The Oak Park Advantage

May First Edition 2021

It’s #TeacherAppreciationWeek! We’re so thankful for the amazing work of OPSD educators to make in-person and virtual learning possible during this challenging school year. Please take time this week to thank a teacher for everything they do!  #teachersappreciationweek #oakparkschools #oakparkadvantage
Big picture


Dear Oak Park Families, Residents, & Community,

We want to sincerely thank our community for your support of the Oak Park School District 2021 Bond Proposal, which was passed by voters today with a nearly 80% YES vote. With the passage of the $54.445 million bond, administrators and staff are excited and hard at work planning for the future of our schools! The plans for the improvements are student-centered and prioritize the critical health and safety upgrades of our aging facilities.

Features of the 2021 Bond Program include the following areas:

  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Mechanical & Plumbing Upgrades
  • Electrical Upgrades
  • Technology Replacement

A more detailed list of projects can be found on the district’s website at To learn more about specific details, please visit where will continue to provide updates to staff, families and the community. Again, thank you!!!


Jamii J. Hitchcock, Ph.D.



About the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (SSAC)
The Superintendent's Student Advisory Council is comprised of students at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. Students will be selected based on the merit of your application, including a recommendation from your school principal. The students should also serve as members of their school's leadership and are expected to share relevant information between the school and the district. The students who participate on the SSAC will play a critical role in district-wide decisions.

SSAC Member's Role

  • Maintain and share a district-wide perspective on issues relevant to Oak Park Schools.
  • Communicate directly with the Superintendent and other building and district administrators openly and honestly.
  • Encourage the engagement of students, families, and community members within the broader district community.
  • Work collaboratively to increase student achievement, attendance and reduce disciplinary issues through honest two-way communication, creating a culture of mutual respect and sharing of ideas for school district improvement and innovative programming.
  • Commit to attend quarterly meetings, approximately 2-3 hours in length with opportunities for volunteer hours.
  • Serve as an ambassador of Oak Park Schools through your "way of being" (communication with others, responsibility, cooperation, language, willingness to collaborate and follow proper communication protocols, etc.).

Thank you for your interest in the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (SSAC)! If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Ms. Phillpotts, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent at 248-336-7705 or

Why should I apply?

SSAC participation will provide students with opportunities to further develop leadership, verbal & written communication and social skills. SSAC leadership roles may include, but are not limited to:

  • attending SSAC meetings,
  • attending leadership development workshops,
  • presenting to various audiences, including a quarterly presentation to the OPS Board of Education, and
  • mentoring new SSAC members and other OPS students.

How should I apply?

If you are interested in becoming a member of the SSAC, please complete the following application and permission slip:

Congratulations to our Class of 2021 Valedictorian Ronald Feimster! Ronald will be attending Miles College in the fall, where he is a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship. He plans on majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Psychology in hopes of pursuing his dream of being a private investigator or a detective. Ronald will also be a part of the marching band while on campus. Ronald is known for his academic achievements, such as being ranked number 1 in his class with a 3.98 GPA,  Ronald's honors and memberships also include Section Leader(Trumpet Player) for the Oak Park Marching Legion, National Honor Society, Vice President of the Oak Park Senior Committee, and member of Youth Optimistic United.  Thank you for representing the Knights! We are so proud of you!
Congratulations to our Class of 2021 Salutatorian Damon Grant!  Damon will be attending Oakland University in the fall, where he is a recipient of the Wade McCree Scholarship. He plans on majoring in Graphic Design and will pursue his passion for digital art and software development. Damon has thrived academically, ranked number 2 in his class with a 3.95 GPA,  Damon is also a member of the National Honor Society and has received awards for AP Coding and garnered Principal's Award honors. Thank you for representing the Knights! We are so proud of you!
We are proud to announce that Women of Tomorrow mentee, Donyell Chalk, has received a Journalism Scholarship to attend Central Michigan University! We are so proud of you Donyell, CONGRATS!! The Women of Tomorrow mission is to inspire, motivate and empower at-risk young women to live up to their full potential through a unique mentoring program with highly accomplished professional women and scholarship opportunities.
Big picture
May Is Mental Health Month - No Shame in Seeking Help


Attention Oak Park Schools Community:

The City of Oak Park is partnering with Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) to provide Michigan residents with the COVID-19 vaccine by appointment at the Oak Park Community Center.

