Attention seniors: Graduation pictures can be picked up on Friday (June 7) in the high school office.
Report cards were recently published in the Infinite Campus (IC) Parent Portal. Please review your child’s report card for the quarter by selecting your child and going to the reports tab and selecting “Q3 Report Card”. If you have not logged into IC yet as a parent, please contact the office for directions on how to set up an account.
Report cards are one means of communicating your child’s strengths and needs in their learning. Please take the opportunity to ask your child questions about their learning through the lens of the report card.
As a reminder, learner responsibilities (collaboration, effort, and respect) are reported with the letters C for consistently, P for progressing, and N for needs attention. Academic progress is reported out on a 4 point scale. Rubrics for both of these scales can be found at the top of the report card.
Progress on trimester classes or your child’s high interest/exploratory classes are not included on this report card as separate reports recently came out on these for Trimester 2. Trimester 3 reports will come out at the end of the school year.
If you’d prefer a hard copy of your child’s report card, please contact Nan Gabrielse in the OMS office.
As always, if you have any questions about your child’s progress, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher(s) or me.
Have a great weekend.
Good morning, Parents.
I hope everyone had a very nice spring break.
I want to start this message by sharing a couple of personal stories as they relate to an idea we want to try in May.
The first story goes back about a month when I ran into a friend who runs a small business. As we were both getting coffee in the morning, I asked him how his business was doing, and he responded that business was great but it was frustrating that he was having difficulty hiring enough people, and some of those he had working for him were just not reliable in terms of coming to work each day. He shared that these two issues were literally holding his business back in a strong economy. That interaction was a good reminder for me that if we (parents and teachers) want our students to be as prepared as possible for success in their futures, the habits of being reliable in terms of attendance are a pretty basic and important part of being fully prepared to be successful. My friend reminded me that even skilled and hard working employees who are unreliable in terms of coming to work are a problem for employers.
My second story occurred when I was working with seniors in the Student Led Conference process. Each senior shared their work related to their planning steps as they transition from OHS to the next chapter of their lives, and one senior in particular shared his plans to enter the workforce and the steps he had in place with his resume and plans to apply at a few companies. He had done a really thorough job of researching and deciding on his options, and as I listened to his presentation I was also looking at his high school transcript. I noticed that as of about 2/3’s of the way through his senior year, he had only seven absences in those nearly four years. So I asked him, “What does this transcript indicate is a huge strength of yours that would make virtually any future employer much more eager to hire you?” He did not recognize that his strong record of reliable attendance would be an important characteristic he should point out when interviewing because it is highly valued by employers.
In order to try to emphasize the importance of reliable attendance both in terms of success at school, and as a predictor of our futures habits as an employee, we are going to experiment with publishing an “Attendance Honor Roll” in May. Any student, freshmen thru senior, who has had three or less absences during the school year will meet the standard to be on the honor roll. We want to honor them publicly, and celebrate this important characteristic. Maybe some of our local companies will take note as they hire students for the summer. Enjoy the rest of the week,
PS–Third Quarter report cards will be posted in Infinite Campus at the end of the day on Thursday, April 4th.
I often have people say to me, “I could never work in a middle school. Elementary or high school, yes, but not middle school.” My response is always the opposite. There is no where else I’d rather be. The development of middle school age children is rapid and unique in so many ways making every day an opportunity to keep me on my toes!
March is Middle Level Education Month. This annual recognition provides a special opportunity to focus on the middle grades, a very important time in the education of our children. Other than from birth to age three, 10- to 15-year-olds are experiencing the most rapid, significant changes of their lives—changes that are physical, social, emotional, and cognitive in nature.
During this month I ask you to consider the following:
- The importance of parents being knowledgeable about young adolescents and being actively involved in their lives;
- The understanding that healthy bodies plus healthy minds equal healthy young adolescents;
- The realization that the education young adolescents experience during this formative period of life will, in large measure, determine the future for all citizens; and
- The knowledge that every young adolescent should have the opportunity to pursue his or her dreams and aspirations, and post-secondary education should be a possibility for all.
Join me in celebrating Middle Level Education!
Good morning, Parents.
