The Owl's Nest January


Oakleigh Elementary School

Principal: Sharon Mason-
Assistant Principal: Lisa Farley-

The Principal’s Corner

Greetings Oakleigh Families,

We are excited to welcome the New Year as we welcome changes in our school. Last month, students in grades 1-3 received individual devices and learned the basics of accessing curriculum using lesson tiles. Beginning in January, teachers will provide more frequent opportunities for customizing learning tasks to individual student needs. This will be happening in other grades, too, with the increased access to the computer lab and other available computers.

Parents, we need your help. We have been experiencing an increased number of unexcused absences causing our overall attendance rate to be low. If your child is absent, please send in a note upon his/her return stating the reason for the absence and include the date of the absence and your signature. January begins a time of renewed focus and academic learning. Please be sure your child attends school unless he/she is ill.

Best regards,

Mrs. Mason

Dates To Remember


  • January 4th- School Reopens from Winter Break
  • January 14th- BCPS Day- Wear Your Blue!
  • January 15th- End of Second Quarter
  • January 18th- Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday Observed- School & Offices Closed
  • January 19th- Teacher Professional Development Day- No School for Students

Pre Kindergarten

Happy New Year! Pre-K and IGE 3's are glad to be back! We're excited and ready to work and play! We are building our skills and making great progress in all areas! Thank you for all your help and support! We Love School!


The kindergarten team welcomed Mrs. Hoffman back from maternity leave. We hope you had a good winter break. Now that we are back in school we are looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. Please remember to dress your child according to the weather report. We try to go outside as much as possible. This is a perfect time to make sure your child can fasten his/her coat independently.

We are participating in Developing Language through the Arts. Mrs. Kerr introduced Secret Dancer in December. Here is a website that your child may be interested in viewing: Mrs. Kerr will continue to introduce new works of art throughout the rest of the school year.

Please continue to read and practice sight words with your child every night. Please practice writing numbers with your child as well.

1st Grade

Our first grade school year is flying by fast! We want to thank all of our parent volunteers who were able to chaperone our field trip to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Our students had lots of fun interacting with different animals and they learned a lot!

We are very excited that our devices have arrived at Oakleigh. Students have been using them on a daily basis in all academic areas. The devices are extremely motivating and are great for differentiating student learning! Please allow students to use their BCPS One resources at home as well!

2nd Grade

We hope everyone had a wonderful winter break. We are looking forward to a new year of learning in 2016. We are proud of the students who have participated in Book-It! each month. We encourage all students to read each night to meet their Book-It! goal. In reading, we are reading literary and informational texts to learn about how cultures, environments, genres, characters, and subjects are unique. In mathematics, we are continuing to solve word problems using a variety of strategies to add and subtract two digit numbers.

3rd Grade

Third grade

Oakleigh third graders are so excited to finally have their devices to use in the classroom! Along with this new technology comes new responsibilities and procedures that the students must adjust to. If your student does not have headphones or earbuds to use in the classroom, please send them in as soon as possible.

Our storytelling unit in English Language Arts is coming to a close and the students are creating their own original fable. The students have read fables and folktales from diverse cultures thus far and will soon study myths. Recounting details, determining the central message, and opinion writing have been the skills students have focused on acquiring throughout the unit.

In Mathematics students are adding and subtracting 2 and 3 digit numbers. Initially, place value concepts take precedence over the traditional algorithm in order for students to develop a strong sense of how the algorithm works. Our next unit brings us back to multiplication and division; therefore, continue to practice these concepts with your student.

Lastly, third graders will soon be receiving their recorders, which is very exciting news!

The Third Grade Team

4th Grade

Welcome back for the new year! Things are continuing to progress well in fourth grade. We have finished several topics, including Wonder in ELA, and Native Americans in social studies. We have begun science, with some hands-on learning about fossils, and are now learning about space. As we finish multiplication, division will begin, so please continue to help your child memorize their multiplication facts. They are a huge part of just about everything we will do in math for the rest of the year, and not having them memorized is a huge stumbling block to efficient math work.

At this point in the year, it is probably time to check on your child's school supplies. Some folders need replacing, as do many dry erase markers, and sometimes pencils. Please, as you replace pencils, do not send in any mechanical or pop-a-point pencils, as requested on the original supply list.

Weather permitting, we will go outside for recess every day, so please make sure your child wears a warm coat and other outerwear as necessary. And speaking of cold, we would also appreciate any boxes of tissues you care to donate. It's definitely the sniffles and sneezing season, and we go through boxes fairly quickly.

