Oley Valley School District

Digital Newsletter - January 2019

"Every tomorrow is an outcome of what I do today, and the beauty of it all is that today is happening all the time." Craig D. Lounsbrough
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Oley Valley School District Principals and Assistant Principals

Mr. Christopher Becker, HS Principal; Mr. Dan Marks, MS Principal; Mr. Manny Savignano, K-8 Assistant Principal; Dr. Matthew Broskey, ES Principal; Mr. Sean Ryan, HS Assistant Principal

"Safe2Say Something"

The Oley Valley School District is committed to creating and sustaining a comprehensive, coordinated effort to improve the overall safety and well-being of our students, educators and administrators.

To assist in this endeavor, the PA Department of Education is establishing an initiative involving parents, teachers, administrators, local law enforcement, mental health & wellness professionals and elected officials to take meaningful action to protect our students.

This initiative is the “Safe2Say Something” (S2SS) anonymous reporting system. This program, which is mandated under PA state law / Act 44, teaches students, teachers, and administrators how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and Say Something to a trusted adult OR use its anonymous reporting system. Specifically, the program educates participants to:

• Recognize the signs and signals of at-risk behaviors – especially within social media

• Take every sign and signal seriously; act quickly to get help by talking to a trusted adult OR

• Report it anonymously through the S2SS Office of the Attorney General 24/7 Crisis Center, mobile app, or website

• Respond to and manage the submitted tip via a school-based multi-disciplinary educator and administrator teams

• Sustain the curriculum and awareness via student clubs, in-school activities and call-to-action weeks

Our students often are aware of the problems their peers are facing, so we must empower them to know the danger signs and give them the tools to help each other with the assistance of trained and caring adults. As you know, most conversations are taking place on social media; therefore, it is critical that we teach our students to be looking out for one another as these digital conversations are taking place. S2SS teaches them what to look for in text, video, and photos while empowering them to act quickly to help a fellow student.

Please click HERE for a full brochure outlining the S2SS program.

The SS-ARS program is being provided through Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a nation-wide non-profit organization. SHP’s programs are in 50 states – with 10,000+ schools and over 5.5 million students and adults trained. They have a track record, reputation, and knowledge of how to work effectively with kids, parents, and teachers to improve school safety and culture. The program is age-appropriate and research-based. They also have funding to provide and sustain the program at NO COST to our school (and all schools statewide).

We anticipate that S2SS will help stop school shootings, suicides, and gun threats; it will help reduce bullying and cyberbullying; help intervene upon cutting, drug use, racial conflicts, and other violent and victimization acts. Questions and concerns should be directed to our Safe2SaySomething Coordinator, Mr. Chris Becker, OVHS Principal.

Drug Awareness Training

On January 9th the middle school and high school faculty attended a seminar presented by Detective Taimanglo on the heroin epidemic that is affecting our area. Detective Taimanglo is a Central Berks Police Department Drug Enforcement Detective with experience as a Narcotics Detective, and also served in the U.S. Army in Military Intelligence. He brings to us his insight and experience on the recent trends in the area on the use of heroin and other drugs of choice. A discussion was held about the recent trends and how a partnership and connections with local schools was so important.

Parent and student seminars will be planned for the future.

Elementary School News

Gingerbread Exchange 2018

Kindergarten spent the entire month of December creating gingerbread boys and girls to mail to more than seventy-five various schools across the United States for Social Studies. As a whole class, the teachers and students wrote letters about Oley Valley, what we learn, and information about our school day. We kicked off our gingerbread day by walking to the office and placing our letters in the mail like a real post office. Next, we read the story, "Gingerbread Loose in Our School." Once we completed the book, we went on a special gingerbread hunt to try and find the missing gingerbread. We didn’t spot the gingerbread but he left us various clues around the school and a special cookie treat in our classroom. Throughout December, we received various letters from pre-school and kindergarten classrooms where we learned about their seasons, classroom, and various things they were learning. We got several gingerbread people from various states that included Texas, California, Oklahoma, and even Nevada. Each day we received a gingerbread, we opened the letter and placed it outside in the hallway to be with our gingerbread houses to give them a new home. Then, we colored in the state on a big United States map and colored in the states on our own individual map. We loved comparing the sizes of the various states and seeing which states were the closest and furthest away from Pennsylvania. It is one of our favorite projects to complete in December and we always have fun exploring and learning new facts about various states and schools.

