The Oak Park Advantage

March 2021 Second Edition


Our Science Department and Microsoft have partnered up for the next four weeks to host a virtual Celebration of Female Empowerment, starting Monday, March 8.

Please join us for our virtual tour events! #WomensHistoryMonth

For event information please visit:


Dear Oak Park School District Resident,

Every year, the Oak Park School District proudly serves nearly 4,000 students. As Superintendent, I see first-hand the unwavering dedication of our teachers, principals, support staff and our community to provide each student with the opportunity to reach their full potential.

In alignment with our mission, we are always seeking ways to improve our learning environments and school facilities. With all of our school buildings over 60 years of age, our facilities are in critical need of renovations. The district has conducted regular maintenance for our buildings and has addressed issues along the way, but the time has come that major renovations are needed that our regular budget cannot support. Just like your home, every component of building infrastructure has a limited useful life before it needs to be replaced.

On May 4, 2021, the district is asking the community to vote on a $54,445,000 bond proposal which provides significant funding for the district's critical infrastructure needs. If approved, the tax rate will remain the same as 2020. Included in the bond program are renovations and upgrades to the following areas:

- Infrastructure
- Mechanical & Plumbing
- Electrical
- Technology

A more detailed list of projects can be found on the district's website at

In this election, every vote is important. Please make sure that you vote on May 4, 2021 at the polls or any time after March 19, 2021 by absentee ballot. For your convenience, a breakdown of the ballot language is included with this letter. If you have questions or need more information, please visit the district's website by clicking on // or email us at

Working together, we want to ensure that our schools provide the best opportunities for our students and continue to serve our children and our community. Our vision is that our schools and educational facilities provide the best educational experience possible for our children. Of course, this would not be possible with the assistance of the community. Providing critical renovations to our infrastructure and school facilities supports our goal to provide quality, effective learning environments and is critical for every resident's property value.

Thank you for your consideration and please remember to vote on or by May 4, 2021. Strong schools equal strong communities!


Jamii J. Hitchcock, Ph.D.



Tuesday, March 23rd, 5pm

This is an online event.

5:00 p.m. | After-School Community Meeting
Meeting ID: 858 7881 8007
Passcode: Jg2WS7
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Should I quarantine after travel?


The CDC states that travel increases your chance of spreading or getting COVID-19 and should be limited. If you must travel, you should take steps to protect yourself and others through vaccination, testing 1-3 days before your trip, and following mitigation measures such as wearing masks and social distancing. When you return, the CDC recommends getting tested 3-5 days after AND staying home for 7 days even if you test negative. If you do not get tested, stay home and self quarantine for 10-14 days after travel and monitor for symptoms.

Stay Healthy Oak Park!

Vanessa Long

Oak Park Schools District Nurse

(248) 342-9944

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Oak Park Schools & Gleaners Community Food Bank are partnering to serve our community. We want to ensure all families wishing to receive meals can do so. Families and individuals in need of food are encouraged to attend an upcoming drive-up distribution provided by Gleaners Community Food Bank.

The distribution will take place on Friday, March 19 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Oak Park High School (13701 Oak Park Blvd, Oak Park 48237).

Additional Details:

  • 30 lbs. of groceries - Items such as milk, canned fruits & vegetables, lean protein & other shelf-stable items.

  • Drive-up or Walk-up - Stay in your vehicles, and groceries will be placed into your trunk. Walk up guests without vehicles or those w/o a trunk are welcome to obtain groceries from a self-service table. If walking, please be prepared to carry the groceries or have a cart.

  • No appointment needed - You do not need to bring identification or proof of eligibility to receive food.

  • Increasing safety - If you wish to pick up for another household, you may do so without their presence in the car.

Please contact Vicky Zoldos at 313-530-8736 with any further questions.


Henry Ford Health System is offering free, walk-in COVID-19 testing at Oak Park High School and multiple locations throughout Metro Detroit through Wednesday, March 31.

No appointment, physician referral, prescription or insurance is needed. The PCR (nasal swab) tests are available for adults and children.

