The Oxford Update

Oxford Elementary School

Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year

Wow! It is hard to believe that we left school on Friday, March 13, 2020, not knowing that we would not be back again until now, almost 6 months later! I feel a bit like one of the characters from Gillian's Island who left on a 3-hour boat tour which turned out to be so much more. It has certainly been an adventure with many ups and downs.

Here we are preparing for a fresh new school year and we are so excited! While the year may look a bit different and you may be anxious about sending your child back to school, please know that we are ready for them. The teachers have been working very hard this week to get ready for our students. They have spent time learning safety procedures, meeting with teams to plan curriculum, becoming familiar with our new social-emotional curriculum, and setting up their classrooms.

Remote staff across the district have also been working hard to develop class lists, create schedules, plan curriculum, and set up their remote classrooms. This work is not easy and we know our remote learners are anxiously awaiting more information. It is coming and we appreciate your patience while we ensure that we have addressed all the important details of our remote learning plan.

We are also busy setting up the outdoor learning spaces that we will use this year at OES. Teachers will be doing instruction outside as much as possible. Students were asked to bring a camp/bag chair or a yoga mat as part of their back to school supplies which will allow us to be out in the fresh air, mask free as much as possible. This is one of the silver linings of this pandemic we are living in. We are thinking outside of the box and changing what a "classroom" looks like and we are sure our kids will be excited about our new learning spaces.

We are so happy to know that students will once again be back in our hallways very soon. Thank you for all your support over the past few months. We appreciate all of our OES families and we look forward to serving you this year!

What student drop off and pick up will look like!

What It Looks Like: Student Drop Off & Pick Up At OES

What Can I Bring To School This Year?

We are sure that there are lots of questions about what school is going to look like this year and we wanted to take a minute to share with you some things that can come to school this year and some things that can not come to school this year.

  • Backpacks - all students should bring a backpack to school with them. Anything that they bring to school MUST fit inside the backpack. If riding the bus, please have the backpack on when entering the bus so that hands are free to hand sanitize. Backpacks should NOT have wheels as they do not fit in our lockers and it will be important that all student items are stored in lockers during the day.

  • Masks - all students will need to wear a mask on the bus and in the school building. Masks should be made of cloth and have at least two layers. Gaiters are not recommended as they do not have more than one layer. Masks should not have an exhalation valve on them.

  • Water Bottles - water fountains will be off-limits for students to drink from. We encourage each student to bring a reusable water bottle that can be filled from the classroom sink and used throughout the day.

  • Toys - no toys from home should be brought to school. It is important that we keep our school as clean and safe as possible and having toys from home will not be allowed.

  • Hand sanitizer - the district will have hand sanitizer for students to use at school. If you choose to send your child's own hand sanitizer, they will be responsible for keeping it with them and not sharing it with other students.

  • Snack - students will have a snack time built into their school day. A healthy school snack will be provided on some days, but students are welcome to bring their own snacks from home as well.

  • Lunch - students may bring their lunch from home or they can order a school lunch. School lunch, as well as breakfast, for all OES students, is free of charge.

  • Cell phones - are not allowed at school. If a student has a cell phone with them at school, it needs to be off and put away. If teachers see a student with their phone it will be turned into the office. If a student is found with a cell phone on more than one occasion, a parent will need to pick it up at school. If you need to contact your child during the school day, please call the school office and not your child's cell phone.

If you have specific questions about other items and whether they can be at school, please do not hesitate to reach out to Miss Karnes, Ms. Bourgoine, Ms. Knight, or Mrs. Merrill.

Visitors to the Building

Due to the current COVID-19 guidelines, we will not be able to allow visitors into the building this year. This includes the parents and guardians of our students. Only staff and students will be allowed to enter the school building in an effort to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment for all.

If you need to drop your child off late or pick your child up early, we ask that you ring the buzzer outside the front entrance and a staff member will assist you.

Please know that this is a safety precaution and we will miss seeing our parents, volunteers, and guests inside the building this year. We hope that we can invite you back into the building soon!

Remote Learning Update

First, thank you for your patience as we put the final details on our Remote Learning Plan. Families who have chosen remote learning for the first trimester will be receiving more information in the next few days. The first day of remote learning will be on Thursday, September 10th. You will get more information from your child's remote teacher regarding a schedule, supplies needed, and other important information.

You will still be receiving information from OES as you are still a part of our school family even if you are not learning in the building at this time. You will receive newsletters, school messenger calls, and other notices so that you feel connected to us. If you need assistance during remote learning or you have questions or concerns, you would reach out to us here at OES. We would always encourage you to reach out to your child's teacher first, but we are here to assist as well if you need us.

Outdoor Learning

While there have been many changes and adjustments we’ve all had to make to open our school this year, we have also been afforded a wonderful opportunity to take more and MORE of the learning into the outdoors. There is a huge list of benefits, not the least of which, is a lower likelihood of COVID transmission. For all grade levels research shows that time outside benefits learning and, just as importantly, helps with motor skills, problem-solving, resilience building, and social-emotional regulation. With the push provided by the pandemic, we are moving instruction outside as much as possible.

What does this mean for you and your child? Your child will be outside on a regular basis, reaping all the benefits a natural environment has to offer. Included with time to explore and “be”, will be integrated academic lessons, appropriate to grade-level standards. **Appropriate clothing for each season will be needed; this is extremely important!

Autumn & Spring- rain boots, jacket, and pants (even hats can be helpful!)

Winter- warm snow gear: pants, coat, boots, mittens

All seasons- closed-toed shoes (sneakers) and footwear for wet weather

Engaged and joyful learning can only happen when students are warm, dry, and comfortable. It will also be a good idea to apply sunscreen to your child daily before they leave home while the weather is nice as we will be outside as much as possible.

We will do our best to share the outdoor learning with you at home so you can see the learning taking place. Please reach out with any questions, concerns, excitement you may have about this new piece to the school year.

September 8th - 11th - First Week of School

Tuesday, September 8th - ONLY Grade 4-6 students attend

Wednesday, September 9th - ONLY Grades K-3 students attend, NO EARLY RELEASE

Thursday, September 10th and Friday, 11th - ALL K-6 students attend

Early Release Wednesdays

This year we will be continuing with our Early Release Wednesdays. They will begin on Wednesday, September 16th and continue throughout the school year. Please remember that our dismissal time will be ONE HOUR EARLIER on Wednesdays.

Oxford Elementary School

Tiffany Karnes, Principal

Denise Bourgoine, Assistant Principal

Jill Knight, Secretary

Christine Merrill, Secretary