Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ January 4, 2016

Inclement Weather Protocol

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed some great family time over the winter break. We are excited to have the students back in school today. I thought I would share the procedures for canceling school, in case we have inclement weather ahead of us.

The area superintendents work together to make decisions about canceling school. I work closely with the D128 high school district superintendent as well as the three other “feeder” school superintendents. Whenever bad winter weather is predicted, or occurs, we are in constant contact with each other. We also use up to date information provided to us by local weather agencies.

First, and foremost, it is our obligation to keep students safe as they wait at bus stops and travel to school. There are times when the area high schools choose to remain open, but the elementary schools cancel. However, we do try to avoid this if possible.

There is no “exact” temperature, or wind chill factor that causes cancelation of school. We make our decision based upon a myriad of factors, with each event being analyzed on an individual basis.

We are cognizant of your need to make supervision plans as far ahead as possible. We make every effort to consider this as we make our decision. If school is canceled, I will utilize our Alert Solutions phone messaging system first. We also will try to send an e-mail as well as update our website. Please know that those methods take a bit more time, so please don’t rely upon them as your first source of information. If your phone contact information has been changed, please inform the school as soon as possible, so that we may update your contact information on the phone messaging system.

In my 33 years in education, the decision to cancel school, or not, can be one of the most difficult. Either way, people are disappointed. Experience tells me that the most important factor is student safety, so it will be the determining factor in our decision locally to hold classes or not. Hopefully, our winter will remain mild and we will not have to cancel classes this winter.

Let’s have a GREAT 2016!

With Oak Grove pride,

Dr. Lemon

Curriculum Corner

Hello Oak Grove Community,

As we begin a new year, it’s always good to re-evaluate what our habits are and how we plan to grow as a person in the months ahead. That mental conversation we have with ourselves is our growth mindset kicking in to remind us there is always room for improvement.

Growth Mindset

  • I can learn anything I want to.
  • When I’m frustrated, I persevere.
  • I want to challenge myself.
  • When I fail, I learn.
  • Tell me I try hard.
  • If you succeed, I’m inspired.
  • My effort and attitude determine everything.

Fixed Mindset

  • I’m either good at it, or I’m not.
  • When I’m frustrated, I give up.
  • I don’t like to be challenged.
  • When I fail, I’m no good.
  • Tell me I’m smart.
  • If you succeed, I feel threatened.
  • My abilities determine everything.

As we begin the year with high hopes for greatness, let us also remember to embrace challenges and mistakes that help us grow. For additional tips on how to teach your child how to embrace their growth mindset, visit the article linked here.

Mrs. Pusateri Named National Board Certified Teacher

The Oak Grove faculty, staff, and students would like to congratulate Mrs. Pusateri, our 7th grade science teacher, for being named a National Board Certified Teacher!

Mrs. Pusateri is only the 2nd person in the history of Oak Grove to earn this certification. The Board of Education, administration, and 7th grade teachers and students surprised Mrs. Pusateri on December 17th with a "big check" in recognition of her hard work and dedication to obtaining NBCT designation. A plaque recognizing her credential will be installed outside her classroom door.

Congratulations, Mrs. Pusateri!

SEL News

Welcome back!

We had the most wonderful last week before break! Enjoy some of the photos of our youngest learners singing to our 4th and 5th grade friends! Thank you 4th & 5th grade for making videos for us this year! Thank you K-3 for singing to the 4th and 5th grade to show your appreciation! Here is a recap of our last week before break:

All students were given Random Acts of Kindness to complete by the end of the week! When you walk in through the elementary doors take a look at the wall of the wonderful acts of kindness performed by your children.

Kindergarten made thoughtful chains for administrative doors, they sang to the 5th graders & wrote each other cards!

1st grade made thoughtful notes for the bus drivers, sang to the 5th graders & wrote each other cards!

2nd grade wrote thoughtful comments to the entire staff for the holiday breakfast, they sang to the 4th grade and wrote notes to each other!

3rd & 4th grade wrote thank you notes to the custodians, secretaries, PTO executive members, board of education, administrators, cafeteria workers, teaching assistants, and more! 3rd grade also sang for 4th grade. All wrote notes to each other.

5th grade helped get the note cards ready for K & 1st grade. They also wrote thoughtful notes to their teachers, postcards to each other, and post-its on the mirrors in the bathroom with thoughtful messages!

We hope that the K-5 students made our entire staff and student body feel great this week! We hope you enjoyed your winter break with your thoughtful students!

Keep smiling and SHARE THAT SMILE!

~Mrs. Kiefer SEL Teacher K-5

Toys for Tots

Junior High secretaries, Kathy Azzato and Susan Gilbert, did a great job of putting together the Toys for Tots collection this year. The Marines asked us to pass along a great big "Thank You" for bringing this tradition back to Oak Grove School.