Open to anyone age 16 or older. People under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. No insurance needed, but bring your insurance card if you have insurance. Vaccinations are free. To make an appointment, visit


Surgeons Choice Medical Center is holding a vaccine clinic for administering COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine on Saturday, May 8, 2021 from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

We anticipate to vaccinate over 700 individuals in our Metro Detroit Community. On both vaccine dates, we will have food trucks, giveaways, special guests, and radio promotion on air as well as on-site for both days.

Appointments can be scheduled on the following website for ages 16 and up:

For more information, please contact:

Meghann Keliher


NOTE: This communication is for information only. Surgeons Choice Medical Center is not affiliated with the Oak Park School District.


Saturday, April 24, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak is providing free heart checks for children from 13 – 18 years of age. This type of heart screening is not typically included in the routine physical required for school sports. To register, please visit

Oak Park Schools & Gleaners Community Food Bank are continuing to serve our community this spring. We want to ensure all families wishing to receive meals can do so. Families and individuals in need of food are encouraged to attend an upcoming drive-up distribution provided by Gleaners Community Food Bank    The distribution will take place on Friday, April 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Oak Park High School (13701 Oak Park Blvd, Oak Park 48237). PLEASE ENTER OFF OF COOLIDGE HWY.      Please contact Vicky Zoldos at 313-530-8736 with any further questions.


Oak Park Schools & Gleaners Community Food Bank are continuing to serve our community this spring. We want to ensure all families wishing to receive meals can do so. Families and individuals in need of food are encouraged to attend an upcoming drive-up distribution provided by Gleaners Community Food Bank

The distribution will take place on Friday, May 14 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Oak Park High School (13701 Oak Park Blvd, Oak Park 48237). PLEASE ENTER OFF OF COOLIDGE HWY.

Please contact Vicky Zoldos at 313-530-8736 with any further questions.

Big picture

Office of Teaching and Learning

District Wide Updates

w/o May 3, 2021

  • The City of Oak Park's Juneteenth Ad Hoc Committee is planning a celebration around Juneteenth and one of the important pieces of the event is an essay contest available to all Oak Park residents and Oak Park School students in K-12. Please click HERE for essay guidelines and award information! The submission deadline is May 10, 2021!

  • Summer School!

    • Oak Park Schools is proud to offer Summer Enrichment Learning for our K-12 students. Our summer program will run Monday - Thursday from June 28th - August 5, 9:00am - 4:00pm. Any parents or students interested in registration, please see the linked flyer. Any staff members interested in applying to teach, please email for more information.

    • Young people are passionate, courageous, creative, and resilient. They are full of hope and have the potential to generate positive change in the world. Oakland Youth Innovation Lab will build on these strengths to ignite a joy of learning for all. This unique learning experience will be grounded in a strong sense of community and will engage students in deep learning that is meaningful and authentic. OYIL is seeking teachers who are interested in being part of a unique design process for a new way of facilitating learning. Interested in learning more? Click HERE.

  • Additional Summer Learning Opportunities

    • The Michigan Learning Channel launched in January 2021 with the goal of making high-quality educational programming accessible at home to every student and family in Michigan—with or without home internet access. The channel is available statewide on broadcast television through a partnership between Michigan’s six PBS stations as well as on-demand and streaming to any device at In Summer 2021, the Michigan Learning Channel is offering an 8-week program for grades Pre-K-6. The program includes standards-aligned ELA and Math lessons for each grade, plus physical fitness activities, hands-on STEM programs, and fun enrichment activities that bring in partners from across the state around a weekly theme.

  • Article of the Week:

    • As we continue our district wide, city wide, nationwide conversation around equity, it’s important to consider the multifaceted ways that equity impacts the students and the responsibilities we have as educators to explicitly enact equitable practices within our school community. Check out the article “Taking Responsibility For School Equity” in the March edition of EL (Educational Leadership).

  • Professional Learning

    • Oakland Schools is sponsoring a National Speaker Series focused on equity and inclusion in the classroom. Speakers include Dr. Bettina Love, Dr. April Baker-Bell, and Dr. Amy McCart. Please click HERE for more information and registration opportunities!

    • Interested in a FREE Virtual Engineering Boot Camp for Teachers? Engage with science and engineering practices of NGSS through real-world applications of engineering and hands-on activities you can incorporate into your classroom.


