Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ January 4, 2021

Health Update from Superintendent Sherman

Dear Families,

Welcome back! We are thrilled to see students and to be back in our hybrid model starting this week. We know it continues to be imperative that we exercise vigilance in our mitigation strategies for students and staff to remain safe at school. Our administrative team is re-evaluating our arrival, dismissal, and recess procedures to ensure that none of our staff and students are within the definition of close contact when conducting these practices during winter months. Guidance to students and families will follow if there are changes to these routines.

As of 12/31, the incidence rates for our zip code and county are 24.1 and 26.7, respectively. These have been on a steady decline since mid-November, with the exception of a slight increase in our local rate in the last week. Our zip code rate remains half the number it was when we took a pause in late November. We are continuing to monitor these metrics for any "spikes" and potential impact on our staffing and/or cases within the school. In addition, we are closely monitoring the new COVID-19 variant with the LCHD and any impact it might have on our community. Finally, I am pleased to share that our staff is considered in the "essential frontline workers" group within our county and have been earmarked to receive the vaccine in late January or early February.

I will continue to be transparent with any new updates that impact us. Thank you for your ongoing support and flexibility as we navigate this pandemic together.

Inclement Weather Reminder

As a reminder, on November 17, 2020, our Board of Education approved the administration's proposed plan to use e-learning instruction in lieu of using an "emergency day" in the event the district experiences highly inclement weather. This means, administration can opt to use a full remote learning day for students in lieu of a "snow day" and the day would not need to be made up at the end of our calendar year. Details of the plan for learning on these days are posted on our website, under the "About" tab and "District E-Learning Plan" link. Please review at your convenience as we enter the throes of our winter months. In the event we need to use a remote learning day due to inclement weather, administration and staff would provide further guidance to families and students on how to proceed through learning that day.

From the Desk of Mrs. Webb

Dear Oak Grove School Families,

Welcome back and Happy New Year! I am pleased to join the OG school community in 2021 for the remainder of this school year. In reading about your school and talking to the team, I am delighted to learn that Oak Grove School places great pride and promise around what students need to learn and prosper. I have worked with many educational systems and I am impressed that Oak Grove School is fully committed to helping students @home and @school. This takes great dedication and planning, which the teachers and staff display in abundance. It is obvious that the students are to be commended for their dedication to learning and self improvement, which means the parents are to be celebrated, as well. All in all, WELL DONE! I look forward to supporting you and the entire OG School and Community to keep these goals solidly in place. The team and I have already begun discussions around how to keep the momentum and focus on being the best school for students in Lake County.

I have had the fortune of being a teacher for 22 years and a school principal for 11 years before I retired to work with the Consortium of Educational Change (CEC). We focus on supporting schools in many ways: School Systems Assessments, Evaluation Processes, Mentoring and Coaching, and a plethora of other programs. We maintain high goals of helping schools analyze their focus on improvements, focus on culture and focus on instruction. All of these areas have drastically changed with the current times and we are changing right along with them. My favorite areas of concentration are on School Culture and Leadership Coaching. I hope to bring my experience to the staff and look forward to this growth opportunity for all. Last year, around this same time, I served as an interim principal in a Cook County School where I was able to grow and learn with another dynamic team of educators and community members. When March hit, we rolled up our sleeves and began the new, challenging work of instruction and team building during a pandemic.

I look forward to getting to know you all. Please know that I am here for you by email, phone or google meets. Please stay safe.

Respectfully yours,

Elizabeth Webb Peterman, (Mrs. Webb)

Interim Principal

Oak Grove School

Board Election Update

Four seats on the seven member Oak Grove School Board of Education will be filled at the April 6 election. Candidates elected will serve four-year terms expiring in April of 2025. The seats expiring are currently filled by Cathie DeMoon, Jon Baffico, Krysia Ressler, and Jennifer Manski. Please click here to view the candidates on the ballot.

Eagles @School Parent Drop-off and Walkers

For those of you in the drop off line this morning, thank you for your patience as we navigated our new procedures and supported our young friends as they arrived with bags of school supplies to carry back to class. We will continue to tweak our arrival line up throughout the week and are hopeful to have a good flow through by Friday. A couple things that we noticed:

  • If your child is a walker coming from the back of the school, please have them enter at door 16, and if you are walking with them, this is where you would walk to as well. This helps to eliminate congestion on our sidewalk during parent drop off.
  • If your child is a walker coming from the front area of the school, please have them enter at the main entrance.
  • All children arriving in the same vehicle need to enter the building at the same door. This allows our arrival staff to take their temperatures sequentially and should there be a high reading, we would know to keep them together.