Thank you for all you do!

5th Grade

Hello Oakleigh Community, we hope everyone had a wonderful winter break. It’s that time of the year, when 5th teachers are in need of tissues and hand sanitizer. If you are able to donate some of these items we would greatly appreciate it. Also, be sure to check your child’s agenda each evening and log in to bcpsone on a regular basis. In math, most students will begin unit 3 division of decimals and whole numbers. For Language Arts, students will be starting unit 3 Historical transformation. Happy New Year!


Mrs. Conneely's class has been working hard leaning parts of speech and writing sentences. They are quite creative! We have also been preparing for the winter chorus concert. We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break!

In Mrs. Mullen's Class this month in Science, we will finish learning about Magnets and Electricity. We will then begin our next unit which is called As the Weather Changes. We will observe the weather, take data, make weather instruments and perform experiments!

In Math, we will complete our Subtraction unit. We will then begin our unit on Data Analysis. We will learn how to read, make and use a variety of graphs. In our Unique Learning Systems program, we will learn about Physical Science using our senses. We will read stories, solve math problems and conduct science experiments. We will also observe and describe materials and will learn how some materials change when heated or cooled.

Special Areas News

Vocal Music Classes with Mr. Moon!

With the New Year comes new challenges in Vocal Music class. Students will be learning new more difficult rhythms, movements, melodies and vocal techniques. The third graders will be starting to play their recorders in preparation for a concert in the spring. Fourth grade students will begin to meet every Wednesday morning with me as the new Fourth Grade Chorus. They will be giving their concert in the spring as well. Please continue to listen to and sing as much music as you can at home. And remember - have fun!

Physical Education

January is going to be a busy month for physical education. We will be having our Kick-Off Assembly for Jump Rope for Heart on January 12. We will also begin accepting donations for Jump Rope for Heart during the month of January. All donations must be turned into Mrs. Bornman or Mr. Strevig by Friday, February 12. Please consider creating an online website through the American Heart Association in order to collect online donations. Visit and click on “Students Sign Up” to get started

Please be sure to send your student to school with the proper sneakers on PE days.

Mrs. Bornman and Mr. Strevig

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Ms. Kerr’s Art Corner

Art grades are posted regularly. Please stay caught up with art grades on the BCPS One site of Engrade to see what assignment might be missing. When emailing me in regards to your child, please include a last name and the classroom teacher’s name as well. With teaching over 650 students, it’s difficult to know which Matilda or Elmer you are inquiring about.

News From Our School Nurse

Health Suite Reminders:

  • Flu Shots & Flu Mist are advised for everyone over 6 months of age.
  • Washing your hands often with warm water and soap is the best way to prevent the spread of illness.
  • All medications, prescriptions, and over the counter medications must be kept in the health suite. They should be brought in by an adult in the original labeled bottle and a physician's order needs to accompany it.
  • As the cold weather approaches, it is advisable for students with asthma to have an asthma rescue inhaler in school. Please speak with your child's physician about this.
  • If your child should become ill with a fever of 100 degrees or more, it is BCPS policy that they should not return to school until fever free for 24 hours without the use of Tylenol or Motrin.

If you have any questions concerning your child's health at school, I can be reached at 410-665-0362.

Best wishes for healthy and safe holiday season.

Mrs. Levy

Counselor's Corner

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!

During the month of December, we are focusing on kindness and compassion. During classroom lessons, we are reading books related to those character traits. Students have worked to spread kindness and compassion throughout their classrooms and the school community.

Under the supervision of our Safe School Ambassador Family Group Facilitators, our 4th and 5th grade ambassadors have been working diligently, within their own peer groups, to address any mistreatment that they have seen throughout the building. We are proud of the strong leadership and personal growth that we have seen in each of them. This program is also being utilized at the middle and high school levels with the hope that all students will eventually be trained to become Safe School Ambassadors. If you have a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade student who would be interested in becoming a Safe School Ambassador during the next school year, please reach out to Mrs. McKinney at

Have a fantastic winter break!!

Mrs. McKinney

School Counselor


Oakleigh Gives a Hoot! PBIS News

During the month of December, we celebrated compassion! Service means “caring enough to do something about someone else’s need.” Many students were recognized by their teachers each week for showing compassion! Congratulations!

During the month of January, we will be learning about self-control. Self-control means “choosing to do what you should do, not what you want to do.” Please see the “self-control” part of this newsletter to for ideas on how to support this character trait at home.

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Oakleigh students in action learning and working hard.
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