Updates from Kristin

for the Oakley Park Staff: #16

The purpose of the Oakley Park learning community is to ensure social- emotional development for all students so they can reach their full academic and personal potential.

As we begin a new week....

I hope you have all enjoyed the long weekend...finding time to rest and recharge a bit. We aren't too far away from another opportunity for more rest & relaxation! (17 get ups to be exact!) In the coming weeks, we will engage in professional learning as a staff and have time to connect with families for Parent/Teacher conferences. Thank you for your untiring professionalism! Our ASD and grade level classroom teachers could use little extra love these days as they complete report cards AND prepare for conferences!

As you know, Bus 152 is canceled this week...given that we have about 94 students who ride that bus, we can anticipate arrival and dismissal to be busier than usual. I cannot thank our ancillary staff: Alyssa, Sonia, Veronica, Carolyn, Jennifer, Gail, Kelly, Scott and Linda for their support each and every day! Thank you, too, to Blake for his work out front with the buses!

I want to give a "SHOUT OUT" to our ASD team as staffing challenges continue to keep things VERY busy (and often stressful) in our ASD program. We continue to operate with only 7 paras and we will have only 6 for this coming week. Our ASD team supports one another by sharing out the needs for coverage as each day begins and making adjustments whenever possible throughout the day. We know the staffing challenges often impact general education times and limits the availability of the ASD team to meet/discuss/plan with other teachers. Hats off our our ASD team for working so VERY hard during VERY challenging times!

Happy Hanukkah to our staff who are celebrating over the next week!

With a very grateful heart,


Important COVID Reminder for staff...

PLEASE be aware that any staff member should not attend school if they are symptomatic and/or pending a test result. This includes those that report feeling better prior to test results being received. Given the staffing issues, I appreciate that having to take a day (or two) while awaiting results feels odd but it is necessary to avoid unintended exposures.

Wednesday, December 1st PD

As you know, December 1st is a "Building" PD day. (Dismissal is at 12:25 pm)

1:30 - 2:00 This n That (and little bit of fun!)

2:00 - 3:00 Grade level work time

3:00 - 4:00 Next steps with RULER

Grading/Report Card Reminders:

Report Card "grades"

  • Please mark Math skills as beginning, developing or secure.
  • For Science, mark only the science and engineering practices.
  • For Social Studies, there are no particular skills to mark. You are welcome, however, to share that we are implementing new curricular materials this year.
  • Please mark ELA components as beginning, developing or secure.

Comments (from an email sent this past Wednesday)

Here are few questions you might ask yourself when decided whether or not a report card comment is needed (with or without a conference):

  • Do I have concerns for this student in a specific academic area(s)?
  • Do I have concerns for this student in regards to behaviors (social/emotional)?
  • Have I been providing additional support/intervention to this student based on or either academic or behavioral concerns?

*If you answered yes to any of these questions...and you have already been in communication via email, phone or meetings: you might consider stating something like this "as we have discuss previously, Kristin continues to struggle with ____________ class and this impacts her overall progress as a ____________"

*If you have concerns and have not been in communication, it should be documented in the comment.

Additionally, consider these questions:

  • Do I ""share" students (a.k.a. switch)?
  • If yes, do I have concerns about a student’s progress/performance (from another class) in my content area?

*If you answered yes to both...and you have already been in communication via email, phone or meetings: you might consider stating something similar to the suggestion above "as we have discuss previously, Kristin continues to struggle with her basic facts and this impact her overall math performance."

*If you have concerns and have not been in communication, it should be documented in the comment.

One final consideration:

  • Is this student performing at grade level expectations, showing responsibility as a learner and an overall a pleasure to have in class?

*If yes, no comment is necessary as you will celebrate their amazing-ness at conferences!

Report Card/Grading Timeline

Here is the message that will be shared in my Update to Families regarding grading:

Dear Elementary Families,

We are looking forward to sharing student progress in the coming weeks with you through our elementary report cards as well as conferences with our teachers. Last year, due to many logistical barriers involving reporting progress on students in virtual/remote settings as well as those transitioning back to in-person learning, we made some modifications to report cards and the reporting format. This year, however, with our students and staff back to in-person learning, we will once again return to our typical report card format. One exception that you may notice, though, is for our fourth and fifth grade students. At this point, we are asking teachers to continue to pause on assigning letter grades for science, social studies and mathematics. This is due in part to new curricular changes as well as the ongoing work with our elementary report card committee which is studying making recommendations in those areas this year. Thank you for your partnership in education! Please reach out to your child’s classroom teacher or the building principal for any additional questions regarding report cards this year.


Catherine Kochanski

Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services

Big picture

Conferences, Thursday, December 9th

Family Access is OPEN! You should be able to check in on how the sign up is going (who is schedule when?)

As you know, conferences can be delivered in the setting you feel is best suited to meet the needs of your students, families, and yourselves. Should you choose to be off site, the expectation is you will be in a distraction free setting with a professional background. You may use the Walled Lake Zoom background attached, if you choose. -N. Russo

Dismissal: 11:25 am

Conferences: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm

FAPES Schedule for the day

  • 11:25 - Dismissal
  • Lunch
  • FAPEs Meeting 12:30-2:30
  • Travel Back to buildings 2:30-3:00
  • Available for Conferences 3:00-8:00

Special Education staff :

  • You will NOT use Skyward for conference scheduling.
  • You will contact parents and schedule conferences (as well as your breaks).
  • Please coordinate with grade level teachers based on individual students.
  • Please send along a copy of your schedule once it is done!

Our PTA had planned to provide dinner and given that we now have the option to Zoom from home, they will plan a special luncheon for us on Tuesday, December 21st.

Field Trip Forms

Be sure to use the electronic form for Field Trip requests. You will know it is the correct form as it will be

1. Fillable

2. Has red tags next to the signature lines for me and Dr. Lonze.

Before you can complete the form, you will need to download/save the pdf to your computer and then open it.

2021-2022 Oakley Park Monthly Professional Learning Meetings

*UPDATE: To allow for a full hour AND to ensure everyone is where they need to be when kids enter the building at 8:50 am, we will begin our meeting at 7:45am.

Here are the dates for this years meetings. We will discuss our start time but I am proposing 7:45 - 8:45 as the first bell rings at 8:55.

  • Wednesday, January 12
  • Wednesday, February 9
  • Wednesday, March 9
  • Wednesday, April 20
  • Wednesday, May 25