Socks for Seniors

The elementary guidance department and the Healthy Futures Club sponsored a Socks for Seniors Drive to help keep seniors warm this winter. Students collected nearly 200 pairs of socks! All socks will be donated to a local agency.

Career Week 2018

Career Week started off with parent volunteers speaking about their occupations with the elementary students. Parents provided an overview of their career and discussed their strengths and interests with the students. Career Week ended with the elementary students dressing up as their future career aspirations. The high school Paw Squad students also shared their post-secondary plans with several grade levels at the Elementary building. Thank you to everyone who helped support our students and assisted in preparing them for the future!
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Caring Club Holiday Breakfast

As a special treat to the elementary faculty, the Caring Club, along with the elementary guidance department, hosted a holiday breakfast for the teachers. The breakfast was a way to say thank you for all of their hard work. The Caring Club consists of 5th grade students who volunteer their time to help others.

2019 STEM Fest: STEM in the Valley Planning Underway

The 2019 STEM Fest takes over Oley Valley Elementary School again this spring. Our third installment of this growing school-wide event is planned to begin on Wednesday, April 24 featuring a theme of “STEM in the Valley.”

As part of our district-wide initiative to develop collaborative learning experiences with local businesses and STEM-related industries, we are expanding our event to include workshops and career skills presentations featuring local businesses. If you own or work for a business that would like to support the eager exploration of STEM topics by our elementary students, please contact Ms. Jenni Hoffman, STEM Integration teacher and STEM Fest coordinator to become involved in our 2019 STEM Fest.

Our theme is intended to celebrate the technology used and developed in the agricultural heritage of the Oley Valley as well as the opportunities and innovations of today’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and businesses. Our festival will feature student-led explorations as well as workshops developed with local business leaders and presented jointly with certified teachers to individual classes. We welcome your ideas, expertise and support to create the possibilities of the future with our students.

For more information or to find out how you can be more directly involved in the STEM programs of Oley Valley Elementary School, please contact Jenn Hoffman, OVES STEM Integration teacher, at jhoffman@ovsdpa.org.

OVES CANstructure Team's Collection Bins Are Open

Oley Valley second grade students are building their skills to participate in the 2nd Annual CANstructure Contest presented by Youth Volunteer Corps and Performance Toyota. The event, a youth structure building competition to fight hunger, takes place on March 14 at Berkshire Mall where teams of youth compete in a contest to build incredible designs made entirely from cans of food. At the end of the contest, food will be donated to the Greater Berks Food Bank.

To support this project, we will be collecting canned goods in the entrance lobbies of the Oley Valley Elementary School, Middle School and HIgh School through the month of February. Undamaged cans of food, all shapes and sizes, are welcome and will be shared among the Greater Berks Food Bank and Oley Valley Food Pantry.

Through their STEM Integration and Library classes, second grade students are designing structures and testing their building skills using collected cans of food. Each class of second grade students will design and build a structure for a school-wide competition. Students from the winning class will be invited to build their structure at the competition on March 14. The groups learn team building skills, work with STEM professionals to learn structure building, exercise creativity in design and building, learn about food scarcity in their community and fight hunger locally with a huge donation of canned goods.

For more information or to find out how you can be more directly involved in the STEM programs of Oley Valley Elementary School, please contact Jenn Hoffman, OVES STEM Integration teacher, at jhoffman@ovsdpa.org.

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OVES Princess Ball

The Elementary PTO held a Princess Ball on Friday, January 18th. All the girls were invited from Kindergarten to 5th grade. The girls invited a father figure to accompany them to the dance. Over 500 people attended, and everyone had a great time.

Middle School News

High School Students visit the Middle School - History of the Holocaust

Mr. Kallis’s History of the Holocaust students came down to the middle school and taught and discussed the Holocaust with Mrs. Breen’s 7th grade students. One of the characters from the book we read, Refugee, was a victim of the Holocaust. After reading the story, my students have many lingering questions about what this character experienced. These high school students are able to explain these events to my students in a very knowledgeable yet age appropriate way. I think this experience of having high school students come down and talk to middle school students is very valuable on many levels. Middle school students look up to high school students and for them to see the enthusiasm for a subject in school that these high school students possess is very powerful.

