Saturday, May 30, 2020

Continued Celebrations for the OHS Class of 2020!


Saturday, May 30, 2020

Hey OHS Class of 2020 and Families!

As the school year comes to an end, it’s time to have some fun and celebrate! As we continue moving forward with our #OconPride2020 celebrations, I wanted to remind you of the upcoming celebrations events and share some new updates! Friendly reminder: Be sure to share your photos on social media using #OconPride2020.

NEW EVENTS

SURPRISE EVENT! Senior Tribute Signs on Campus: Beginning today, drive through Campus and find your individualized Senior Tribute Banner! There is one for every graduating member of the Class of 2020. We ask that you leave the tributes on campus. However you can take them home next weekend or when you come for Cap and Gown Pick Up on June 9.

COMMUNITY EVENT! Stars on the Village Green: 407 stars have been painted on the Village Green in downtown Oconomowoc. There is one star painted in honor of each graduate! It’s a cool symbol of our school and community unity. Remember to come at night and see the purple lights on the trees and clock tower in your honor!

Monday, June 1: Athletic Senior Night (7:00-9:00 p.m.): All seniors registered for a spring sport should drive-through campus for a special tribute as we celebrate your Senior Night. All are welcome to check out the tribute.

Tuesday, June 2: Performing Arts Drive of Fame (5:00-7:00 p.m.): Musicians, thespians, and singers get ready for a special surprise that will honor your years of dedication to theater and music at OHS!

NEW EVENT! Saturday, June 13: Class of 2020 Recognition Day
We will honor your originally scheduled graduation date with several recognition events throughout the morning:
  • 10:20 a.m. - Bells across Oconomowoc will ring for the Class of 2020
    • Church Bells in Oconomowoc will ring for a few minutes in honor of the Class of 2020.
  • 10:30 a.m. - Virtual Name Announcement and Recognition Ceremony
  • 12:00 p.m. - Senior Parade Through Campus
    • Our staff will line Stadium Drive as our seniors drive past to wave good-bye to their teachers. Please enter through Forest Ave.

REMINDERS & UPDATES FOR PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED EVENTS

Monday, June 8: Future Selfie Day!
We invite all seniors  to take a photo with a shirt, logo, or note highlighting their next journey in life. Families are welcome to be as creative as possible, and decorate their front door with photos and logos, use sidewalk chalk, or post a sign in the yard. Be creative! Take a picture of your senior, and share it using #OconPride2020 and we will share them with the community throughout the day!

Tuesday, June 9: Cap and Gown Pick Up & Chromebook Return—Raccoon Style!
We will host a drive-through cap and gown pick up on Tuesday, June 9. In addition, each senior will receive a personalized care package. During times outlined below, students will report to Main Campus to pick up their cap, gown, awards, and special mementos to celebrate their time at OHS. After picking up their materials at the Main Campus, students will drive to East Campus and return their Chromebooks. You should report during your assigned window of time. These assignments are listed by counselor below:

  • Bakkum (Last Names: A-Fe) from 9:00-11:00 a.m.
  • Fisher (Last Names: Fi-Kr) from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Verhagen (Last Names: Ks-Ro) from 2:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Black (Last Names: Ru-Z) from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 10: Ocon Pride Live! A Livestreamed Communitywide Celebration (7:30-9:30 p.m.)
On what would have been our last day of school, our entire community is invited to tune in for a livestreamed celebration to recognize each member of the Class of 2020. A link to the event is available here: https://tinyurl.com/OHSLivestream

Thursday, June 11: Honk and Wave at a Senior (7:00-7:30 p.m.)
Families are invited to do what they do best and embarrass their seniors! We are encouraging every senior to go out in their front yard and put on their cap, gown, and regalia so that your neighbors and those passing by can salute your achievement and hard work! 

Friday, June 12: Raccoon Family Night!
We encourage families to take the evening of June 12 to celebrate their graduates with each other. Whatever your family traditions are, we encourage you to enjoy time with each other. Feel free to wear your purple and gold and share the photos of your dinner, bonfire, or game night using #OconPride2020.

Saturday, August 1: Formal Commencement Ceremony (Tentative start time of 9:00 a.m.)
At this point, I am optimistic that we will be allowed to conduct some sort of in-person graduation ceremony on Saturday, August 1. While we will likely have to adapt the event to comply with physical distancing guidelines and offer several smaller ceremonies rather than one large celebration. This will also allow students and families the opportunity to share in the moment of hearing their name called as they collect their diploma at Rux Stadium. If we are not able to offer this kind of ceremony, we are considering options like a drive-thru celebration or a virtual ceremony. Hopefully, all these events scheduled in June will provide everyone with a sense of closure, with the ceremony serving as an optional way to recognize your accomplishment formally. We plan to announce the style of ceremony and additional details the week of July 20 at the latest. 

