Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ August 27, 2018

Welcome Back Grovers!

It is great to have students back in the building! I think we had a great start to the school year last week. We have a lot of new faculty and staff on our team this year. It is exciting to see their enthusiasm. They are bringing a nice mix of experience and youth to our faculty. We welcome them to the Oak Grove family.


Our enrollment continues to remain steady. It is a testimony to the support all of you give to our school district. The “word is out” that we have a great school district and we thank you for all that you do to promote Oak Grove.


I encourage you to read the Oak Grove News each week. It is a great source of information. I hope you also “follow” us on our Facebook page, and our Twitter and Instagram accounts. Our social media team does a fantastic job of updating our social media on a daily basis.

As always, thank you for entrusting your children with us on a daily basis. They are in great hands with our faculty and staff. Please consider helping our PTO and/or the Oak Grove School Education Foundation. With their constant help, we are able to provide a world-class education for our students. Thank you, and let’s have a GREAT year!

Drop-off Update

Morning Drop-off Update
We would like to say, “thank you” to all parents/guardians and students for your cooperation as we implemented new morning drop-off procedures. The first three days went far better than we could have even hoped for! There was virtually no traffic congestion on O’Plaine for the first time in recent memory. Our buses were able to stay on time, and we had far less tardies to school. Congratulations!


Our primary concern is always student safety. We want to remind parents to stay in the single file line. Please do not park your cars and allow your students to walk across the lot. We recommend dropping the students off at door 18 and allowing them to walk by themselves, if possible. Also, we would ask that students exit vehicles on the sidewalk (right) side of your vehicle, for their safety.


It will also be our continued goal to “keep the traffic flowing,” so please do not stop by the dumpsters or JH gym to let students out of your vehicles. It is our goal to allow as many cars into the upper lot as possible, thereby keeping traffic off of O’Plaine Road. We are off to a great start, so “thank you!”


Please do not drop students at school before 7:45 a.m. We have observed several students being dropped off at school early. We do not have supervision on the playgrounds before 7:45 a.m. It is extremely important we have supervision for your children on school grounds at all times.


Afternoon Drop-Off Update

The afternoon drop-off process has been fantastic as well! The only reminder—please do not get out of your vehicle. Our staff will walk students down the sidewalk to your car. When drivers get out of their cars, the entire line is brought to a screeching halt. This delays the entire process for others. Please remain in your vehicle and “pull forward” as the process unfolds.

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Meet the New Staff!

Wow, we have a LOT of new staff members this year! Please take the time to view this wonderful introduction video created by Dr. Meltzer, to familiarize yourself with them and learn a little bit about each one of these great additions to our team!

Curriculum Corner

Hello Oak Grove Community,

Two years ago, we launched our work with Thinking Maps as a way for students to organize their thinking. The Thinking Maps, developed by Dr. David Hyerle, are visual, brain-friendly tools that foster and encourage lifelong learning. Based on thorough study and research, these visual maps provide students with patterns for using the eight fundamental thinking processes. These patterns help students obtain higher levels of creative as well as critical thinking. The eight Thinking Maps developed from the thinking processes are:


  • The Circle Map: Defining in Context

  • The Bubble Map: Describing with Adjectives

  • The Double Bubble Map: Comparing and Contrasting

  • The Tree Map: Classifying

  • The Flow Map: Sequencing

  • The Multi-Flow Map: Cause and Effect

  • The Brace Map: Identifying Part/Whole Relationships

  • The Bridge Map: Seeing Analogies


For those students new to the district, we are looking forward to having them learn their many uses since we will continue to use these Maps in many content areas to expand their thinking skills. Through our school wide implementation, Thinking Maps establish a consistent Language for Learning. In addition, this set of tools allows teachers to differentiate and meet the needs of all learners.

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STAR Assessment

This week, students will take part in the fall STAR assessment. Our window for fall testing is August 27th-31st. 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.


As always, a good night's rest, a healthy breakfast and arriving on time for school are 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 links with information about the STAR assessment.

Stop-Motion After School Club

We are creating a new after-school Stop-Motion Movie Making Club. It is open to all 6th, 7th, & 8th graders who have an interest in making movies using a variety of these techniques. We will learn the several different styles of stop-motion including Disney-type animations, hand-made abstract, and all-digital design. A variety of tools will be used including Photoshop, Final Cut and DragonFrame, professional level stop-motion software.

