The Oak Park Advantage

Back to School 2021

IMPORTANT CALENDAR DATES

First Day of School - Students in Grades: K-12
Monday, August 30, 2021

Labor Day Observance - No School
Friday, September 3 & Monday, September 6, 2021
Note: School Resumes on Tuesday, September 7


Student Count Day!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021


Parent/Teacher Conferences

Thursday, October 7, 2021, 4-8PM


No School
- Staff Professional Development/Marking Period Ends
Friday, October 8, 2021

FALL 2021 PARENT VIRTUAL LEARNING UPDATE

On behalf of the Oak Park Schools Learning community, we are excited to welcome you and your children back to school for the 2021-2022 school year!

At the end of the 2020-2021 school year, we began planning for a traditional return to school model for the upcoming academic year. We asked families to share their intent to return to school by June 11, 2021. Based on the family preference identified in the intent to return results, we were able to project and schedule the number of virtual class sections by grade level at the elementary level, and by content area at the secondary level. Students in grades Pre-K-Grade 2 had very few families who expressed interest in attending online, which resulted in virtual class sections for grades 3-12.

This correspondence is to inform you that based on your selection, your child will be enrolled in a virtual section for online learning for the Fall 2021 semester. If your child is a student in grades Pre-K-Grade 2, they will be enrolled in a traditional in-person learning model with a full, five-day schedule, fully masked, screened daily and at least 3-feet of physical distancing while indoors. Your child will be placed on a wait list, and if additional virtual options become available, we will contact you.

All students (both in-person and virtual) will be following a traditional Monday-Friday school schedule, and will receive more information from their school, and classroom teacher about the start of the school year as the school year approaches.

While we plan on returning to a more traditional return to school model for the upcoming year, we know and understand that there are students and families who have unique circumstances. If there are any changes to the enrollment preference for your child, please do not hesitate to contact our district office at (248) 336-7700.

As we continue to maneuver through the ever-changing COVID-19 global pandemic, we are committed to supporting students, families and staff. Although it has been a difficult year for all of us, a silver lining is knowing that we will see all of our students in the Fall!

Sincerely,

Cassandra Baptiste
Oak Park Schools
Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning

OPHS WELCOME BACK LETTER

Oak Park High School families,

I sincerely hope that all of you have been enjoying the summer vacation. To say that we are excited to welcome our students back to Oak Park High School this fall is a huge understatement. While the majority of our students have decided to return to face to face instruction in the building, there is a cohort of students who have decided to remain virtual. We remain committed to ensuring that both groups of students have an exceptional academic experience during the 2021-2022 school year.

Oak Park Schools Superintendent Dr. Hitchcock sent out a letter to all families at the beginning of the month outlining the COVID-19 health and safety measures that all students and staff will be following across the district. Please refer back to that letter for the most comprehensive district plan. Below, I have summarized safety measures and other commonly asked questions related to starting this school year.

  • Masks are required for all students, instructional and non-instructional staff in all buildings district-wide

  • 3-feet of social distancing is to be maintained in all instructional areas

  • Please do not allow students to come to school if they are sick or exhibiting any COVID-19 related symptoms

  • Lockers will not be provided during the first semester; this plan will be re-evaluated for the second semester. Students should bring only the necessities to school

  • Student IDs are to be worn on lanyards around student’s necks on a daily basis; if your student did not attend orientation, there will be an ID picture make-up day

  • The bell schedule is back to 8:00 a.m. – 2:53 p.m.; students will be switching classes as normal with a 5-minute passing time between each class

  • The updated dress code was sent home to all families; please review this new plan with your student if you have not already done so-it can be found at www.oakparkschools.org

  • Students enter school daily through the Student Entrance doors, which are near the student/football stadium lot; all other doors will be locked for the safety of our school community

  • Student schedules will be viewable on Student Connect beginning next week; if your student did not receive this log-in information at orientation, please contact Mrs. Lumpiesz at 248-336-7740

  • If you have any questions regarding your student’s schedule, please contact the appropriate counselor:

  • Athletic programs will be running this year with the proper COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place; spectators will be permitted and must follow the district’s protocols

  • Extra-curricular clubs/organizations and after school programming will also be running this year with the proper protocols in place

  • There will be a senior parent meeting led by senior class sponsor Mr. Palmer scheduled soon; if you would like to assist the senior class this year or have specific questions that need an immediate response, please contact Mr. Palmer at timothy.palmer@opsk12.org

  • In order to park in the student lot, students must purchase and display a parking permit; permits are $10 and may be purchased from Officer Koch at lunch time

  • Students who need credit recovery for not passing a required class will be given log-in information for e-2020; it is mandatory that students finish these classes immediately to get back on track to graduate on time with their class

  • As an attendance incentive, students who attend every day for the first two weeks of school will receive a free fall athletic pass that will get them into any home game

Our ultimate goal is to provide each student with a well-rounded high school experience that prepares them to reach their long-term goals after they graduate. In order to get the most out of these four years, students must attend school daily and join each class on time and prepared to learn. Students who are chronically absent will not learn the necessary skills needed to prove mastery on their assessments. Ultimately, they may fail classes and not be on track to graduate on time. We do not want this to happen to your student. Please ensure that your student is in school each day. If there is something preventing this from happening, contact your student’s counselor to problem solve the situation immediately.