Seniors are reminded to keep checking their emails throughout the summer for important updates. As always, please feel free to email me at CurtisJ@oasd.org with any questions.

Finally, a big thank you to all the volunteers who are making this time special for our seniors.


We will be in touch! Go Raccoons!
Jason

Thursday, May 14, 2020

May 14: Update from this Week


Thursday, May 14, 2020

Hey Raccoons!

It was a busy week, so I wanted to provide a quick summary of all the important information that was shared in previous posts. Check it out below:

School Remains Closed for the Year
The Wisconsin State Supreme Court did not reverse the portion of the Executive Order that closed schools for the remainder of the school fiscal year which ends June 30. This means we cannot host in-person gatherings or events through June 30. We will continue with regular instruction through Friday, June 5, 2020. Teachers will use Monday, June 8-Wednesday, June 10 to support individual students and finish grading assignments.

Student Reclaiming and Returning Items (May 26-29)
Families and/or students should sign up for a 20-minute appointment to return to OHS and reclaim/return any materials. You can click here to schedule your appointment.

All ninth graders should schedule an appointment during this window to exchange their Chromebooks. Seniors will return their Chromebooks during Cap and Gown pickup on June 9.

Senior Celebrations and Postponement of the Formal Commencement Ceremony
Because schools must remain closed through June 30, we are postponing our formal Commencement Ceremony until Saturday, August 1, 2020, with a tentative start time of 9:00 a.m. However, we will have many recognition events to celebrate our seniors in late-May and early-June! You can click here to review all the details and information about the senior celebrations planned.

Feel free to email me at CurtisJ@oasd.org if you have any questions!

Have a great day!
Jason

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Graduation Announcement & Upcoming Senior Celebrations


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Students and Families of the OHS Class of 2020 and Raccoon Community,

While this message is specific to our seniors and families, it’s important to recognize that we are one community and excited to celebrate the Class of 2020 together! Despite your grade level, please take a few minutes to check out the details so you can participate in all the fun!

Seniors, you have just about one month left of your high school experience, and I know this is not how we anticipated your senior year ending! While there is no denying that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic certainly will be part of your high school experience, it will not be what defines your class. You have so much to be proud of, and our entire community is ready to celebrate both your individual and collective accomplishments! 

As we make plans for the end of the year, it will be hard to continue some of our long-standing traditions that celebrate the senior class. Based on current CDC guidelines and government regulations, we will need to postpone our formal Commencement Ceremony to Saturday, August 1, 2020, with a tentative start time of 9:00 a.m. Also, many of our celebrations over the next month will need to take place virtually or in other alternate ways.

I know this may be disappointing news, however, don’t worry, we have a plan to make this next month, the best one of your life! Wipe your tears away, shake off your disappointment, and get ready to celebrate the Raccoons of the Oconomowoc High School Class of 2020! While the events and traditions may look different, I am equally, if not more, excited to be part of these celebrations in the coming weeks. Below are details about our Commencement Ceremony and all the celebrations we have planned.

Rescheduled Commencement Ceremony: Saturday, August 1, 2020, at 9:00 a.m.
In the Oconomowoc community, the traditional Commencement Ceremony brings together thousands of individuals across all generations to celebrate our graduates. Family, friends, and neighbors come from all over to celebrate and wait for that special moment when their graduate’s name is announced. While we honor our graduates at the Commencement Ceremony, it truly is a family event that will live on in your memories forever. It is important to our OHS team to provide every opportunity legally possible for families to enjoy this moment.  A moment dreamed about for a long time. 

Given the recent Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and Department of Public Instruction (DPI) guidelines about crowd size restrictions and graduation celebrations specifically, it is highly unlikely we can hold a large scale gathering this summer. Therefore, we have decided to delay the ceremony until Saturday, August 1, 2020, with a tentative start time of 9:00 a.m. 

While we cannot predict what regulations will be in place come August, this does give us more time for the restrictions to possibly be eased, though this may not guarantee a live face-to-face ceremony. Our team is diligently planning for a few different ceremony styles.
Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) released high-level guidance regarding high school graduations and other gatherings within our District school buildings and on school properties throughout the summer. Based on current Department of Health Service (DHS) guidelines, we would need to conduct our ceremony as either a virtual graduation broadcast into your home or a drive-in/drive-thru style ceremony on August 1, 2020.

You can click here to review the complete DHS recommendations.

