Oak Ridge Schools Family Engagement

September 2021

Keeping Families Engaged

Hello Oak Ridge Families!!!

My name is Allison Peters and I am the Family Engagement Liaison for Oak Ridge Schools. During this unprecedented school year, Family Engagement looks a little different.

However, we hope that you will still find ways to stay involved in your child's school. If your school is hosting a family event, you will be notified. Some schools are postponing some of their in person events due to Covid.

We also have a Title I Family Engagement webpage where you can go for helpful videos, websites, parenting tips, local resource information, etc. Click on the picture above to go to the Title I Family Engagement webpage. In my Bitmoji Classroom, you can click on the objects and it will link you to many different informative websites, helpful videos, social emotional books for children, Oak Ridge Schools calendar, Portrait of a Graduate info, etc.

Parent University Series

This year we are planning a series of Virtual Family Engagement workshops that will be pre-recorded and can be found on our Title I, Parent Resource page.

We would like to thank our partners Ridgeview Behavioral Health and UT Ag Ext. Family and Consumer Science for their help in creating these informative videos.

The workshop series has helpful videos on such topics as:

  • Ridgeview Behavioral Health weekly podcast that focus on Hope, Healing and Recovery
  • Cyberbullying/Social Media Safety, presented by UT Ag Ext, Family and Consumer Science Dept.
  • Canvas Tutorial Video, presented by Mike Carvella of ORS
  • Distance Learning 101- helpful tips on learning from home if you have to quarantine, presented by Allison Peters of ORS
  • Distance Family Learning Guide, presented by Dept. of Education
  • Seesaw and Canvas tutorial videos

Free Community Meal This Week at The Ridge Church

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Each month, I will post different family engagement challenges that you and your child can do together. The choices will be different STEM activities, scavenger hunts, Bingo challenges, etc.

At the end of the month, there will be a lucky winner, drawn at random.

This lucky winner will receive a $10 Walmart gift card. Here are the instructions:

1. Pick your challenge

2. Take pics or videos of your completed challenge

3. Email them to me at AKPeters@ortn.edu

4. Make sure to put your child's name, school and teacher name on your submission email

5. Sit back and wait to see if your name is chosen

6. If you win, do a dance and head to Walmart! If you don't win, try again next month!

Good luck and have fun!


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STEM Family Challenge


Seesaw is a wonderful tool that Oak Ridge Schools is using to show you what your child is learning and as a way to communicate between home and school.

Get the Seesaw App and please make sure to log on weekly! You won't want to miss seeing and hearing about what wonderful things your child is learning!! Click on the links and pictures below for more information.

Below are links for families to help you get started with Seesaw for Families.

Seesaw intro for Families: https://youtu.be/EyugY17AiCM

Seesaw directions: https://web.seesaw.me/families

Seesaw family notifications: https://help.seesaw.me/hc/en-us/articles/206528005-How-do-I-change-my-Family-account-notifications-

Seesaw add another student to family account: https://help.seesaw.me/hc/en-us/articles/206514685-How-do-I-add-another-student-to-my-family-account-

Seesaw text messages: https://help.seesaw.me/hc/en-us/articles/115002159786-How-can-family-members-get-SMS-notifications-

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Our school uses Clever as an easy way for students to access all the learning applications they use at school in a single location: the Clever Portal. Zoom on the picture below for more details on this wonderful digital tool that we use in Oak Ridge Schools.
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The FRC webpage can be found under the District Services tab on the Oak Ridge Schools website, ortn.edu or by clicking on the picture below. On our webpage you will see icons that link to our social media pages, an "about us" page, a state resources page, a how to partner with us page, access to our programs page, an available tools page, Jo Bruce, our director, and my emails, and a help button.

The help button will allow you to fill out a form explaining your need. We will then use the information you provide to contact you and work towards a solution together.

Thanksgiving Assistance

How to sign up for Thanksgiving Assistance:

If your family is in need of assistance this Thanksgiving season, you can print our sign up form on our webpage, ortn.edu/frc/. If you are unable to print the form, you can email Jo Bruce, FRC Director, or Cecilia Henderson, FRC assistant, by clicking on either of the bitmojis of them on the page to have a paper copy sent home with your student.

How to sponsor a family:

If you are interested in sponsoring a family this Thanksgiving season, please contact Jo or Cecilia for more information.

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Community Resources

Ridgeview Behavioral Health Resources and Podcast

Ridgeview's COVID Crisis Response Team (CRT) aims to help individuals cope with the stress of the pandemic through outreach activities and access to a helpline for brief crisis counseling. The goal of these efforts are to support Hope, Healing, and Recovery in our community.

Ridgeview also hosts weekly podcasts that focus on Hope, Healing and Recovery. You can find Back to School Tips, local community resource information, parenting tips, etc. Click here for to watch this wonderful weekly podcast!

List of Weekly Community Resources by Need

Our community has many different resources for those in need.

Click on the pictures below for more information or contact Jo Bruce at the Family Resource Center at (865)425-3201.

