Roadrunner News

November 19th, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving

Given the short upcoming week, this will be the last newsletter until December 3rd. That being said, I hope all of our families have an absolutely fantastic holiday weekend with all those you hold dear. While it has all been a roller coaster, and I do try to give thanks every day, I can definitely say that this Thanksgiving is eagerly anticipated and I very much look forward to spending time with my family and close friends. I hope you all can do the same, and please know that we at Oakland count all of you amongst that for which we are thankful.

And....Go Lions!!!! (Have to have hope, as well as gratitude.)

Important Dates (updated)

November 24-26: No School (Thanksgiving Weekend)

December 1: Professional Development Late Start--First bell for students is at 9:20 am

December 8: Professional Development Late Start--First bell for students is at 9:20 am

December 15: Professional Development Late Start--First bell for students is at 9:20 am

Student Council Diversity & Creativity Competition (reminder)

In partnership with the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee here at Oakland, the OES Student Council would like to present a Diversity and Creativity Competition to our students. For this competition, "My Culture and Me," students are encouraged to think about what their culture means to them, as well as how culture, diversity, and inclusion are celebrated and embraced here at our school. Students may choose to express their creativity in a multitude of ways, e.g., writing, music, visual arts, photography, or video. The link below takes you to the submission form for the competition. All submissions are due by 4:00pm on Wednesday, December 1st. Please contact Donna Moceri (, Taylor Hopp (, or Sarah Degnore ( with any questions. We appreciate you and look forward to learning more about our community!

Diversity & Creativity Submission Form

Parent U (updated)

Coming up...the next Parent University is set for Nov. 30 at 6 PM and will feature special guest Margaret Schultz, Director of Instructional Equity from the Bloomfield Hills School District discussing Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Please see the flyer below for information on how to register.

For anyone who missed the Parent U session earlier this month, but is still interested, you can click on the link below to see Dr. Jay Marks present on How to Talk to Your Kids About Race. (The presentation starts at about the 8:20 mark of the video.)

Parent U: How to Talk to Your Kids About Race

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RO Ski & Snowboard Club (updated)

Interested in Royal Oak Ski & Snowboard Club? Due to popular demand, we are holding a short virtual info night on Sunday, November 21, at 7 PM. We will walk you through the ins and outs of the club, share some tips on sign up and answer any questions. All are welcome.


  • Date: Sunday, November 21st

  • Time: 7-7:30 PM ET

  • To join the video meeting: click this link -

  • To join by phone: dial +1 662-540-5227 and enter this PIN: 360 331 257#

  • Hosts: Trisha Donaldson & Kristen Blankenship

  • More info: See the club FB page HERE

Know all you need and just want to sign up? Info and links HERE!

Looking forward to a great season!

Piano Lessons in the Neighborhood (reminder)

Below is the flyer for a local woman who gives piano lessons out of her home just down the street from Oakland. This is not a school program, but as a dad who has had his kids in piano lessons for years, I can speak to the value of learning music, and can also appreciate the convenience of having such a service so close to the school. Feel free to reach out to her if you have any interest.
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Dr. Kim's Corner

A link to our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Coordinator's page on the district website. Lots of good information and resources here.

Young Oaks Information (reminder)

This message is for families already enrolled in Young Oaks latchkey and is with regards to care on MLK Day. The form will be live Monday Nov. 15th at 9am.

Young Oaks January Break Day Request Form

Looking For Sweatpants Donations (reminder)

As many of you know, we have a "pantry" at Oakland where we keep a variety of items and non-perishable food so that we can support kids and families at periodic times throughout the school year. Donations are always welcome, and right now I would like to put out a specific request for any lightly used sweatpants sizes 5-12, as these often come in handy for a variety of reasons. (As I am sure you can imagine when you have a couple hundred kids doing the things that kids do.) If you are able to make a donation, please just drop it off in the main office with Mrs. Hall. Thanks in advance for your support.

Lunch Monitors (reminder)

If anyone is interested in spending some time with the kids during the school day and supporting the school community, we would love to have you on board as a lunch monitor. If you have any interest, please email Mrs. Hall at

Extra Yearbooks (reminder)

We still have a small number of extra 2020-2021 yearbooks available for purchase on a first come, first serve basis. They are $12.00 each, payable by cash or check (made out to Oakland Elementary). If you are interested, please contact Mrs. Hall at and she will tell you what to do if we still have books available.

Covid Communications (reminder w/ emphasis in bold)

Continued thanks many of you for your patience as we have navigated some quarantine issues here at Oakland. A couple of questions have come up about what parents can expect in terms of communication when we have a positive case. There are basically three possible levels of communication that you can expect in such a situation.

*The whole building gets a communication if we have a positive case in the building.

*The class gets a separate communication if that case is in the class.

*If your student is a close contact that needs to quarantine, or if we have what is considered an outbreak (2 or more cases within the class, in which case the entire class will have to quarantine and we will transition to virtual learning), you will be personally contacted and we will send you a follow up email with a reminder of the quarantine/isolation timeline.