I firmly believe that proactive and positive communication prevents problems from occurring. Please reach out to your student’s teachers any time that you have a question. Likewise, I am always available to assist you at carissa.peterson@opsk12.org. We know that we will need to wrap our arms around our students and reacclimate them to school. Not only is our team prepared to do that, we are excited to do that. The success of our students is at the core of every decision that we make at Oak Park High School.


Thank you for all that you continue to do to support your student and their education. We look forward to partnering with you for a phenomenal school year.


Yours in Education,

Principal, Ms. Carissa Peterson

OAK PARK SCHOOLS 2021-2022 STUDENT DRESS CODE PILOT

Dear Oak Park Families,

In December 2019, the Oak Park School District Board of Education adopted new policies. Board of Education policies are guidelines adopted by the Board of Education under which our school district operates.

Board Policy 2006 - Behavior on Student Appearance states: Students´ dress and grooming must not disrupt the educational process, interfere with the maintenance of a positive teaching/learning climate, or compromise reasonable standards of health, safety, and decency.


Throughout a series of meetings with students, administrators and district-wide attendance committee members, concerns were expressed about our previous standardized dress code (2-3 color approved pants/shirts) stifling the freedom of expression, inconsistently enforced, contributing to unnecessary conflicts among students and staff and a contributing factor to student absenteeism. Additionally, there is research that supports dress codes contribute to inequities among students.

Thank you to all of the students, families and staff who responded to the dress code survey. The survey closed on August 1, 2021. Over 82% of all respondents indicated that they are “in favor of students wearing what they choose to school as long as it is not offensive or inappropriate”. As a result, we have decided to pilot the dress code guidelines below for the 2021-2022 school year for students in PK-12 grade. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s building principal or assistant principal. Please see the Oak Park School Dress Code Guidelines below. Again, thank you! We are looking forward to a great school year!

Oak Park Schools 2021-2022 Student Dress Code Pilot

The Oak Park Schools Board of Education Policy 2006 states, students’ dress and grooming must not disrupt the educational process, interfere with the maintenance of a positive teaching and learning climate, or compromise reasonable standards of health, safety, and decency.

The primary responsibility for a student’s attire resides with the student and their parent(s)/guardian(s). The District is responsible for ensuring that student attire does not interfere with the health or safety of any student.

Further, dress code enforcement and/or classmates must not reinforce or increase marginalization or oppression of any group based on race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, household income, or body type/size. Any restrictions to the way a student dresses must be necessary to support the overall educational goals of the school and explained within these dress code guidelines.

1.​ ​Basic​ ​Principle: ​ Specific​ ​body​ ​parts​ ​must​ ​be​ ​covered​ ​for​ ​all​ ​students​ ​at​ ​all​ ​times.

Clothes must be worn in a way such that genitals, buttocks, breasts, and navel are fully covered with opaque fabric. All items listed in the “must wear” and “may wear” categories below must meet this basic principle.

2.​ ​Students​ ​Must​ ​Wear*, while following the basic principle of Section 1 above:

  • A​ ​Shirt​ (with fabric in the front, back, and on the sides under the arms), AND
  • Pants/jeans​ ​or​ ​the​ ​equivalent​ ​(for example, a skirt, sweatpants, leggings, a dress or shorts) that cover at least one-third of the student’s legs, AND

*Courses that include attire as part of the curriculum (for example, professionalism, public speaking, and job readiness) may include assignment-specific dress, but should not focus on covering bodies in a particular way or promoting culturally-specific attire. Activity-specific shoe requirements are permitted (for example, athletic shoes for PE).

3.​ ​Students​ ​May​ ​Wear, as long as these items do not violate Section 1 above:

  • Hats must allow the face to be visible to staff, and not interfere with the line of sight of any student or staff.
  • Religious headwear
  • Hoodie sweatshirts (whole face must be exposed)
  • Fitted pants, including opaque leggings, yoga pants and “skinny jeans”
  • Pajamas
  • School/District Spirit Wear
  • Ripped jeans, (rips must be below the knee only and not expose underwear or buttocks)
  • Athletic attire
  • Visible waistbands on undergarments or visible straps on undergarments worn under other clothing (as long as this is done in a way that does not violate Section 1 above).