Results will be provided within 48 hours. If you are having symptoms or suspect that you may have COVID-19, please take advantage of this free service.

Because testing dates, times and locations may change, please visit for updates. Or, call 313-876-1363 Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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Dear OPS Families,

Despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges we have faced over the last calendar year, Oak Park Schools is excited to announce a return to in-person learning opportunity for our PreK-12 students!

Beginning April 5, 2021 every school within the district will safely re-open classrooms for an in-person option. While students and families are offered an in-person option to attend school five days a week, Oak Park Schools remains committed to continuing virtual learning for those students wishing to remain online for the remainder of the school year.

School district staff have worked diligently over the last several weeks to record family's choices regarding face to face or virtual instruction. Based on the choice you selected, please view the schedules below:

Grades: PreK-5 (Elementary): Half Day Hybrid Learning Model

Pepper Elementary, Einstein Elementary, Key Elementary

  • In-Person School Day: Monday-Friday, 8:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (onsite) and 1:35 – 3:15 p.m. (home/virtual)

    • Students will receive a bagged lunch upon dismissal from school at 12:15 p.m.

  • Virtual School Day: Monday-Friday, 8:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (AM Block) and 1:35 – 3:15 p.m. (PM Block)

  • Combined Learning with Homeroom Teacher: Daily, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

    • All students, in-person and virtual, will join their classroom teacher and participate in a “Zoom-in-the Room”/live stream shared learning experience.

Grades: 6-12 (Secondary): Full Day Learning Hub Model

Oak Park Preparatory Academy (OPPA), Oak Park High School, NOVA

  • The school day for in-person and virtual students is Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

    • Office Hours/Student Support Time: 8:00 – 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 2:00 p.m.

    • Advisory: Daily, 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.

    • Class Periods 1-6: Daily, 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

  • All students will receive lunch from 11:40 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.

  • All in-person students will exit the building at 2:00 p.m.

In preparation for our return to in-person learning, all students in Oak Park Schools will participate in two asynchronous learning days:

  • Grades: PreK-5 (Elementary) will have no live classes on Monday, March 15 & Friday, March 26

  • Grades: 6-12 (Secondary) will have no live classes on Monday, March 15 & Monday, March 22

During the asynchronous learning days above, students will not receive live instruction on Zoom. Students will be expected to complete online assignments. These two days will provide our faculty and staff time to prepare their learning spaces for the return of students on April 5!

Oak Park Schools continues to place the safety of our students, families, and our staff above all else. We will continue to actively monitor COVID-19 data, adhere to guidance from the state of Michigan as well as the CDC, and adjust accordingly.

Thank you for all of your support!


OPS Teaching & Learning Department


“Pear Deck’s award-winning tools seamlessly support effective teaching and learning methodologies. With solutions that work across all grade levels and subjects, Pear Deck helps teachers use active learning techniques to maximize student engagement. Districts that implement Pear Deck report improved outcomes and equity, improved student engagement and achievement, and a more positive school climate and culture.

Here you can learn more about Pear Deck’s efficacy and pedagogy, find webinars designed just for educators, and get implementation resources. “

You should be able to access the premium version of Pear Deck by logging in with your Oak Park Gmail.

If you have any questions, would like help getting started, or are having issues accessing your account, please feel free to email Lauren Marchelletta at

Lauren Marchelletta


Technology Field Services

Oakland Schools & Oak Park

Call or Text: 248.410.2202

Resources for Oakland Schools/Oak Park Schools

CLICK HERE for Oakland Schools Tech Tidbits (February)

CLICK HERE to access my Oak Park Virtual Office

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Virtual "It's Story Time" with Mayor Marian McClellan | Fu Finds The Way

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Searching for an exciting and rewarding career opportunity? Do you want to get paid to learn?

Then join us on April 19, 4 - 6 PM for Oakland County’s first virtual apprenticeship showcase to learn more about these jobs, including current opportunities. The online event is free, but you must register to receive the login information.

