Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ January 19, 2021

Don’t forget to check the Virtual Backpack for flyers and information relating to community events and announcements. There is usually neat stuff in there!

An Interview with a Scientist

On Friday, January 15th, the sixth and seventh grade students took part in a Google Meet with Dr. Joseph Incandela, best known for leading hundreds of researchers to the discovery of the Higgs-Boson particle and currently serving as Vice Chancellor of Research at University of California Santa Barbara. The interview was prompted by a student’s question during Mrs. Pusateri’s class, “Is matter energy?” With that, Mrs. Pusateri responded she had a cousin who would be much better at explaining that, and perhaps he could come to a Google Meet and speak with her curious students. She continued to explain to the student that his research led him to sharing the Nobel Prize ceremony with Peter Higgs, the scientist who originally theorized the existence of the Higgs particle approximately 40 years earlier but did not have the tools to find it.

He also theorized this particle, also known as the “God Particle”, was created one trillionth of a second after the big bang - and most importantly, made the existence of matter, even us, possible. After years of searching using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) accelerator at CERN in Switzerland, Dr. Incandela announced on July 4, 2012, his research team had found the “God Particle”. Surely, he would have the answers the students were looking for, and so the text was sent.

Despite his busy schedule, Dr. Incandela responded he would love to come and speak to our student. Finally, the day arrived and Mrs. Pusateri welcomed Dr. Incandela to her virtual classroom. He listened to each and every question from the students and graciously answered them for almost an hour. He even presented a graph showing the data collected from a particle experiment he worked on and shared how the data was interpreted. The students were awestruck by the depth of his answers but did understand that, “Matter IS energy in a condensed version.” When asked what kept him motivated to continue his search for the Higgs, Dr. Incandela responded that his curiosity about the universe started when he was just about their age when he wondered what space was actually made up of. His curiosity continued to develop until after his first undergraduate class in physics, where at the age of 19, he decided he would get his PhD in particle physics and would someday contribute something historical to humanity. While there were several complicated replies to the questions, there were also some fun responses: Dr. Incandela shared his experience at the Nobel Prize Ceremony as being an incredible experience and the best dinner he has ever had. At the close of the meeting, Dr. Incandela shared his advice to his seventh grade self: Keep exploring and continue to be curious about the world around you. It is important to contribute something to help others and this is the same advice he has given to his own sons.

Mental Health Minute

The Mental Health team at Oak Grove, consisting of two School Social Workers, two School Psychologists, and the Social Emotional Learning Coordinator, will be providing you information on several social emotional topics throughout the 2020-21 school year. Twice a month, we will provide you with a brief overview of a topic as well as at least one resource for additional information. Please feel free to reach out Ryan Murray, SEL Coordinator, if you have questions or need help finding more information.

This week's topic is Anxiety. Feelings of worry or concern are completely normal from time to time in stressful situations, but when these feelings impact the child’s ability to handle day to day life it can be more significant. Anxiety can look different in children as compared to adults; some symptoms include trouble sleeping, avoiding situations, being clingy to caregivers, disruptive outbursts, or complaining of physical problems like stomach aches. Children can also develop anxiety around specific situations, such separation anxiety, specific phobias, social anxiety, or panic disorders. If you are concerned that your child may have an anxiety disorder, there are several things that can help and you should not feel ashamed to ask for help.

Some supports to provide to a child experiencing anxiety:

  • Do not set the goal of eliminating anxiety
  • Stressful situations will always occur, but helping the child learn to regulate their behavior in these situations is key rather than avoiding all stressful situations.
  • Try walking through what to expect in an anxiety producing situation before it occurs so they know what to expect. This could also include brainstorming how they could handle situations that may arise.
  • Respect and do not belittle feelings, but do not amplify them either.
  • Ask open ended questions instead of leading questions. Try something like “How are you feeling about the science test?” rather than, “Are you worried about the science test?”
  • Model healthy ways of handling your own stressors.

Additional Resources:

The 8th Grade Musical... The Show Will Go On!

Mr. Farris and Ms. Ludington are thrilled to announce that there will be an 8th grade musical this year!

Due to the pandemic, the auditions, rehearsals and performances will all be remote which will keep students safe and allow @Home and @School students an equal opportunity to participate.

All 8th grade students will be involved with the 8th grade musical in some capacity as part of their 4th quarter Fine Arts class. Significant time will be spent outside of school hours by students with larger parts and who hold leadership crew roles.

Students who audition will record their songs and dances at home. Students who chose not to audition will help performers prepare, create advertisements and edit footage.

More information is coming soon!

Musical 2021 Important Dates

Monday, February 1st- Announce Show and Release Digital Audition Packets

Wednesday, February 10th- Open Audition FlipGrid

Wednesday, February 17th- Close Audition FlipGrid

Monday, February 22nd- Post Call Back List

Wednesday, February 24th- Call Back Google Meet After School (Time TBD)

Friday, February 26th- Post Musical Cast List

Friday, May 28th- Release Musical Performance Online

Curriculum Corner

It’s always helpful to get tips and strategies for managing life. If you haven’t spent much time listening to NPR podcasts & articles, here’s a great place to start. They have a series called Life Kit: NPR that offers a series of lessons for us to try as we start the new year. With topics such as: 7 tips for getting back on your home exercise game, coping with anxiety around the news, or follow these steps to deep clean your space. May you find a tip that is successful for you and your family!

PTO News


Due to the current circumstances with COVID-19, the PTO is currently unable to host in-person events at the school. Unfortunately, the dances will therefore not be able to occur as we know them and will have to be canceled for the 2020-2021 school year. The PTO is continuing to develop commUNITY type activities for this school year whether social distanced outdoors or virtual.

Please keep a lookout for information on a PTO sponsored Family Fun Night! If you would like to help plan this event, please contact Keli Likosar at tiggrr68@gmail.com or the PTO at pto@ogschool.org.


Don't forget to submit your family's favorite recipe for our first ever digital OGS Family Favorites Cookbook! You can submit your recipe with this LINK. This link is also available on the PTO's webpage. If you have any questions, please reach out to Laura Reutzel at sandersL7@hotmail.com or pto@ogschool.org.

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