From the Principal's Desk, November 15, 2017
Dear Oak Grove Parents,
As I reflect on the things for which I am thankful this season, the Oak Grove parents, staff, and students fill most of my list. Thank you for the support you give, both at school and at home. We are all very fortunate to be a part of such a strong, focused, caring community. I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving break with family and friends.
Our extended day continues through November 30, so please remember this when we return after Thanksgiving.
Oak Grove students and staff have been invited to participate in a special STEM field trip to the new Mercedes-Benz stadium! Permission forms are going home Friday. Please complete and return the form with payment by Friday, December 1. Please make checks payable to Oak Grove Elementary. PK – 2nd grade will be going Monday, Dec. 18 and grades 3 – 5 will go Dec. 20. We will be touring the full facility, so please ensure your child wears appropriate, but comfortable walking shoes. We will be back for lunch at school each day, but changes in lunch times may be necessary. A revised schedule will be published by Dec. 1.
Thank you again, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
From the Principal's Desk, November 08
Thank you to all who helped and participated in the Fall Festival. What a great afternoon for everyone! This annual event helps defray costs for the 5th grade environmental education trip to Driftwood.
Many of you have made positive comments about the appearance of the school and we are all grateful for your feedback! The OGE PTA is working on this project. We are all thrilled with the clean look, the sod, & mulch. Many thanks to those planning, watering, and following up. We want OGE to be something that is attractive on the outside as well as inside. Thank you, OGE PTA!
Mark your calendars and make plans to join us for a STEM information session with Ms. Kellie Ryan, our Region 2 facilitator on Tuesday, November 28 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. The session will be in the cafeteria. She will explain the process, our readiness level, what is happening now, & next steps. She holds AdvancED certification for STEM, so we are very fortunate to have her guiding us through the process.
It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year, but our first holiday lunch is Thursday, Nov. 16 for PK – 2 nd grade. Order forms were sent home last week, but if you would like to join us for lunch, please send an e-mail with the number of adults and extra children to your child’s teacher by Tuesday, Nov. 14. Adult meals are $3.50 and a child’s meal is $2.50. The holiday lunch for grades 3 – 5 will be December 14.
Kudos to Oak Grove parents and students for reducing the number of absences by 42 days last year! While illness and other situations can’t be avoided sometimes, seeing the overall number of absences decrease means more time in class for learning (in addition to healthier & happier kids). Our CCRPI score for 2017 is 87.7. We are targeting our areas of weakness (science and social studies) immediately with a stronger emphasis on raising the Lexile levels (text complexity/rigor) in reading. With our STEM journey strongly under way, we should be able to close these gaps and make the expected gains for Oak Grove. Although our score is higher than most schools, we have work to do to increase student growth. We will be working strategically to move our students with the least amount of growth as well as those who are ready to move to the next level. The Georgia Standards of Excellence (content tested on the Georgia Milestones) can be found at: https://www.georgiastandards.org/GeorgiaStandards/Pages/default.aspx Content areas are on the left and then each grade level has the specific standards with what students need to know by the end of each grade. Every grade’s STEM focus has their standards embedded. Any extra support you can provide is appreciated.
Please see the blurb following about our upcoming Career Day. All careers are welcome!
Thank you for your continued support. I wish each of you a very happy and restful Thanksgiving season.
Preparations are underway for one of the most exciting events of the school year . . . Career Day! We are currently accepting the names of participants for this exciting event which will be held on Friday, February 9, 2018. Last year, Career Day was an entire day and the students thoroughly enjoyed the presentations. This year, we are considering an entire day as well. Sessions should be 20 – 25 minutes in length. Even though ALL careers are welcome, in support of STEM activities for the year, we are especially seeking participants in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Careers will be matched with appropriate grade levels. Placements may not be in your child's classroom. If you are interested in being a presenter for this event, please contact Dr. Tracey Roberts in the Counseling Department by email at Tracey_Roberts@dekalbschoolsga.org or by phone at 678- 874-7416 by Friday, December 1, 2017. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.
From the Principal's Desk, October 23
October 23, 2017
I hope you had a great fall break! The building was very quiet and I was happy to see everyone return. PTA has been busy with Phase 1 of the landscaping project. All the shrubbery was removed from the front of the building and mulch put down. Sod has been laid and a plan is being created for benches and new plantings. Thank you for the “facelift!” The benches which were in the front are being moved to other locations on campus.
