Principal, Brian Young
Dear Parents/Guardians and Community Members,
Happy New Year! Looking at my calendar from last school year, it was about this time that we were experiencing “frozen days” and several school closures. It has been nice to have more fluidity to our schedule this winter season, although some students may disagree.
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. You will be seeing midterm reports in the mail during the week of January 26th. Remember, these are just student progress reports. The 2nd Trimester will end on March 11th.
This Friday, January 16th, we will be celebrating the two arts grants Oaklea will be receiving over the next few years: Studio to Schools and ArtCore. When combined the grant funding is projected to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars that will go toward arts integration in our classes during the school day, as well as the renewal of an After School program starting in February. We will work with the Lane Arts Council to have rotating artists in our building after school, and applications will be available for students shortly. This Friday’s “kickoff assemblies” will involve performing artists, local media, and a schoolwide celebration. This is an exciting time for Oaklea staff, students, and community!
We’ve made it a goal to be even better connected to our parents and community, along with providing various ways for parents to be involved at Oaklea. If you would like to be a volunteer in the building, or even attend a field trip or other school activity as a chaperone, please refer to the district website at http://www.junctioncity.k12.or.us/. Click on “Forms” and then “Volunteer Background Check Application” to complete the initial process. Please note that the district office processes these applications on Fridays. Oaklea Parent Group (OPG): Next meeting is Friday, February 6th @ 8:20 a.m. in the Seminar Room.
Health Note: Our counselor, Angie Elstone, and Nurse Carol Puderbaugh continue to teach health lessons to 7th & 8th graders in our science and social studies classes. Students have an opportunity to be involved in these lessons on Fridays. A health related issue that has surfaced recently with young people is caffeine pills, or what some students are calling “energy pills.” We would like your help in talking to your student about the danger of taking pills or medication that do not belong to them. Any and all medications needed by students should go through the health room. Students should never take pills that do not belong to them and we will work to reinforce this message with students. Please know that the safety and well-being of students is our utmost priority. Thank you for partnering with us in helping keep our students safe.
Statewide Testing: Our 5th & 8th grade students will complete Science testing in January and February. Beginning in March, all students at Oaklea (5-8) will take the Smarter Balanced assessments in both Reading and Math. These new exams will better assess student progress on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and will involve both computer based assessments and classroom activities. I am including some more information on a separate page in this newsletter. Please note there is an online link to some practice exams you can take a look at with your student. A change this year is that students will only take each of the two Smarter Balanced tests one time, and all in the spring.
If you would like to take a look at practice exam examples with your student, you can access these at the following website: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/practice-test/.
As always, please touch base with me if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks for your continued support of our students!