Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ August 21, 2017

From the Superintendent

Welcome back! It was so exciting to see all the students returning to school last Wednesday morning. We have many new faces and families this year, by our last count, our enrollment was 907. That is an increase of more than 30 students from last year!

First and foremost, the entire faculty and staff want to say, “thank you” for entrusting your children with us. You have many choices in this region to receive an excellent education for your children. But, you have chosen wisely! As I enter my sixth year, I am convinced that we have the best K-8 school district in the state. When you look at our “total package” of academic excellence, technology implementation, facility improvements, and extensive programming down to Kindergarten, I don’t know how any other districts can compare. I am so proud of the proactive stance our board of education has taken during my tenure to make our district great. The faculty and staff are committed to giving your sons and daughters a world-class education, both academically and socially.

I am looking forward to another great year at Oak Grove. I am honored and blessed to be a part of this community and this wonderful team. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time. My e-mail address is lemon@ogschool.org. The school phone number is (847) 367-4120.

With Oak Grove pride,
Dr. Lonny Lemon

Visiting Oak Grove

All visitors to Oak Grove are required to check-in at one of the two offices upon arrival. You will be asked to register with a proof of identification. Once you are in the system, you do not have to register again. All Oak Grove staff and visitors are asked to wear a lanyard while in the building during school hours. We have made significant improvements to our security system and appreciate your cooperation when you visit our school. Thank you!

Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures

Our school day starts at 8:20 p.m. We run a double shift of busses in the morning, but a single shift in the afternoon. Please remember that there is only one way into our school grounds, so it can become very congested. It can be disruptive to the learning environment, if our students arrive late to school in the morning. As we all know in Lake County, traffic can be very heavy, so please plan accordingly. We encourage students to ride the bus, if eligible to help us reduce traffic onto our site.

We have a staff member at the stop sign each morning and afternoon helping direct traffic. Please follow their instructions. Both are do a great job of managing traffic.

The morning busses drop students off in the upper, or junior high lot. Please keep the left lane open for them. They have two shifts to run, so please do not obstruct their lane of traffic. If you drop students off in a personal vehicle, for grades 5-8 use the far right lane in the upper lot. Pull forward to the end of the chained area to let your student(s) exit the vehicle. Three or more vehicles can have their children exit at the same time. Traffic is one way in both of our parking lots. Please look left before exiting via the middle aisle.

If your K-4 children don’t ride the morning bus , you may drop them off at the elementary entrance. There is a single file line and we have staff available to assist your child out, if needed.

Whether it is at dropoff in the morning, or at afternoon pickup, PLEASE do not leave your vehicle. We try to keep the cars advancing in the lines. When a car is vacated, it snarls the process and inconveniences those behind you. We have a great system when the traffic continues to flow. If you need to leave your vehicle, please park in any available spot.

Please know that the lower, elementary lot is closed to vehicular traffic at the end of the day. We try to reserve this area for busses. Please do not “sneak” in the elementary lot to pick up your child. We kindly ask that you pick them up in the upper, junior high parking lot. Thank you.

Please remember that the use of handheld devices is illegal and carries an even stiffer penalty on school grounds in Illinois. We still see many parents using their phones as they are driving. Please know that we often have a police presence in the area and they can ticket you. The fine is very expensive and we would hate to see that happen to any of our families. Most important, we ask that you refrain from the use of handheld devices to best protect our students and ensure their safety.

For the “veterans” at Oak Grove, you know that there is an asphalt path that connects our two parking lots. It is for pedestrian use only. Oddly enough, about once a week we see a car taking this path! Please know that it is not a road, nor a shortcut!

Finally, I’d like to review some rules about when you can pass a stopped bus. The lane closest to the school—the far left—is reserved for buses from 7:30—8:20 a.m. If a bus is stopped, its red lights are flashing, and its stop arm is out---it is illegal to pass the bus! This is the fear of every bus driver and school district. If the bus driver is able, he/she will take down your license plate and you will receive a fine. Please never pass a stopped school bus under those conditions.

