The Eagle Eye
Oak Hill United School Corporation - December 2020
From the Superintendent's Desk
It is hard to believe that it is December, the first semester is almost over, and we have been able to keep our schools open during the craziness of Covid. Thank you for your support and continued efforts to follow CDC guidelines, practice social distancing, and for keeping your children home when they are sick or experiencing any Covid symptoms. I am so tired of all things Covid, and am very hopeful that 2021 will return a sense of normalcy to our lives.
I have seen many fantastic things at Oak Hill United School Corporation during my first six months as superintendent, and while there is not enough room to list them all, I wanted to share some of them with you.
First, we have great kids. Thank you for sending your children to Oak Hill and trusting us with their education. I have had the privilege to spend a considerable amount of time this semester at the elementary schools and the passion, energy, and excitement that these students bring with them every day is simply awesome! I have also witnessed our junior high and high school students achieve, compete, and represent Oak Hill in outstanding ways.. Whether it be academically, athletically, or displaying their talents in extra-curricular activities, they epitomize the type of young adults expected to continue the tradition of excellence that Oak Hill is known for.
Next, we have fantastic teachers. Thank you teachers for all that you do for our students and for going over and beyond during these unprecedented times to meet the needs of our students! There is no class or way to prepare to teach during a pandemic. The stress and anxiety of a normal school year have increased exponentially, and yet our teachers have answered the bell with grace, understanding, and flexibility. Additionally, I could not be more impressed by our social workers, specialized therapists, and our guidance counselors. We are blessed to have such a great group of dedicated professionals that do whatever it takes for our students to be successful.
Finally, our support staff has done a terrific job behind the scenes making sure that our schools stay open and to help meet the needs of our students. Thank you bus drivers, cooks, instructional assistants, administrative assistants and custodians. Without these people flawlessly adjusting to the “new normal” we simply would not have been able to keep school open.
I wish everyone a happy holiday season and am looking forward to the new year.
Dr. Chad C. Cripe
E-Learning vs. Virtual Learning
During these uncertain times there have been a lot of questions surrounding the differences between E-learning and virtual learning. Therefore, we wanted to do our best to explain what both look like at Oak Hill United School Corporation. We strongly believe that there is no substitute for face-to-face instruction, but the safety of our students, staff, and community is priority number one. Furthermore, we understand that for some families, selecting the virtual option best fits their needs.
E-learning occurs when a student is absent from school and receives their lessons digitally through Google Classroom (grades 3-12) or SeeSaw (grades K-2). Oak Hill United School Corporation teachers post their daily assignments for students to complete at home. E-learning may occur when students stay home if they are sick, quarantined because of Covid, due to inclement weather, or during teacher professional development days.
Virtual learning occurs when a family decides that their student will no longer attend school in person for the remainder of the semester. We have hired two licensed virtual learning teachers, Tiffany Lipetri (grades K-5), and Kristina Leaonard (grade 6-12) to help students with their progress. Students enrolled in these programs receive their lessons through an online curriculum. For students in grades K-5 we use Reading Eggs and Math Seeds, as well as supplement with other curriculum. For students in grades 6-12 we use Edmentum for their online coursework.
Regardless if a student is enrolled in in-class or virtual instruction, it is very important for them to stay within the scope and sequence of the curriculum. Therefore, once a student starts virtual learning it is very difficult for them to revert back to in-class instruction. Additionally, the closer we are to the end of the semester, the more difficult it is to transition from in-class to virtual learning, or vice versa.
Finally, we will always do our best to accommodate our students and their families. It is much easier to allow students to return to school from virtual in grades K-8. We prefer that families make this transition at the nine weeks break, but if that is not feasible, please allow us as much time as possible (minimum 48 hours) to prepare the classroom, alert transportation, and make any other necessary accommodations to ensure a proper learning environment for everyone. High school students wishing to transition will be handled on a case by case basis since credits and pathways to graduate are at risk.
In conclusion, we want our students in the classroom learning from our fantastic teachers. For a short term basis, we can offer e-learning as a viable option for our students to stay on track with their education. In the case of a more long-term, permanent solution, we offer our families virtual learning that is aligned to Indiana State Standards and is facilitated by licensed teachers.
The CDC, Indiana State Department of Health, and the Grant County Health Department have made changes to the rules regarding students identified as close contacts and their return to school. A close contact is any person who was within six feet for more than fifteen minutes of a person who has tested positive for the virus. The fifteen minutes do not have to be consecutive minutes, it is an aggregate period of time.
