The Oak Park Advantage
November 2020 Thanksgiving Edition Newsletter
STAYING SAFE: THANKSGIVING AND COVID-19
More than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last 7 days.
As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people. Gatherings during the upcoming holidays can be an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. This holiday season, consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe.
CDC offers the following considerations to slow the spread of COVID-19 during small gatherings. These considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which all gatherings must comply.
Considerations for Small Gatherings of Family and Friends
Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread. Your household is anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit (such as your house or apartment). This can include family members, as well as roommates or people who are unrelated to you. People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households. In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk.
Organizers and attendees of larger events should consider the risk of virus spread based on event size (number of attendees and other factors) and take steps to reduce the possibility of infection, as outlined in the Considerations for Events and Gatherings.
Several factors can contribute to the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 at small in-person gatherings. In combination, these factors will create various amounts of risk:
- Community levels of COVID-19 – High or increasing levels of COVID-19 cases in the gathering location, as well as in the areas where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees. Family and friends should consider the number of COVID-19 cases in their community and in the community where they plan to celebrate when deciding whether to host or attend a gathering. Information on the number of cases in an area can often be found on the local health department website.
- Exposure during travel – Airports, bus stations, train stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces.
- Location of the gathering – Indoor gatherings, especially those with poor ventilation (for example, small enclosed spaces with no outside air), pose more risk than outdoor gatherings.
- Duration of the gathering – Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings. Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more greatly increases the risk of becoming sick and requires a 14-day quarantine.
- Number and crowding of people at the gathering – Gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people. CDC does not have a limit or recommend a specific number of attendees for gatherings. The size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability of attendees from different households to stay 6 feet (2 arm lengths) apart, wear masks, wash hands, and follow state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.
- Behaviors of attendees prior to the gathering – Individuals who did not consistently adhere to social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart), mask wearing, handwashing, and other prevention behaviors pose more risk than those who consistently practiced these safety measures.
- Behaviors of attendees during the gathering – Gatherings with more safety measures in place, such as mask wearing, social distancing, and handwashing, pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are being implemented. Use of alcohol or drugs may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures.
For further CDC information regarding Holiday Celebration precautions please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#COVID19
Q & A WITH OUR DISTRICT NURSE VANESSA LONG
Q: What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
A: Quarantine is for people who were exposed, often referred to as "a close contact" to an individual who is positive or presumed positive for COVID-19. Quarantined individuals must stay home for 14 days from the last exposure to the positive person.
Isolation is for people who have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or who are presumed positive because they are symptomatic of COVID-19 and have had exposure to a positive case. Isolated individuals must stay home for 10 days from their positive test or the onset of symptoms. They should not come out of isolation until they have improved symptoms and no fever for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medication (such as Tylenol or Motrin).
I am available to provide support to the school community and would be happy to provide COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related resources and health information. I do get weekly updates from meeting with the Oakland County Health Department and could share updates as well. Let me know what you think or if you think there is any other information that may be useful.
Thank you and Stay Healthy!
Vanessa Long, BSN, RN
District Nurse for Oak Park Schools
OPS DRIVE THRU IMMUNIZATION CLINIC
Thursday, Dec. 3rd, 9am
13701 Oak Park Boulevard
Oak Park, MI
Join us for our Oak Park Schools Drive Thru Immunization Clinic.
Thursday, December 3, 2020
(13700 Oak Park Blvd. Oak Park, MI 48033)
Enter Coolidge parking lot and follow signs - start at Station #1
Raffles will be available for attendees, prizes include Xbox, Tablets, and $50 Kroger gift cards.
Flu Shot Appointments are also available Monday - Friday
Contact the OPHS in-district clinic to make an appointment:
Rasanda Dorsey RN, MSN, FNP-C
Family Nurse Practitioner
Oak Park High School
Ascension Michigan School-Based Health Centers
13701 Oak Park Blvd| Oak Park, MI 48237
t:(248) 398-0199| f:(248) 398-0210
Monday – Friday
7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
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 https://www.oakparkschools.org/community-parents/school-health-k-12/
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THE MEN OF OMEGA PSI PHI
"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." Coretta Scott King
RESTORATIVE YOGA - OPS STAFF
Good afternoon Oak Park Schools Staff!
Need some relaxation after a long work week?
Our very own Ms. Delabbio-Abbott is hosting her amazing restorative yoga class today from 3:15 to 4:15.
Here is the information if you would like to join:-)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 859 2392 3339
One tap mobile
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Meeting ID: 859 2392 3339
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kegsqtvKIV
MHSAA STATE PLAYOFF FOOTBALL REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: OAK PARK KNIGHTS VS. LIVONIA CHURCHILL CHARGERS
Tuesday, Dec. 15th, 7pm
Churchill High School, Livonia, MI, USA
RAYSHAUN BENNY COMMITS TO MICHIGAN STATE
All aboard! The train for Spartanville will be leaving the station in Oak Park soon and the more the merrier. Blue-chip Oak Park senior lineman Rayshaun Benny is ready to roll to East Lansing, committing to Michigan State this week after choosing the Spartans over Michigan, Kentucky and Penn State.