However, after our students are dropped off each morning, the drivers will turn off their lights and flashers. It is okay if you pass them under these conditions. Our drivers all pull forward, park their busses, and do a safety inspection to make sure no students remain on the bus. While they are doing so, you can pass their bus.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Camera Donations

Dear Oak Grove Community,

Do you have a gently used video camera sitting on your shelf that could be donated to Oak Grove School? If yes, we are looking for 5-10 cameras that are able to shoot up to 1080p video quality. Cameras that can shoot still photos would be a plus.

These cameras would be used by everyone with special emphasis by the middle school multimedia classes.

Ideally, they would use the SDXC flash memory card (example) or the MicroSDXC card. (example). All accepted donations will receive a tax donation letter with an agreed upon value. Please send details or questions to Dr. Jason Meltzer, meltzer@ogschool.org

Thank you for your continued contribution to Oak Grove School.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Dear Parents,

My name is Susie Kiefer. I will be your child’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) teacher this year. I teach all of the Kindergarten-5th grade students here at Oak Grove. My job is to focus on the SEL standards. The first part of the year we will be learning and reviewing our Skills for Learning. The way I communicate is through an app or website called ClassDojo.com. I use this to post pictures and small updates on what we are practicing in SEL and in our classrooms. Each week you will receive a little notification letting you know that a picture or update has been posted. Please take the time to make sure your account is up to date, and that you remember your password and can log in. The goal for the program is to be able to practice these skills at school and at home. One of the most important parts is the family discussion. You can comment, like or view the posts at your convenience. Through ClassDOJO I have eliminated the paper homework and made the focus about family discussions. Please talk about these skills at home or in the car. Students in grades 4 & 5 will be creating their own posts this year letting you know what their take aways are. They are writing to you! Please respond! You will also see posts from me in the Oak Grove News. I am looking forward to a fantastic year with your children. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

Have a wonderful start to a fantastic school year!


Mrs. Kiefer

Social Emotional Learning Teacher


Oak Grove Band

Hello Everyone!

We are gearing up for another FABULOUS year of BAND! Here are the details for the start of Band:

The following schedule will begin Tuesday, September 5th.

JAZZ BAND • Jazz Band rehearses on Tuesday and Thursday mornings beginning at 7:30 a.m. Students are expected to arrive no later than 7:20 a.m. to warm up and prepare for rehearsal. Jazz Band is open to all Symphonic Band members, and any other students who plays guitar, bass or piano.

The following band schedules will begin Wednesday, September 6th.

CONCERT BAND (Grade 5, or second year student) • Concert Band rehearsals take place Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings beginning at 7:30 a.m. Students are expected to arrive no later than 7:20 a.m. to set up and prepare for rehearsal. Please order the method book (Essential Elements 2000, Book 2) now if you have not already done so. Concert Band rehearses in the small gym next to the drama room.

SYMPHONIC BAND (Grades 6, 7 and 8) • Symphonic Band rehearsals will take place Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings beginning at 7:30 a.m. Students are expected to arrive no later than 7:20 a.m. to warm up and prepare for rehearsal. This year, Symphonic band students will use the Essential Technique Book 3 in the series. This book has a green stripe.

BEGINNING BAND • Beginning Band is open to all 4th grade (minimum) students, or any students who have not played an instrument, (provided we can find a time that fits the student and teacher's schedule within the school day). Recruitment night is on Monday, September 11th, at 6:30 p.m. in the Band Room. This is the time for parents to learn about options for instrument rentals or purchases and to learn about band procedures and expectations. One parent (no children, please) must attend this meeting. Full rehearsals will take place on Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. till 12:30 p.m. We will begin lessons and full rehearsals the week of September 25th.

Band concert and event dates are listed on the Band webpage, please click here to view the schedule.

