Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ August 19, 2019

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From Superintendent, Dr. Lemon

Hip, hip, hooray! The kids are back today! It was GREAT to see all the kids return this morning! Last year, the hot fashion item was the unicorn. Based on today's observation, it appears to be the colored bandana? Anyway, it was awesome to see everyone return this morning. We saw a few tears in Kindergarten (mostly parents), but tomorrow will be easier-I promise!

We welcome our new students to Oak Grove. Thanks for being a "Grover! We also have quite a few new staff members. You will "meet" them later in this issue. We hope all of you love our school as much as I have these past eight years. It is a great place to grow and learn.

I encourage you to read the Oak Grove News each week. It is a great source of information. Our annual parent survey tells us it is the number one "place" our families get their information. I hope you also "follow" us on our Facebook page, and our Twitter and Instagram accounts. Our social media team does a fantastic job of updating our social media platforms on a daily basis.

Please be involved. Consider helping the PTO and/or the Oak Grove School Education Foundation. With their awesome support, we are able to provide a world-class education for our students.

Most important, thank you for entrusting your children on a daily basis. They are in great hands with our faculty and staff. Thank you, and let's have a GREAT year!

Meet the New Oak Grove Staff

Safety Drill Information

The safety of the students at Oak Grove School is of the utmost importance. Currently, Oak Grove school utilizes ALICE, which is a nationally recognized program recommended by The US Department of Education, International Association of Chiefs of Police, FEMA, and the FBI. ALICE is a proactive set of responses to an active school intruder that empowers individuals to utilize human action. In addition, State law mandates that EVERY school in the State of Illinois participates in an Active Shooter Drill this year within the first 90 days of school starting. ALICE stands for:

A- alert: Use clear and concise language to convey the type and location of the event

L- lockdown: Lockdown and barricade in a secure area

I- inform: Communication keeps a potential intruder off balance and allows for good decision making

C- counter: Apply skills to distract, confuse, and gain control

E- evacuate: Evacuate the premises

Oak Grove has been utilizing ALICE for the past several years with the cooperation and support of the Lake County Sheriff’s department. Our staff and students have been trained and have a solid understanding of ALICE protocols. However, we can never be satisfied with our level of training and will continue to prepare for a school intruder incident. Prior to our school-wide training, there will be an informative presentation during each of the back to school curriculum nights.

Back to School Curriculum Nights

6-8 August 22th 6:00pm - 8:00pm

K-2 August 28th 6:00pm - 8:00pm

3-5 August 29th 6:00pm - 8:00pm

The purpose of the training is to best prepare the staff and students to respond effectively and efficiently if a school intruder is present. Following the training, the students will have a classroom debrief facilitated by their classroom teachers. Oak Grove staff has met with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department to discuss this year’s drill. It will be conducted by the Sheriff’s Department staff. We conducted a similar drill last year. Oak Grove will conduct the 2019-2020 school-wide training on September 12th.

Social Emotional Learning at Oak Grove School

Welcome Back! I am so excited to be teaching SEL for grades K-5 & I am thrilled to have more time with our younger learners, too! This year students in K-5 will have SEL once per week for 40 minutes. With the extra time, we are going to be adding in Mindfulness Activities. The goal of mindfulness is to be:

  • Fully present

  • Aware of where we are and what we are doIng

  • Not overly reactive to the world around us

We will continue to work on lessons that improve our focus, problem solving, empathy, protecting ourselves, and emotion management. I plan to transition my communications from ClassDojo to Seesaw for grades K-3 and Google Classroom for grades 4-5. Teachers already have Seesaw in these grade levels and I am hoping that the communication comes from your own children. For those of you who were connected to ClassDojo last year, you will receive a grade level update rather than an update per classroom to keep communications going as we transition to Seesaw. If you are new to ClassDojo, you will receive an invitation via email over the next week or two.


After your child’s first SEL lesson you should be able to have a conversation with your child at any moment about the Zone they are in. Below is a little key to understanding how we identify our emotions. Throughout the year we will work on identifying these emotions and find the tools that work best for us individually to get us back to green zone. IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT NONE OF THE ZONES ARE BAD! They are just what the child is feeling at that moment and by identifying their feelings, they are able to access the tools to make better choices.

