Oakhurst Weekly

August 18, 2022

From the Principal

Greetings Oakhurst Family,

I would like to send a "shout out" to our awesome PTA! I attended our first PTA meeting Tuesday, and it was such a productive meeting. Special "kudos" are extended to our amazing PTA officers! I've worked in many schools, but the Oakhurst PTA is at the top of my list for great PTAs! Why? First of all, they work collaboratively with our staff to raise the standards of the school. Secondly, they effectively serve as a liaison between our school and homes. Lastly, they do an outstanding job organizing fundraising events that provide resources and educational experiences our school budget cannot support.

So, THANK YOU SO MUCH Oakhurst PTA for all you do!

Yours in service,

Sharon Gay

Interim Principal


Coach's Corner

Oakhurst Families,

There is always an ebb and a flow to the school year. A few weeks after the year has begun is that period of time where students and teachers have worked to establish routines, they’re getting to know each other, and generally starting to get in the groove. There are more moments of magic that begin to happen in classrooms, and around the building, once we get past these first weeks.

Throughout the building, we’re seeing classes launch their first unit in ARC. The goal of this first unit is “Establishing the Foundation for Accelerated Growth: A Community of Reader and Writers”; this is accomplished by sharing a variety of genres of reading and writing to young learners, while establishing the routines, procedures, and structures of a literate classroom.

We’re also seeing the development of mathematical thinking with number sense routines around Number Talks and mathematical discourse. When students are able to explain, and even defend, their thinking around math, they are building and strengthening a foundation of strong number sense and reasoning. This fall I’ll host a Coffee Chat on Ways to Foster Mathematical Thinking at Home. Stay tuned.

In addition to building strong math and reading minds, we are also cultivating a Crew of STEAM-ers. Every Friday, classes have the opportunity to engage in problem-solving and inquiry based STEAM lessons that encourage students to collaborate, think divergently and problem solve a situation posed in the lesson. We’ve seen an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from our students for this Friday STEAM-iness. :)

Oakhurst is a wonderful place to learn and grow! We’re looking forward to a wonderful year with fostering the love of learning.

Enjoy a fabulous week ahead,

Cindy Aldridge


Nurse Notes

Based on the recent updated COVID-19 guidance from the CDC, the City Schools of Decatur will be modifying the following procedures:

-COVID-19 communication emails will be sent to the affected classroom/group only. We will no longer send schoolwide communications informing of a positive case.

-CSD will not be offering surveillance screening in any school. COVID-19 testing will continue to be offered at the Wilson Center from 6:15 am-9:15 am Monday-Friday.

The CDC’s COVID-19 community guidance, as well as its Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education (ECE) Programs, also includes the following updates:

  • Those exposed to the virus are no longer expected to quarantine

  • Unvaccinated people now have the same guidance as vaccinated people

  • Students can stay in class after being exposed to the virus

  • It is no longer recommended to screen those without symptoms in most settings

  • The recommendation to cohort has been removed

  • Test-To-Stay information has been removed

Please continue to notify your school nurse if your student tests positive for COVID-19. Please include the first day of symptoms or the day of the positive test(if no symptoms), and we will reach out to you regarding isolation and return-to-school dates. Parents and families, thank you so much for your efforts in keeping us informed of student illnesses, testing with symptoms and keeping sick students at home.

For any health-related questions or concerns, please contact Nurse Durham at 404-371-4470 or ddurham@csdecatur.net.

School Notes/Announcements


Hello Oakhurst. We wanted to share that one of our 1st grade owls has lost their father quite suddenly this week. Along with condolences the family is open to receiving support in a few ways if you are inclined. Please know that no gift or token is required to be given but if you desire to you may contribute in these ways:


Amazon Wish List

Big Oakhurst Shout Out to Karl Kortemeier!

Former OAK parent and long-time Oakhurst friendly face, Karl Kortemeier, very generously donated his blade sharpening services to give our paper cutters a much-needed freshening up. Thank you, Karl!

If you're in need of blade sharpening services, please contact Karl: karl.kortemeier@gmail.com!

Big picture

Community Circle is a time for our entire school community (students, staff, and families) to celebrate learning and growing together. Everyone (even you, grown ups!) is invited to dance, sing, and celebrate everything and everyone that is awesome about Oakhurst Elementary School. We very much look forward to seeing you there!

To brush up on our school song, Nothing More by the Alternate Routes, find the video link with lyrics here.