Please mark your calendars now. It is imperative that you make plans now, at the beginning of the year, to fully participate in all of your group’s scheduled events. It is extremely important for all players in the group to be present at the performances, so schedule the dates now to avoid conflicts later. Please get in touch with Mr. Farris or Mr. Jones if you have questions regarding getting involved with the band program here at Oak Grove.


Dave Jones and Logan Farris

Chess Club

The game of chess is exciting, dynamic and fun. Chess-Ed will provide the professional instruction again this year. The class will be held on Wednesday afternoons 3:30-4:30. We are beginning the Fall Chess Enrichment Session on September 13th. Instruction will include the fundamentals for the beginning player. They will learn new vocabulary, higher math skills and more all pertaining to the “Sport of the Mind” CHESS. Opening game theory, middle game combinations and ideas, plus endgame patterns will be provided for the continuing and advanced player. Beginners are always welcome. This is a special enrichment program -- parent paid fee-based.

Register TODAY at: www.oakgrovechess.eventbee.com

For more information, please see the Virtual Backpack.

Student Council

Welcome back to school! Student Council is ready to start meeting and planning some wonderful things for our school and our community. Want to be a part of it? Any sixth, seventh, or eighth grade student is welcome to join! Our first meeting is informational and will be on Wednesday, September 6th in room 108 (Mrs. Evans's room in the sixth grade hallway). We meet at the following times:

  • 6th grade meeting: 12:04-12:25 (recess time)
  • 7th and 8th grade meeting: 12:45-1:09 (if you eat lunch at 12:45, please pick up your lunch in the cafe and bring it to the meeting)

Junior High Early Hours

The Junior High Learning Center is offering 4th-8th grade students an opportunity to finish homework, check-out books, complete assignments from online textbooks or read. Please note, it's a quiet workplace. Students who would like to talk with friends should plan on going to the playground in the morning.

Important information about Junior High Early Hours:

  • The library will open each morning at 7:30 for students in grades 4-8.
  • Supervision begins at 7:30. Please, do not drop off students prior to 7:30.
  • Students need to check in and sign in through the Junior High office. Students will also sign in when they enter the Junior High Learning Center.
  • There is a maximum number of students (30) daily, so it's first come, first served! Once the space fills to 30, students will be sent to the playground.
  • Students need to bring materials with them for early morning hours. They may not be in the hallways during this time. Students will not be permitted to go to their lockers. Students who have previously set up an appointment with a teacher will be able to meet with teachers.
  • Junior High Learning Center rules are important to remember. They include: no eating, no drinking, and no use of cell phones.
  • Students should also show responsible use for technology. The RUP (Responsible Use Policy) applies to student behavior during Early Hours.
  • There are no computers available for use in the library. Students should bring their laptops or iPads for homework use.
  • Students who do not follow the expectations of Early Hours will be sent outside for the 1st offense. The 2nd offense will result in a student not being allowed to attend library hours for 1 week. For a 3rd offense, a student will lose the privilege of Early Hours for the trimester.
  • After 8:00, students need to remain in Junior High Early Hours.
  • When the bell rings at 8:15, students will be dismissed to head to their classes.

Junior High Early Hours will begin Monday, August 28th!

*Due to special events, there are some mornings that the library may be closed. Check the school website for information.

Device Costs

Delivered to your child’s classroom this past week were their iPad or laptop to use for the 2017-18 school year. With the device, a travel case and charger were delivered. Students are being asked to keep the charger in a safe place at home to be able to charge their device nightly. The device must travel to and from school in the black padded case they have been provided. This is to help protect the device from damage. We ask for your help to remind your child to use the case when the device is travelling. If damage to the device, case, or accessories occur, the costs as of August 2017 are as follows:

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PTO News

Welcome Back! Hope everyone had a great summer. Our first PTO meeting will be Wednesday, September 6 , 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in the Junior High Teacher’s Lounge. All are welcome.

