Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ December 13, 2021

From the Superintendent's Desk


Dear Families,

I want to give you a brief update regarding our district health statistics and mitigations around COVID-19. Below is a list of our COVID-19 case statistics to-date since our return to school in August, 2021.


  • Total positive COVID-19 cases to-date since August, 2021 (staff and students) - 89
  • Total individuals identified as a close contact at school (not including siblings of cases) - 43
  • Total students enrolled in OGS Test-to-Stay program - 410 (45% of total enrollment at OGS)
  • Total students participating in Weekly Screening program - 136 (15% of total enrollment at OGS)
  • No documented case to-date of COVID-19 transmission at school from a positive case to a close contact

If you have any questions regarding these numbers, please reach out to me or to one of our nurses directly, who can provide you with answers.


As I mentioned in my communication last week, superintendents across the state met virtually this past Friday with Dr. Ezike, Director of IDPH, and State Superintendent, Carmen Ayala. Their messaging was clear -- school districts must do all they can to keep children in school (for in-person learning) when it is deemed safe. We know from the past couple of years that academic and social-emotional learning loss is significant when students are not in school. However, districts must work collaboratively with their local health department to continually review COVID-19 case data to determine if it is necessary to take an "adaptive pause" across a grade level(s) or entire school. As I've shared before, OGS nurses and administration work closely with our health department to contact trace and determine whether our cases warrant a need to pause for remote learning for a period of time. At this time, our data does not suggest this. The State Board of Education provides legal parameters for when remote learning is an option for students. Our current situation does not fall into these parameters.


With that said, we take this disease a day and a week at a time and will be prepared to make adjustments if it is ever deemed necessary. I know this information can be unsettling for some. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any school or district administrator if you have a particular concern related to your child(ren) and how best to manage a situation.


I have received a few questions regarding the childhood vaccines and want to share the following CDC website link to provide you with any information that may be helpful: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/children-teens.html. Our administration encourages parents to follow up with their family health providers to make these personal decisions around the vaccine.


I will continue to keep you all updated on this topic.

Important Reminder for Kindergarten through 4th Grade

The tech department will be updating policies and performing routine maintenance on all K-4th grade student issued iPads over winter break. All iPads must remain at school for winter break. If you have any questions, please email ogstechsupport@ogschool.org.

From the Principals' Desk

Hats, Coats, and Mittens

Winter is here! Please let Mrs. Barnabee - barnabee@ogschool.org - know if your child needs any warm clothing items. We have many students arriving at school each day without the warm clothing they need while they play on the playground at arrival and recess.


Happy 95th Birthday!

Today, we celebrated a very special birthday with an OGS alumni, Mrs. Helen O’Gallagher. Known in her Libertyville neighborhood as Mrs. O’Gee, she has been a lifetime resident in the 60048 area. She and her husband owned Libertyville business gems - The Sportsman and Dan the Key Man. Thank you, Mr. Farris and OGS Choir students, for the Happy Birthday recital and helping Mrs. O’Gee celebrate this special day!


SEL at Oak Grove (Updated Weekly)

The theme for the month of December is gratitude. Please take a few minutes to view the December page of our website to see what’s happening in SEL.

Please click here to access the Oak Grove SEL website.

If you have any questions, please contact Susie Kiefer at skiefer@ogschool.org or Ryan Murray at murray@ogschool.org


Mental Health Minute (Updated)

December - Family Stress and holidays

If you need support or are looking to support someone else please visit Safe2Help Illinois and/or our website for valuable information.


Important Dates

  • Dec. 14: School Board Meeting, 7:15 PM in Junior High Library

  • Dec. 22: K-4 Winter Parties

  • Dec. 23 - Jan. 7: Winter Break

  • Jan. 10, 2022: Return from Winter Break

  • Jan. 12: PTO Mtg at 6:30 PM in Elementary Library

Curriculum Corner

ACCESS Testing

When we return from winter break, our English Language Learners will be taking an annual state and federally-mandated assessment known as the Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS) test. This test measures English language proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking. All students in kindergarten through 8th grade who are identified as English Language (EL) learners, whether or not they are receiving EL services, are required to take the test. We will receive the results and share your child’s results with you in the spring.


Intervention/Enrichment Time
This school year we have a dedicated 30 minutes daily referred to as Intervention/Enrichment (I/E) at all grade levels, which is meant to provide additional support to all learners in the areas of math and/or reading. During this time, our students are working on their iReady pathway, meeting in a small group or one on one with a teacher, participating in an SEL lesson or receiving intervention/specialized services. In the past, our interventionists would provide additional support for our higher level learners through a pull-out model. Currently students are receiving enrichment through differentiated instruction in guided reading and math and through other extensions, games and projects by the classroom teachers. We have posted a part-time interventionist position in order to continue to provide more dedicated support to our higher- level learners.