Virtually meet one-on-one with representatives from a range of organizations that offer registered apprenticeships in a number of fields:

  • Building Trades
  • Manufacturing
  • Health Care
  • Pharmacy
  • Information Technology
  • Others

Do not miss the chance to see firsthand why apprenticeships are growing in popularity among people of all ages.


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The Southfield Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated are excited to introduce their Academic Enrichment Program for students in grades K-5!

In the absence of face-to-face learning this school year, the Southfield Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is launching a new venture:

the Academic Enrichment Program. The goal is to strengthen core concepts through games, fun activities, and challenges as well as to continually encourage a joy of learning. The target group is students in grades K-5.

Program sessions will be held every second and fourth Wednesday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. via Zoom. An informational meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 17, at 6:30 p.m. Registration will be available at that time on a first-come, first-served basis. This service is being offered at no charge to students.

If you have questions, please contact our Tutorial Committee co-chairs:

Dr. Angela Rogers or Ms. Shelly Thomas at


ATTENTION: Oak Park High School SENIORS!

The Zeta Phi Beta, INC. Upsilon Psi Zeta. Graduate Chapter:

Blazing Tributes Foundation currently has $1000 scholarships available for high school graduates who will graduate by June 2021!

All scholarship applications must be postmarked by March 19, 2021.

Download a scholarship application today at



The Gamma Lambda Education Foundation currently has scholarships available for high school graduates who will graduate by June 2021. High school graduates are expected to enter an accredited college at the beginning of the 2020 - 2021 academic year. Scholarships are available in various amounts.

Requirements for consideration are:

  • Graduate from a Metropolitan Detroit Area Public High School or Public School Academy (Charter High School);

  • Grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale;

  • Acceptance into an accredited four-year institution of higher learning;

  • African-American male;

  • Participation in the Gamma Lambda Education Foundation Scholarship Program and related activities sponsored and/or approved by the Gamma Lambda Education Foundation.

Application Procedures: Please Read Carefully

  • Submit completed application (Download both PDF documents above);

  • Submit transcript indicating grades for all courses completed through January, 2020 (grades 9 - 12 inclusive);

  • Submit two letters of recommendation:

1. One letter from a school instructional employee (i.e. counselor,

teacher or administration official); and

2. One letter from a community organization:

(a) Church; (b) Scout troop; (c) Junior Achievement; (d) Co-op work

assignment/employer (e) A similar organization not listed (will

review for consideration upon receipt);

  • Submit an essay of 350 words or less, stating “how a scholarship from the Gamma Lambda Education Foundation will enable you to achieve your career goals and objectives”;

  • Submit a letter of acceptance from a four-year college or university. This letter may be submitted by the time of interview.

Click here for more information.


(All applications must be post marked by the deadline/emails accepted)

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We are putting the finishing touches on the Oak Park High School Knights Cafe! We are so excited for our students and staff to return to enjoy this beautiful space. The Knights Cafe is a result of the hard work and expertise of our new Chief Financial & Operations Officer (CFOO), Steve Barr! Please join the OPS staff in thanking Steve Barr and the members of his staff: Steve Burnette, Facilities Manager, Aric Wienclaw, Food Service Manager and Doreen Ostrolencki, Executive Director of Business & Finance! The entire Knights Cafe project was possible through grant funding.

We also appreciate the patience and partnership of City Manager, Erik Tungate; Mayor Marian McClellan; and Chief Steve Cooper! Your support of our students provided them with a safe after-school location until we were able to complete this project! Thank you!


Oak Park High School Students!

Thinking about college? Here's your chance to hear firsthand from those-in-the-know at hundreds of colleges and universities nearby, across the country, and around the world.


The National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) is hosting FREE virtual college fairs! Students may attend as many fairs as they wish! Click to see a list of colleges that will share information about their programs, majors, financial aid, and much more on each fair date.

Virtual Fair Dates

On each fair date, more than 600 colleges will offer Zoom sessions and meetings. Students everywhere can log in, drop in, and ask questions. It's a great opportunity for you to explore your college options.

