The Oak Park Advantage

October 2020 Second Edition Newsletter


Friday, Oct. 9th, 4pm

This is an online event.


AM Session: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

PM Session: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Parent Teacher Conference School Zoom Links

Oak Park High School

Oak Park Preparatory Academy

Einstein Elementary

Key Elementary

Pepper Elementary

NOVA Academy


Friday, Oct. 9th, 6pm

13701 Oak Park Boulevard

Oak Park, MI

Oak Park Football is back, but out of an abundance of caution, we will not allow any spectators in our stadium or campus for the 3 home games that we have this season.

With the landscape of Michigan high school football changing for the 2020 season, the MHSAA has loosened its restrictions on live-streamed broadcasts to help alleviate the burden on fans having less opportunity to watch games in person due to COVID-19 attendance restrictions. The Free Press & YouTube will livestream Friday's game vs. Southfield A&T.

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Anthony White is the Artistic Director for the Detroit Youth Concert Choir and Performing Arts Company. Mr. White is currently the Elementary School Choir Director for Oak Park Schools, offering performing arts to any youth who wishes to use it as a vehicle for success.

He has directed more than 1000 youth from the metro Detroit area, in which he has created a platform for them to develop their skills in performing arts. Anthony White has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Marygrove College. While matriculating through Marygrove College, Mr. White performed in various productions such as Ragtime, Godspell and Ain’t Misbehavin. He also formed “Soulful Expression Ensemble” where he was able to use his God given talents of vocal music, music production, songwriting, music composition and theater.

Mr. White and the Detroit Youth Choir have performed at various places in the U.S and Canada. The organization was awarded the Spirit of Detroit, Mary McLeod Bethune Award and the DMC Community Service Award, and was nominated for the Gospel Showcase 2015 Youth Choir of the Year Award. In 2016, Mr. White received recognition from WXYZ Local 7 News as Person of the Week. Lastly, the Detroit Youth Choir also won the Texas Gospel Music Excellence Award 2018.

Under his leadership, DYC has performed on local television stations such as; WDIV Local 4 News, WJBK Fox 2 News and the aforementioned PBS program Detroit Performs. DYC was given the opportunity to be a guest on the Ron Todd Radio Talk show, as well as the Be-Moor Radio Talk Show. Throughout his journey, doors continued to open. DYC auditioned for “America’s Got Talent”, the group was also featured on an album with the “Go Team” and recently showcased in a film documentary “America’s Musical Journey”. In 2018, Mr. White received the 40 under 40 award from The Michigan Chronicle. Last but not least, his ability to lead young people to musical success, has allowed the Detroit Youth Choir to receive the 313 Best in Black Detroit Award 2018 “Best Community Choir of the Year”

Mr. White also serves as the Minister of Music at Victory Community Church in Detroit. His passion for working with young people extends beyond DYC.

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Kylee King is a freshman runner on Oak Park High School's cross country team. She is currently undefeated in OAA League competition and one of the top freshman runners in the State.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career so far? What did this person do to influence you? This can be a coach, teammate, professional athlete, even a competitor.

My mom, because of her dedication to my success academically and athletically and my coaches, they have spent endless hours training and working with me to prepare me for my competitions.

If you could offer one piece of advice to young athletes wanting to get into running, what would it be and why?

Work hard and be dedicated. My favorite motto is “Hardwork beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.”

What is your favorite class?

English with Mr. Bondono

How has your adjustment to High School been? What have you done to adapt to online learning?

My adjustment to high school has been really good, honestly, I’d rather be face to face to get the full high school experience and meet new people. I make sure to be in class every day and keep up with my assignments.

Do you have any pre-race rituals?

Stretch, focus and get into rhythm #racemode

What’s your dream job?

I would like to go into sports medicine or be an athletic trainer.

What’s your favorite place to eat locally and what’s your go-to order?

Benihana and Black Rock!

Who’s your favorite musical artist?

Toosii and Summer Walker, they have a song called "Love Cycle" I like a lot.

Do you have a favorite movie?

Hunger Games

What are your goals for this Cross-Country season?

My goal is to qualify for the State Championship meet in November and make all state.