Lunch Ordering Information

The PTO is working with a new lunch program this year, Marla’s Brown Bag Lunch. The new program offers some delicious new items and has brought back some of our old favorites including Culver’s, Panera, and Chipotle. Orders must be placed by Monday at 9 am for the following week. To order go to www.marlaslunchordering.com. Use the code OGS1 to create your account. Please see the flyers in the virtual backpack for more details. Please note, the system is not currently optimized for ordering from you mobile device. Mobile ordering capability is coming soon and an email will notify you when it is ready. In the meantime, please order from your computer or tablet.

Fall Spiritwear Sale

It’s time to stock up on your Oak Grove Spirtwear! Only online orders will be taken this year. To order, go to https://www.headsupapparel.com/collections/Oak-Grove-2017. The last day for ordering is Sunday, September 3. Orders will be delivered to school in about 4 weeks. Please see the flyer in the virtual backpack and contact Courtney Johnston, johnstoncourtneyr@gmail.com, or Katrina Treutelaar, katrinatreutelaar@me.com, with questions.

Volunteer Opportunities

The PTO is looking for volunteers for two events:

Daddy Daughter Dance (held in Feb) - co-chair

Pancake Breakfast (held in December) - chair person

Please email the PTO, pto@ogschool.com, if you are interested.

Would you like to volunteer during the lunch hour in your children’s cafeteria? The PTO and Marla’s team are looking for 2 volunteers each day, in both the Elementary and Jr. High cafeterias, to distribute lunches and help with recycling. Hours are from 11:00 - 1 in the Elementary cafeteria and 11:00 - 1:10 in the Jr. High cafeteria. If you would like to help out, please sign up using the Sign Up links below.

Elementary hot lunch/recycling volunteer signup (click the link below)


Jr. High hot lunch/recycling volunteer signup (click the link below)


There are many other opportunities to volunteer. Please email the PTO, pto@ogschool.org, if you are interested in helping out.

Welcome Back Teacher Breakfast

The PTO provided breakfast from Sunset Foods to the teachers and staff on August 14th. Thank you to Kim Konigseder, Lisa Perrone and Joanie Sauers for hosting this event.

Welcome New Family Night

We had a fun night welcoming our new families to the Oak Grove community on Monday, August 14th. It was standing room only as we had 55 new families, representing all grades, meet in the Jr. High cafeteria. Mr. Fenton and Dr. Lemon welcomed the new families and talked about all Oak Grove has to offer. The families finished up the night with a tour of the school. Thank-you to Ashley Wilson for organizing such a great event and many thanks go out to our volunteers Gayatri Shangari, Melissa Thoune, Julie Baker, Becky Sims, Jen Sahagian, Juliana Furlong, Melody Lyon and Maddie Lyon, Christine Merrild and Ellie Merrild, Liz Howard, Paige Regan, Avery and Olivia Wilson, Sophia Rynes, Kelly Hutchins and Reagan Kuypers.

Oak Grove Cross Country

The Cross Country season is here! All athletes interested are invited to sign-up and meet the coaches in the Junior High cafeteria today from 3:30-4:00. This meeting is for students only. All runners must have a physical on file with the school nurse to start practice on Wednesday, August 23rd.

Missed the meeting? Join us on Wednesday, or email Mrs. Oesch

Mr. Fenton Becomes a U.S. Citizen!

The Oak Grove faculty, staff, and student body would like to congratulate Mr. Fenton, our principal, for becoming a United States Citizen on August 3rd. Mr. Fenton was born and raised in Canada. The faculty and staff celebrated his citizenship with cake and coffee at one of our teacher's institute days to start the year. Congratulations, Mr. Fenton, we are proud of you!
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Curriculum Corner

Hello Oak Grove Community,

As we start our first full week of school, here are a few tips to help coach your child into having a successful school year as shared by Dr. Erik L. Johnson.

  1. Discuss the expectations: Have a family meeting to talk about everyone’s “job” in the family. For your child, going to school is their job. It’s important to be on time, prepared and to have fun learning.

  2. Avoid morning madness: Start planning your morning the night before. Before going to bed, make sure homework is done, clothes are ready to go, backpack is prepped and lunch plan is made or prepared.