Oakhurst SLT Elections This Fall

Oakhurst's School Leadership Team (SLT) is an important crew that is created and guided by CSD's charter. SLT members - including administrative, staff, parent and community representatives - operate as a governing body with the purpose of maximizing school-level decisions. Parent representatives are an elected position and serve two-year terms. There will be two open parent seats this Fall; we will hold an election in late August to fill those positions.

The most important requirement of an SLT member is to have an honest desire to contribute to the educational experience and learning of all children at Oakhurst Elementary. We hope you will consider being a part of this very important work! Those interested should contact Jennifer Young, our Assistant Principal (jeyoung@csdecatur.net) and Cindy Aldridge, our Instructional Coach (caldridge@csdecatur.net) to share their interest, along with a short bio to add to our voting form. Thank you for your support!

The deadline for bios is 8/26. Elections will be held electronically on 8/31.

Feel free to contact any of our current parent representatives with questions or for further information including Erica Bacher (Parent)-ebacher@csdecatur.net and Jeff Carter (Parent) - jcarter@csdecatur.net.


School Supplies for 22 - 23 School Year

Thank you to everyone who has donated to help cover school supplies! We’re 56% of the way to our reimbursement goal - if you have not yet paid and are able to do so or are able to help cover costs, we appreciate your support!

The Oakhurst PTA purchased school supplies for all students to ensure that every student has a full school supply kit. If you are able to pay for your child’s supplies, please contribute $35 per student to the PTA via the information below.

How to Pay - $35 per Oakhurst student:

-Cash/Check (made out to Oakhurst PTA): leave at the front desk

-PayPal: Pay to oakhurstelementaryschoolpta@gmail.com or go to paypal.me/OakhurstPTA.

Stock the Teacher's Lounge

Let our awesome Oakhurst staff know that they're all that and a bag of chips by helping to stock the teacher's lounge! Individually packaged, non-perishable snacks can be dropped off at the front office or ordered from the Amazon Wishlist, and items will ship directly to the school!


Join us for our PTA family fun event on Thursday, September 15th from 5:30pm - 7:30pm - more details coming soon!


Sign up now to help at the PTA Family Fun Fest event on September 15th!

Click below to sign up!

Dates to Note

August 26: Deadline for SLT bio submission

August 26: Community Circle @ 8:30 in front of the school

August 31: SLT elections (online)

September 1: Curriculum Night (more details soon!)

September 5: Labor Day - NO SCHOOL

September 13, 6:30pm: Board of Education Meeting

September 14: School Picture Day

September 15: PTA Family Fall Fun Night (more details soon)

September 16: Picture Day make ups

September 19 - 23: CSD Fall Break - NO SCHOOL

September 27: PTA Meeting @ 6:30pm in the media center

City Schools of Decatur

School Nutrition

Accommodating Students with disabilities and/or Special Dietary Needs:

City Schools of Decatur will make accommodations for children with disabilities whose disability or special dietary need restricts their diet when that need is certified by a licensed physician. Milk intolerance is not considered a disability or food allergy. For modifications or substitutions to the school meals, the school’s Nurse or Nutrition Manager must have a written Medical Statement to Request Accommodations for Disabilities in the School Meal Programs Form on file that is signed by a licensed physician or licensed health care professional who is authorized to write medical prescriptions under State law.

Parents should submit a new medical statement each year or verify the accuracy of the medical statement yearly that a child requires special dietary meals or substitutions. Please contact Monique Breedlove at mbreedlove@csdecatur.net or (470) 237-0368 ext. 7608 to update your student’s records or for additional information.

Parents that need to request milk substitutions for their students should complete a “Medical Statement to Request Milk Substitutions form.” This form will need to be on file for a student to receive lactose-free milk in lieu of 1% or Fat-Free 8 oz milk, which is included with a full tray. Students that do not have this form on file but want lactose-free milk will need to pay $1.00 for lactose-free milk or $0.50 for 1% or Fat-Free 8 oz milk. All students that do not purchase a meal will be charged for the milk choice they select.

The Accommodations form and the Milk Substitutions form are located here.

Parent Literacy Events

The Teaching and Learning Department is excited to host several parent-focused literacy events this school year. The August and September sessions are listed below. Stay tuned for information about additional programs scheduled for the remainder of the school year.

August Events:

August 18 at 4:00 pm: American Reading Company (ARC) Virtual Parent Education: Pursuing Clarity, Insights, and Opportunities in the Science of Reading Debate

August 24 at 4:00 pm: American Reading Company (ARC) Virtual Parent Education: The Science of Reading Is More Than A Movement

August 24 from 6:30 - 7:30 pm: City Schools of Decatur and American Reading Company (ARC) Virtual Parent Education with Dr. David Liben, Consultant and Author of Foundational Skills Development and Amelia Larson, Executive Vice President of ARC Innovations and Academic Partnerships

September Events:

September 15 at 4:00 pm: American Reading Company (ARC) Virtual Parent Education: Comprehensive Literacy for Turbulent Times - The Power Behind a Knowledge Building Curricula

If you have any questions about these events, please contact the Teaching and Learning Department at csimon@csdecatur.net.