Extended Day Field Trip

Extended Day Program had a great time on our field trip to Rinkside Sports in Gurnee over the Winter Break. We ice skated, played laser tag, ate pizza and had a blast playing video games!

Oak Grove School Education Foundation

The Grove Gala 2016 - Tickets & Sponsorships on Sale Now!
Our biennial Spring Gala will take place on February 27th, 2016 at Independence Grove. The event features food, drinks, entertainment by CoverGurl, auctions and more. This is an event you will not want to miss!

To purchase tickets or commit to one of our Sponsorship Packages, please visit http://www.ogsef.org/gala-2016.html and click the "Buy Gala Tickets Now" tab at the bottom of the page or visit our event campaign page.

Thank you for your support!

Gala Volunteers – We Need You!
The Oak Grove Gala Committee is seeking individuals to lend a hand. You can sign up to volunteer online at https://www.flipcause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/Mjg1MA==.

Calling all Connections

We are in search of golf related donations for the silent auction which always seems to be a HUGE hit with our OGS golf enthusiasts! Anyone connected, please reach out.

Auction items are really rolling in. You won’t believe the awesome & creative teacher items this year. Stay tuned!

A big thank you to Jim & Tracy Rockney-Ward for their amazing Sky Diving donation! We’ll see who our adventure seekers are out there come February 27th!

PTO News

January 4, 2016

A Message from PTO Co-Presidents Lisa Perrone and Mia Hughes:

Lunches this week

Jersey Mikes, Panino/Potato, Pizza, and Panda Express

Lunch Change

The PTO is very excited to welcome back Fio’s Catering. Fio’s will be taking over the pasta day as well as the baked potato and salad orders from Panino/Potato Day.

Thank you!

On December the 15th, the OGS Administration hosted a holiday breakfast for the entire OGS staff. Thank you to the following parents who volunteered to cover the playground and offices so all staff members could attend: Jenny Mayer, Tracey Ward, Julie Goodman, Maria Roberts, Moira Muller, Jennifer Lui, Becky Rhynes, Renee Muehling, Shellie Fahy, Sarah Roe, Rachel Snyder, Kris Howard, Julie Kovach, Erin Heard, Tricia Regan, Dan Schindler, Amy Sekili, Kim Konigseder, and Lisa Perrone.

7th Grade Service Project

Congratulations to the 7th grade team on their service project for PADS of Lake County. The students collected pants and toiletries for the homeless and also had a "Penny War" to raise money for the organization. The students collected 486 pairs of pants, 5 large boxes of toiletries and $1,126.28 through Penny Wars. The students wrote inspirational notes and pinned them to the pants, sorted the pants and toiletries and decorated the boxes that would carry their gifts. Oak Grove 7th graders really demonstrated outstanding character while supporting the needy in their community. Thank you to everyone who helped make this another successful service learning project.

In addition to the PADS project, the 7th graders also made 6 blankets for the Linus project. The Linus Project gives blankets to children facing a medical crisis or family emergency. These blankets prove to be comforting and very special to all those who receive them. Again, awesome job Oak Grove 7th graders!

Spelling Bee Information

For the fourth through eighth grade students who made the spelling bee for their grade level, there will be a rules meeting on Thursday, January 7th in Mrs. Evans's room (108) during lunch. The rules will be read, questions answered, and a practice round of spelling given. Please bring your lunch. The actual spelling bee is Thursday, January 14th at 6:30 p.m. in the Junior High Learning Center.

Geography Bee Information

This year Oak Grove will hold our Geography Bee on January 11th at 6:00pm in the Junior High Learning Center.

Visit Mr. Henneberry’s website for registration and preparation activities.

February Parent Night

We invite you to come to a FREE PARENT ONLY event which will feature a keynote speaker and a choice between two different presentations. The keynote presentation (Kim Olver) will focus on Empowerment Parenting. The additional presentations will focus on Anxiety (Dr. Patrick McGrath) OR Social Media (Detective Chris Covelli). Please see the flyer in the Virtual Backpack for details.

Virtual Backpack

Please click HERE to view the flyers in our Virtual Backpack.

Board Briefs

This is a summary of events that occurred at the December meeting, not the official minutes.


  • Dr. Lemon reported that PARCC test results were released; Oak Grove was in the top five in Lake County
  • Oak Grove filled 140 spots at Feed My Starving Children this year; packed over 19,000 meals
  • Possible need for a .2 EL position
  • The Board received several emails regarding the cost of All Day Kindergarten
  • The District received a FOIA
  • The Board discussed future Kindergarten needs
  • 2016-17 calendar options will be discussed in January
  • The Board received the tech survey results
  • Second reading of a couple suggested PRESS policy changes
  • Mrs. Cacciatore presented a math and PARCC update
  • Various board committee reports attached to BoardBook


  • The Board approved suggested PRESS policy updates
  • Personnel Action was approved
  • The Board approved tuition costs and residency status for a student

Oak Grove School Board of Education

Click HERE to view Board Agenda and Minutes