The new color on the concrete is a special acrylic & carbon coating to provide a waterproof barrier on the concrete. This was an unexpected bonus for the concrete repairs as part of the SPLOST projects! We had an unexpected issue with no gas in the kitchen today which is being looked into by Atlanta Gas Light. Everything was fine Friday but today held the unexpected shut-off to our ovens and steam table. At this time, we have no idea what happened or why. Hopefully, the problem will be resolved quickly.
The Fall Family dance was a huge success! Many thanks to all who came and to all those who worked to make it a fun night for everyone. Groovy costumes, far-out hair, and cool jewelry decorated the cafeteria that night!
MAP scores will be sent home this week. We’ve seen a lot of growth in our returning students!
Due to a field trip scheduled for Friday, 10/27, the Literacy Parade has been moved to Monday, October 30. This will allow all students to participate. The parade will begin at 8:30 am.
SAVE THE DATE: A STEM parent information meeting will be held at OGE Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 6 – 7 pm. Ms. Kellie Ryan, STEM facilitator for Regions 2 & 3 will be at OGE to talk about our journey to certification.
The district’s make-up time was announced to end October 30. We will resume the 20 minute extension November 1 through the end of November. OCTOBER 31 will be a normal (original time) dismissal. This has nothing to do with Halloween, but rather the time computed for the days missed due to Hurricane Irma.
Please see the attachment for the Million Dads March Friday. Thank you to all the OGE dads for the support you provide our community!
http://filecabinet3.eschoolview.com/3FB1271F-3D05-43D2-96D9-49566E4304F0/LETTER-Supt Million Fathers March.pdf
From the Principal's Desk, October 2
October 2, 2017
Dear OGE Parents,
Many parents have questioned the decision to make up the instructional time with extended days, rather than add days at the end of the school year. The primary reason is due to block scheduling in several high schools. With block scheduling, each course schedules is doubled (blocked), allowing students to complete a course in one semester, rather than one year. While we missed four calendar days, those students missed the equivalent of eight days of class. High school students must take the GA Milestones End of Course test at the end of the semester. Many of these students are seniors and need the credits to graduate on time.
The secondary reason was to not interrupt family plans for either of the upcoming fall and winter breaks. The District has made definite plans for the first two make up days. One will be through the extended day schedule in October and the second by taking the November 7 Election Day.
Stakeholders have been asked to give input regarding the remaining two make up days. Please click on the link (in the Remind text) to respond by October 12th. Dr. Green has provided two options from which to choose. Your input will be submitted to the district office for Dr. Green’s consideration prior to his recommendation to the DCSD Board on Monday, October 16.
Please, one vote per family.
Thank you for your input.
From the Principal's Desk, September 29:
Oak Grove’s Makeup Plan
In response to the makeup time, there are some exciting/fun/different activities being planned for OGE students. Based on the results from the GA Milestones & MAP (as well as to support our STEM certification initiative), our plan for the 20 minutes will be as follows:
Week 1 = Math Computation (Building speed & accuracy with skills already taught)
Week 2 = STEM Perplexors (Problem Solving activities)
Week 3 = Math Perplexors (Critical Thinking problems)
Repeat the 3 week rotation during the make-up time.
- The 20 minutes will be at the end of the day. An announcement will be made during the first couple of weeks as a reminder.
- This is not a time for reading, homework, library, games, etc. as this is time dedicated with a specific instructional focus. All students will participate in the specified activities.
- Regardless of grade or content area, all teachers will implement the activities. Math teachers in departmentalized grades will provide support to their colleagues.
From the Principal's Desk, September 27
I hope everyone has recovered from Irma and that any damages were or will be resolved quickly. We’re back to “business as usual” and everyone is happy to be back in a routine.
After receiving some feedback regarding the timing and notification of the Falcons activities, here is the backstory of how the event(s) unfolded:
Irma delayed the notification of the “Falcon Friday,” which brought the wristbands, tattoos, and other goodies from the Falcons to generate team spirit prior to their home opener Sunday, Sept. 17. The box arrived late Friday morning and the smaller items were distributed for students to take home.
UNRELATED to the Falcon Friday items, the Department of Nutrition and the GA Organics Farm to School group were working on finding a replacement school to host the players for Tuesday’s “Hometown Huddle” service hour. We were notified Friday afternoon about being selected for the visit due to our winning the Silver Award (this had not been announced yet, so I didn’t know). We were selected not only because of the award, but also because we are located inside the perimeter.