Connection Sessions

Connection Sessions are conversations between CSD's Equity Director, various invited guests, and the CSD POGM* community. During each session, community members are introduced to a person who is integral to supporting the school system while we discuss thoughts, interests, and concerns regarding City Schools of Decatur. Each session uses a racial equity lens - always asking the question - "What does race have to do with this?"

These sessions may not always have the answers, but they provide an opportunity for members of Decatur's POGM community (as well as all others) to explore perspectives, pose questions, and share thoughts.

Each meeting starts at 6 pm. Access it by using the following link: https://tinyurl.com/2yuj2tbs.

  • August 22nd, 2022 - Dr. Maggie Fehrman, Superintendent, CSD

  • September TBD, 2022 - Adena Walker, Chief of Human Resources, CSD

  • October 17th, 2022 - Billy Heaton, Principal, Talley Street

  • November 14th, 2022 - Courtney Burnett, Chief of Staff, CSD

  • December 19th, 2022 - Karen Newton-Scott, Principal, FAVE

* People of color, despite being minoritized in the US, are a global majority. Thus, previously entitled BIPOC Connection Sessions, the name of this event is now Connection Sessions for POGM (People of the Global Majority). There is conflict regarding the use of the term BIPOC and this article details many relevant concerns. In short, the term BIPOC, which stands for Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color, elevates some cultures over others in a way that does not reflect the respect each culture deserves.

Special Education Parent Engagement

September Meeting:

disAbility Link - Empowering Youth

Mr. William Thomas, Youth & Diversity Supervisor for disAbility Link, will give an overview of the services and supports offered through the Empowering Youth program for youths ages 14-29. disAbility link provides but is not limited to employment support, self-advocacy, social activities, and peer support.

Target Audience: Parents of students with disabilities ages 14-22 years old

Date: September 15

Time: 6-7pm

Location: Virtual

To RSVP, click this Link or email Cheryl Grant at cgrant@csdecatur.net.

For more information, please see the August Welcome Back Flyer.

CSD Partners

Decatur Education Foundation

Mark Your Calendars! Did you know that Decatur Education Foundation has been supporting Decatur’s kids for 20 years? That’s a milestone worth celebrating, so we’re hosting a FREE Community Concert at Legacy Park! Come Together Decatur, presented by Bark Technologies in partnership with Amplify, will be held on Saturday, September 10th from 4-8pm and will feature local favorites The Sundogs and John Boy and Surround Sound, as well as some of our talented DHS students. Everyone is invited to pack a picnic and gather with blankets or camping chairs to spend the afternoon enjoying some great live music and reconnecting with friends and neighbors. See you there!

Driver Registration Now Open: Madison Avenue Derby on Oct. 15th

Don't miss your chance to be a part of one of Decatur's most iconic neighborhood events! Driver registration is now open for the 11th Annual Madison Avenue Derby, the non-motorized racing event where amateur racers of all ages design and build human-powered soapbox cars to compete against the clock in a downhill race!

Join the excitement as a racer or spectator on October 15, 2022, for a day of family-friendly fun - proceeds from the event this year go to support the Friends of Refugees! REGISTER TO RACE NOW


DEF has several volunteer opportunities that can fit easily into your weekly schedule! We need tutor volunteers for our Virtual Pals Tutoring program. If you can donate 1 hour per week to help a Decatur student virtually, you can apply here: https://forms.gle/YTbDUk8H4iS4qfD57 (High school students can earn volunteer hours!) We also need adult mentors for our AIM mentoring program and volunteer “coaches” for our brand new FOCUS Prep Program that is specifically for high schoolers in preparation for post-high school. For a mentor application, click here: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/6385892/Mentor-Application. If you’d like to become a coach, click here: https://forms.gle/F73gdN5fxzXqET5o7. You can also find all forms and information at our website, www.decatureducationfoundation.org/mentoring. Together we make a difference for our kids!
For more information about all the ways you can help DEF, click here!

Oakhurst Family Help Box: Who Do I Contact?

Did you know that we have a super awesome one-sheeter on the appropriate person to contact for various issues you may have or questions you need answered? We do! Here it is! You can also find it in the Quick Links section of our website.