Eagles @School Outdoor Time

As we reevaluate recess and student outdoor time, the health and wellness of our staff, students, and community is at the forefront of every decision we make. Therefore, we are requesting that students do not bring snow gear to school. Outdoor time will be limited to our plowed blacktop areas so that students will not need snow pants and boots for snow play. With that said, please ensure that your child does have the appropriate gear to be outside (jacket, sweatshirt, hat, gloves, etc.). Also, we encourage you to send at least 2 masks for your child to ensure they have a spare if one gets wet or dirty.

PTO News



Please join us for the January PTO meeting, this Wednesday at 11:30am. Zoom meeting details below. Please review the meeting minutes from our last meeting for approval.

12/2/2020 PTO Minutes HERE

1/6/2021 PTO Meeting Agenda can be found HERE

Join 1/6/2021 PTO Zoom Meeting:


Meeting ID: 824 2871 0684
Passcode: 630578
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,82428710684#,,,,*630578# US (Chicago)


Thank you to all those that participated in the PTO’s 20 Days of Giving!

A huge thank you to our 8th grade volunteers: Kyle Byrnes, Rinav Dugar, Gabriella Earth, Brian Furlong, Katie Griffin, Josh Kelton, Kaden Kovach, Maddie Merrild, Mirabella Shridharani, Clare Tippet, Gavin Wagner, and Tyler Wilson for your leadership in organizing this event! Plus, the Buckley Family, Dietz Family, Ferstenfeld Family, Mohamed Family, and Sallmann Family for also being collection locations.

Donations were delivered to the food pantry on Wednesday, December 16th. OGS families donated over 1,900 items and a $100 monetary donation to the Libertyville Township Food Pantry! This pandemic has also hit our community hard, and the Pantry was very grateful for support from OGS. Please see the press release in the OGS Backpack for more details.

Guess Our Success contest & Raffle winners have all been notified.

Way to finish 2020 Strong, Eagles!


We hope you all enjoyed a nice, relaxing break! Don’t forget the PTO is collecting family favorite recipes for our first ever digital OGS Recipe Book! Please share one (or more) of your family’s favorite recipes using this LINK (insert - https://forms.gle/i7SVzh9x6Cag7mXh9 ). We will collect recipes through the end of January. If you have any questions, please contact Laura Reutzel at sandersL7@hotmail.com or pto@ogschool.org.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

SEL Short: Welcome Back and Self-Awareness

We hope that winter break provided you and your family some time to reflect, relax, and recharge as we head into 2021. The start of a new year tends to spark thoughts about goals and thinking about what we want to accomplish throughout the year. Setting goals and planning are great ideas for success. However, it is important to take a few steps back and reflect before you begin to craft goals and create plans. Specifically, we need to tap into our self-awareness, reflect, and then develop our plans.

Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your emotions, thoughts, and values and understand how they influence your behavior. Reflection is serious thought and/or consideration about previous events, behaviors, emotions, etc… Below are a few ideas that might help maximize self-awareness and reflection:

Self Awareness/Reflection Idea #1: Mindfulness

Mindful Breaths and asking the yourself the following questions

What am I feeling?

What am I thinking?

Does what I am feeling and thinking align with my values?

Will my anticipated behavior match who I am and where I want to go?

Self Awareness/Reflection Idea #2: Writing/journaling

Writing down or typing your thoughts helps make them less abstract and easier to manage. Below is a potential list of writing prompts:

I am feeling this way because…

I like/dislike the way that I am feeling because…

Moving forward, I will...

We are excited to begin 2021 and we hope you are too!


PBS Learning Media: Self awareness and social emotional learning

Article: Responsive Classroom “Stop and Think”

Podcast: Being Well

Curriculum Corner

Hello Oak Grove Community,

Welcome to 2021! We are excited to be back and see all of our smiling student faces. As we start up again, we are hoping to receive some feedback from families regarding our learning models (in-person and remote) implemented the first half of the year. Please take 3 minutes to complete this 5 question survey to help guide our work this winter and into spring.