High School News

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History of the Holocaust Presentation

On December 17th, Mrs. Hilde Gernsheimer and her son Jeff visited the high school to speak to students enrolled in Mr. Kallis's History of the Holocaust class. Hilde's son offered a detailed presentation on his mother's experiences during this era and then students had the opportunity to ask questions. Even at 92 years old, Mrs. Gernsheimer is full of energy and positivity; she stresses the importance of being optimistic for what the future holds and never losing hope in humanity. Although she was barely a teenager when WWII broke out, she has many memories about the sacrifices of her family and the friendships she made that helped her survive Nazi Germany's rule. Soon after Kristallnacht, Hilde and one of her sisters were accepted into the Kindertransport program that sent thousands of predominantly Jewish children to safety in Great Britain. We are extremely grateful for both Hilde and Jeff's time in helping the current generation of students better understand the events surrounding the Holocaust. This is the fourth year they accepted our invitation and we look forward to seeing them again.

FFA Events

FFA Christmas Line Dancing Event held at the Oley Valley Community Fairgrounds hosted by DJ Chicken Nugget on Saturday, December 15th, 2018

FFA Annual Alumni Luncheon

Recap of this year's Alumni Luncheon

On Thursday, December 20th, 2018, the Oley Valley FFA chapter held its annual Alumni Christmas Luncheon in the Fair Centre at the Oley Fairgrounds. Roughly fifty students attended the luncheon. This event aims to provide students with career insight from Oley Valley FFA alumni that are currently pursuing agricultural careers.

The speakers from this year’s luncheon (from left to right) were Matthew Schaeffer, Joshua Kratzer, Vicki Behm, Matthew Beekman, Courtney Brumbach, and Jenna Ulrich. Matthew Schaeffer, Vicki Behm, and Jenna Ulrich are currently pursuing agricultural and environmental degrees at a college, while the remaining three speakers have already graduated from college. The speakers’ degrees and careers varied from agriculture business to landscape and horticulture at colleges including Penn College of Technology, Penn State, and Delaware Valley University.

All students enjoyed the opportunity to interact with FFA alumni and gain useful career insight. The day was complete with a great meal and the start of the holiday break!

Pennsylvania Farm Show

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Missed our Chapter’s Trip to the Pennsylvania Farm Show? Here's the Beef....

On Monday, January 7, 2019, sixty-five members of the Oley Valley FFA Chapter traveled to Harrisburg to visit the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Members traveled throughout the complex to visit all of the vendors, see all of the animals, and taste all of the different cuisines in the food court.

In between the milkshakes, French fries, and potato donuts, however, a portion of the chapter also attended the FFA Midwinter Convention.

At the Midwinter Convention, five new members initiated their journey in the blue and gold by receiving their corduroy jackets. These students earned their embroidered jackets through an essay application. Freshmen Addison Arrowsmith, Emily Foose, Autumn Gamler, Brennan Gumeniski, and Julie Weidman received this honor. Three hundred-sixty other students in Pennsylvania were also presented with their FFA jackets for the first time.

Also, seven of our senior FFA members became a step closer to finishing their high school FFA careers by earning and receiving their Keystone degrees. The Keystone degree is the highest attainable rank by an FFA member at the state level. The students that earned this rank are Kylee Hetrick, Rachel Noll, Hayden Phillips, Oliver Prout, Josh Treichler, Alysha Ulrich, and Sam Witman.

Congratulations to all members that were a part of the Midwinter Convention ceremony this year. We look forward to watching more students in our chapter reach these accomplishments in future years!

Submitted by Alysha Ulrich

Photos courtesy of Danielle Trimbur

Fourth Annual Kan-Jam Tournament

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Ever played Kan-Jam? It is great fun! This is the fourth year that the Kan-Jam tournament has been held in the high school gymnasium. The tournament includes both middle school and high school students, faculty and staff. It is a great send off the day before the December holidays. Teams are formed between adults and students and the playoffs begin. Fun is had by all! The tournament entry fee benefits the One Wish Foundation.

