Oak Grove News

Weekly Update ~ May 4, 2015

From the Superintendent --


This week we all celebrate the gifts our teachers and support staff share with our students at Oak Grove. We are so very fortunate to have a dedicated group of individuals who give their very best each and every day to help your sons and daughters learn and grow, in and out of the classroom.

This is my 32nd year as an educator and I can honestly say that I am blessed to work with the best faculty and staff of my career. Great things happen at Oak Grove School on a daily basis. I have all the confidence in the world that your children will be well prepared for high school, and beyond.

If you get a moment this week, thank a teacher, an aide, a custodian, a nurse, any of the classroom and support staff, and those most important administrative assistants! Together, they make Oak Grove “the place to be.” Educating your children is a total team effort.

Have a great week, Oak Grove staff!

Allison Honaker Named Apple Distinguished Educator!

On April 22nd, Oak Grove Technology Coach, Allison Honaker, was notified by Apple that she has been selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator for 2015. This is the highest honor that an educator can receive from Apple. Since 1994, only 2000 educators worldwide have received this honor! This distinction has been received by a handful of Lake County educators.

Allison was selected to travel to Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA two years ago after being nominated for training as a Foundation Instructor. She spent a week learning the latest educational uses for Apple devices in school classrooms. At the time, only 127 teachers in the entire United States had been selected for this honor. Since then, Allison has trained nearly every Oak Grove teacher in many of the applications. Without question, the combination of Allison’s training, and her subsequent training of staff, allowed Oak Grove to implement the iPad initiative this year in every grade, K-5. As a result, Oak Grove is a leader in the area for the integration of technology in our classroom settings. It has been a total team effort!

Here are some words from Apple Headquarters:

The Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Program began in 1994, when Apple recognized K-12 and higher education pioneers who are using a variety of Apple products to transform teaching and learning in powerful ways. Today it has grown into a worldwide community of over 2,000 visionary and innovative leaders who are doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom. Apple is pleased to welcome Allison Honaker to the ADE Class of 2015.

Learn more about this group of innovative educators at:


Welcome to a select group of truly innovative educators.

Apple Distinguished Educators Team

The administration, faculty, and staff at Oak Grove are thrilled for Ms. Honaker! We congratulate her for this tremendous honor and achievement! You make Oak Grove a special place for our learners each, and every, day.

Welcome Andrew Fenton!

Oak Grove would like to introduce Mr. Andrew Fenton as the new Principal for grades K-8. Mr. Fenton will begin his duties in July. He was selected from a large pool of candidates and is excited about becoming a part of the Oak Grove team.

Currently, Mr. Fenton serves as the Assistant Principal for Twin Groves Middle School, which is located in Buffalo Grove. Students from Twin Groves attend Stevenson High School. He also served as an administrator at W.J. Murphy Elementary School in Round Lake. Andrew has served as a Preschool director and was a classroom teacher in Northbrook and the City of Chicago. He brings a wealth of experience in all grade levels to Oak Grove.

Mr. Fenton lives in Vernon Hills with his wife, Tracey. They have three children, Campbell (5), Rory (3), and Walter (1). In his spare time, Andrew enjoys reading, spending time with his children, and watching sports—especially hockey and golf. Andrew was born in Canada and has served as the Director for the Glacier Ice Dogs hockey program, located in Vernon Hills.

He shares the following: “I am honored and excited to be joining the Oak Grove team, and I can’t wait to meet and get to know the wonderful students, staff, and community that make Oak Grove School so special.”

Welcome to the The Grove, Mr. Fenton!

Board Briefs

This is a summary of events that occurred at the April meeting, not the official minutes.


  • The three new board members were sworn in
  • The second grade team gave a presentation regarding iPad use using Book Creator, Explain Everything, Popplet and Showbie
  • Dr. Lemon reminded everyone about the Art Show on May 6th and Olympic Day on May 15th
  • Teacher Allison Honaker was named an Apple Distinguished Educator
  • Two FOIAs were received
  • A District sponsored after school program was discussed
  • Dr. Lemon explained the addition of two early release days on the 2015-16 calendar
  • Mrs. Cacciatore gave a curriculum update
  • Board committee reports were discussed and attached to BoardBook


  • The Board approved the Network Upgrade and Redundancy
  • The Board approved the Cabling Project to McWilliams Electric
  • Registration Fees for 2015-16 were approved
  • The extension of the Pepper Construction Contract was approved for one year
  • Oak Groves participation in IESA was approved
  • The Board approved Personnel Action

French Class

Attn: 5th grade parents--

If your child would like to take French as his or her Foreign Language for grades 6-8, please click the link below and follow the instructions to RSVP for French Class!


If your child would like to continue in Spanish, there is nothing to do, they will remain in Spanish class.

