knows no bounds, but it does require your support to fuel these programs! Oak Grove School Education Foundation is a community organization and we have several ways for you to join in!

1. Support our upcoming Spring Gala through tickets, joining one of our Gala planning committees, auction donations, fundraising and volunteering! Contact ogsfoundation@yahoo.com for more information!

2. Choose OGSEF for your company’s charitable match program.

3. Donate directly – visit www.ogsef.org to make a donation.

4. Become a business partner – OGSEF is always looking to partner with our business community – the mutual benefits are enormous.


Junior High Learning Center Early Hours

The Junior High Learning Center is offering 4th-8th grade students an opportunity to finish homework, check-out books, complete assignments from online textbooks or read. This is NOT an option to the playground or for social gathering.

The Learning Center will be open Monday through Friday beginning at 7:30 am until the first bell rings at 8:15 am. First come, first served - up to 30 students (overflow is sent to the playground). Students must enter through the Junior High entrance, then sign-in with the Junior High Office and again in the Junior High Learning Center.

Students may not be in the hallways before or during Early Hours. The Oak Grove School AUP applies. No eating, drinking or use of cell phones are allowed in the Learning Center. Parents MAY NOT drop off students before 7:30 am! Visits to lockers or teachers is not permitted. Only students that have an appt. set up with a teacher ahead of time will be allowed in hallways.

Student’s who demonstrate disruptive behavior will be sent outside for the 1st offense. The 2nd offense will result in a one-week suspension from early hours. Upon the 3rd offense, the student will lose Early Library privileges for the trimester.

We will begin Tues., Sept. 8th. Occasionally early library hours will be canceled due to other events in the JH LC. Check the school website.

The desktops in the library are available for student use. They will not have access to their laptops or iPads during early hours.

Picture Day is Wednesday, Sept. 2nd

You may order pictures ahead of time by visiting shop.hrimaging.com. If you do order online, please be sure your child brings the online receipt to school with them.

Oak Grove School Art Club

4th & 5th Grade - Mondays 3:20 – 4:15 in the elementary art room 500

6th – 8th Grade - Wed. or Fridays 3:20-4:15 in the JH Art Room 306

Art Club is open to all 4th–8th grade students from OGS who share a special interest in art

  • Students may sign up by turning in a permission slip to Mrs. Vance
  • Junior High students in SPORTS after school may still sign up for art club
  • Come when there is no conflict with your sport
  • Sign up is on a first come, first serve basis, as space is limited. 30 students max in each club
  • No permission slips will be accepted after Friday, September 25
  • Students MUST be picked up at 4:15pm

If parents have additional questions, please contact:

Miss Spector spector@ogschool.org - 4th & 5th Art Club

Mrs. Vance vance@ogschool.org - Junior High Art Club


Cross Country News

Cross Country is a great way for students to challenge themselves in the fall. All students in grades 5-8 are invited to participate with no cuts! The season starts today and continues through October 10th. Practices run Monday through Thursday after school until 4:45. Cross Country is a no cut sport, but in order for your athlete to participate, he/she must have a current physical on file with the school nurse.

There will be a short parent meeting after practice on Wednesday in Mr. Oesch's 6th grade science room. More information about the Cross Country season will be shared at this time.

In the mean time, please visit the Cross Country website. You can access the site through the Oak Grove Homepage or by clicking HERE.

Soup Kitchen Volunteers

Kavi Jalota, along with Oak Grove 8th graders Joe Mattson, Jack Calsin, and Kevin Stone

who traveled with Mrs. Mahoney to volunteer at the soup kitchen in Waukegan on Aug 7th.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) News

Dear Kindergarten through 5th grade parents,

My name is Susie Kiefer and I will be your child’s SEL teacher this year. By the end of the day today I will have met all of the students kindergarten through fifth grade! We have had a lot of fun this week getting to know each other. I look forward to working with your children!

This week in all grade levels we played some getting to know you games that forced us to practice our good listening skills. All eyes were watching, ears listening, voices quiet, and bodies still (if being still were needed…but it wasn’t needed too much!) We are learning why it’s important to focus our attention to be a good listener and are practicing these skills through games.

This week our 4th and 5th graders will be making music videos to help teach these skills to our Kindergarten-3rd Graders! Ask your child about what they did in SEL! Every single child was able to participate!

Thanks for sharing your children!

Mrs. Kiefer

SEL Kindergarten-5th Grade

Engineering for Kids

Engineering For Kids® brings the wonder and excitement of STEM education (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) to children ages 4-14 through a variety of hands-on learning experiences. For registration information and dates/times about Engineering For Kids, please click on the Virtual Backpack or go to https://engineeringforkids.com/lakecounty/

Junior Chemical Engineering

K-2nd Grade

The Junior Chemical Engineering classes introduce our youngest engineers to fundamental concepts of solids, liquids, and solutions. Students investigate the properties of several crazy concoctions and make their own samples of bubbles, play dough, flub, and more!

Apprentice Chemical Engineering

3rd – 5th Grade

During the Chemical Engineering classes, students use the Engineering Design Process to design, create, test, and refine various mixtures and solutions with different chemical properties. They develop solutions to clean up an oil spill, synthesize their own rocket fuel, investigate the secrets behind color pigmentation, and more!.

Master STEM Club

6th – 8th Grade

The STEM Club introduces students to a new hands-on project based lesson every week from various engineering disciplines. For each lesson, students focus on developing problem solving, critical thinking and peer collaboration skills through our six step engineering process - Ask, Brainstorm, Design, Build, Test & Improve. In this class students will work on engineering challenges in mechatronics (mechanical + electronics using littleBits), robotics (LEGO Mindstorms EV3), and more!

New Website Preview

As announced last year, Oak Grove School is moving their web site to be hosted by CampusSuite. You can get a preview of the web site here. Please note that the search function will not work until a few days after this site officially becomes "www.ogschool.org"

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