The Oak Park Advantage
October 2020 Newsletter
VIRTUAL PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE
Friday, Oct. 9th, 8am
This is an online event.
GRADES PREK - 12
AM Session: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
PM Session: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
OAK PARK SCHOOLS RETURN TO SCHOOL SURVEY
Dear Oak Park Schools Parent/Guardian,
Although we are 100% virtual, we've had a great start to the 2020-21 school year! For planning purposes, we are requesting that ALL families click on the link below to complete an updated survey to provide us with accurate input to inform our decisions on how to continue to educate students for the remainder of the semester and school year. Although we realize that you have completed earlier surveys, we highly value your input. Additionally, COVID-19 is an ever-changing and rapidly evolving situation that requires ongoing input from families, staff and students throughout this unprecedented time.
Click on the active link: OPS Return to School Survey and complete the survey no later than Friday, October 9, 2020 or click here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf5xTu48wRwcNqPbzXqCyPq68RI_L2Xs6mqF2w_Tb5fNkmgsg/viewform?usp=sf_link.
If you have more than one student in our district, please complete ONE survey per child. In the meantime, for assistance with technology, social emotional support or virtual medical or mental health care, please call 248-336-7667. Please stay healthy and safe.
Jamii J. Hitchcock, Ph.D.
MHSAA FOOTBALL: OAK PARK KNIGHTS AT OXFORD WILDCATS
Friday, Oct. 2nd, 7pm
745 North Oxford Road
THE HERO'S CIRCLE- CHILDREN HEALING CHILDREN IS COMING TO ALL OF OAK PARK!
The program centers on learning to control your brain so that you can reach your goal. The Hero's Circle recognizes that it takes hard work, dedication, and perseverance to reach one’s goals. The Hero’s Circle is a tool to help one reach their goals.
Kids Kicking Cancer now offers help and services to not only cancer patients, but any child in pain from a serious illness.
Using martial arts therapy, Kids Kicking Cancer staff teaches ill children and their siblings to:
- Regain a sense of control over the chaos of their lives.
- Become empowered partners in their own healing.
- Push away the messages of pain, fear, and anger.
- Provide inspiration and light to others facing life-challenges.
- Teach other children, and even adults, how to take control.
- See themselves as victors, not victims.
Martial arts techniques unlock the student’s Power, and the focused breathing and relaxation work brings them Peace. While teaching Kids Kicking Cancer’s Breath Brake to others, they find great Purpose in their young lives.
Kids Kicking Cancer was created in 1999 by Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg, a black belt rabbi and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics. Rabbi G lost his first child to leukemia at the age of two and brings a wealth of personal experience and sensitivity to dealing with children and families facing life-threatening illness.
This program, which began with a handful of children at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, now teaches over 7,000 children in 90 hospitals and program locations in 7 countries.
The most unique and powerful element of the model is that each child becomes a teacher to others. Kids Kicking Cancer’s mantra is Power Peace Purpose. When asked what is your purpose? The children yell out, “To teach the world.”
Kids Kicking Cancer also has a “black-belt” program for patients who are not responding to treatments. This end of life care program provides ongoing meditation and family focus in a palliative format that culminates in the child receiving a black-belt in a public ceremony, usually a few days before he or she dies. Embroidered on the black-belt are the words “Master Teacher” because that child is truly teaching the world how to use the power of light to break through darkness.
Rabbi Goldberg is an awardee of the Robert Wood Johnson, Community Health Leaders Award in Washington D.C., known as the United States’ highest award in community public health. He has been honored as a Hero in People Magazine, CNN Top Ten Heroes, and the Ford Motor Company’s Heroes Gallery, amongst the many media stories featuring the work of Kids Kicking Cancer.
For further information please visit https://kidskickingcancer.org/
OFFICE OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
Office of Teaching and Learning
District Wide Updates
w/o September 28, 2020
Please see the linked flyer for information on our Fall 2020 Assessments
All of our Return To School PD videos have been compiled and uploaded for your learning pleasure! Please click on the link and enjoy!
Cassandra Baptiste, our Asst. Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, had the pleasure of visiting virtual classrooms this week at Pepper Elementary! What she saw in those classrooms was indicative of all the great things that define the Oak Park Schools family! Teachers were differentiating their lessons to meet the needs of students, providing multiple entry points into learning, building positive virtual classroom communities, and demonstrating patience and care with all of our students. Most importantly, we want to recognize all the parents and students who are navigating these trying times with such positivity! Ms. Baptise ended the day filled with pride for all the great work everyone is putting in across our community!
A HUGE thank you to our (K-5) LIT teams at Pepper, Key, and Einstein Elementary for helping set-up and facilitate DIBELS testing! Testing went off without a hitch and, as we all know, it took an extensive amount of planning to ensure our students were set up to successfully test in a virtual environment! Great work to everyone involved!
Another HUGE thank you to all staff members at OPPA & NOVA for NWEA testing our wonderful students this past week. Your commitment to student learning is evident in all the intentional planning you do!
Thank you so much to the Oak Park Technology team for all the help and assistance setting up our district wide testing protocols! This group may be lean and (not so) mean, but they continue to be the backbone of our success. Between setting up and distributing laptops, updating browsers, manning the call center to provide technological support to our students and families, and testing online platforms to ensure students can take assessments from home, this team continues to get after it every day! Thank you.
Interested in reading a little about how positive student praise can lead to learning and growth? Check out this recent article from Edutopia!
New Teacher PD: The Office of Teaching and Learning is excited to announce a series of Professional Learning Sessions for all teachers who are new to the district. This year’s PL series will focus on providing equitable education for all students. Through our work, we will look at policies and practices through the lens of equity with a culminating project in which all participants present their findings and products to be used for the 2021-2022 school year. Any teacher who joined our district either last year or this year should check their emails for more information! Our first session will take place Tuesday, October 6 at 3:30pm. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONLINE CLASS CODES/TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT
Click on your child's school for the (Zoom Link/Google Classroom Code)
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 "@students.oakparkschools.org"
- 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.
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.
Phone Support (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
COMMUNITY HEALTH & NUTRITION NEWS
This Season a Flu Vaccine is More Important than Ever!
Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself, your family and your community from flu. A flu vaccine this season can also help reduce the burden on our healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and save medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients. September and October are good times to get a flu vaccine.
The more people vaccinated; the more people protected. Do your part. Get a flu vaccine this fall.
SCHOOL IMMUNIZATIONS: DON'T WAIT TO UPDATE!
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 https://www.oakparkschools.org/community-parents/school-health-k-12/ or email Victoria Ipina, School Nurse at email@example.com
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INFLUENZA(FLU) AND COVID-19?
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
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle pain or body aches
- 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.
Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell.
FEED OUR KIDS PROGRAM
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 //www.oakparkschools.org/coronavirus-information/feed-our-kids/ or email Aric Wienclaw, Director of Dining Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NO HUNGRY KID ORGANIZATION
CENSUS 2020 IMPACT IN YOUR COMMUNITY
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 my2020census.gov to begin.
WHY OAK PARK?
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.