We are approaching the end of the 1st Trimester, and I would like to thank you for the continued encouragement and support you are providing to our students. The final day of the 1st term is scheduled for Friday, December 2nd, with no school the following Monday and Tuesday (5th & 6th) as teachers determine grades and take part in professional development. Our Positive Behavior Support team is encouraging students to save up those Tiger Stripes for the Winter Giving Store coming up in December. Students will have an opportunity to buy gifts for themselves, as well as family members. Thanks to all of you who came out for Parent-Teacher Conferences and our Fall Fun Night this past week. We are always looking for ways to connect our families to Oaklea.
During this time of Thanksgiving, I would like to thank all of our students and parents who have contributed to our Turkey Dinner and Clothing Drives. This is an excellent way for our kids to continue to learn the importance of community partnership, empathy, and service to others.
It’s not too late to help with both causes. Clothing can be bagged and donated at the Student Services office. For the turkey drive, we will be taking in dinner items or monetary donations through this week.
Exciting news! The Oregon Department of Education released annual report cards recently, and Oaklea received a “Level 4” designation in the area of academic growth in Language Arts and Math combined. This puts our students in the second highest category in this important area. Although overall scores will not be issued until next year, we are excited about the progress our students are making.
To follow up on the letter I sent out last week, we continue to work with our kids on understanding and respecting our differences during this election season, as well as treating one another with kindness and empathy. I appreciate all of the support parents are providing with that process as well. Along the lines of making positive choices, students took part in Red Ribbon Week recently. Our kids had the opportunity to commit to making healthy choices and being alcohol and drug free. Angie Elstone (counselor) and Carol Puderbaugh (district nurse) continue to provide Healthy Friday lessons in 7th & 8th grade classes. As always, if you would like to know more information about what is covered in health classes, grades 5-8, please don’t hesitate to stop by or to contact us.
I hope you and your family have an enjoyable holiday season. We also know this is a time of year where many of our students can use additional support and encouragement. Please keep us informed with any information that would help our teachers and counselors support students in this regard. As always, please feel free to call or e-mail me directly with any issues, suggestions, praises or concerns.
Dear Parents and Community Members,
Thanks for helping to make this a great start to the 2016-17 school year! I’d like to thank many of you for attending our Open House Night in September. It is one of my favorite activities of the school year, as we see the amount of parent and community support we have for our students. We want Oaklea to be a “community school” where parents and students have ample opportunities to stay involved and connected. If you have not been able to obtain your Home Access login for grade checks, please call the front office at 998-3381. You can expect to see updated grade reports at a minimum of every two weeks. Thank you to our OMS Parent Group and all who participated in the fall fund raiser that generated funding for enrichment opportunities, field trips, and technology in the building. Parent group meetings continue to be the first Friday of each month at 8:20 a.m.
“College Knowledge Night” is coming up on Tuesday, October 11th @ 6:30p.m. in our main gym. Please come and join us with your student. This is open to grades 5-8. It’s never too early to be thinking about college and possible career choices. I would like to personally thank Mrs. Elstone for her work to organize this event, with many local universities and community colleges in attendance.
In October, we will be practicing our emergency procedures for lockdown, lockout, earthquake preparedness, evacuation, and fire drill. Our safety committee values the importance of making sure our staff and students know the procedures. Our resource office, Ken Jackson, and the JC police department will be present to evaluate our emergency plans and to provide feedback. If you would like to learn more about the safety guidelines we use, please visit the “I Love You Guys” foundation website at http://iloveuguys.org/. As always, please call or e-mail me with any questions.
Upcoming events: Fall Parent -Teacher Conferences will take place on Wednesday, October 26th from 4:30 – 8:00p.m., as well as Thursday, October 27th from 8:00a.m. - 8:00p.m. Scheduling information will be coming home shortly. Please fill out the times that work best for you, and have your student return the form to their TEAM teacher next Tuesday or Thursday. Unscheduled drop-in conferences may be limited both days, but we want to make sure no parent gets turned away without an opportunity to schedule a request for communication from a teacher. We apologize for the inconvenience, but Mr. Meskil (8th Social Studies), Mrs. Burke (8th Language Arts), and Mr. Thornton (7th Math) will not be available for conferencing that week. However, each of them will have a form available at their classroom door for parents wanting a follow up conference by phone the following week.
Finally, we would love to have more volunteer parents involved at Oaklea. If you would like to be a part of an upcoming field trip, chaperone a dance, or even help out in a classroom, please fill out the Volunteer Background information available under “Forms” on the JC district website. You can bring your completed forms to the Oaklea office or district office. Thank you in advance for all of your support this school year!
