Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ August 22, 2016

Welcome Back!

It is great to have kids back in the building! I am excited for the 2016-17 school year. We are just completing the 5-year renovation process of the entire building. We have a few items to "touch up," but we are close! It is a world-class learning environment for our students and staff.

Over the summer we upgraded our phone system. In doing so, many of the phone extensions have changed for staff at Oak Grove. Please click here for updated phone extensions on our website in the staff directory.

Our enrollment has exploded this summer. Last year, we educated approximately 815 students. As of Friday, we had 864 students enrolled at Oak Grove! There are many quality school districts in this region. We are honored that you have entrusted your children with us. The entire staff will work each day to ensure they get a great education, learn how to be responsible citizens, and have a little fun along the way.

I encourage you to read the Oak Grove News each week. It is one of the best sources of information about our school.

Let's have a GREAT year!

With Oak Grove pride,

Dr. Lemon

Oak Grove Curriculum Nights

  • Tuesday, August 23 K-2 Curriculum Night
  • Thursday, August 25 3-5 Curriculum Night
  • Monday, August 29 6-8 Curriculum Night

All Curriculum Nights will begin at 6:30 in the Pat Patt Gym. We are looking forward to welcoming you to the 2016-2017 school year!

Before and After School Pick-up and Drop Off

We have designated areas for our buses and car traffic each day. In the morning, the buses drop students off in the Junior High upper parking lot. For those students not riding the bus, car traffic goes through the Elementary parking lot.

In the afternoon, the process is reversed. All of the buses pick up students in the Elementary parking lot. NO VEHICLES ARE PERMITTED IN THE ELEMENTARY PARKING LOT DURING AFTERNOON DISMISSAL. If you are going to pick up your child, please do so in the Junior High upper parking lot. For those of you who drop Junior High students off in the morning in the upper lot, please do not pass the school buses while they are dropping off students. They will have their flashing red lights on, and stop sign arm out. Following drop off, the bus drivers pull up, turn their red lights off and do a bus inspection. You may pass them on the left as you exit the lot.

For drop offs and pick ups, we direct all cars into a single file line, both in the morning and in the afternoon. We move the cars up as students enter or leave the vehicle. PLEASE DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR. This completely disrupts the traffic flow. We will help your child exit the car in the morning and will bring them to your vehicle in the afternoon.

We will always exit and deliver your children to the right side of your vehicle for safety purposes.

For afternoon pickup, we advise parents to get in the line and not park in the lot. This will prevent you and students from crossing the line of traffic.

Please remember it is against Illinois State Law to use a cell phone on school grounds unless it is through your bluetooth system. We continue to see drivers holding their cell phones while driving. This is a major safety concern and is also subject to a very expensive ticket.

No Dogs on School Grounds

Some children suffer from allergies to dogs, some are afraid of dogs, etc. We want everyone at Oak Grove to feel comfortable and to always feel safe. Pets are NOT allowed on school grounds while school is in session, (please see page 31 of the Parent/Student Handbook).

Thank you for your cooperation.

Curriculum Corner

Hello Oak Grove Community,

Beginning the week of August 29, students will take part in the fall STAR assessment. Our window for fall testing will conclude on September 9. 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.

Girls Volleyball Tryouts

7th and 8th grade girls volleyball tryouts will be held this Tuesday and Wednesday in the Patt Gym from 3:30-5:00. Girls must have an updated physical on file with the school nurse in order to try out. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Mrs. Edelson (edelson@ogschool.org) or Mr. Izenstark (izenstark@ogschool.org)

Social Emotional Learning

Dear K-5 Families,

We want your child to be as successful as possible at school. Success in school is not just about reading and math. It is also about knowing how to learn and how to get along with others. We will be using the Second Step program in your child’s classroom to teach these critical skills.

The Second Step program teaches skills in the following four areas:
1. Skills for Learning: Students gain skills to help themselves learn, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, use self-talk to stay on task, and be assertive when asking for help with schoolwork.

2. Empathy: Students learn to identify and understand their own and others’ feelings. Students also learn how to take another’s perspective and how to show compassion.

3. Emotion Management: Students learn specific skills for calming down when experiencing strong feelings, such as anxiety or anger.

4. Problem Solving: Students learn a process for solving problems with others in a positive way.

Your child will be learning a lot this year—and he or she will need your help! Throughout the year, you will receive weekly emails that share the lessons and topics we’ve worked on that day. Class Dojo is a simple & fun way to see pictures and discuss the lessons. Sometimes I’ll even add some home activities for you and your child to complete together. They are a great way for you to understand what your child is learning and for your child to show you what he or she knows.

IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY SIGNED UP FOR CLASSDOJO, please do that when you receive the invitation. Class DOJO is my primary tool for communication! If you have any questions about the Second Step program, please do not hesitate to send me a message through CLASSDOJO. Thank you for supporting your child in learning the skills that lead to success in school and in life.

Have an amazing school year! I look forward to learning with your children and sharing the fun with you!

Mrs. Kiefer


Choir begins next week!