The Stop-Motion Club is offered on Mondays from September 17th to April 30th with some off weeks due to holidays or schedule conflicts. This club will meet in the Computer Lab and Production Room (517) from 3:20-4:15.

If interested, please have your parents sign you up at https://goo.gl/H3kUCV or ask Dr. Meltzer for a Permission Slip. meltzer@ogschool.org.

Samples of different types of animation:https://goo.gl/kJ2Yxk

Cross Country Information

The Cross Country season is here! All athletes interested are invited to sign-up and meet the coaches in the Junior High cafeteria today (8/27) 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 running at practice on Tuesday, August 28th. Please contact Coach Sonshine or Coach Loch if you have any questions.

7th and 8th Grade Girls Volleyball Tryouts


  • Monday, Aug 28 & Tuesday, Aug 29
  • 3:00 - 5:00 in the Pat Patt gym
  • Physical required, kneepads recommended


Questions? Contact one of the coaches below.

Coach Dave Izenstark (7th) izenstark@ogschool.org

Coach Anna Edelson (8th) edelson@ogschool.org


Girls Volleyball Tryout Flyer 2018

4th-6th Grade Fall Intramural Volleyball

Dates: September 7, 14, 21, 28

Any 4th-6th grade boys and girls interested in volleyball can join the intramural team. We will meet every Friday in September from 3:30-5:30 in the Patt gym. Kneepads are highly recommended. A physical is not required. There is a $10 fee for participation. Parents must fill out the permission form and pay the fee online through RevTrak. Permission forms can be turned into Mrs. Edelson's mailbox in the junior high office, or students can bring it to the first session.

Questions? Contact Coach Anna Edelson edelson@ogschool.org


Intramural Sports Permission Form

PTO News

PTO Meeting

Our first PTO meeting of the year will be Wednesday, September 5th @ 9am in the Junior High Cafeteria. All are welcome!


Lunch Ordering Information

PTO is working with Marla’s Brown Bag Lunch again this year. The program offers some delicious new vendors like Buffalo Wild Wings, Rosati's and My Flavor it Place and has brought back some of our old favorites, including Roti. Orders must be placed by noon on Monday the week before. To order go to www.marlaslunchordering.com


Family Fest

Thank you to Kate Byers for coordinating an amazing Family Fest! Yesterday’s Family Fest celebration was a fun (and hot!) way to kick off the 2018-2019 school year! OGS families enjoyed fan favorites like the Teacher Dunk tank, 2-Liter ring toss and face painting. The sand art craft was a crowd pleaser and kids of all ages (even those young at heart!) had a blast playing all the carnival games, practicing pass and kick accuracy with the inflatables, hitting it out of the park at the home run challenge and dueling at yard games. DJ Chris Colton kept the crowd moving and awarded awesome prizes to some lucky competitors. We are so thankful for all the families who came out to support the PTO!


Check out these great photos from Family Fest 2018 courtesy of Leah Parr – password OGS2018:

https://leahmparrphotography.pixieset.com/guestlogin/ogsfamilyfest2018/?return=%2Fogsfamilyfest2018%2F


Many thanks to the station coordinators and volunteers who helped secure donations including Sarah Roe, Ashleigh Grambo, Alyssa Osterman, Indy Wood, Kathy Bailor, Beth Zender, Melissa Sallmann, Lyndsey Casey, Karin Pawlowski, Elisabeth Cobb, Katie Edmondson, Erica Verma, Erin Ecton, Randi Muzumdar, Agata Karpowicz, Holly Colin and Leah Parr.


We are so thankful to the teachers who braved the dunk tank including Mrs. Colclasure, Mrs. Tazzioli, Mr. Oesch, Mrs. Saia, Mr. Farris, Mrs. Luce, Mrs. Brown, Miss Sonshine, Mr. Fenton, Miss Keefer, Miss Bernsee and Miss Paulson.


Generous donations were received from Ultimate Ninjas, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Wildberry, Artist @ Heart, Sky Zone, Jump America, Suzy’s Swirl, Heads Up Apparel, Chik-fil-A, Dunkin’ Donuts, Northshore Academy of Martial Arts, Card My Yard – Libertyville, Jewel, Mariano’s and Sam’s Club.

More than 60 volunteers came together to make this event a huge success. To all the moms, dads, students, teachers and staff that gave their time (and sweat) to help make this event such a fun kick-off to the year, THANK YOU!