You'll want to sign up now at

Spring 2021 Schedule
Students may attend as many fairs as they wish! Click to see a list of colleges that will share information about their programs, majors, financial aid, and more on each fair date. Additional colleges will be added throughout the spring.

Four of these events are smaller Focus Fairs and are especially for students with special interests or residing in specific regions: STEM (Mar. 7), Performing & Visual Arts (Mar. 16), Western US (Apr. 10), Southeastern US (Apr. 20).

Connect Virtually
COVID-19 has shut down many opportunities students previously had for visiting, learning about, and connecting with colleges. NACAC aims to bridge that gap through these special one-day events.

At each virtual fair, students attend college presentations, learn about their options, ask questions, and demonstrate interest... all without leaving home.

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Important Announcement Regarding Technology Services

Beginning January 4, 2021, Oak Park School District’s Technology Helpdesk will be serviced by Oakland Schools. You will receive an email within the next day or two from the “OS Service Desk”. This email will include your Service Desk login and a temporary password. Please follow the instructions on the email to activate your account, change your password, and access the new Service Desk.

You will now be able to access Technology Services help in four different ways:

(1) Login and create a ticket via a link on

(2) Chat online with a Service Desk agent

(3) Email the Service Desk

(4) Call the Service Desk.

Our Student support line 248-336-7667 will still remain, and students may press 1 for Technology Support. This will transfer the calls to Oakland Schools automatically.

Our staff Support number will change to 248-209-2060.

Support will be available Monday – Friday from 7:00am to 6:00pm!

Maintenance and Building requests will still be created using the Oak Park Schools Ready desk Ticket system. In the future, Maintenance requests will move to another platform as well.

Oak Park Schools Technology Services


Fall Science Introduction
The Hoffman Planetarium is an engaging, interactive full dome classroom. It is powered by advanced programs including, Starry Night, The Layered Earth and Zygote Body. The SciDome IQ2400 brings real-time space and earth science into a unique, innovative teaching environment.

We immerse students in the planetarium’s interactive visual macrocosm, explored Earth’s 3D topography and layers in spectacular detail. Each individual high school Science course and grade level courses in kindergarten through eighth grade participate in a developmentally appropriate interactive presentations tailored to the curriculum and/or Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) disciplinary core ideas while providing a connection to the astronomical 'big picture' - the Universe.

At the Hoffman Planetarium, we believe that 'your journey into the mysteries of space begins here...

Planetarium Offerings

  • Upon arrival into the Planetarium, students view a presentation specifically designed for their current science unit. For example, the 5th grade Earth Science show is entitled “Our Place in the Solar System” and explores most of the Next Generation Earth Science Standards (NGSS) for the 5th-grade level.
  • Students are also provided with an opportunity, during their Science Lab experience, to complete a hands-on activity related to their current unit. For 5th grade students, the activity allows students to construct a model of the solar system. Additionally, students also access the Virtual Labs available through the FOSS Science Curriculum and/or online Virtual Labs related to the unit material.

We have accommodations for both wheel-chair bound and students with disabilities, including devices for the hearing impaired. Our goal is to ensure that all students have access to the unique, interactive learning experience that the Planetarium offers!

Preparing Students for a Lifetime of Success: Next Generation Science Standards Alignment

Within the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), there are three distinct and equally important dimensions to learning science-core ideas, practice and cross-cutting. The implementation of new science standards with the support of Planetarium programs provides an opportunity to advance science education for all students. To learn more information, please review the NGSS Parent Guides below

Elementary School (Einstein, Key & Pepper)

Grades K- 2: Download the Grades K-2 Parent Guide

Grades 3- 5: Download the Grades 3-5 Parent Guide

Middle School (Oak Park Preparatory Academy)

Grades 6-8: Download the Grades 6-8 Parent Guide

High School (Oak Park High School)

Grades 9-12: Download the Grades 9-12 Parent Guide

Planetarium Coordinator

To learn additional information about the Hoffman Planetarium or schedule a visit, please contact Mr. Grayling Mercer at or 248.336.7620


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.