Rehearsals are from 3:30-4:30

JH rehearses on Tuesdays

4th and 5th grade rehearse on Thursdays

Permission slips are available in the Virtual Backpack


The JH Choir will be starting off the year participating in the LHS JH Choir Festival in October. Oak Grove students will combine with students from Rondout, Highland, and LHS to perform together. It’s always a great experience.

This year the 4th and 5th grade choir is putting on a holiday show called ‘December Around the World’. It’s a fun, 40 minute holiday revue where we discover the traditions of six world cultures. It will be a great show!

And then in the Spring, both choirs will be singing together at a Chicago Wolves hockey game. We sing before the national anthem and then watch the game. It’s always a very memorable night.

I hope you choose to sing this year!

-Mr. Farris

Cross Country

Cross Country is a great way for students to challenge themselves in the fall. All students in grades 5-8 are invited to participate. The season starts next week and continues through October 8th. Practices run Monday throughThursday after school until 4:45. Cross Country is a no cut sport, but in order for your athlete to participate, he/she must have a current physical on file with the school nurse.

Students are invited to hear more information and/or sign up this Tuesday in the junior high cafeteria from 3:30-4:00. More information about the Cross Country season will be shared at this time.

In the mean time, please visit the Cross Country website. You can access the site through the Oak Grove Homepage or by clicking HERE.

Chess Club

Chess Club – Fall Session to begin 9/14/2016

The game of chess is both magical and fun. We will provide professional instruction, chess puzzles, game playing and more. A team of United States Chess Federation certified instructors from Chess-Ed will provide this exciting program. The class will be held on Wednesday afternoons 3:30-4:30. We are beginning the Fall Chess Enrichment Session on September 14th. Instruction will include the basics for the beginning player and then move through opening game theory, middle game combinations and ideas, plus endgame patterns for the continuing and advanced player. Beginners are always welcome. This is a parent paid fee-based program. Register TODAY at: www.oakgrovechess.eventbee.com

Engineering for Kids

We are excited to have Engineering For Kids® with us again this yearat Oak Grove. 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. For more information about Engineering For Kids classes, please see the Virtual Backpack or visit: www.engineeringforkids.com/lakecounty

Oak Grove School Education Foundation

Welcome back students and families! The Oak Grove School Education Foundation looks forward to an exciting and enriching 2016-2017 school year! To kick-off the year, we have a few announcements and updates.

New Board Leadership & Members

We would like to offer a warm and sincere thank you to Cindy Gleason, who served as the OGSEF President from 2014-2016. Cindy has worked as a tireless advocate for our students and school for many years and has made a significant contribution to Oak Grove. Luckily, Cindy is staying on as an OGSEF board member – thank you Cindy for all your efforts!

We would like to welcome Juliana Furlong as our new OGSEF President. Juliana served as the Treasurer from 2014-2016 and board member at large in 2013. Juliana is excited and eager to keep growing and developing the Foundation and the programs we support and we look forward to her leadership.

We would also like to welcome Sarah Roe, who joins the board as Treasurer and Ashley Miller, who joins as a board member at large. Thank you for volunteering your time and talents!

OGSEF – Working to Impact our Children’s Educational Experience

The Oak Grove School Education Foundation exists to help our students, teachers and families optimize their educational experience at Oak Grove. Through your help, we sponsor and fund teacher-supported differentiated curriculum enhancements focused on the whole child in areas such as STEM, Arts & Language, Social & Emotional Learning, Physical Activity and Creativity. We want to give our students a competitive advantage and foster a curious mind that is the foundation for a lifetime love of learning. Here are just a few examples of the impact we have had over the last year or two.

  • Through the K-2 science program we helped 300 students gain exposure to scientific concepts beyond the textbook in a lab environment
  • The Science of Sport curriculum helped third and fourth graders experience and envision science through engaging activities such as weight shifting for hitters and reaction time for catchers
  • Our Green Screen room offers our students an immersive educational experience – from Kindergarteners reading to their classmates and second graders flying in the clouds to in-depth multimedia, programming and digital broadcasting projects. The Green Screen room has impact across all curriculum as Common Core emphasizes student-created projects integrating multimedia and visual displays, creative and scientific writing, and more collaborative projects
  • The Kindergarten Daily 5 Professional Development helped our teachers create a structure to develop student independence, increase student engagement, and accelerate learning in literacy, including through five core concepts - Read to Self, Work on Writing, Read to Someone, Word Work, and Listen to Reading
  • We brought in stability Ball ‘active seating’ to bring focus & concentration to our third graders. Not only does it help them become more physically fit because core muscles are strengthened, it allows “active seating” with little or no disturbance in the classroom while allowing for movement

In short, the Foundation is here to help our teachers and students incubate and create out of the box learning opportunities that expand the horizons and minds of our young learners. Please take a moment to visit our website at www.ogsef.org to learn more about our upcoming events, programs and ways to support and volunteer.

Family Fest!

The OGSEF was proud to participate at last weekend’s Family Fest at OGS. We partnered with the Robot Factory to bring some STEM-oriented games to the event. Thank you to the PTO for a great event!

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