Using Skype to Learn About the Gold Rush

The Fifth Grade Social Studies classes experienced the Gold Rush in a whole new way this year. The students were able to read actual letters (primary sources) from a man who journeyed to California to discover gold. With the help of our Technology Coach, Mr. Mehnert, the students were able to Skype the Virginia Historical Society (where the letters are housed) and talk to an expert about these letters. The students were able to see the actual correspondence on their i-Pads so they could gather and analyze the letters and work together to draw conclusions. It was astounding what the students discovered about the time period, people, culture, and places just by reading the 11 letters to his wife. This experience broadened students’ understanding of the hardships, risks, and culture that occurred during the Westward Expansion. By the way, he was one of the few that did get rich and discover gold!

Curriculum Corner

Hello Oak Grove Community,

It’s PARCC time again! Students in grades third through fifth will be taking their last three PARCC assessments on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (5/5-5/7) of this week. They will have two math tests and one English language arts test. Students in grades sixth through eighth grade will be taking four assessments on Monday and Tuesday of this week and next week (5/4-5/5, 5/11-5/12). They will be taking two math and two English language arts assessments. Please contact your classroom teachers for the specific times for this week and next week if needed.

Students taking their assessments in the computer-based format, will be asked to provide feedback through a brief voluntary survey. Questions include whether the computer-based platform is easy to use, how well the tools function, whether the directions are clear, and what they liked and did not like about the test. Student feedback will be used to improve the PARCC assessments. The survey questions can be viewed online:

PTO News

May 4, 2015

A Message from PTO Co-Presidents Joanie Sauers and Julie Goodman:

Hot Lunches this Week

Tuesday 5/5 - Panera

Wednesday 5/6 - Pasta

Thursday 5/7 – Culver’s (K-7th grade only)

Note: 8th Graders who get Culver’s Thursday will be served this lunch on Friday, 5/8

PTO Meeting

The next PTO meeting will be Wednesday, May 6th at 9am in the Jr. High Teacher’s Lounge. We will be discussing the Bylaws, Slate and Budget for 2015-16.

Variety Show

Congratulations again to everyone who is participating in the 2015 Top of the World Variety Show. Don’t forget to bring your Volunteer form along with any music and props to your first practice. The dates for this week are as follows:

Tuesday, May 5 Act 1 practice 3:30-6:30 pm

Wednesday, May 6 Act 2 practice 3:30-6:30 pm


Thursday, May 21, 2015 from

4-6:30 pm AND 7:30-10 pm

Oak Grove Junior High Gym

Tickets go on sale today! Forms for tickets as well as DVD purchase are available in the virtual backpack.

Field Day – 2015

Field Day is just around the corner! The PTO has a great day planned for the faculty, students and parent volunteers! Please be looking for an e-mail very soon if you volunteered to help! It will detail what time to be there on May 15th and what activity you will be helping with for that day! Please email dlfranz@yahoo.com if you have any questions. Have a great week!

Student Council News

Food Drive

Thank you to all who brought in food during our drive. We will be delivering 1,532 items to our local food pantry! Our classroom with the most food was Mrs. Saia's second grade class with 390 donations. Mr. Walsh's eighth grade class was a close second with 374 donations. Every item counts, so thank you again for helping out those in need.

End of the Year Countdown for 5th-8th grade students

Since the ABC Countdown happens in some elementary classes, we would like to invite 5th - 8th grade students to join in on our Final Fridays!

Finish the year out with a different theme each week. Fifth through eighth grade students are invited to dress up (or down!) with us every Friday until the end of the school year.

Here’s the schedule:

Friday, May 8 - Go Team! Support your favorite team!

Friday, May 15 - School Spirit – Show team pride on Field Day!

Friday, May 22 - Crazy sock day!

Friday, May 29 - Twins, triplets, quadruplets? Dress up with your friends.

Friday, June 5 - Red, white, and blue. Celebrate summer in a patriotic way!

No face paint or colored hair spray allowed any day.

Reminder – no hats inside.

All clothing must follow the school dress code.

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Cub Scout Pack 194 Recruiting Rally

Oak Grove Pack 194 is inviting all boys who will be in grades 1 – 5 in the fall to join Cub Scouting. In Cub Scouts, you will have lots of fun, learn new things and make new friends. But Cub Scouts is much more than that; it is having fun with a purpose! If you would like to learn more about Cub Scouts, come to our new scout rally:

• Who: Boys in grades 1 – 5 as of September 2015

• Where: Oak Grove Jr. High Cafeteria

• When: Wednesday, May 13, 2015, from 6:30 - 7:30pm

Sign up from 6:30 – 7:30pm, with Early Bird discount! For information about our Pack, visit: www.pack194.com. Or contact one of our leaders for more information: Cubmaster Dale Thomas: 312-860-3100 or dalethomas@ymail.com; Asst. Cubmaster Eric Johnson: 773-551-2367 or johnsonej@hotmail.com; or Committee Chair Tim Roe: 913-669-4962 or troe@pinetreecommercial.com.

Virtual Backpack

Please click HERE to view the flyers in our Virtual Backpack.

Oak Grove School Board of Education

Click HERE to view Board Agenda and Minutes