4.​ ​Students​ ​Cannot​ ​Wear:

  • Violent language or images of weapons.
  • Images or language depicting drugs, alcohol or vaping (or any illegal item or activity).
  • Hate speech, profanity, pornography.
  • Images or language that creates a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class or consistently marginalized groups.
  • Any clothing that reveals visible undergarments (visible waistbands and visible straps are allowed).
  • Ripped jeans (above the knee)
  • Tank tops, including spaghetti straps; halter tops
  • Swimsuits
  • Accessories that could be considered dangerous or could be used as a weapon.
  • Any item that obscures the face or ears (except as a religious observance).

5.​ ​Dress​ ​Code​ ​Enforcement

To ensure effective and equitable enforcement of this dress code, school staff shall enforce the dress code consistently using the requirements below. School administration and staff shall not have discretion to vary the requirements in ways that lead to discriminatory enforcement.

  • Students will only be removed from spaces, hallways, or classrooms as a result of a dress code violation as outlined in Sections 1 and 4 above. Students in violation of Section 1 and/or 4 will be provided three (3) options to be dressed more to code during the school day:

  • Students will be asked to put on their own alternative clothing, if already available at school, to be dressed more to code for the remainder of the day. This clothing will not contribute to shaming or embarrassment.

  • Students will be provided with temporary school clothing to be dressed more to code for the remainder of the day.

  • If necessary, students’ parents may be called during the school day to bring alternative clothing for the student to wear for the remainder of the day.
  • No student should be affected by dress code enforcement because of racial identity, sex assigned at birth, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, cultural or religious identity, household income, body size/type, or body maturity.
  • Students should not be shamed or required to display their body in front of others (students, parents, or staff) in school. “Shaming” includes, but is not limited to:
  • kneeling or bending over to check attire fit;

  • asking students to account for their attire in the classroom or in hallways in front of others;

  • calling out students in spaces, in hallways, or in classrooms about perceived dress code violations in front of others; in particular, directing students to correct sagged pants that do not expose the entire undergarment, or confronting students about visible bra straps, since visible waistbands and straps on undergarments are permitted; and,

  • accusing students of “distracting” other students with their clothing.

    These dress code guidelines shall apply to regular school days and summer school days, as well as any school-related events and activities, such as graduation ceremonies, dances and prom.

If a student needs District-approved clothing, please contact a trusted adult at your school and arrangements will be made to assist with providing gently used clothing and/or laundering. If students or families have any questions, please contact your school principal or assistant principal.

2021-22 SCHOOL HEALTH LETTER

The Oak Park School District has established School Health procedures to ensure optimal health and safety during school hours. The Board of Education has adopted Board Policy

2007- Health and Safety, regarding school health, immunizations, administration of medication and other health and safety protocols. The policy states that, “Except otherwise specifically provided by law, the Board requires that all students be properly immunized, not later than the first day of school.” All medical emergency plans and medications needed during school hours require proper authorization for intake, storage, distribution and disposal.


Medication administration during school hours will be permitted only when:

· Failure to do so will jeopardize the health of a student.

· The student would not be able to attend school if the medication or treatment were not made available during school hours.

· The child is disabled and requires medication to benefit his/her educational program.


If your child requires medication, prescription or non-prescription, during school hours, the school must have consent from a doctor. District personnel cannot accept medication or administer medication without documentation from a physician.


Medication must be in its original container, labeled with your child’s name and proper dosage. The school cannot supply non-prescription medication (i.e. cough drops, Tylenol, Motrin, etc.). If your child requires non-prescription medication during the school day, proper authorization is required to be on file. Parents are responsible for checking the need for medication refills and supplying the refills to the school in a timely manner.


In addition to administration of medication, some students require a health plan to provide optimal support for medical concerns such as asthma, allergies, seizures, etc. If your child requires a health plan beginning August 30, 2021 please visit the website https://www.oakparkschools.org/community-parents/school-health-k-12/ or contact your school for the proper authorization forms. All health plans expire at the close of the current school year. A new authorized health plan must be submitted prior to the start of each school year.

If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school, or the District Nurse, Vanessa Long at (248) 342-9944 vlong@oakparkschools.org.


Be well!

ONLINE ANNUAL INFORMATION UPDATE

Dear Oak Park Families,

In order to make sure we have the most up-to-date information for you and your child(ren), we are requesting that you complete the Annual Information Update process through Parent Connect beginning August 2, 2021. To make this process easier, we have made it possible for you to complete this on your phone, tablet, or computer.

Student schedules will not be viewable in Parent Connect until the registration process has been completed. This needs to be completed by ALL Oak Park students.

To access the Annual Information Update area, login to Parent Connect here. Once you are logged in, look in the upper right-hand corner for “Annual Information Update” in red ink. Click on the link and it will start the process for you.