Rotary Club Student of the Month

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Hayden Phillips wins Rotary Club Student of the Month

Athletic Update

For Athletic Schedules & Information visit www.ovlynx.org

*Please note that you can sign up on the athletic website for schedule change notifications which will send you an email or text message to alert you as soon as games are postponed.

For directions on where Berks County High Schools and Middle Schools play their home contests please visit www.bciaa.org. Please note that clicking on an opponent on www.ovlynx.org will only give you directions to the opposing school’s High School, which is not necessarily where they play their contests.

Follow the Athletic Department on Twitter @OVLynx for varsity scores and live playoff updates each season.

The Athletic Booster Club will be hosting a fundraising event at the M&M Sandwich and Pizza Shop on Tuesday, January 29th from 4:00-9:00. 15% of all sales on 1/29 will be donated to the Athletic Booster Club so please come out and treat yourself to a night off from making dinner, while supporting the Booster Club and a local business! Thank you to the M&M Sandwich and Pizza Shop for your support of our athletic programs!

Thank you to Tompkins VIST Bank for their $10,000 sponsorship for new baseball and softball scoreboards. Both the baseball and softball teams will now enjoy scoreboards that are reliable for every home game!

Fall BCIAA All-Stars, All-State and All-American Honors (released after the November newsletter was published):


Ben Leister – First Team All-League (punter)

David Schaeffer – First Team All-League (safety)

Field Hockey –

1st Team All-State – Sarah Beers, Sophia Gladieux, Madison Kline

2nd Team All-State – Sydney Gillingham, Sophia Mackrella

All-State Team Academic Award

All-State Individual Academic Award – Brynn Gilbert, Erinn Messner, Sarah Beers, Paige Graber, Sophia Mackrella, Jordan Wilkinson

Max Field Hockey 1st Team All-Region – Sophia Gladiux

Max Field Hockey 2nd Team All-Region – Sarah Beers

NFHCA All-Region & All-American Awards - TBA

Important upcoming dates:

Week of January 28th – Spring Sport Signups (during MS and HS lunch periods)

February 7 - Athletic Booster Club Winter Meeting – 6:30PM HS Library

February 22 – Spring Sports Physical/Recertification Packets Due

March 4th – HS Spring Sports Start

March 11th – MS Spring Sports Start

March 19th – Spring Athletic Booster Club Meeting – 7:00PM HS Library

Coaching Vacancies:

MS Assistant Track & Field

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Football All-Berks Banquet - honors for David Schaeffer and Ben Leister, the only two players from the Fleetwood football team to be honored as a league all-star.

Oley Valley Community Education Foundation

OVCEF seeks nominations for Distinguished Oley Valley Alumni and Distinguished Service to the Oley Valley School District Awards

The Oley Valley Community Education Foundation (OVCEF) is seeking nominations for the 2019 Oley Valley Distinguished Alumni Award and for the Distinguished Service to the Oley Valley School District Award.

One or more awards are presented each October to alumni for outstanding achievement in their professions, humanitarian efforts, volunteerism, or service in their communities, or a single exceptional achievement. One or more awards may also be presented to individuals who have provided unselfish service to the Oley Valley School District.

Award nomination forms are available at the Oley Valley High School Office, 17 Jefferson Street, Oley; the OVCEF website www.OleyValleyCEF.org; and the OVSD website www.oleyvalleysd.org. The deadline for receipt of nominations is June 30, 2019.

School Board Reports

Board Report

Oley Valley Elementary School

January 2019

Students in the Healthy Futures Club collected warm socks for seniors. Socks were donated to Friends, Inc. located in Kutztown. Thank you to the students and guidance counselors for organizing the collection.

The annual Princess Ball will take place on Friday, January 18th at the elementary school. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.!

The second grade chorus concert will take place tomorrow at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the middle school auditorium. Thank you to the second grade team and Mrs. Vinanskie for their efforts in preparing the students for the performance.

The elementary school will be collecting can goods during the “Souper Bowl” event for the Greater Berks Food Bank. Students will place cans in one of two boxes representing the teams in the Super Bowl. The winning “Souper Bowl” team will be announced to the school.

Staff will participate in professional development on Friday, January 18. Staff will have the opportunity to attend professional development sessions led by their peers in the areas of technology, art, and library media.