OGS Honor Society News

The Oak Grove Honor Society and Service Club are excited to begin their winter service project in conjunction with Fill a Heart 4 Kids. The project is called “Fill a Dream for Brighter Futures” and supports children in surrounding communities in need of school supplies. We are hosting a collection of school supplies from December 15 through January 13. Please drop off one or more items to the collection box outside the main office, or with your child’s classroom teacher. Be mindful we can only collect items listed on the flyer. In January, our Honor Society and Service Club members will be taking all donated items and filling bags to be distributed to school-aged children in Lake County. Your help and generosity is appreciated! Questions? Reach out to the advisors - Mrs. Alexa Dunn or Mrs. Anna Edelson
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7th and 8th Grade Boys Volleyball

Oak Grove Boys Volleyball season begins after winter break. Tryouts are open to 7th and 8th grade boys, and will take place after school on January 12 and 13 (Wednesday and Thursday). All athletes must have a current physical on file in order to participate. If necessary, coaches will make cuts at the end of tryouts on January 13. If you have any questions, please email Coach Dave Izenstark (7th) - izenstark@ogschool.org and Coach Anna Edelson (8th) - edelson@ogschool.org.

Seventh Grade Service Project

Just a reminder to keep those items coming in to support PADS of Lake County and the 7th grade service project. We are still collecting new socks, underwear and new or gently used sweatpants and sweatshirts. Also, keep bringing that spare change in to help your IE class win “Penny Wars.” Pennies, dimes, nickels, quarters and dollar bills are accepted and are appreciated! Let's finish strong, Oak Grove 7th graders!!

Band News

Calling all jazz enthusiasts! The OG Jazz Band will be performing in our “Jazz in the Gym” concert this Thursday, December 16th at 6:30 in the Junior High Gym. Come listen to a brief program of standard blues and fun pop tunes that also feature students showcasing their improvisation skills.


Concert/Symphonic Band: The only day of Concert/Symphonic band rehearsal will be Tuesday 12/14 this week due to the jazz concert.


Beginning Band: We are starting full rehearsal this week! Parents, please check your email from Mr. Jones to see when your child will be in rehearsal each week. If you do not see that email, please email Mr. Jones or Mr. Frankowski.


Jazz Band: We have rehearsal on Wednesday and Thursday (Dec. 15th and 16th) to put the finishing touches on our concert program. All members are expected to attend.


There will be no band rehearsal or lessons this Friday due to the directors being out for a conference.

PTO News

Thankfulness & Gifting

If you are looking for ideas for how to show your teachers thanks during this gifting season, be sure to check out the PTO’s list of OGS’s Staff’s Favorite Things. We surveyed staff at the beginning of the year regarding their favorite stores, restaurants, coffee shops and treats. Some classes may be organizing a group teacher gift-- if you have any questions, reach out to your room parent or grade level coordinator (look in the PTO Directory for these names).


5-8th Lunch Celebration on 12/22

To kick off winter break, the PTO will provide 5th-8th graders a pizza lunch on Wednesday, 12/22. Account credit has already been issued by Marla’s for any lunches previously ordered for that day. Additional information will be sent to families this week.


Help The PTO From Home

We are looking for a team of 8-10 parent volunteers to help us “test drive” an online platform that would allow us to share an events calendar, have an online directory, manage volunteer sign-ups and communicate with parents. Please email PTO@ogschool.org if you are interested in helping. Thank you to the 4 parents who have already volunteered! We’ll be in touch with all volunteers in January to get started.


Family Service Project in February

The Community Give Back Committee has planned a service project at Feed My Starving Children in February. We have approximately 200 spots over 3 days and we would love to fill them all! There is an option to provide a monetary donation to FMSC when you volunteer, but it is not required to participate. Please use the following codes to register your families on the FMSC website. Final registrations are required by February 1st. Note: children under age 5 are not allowed to participate for safety reasons, and masks must be worn in the facility at all times.

● Thursday, February 10th 4:30-6:15pm use code 738VYE

● Saturday, February 12th 7:00-8:45pm use code WXW9YX

● Thursday, February 14th 7:00-8:45pm use code KLDN72


If you have questions or would like to be more involved in this event, please reach out to Brooke Schamber at brooklee5@gmail.com.

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Toys for Tots Collection

This is our final week of giving. This community has definitely been generous. Our final collection day for Toys for Tots is Thursday as the gifts will be picked up Friday morning. Just a reminder that toys should be new and in their packaging, unwrapped, for ages 0-12 and stuffed animals are not accepted. Thank you so much to all who have donated to our collection. You will make some kids very happy this year. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Douglass at douglass@ogschool.org.

Camp Invention

Camp Invention will be held June 13-17 at Oak Grove School.

Any questions, please contact Aimee Brown at abrown@ogschool.org

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