The Oak Park Advantage

September 2020 Fourth Edition Newsletter


Friday, Oct. 9th, 6pm

This is an online event.

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Dear Oak Park Schools Community,

It is with profound sadness that I write to share that three of our high school students passed away unexpectedly last weekend. Two students passed away as a result of a tragic car accident and the other due to complications with diabetes. Please join me in expressing our sincere sympathy to the families and friends of all students and our hearts are with the families of students who were injured. As our school district and community processes this sudden news and copes with grief, we have offered and will continue to provide emotional support to students, families and staff.

The loss of a classmate or friend at such a young age is a difficult and challenging situation that may exacerbate distress and anxiety that some students may be experiencing as we navigate this historic school year due to COVID-19. If you believe that your child is experiencing a significant amount of difficulty managing their emotions or processing their grief, please discuss these feelings with them and/or do not hesitate to contact us for support. Although many high school students appear not to need their parents as much as they did in the early years, they need you more now than ever. With this in mind, my ask of you is that you please closely monitor your child’s texts, social media accounts, phone calls, and emails to further assess their social-emotional needs.

If you feel that your child needs the support of one of our school counselors, school social workers, or school psychologists, please call 248-336-7667 between 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on weekdays. After hours, please email the Oak Park High School Administration or their school counselor.

On behalf of the entire district community, we extend our deepest sympathy to our students’ families and friends during this difficult time. Please join me in keeping all students and families affected in your thoughts and prayers. A special thanks to the OPHS Administration, Oak Park Public Safety, and the Southfield Police Department for your leadership during this difficult time.


Jamii J. Hitchcock, Ph.D.
Oak Park School District


Friday, Sep. 25th, 7pm

495 East Scripps Road

Orion charter Township, MI

Tune in at to watch the game live!
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Office of Teaching and Learning

District-Wide Updates

  • All of our Return To School PD videos have been compiled and uploaded for your learning pleasure! Please click on the link and enjoy!

  • ​​Shout-Outs!

    • ​​​Sarah Jones, Literacy Coach, Einstein Elementary: Ms. Jones has been so supportive of so many teachers during our transition to remote learning! She’s always going above and beyond, she’s a detailed planner, and she’s a tech genius! Her presence in the (Zoom) school has helped alleviate worry and anxiety for everyone. Great work, Ms. Jones and thank you!

    • Ryan Marek, 6th Social Studies, Oak Park Preparatory Academy: Mr. Marek has started the school year by going above and beyond to support his colleagues in these challenging times. Mr. Marek has made himself available to meet individually with teachers to walk them through our various online platforms, providing guidance and insight into all the virtual tools we now have available to use in support of the learning of our students. Thank you Mr. Marek for all you do and your continued positivity in times of uncertainty.

    • ​Laura Naumann, 9th Grade Math, Oak Park 9LC: Ms. Naumann has started the new year by taking the Covid Bull by the horns! Like so many of our amazing educators throughout the district, Laura has demonstrated self-efficacy, professionalism, and positive problem solving approaches. She continues to grow in her leadership capacity and is working tirelessly to support and guide her students through these difficult times. She’s fearlessly learning new online platforms like Newsela and she’s developing systems within her own teaching to ensure she’s providing the best instruction for her students! Reach out to Laura if you know her...and if you don’t! You’ll have a positive, educationally based conversation and you’ll be glad you did! Great work, Ms. Naumann!

  • ​​New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP)

    • ​​Any teacher in their first three years of the teaching profession is required to accumulate 90 additional hours of professional learning prior to the start of their 4th year of teaching. Oakland Schools provides multiple PD opportunities to build your hours during your first three years! If interested in joining the program ​​contact Christopher Lee at for more information.

  • Our very own Ms. Alnita Jackson-Trice and Ms. Sarah Jones have partnered with the National Education Association to offer our Oak Park staff 15 SCECH hours of free professional development. This training is intended for all staff, including our paraprofessionals and administrators. The course is called Trauma Informed Pedagogy for Remote Learning (click on link for more information) and will begin October 12th. The course must be concluded by December 13th to receive your 15 hours. The PL is self-paced but has 4 zoom sessions--the first of which will be held on October 12. ​

  • If you are interested in signing up, please email Ms. Sarah Jones or Ms. Alnita Jackson-Trice.

    • ​​Weekly online Yoga every Friday! Take care of others by first taking care of yourself! Whether you’re the master of the downward-facing dog pose or just trying to touch your toes there’s a happy place for you in DA’s class!

    ​​ Please join Ms. Delabbio-Abbott every Friday, 3:15pm - 4:15pm for Restorative Yoga!