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Office of Teaching and Learning

District Wide Updates

w/o October 5, 2020

  • All of our Return To School PD videos have been compiled and uploaded for your learning pleasure! Please click on the link and enjoy!

  • ​​Shout-Outs!

    • The Office of Teaching and Learning would like to extend a warm thank you to those who participated in our district wide panel discussion this morning! A big shout out goes to Owen Bondono (9GLC), Kimberly Flowers (Key), Desiree’ Fuller (9GLC), Paul Giroux (Einstein), Frank Gugliemetti (OPPA), Stephanie Kawala (Einstein), Byron Lewis (OPHS), Kirsten Sheikh (NOVA), Cindy Young (Pepper). Thank you for sharing your experiences during remote learning! Your insights are welcomed by all of your colleagues!

    • The Office of Teaching and Learning would also like to thank all who facilitated a crucial conversation and/or breakout session during our October PD Conference this morning! Your insights and expertise continue to move this district forward during these challenging times. For more information on our October PD Conference, please click here.

    • Oak Park Schools would like to extend a special thank you and shout out to all of our students who have been working so diligently through remote learning. We’ve made it to the midway point of the marking period and we’re coming to the end of our Fall NWEA/Dibels testing windows! Our teachers promise that all the good data we get back from your hard work on these assessments will be used to ensure you have the best instruction every day! Way to go, students!

    • The Office of Teaching and Learning would like to thank all new teachers to the district, from this year and last year, who attended our first professional development in a continuing series around equity in education. Your dedication to your craft and your students is clear and we’re excited for what the year will bring!

  • ​​​Has the transition to remote learning got you feeling a little like a first year teacher all over again? Check out this recent article from The New Teacher Center and remember, not only will we get through this together but we’ll make sure our students receive a high quality education to boot!

  • ​​Survey time! As we progress through these uncertain times, it’s important that Oak Park Schools receive the most timely information from all of our stakeholders in order to ensure we are making the best decisions for our students (teachers will distribute student survey to students), families, and staff. Please click on the appropriate link below to take our current survey:


Dear Oak Park Schools Parent/Guardian,

Although we are 100% virtual, we've had a great start to the 2020-21 school year! For planning purposes, we are requesting that ALL families click on the link below to complete an updated survey to provide us with accurate input to inform our decisions on how to continue to educate students for the remainder of the semester and school year. Although we realize that you have completed earlier surveys, we highly value your input. Additionally, COVID-19 is an ever-changing and rapidly evolving situation that requires ongoing input from families, staff and students throughout this unprecedented time.

Click on the active link: OPS Return to School Survey and complete the survey no later than Friday, October 9, 2020 or click here:​.

If you have more than one student in our district, please complete ONE survey per child. In the meantime, for assistance with technology, social emotional support or virtual medical or mental health care, please call 248-336-7667. Please stay healthy and safe.


Jamii J. Hitchcock, Ph.D.

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Kids Kicking Cancer has partnered with Pepper Elementary School for the past two years bringing the Hero’s Circle to second and third graders. The program consisted of professional development for teachers, daily instruction by teachers, videos, and weekly instruction from sensei masters.

The program centers on learning to control your brain so that you can reach your goal. The Hero's Circle recognizes that it takes hard work, dedication, and perseverance to reach one’s goals. The Hero’s Circle is a tool to help one reach their goals.

Kids Kicking Cancer now offers help and services to not only cancer patients, but any child in pain from a serious illness.

Using martial arts therapy, Kids Kicking Cancer staff teaches ill children and their siblings to:

  • Regain a sense of control over the chaos of their lives.
  • Become empowered partners in their own healing.
  • Push away the messages of pain, fear, and anger.
  • Provide inspiration and light to others facing life-challenges.
  • Teach other children, and even adults, how to take control.
  • See themselves as victors, not victims.

Martial arts techniques unlock the student’s Power, and the focused breathing and relaxation work brings them Peace. While teaching Kids Kicking Cancer’s Breath Brake to others, they find great Purpose in their young lives.