After clicking that link, look along the right side, the steps are in red. Once you have completed the process, these will turn green. At each step please verify that the information we have is correct. You will be able to update your contact information, add/delete emergency contacts and acknowledge/approve receipt of various documents.

If you have moved, you will be able to enter a change of address; however, proof of residency documents will need to be uploaded. Once we verify receipt of the required documents, we will update the residential address. In the case of a split-household, one parent cannot change or view the information of the other parent. Each parent must login using their pin and password and update their own information.

Click the “Need Your Login Information'' link below the login button on the Parent Connect page if you do not remember your pin and password information. You will be prompted to enter the email address you provided when you registered your child(ren). If still unable to login, please contact the main office of your child’s school for further assistance.

Building Phone Number
  • Oak Park High School (248) 336-7740
  • Oak Park Preparatory Academy (248) 336-7620
  • Einstein Elementary (248) 336-7640
  • Key Elementary (248) 336-7610
  • Pepper Elementary (248) 336-7680
  • NOVA Academy (248) 336-7650

Stay safe,

Oak Park Schools Enrollment Office

Center for Advanced Studies & the Arts (CASA)

Be sure to learn more about the Center for Advanced Studies & the Arts (CASA)! CASA is a consortium available to Oak Park High School students. CASA offers 16 Advanced Placement courses, a vibrant visual arts curriculum and a robust advanced dance program.

To learn more, visit us at www.oakparkschools.org, click on the Schools tab and scroll down to CASA!


A special thanks to Director Jennifer Gebbie and CASA program students Fred and Tomi for your amazing presentation to the Board of Education on Monday evening!

To view the CASA presentation slides, please click: https://drive.google.com/.../1_qPkR2cQKlaoQYgBNq957Z.../view

DOWNLOAD THE OAK PARK MOBILE APP TODAY!

Oak Park Schools is excited to announce the release of a mobile app designed specifically to keep our families better informed and connected to what’s going on in our schools.

The new Oak Park Schools mobile app for both Apple and Android devices will keep you connected while you are on the go. The app is FREE and available for download today!


The app will deliver real time school news to your smart-device for fast, up-to-date access. With the app you can:


  • Get the latest district and school news
  • Select the schools you want to follow
  • Get push notifications about breaking news, closures, weather, events, and more
  • See the latest photos from school events
  • Tap to see school locations, phone numbers, and staff information


Download the new app in 3 easy steps:

From a smart-device, go to the iTunes App Store® or Google Play®

Search Oak Park Schools

Then select the “Oak Park Schools” app for free download

School news in the palm of your hand, your new Oak Park Schools mobile app is just a few taps away. Download it today!

WHY OAK PARK?

Our mission is to provide a quality education that promotes respect for the individual and cultural differences of students and provides college and career readiness skills to become lifelong learners and productive citizens.


The Oak Park School District’s nearly 4,500 students are served at Einstein, Key and Pepper elementary schools (grades PreK-5), the Oak Park Preparatory Academy (grades 6-8), , Oak Park High School (grades 9 -12), NOVA (grades 3-12) the Oak Park Alternative Education Center (ages 16-19 years old) and My Virtual Academy of Oak Park (grades 5-12) in Oak Park, MI in Oakland County located in a suburban community near Detroit with approximately 30,000 residents. Our district consists of over 450 staff members, including 250 teachers and 11 building administrators.


Our school district boasts an abundance of educational and co/extra-curricular programs to meet the needs of a vast array of learners from Pre-K through twelfth grade. We encourage students to challenge themselves academically, explore comprehensive course offerings, and take risks to discover their individual gifts. We are dedicated to providing an intellectually challenging educational experience in safe, nurturing school environments that thrive on cultivating and empowering students to be their authentic selves. In addition, our academic and co/extra-curricular opportunities provide agency and shape self-identity, which are critical components to the adolescent development process.


Oak Park Advantage

The Oak Park Advantage is a holistic approach to education that not only prepares students academically, fosters a sense of belonging but creates long-lasting connections to the Oak Park community. While attending Oak Park Schools, students develop a confidence that is woven throughout their post-secondary, professional and social-emotional well-being years after they graduate.

Contact an Oak Park School District principal and take a tour! Get the Oak Park Advantage!


Our 2020 Goals

Maintain dynamic, healthy, and safe learning environments that inspire unlimited equitable opportunities for optimal classroom instruction to increase student achievement.

Implement ongoing transparent best practices to reduce operating costs to create opportunities to invest in human capital and professional learning, sustain quality facilities, establish a healthier organizational culture, and ensure fiscal stability.

Strategically design and implement organizational systems to increase efficiency, boost productivity to allow staff and students to focus entirely on student learning and social-emotional well-being.


Review and refresh curricular needs and resources employing planned adoption schedules based on current research with technology integration for classroom instruction.

Operate collaboratively district-wide and abandon ineffective silos.