    You can join by attending the following Zoom link Join Zoom Meeting


    Click on your child's school for the (Zoom Link/Google Classroom Code)

    Oak Park High School

    Oak Park Preparatory Academy

    NOVA Academy

    Einstein Elementary

    Key Elementary

    Pepper Elementary

    If you are utilizing an Oak Park Schools Chromebook, please follow the steps below:

    • Plug the Chromebook (laptop device) into a electric outlet & press the power button to turn it on.
    • Click on the (Wi-Fi symbol) next to the clock. In the box that pops up, choose your Wi-Fi service or hotspot, and enter the password.
    • On the login screen, you will see a blank space followed by ""
    • Enter your Oak Park Schools student email address, and click "Next".
    • Students should enter their password.
    • If students experience an issue with usernames, passwords, or other problems, please call 248-336-7667 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    Tech Help?
    If you experience problems with the Chromebook, please make sure it is plugged into an electrical outlet, and that the cords are tight. Hold the power button down for 30 seconds, release it, and then try again. If the Chromebook still does not turn on, please contact the Help Desk at the email address or phone number below.

    Email Support

    Phone Support (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)


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    All OPS students must have an up-to-date immunization certificate or a valid immunization waiver to attend Oak Park Schools per Michigan law. If your child(ren) need immunizations, please use this time (virtual learning), to update the required immunizations. Attached below is link to find schedules for the recommended immunizations based on age, along with information to several clinics in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties that you can visit to get your children immunized.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Students who are not properly immunized will not be permitted to return to in-person teaching and learning until immunizations are up-to-date.

    For more information, please visit or email Victoria Ipina, School Nurse at

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    Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two.


    Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu share include:

    • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue (tiredness)
    • Sore throat
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Muscle pain or body aches
    • Headache
    • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults



    Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, including common signs and symptoms listed above.

    Flu Symptoms


    Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell.

    COVID-19 Symptoms

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    Dear Oak Park Schools Families,

    On Monday, August 31, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the federal waiver allowing for the continuation of free meals through the end of 2020.

    Oak Park School District residency and/or enrollment in the school district is not necessary to receive meals. All meal distributions will take place on Wednesday’s from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (new).

    Our next meal distribution will be Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at Oak Park High School located at 13701 Oak Park Blvd., Oak Park, 48237.

    For more information, please visit // or email Aric Wienclaw, Director of Dining Services at

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    No Kid Hungry Organization runs a summer meal texting service. The service is free and open to anyone. A parent, grandparent, or caregiver can simply text the word “FOOD” to 877-877 and the system prompts them to provide their address or zip code, which is used to provide the location and service times of up to three nearby summer meals sites. For additional information, log onto
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    The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location.

    Think of your morning commute: Census results influence highway planning and construction, as well as grants for buses, subways, and other public transit systems.

    Or think of your local schools: Census results help determine how money is allocated for the Head Start program and for grants that support teachers and special education.

    The list goes on, including programs to support rural areas, to restore wildlife, to prevent child abuse, to prepare for wildfires, and to provide housing assistance for older adults.

    Please complete your form online, by phone, or by mail when your invitation to respond arrives. Visit to begin.

    Oak Park Schools on Live in the D


    Our mission is to provide a quality education that promotes respect for the individual and cultural differences of students and provides college and career readiness skills to become lifelong learners and productive citizens.

    The Oak Park School District’s nearly 4,500 students are served at Einstein, Key and Pepper elementary schools (grades PreK-5), the Oak Park Preparatory Academy (grades 6-8), , Oak Park High School (grades 9 -12), NOVA (grades 3-12) the Oak Park Alternative Education Center (ages 16-19 years old) and My Virtual Academy of Oak Park (grades 5-12) in Oak Park, MI in Oakland County located in a suburban community near Detroit with approximately 30,000 residents. Our district consists of over 450 staff members, including 250 teachers and 11 building administrators.

    Our school district boasts an abundance of educational and co/extra-curricular programs to meet the needs of a vast array of learners from Pre-K through twelfth grade. We encourage students to challenge themselves academically, explore comprehensive course offerings, and take risks to discover their individual gifts. We are dedicated to providing an intellectually challenging educational experience in safe, nurturing school environments that thrive on cultivating and empowering students to be their authentic selves. In addition, our academic and co/extra-curricular opportunities provide agency and shape self-identity, which are critical components to the adolescent development process.

    Oak Park Advantage

    The Oak Park Advantage is a holistic approach to education that not only prepares students academically, fosters a sense of belonging but creates long-lasting connections to the Oak Park community. While attending Oak Park Schools, students develop a confidence that is woven throughout their post-secondary, professional and social-emotional well-being years after they graduate.

    Contact an Oak Park School District principal and take a tour! Get the Oak Park Advantage!

    Our 2020 Goals

    Maintain dynamic, healthy, and safe learning environments that inspire unlimited equitable opportunities for optimal classroom instruction to increase student achievement.

    Implement ongoing transparent best practices to reduce operating costs to create opportunities to invest in human capital and professional learning, sustain quality facilities, establish a healthier organizational culture, and ensure fiscal stability.

    Strategically design and implement organizational systems to increase efficiency, boost productivity to allow staff and students to focus entirely on student learning and social-emotional well-being.

    Review and refresh curricular needs and resources employing planned adoption schedules based on current research with technology integration for classroom instruction.

    Operate collaboratively district-wide and abandon ineffective silos.