Oaktree Newsletter

Friday, May 13, 2016

From Mr. Relken...

I thought I would take some time today to write to you about a topic that can be hard to discuss. As you all know, I am a father of three children. Brendan my oldest is 10, Genevieve is 7, and my youngest son Dylan is 6. Dylan is a student at Reid Elementary here in Goodrich. This Wednesday we had a big meeting for Dylan over at Reid. After a full special education evaluation, my wife Meredith and I went to Reid to have the team present us with the results of his evaluation. The result of the evaluation is that Dylan is Autistic. The results were not a surprise. Our special education director Mrs. Lusk, and the entire team did a thorough and precise job learning about Dylan and the data proved what my wife and I predicted would be true. We were both grateful not only for the care he would receive, but from the care he had already received at Reid from his teacher Mrs. Toepper and the staff at Reid. I have been at this education game for a longtime and I have meetings and difficult conversations with parents about their kids all of the time. With that said, it is different when it is your kid. In the past few days I have gone through the natural emotions of self-blame, guilt, worry, and sadness. I also am able to see the other side of the equation in that now Dylan will have access to valuable speech, social work, resource, and other services that will help him develop into a healthy adult. I think the hardest part is just worrying about the future. Will he go to college? Will he get married? What I have decided is that I am going to not allow myself to worry, but instead be proactive. We love our son as much today as we did the day before the meeting and we always will. His name is not Autism, it’s Dylan. He has no idea that he has autism. He is happy with who he is and so are we.

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Here are some upcoming dates:

May 18 3rd Grade @ Detroit Zoo
May 19 Student Council
May 20 OT Carnival 5:00-8:00

May 30 Memorial Day, NO SCHOOL

June 10 Art Show

June 15 HALF DAY

June 16 HALF DAY and LAST DAY FOR STUDENTS

Oaktree Parent Survey

In an effort to improve system practices, Oaktree Elementary School is conducting a Parent Survey. We value your opinion and ask that you take the time to complete this survey. In order to complete the survey, please go to: http://www.advanc-ed.org/survey/public/5381586 Please be assured that your responses to this survey will be anonymous. Thank you for your honesty, time and attention to this matter.
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Student Drop Off

My dad likes to say, "It's their world and we are all living in it." We have been noticing some families dropping kids off in the staff parking lot in the morning instead of using the drop off like the rest of our families. This is an overall small number of people, but I want to put it out there to all of our parents and families so that people cannot say that everyone is not getting the same message. To start with, it is disrespectful to the families who are following our procedures. By doing this you are teaching your kids that rules are for other people and you are teaching them that they do not have to respect the school because you don't. After all, if you did, you would get in the line at west end like everyone else and wait in line. Secondly, some of parents we have seen and spoken with are parking in the handicapped parking. Again, this is disrespectful to our families and students who have disabilities and need those parking spaces. Remember, our kids are always watching. If you have questions about the drop off process, contact our office and we will be glad to help you out.