This week Wednesday, February 20th, our juniors will be taking the State ACT test in the morning. Our other students will have school as normal on Wednesday, and after taking the ACT the juniors will have the afternoon off from school. We are guessing they will be pretty mentally drained since the ACT is a very demanding test that will require them to show some grit and push through some mental fatigue if they are to do their best. We expect the juniors to be done testing about 12:15 on Wednesday, so if your junior tells you they have off school on Wednesday afternoon, you can rest assured they are telling you the truth.
On Thursday this week, the juniors will be taking the State WorkKeys test, our freshmen and sophomores will be taking an ACT practice test, and the seniors will be completing an Academic Career Plan–Transition script. This script will guide the seniors in critical preparation steps as they transition from high school to the next phase of their lives. When the seniors have completed their script, they will present to one of our assigned staff members much like our other students do with student-led conferences, but in this case the conferences do not involve you as parents for logistic reasons. (Most of you are busy at work.) On Thursday, our juniors will be released after the WorkKeys test at about 11:15, so they will again have the afternoon off. Our seniors will be released after they have completed their student-led conference with a staff member somewhere around 10:30-11:00. The freshmen and sophomores will have lunch after the ACT test and then they will have their two afternoon classes as normal.
I attached the detailed schedule for Wednesday and Thursday in the email version of this message so you have all of the information as parents. The attachment also includes our end of the year exam opt out requirements which may be of interest for parents. We offer these opt out incentives to encourage students to really push themselves on the ACT, and we have found over the years that students really view exam opt outs at the end of the year as a very attractive incentive.
Have a great week,Scott
February 4-8 is National School Counseling Week where we celebrate the unique contributions that school counselors have on our school and district wide goals. Bringing public attention to their impact on student success is important to me. This week, my blog will focus on how our very own school counselor, Keri Lauritsen, brings value to OMS and the students, families, and staff she serves.
How are students different because of the work that Mrs. Lauritsen does? I randomly asked a small group of 8th grade students how Mrs. Lauritsen helps them. Answers included, “She helps me through my problems,” “She studies with us after school, ” “She is in a book club with me,” “She helps us figure out what classes to take in high school,” and “She gets me information on the military because the program doesn’t have much on it.”
“School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, career awareness in post-secondary options and social/emotional skills,” said Kwok-Sze Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director. As you can tell from student responses, this is exactly what Mrs. Lauritsen does at OMS.
Thank you Mrs. Lauritsen for your time, attention to detail, and concern for the success and well-being of all students. You are an integral piece in helping OMS achieve our mission of all students learning at high levels. Your work both directly and indirectly increases student achievement. Furthermore, your work with career planning and serving as a liaison to much-needed resources for students, parent, teachers, and administrators is much appreciated. Thank you for all you do this week and every week!
If you happen to see Mrs. Lauritsen this week or any time, be sure to thank her too!
Thanks for reading,
Good afternoon, Parents.
As we are in the preparation process for our fall semester exams, I thought it may be a good time to remind everyone of the reasons we re-established a formal semester exam schedule and process. For a few years now, we have been surveying recent graduates and asking them how prepared they were for their first year out of high school. A consistent and relatively strong theme in the responses from both college and technical college students was that they did not feel at all prepared for the demands of exams because we did not have exams in high school. In response to this feedback over a couple of years, we re-instituted fall semester exams last year.
From a learning perspective, we also feel having cumulative exams that review the central learning standards from the whole semester for each class is quite valuable because the process allows students to review, re-practice, and re-apply all of the concepts they learned to that point in the school year. The exam process is not just a testing schedule, but it also includes a couple of lessons of review where the teacher guides the review process of the most important concepts taught in the first half of the school year. The exam itself offers another opportunity for students to demonstrate their learning in the most important areas of the curriculum.
While I will provide more details about the exam schedule after winter break, I thought parents may appreciate having the exam schedule (included in the email message) well in advance. Honestly, I think it is unlikely that many of our students will do much studying during winter break, but I would encourage parents to discuss with their students the importance of beginning their review studying shortly after we start back in school after the holidays because the exam days themselves are very demanding. Preparing in advance is one of the key strategies students have to learn with any exam schedule.