A conference call with the Falcon's office Monday confirmed the details for the visit.
Mr. Arthur Blank selected the date/time from 11- 12 as the "Hometown Huddle" giveback date/time for all Falcons to spend time in the metro showing their appreciation to fire fighters, police officers, nurses, and visiting children in schools/hospitals. We had 4 players at OGE to serve lunch to students between 11 - 12. Third grade students were in the cafeteria and treated to the players walking around to their tables after the players walked through the “human tunnel” in the hall. The tunnel was made of PK, 4th, 5th, Mr. Manganello’s class, and two first grade classes. All other classes were served by the players, giving ALL students the opportunity to see the players.
The players who came were: Andy Levitre, Austin Paztor, Derrick Coleman, and Jamil Douglas. Each player enjoyed seeing the students and participating in serving lunch.
The event notification was short and I wanted to let parents know what was coming. The Remind text service is free, so the number of characters per text is limited to 140. Please forgive me for any confusion in communication. More parents have expressed preference to receive texts rather than filtering through the Oak Tree information. Given the fact the conference call with details came after the Oak Tree, the texts were the only information I had at the time. Perhaps I made a mistake in trying to share limited information, but with picture day and the weekend shoppers, I wanted to give parents advance notice so decisions about school picture attire could be made.
Thank you for understanding and for your feedback. It was a great time for all and we have many pictures for the yearbook, Wellness notebook, Twitter, and the district. There are also some autographed items that will surface later…
SPLOST update: There is still no word on the roof. I’ve been told the kitchen floor will be torn out and redone during winter break. The A/C in the gym works really well! Damaged items for the kitchen are to be replaced. Make-up plans for the district due to Irma are not known at the time of this writing but will be announced as soon as Dr. Green and the Board have made a decision.
The clinic is in need of donations for student clothing for those emergencies that happen during the day. If you would like to donate new underwear, shorts, or pants, any items would be appreciated. All sizes (S, M, & L) are needed for both boys and girls. Underwear should be new, but the shorts and pants can be used. Thank you so much!
Thanks for your ongoing support.
From the Principal's Desk, September 25:
What a great opening to the 2017-2018 school year! We’ve met many new friends and students have settled in comfortably for another year of academic growth. MAP assessments are underway and instruction has been going at full throttle!
Thank you to all our volunteers who made registration a breeze! For those who scooped ice cream and/or washed down sticky children at the ice cream social, thank you!
Please welcome our following new staff:
- Mrs. Amy Smith, 3rd (transfer)
- Mrs. Patty Wilder, 5th (transfer)
- Ms. Mary Manganello, Primary MID
- Ms. Brittany Clark, Resource
- Mrs. Deborah Greaves, LTSE, (re-assigned to replace Ms. Cooper)
Mrs. Kennedy is serving as our RTI/Data lead this year. She is compiling, comparing, and sharing current and previous assessment data with the teachers, counselors, and administration. Tracking student growth and achievement more closely allows us to better serve student needs.
Mr. McCarthy is serving as the Technology and STEM support this year. He is working with Ms. Kendall Xides planning our STEM activities, creating relationships with sustainable business partners, and providing assistance to teachers with planning collaborative units.
We’re all working to provide the support, rigor, and consistency students need to be successful in school, but we can’t do the work alone. Thank you for the support you all provide at home. Your support makes our work easier because you send respectful, ready-to-learn children each day.
As we move deeper into the academic year, please be mindful of our carpool, dismissal, and lunch guest procedures. We need the full cooperation of everyone to have a smooth and safe process for all. Please take a moment to review the attachments for all the specifics.
After many challenges, the SPLOST IV project list is almost complete. We’re still having inspections, tweaks, and corrections, but the A/C in the gym is operational, the kitchen is now functioning with hot meals, and the grease trap replacement and concrete repairs are complete. There’s still no ETA on the roof. The kitchen equipment with bashes/dents will be replaced and I just learned this morning the poorly installed kitchen floor will be replaced during winter break.
For the first time in several years the school year opened with no trash barrels in the halls! Most of you will recall having multiple barrels to collect water from overflowing condensation pans, although we’ve had a couple of close calls. We were hoping the water treatment tablets would work, but they appear to have a five – eight week effectiveness, based on the A/C unit use.
I’ll keep you posted. Thank you for a great opening!