For families who have Eagles at School - Click HERE

For families who have Eagles at Home - Click HERE

Thank you and Happy New Year!

DEI Committee

The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Committee is made up of teachers, administrators and parents within Oak Grove. This committee has evolved from the initial work of the Multicultural Committee to be more encompassing of all aspects of diversity within our Oak Grove family.

DEI Committee Mission:

Oak Grove increases access to educational opportunities by advocating for students and staff, emphasizing the importance of equity and diversity in promoting learning and development. Our commitment to equity and diversity is the shared responsibility of students, families, staff, and must be supported and guided by all levels of leadership.

DEI Committee Vision:

We commit to enhance, sustain, and nurture a dynamic, inclusive and representative culture that enriches the educational experience of the Oak Grove School community by:

  • Delivering experiences and knowledge to journey toward becoming more culturally responsive and racially conscious;

  • Championing equity of inclusion and representation among students, families, & staff opportunities; and

  • Cultivating relationships and collaborative partnerships with surrounding community, schools and agencies.

As we embark on the important work of ensuring the inclusion of all members of the community, it is necessary to gain an understanding from the community, the staff and our students regarding their own perceptions. In order to move forward, we need to evaluate where we are at this point in time and how to best focus our efforts into the future. Thank you for taking the time to complete this 17 question survey. There are three sections: physical integration, social-emotional engagement and engaged & inspired learners, which should take approximately 10 minutes of your time. Your honesty is helpful in crafting a program designed to meet our unique needs at Oak Grove. Family Survey Link

Spelling Bee News

Thank you to all of the 4th-8th graders who participated in our qualifying rounds. Those students who made it through to the spelling bee, please don't forget to attend an informational meeting about the bee this week. There are two meeting choices. You only need to attend one meeting as they will both cover the same information. The meeting options are:

Tuesday, January 5 at 3:30 PM

Wednesday, January 6 at 8:30 AM

This will be done via Google Meets. The meeting code is spellingbee .

If you have any questions, please email Ms. Douglass at douglass@ogschool.org.

Band News

Attention parents of 8th graders!

The LHS Music Department would like to invite you to a meeting to provide a brief overview of the Music Program offerings for students entering LHS in the fall. We will host 2 identical Zoom meetings on January 6 and 12 at 7:00pm. We will have breakout rooms for band, choir, orchestra, and general music and there will also be an opportunity for Q and A. Please email Mr. Helvie if you have any questions. dustin.helvie@d128.org

THIS WEDNESDAY, January 6th, 7-8pm.


Tuesday, January 12th, 7-8pm


7th - 8th Grade Program - Elyssa's Mission

Oak Grove Families,

The middle school experience can include a wide range of emotions. It is easy to misread these emotions and it is beneficial to properly identify them early. Specifically, depression appears to be occurring at a much earlier age and the past decade has seen teen suicide rates double.

To proactively address this issue, Oak Grove School is partnering for a second year with Elyssa’s Mission to offer depression and suicide prevention training to our 7th and 8th-grade students. The screening and training will take place on January 12th for 7th grade and January 19th for 8th grade. Elyssa’s Mission is an evidence-based suicide prevention program that has been shown to address suicide risk and depression while reducing suicide attempts.

Through the program, students learn:

● Depression is treatable, so they are encouraged to seek help.

● How to identify depression and potential suicide risk in themselves or a friend.

● ACT (Acknowledge, Care and Tell a trusted adult)

● Who students can turn to at school for help, if they need it.

Students will watch age-appropriate video clips about depression, suicide, and what to do if they are concerned about a friend. Following the video, students will complete a response slip which asks whether they would like to talk to an adult about any concerns. School staff will conduct brief meetings with any student asking to talk.

We encourage you to visit www.sossignsofsuicide.org/parent for information on warning signs for youth suicide, useful resources, and some of the key messages students will learn. In addition, here is an infographic to help you reinforce the ACT message at home, a list of ideas to help prevent suicide and also includes Oak Grove crisis resources.

If you do not wish your child(ren) to participate in the depression and suicide intervention training, please contact Ryan Murray at 847-367-4120 ext. 2708 or murray@ogschool.org. If we do not hear from you, we will assume your child has permission to participate in this program. Thank you for your support with this program.

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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