If by chance, regulations are eased we will explore more in-person ceremony options. When determining the final kind of celebration, we will prioritize CDC guidelines and government regulations around crowd sizing and social distancing. Also, we will need to be sensitive to logistics, including access to equipment and the potential for inclement weather. We will send out communication around our plans for the August Commencement Ceremony by July 20.

Please note that your diplomas will still be dated June 13, 2020, and your transcripts will be finalized and ready to distribute on Thursday, June 18, 2020. We will mail your diploma directly to your house in Early August.

Celebrating the Class of 2020: A Communitywide Celebration!
Events and Celebrations throughout May and June
While we cannot predict what regulations will be in place come August, this does give us more time for the restrictions to possibly be eased, though this may not guarantee a live face-to-face ceremony. Our team is diligently planning for a few different ceremony styles.

Photos of the events and family celebrations should be shared on social media using #OconPride2020 in your message!

The Class of 2020 will Shine On! 
In the coming weeks, you will see purple lights shining on several landmarks in downtown Oconomowoc in honor of the Class of 2020! These landmarks include the roundabout, clock tower, and something unique downtown at the Village Green in early June!

Families of our seniors can participate in the fun as well. This past weekend, one of our Raccoon Ambassadors stopped by each graduate’s house with a special gift recognition. This gift includes a gold light bulb for your porch or a lamp by your window. Between the city and your homes, this town will shine Purple and Gold for our beloved Raccoons!

Club, Athletic, and Organization Specific Recognition Events 
Virtual and alternative celebrations honoring your participation in activities and athletics will be held in the coming weeks. Your coaches and advisors will communicate details about these events directly with families and students. These events include a special Senior Night for our athletes and a recognition event for our students in theater, band, choir, and orchestra. Be on the look-out for information from your advisor and coaches regarding exact dates and times. 

Sunday, May 31: A Tribute to the Students of the Class of 2020
We are currently designing a special tribute to each member of the Class of 2020. This includes a special tribute at the village green. In addition on Campus, we will highlight the stories behind each senior. We hope to be ready to display this tribute by Sunday, May 31 (perhaps earlier). Either way, plan to swing by OHS and check out this cool tribute!

Monday, June 8: Future Selfie Day!
We invite all seniors  to take a photo with a shirt, logo, or note highlighting their next journey in life. Families are welcome to be as creative as possible, and decorate their front door with photos and logos, use sidewalk chalk, post a sign in the yard. Be creative!  Take a picture of your senior, and share it using #OconPride2020 and we will share them with the community throughout the day!

Tuesday, June 9: Cap and Gown Pick Up & Chromebook Return- Raccoon Style!
We will host a drive-thru Cap and Gown pick up on Tuesday, June 9. During times outlined below, students will report to Main Campus to pick up their cap, gown, awards, and special mementos to celebrate their time at OHS. After picking up their materials at the Main Campus, students will drive to East Campus and return their Chromebooks. You should report during your assigned window of time. These assignments are listed by counselor below:

  • Bakkum (Last Names: A-Fe) from 9:00-11:00 a.m.
  • Fisher (Last Names: Fi-Kr) from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Verhagen (Last Names: Ks-Ro) from 2:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Black (Last Names: Ru-Z) from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 10: Ocon Pride Live! A Livestreamed Communitywide Celebration (7:30-9:30 p.m.)
On what would have been our last day of school, our entire community is invited to tune in for a live-streamed celebration to recognize each member of the Class of 2020. A link to the event and details will be shared in early June! 

Thursday, June 11: Honk and Wave at a Senior (7:00-7:30 p.m.)
Families are invited to do what they do best and embarrass their seniors! We are encouraging every senior to go out in their front yard and put on their cap, gown, and regalia so that your neighbors and those passing by can salute your achievement and hard work! 



Friday, June 12: Raccoon Family Night!
We encourage families to take the evening of June 12 to celebrate their graduates with each other. Whatever your family traditions are, we encourage you to enjoy time with each other. Feel free to wear your purple and gold and share the photos of your dinner, bonfire, or game night using #OconPride2020.

Saturday, June 13: Celebrate the Class of 2020 (10:00 a.m.)
Acknowledging that this would have been the date and time of our Commencement Ceremony, we will do something special to honor the Class of 2020. We have some ideas, but we want to wait as long as possible to finalize them in hopes that some of the current restrictions are eased.

Finally, we have worked with our yearbook vendor and arranged for a later publication date so that all these events, including the Commencement Ceremony in August, are part of the 2019-2020 yearbook. You can click here to order a yearbook. The deadline to order a yearbook is May 31, and we anticipate that you will be able to pick them up by early January.