Benny also had football scholarship offers from Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, Auburn, Florida State, USC, Oregon, Miami (FL), Tennessee and Texas A&M and is the second Knights senior to commit to the Spartans in the past six months.
Benny (6-5, 275) is projected as a defensive lineman in college. He plays with tenacity on both sides of the line for Oak Park and was originally tagged a 4-star recruit by scouting services two years ago as an offensive tackle.
“Rayshaun is a very talented young man and it was his work ethic and positive attitude that turned him into the player he is right now and the reason so many schools wanted him,” Oak Park head coach Greg Carter said. “He transformed his body, improved his technique over these last two years and that only made him more valuable and sought after in recruiting circles.”
Because of a knee tweak, Benny missed most of the 2020 regular season and saw his Knights struggle mightily. With both Benny and senior linebacker Marlon Dawson Miami (OH) back in the lineup for the playoffs and the aid of the COVID-19-related “everyone-qualifies-for-the-postseason” ruling, Oak Park is playing sleeper in the playoffs.
The suddenly surging Knights sprung upsets in the opening two rounds of districts (knocking off Grosse Pointe South 35-27 and then popping Detroit U-D Jesuit 27-21 last week) and face Wyandotte Roosevelt (6-1) Friday in a Division 2 district final.
Benny joins Oak Park teammate Davion Primm (running back) in head coach Mel Tucker’s inaugural recruiting class at Michigan State. Primm is one of the best ball carriers in the state and made his pledge to Tucker back in the spring.
Scott Burnstein via The Oakland Press
BLACK FRIDAY SCHOLARSHIP BOOTCAMP
The Black Friday Scholarship Bootcamp is a unique experience for students and parents and, during these challenging times, we are committed now more than ever to helping you navigate the college preparation process. Join us and hear from higher education professionals on academic preparation strategies, the financial aid process, global education opportunities, and career development. Now that we're going virtual, we are excited to help even more students from across the country reach their academic goals!
The Zonta Club of District 15 is looking for a talented young lady to award a $1500 Young Women in Public Affairs scholarship! Make sure you tell your high school seniors about this opportunity TODAY!!! Share with any educators and college-bound female students you know!!!
OFFICE OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
Office of Teaching and Learning
District Wide Updates
w/o November 16, 2020
All Conference PD videos from August/October have been compiled and uploaded for your learning pleasure! If you are interested in additional learning from our Return To Schools Conference or our October PD Conference, please click the links below! The uploads can also be found under “Staff Links” on our district website!
All Conference videos from our Election Day PD will be uploaded shortly! Stay tuned for more learning to come!
Congratulations to the students of Emilee Monville’s 2nd grade art class (Pepper and Key Elementary)! Ms. Monville’s students are studying surrealism and have tried their hand at becoming the next Dali, Breton, Magritte, or Ray! We are so proud of our students and firmly believe their art should be immediately sent to the Louvre for display...and if not the Louvre, our refrigerators for sure!
The Office of Teaching and Learning is proud to announce the formation of the 2020-2021 Oak Park Teaching and Learning Council. We had our first meeting on Thursday, November 19 and the energy and positivity was overwhelming! We will send out a members list shortly but we are proud and excited to have such a dedicated, student-centered group of educators lend their voice and expertise to improving the educational experience of all who belong to Oak Park Schools!
A special shout out is in order for Ericka Watson, Director of Specialized Student Services for Oak Park Schools. Ms. Watson has worked with multiple stakeholders and community partners to provide Thanksgiving gift cards to Oak Park families in need. This year, the holidays present many challenges. The work Ericka is doing ensures that many of our families will find the peace and joy they deserve this Thanksgiving. Thank you, Ms. Watson!
On November 6, the elementary principals (Dr. Harris-Hugan, Dr. Joann Wright, Mr. Emanuel Haley) conducted a “coffee and conversation” meeting for parents. During this event there was a presentation on the nuts and bolts of the DIBELs (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Literacy) assessment. Parents also received information about the NWEA MAP assessment (Northwest Education Association Measures of Academic Progress) along with the importance of individual goal setting. This information helps build relationships between schools and parents while ensuring parents are provided the tools they need to support their children’s learning at home! Well done all around!
Social Emotional Learning: See below for access to resources for you and your students:
Article of the Week:
Interested in examining ways to rethink off culture behavior in your classrooms? Check out this article from Rethinking Schools “Rethinking Discipline.”
Professional Learning Opportunities:
Oakland Schools is offering free 1 hour professional development sessions for all math teachers. All participants will receive 1 SCHECH hour for every session they attend. Check out the calendar of events for the school year and register if you’re interested.
MASSP is providing a free, asynchronous, learning opportunity to help teachers familiarize themselves with CEL's 5D instructional framework and 5D+ evaluation tool. In this session participants will gain both an understanding of the background and purpose for using the 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning (5D™) instructional framework, the 5D+™ Rubric for Instructional Growth & Teacher Evaluation and their roles and responsibilities within cycles of inquiry. The course is offered through Michigan Virtual and is completely self-paced. Upon completion of the online course you will receive 3 SCHECHs applied to your recertification license. The course is open to all educators, whether you are new to the district and have never used the 5D framework, or simply want a refresher on the dimensions and how to use the tool to increase your instructional effectiveness. If you are interested in learning more click here to register.