Dear Parents, Guardians, Students, and Community Members:
I’d like to welcome you all to the Principal’s Corner portion of our school website. Along with the“In The Middle newsletter, this websiteis one of the primary means used to communicate the happenings and updated schedules throughout the school year. We will be implementing a revised version of our new master schedule from last year. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, students will have an 8-period day with Enrichments and Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs). ELOs offer a chance for teachers to work with students who are in need of some additional support in math and/or reading. This year, enrichment classes will last the entire 12-week trimester. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students will have a 6-period day with an additional TEAM/Homeroom class in the afternoon. Enrichments and ELOs are set to begin on Monday, September 19th.
Our Oaklea Parent Group meetings are scheduled for the first Friday of each month at 8:20 a.m. We had over 25 parents at our September meeting! If you can’t make the morning meetings, but would still like to be involved or volunteer with the OMS Parent Group, please check out the Oaklea Parent Group Facebook page, or email a message to “email@example.com. This school year, there will be all sorts of opportunities for parents to be involved at Oaklea. If you would like to volunteer in our school, chaperone a dance, or even participate in a field trip, please start the process by filling out the district volunteer application: www.junctioncity.k12.or.us (click on “Forms” and then “Volunteer Background Check application). We are transitioning systems, and do not have the online entry at this time. Please drop off hard copy forms in our main office.
Important Events Coming Up:
Thursday, September 22nd: Oaklea’s Open House!! Please plan on coming to school with your student to enjoy hot dogs and refreshments in our front patio area and cafeteria from 5:30-6:15 p.m. At 6:30, we will give parents the opportunity to travel throughout the building following their student’s schedule for 10-minute periods. This is a great opportunity to welcome all of you to our school and meet teachers!
Fall Fundraiser: Kicks off with an assembly on September 21st. Our Parent Group coordinates this annual fund raiser to provide supports for our kids and programs. It will last through October 5th. All proceeds go to field trips, technology, PBIS incentives, and other important needs we may have to support our students.
October 7th: Parent Group Meeting @ 8:20 a.m. in the Seminar Room.
October 18th: Health Screening Day (main gym). Thanks to our volunteers for coordinating this event!
October 19th: Picture Retakes
October 26th and 27th: Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences. More information to come.
Refocus Room: We will be starting a Refocus Room for behavior support and redirection. We believe this will be a tremendous help in giving our students an opportunity to reflect, and to ultimately get back into the regular classroom. Our administrative team will be working closely with the Refocus lead to ensure this will be a positive intervention room for our students.
Home Access available: The school district will again be using the Home Access program. Information is included in your student registration packet. The information explains how to activate your account. Home Access allows secure internet access to your child’s progress in each of their classes. Contact us at 998-3381 with any additional questions you might have. Login information will be available at our Open House in September.
School Calendar Reminder: Please be sure to check out Oaklea’s revised calendar of activities in each newsletter. Our district web site will also include updates of all district activities. To access the district calendar use: <www.junctioncity.k12.or.us> or Oaklea’s website at <www.jcoms.org>.
Oaklea Athletics: Practices have begun for Cross Country, Cheerleading, Football, and Volleyball. It’s not too late to have your student sign-up. Students interested in competing will need to have a physical within the past two years before they are allowed to practice. Options are available locally, including the health clinics in JC and Monroe.
P. E. Update: As Mrs. Cope and Mr. Surface incorporated last year, our physical education department will be requiring common Oaklea t-shirts for all classes. Returning student may use their shirts from last school year, although there will be the $1 lock fee. New students will need to pay $14 for two (2) t-shirts and a $1 lock fee. Students will be allowed to wear basketball type athletic shorts. You will find the registration fee envelope included with this packet.
Please remember to stop by the Main Office when you visit our school. We’ll ask you to sign-in and wear a Visitor’s Badge. This procedure helps us keep the building secure as well as assisting you with any questions you might have.
As always, feel free to email <firstname.lastname@example.org>, phone (998-3381), or
e-mail/call specific teachers to schedule a conference to discuss any of your school questions or concerns. I am looking forward to an exciting 2016-17 school year at Oaklea Middle School!
The end of the school year is upon us, and we wanted to
get one more newsletter out to you explaining some important information. First of all, thank you to all who attended and contributed to the Oaklea "Our Backyard" Dinner & Auction on May 21st. Guaranty Motors donated the use of their showroom, and our Oaklea Parent Group was able to raise close to $13,000 for our backyard project. We call it "our" backyard because we want Oaklea to be a place families come to on evenings and weekends. We will be finishing up our playground in the coming year, as well as putting in an outdoor classroom, swing set, as well as other possibilities including fitness equipment. Special thanks to Susie Freeman who has served selflessly as our OPG president for the past four years, as well as Susan Goodin and Jessica Cook who organized the auction and are spearheading the project at our school.