You can find a listing of these events on our website at www.oasd.org/Graduation. Please feel free to email me at CurtisJ@oasd.org if you have any questions.

For now, stay focused! You still have about one-month of classes left. I look forward to celebrating with you soon!

Jason

Sunday, May 10, 2020

May 11 OHS Update: Reclaiming/Returning Items, Fees, and Term 4 Calendar


Monday, May 11, 2020

Hey Raccoons!

I hope that everyone is doing well! I am writing to you today because over the last few weeks we have worked out several details regarding many end of the year logistics. Specifically, today’s update includes information about:

  • Reclaiming personal belongings and returning school-issued materials
  • Chromebook exchange for 9th-graders
  • A reminder about fee refunds
  • A slightly modified calendar for Term 4 classes
As you read through the details, please let me know if you have any questions!

Reclaiming Student Materials/Returning School Materials
The end of the 2019-20 school year is approaching, and even though we’re not able to finish the year at school, we need to allow families and teachers time to empty classrooms and pick up their items and school supplies.  All OASD schools have a personal item pick up plan for families to gather the items left behind in classrooms and hallway areas.  These plans will follow the COVID-19 guidelines established by the CDC to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and families.

To help keep our students, families, and community safe, we are monitoring and limiting access to our schools.  Entry to a building will only be granted during your scheduled time.  

OASD COVID-19 Family/Student Checklist
All staff, students, and families entering an OASD school will need to use a COVID-19 checklist to self-screen themselves before entering the building.  There are also some illness guidelines for use while inside the building.


Students or a member of their family can schedule a time to reclaim any items left at OHS when the school closed on March 13. Appointment windows will be available in 20-minute increments from Tuesday, May 26-Friday, May 29, between 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. each day. During this time, students will:

  • Return School/Teacher Issued Materials and Access Lockers at Main Campus: All students will enter through the Gale Douglas Field House entrance to check-in for their appointment. You will have the opportunity to return any library materials or items belonging to your teacher at the check-in table. Also, if you need to claim materials from your locker at Main Campus, report that information to the staff member at check-in. Finally, the OASD COVID-19 Family/Student checklist recommends that anyone who enters a District building should wear a face mask.
  • Freshmen Only Chromebook Exchange: All Freshmen will exchange their current Chromebook for a new Chromebook. Please have your Chromebook charged and make sure you bring your charger! Sophomores and Juniors will keep their Chromebooks over the summer to use next year. Seniors, you will return your Chromebooks at cap and gown pick-up on June 9. You can click here for more details on Chromebook exchanges.
  • Return Band/Orchestra Equipment and Materials: Students will return any equipment and uniforms for Band and Orchestra in the Gale Douglas Field House.
  • Retrieve Belongings for Field House Lockers: Students will be given access to the athletic and phys ed locker rooms to retrieve any items left behind when the school closed on March 13.
  • Collect any personal items left by teachers or in a classroom: If a teacher has material or an item you left in their room, they will contact you directly. Those items can be picked up in the Main Cafeteria.
  • Sign Up Genius:  OHS Families and students will sign up for a 20-minute pick-up time slot through a Sign-Up Genius link. 

Fees and Refunds
Families were notified of the refund process and guidelines through an email delivered on Monday, May 4. First, any refundable fees that are not paid will be deleted from your account. After that, refunds will first be applied to any balance due on your student account. After all student fees are paid in full, any remaining refund or credit will then be provided. Refunds included in this process are:

  • Canceled field trips and events
  • Term 4 course fees if consumables were not purchased
  • Athletic participation fee for athletes who are only enrolled in a spring sport
  • A 25% refund for families who purchased a year-long parking permit
  • A 50% refund for families who purchased a second-semester parking permit
 You can click here to review all the details sent from the business office.

Modifications to the Term 4 Calendar
We will follow this modified calendar and timeline for all end-of-the-year deadlines:
  • Friday, May 22:  No Classes for Staff Development- Virtual instruction planning day for May 26-29
  • Monday, May 25:  No School for Memorial Day
  • Tuesday, May 26:  Virtual instruction begins for the week (planning day occurred on May 22)
  • Friday, June 5:  Last day of new instruction
  • Monday, June 8 & Tuesday, June 9:  Grading days and individual student support
  • Wednesday, June 10:  Term 4 grades due by 5:00 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, June 17:  Deadline for families to request Pass/Fail grading scale (complete by 8:00 a.m.)
  • Thursday, June 18:  Term 4 report cards and transcripts available

Monday, April 27, 2020

April 27 OHS Community Update: Academic News and Notes


Monday, April 27, 2020

Hey Raccoons!

