February 28, 2015
A sincere thank you to all of you that came to pay your respect to Jeanne Simmons, Oakville's former kitchen manager. The huge turnout evidences the fact that the Oakville School District is a place where we do community; we don't just talk about it. Community is in our blood; it is the very fabric of our mission to build strong relationships, foster hope, self-esteem, confidence, and the desire to contribute to society in positive, meaningful ways.
Today, February 28, marks the deadline for District administration to submit its school improvement plans and reports to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Olympia. OSPI is headed by Randy Dorn, a retired educator with an impressive career in our State Legislature. Mr. Dorn has a passion for closing the academic achievement gap. He also has an unrelenting passion for doing what's right for kids; not just for educators. We in Oakville are confident that all of OSPI's mandates put upon us exist for the purpose of improved learning outcomes; for a brighter future for our K-12 students.
Yesterday we had another fabulous celebration of achievements for our K-6 students. It is always absolutely wonderful to see eager anticipation and enthusiasm for learning in the eyes of our younger students. Thank you to all the parents and community members that came out to celebrate with us!
Mr. Newkirk had his "quilt party" in his classroom for the second year in a row. A huge thanks to him, his mother, and his wife for putting on an all-round positive event and experience for our 2nd graders. They cumulatively gathered dozens of reading points and went home with indelible keepsakes and memories in the form of handmade quilts. What a treat! Imagine the sense of community and belonging that is being paid forward through initiatives like this. We are very happy to count such giving adults among our staff and their families!
The busiest time of our annual testing is upon us. You will receive information about any and all state- and district-mandated testing that will take place in the months of March and April. Your students have been well-prepared to take all assessments with confidence and without anxiety. Our teachers and their assistants teach to the importance of these tests in meaningful ways that relate to real-life situations and experiences.
(Student-led) conferences will be held in the third week of March. These conferences are wonderful opportunities to see your students shine and hear them talk about their growth, their accomplishments, and their future goals.
Spring sports, too, are upon us. Mr. Mel Houtz, our interim Athletic Director (he replaces Mr. Cliff Harris, who is recovering from a serious car accident) is busy making sure that schedules are made, practices can start, and coaches get to do what they do best: instill team spirit and a sense of healthy competitiveness in our youth baseball and fastpitch athletes.
As always, we welcome your feedback and input about the ongoings on campus. We do our jobs to serve students and their families. Please feel free to ask questions, give suggestions, or volunteer your time to make a great school even better!
In educational partnership,
Caspar van Haalen