Again, I will share more specific details after break, and we will teach all of our students how this process works in detail. If you have any questions about the exam schedule and process, please do not hesitate to call me at 920-564-2346 x 4001.
Have a wonderful holiday season,Scott
We are excited to share that Oostburg School District has been named to the College Board’s 9th Annual AP® District Honor Roll. The Honor Roll recognized 373 school districts in the U.S. and Canada that have increased access to AP coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.
Oostburg is one of only 22 Wisconsin schools and the only school in the area to earn this honor. Our mission is to ensure all students learn at high levels so they can become positive and productive contributors to society and the world. Increasing our Advanced Placement offerings is one part of our “high levels of learning” focus. It is not unusual for students who choose to continue their education after high school to leave OHS with more than 20 college credits. That level of achievement while in high school allows our students to leave well-prepared for what comes next. It brings the added benefit of substantial savings in post secondary education costs and time do degree completion.
Our students also recently completed their winter ACT assessment. Our district goals are are college and career readiness focused as measured by the ACT. Our district academic goal this year is a composite average of 23.8, and we are pleased to share that we are on track to meet or exceed that goal at this point in the year. Should student growth continue on the current trajectory Oostburg would likely be in the top 5% of all Wisconsin schools as measured by the ACT.
We believe the ACT provides a strong measure of student learning while realizing that fulfilling our mission includes so much more. At the same time we are receiving these concrete indicators of our academic rigor and achievement, we are also seeing an increase in participation in areas like forensics, middle school music, ROV team, student job shadowing, apprenticeships, and service hours. Lots of good stuff happening through the hard work of our staff, students and community.
Enjoy this day!
Fall has always been my favorite season of the year. I enjoy summer and like a good snow storm (as long as it comes on the weekend), but there is nothing like leaves changing color, crops being harvested, and spending a Friday night watching a HS football game. Fall means school is in full swing and that extra hour of sleep comes at just the right time as we recover from extra inning Brewer games that go late into the night. It’s also tough to beat a Thanksgiving meal shared with friends and family as we reflect on the blessings in our lives.
My list of “thanks” far exceeds the space available in this newsletter, but please allow me to highlight a few things which have been on my mind recently. First, I am thankful for the United States of America. In the past several weeks I was able to witness the naturalization ceremony for one of our staff members at the Federal courthouse in Milwaukee. Part of the judge’s message included the following statement:
“Today, each of you will receive something that many people in other parts of the world would do anything to obtain – US citizenship.”
The reality of that sentence hits home and reminds me that I should never take for granted something which was given to me at birth, but earned by others and protected through the sacrifice of so many over the years. That sacrifice is also honored in fall as our district hosts several events which recognize our Veterans for their service. I have many favorite school things, but it’s difficult to think of something better than our annual Veteran’s Day program at the elementary school. Not a year goes by that I don’t gain a renewed respect and appreciation for the costs associated with freedoms that are not always fully appreciated.
Finally, I am thankful to have known Karri Krier. I had the privilege of knowing Karri as a student in my science classroom, as a MS aide, and as a Junior Kindergarten and 4th grade teacher. In each of those settings – and pretty much anywhere you saw Karri – she provided a great example of how we should view life. I don’t remember seeing Karri without a smile and usually that smile was accompanied by an infectious laugh. Karri had a powerful combination of being a learner who poured herself into others. She flat-out worked hard and always wanted to improve. I had the privilege of being Karri’s teacher, but find myself thankful for what I learned from her.
I hope that each of you enjoy this holiday season, and thank you for entrusting us as we partner together in fulfilling our mission to ensure that all students learn at high levels allowing them to become positive contributors to society and our world.
This is a friendly reminder that Parent Teacher Conferences are tomorrow, 11/13 and Monday 11/19 at OMS. Half of each night are scheduled conferences and the other half of each night will be walk-in conferences.
If you did not receive an email for a scheduled conference, you are welcome to discuss your child’s progress with one or more of their teachers during the walk-in conference times. These conferences will be on a first come/first served basis and will be from 5:15-7pm on Tuesday 11/13 and from 3-4:45 pm on Monday 11/19.
We look forward to discussing your child’s progress with you on these evenings. Please call the OMS office if you have any questions!