I hope your student has enjoyed the schedule changes we have made this school year. We added enrichment classes and Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs) within the afternoon schedule to better connect students to our middle school, and support the needs of our kids. Next year, we will be changing our schedule slightly. We are looking at a model where we will have Enrichments and ELOs three days a week. During the other two days, we will bring the TEAM period back into our schedule, and have traditional core classes with an elective. There will be more details to come as we return next fall.
Please plan on coming to our Oaklea Talent Show on Wednesday, June 1st, at 7pm in the main gym. 8th graders' last day will be Thursday, June 16th, followed by our annual Recognition Ceremony at 6pm that evening. Please note, our last day of school for all other students will be Friday, June 17th, with a 12:50pm dismissal.
As we conclude the school year, please take a look at the "Calendar of Events" section at the bottom of this page. We have a variety of fun and engaging activities planned to conclude the year. Finally, I would like to recognize members of our Oaklea family who have announced their retirement: Kelly Gabriel taught Language Arts for years, and following a planned leave recently, will be ending her teaching career. Also, Cheryl West has been a long time Instructional Assistant in our building, and has made countless connections with our students. We want to thank Kelly and Cheryl for their service and dedication to our kids and community.
Have a wonderful summer season with your family!
On May 18, 2016, Junction City High School received notice of a threat to the campus via the Junction City Police Department. The campus was placed in lockout status during that notification call. Building administrators at Oaklea Middle School, Laurel Elementary School, and Territorial Elementary School were advised to lockout those campus buildings as well.
Lockout status directs staff to secure all exterior doors to prevent entry into campus buildings. When the campus is in lockout, individuals are able to move within each building, but are not permitted to exit or travel between buildings. This is in contrast to a lockdown which requires staff to shelter students in place by locking interior doors including classrooms and offices. JCHS conducted a lockdown drill of the entire campus in cooperation with JCPD and other law enforcement agencies on May 13, 2016.
At the time of the lockout, students were present in four separate buildings on the campus, and a physical education (PE) class was outside. Staff responded quickly to bring students inside and secure the perimeter. Because the lockout extended into two additional class periods, and students typically move between buildings during passing times, staff sheltered students in place by holding them in class for the duration of the lockout. At no time, however, were interior doors placed in lockdown status.
Junction City Police and the school principal canvassed the campus classroom by classroom to search for signs of possible threats and to assess the well-being of students while other law enforcement agencies remained on stand-by status.
The decision to lift the lockout was made after determining that the threat was not imminent.
School attendance is consistent with normal attendance patterns.
As the end of the school year approaches, I’d like to thank all of the parents and guardians who have volunteered so many hours of their time to our students and staff. Your continued involvement allows Oaklea to be a great middle school! I’d also like to invite you to “An Evening in Our Backyard” on Saturday, May 21st at 6:30 p.m. @ Guaranty Motorhome Showroom. The Oaklea Parent Group has planned this event as a fund raiser of the Oaklea backyard project. Our hope is to revitalize our backyard area with additional play equipment, an outdoor classroom, and other highlights for kids, parents, and community.
It has been an eventful year at Oaklea, with several changes to our master schedule. We are currently working as a staff to discuss how the schedule will work next year, and I would appreciate any parent feedback, especially on Enrichments and Extended Learning Opportunity periods, block scheduling for 5th & 6th grades, and our SPED inclusion model. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com.
Please note that the 8th Grade Recognition ceremony begins at 6:00 p.m. on June 16th in the OMS large gym. If you would like to volunteer to be involved in one of our end-of-year field trips, please fill out a volunteer background form located on the district’s website, and return it to our front office.
Mark your calendars for the OMS Talent Show on the evening of June 1st. Our students are busy practicing during enrichment periods, and the event is always a highlight of the school year. On that note, I would like to thank Angie Elstone for organizing an amazing Oaklea Career Day this spring. Students had an opportunity to meet 4 of the over 30 guests who came to share their career information, and the feedback we received was very positive. Also, I would like to thank Susie Freeman for her 4 years of service to Oaklea staff and students as Parent Group President. She has been instrumental in securing funds for technology, field trips, and incentives for kids, as well as further connecting our families to our school.
As we work to wrap up this school year, I want to take time to wish you and your family the best this spring and summer! As principal, it is a privilege to be working with you to provide the best possible support for our Oaklea students.
Thank you to the many who attended the recent Rock Around the Clock With Reading Night at Oaklea. Over 250 guests enjoyed an evening with dinner, literacy based activities, and family time. We continue to work on strengthening our school’s relationship with our families and community, and the Oaklea Parent Group has been a huge help in this process.
As part of our ArtCore grant funding, the Lane Arts Council has been working with us to provide engaging enrichment courses and schoolwide assemblies. Graphic Design courses have been offered during the most recent rotation, and a Ceramics course will be offered for students at all grades after spring break. This Friday, March 11th, a poetry “slam” artist from Portland, Alex Dang, will be presenting his skills to our students in an afternoon assembly. Please read the attached letter for more information, as well as steps to take if you have any concerns or would like to opt your student out of this assembly.
