Fresh off the press! Check out the most recent copy of the Community Connections Newsletter. In this issue you can find out more about our new website, new staff at OSD, familiar faces in different places, ACT test dates for wall & winter, the fall calendar, and Bits & Bytes.
Please check the “Flyers & Posters” folder for updated information for cross country runners and also an order form for Homecoming T-Shirts due on Sept.23rd.
Check out the “Flyers & Posters” link on this page to find information about a new bowling program for middle school students at Lakeshore Lanes as well as events that Camp Y-Koda is hosting this fall.
Dear Parents and Community Members,
Many of you may have attended Friday night’s football game, as we cheered our Dutchmen to victory against Manitowoc Lutheran. If you were there, you couldn’t have missed the excellent half-time show, where 126 elementary school girls in grades 1-5 entertained the whole crowd. These girls were picked up from OES at the end of the day on Friday by the high school dance team girls, coached by Jess Prinsen. While together, they ate a snack, learned an entire routine, ate dinner, and prepped to wow all of their family members at the game. Although these girls may remember their dance routine over the next few years, I am more confident that they will remember the very important connection they made with their high school dance team leader during their time together.
Our students at OES have many opportunities to learn and grow from a variety of role models across generations. In addition to the dance camp, our students build relationships with high school tutors during the school day. We have 16 OHS students who regularly work with students in the classroom, in the lunch room, during early morning study hall, or on the playground. These students serve as mentors, role models, and coaches, teaching students how to be the best students, friends, and team players they can be.
The Kids Hope USA program is another program that positively influences our students. Kids Hope provides faithful mentors who regularly meet with students who may be struggling academically, emotionally or socially. As a result of these on-going relationships with caring adults, teachers notice improvements in attitude, behavior, and academic performance.
Our Lunch Buddy program, coordinated through United Way, provides adult lunch dates to several of our students on a weekly basis. These lunch dates provide our students an opportunity to connect with adults during down time, including lunch recess.
OES also welcomes other adult volunteers who come into the school to read to students, to assist during recess, or to manage programs such as Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Destination Imagination.
We believe all of these relationships can have impact that is life long, and that these relationships can make a difference in how our students view the world. Building relationships across generations exposes our students to years of wisdom and teaches them the value of community. We are so thankful for the variety of adults and high school students that serve our students in special ways. If you are interested in being a volunteer or mentor in our school, please contact us at 564-2392.
Have a great week!
Good morning, Parents.
On October 1st and 2nd, the HS teachers will be having individual conferences with students during class to discuss progress. In past, these days were progress reporting days where teachers would write grades and very brief progress messages in each students planner to bring home for their parents to see. We realized that this was a bit of an antiquated process now that parents can track their students progress in classes in an ongoing way through Infinite Campus, so we plan to discontinue progress reporting in planners (since parents already have that information) and instead focus that time on conferencing with students to individually discuss their progress in each class.
These discussions at mid-quarter can be very productive because it allows the teacher to meet individually with each student and discuss what is going well and how the student could improve. For example, if a student is not investing the time necessary to prepare well or practice outside of class with homework, and that is having a negative impact on their performance, the teacher and student can discuss that reality and the teacher can share steps to improve the situation.
We have observed that some parents track their students progress in classes quite regularly using Infinite Campus, and many others do so only occasionally. We would encourage parents to check your children’s progress in early October because it is the midway point of the first quarter and if corrections need to be made there is still adequate time to address areas of need. This advice seems especailly timely first quarter as student study and preparation habits are still forming.
If you have concerns with your child’s progress in any class, please call or email the teacher to discuss solutions. We have consistently found that when parents and teachers discuss what is causing the poor performance, and agree on what to expect of the student, and how to support them most effectively, they are best positioned to work together to solve the problems. Please do not hesitate to contact teachers if you are concerned with your students progress. We see parents as our partners in supporting students.
Have a great week, and feel free to contact me any time as well if I can be of assistance.
Parents and students can see assignment sheets by going to the middle school academics page and clicking on the grade level daily assignment sheet. These are updated daily.
Please have your child return any books to the middle school library that were checked out over the summer.
Over the past 18 months I have included several blog entries focused on the work of our Oostburg Long Range Planning Committee. That committee has been meeting since 2012 and includes the following members: Jack Stokdyk, Beth Grosshuesch, Jim Swart, Bob Brusse, Melanie Wisse, Gary DeMaster, Jill Davies, Pete Scheppmann, Ceanne Simmelink, Brian Nyenhuis, Terry Lemkuil, and Cassie Ongna. This committee began with a focus on what we value as a community and school and how we can continue moving forward in our District’s mission to develop students that are positive and productive contributors to society and the world. In 2013 our committee released a community-wide survey, the results of which provided clear direction in the following areas:
- Do not pursue “phase 2” of the 2008 referendum. (Phase 2 included converting our current HS gym into an auditorium and building a new gym.)
- Develop plans to reduce elementary school overcrowding and replace 1956 wing.
- Focus on graduating students who are college and career ready
- Consider a referendum prior to 2017 to accomplish above priorities