I hope everyone is doing well! I wanted to take a minute to provide everyone with some important academic-focused updates. As we continue to do our best to adapt to online learning, we understand that many families and students need an extra degree of flexibility during this unpredictable time. Please see the information below regarding grades, the upcoming AP exams that begin on May 11, and information on our term 4 Family/Teacher Conferences.

Grading Scale Flexibility for Families
Our staff and students have done a fantastic job adjusting quickly to an online learning environment. While we are trying to provide the best academic experience possible, we are fully aware of the limitations and challenges with virtual learning. In addition, we know many students and families are facing personal hardships at this time, and school cannot always be a priority in your days. As a school community and a district, we recognize these challenges.

Last week, the School Board approved a modification to our grading policy that gives families flexibility in regards to how grades are reported for the term 4 report card. Specifically, to respect the individual needs of each family, we are offering families the option to select a Pass/Fail grading scale for the term 4 block or semester 2 skinny classes that they are currently enrolled in. Below are the details regarding this policy change that was approved by the School Board on Tuesday evening.

Guiding Principles: 
  • The current state of education will cause some uncertainty regarding how current term 4 grades for students (transcripts) are viewed in higher education institutions. Allowing students/families the choice to maintain letter grades affords some certainty for those comfortable having their grade reflect their achievement toward course outcomes.
  • We have the obligation to provide flexibility and support to our students and families during this unprecedented time.
  • We cannot control the variables associated with learning environments that students are working in right now.
  • While some kids are thriving, others are struggling. None of them chose this learning structure.

Policy and/or Handbook Modifications
Teachers will be responsible for continuing grading practices, as stated in current policy and handbook language through the final day of the term or semester.

Once final grades are posted, families (parents/guardians) can select students to receive a P instead of a letter grade for the last .5 credit (semester 2 skinny or term 4 class, or semester 2 A/B alternating block for freshmen Lit and Comp/Algebra.)

A P will be issued if the student receives a D- or higher. A different process and criteria may be used for students with IEPs per the IEP team.

A P will not be applied to the student’s GPA.  An F will be applied to the student’s GPA.

For term 4 courses (2019-2020 only,) students who elect into a P will have the ability to retake the specific course for an improved grade. This temporarily replaces current handbook language that states only grades below a C will be allowed for retake. This modification is reflective of our guiding principles. Credit is not awarded twice for the same course.

Families will be asked to request optional grading on a class-by-class basis. They will be asked to select one of the following challenges to the virtual learning environment:
  • Access: Family had inconsistent access to internet/devices
  • Environment: Students struggled with a virtual learning environment
  • Personal: Supported family as a caretaker of siblings, employment, and other family supports
  • Illness: Student had an illness that required extensive absences
  • Other, as agreed upon by the family and site administration

Process
  • OHS teachers enter final grades in Skyward by the final student day of the 2019-2020 school year
  • Families can request P/F option for a period of five days following grades being posted to Skyward
  • Upon approval from the OHS Administrative Office, the student’s grade is modified
  • Report cards/transcripts Issued

More details on how to make this request will be shared in June.

AP Exams Begin May 11
Students enrolled in AP Exams will be participating in the online exams from their home beginning May 11, 2020. Your teachers have been in touch regarding the exact dates and times of your exam. Make sure to test your technology and see if your family can help out and reduce internet usage during your 45-minute exam. You should receive an email from AP with a link for your exam on testing day. You also should have started receiving emails from AP about your testing dates, and you should be receiving more messages in the near future about how to practice with the new online format prior to testing day. 

Make sure to check your junk mail or spam if you do not see any informational emails coming from AP in your inbox sometime soon, and allow emails from collegeboard@e.collegeboard.org. 

Please note that you need to change your email in AP Classroom if you prefer to have your link sent to a different account. You can click here to review a video that outlines the testing requirements and several resources that will support our Raccoons. A full update can be found here.  

While the College Board has provided flexibility regarding the cancellation of exams, please know that we will only provide reimbursements for exams for unique personal circumstances. Reimbursement guidelines are available by clicking here.

Family/Teacher Conferences
Our Family/Teacher Conferences scheduled for Wednesday, May 6 are cancelled. That being said, you can always reach out to our teachers to have a conference via Google or over the phone to discuss progress and plans to support the transition to next year.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at CurtisJ@oasd.org.  

Thanks!
Jason

Continued Celebrations for the OHS Class of 2020!

Saturday, May 30, 2020 Hey OHS Class of 2020 and Families! As the school year comes to an end, it’s time to have some fun and celeb...