I’d also like to take some time this edition to let you know what our staff and students continue to do to promote a positive learning climate, and to address the issue of bullying. One of the primary reasons I decided to transition to being an administrator at the middle school level was due to my belief that this time frame is crucial toward connecting students to school, and helping them feel safe and supported during a challenging developmental period in their lives. We have been working with a local group called Ophelia's Place on a "Peers as Allies" classroom presentation for our 5th and 6th graders which addresses bullying, and more specifically teaching and modeling how to demonstrate kindness and empathy for our classmates. We also have introduced a Steps to Respect anti-bullying program delivered by our school counselor, Angie Elstone, in 5th grade classrooms.
Our 7th & 8th graders take part in a “Healthy Relationships” course, and receive weekly lessons from Mrs. Elstone and our district nurse, Carol Puderbaugh, on Healthy Fridays. In January, we held a schoolwide assembly on internet safety and cyberbullying, as well as a parent night to inform our community about this important issue. During our 2nd Step lessons, we focus on the power of the audience and how bystanders can intervene and communicate issues with parents and adults. Adults can model and teach appropriate behavior, but we also need our student leaders to help develop the positive culture we want in our middle school. Our student Leadership team (5th-8th grade) has been working on a Kindness Initiative to give students a platform to stand up for positive treatment of all individuals in our school. The Oaklea PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports) model has been in place for 4 years, with positive incentives for respectful, responsible, and safe behavior.
We take this issue very seriously, and I want to remind parents that one of the most important pieces is consistent communication between students, parents, and administration. Additional parent resources can be found on the following website: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/parents/. Please talk with your student, and never hesitate to let us know if concerns arise.
Happy New Year! As we approach the midway point of the 2nd Trimester, please continue to check the online Home Access program for most current grades and assignments. Teachers update online reports at minimum every two weeks. Please contact us in the main office if you have any questions about the program or need login information.
This school year, we have been incorporating monthly all-school assemblies. Topics have ranged from Oaklea spirit assemblies to guest speakers and even performing artists. Last Friday, representatives from Ophelia’s Place (Eugene) came to talk with all of our students about keeping ourselves safe on the internet, and also the issue of cyberbullying and digital harassment. Coupled with a parent night earlier in the week, we feel this information is valuable for our students to hear. Lane Arts Council continues to partner with our school in bringing artists for our enrichment classes, and to integrate the arts with core subject material at the 6th grade level.
As mentioned in this edition of the ITM, we are thankful to our parent and community volunteers who have been fund raising and now installing new playground equipment for “Our Backyard” project. Many of our students were excited to see the initial stage of our new playground ready to play on after the holiday break. I would also like to recognize Susie Freeman for her 4 years of dedication to Oaklea students, families, and staff as our Parent Group president. Susie has spent hundreds of hours volunteering at Oaklea, fund raising for important projects, field trips, and technology, and helping us strengthen our connection to parents and the community with events and service opportunities. She is being recognized at Monday evening’s school board meeting as the first recipient of the Junction City Public Schools “Volunteer of the Month”. Thank you, Mrs. Freeman!!
If you would like to volunteer at our school, or attend a field trip or other school activity as a chaperone, please refer to the district website at http://www.junctioncity.k12.or.us/. Under “Forms”, click on “Volunteer Background Check Application.” Since we are not able to take digital applications at this time, please drop off your completed application at the Oaklea main office.
Enrichment Classes: As you may be aware, we have incorporated afternoon enrichment classes into our schedule this school year, and students are rotating courses every 6 weeks. Our teachers have been working hard to create engaging courses in a variety of fields: arts, physical education, music, foreign language, drama theater, and leadership to name a few. As we rotate, students may be exposed to some content areas out of their preference areas, although we will try our best to schedule them for at least one within preference. We want to encourage students to give these classes some time, and in many cases, we have found students growing to enjoy a new skill or enrichment area. New classes will begin on February 1st. This time period in the afternoon is also giving our teachers the ability to work with small groups of students on math and language arts support (Extended Learning Opportunities or “ELOs”). These weekly ELOs are assigned to help students improve on a specific skill or learning target.
Finally, statewide testing will begin shortly. Our 5th and 8th grade students will complete Science testing in February. Beginning in March, all students (5-8) will take the Smarter Balanced assessments in both Reading and Math. Like last school year, students will only take the computer based assessments one time in the spring. If you would like to apply to opt your student out of testing, take a look at the district website under “Parent-Student Resources”, and click on “Smarter Balance Information.” Feel free to call me if you have any questions about testing or any other questions or concerns. Thank you for your continued support of our students!