WADE H. MCCREE INCENTIVE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The Wade McCree Incentive Scholarship Program is open to students who have been continuously enrolled in, as well as graduate from Chandler Park Academy, Hazel Park H.S., International Technology Academy, Oak Park H.S., Pontiac High School, with:
- a 3.0 GPA college preparatory curriculum
- at least a 1060 SAT composite score
- a US Citizen or Permanent Resident
Students will receive a four-year scholarship to Oakland University covering tuition. This scholarship is renewable for up to four years if they meet the scholarship criteria.
THE HOFFMAN PLANETARIUM
We immerse students in the planetarium’s interactive visual macrocosm, explored Earth’s 3D topography and layers in spectacular detail. Each individual high school Science course and grade level courses in kindergarten through eighth grade participate in a developmentally appropriate interactive presentations tailored to the curriculum and/or Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) disciplinary core ideas while providing a connection to the astronomical 'big picture' - the Universe.
At the Hoffman Planetarium, we believe that 'your journey into the mysteries of space begins here...
- Upon arrival into the Planetarium, students view a presentation specifically designed for their current science unit. For example, the 5th grade Earth Science show is entitled “Our Place in the Solar System” and explores most of the Next Generation Earth Science Standards (NGSS) for the 5th-grade level.
- Students are also provided with an opportunity, during their Science Lab experience, to complete a hands-on activity related to their current unit. For 5th grade students, the activity allows students to construct a model of the solar system. Additionally, students also access the Virtual Labs available through the FOSS Science Curriculum and/or online Virtual Labs related to the unit material.
We have accommodations for both wheel-chair bound and students with disabilities, including devices for the hearing impaired. Our goal is to ensure that all students have access to the unique, interactive learning experience that the Planetarium offers!
Preparing Students for a Lifetime of Success: Next Generation Science Standards Alignment
Within the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), there are three distinct and equally important dimensions to learning science-core ideas, practice and cross-cutting. The implementation of new science standards with the support of Planetarium programs provides an opportunity to advance science education for all students. To learn more information, please review the NGSS Parent Guides below
Elementary School (Einstein, Key & Pepper)
Grades K- 2: Download the Grades K-2 Parent Guide
Grades 3- 5: Download the Grades 3-5 Parent Guide
Middle School (Oak Park Preparatory Academy)
Grades 6-8: Download the Grades 6-8 Parent Guide
High School (Oak Park High School)
Grades 9-12: Download the Grades 9-12 Parent Guide
To learn additional information about the Hoffman Planetarium or schedule a visit, please contact Mr. Grayling Mercer at email@example.com or 248.336.7620
ONLINE CLASS CODES/TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT
Click on your child's school for the (Zoom Link/Google Classroom Code)
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 "@students.oakparkschools.org"
- 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.
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.
Phone Support (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
COMMUNITY HEALTH & NUTRITION NEWS
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.
FREE DRIVE THRU COVID-19 TESTING
Mondays and Wednesdays at the South Oakland Health Center at 27725 Greenfield Road in Southfield.
Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Oakland County government campus, 1200 N. Telegraph Road in Pontiac.
Fridays at Oakland Community College, Orchard Ridge Campus at 28696 Oakland, Farmington Hills.
Nurse on Call is available 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Saturday.
For up-to-date public health information, follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter.
SAFE FOR SCHOOL HOTLINE
Beginning October 12 through December 30, 2020, Oakland County is offering a telephone screening resource to assist parents/guardians through the pre-screening process and to help identify potential illness in children prior to entering school. All screenings are conducted by healthcare professionals.
Hotline staff can help answer questions about COVID-19 symptoms, the need for testing, and what is considered high-risk.
- Cost: No cost for parents/guardians of Oakland County school-aged children
- Days: Monday through Friday
- Times: 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.
- Number: 248-551-4242
OK 2 SAY
We are proud to support Michigan's OK 2 SAY initiative to replace the culture of silence among students with a culture of collective responsibility. Students can make tips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through multiple means:
- CALL 1-855-565-2729
- TEXT 652729
- E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
- Get the APP Android iPhone
- FROM THE WEBSITE www.mi.gov/ok2say
Statistics from the U.S. Secret Service show that in 81% of the violent incidents that happen in schools nationwide, someone else other than the attacker knew about a threat but didn't report it. With these new confidential tools, we are empowering our students to help us keep our schools, our students and our community safer.
THE HERO'S CIRCLE- CHILDREN HEALING CHILDREN IS COMING TO ALL OF OAK PARK!
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 https://kidskickingcancer.org/
FEED OUR KIDS PROGRAM
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 //www.oakparkschools.org/coronavirus-information/feed-our-kids/ or email Aric Wienclaw, Director of Dining Services at email@example.com.
NO HUNGRY KID ORGANIZATION
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.