A student identified as a close contact may return to school after the 7th day of quarantine if they have a negative test result after the 5th day of quarantine, as long as they also have no symptoms of Covid. Additionally, a student identified as a close contact may return to school after 10 days of quarantine without a negative test result, as long as they have no symptoms of Covid.
Also, a positive antibody test does not exempt any student from being identified as a close contact and reducing their quarantine. The only exemption from being quarantined as a close contact is a person who has previously tested positive for Covid within the last 90 days of the exposure that made them a close contact. There is some discussion that the 90 days will become 180 days in the near future, but it currently stands at 90 days.
We will continue to inform through Skylert’s of any positive cases in our schools. Our teachers and administrators are doing their best to make sure that students are as spread out as possible during the school day. Our students have done an outstanding job following the rules, wearing their masks, and practicing social distancing whenever possible.
Please be safe over our winter break and do your best to follow all CDC guidelines, practice social distancing, and stay home when you are sick. We are all in this together and are looking forward to the safe return to school on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021.
Converse Food Drive is a Success!
Sweetser Elementary celebrates our wonderful substitute Mr. Robert Martin. He has such a kind heart and has filled a long term leave aide position for the last several weeks, but is more than willing to fill a teacher role if we have a last minute need. He has been such a blessing to Sweetser Elementary and we just want to celebrate him and his generous spirit!
Our 4th grade classes celebrated Indiana’s 204th Birthday on Friday, December 11th. The classes did several activities to learn about the history of Indiana.
Our students were in such a giving spirit this season. We are proud to announce that even during a pandemic our school was able to contribute a grand total of 1823 items to the Samaritan Room (between monetary and item donations) in the annual food drive.
Congratulations to our top 3rd grade class
Mrs. Leas with 640 items
And our top 4th grade class
Mr. Henry with 323 items
We are so proud of all our students and staff for being so kind and generous.
Team Swayzee Novel Authors
November is National Novel Writing Month. After learning that prolific author, Gordon Korman wrote his first book as a seventh grader for an in-class assignment, 50 Swayzee Elementary School students accepted the challenge to write a novel of their own. They joined the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program in an annual writing event and set lofty goals for themselves. Together our fifth and sixth graders wrote 277,651 words in just 30 days! 24 of those 50 students met or exceeded their own individual word count goals. After finishing and editing their novel, each student, who desires to do so, will be able to purchase a printed copy of their novel through a NaNoWriMo partner. Thanks to Mrs. Hembrock and Mrs. Dailey for promoting this challenge among our students. Congratulations Team Swayzee Writers!
OHJH Welcomes Clay Bolser
A little about Clay:
I grew up in Clinton, Illinois and moved to Richmond, Indiana in Junior High School. I am a University of Saint Francis graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Art Education. I am the father of 4 daughters and have two step-sons, that keep my wife and I busy with extra-curricular activities and events. In addition to teaching at the Jr. High School, I am the Varsity Girls Basketball coach. Previously, I have been an Athletic Director at Rossville High School, North Miami High School as well as the Varsity Boys Basketball Coach at North Miami, Plainfield, and Northeastern High Schools. My passion has always been working with youth to help them reach their maximum potential. I am blessed to be in a situation that allows me to work with students of all ages through athletics and academics. My favorite thing about being an educator is being a witness to the growth and maturity of students both mentally and physically, along with developing relationships that go beyond their high school years. I have often admired Oak Hill for the quality of education, community and young people that are produced from this school and am extremely grateful to now be an Eagle!
Junior High FCA Gives Back
High School Highlights
Here are a few highlights from the high school over the last month:
Baileigh Evans, a Junior, arranged dental exams for people who are in need and cannot afford care themselves. She did this through her Community Service class taught by Mr. Dave Durkes.
Also, here is a project the Eagle Review completed during eLearning leading up to Thanksgiving break. The Eagle Review made the video for the Oak Hill Pot of Gold Foundation's fundraiser event. If you pay close attention you will see what happens when the principal leaves his office. The Eagle Review must think they can use his office as a dance studio! Please take a few minutes to watch the video. If you see any of the students in Eagle Review please congratulate them for a job well done!
Adventures in E-Learning
Winter sports underway - with restrictions
All athletic contests are available to stream on YouTube, so fans can always support our Eagles from home!
Selected to the Indiana Football Coaches Association's Class 3A All-State Team (Defensive Lineman)
Selected to the Coaches Association's Class 3A All-State Team for Cross Country