In order to meet the needs of all of our students, we are hard at work planning learning options for the 2021-2022 school year. To help us plan for next school year, we are asking all families to complete an Intent to Return for all students by Monday, May 24, 2021.

This process is completed in the MISTAR Parent Portal. Your responses will be used to plan for next year. Please follow the steps below to complete your intent for EACH child enrolled in the Oak Park School District.

  1. Log in to Parent Portal. Your username is an assigned number. If you need assistance with your login credentials, please select the Need Your Login Information? option below the PIN and Password field. This will prompt you to supply your email address and your PIN and Password will be emailed to you.
  1. Click on "Intent to Return" link at the top of the page.
  2. Select “Update/Confirm Now” under each Student.
  3. Fill out the required fields within "Intent to Return".
  4. Click the "Submit" button at the top.
  5. Repeat for each student in your home.

For additional direction and support with the Intent to Return process, we have created screen shots and a video to simplify this process. Please click: Screen Shots & Video for support.

If you have any issues during this process or have any questions, please email us at

Thank you and we are looking forward to planning a great 2021-22 school year!


We are thrilled to share that Oak Park Schools will be offering Summer Enrichment Programs to our students to provide opportunities for acceleration, enrichment, credit recovery, or original credit during the summer. We take pride in providing our students and their families with greater access to instruction, excellent teachers, and engaging learning experiences.

In Summer 2021, programs will be offered either in person or virtually, and there is no cost to enroll. For more details, please visit or contact the Teaching & Learning Department by email at

  • Bridge programs prepare students with the academic skills to successfully transition from middle to high school.

  • Enrichment programs provide students with an extended learning experience.

  • Credit Recovery allows high school students the opportunity to earn previously attempted credits to meet promotion or graduation requirements.​


Thinking about summer plans?

Apply to the Michigan State University GATE Summer Program!

The GATE summer program offers a challenging and fun experience for gifted and talented students. Programs will be 100% online this summer.

To apply visit to start application

Gifted and Talented Education or GATE is a division of University Outreach and Engagement at Michigan State University. The GATE office is dedicated to promoting differentiated educational programs for students in middle school and high school. The mission of the Gifted and Talented Education office is to provide educational experiences that allow gifted students to develop intellectually, to cultivate social relationships, and to expand their understanding of the world.​


Celebrate Juneteenth with the City of Oak Park! We will be hosting an essay competition for students K-12. The contest is open to all Oak Park residents in that category and all Oak Park schools students. The topic will be " What does Juneteenth mean to you?" Those interested must submit their essays by May 10, 2021. Essays can be submitted at our drop-box in front of City Hall or by email at

For more information, please visit:


Michigan Learning Consortium Summer Programs!

It’s an 8-week program at no cost to participating families. The program will be offered online with sessions also on television. Learn more:


The Midnight Golf Program (MGP) is a 30-week empowerment and mentoring experience that teaches life skills including college preparation, community activism, financial literacy, as well as, learning to play golf. It is a program that makes a positive impact in the lives of the participants and helps them realize their dreams. Since the program began in 2001, 2,800+ young people have been positively impacted by the Midnight Golf Program's transformational and industry-leading program.

Learn more how we make graduation possible for Detroit's youth! Click here for more information or visit:

Making Graduation Possible with the Midnight Golf Program


“Pear Deck’s award-winning tools seamlessly support effective teaching and learning methodologies. With solutions that work across all grade levels and subjects, Pear Deck helps teachers use active learning techniques to maximize student engagement. Districts that implement Pear Deck report improved outcomes and equity, improved student engagement and achievement, and a more positive school climate and culture.

Here you can learn more about Pear Deck’s efficacy and pedagogy, find webinars designed just for educators, and get implementation resources. “

You should be able to access the premium version of Pear Deck by logging in with your Oak Park Gmail.

If you have any questions, would like help getting started, or are having issues accessing your account, please feel free to email Lauren Marchelletta at

Lauren Marchelletta


Technology Field Services

Oakland Schools & Oak Park

Call or Text: 248.410.2202

Resources for Oakland Schools/Oak Park Schools

CLICK HERE for Oakland Schools Tech Tidbits (February)

CLICK HERE to access my Oak Park Virtual Office


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!


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.