Green ~ Calm, Focused, Happy and Ready to Learn

Yellow ~ Excited, Nervous, Scared and Some Control

Blue ~ Sad, Bored, Tired, and Slow Moving

Red ~ Angry, Frustrated, Mad and Out of Control

Have a WONDERFUL first week back!

Mrs. Kiefer

Social Emotional Learning Teacher K-5

PTO News

PTO Meeting

Our first PTO meeting of the year will be held on Wednesday, September 4th @ 9am in the Junior High Cafeteria, with a special coffee meet & greet at 8:30am. Come chat with the new PTO Board and meet other parents; all are welcome!

Family Fest This Sunday; Attend & Volunteer

This Sunday, August 25th, the PTO is hosting Family Fest from 11am-2pm to kick off the 2019-2020 school year. There will be games and activities for the whole family including a Teacher Dunk Tank, Cupcake Walk, 2-Liter Ring Toss, Face Painting, Crafts, Yard Games and more! Jimmy Johns will be selling sandwiches and Ganello's will be selling pizza. Some activities do require tickets - cash only please for tickets and food vendors.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: We still need a number of volunteers to make this event a success! Parents and Junior. High-aged siblings are welcome to volunteer. Please sign up for a 1-hour shift by following the below link. All the jobs are easy and fun and this is a great way to get involved in the PTO. If you have any questions, please contact Kate Byers at kateGbyers@gmail.com.


Lunch Ordering Information

The PTO is working with Marla’s Brown Bag Lunch again this year. Did you know Marla’s lunch is a fundraiser for the PTO? The program offers some delicious new vendors like City BBQ, Pizza Italia and Fodrak’s and has brought back some of our old favorites including Panera, Portillos and Qdoba. Check it out! Orders must be placed by noon on Monday the week before. To order go to www.marlaslunchordering.com

Lunch Room Volunteer Opportunities are also available and a great way to get involved!





Spirit Wear Sale

We’ve got spirit, yes we do!

We’ve got spirit, how ‘bout you?

It’s time to stock up on your Oak Grove spirit wear. Only online orders will be taken. Be sure to click on each item to see the colors/sizes available.

To order go to https://www.headsupapparel.com/collections/oak-grove-2019

The deadline to order is September 6th. Orders will be delivered to school in about 4 weeks. Please see the flyer in the Virtual Backpack and contact Courtney Johnston johnstoncourtneyr@gmail.com or Shannon Bilcox Shannon.bilcox@gmail.com with questions.

Welcome New Family Night

Over 50 families attended the new family event held Thursday evening. They were given opportunities to meet the administration, chat with Juliana Furlong from OGSEF, see lunch examples from Marla and have their questions answered about the lunch program. Members of the PTO were on hand to explain how the PTO supports the school, had samples of spirit wear to shop, and shared activities & volunteer opportunities for new parents.

Tours were led by our wonderful volunteers: Becky Sims, Melody and Molly Lyon, Jen Sahagian, Kristin and Sadie Sorensen, Christine and Maddie Merrild, Becky and Kaitlyn Rynes, Susan and Kendall Brooks, The Linde Family, Beth Zender, Katie and Tess Edmonson, and Alex Johnson.

A huge thank you to Ashley Wilson and Leah Parr for organizing this event and their children Hailey and Alex Parr and Emery Wilson for helping out, to all the PTO Committees that attended and answered questions, to Karen Draths, Dave Huber, and Julie Waehner for all the support help, the custodial team for set-up and clean-up, and to all those who volunteered their time to make the night a success!

Welcome Back Teacher Lunch

The PTO provided lunch from Marla’s Lunch to the teachers and staff on Thursday, August 15th. Thank you to Lisa Perrone, Christine Merrild, Krista Sorensen and Jen Sahagian for hosting this event!

Virtual Backpack

Please click HERE to view the flyers in our virtual backpack. Flyers are updated weekly, so please check back often so you won't miss any of the events going on in our community.

Oak Grove School Board of Education

Click HERE to view Board Agenda and Minutes