United Way Resources During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Oak Ridge Schools Title I and Family Engagement Information

All of the elementary schools in Oak Ridge are considered Title I Schools. For more information on your rights, as the parent of a Title I Student, watch this Power Point Presentation

or go to our Title I webpage by clicking here.


1. Make an indoor fort with blankets and furniture! Pile up under the fort and read a book or watch a movie.

2. Set up a treasure hunt. Treasure hunts are pretty easy and depending on how many items there are, could last a while. Hide anywhere from 10 to 20 items around the house or outside to keep kids occupied for a few hours.

3. Watch the beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium. There’s a beluga whale webcam set up at the Georgia Aquarium, so you can see what your whale friends are up to anytime.

4. Bake together.Cookies, cakes, brownies. Anything! Baking is a great lesson in measuring, ingredients, and of course, making delicious goodies.

5. Watch the Cincinnati Zoo livestream. The Cincinnati Zoo will be live-streaming animals on their Facebook page daily at 3PM.

6. Have an indoor picnic. Grab a sheet, whatever food you have, and enjoy a living room picnic (without the ants). You can even play that memory game at the same time: “I’m going to a picnic and I’m bringing…” Each person takes turns remembering (in order) what everyone is bringing and then adds one thing each turn.

7. Make elephant toothpaste. Making elephant toothpaste is a great science experiment. Using the laws of both chemistry and biology, this recipe will cause an enormous foaming reaction, fit for an elephant. Check Scientific American for a how-to.

8. Take a virtual field trip to Yellowstone National Park. Virtually visit the Mud Volcano, Mammoth Hot Springs, and so much more with a digital field trip to Yellowstone.

9. Play library. Have your kids bring out all of their books and pretend to check them out. You can take turns playing the librarian.

10. Take a virtual field trip of the Boston Children’s Museum

Visit the Boston Children’s Museum without even leaving your living room.

11. Listen to Josh Gad’s story readings on Twitter The voice of Olaf has been broadcasting readings of different kids’ stories on Twitter.

12. Do give them recess. Setting a schedule and focusing on educational tasks is awesome, but you should take time to focus on recess, too. After a few educational tasks, make sure to focus on playtime, too.

13. Write a letter. Break out the envelopes, the stamps, the pens, and paper. No, we’re not talking e-mails; we’re talking old-fashion snail mail. Write a mail a letter to someone you love, like grandma and grandpa, or a family member who lives far away.

14. FaceTime family members. FaceTime is another meaningful way to connect with family and friends while practicing “social distancing.” Use it to check in on family members and to socialize, even if over the phone.

15. Make your own play dough Need a recipe? Google I Heart Naptime. All you need are quart-sized bags, all-purpose flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, veggie or coconut oil, and food coloring.

16. Play cards Rummy, War, Go Fish, Solitatire, Uno, Old Maid… Any game you can think of!

17. Break out the board games. Scrabble, Monopoly, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders…

18. Put a puzzle together. Break out the jigsaw puzzle!

19. Play checkers Kids will love learning the ins and outs of checkers. And if they’re already pros? Challenge them to a checkers Olympics!

20. Teach your kids chess. Every kid could benefit from learning the strategies of chess.

21. Go for a walk. It costs nothing! Just make sure to practice social distancing.

22. Play charades. No talking. Just you and your family acting something out. It’s a classic boredom-saver.

23. Take a virtual tour of Sequoia National Park. Sequoia National Park is a national park in California. With Google Maps, you can scroll over the different terrains, and click on places of interest.

24. Host a paint night. Grab some canvases, brushes, and paints, and do a paint night at home.

25. Make a pizza. Be creative, whatever you have laying around the house, that’s what’s going on your homemade pizza!

26. Write in a diary. Writing down your thoughts is a classic way to pass the time and reduce stress.

27. Set up indoor hopscotch. With painters tape! Or go outside and use sidewalk chalk.

28. Break out the flashcards. Got any old vocabulary or math flashcards laying around? If not, no worries. Make your own!

29. Set up outdoor gym class. Obstacle course, anyone?

30. Listen to an astronaut read from space. Storytime From Space is unlike any other kind of storytime; NASA astronauts read stories to kids while they float around in space.

Let's Go on a Field Trip!

Field trips might not be possible this year at school. But, there are a TON of wonderful virtual field trips that you can enjoy together as a family! Click on the picture to find places all over the world you can visit!
Notes from the Backpack PTA Podcast

Notes from the Backpack is a podcast that features real conversations with real parents, experts and educators who offer real-life advice, ideas and strategies parents can use to help their children succeed in and out of school.

Positive Parenting 101

Parenting can be tough! But, it is possible for us to adjust our thoughts and feelings about the struggles of parenting and become calmer and more positive parents.

In making a few small changes, we'll actually enjoy our children more, and better yet — our child's behaviors will follow our lead. Click on the above picture to learn a few small changes that will produce a stronger and more positive relationship between you and your child.


Oak Ridge Schools is excited to offer the initiative, Portrait of a Graduate. Please click here for a link to an informative video from Superintendent Bruce Borchers.