Under no circumstances will we identify the individual who tests positive, but we do want to give as much information so that families are aware and can make their own decisions in the case that they want to add their own extra layer of caution.

It should also be noted that there may be some fluidity to some of these situations and guidelines sometimes change and there are sometimes unforeseen variables that arise. Regardless, the focus will be on trying to balance multiple desires, some of which will at times be in conflict with each other, to best service our kids and our community.

Last, but definitely not least, I want to reiterate our strong suggestion that you get your child PCR tested if you have any concerns that your child may have been exposed or is exhibiting symptoms. Being proactive and getting ahead of things gives us the best chance to avoid large scale quarantining, which unfortunately has happened in many schools in our area, including some others in Royal Oak.

Thanks again for all of your support.

As always, you can also reach out if you have any further questions or concerns.

Volunteer Forms (reminder)

Just a reminder to turn in your volunteer forms to Mrs. Hall if you think you may be volunteering at any point this school year. There is generally a couple of week lag after turning them in before they get approved due to the background check, so the sooner the better. Thanks in advance.

One Last Informational Tidbit (reminder)

This one deserves to stand on its own.

It is clearly an understatement to say that we have had a challenging last 18 months. A clear offshoot of this is that many of our kids and families are struggling with any number of things, be it social-emotional, financial, or any variety of issues that have been amplified by the pandemic. With this being said, please know that Oakland is a community that looks to support all of its members, both with school resources and our network of outside supports.

If you find your kids or yourselves in any sort of need, please feel free to reach out to me at Any request for assistance will be discreet, with full intent of following the wishes of each and everyone of you with regards to who might be made aware of your challenges.

In short, we care deeply and want to help.

School Supply Lists

Click here for access to Oakland's school supply lists.

Homework Club (reminder)

Homework Club is available for students on all Late Start Wednesdays from 8:20-9:20 a.m. Please click on the following link to register for Homework Club:

Homework Club

Blessings in a Backpack (reminder)

In light of the tough economic times facing our area, we are attempting to help Royal Oak Schools families by making sure that all of our children have enough food. “Blessings in a Backpack” is a program designed to provide students on the free and reduced lunch with enough food for three meals a day during the weekends. This program, sponsored by the North Woodward Community Foundation and the Meijer Corporation has begun in Royal Oak Schools.

If you agree to take part in this program, during the school year, your child will receive a bag every Friday, filled with food for the weekend. The simple meals may include food like macaroni and cheese, beef ravioli, fruit granola bars, peanut butter, soups, juice and other items.

If you would like to have your child participate in this program, click on the link, fill out the form, and return it to your child’s school AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Blessings in a Backpack Form

Walking Buddies (reminder)

Walking Buddies is a program run by parents to allow Oakland students to walk to the Metro Detroit Youth Club (formerly the Boys and Girls Club) after school where the elementary students are accompanied by high school students. If you'd like more information or if you're interested in participating in Walking Buddies as an alternative to afternoon latchkey, please contact Edith Anttila at

Please note, as many of you are aware, that the Club has postponed their opening beyond October 4th. See below for further information.

MDYC Resources (reminder)

Please see below for a message from Mike Schlaak, the Royal Oak MDYC Club Director.

I wanted to provide you an update on the schedule to return to in-person programming. Due to the current COVID-19 transmission levels in the counties we serve we will not be able to open for in-person programming on October 4th. Please see below for information on this decision and how the in-person re-opening date will be determined.

In the meantime we are offering support in the following areas so please feel free to reach out to stay connected on the following:

  1. Academic Mentor program (1:1 tutoring, study skills support, college prep, SAT, general academic check-ins and tips)
  2. OMEGA Academy (young men's mentoring program youth in 6th grade-12th grade -- created and facilitated by Omega Psi Phi alumni)
  3. Additional Social & Emotional Support (if your child is having a hard time coping with stress, anxiety, depression, etc. we have staff and programs available to be an additional support)
  4. Family Financial Resources/Support
    • Food: If at any time there is a job loss or economic need we have additional connections to food resources for your family or a Club family you may know that is in need.
    • Holidays: If your family (or a Club family you know) would benefit from additional support during the holidays with children's gifts please let us know so we can assist.

Be well, Mike

Additional Resources for Families

A variety of resources to support families.

Oakland PTA MemberHub

Here is a direct link to the Oakland PTA MemberHub store where memberships can be purchased. Please consider joining. A school is a community, and a community is only as strong as the people in it, and Oakland's PTA embodies this.

Principal Sam Lynch

“For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.”

Elie Wiesel

He/Him/His • (What's This?)

Last, But Maybe Not Least...

During the first several months of the pandemic, I periodically wrote some thoughts that I thought important for some of us to think about. Many in our community have already read them, but I have had multiple people inquire about seeing some of them again, and we also have several new families joining us. With that in mind, I will keep the links below active (and may periodically add to them). Feel free to take a look or share or ignore, whatever your inclinations may be.