Kindergarten registration for the 2019-2020 school year begins at the end of January. Information on registering children will be sent to parents of incoming students and to community partners.

Board Report

Oley Valley Middle School

January 2019

• Congratulations to our OVMS December Students of the Month. They are:

o 8th Grade: Ceili Guy and Jaden Kelly

o 7th Grade: Kaylee DeLong and Dalton Favinger

o 6th Grade: Ayden Cogan and Eva Glick

• The last day of marking period 2 was Tuesday, January 15. Sixth grade students began their third quarter specials today, January 16.

• The OVSD is having its second in-service early dismissal on Friday, January 18 (weather permitting). The Middle School faculty will be revising and refining the course selection and recommendation process at each grade-level. High School teachers and counselors will be joining the 8th grade teachers for this session.

• Over the winter break, the new outside cameras and remaining inside cameras were installed at the Middle School. The system is now complete with 54 fully operational cameras.

• The OVMS PTSO Book Fair runs from Thursday, January 31 through Saturday, February 2. The annual OVMS Flea Market is Saturday, February 2 from 8:00am to 1:00pm.

Board Report

Oley Valley High School

January 2019

Team 17 strong day took place on December 17th. All students and staff were encouraged to wear their team 17 shirt or grey in support of Anthony. We continue to wish Anthony the best in his battle.

Our winter dance took place on December 20th. We had a fantastic turnout and evening. We look forward to the February Dance.

OVHS students participated in the annual Kan-Jam tournament before the holiday break! It was a wonderful day to raise money for One Wish before the break. We raised $1,135.

Winter Keystone testing started on January 7th. School administration made some changes to the past practice and are happy with the results. Thank you to the staff and students for a job well done,

Dectective Joe Taimanglo from Central Berks met with 6-12 staff on January 8th to discuss recent research in terms of school safety. The session was very helpful and informative.

Upcoming Events:

Professional Development will take place on 1/18/19.

Course Selection night takes place on 1/31/19.

The regular season for winter sport competition wraps up in a few short weeks.

Important Upcoming Events

1/25/19 – ES Movie Night 7:00 PM

1/29/19 – ES PTO Meeting in ES Cafeteria 6:30 PM

1/31/19 – MS Book Fair

1/31/19 – 8th Grade Transition Night 6:30 PM

1/31/19 – HS Course Selection Night 7:30 PM

2/1-2/2/19 – MS Book Fair

2/2/19 – MS Flea Market

2/7/19 – Athletic Booster Club Meeting 7:00 PM

2/8/19 – HS Valentine’s Dance 7:00 PM

2/9/19 – MS Flea Market (Snow Date)

2/15/19 – Early Dismissal all Buildings


2/20/19 – School Board Meeting 7:00 PM

2/22/19 – ES Movie Night 7:00 PM

2/23/19 – Jazz Festival – MS Auditorium 1:00 PM

2/26/19 – ES PTO Meeting

2/28/19 – End of Second Trimester

2/28/19 – HS Mosaic Concert – HS Auditorium 7:00 PM

3/1/19 – HS Mosaic Concert – HS Auditorium 7:00 PM

3/4/19 – HS Spring Sports Begin

3/7/19 – K-12 Parent/Teacher Conferences 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

3/8/19 – NO SCHOOL FOR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS – Elementary Parent/Teacher

Conferences (During the day)


Oley Valley School District Board of Directors

David R. Pollock Jr., President

Stephen S. Burns, Vice-President

Carl J. Kubitz, Jr., Treasurer

Eric Clemmer, Member

Robert A. Heckman, Member

Darrell L. Markley, Ed.D., Member

Ralph Richard, Member

Stuart Salen, Member

Dawn Zackon, Member

John M. Stott, Esquire, Board Solicitor

Maria H. Jones, Board Secretary, non-member

Oley Valley School District

The Oley Valley School District is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Educator who fully and actively supports equal access for all people regardless of Race, Color, Religion, Gender, Age, National Origin, Veteran Status, Disability, Genetic Information or Testing, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression and prohibits Retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or practice in the investigation of any complaint, or otherwise oppose discrimination. Compliance issues/questions should be directed to the Office of the Superintendent.