  3. Plenty of sleep: School-age children usually require 9-11 hours of sleep. Teenagers (ages 14-17) need 8-10 hours. If you know that 6 am is wake-up time, count backwards to determine a bedtime that allows for the full amount of rest needed. Turn off all electronics at least one hour before and stick to the routine.

To read the full article from the Daily Herald, click here.

STAR Testing

Beginning the week of August 28th, students will take part in the fall STAR assessment. Our window for winter testing will conclude September 8th. The STAR assessment is a computer-adaptive assessment, adjusting the difficulty of the test based on a child's previous responses.

Students in kindergarten will take the Early Literacy Test. In grades 1-8, students will take the Reading and Math STAR assessments. Results will be shared with parents in the weeks following the conclusion of the testing window.

In order to prepare your child for these assessments, we know you will encourage your child to do his or her best on testing dates. A good night's rest, a healthy breakfast and arriving on time for school are also important to help students do their best.

Additional information related to the STAR assessment can be found on the district website, under 'About' and 'Curriculum & Instruction'. Then, select 'Assessment Information' along the left side. On this webpage, you will find two links with information about the STAR assessment.

Standards Based Grading Committee (grades 6-8)

This year, we are having a “year of learning” focused on standards based grading and reporting at the middle school level. If this is a topic of interest for you, we have a committee for you.

Starting in the fall, we will be facilitating a Middle School SBG committee which will include teachers, parents, administrators and board representation. Topics will include research about SBG, reviewing models from other districts and determining our middle school roll out plan. Our meetings will generally meet monthly from 4-6 pm. Specific dates and times will be determined closer to the start of the committee.

If you are a parent who would like to participate, please click the link by Friday, September 8th, to share your interest. We are looking forward to the conversation.

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Solar Eclipse

On behalf of the students and staff, thank you PTO for purchasing the solar eclipse glasses! It was an amazing experience for us all.

Engineering for Kids

Engineering for Kids® Lake County is pleased to partner with Oak Grove School this fall. Engineering For Kids® brings the wonder and excitement of STEM education (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) to children ages 4-14 through a variety of hands-on learning experiences. Below is a list of classes for the fall session.

Session #1

Program Dates: Thursday 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26

Time: 3:30PM-5:00PM

$150 Register Before 9/14/2017 $170 Register 9/14/2017 – 9/21/2017

Special Back to School Promo Code: EFKF17 ($10 off) until 8/31/2017!!!

Junior Aerospace Engineering: K-2nd

The Junior Aerospace Engineering classes introduce our youngest engineers to fundamental concepts of aircraft and spacecraft design. Through open and focused exploration, students explore and construct airplanes, rockets, helicopters, and more.

Apprentice 3D Printing: Minecraft Creations 3rd-5th

3D printing and Minecraft both represent boundless opportunity for creating even our wildest of ideas! In 3D Printing: Minecraft Creations, students will explore the basic concepts of 3D printing and computer-aided design, or CAD, to bring their most awesome Minecraft creation to life! Students will take their Minecraft design out of the world of Minecraft and learn how to extrude it into a 3D model that can then be modified to be printed in 3D.

Master Mechatronics with Arduino Coding: 6th - 8th

During this class, students will explore the basics of mechatronics engineering, logic based programming, and Arduino coding as students use littleBits® and work together to design gadgets, tools, and machines that will help Kelvin get out of any sticky situation he may encounter.

Session #2

Program Dates: Thursday 11/9, 11/16, 11/30, 12/7, 12/14, 12/21

Time: 3:30PM-5:00PM

$150 Register Before 11/2/2017 $170 Register 11/2/2017 – 11/9/2017

Course Titles:

Junior LEGO Robotics K-2nd, Apprentice Computer Building 3rd – 5th, and Master Computer Science Level 1: 6th-8th

Virtual Backpack

Please click HERE to view the flyers in our virtual backpack.

Oak Grove School Board of Education

Click HERE to view Board Agenda and Minutes