Kids Kicking Cancer was created in 1999 by Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg, a black belt rabbi and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics. Rabbi G lost his first child to leukemia at the age of two and brings a wealth of personal experience and sensitivity to dealing with children and families facing life-threatening illness.

This program, which began with a handful of children at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, now teaches over 7,000 children in 90 hospitals and program locations in 7 countries.

The most unique and powerful element of the model is that each child becomes a teacher to others. Kids Kicking Cancer’s mantra is Power Peace Purpose. When asked what is your purpose? The children yell out, “To teach the world.”

Kids Kicking Cancer also has a “black-belt” program for patients who are not responding to treatments. This end of life care program provides ongoing meditation and family focus in a palliative format that culminates in the child receiving a black-belt in a public ceremony, usually a few days before he or she dies. Embroidered on the black-belt are the words “Master Teacher” because that child is truly teaching the world how to use the power of light to break through darkness.

Rabbi Goldberg is an awardee of the Robert Wood Johnson, Community Health Leaders Award in Washington D.C., known as the United States’ highest award in community public health. He has been honored as a Hero in People Magazine, CNN Top Ten Heroes, and the Ford Motor Company’s Heroes Gallery, amongst the many media stories featuring the work of Kids Kicking Cancer.

For further information please visit

A Look Into The Classroom at Kids Kicking Cancer!


Click on your child's school for the (Zoom Link/Google Classroom Code)

Oak Park High School

Oak Park Preparatory Academy

NOVA Academy

Einstein Elementary

Key Elementary

Pepper Elementary

If you are utilizing an Oak Park Schools Chromebook, please follow the steps below:

  • Plug the Chromebook (laptop device) into a electric outlet & press the power button to turn it on.
  • Click on the (Wi-Fi symbol) next to the clock. In the box that pops up, choose your Wi-Fi service or hotspot, and enter the password.
  • On the login screen, you will see a blank space followed by ""
  • Enter your Oak Park Schools student email address, and click "Next".
  • Students should enter their password.
  • If students experience an issue with usernames, passwords, or other problems, please call 248-336-7667 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Tech Help?
If you experience problems with the Chromebook, please make sure it is plugged into an electrical outlet, and that the cords are tight. Hold the power button down for 30 seconds, release it, and then try again. If the Chromebook still does not turn on, please contact the Help Desk at the email address or phone number below.

Email Support

Phone Support (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)


This Season a Flu Vaccine is More Important than Ever!

Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself, your family and your community from flu. A flu vaccine this season can also help reduce the burden on our healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and save medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients. September and October are good times to get a flu vaccine.​

The more people vaccinated; the more people protected. Do your part. Get a flu vaccine this fall.

Roll Up Your Sleeve for Your Annual Flu Vaccine
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All OPS students must have an up-to-date immunization certificate or a valid immunization waiver to attend Oak Park Schools per Michigan law. If your child(ren) need immunizations, please use this time (virtual learning), to update the required immunizations. Attached below is link to find schedules for the recommended immunizations based on age, along with information to several clinics in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties that you can visit to get your children immunized.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students who are not properly immunized will not be permitted to return to in-person teaching and learning until immunizations are up-to-date.

For more information, please visit or email Victoria Ipina, School Nurse at

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Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two.


Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu share include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults



Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, including common signs and symptoms listed above.

Flu Symptoms


Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell.

COVID-19 Symptoms

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Dear Oak Park Schools Families,

On Monday, August 31, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the federal waiver allowing for the continuation of free meals through the end of 2020.

Oak Park School District residency and/or enrollment in the school district is not necessary to receive meals. All meal distributions will take place on Wednesday’s from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (new).

Our next meal distribution will be Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at Oak Park High School located at 13701 Oak Park Blvd., Oak Park, 48237.

For more information, please visit // or email Aric Wienclaw, Director of Dining Services at

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No Kid Hungry Organization runs a summer meal texting service. The service is free and open to anyone. A parent, grandparent, or caregiver can simply text the word “FOOD” to 877-877 and the system prompts them to provide their address or zip code, which is used to provide the location and service times of up to three nearby summer meals sites. For additional information, log onto
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Oak Park Schools on Live in the D


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.