Spiritwear Sale

It’s time to stock up on your Oak Grove Spiritwear. Only online orders will be taken. To order go to www.headsupapparel.com. The last day to order is September 7th. 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 Shannon Bilcox Shannon.bilcox@gmail.com with questions.


Stuck on You Label Fundraiser
Need an easy way to keep track of your child's school supplies, lunch boxes, water bottles, etc.? Try Stuck on you labels! For every purchase you make, Oak Grove PTO receives a portion of the sale. Please check out the link below for more information. https://www.stuckonyou.us/affiliate/fundraiser/OAKGROVEPTO Our fundraising code is: OAKGROVEPTO


Welcome New Family Night

Over 40 families attended the new family event held a week before school started. They met the administration, heard presentations from Juliana Furlong (OGSEF), the student council president, Paige Regan and PTO representative Ashley Wilson. Leah Parr was there to offer calendars and Shannon Bilcox and Courtney Johnston brought samples of Spiritwear to show the families. Tours were led by our wonderful volunteers:

Becky and Charlie Sims

Avery and Olivia Wilson

Julie Waehner

Melody, Molly, and Maddie Lyon, Jen and Addie Sahagian, Kristin and Sadie Sorensen, Tricia and Paige Regan, Dalia Majumdar, Nakisha Sindermann, Jen Tippett, Juliana and Brian Furlong, Julie Baker, Becky and Sophia Rynes, Kim and Zane Rihman

A big thank you to those who volunteered their time to make the night a success. Huge thanks go to the custodial team for set-up and clean-up. Special thanks to Student Services Director, Julie Waehner, for developing the wonderful New Family Information Flyer.


Welcome Back Teacher Breakfast

The PTO provided breakfast from Sunset Foods to the teachers and staff on August 20th. Thank you to Lisa Perrone and Christine Merrild for hosting this event.

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Student Council News

Thank you for purchasing a yard sign at our table at Family Fest this weekend. We were able to start our charitable donations by raising $240! What a great start!


If you are interested in joining student council this year, our informational meeting will be Wednesday, September 5th. Student Council is open to any student in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. This meeting is for students who have NOT been part of Student Council in the past. Those of you who have been a part of Student Council before, just swing by Mrs. Evans's room to get a permission slip to join.

When: Wednesday, September 5th

6th: 11:45-12:04 (during your recess time)

7th and 8th grade: 12:05-12:20 (during your study hall time)

Where: Mrs. Evans's room - 108 in the sixth grade hall.

Who Should Come: Students who have NOT been a part of student council before

Social Emotional Learning

Hello Kindergarten through 5th grade parents! My name is Mrs. Kiefer. I work with your children once a week to teach them Social Emotional Learning skills. I communicate with you through CLASSDOJO. You can access via the app or the web. Please make sure your account IS active! You should receive your first update of what we are learning about in class by the end of this week. If your child had SEL last week, you've already received your first update. If you have trouble connecting or need a new log in, please email me at skiefer@ogschool.org


I'm really looking forward to a wonderful year with your children! This week we're talking about Focus and Respect!


Have a great week!

Mrs. Kiefer

"Those Who Excel" Award

Last week, The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the statewide recipients of the 2018-19 “Those Who Excel” awards. The “Those Who Excel” awards honor outstanding classroom teachers, educational leaders, and support personnel for their invaluable contributions to their schools and communities. This is the highest honor given to educators by the Illinois State Board of Education.


Congratulations to Kathy Mahoney, Judy Klosterman and Julie Piazzi for being recognized as one of “Those Who Excel”. Kathy, Judy and Julie were nominated by the Oak Grove Administrative team. Fellow teachers and parents wrote letters of recommendation and support of their nomination.


“It's a great time to be an educator in Illinois," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The Those Who Excel award recipients show us how educators can unite communities and change students' lives. These educators showcase the dynamic work happening in schools across Illinois –from the high school principal helping students run their own technology business to the middle school teacher harnessing her own story of fortitude to inspire leadership in her students. Their efforts make the difference for students. I cannot thank our educators and educational leaders enough."


Our three winners will be honored at a banquet on October 20th in Bloomington. We are so fortunate to have teachers, paraprofessionals and nurses who go above and beyond, every day to educate and care for our students. Congratulations Kathy, Judy and Julie. You make a difference every day!

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Virtual Backpack

Please click HERE to view the flyers in our virtual backpack. Flyers are updated weekly, so please check back often so you won't miss any of the events going on in our community.

Oak Grove School Board of Education

Click HERE to view Board Agenda and Minutes