OLS News

Dr. Erika Johnson and Dr. Ericka Patterson - Principals

October 17th - 21st

Early Dismissal

Tuesday, Oct. 18th, 12:30pm

401 Concord Drive

Chicago Heights, IL

Great News - Curiosity Machine!!!!

Over 200 people attended the Curiosity Kick Off Program at the Michelle Obama Gym! All students who attended the kick-off event received a free science homework pass. Each time a student attends a subsequent event, he or she will receive an Patriot Point to be used at our school store.

I would like to thank the following parents who agreed to serve as Parent Facilitators

Hollyn Chastain's mom Mrs. Tracy Ustinov

Destiny Harris' mom Mrs. Ayuna Harris

Shukurah Floyd's mom Mrs Kenyetta Floyd

Students and parents who attend the program will participate in a design challenge.

What are design challenges?

  • Problems that students love by building a solution.
  • There are no right answers families re supported through failure and redesign
  • Design challenge are hands-on and use project based learning strategies.

In the process of working on the design challenge, the students build a growth mindset.

Growth Mindset


I was born smart.

I can work hard to learn new things.


I want people to think I’m smart

I want to learn new things.

Feelings about Effort

I hope no one notices if I have to work hard.

I worked hard and asked questions – that’s okay

Reactions to Failure

I don’t want to notice mistakes.

I don’t mind making mistakes

The program is geared for 4th - 6th grade students. If you are interested in the program, please contact Mrs. Fry at cfry@sd163.com

Further events will be held in the Barack Obama SMART Lab:

Wednesday, November 2nd

Thursday, November 17th

Thursday, December 1st

Thursday, December 8th

Wednesday, December 14th

Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Food will be served.

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An Engineered Costume Contest

Barack Obama School of Leadership & STEM

3nd Annual “Engineered” Halloween Costume Contest

Judging will take place on October 31, 2016 @ 8:30 a.m.

This is a family challenge so let’s work together.

Calling all “inventors”, “innovators”, “creative thinkers”, “makers”……. The students at OLS are being challenged to create a costume that demonstrates Creativity, Inventiveness, Durability, Communication and Resourcefulness. This is a family challenge that will be take place during the month of October. On October 31st we will present your creations. We will judge students on creativity, inventiveness, durability, communication, and resourcefulness. There will be three winners. Cash prize will be awarded to the 1st place winner. 2nd and 3rd place prizes will also be given. This will be an “Engineered Halloween” to remember!!!!!!

Job Applications

Video Production

The Reading Team is requesting that our students create a video to promote the district's upcoming reading night. If your child is interested in working on the production team, please have them fill out an application in the SMART Lab.


This year, our flyers will be designed by OLS students. Information regarding this job will be posted in the SMART Lab.

OLS - Visitation

Last week Dr. Msmanga visited our school to see how we: structure our Professional Learning Community Meetings (PLC) for staff members and how we motivate students. Dr. Msmanga is a Biologist, a teacher educator and a researcher in science education with a passion for research that helps us understand how best to teach science in the local contexts of teacher and learner diversity and multilingualism so as to prepare students for participation in science at the global level. In the past, she has been involved in biodiversity conservation research and now she draws on that experience to inform her current work in science education where she teaches at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as supervise student research at the Honours, Masters and Doctoral (Ph.D.) levels. Dr. Msmanga currently is on sabbatical from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and is working at the University of Georgia

Dr. Msmanga heard about our school through former Illinois State Board of Education Director of Human Diversity and Director of Teacher Education Mrs. Patricia Flagg. Both women were excited about what they saw and heard from our students. Dr. Msmanga took copious notes and is excited to share ideas with her colleagues in Georgia and Johannesburg.

OLS Students on the Girls Basketball Teams

8th Grades

Destiny Farmer Relonda Tyms Kayla Fincher Sydney West Heaven Watkins

7th Graders

Naomi Imoniruwe Noah Smith Fatima Jones Dezearea Rhymes

6th Graders

Suki Samyoo Micah Smith Kikaru Carroll

OLS 7th Grade Girls Basketball Team

OLS Students on the Obama Flag Team

Faith Alexander

Deja Byrd

Holland Chastain

Dana Ford

Libby Marrs

Kayley Marrs

Angel Rhymes

Jeri Henderson

Renesha James

Rayma Jones

Jasmine Bell

Sarah Franklin

Elon Miller

Errias Elmore

Naysa Nunekpeku

Janiya Promise

Ciara Rhymes

Kamryn Fincher

Ariel Grimes

D'Shari Brewster

Rayniah Austin

Alyssa Lane

Mya Looney

La'Mayh Hughes

Aiyana Nelson

Jamie Harper

Destiny Harris

Destiny Woods

PTO Meeting - October 27th - ENTER THROUGH DOOR 13

Greetings OLS Parents!

Your PTO is off and running, please consider joining our meetings or running for office. It is important that all parents share your ideas and be informed of what is happening in and around the school. Your suggestions and ideas can can enrich the experiences of our students and their experiences in school.

Here’s a look at some of the key ways parents make a difference, and some specific ways you can have the most impact.

The Benefits

Decades of research have shown that when parents are involved in their children’s education, kids are more likely to:

• Earn better grades
• Score higher on tests
• Pass their classes
• Attend school regularly
• Have better social skills
• Show improved behavior
• Be more positive in their attitude toward school
• Complete homework assignments
• Graduate and continue their education

Want to serve on the PTO Board? We are looking for new parent volunteers to step in and help out. Come and find out what we are all about. Elections will take place on Thursday Oct 27 at 6:30pm.

Fundraising Information:

Save Those BOX TOPS we are collecting Box Tops for Education more information will be coming home with your child in the days to come.

It's Cookie Time!! The PTO's first major fundraiser is right around the corner, help us make this a profitable FUNdraiser. Look in your child's book bag for the order forms, we are asking that each child sell a min of 5 tubes of cookies. Prizes will be awarded to parent and child that sells the most.

Calendar of Events

10/4 Parade/Lunch and Learn

10/5 Chess Tournament @ Obama

10/6 Girls Basketball @ Obama

10/7 1st Installment for the 8th Grade Trip is Due

10/10 NO School Columbus Day

10/12 Girls Basketball at Washington

10/12 IMSA Fusion - First Day

10/13 Curiosity Machine - Parent Meeting

10/14 Eligibility Trip

10/15 Girls Basketball at Huth

10/15 Cheerleading Practice 9-12

10/15 Flag Team Practice 9:30-11:30

10/15 Boys Basketball Tryouts

10/18 Early Dismissal 12:30

10/19 4th /5th Grade Study Tip to the Lyric Opera

10/20 Robotics Club

10/22 Cheerleading Practice 9-12

10/22 Flag Team Practice 9:30-11:30

10/26 Girls Basketball - Crete

10/27 Picture Day

10/27 Robotics Club

10/28 Eligibility Trip

10/29 Cheerleading Practice 9-12

10/29 Flag Team Practice 9:30-11:30

10/31 Engineered Halloween Costume Contest

10/31 Board of Education Meeting