OASD eNews - March 2021
IN THIS ISSUE
- Pandemic Positives
- Alumni Spotlight
- OASD 2021-2021 Calendar
- Referendum 2020 Progress Update - February 2021
- Recreation News
- OASD is Hiring - Substitutes Needed
Oshkosh Area School District
215 S Eagle Street
Oshkosh, WI 54935
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A Message from the Superintendent
I am pleased to report that the District has returned to five-day-a-week in-person learning for all students PK-12. On February 18th we welcomed all PK-8 students back to our schools, and on February 25th we welcomed all 9-12 students. We are excited to have our school communities together and are grateful for the continued partnership and support of our families. During my recent visits to schools, I saw excited students and staff with happy masked faces. I want to thank our entire District community for caring for one another by navigating our essential safety protocols and expectations. Working together with families remains critical as we strive to maintain school environments that are as safe as possible amid this ongoing pandemic.
I also want to recognize a special time for our District and school districts throughout the nation. The last week of February marked Public Schools Week, which is a time to celebrate teachers, principals, administrators, school board members, staff members, volunteers, parents, community members, and everyone who plays a critical role in helping students succeed. This year’s Public Schools Week we especially thank our families who have worked incredibly hard and made sacrifices to support their child’s learning - virtually and in-person. We are grateful and appreciate all that you have done this year.
As we look ahead, we are committed to continuing to plan forward and creating a shared understanding of our ongoing efforts to provide the best educational experience possible for the remainder of this year as well as next school year.
Vickie L. Cartwright, Ph.D.,
Superintendent of Schools
Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging to say the least, and the past twelve months have certainly been filled with unimaginable stress and pressure. However, believe it or not, this time has also been filled with countless positive stories and silver linings. As a District, we know that great things have been happening and we want to make sure we highlight and learn from those successes. Our incredible employees have been sharing their “Pandemic Positives” in an effort to reflect on this year’s growth and progress, while inspiring us all. Please take a moment to learn along with us as our very own OASD staff members share their silver linings!
Ta Xiong - English Teacher, Oshkosh West High School
“I've been able to get more one-on-one face time with students. Even through the difficulties of virtual learning, I felt like I was able to get to know my students better. Since I was able to Google Meet with students without an audience of their classmates in the background, I feel like students were more willing to open up about their interests in school, their future goals, and barriers they were facing. I appreciated this insight into students' hopes and dreams, and it inspired me to expand my framing for classwork to include all sorts of unique fields students expressed interest in so they could see themselves with purpose, fulfilling their goals in life past the struggles of the current pandemic.”
Ashley Hartjes - EC Integrated Kindergarten, Merrill Elementary
“[One] golden nugget was having the opportunity to really build strong relationships with students AND families. Being in a pandemic is really a "all hands on deck approach". It gave us time to collaborate and communicate TOGETHER! It has brought us all closer and has created a strong team! In return, this bridges home and school together and makes a more cohesive approach to learning and growing!”
OASD 2021-2022 Calendar
Looking ahead to next school year
The Oshkosh Area School District's (OASD) 2021-2022 school year calendar has been approved and is available on the OASD website at www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us/families/calendar.
A District press release is available with additional information: Press Release - OASD School Board Approves 2021-2022 School Calendar. Highlights of the 2021-2022 OASD Calendar includes the information listed below.
- There are 177 student contact days for all students.
- There are nine early release dates to provide professional learning time for OASD staff.
- There are 5.80 inclement weather/snow/emergency days built into the calendar. The fraction of a day allows time for a delayed start to the school day if needed.
- Spring break returns back to the last full week in March and will take place from March 21-25, 2022.
- A graduation date of Friday, May 27, 2022 for Oshkosh West High School and Wednesday, June 1, 2022 for Oshkosh North High School at the Menominee Nation Arena is included. These dates will avoid potential athletic conflicts.
Alumni Spotlight: Nick Penzenstadler - Oshkosh West High School '06
The Oshkosh Area School District is proud of our alumni, and we are pleased to showcase their accomplishments in our new “Alumni Spotlight.” The Alumni Spotlight is an initiative of the OASD Education Foundation, in partnership with the student new sources at Oshkosh North and Oshkosh West high schools - The North Star and The Index, respectively. The Alumni Spotlight highlights the incredible accomplishments of former OASD students while inspiring current students with a variety of career choices and life lessons from our very own alumni.
The first Alumni Spotlight features Nick Penzenstadler, Oshkosh West High School '06 graduate.
Penzenstadler is an Investigative Reporter for USA Today. The Alumni Spotlight interview was conducted by Oshkosh West students Sage Wesenberg '21 and Max Carlin '22. CHECK IT OUT:
Spotlight an Alumni
We know that our alumni have some of the most fascinating stories to tell and we are always honored to share their accomplishments and achievements. Nominate yourself or an OASD alumni today:
The OASD Education Foundation strives to engage the community in supporting Oshkosh public schools. The Foundation is committed to providing resources for innovation, fine arts, athletics, and scholarships to enhance students' lives. To learn more about the Foundation visit www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us/district/oshkosh-education-foundation or contact Theresa J. Duren, OASD Education Foundation Director at firstname.lastname@example.org | 920.424.0395.
Referendum 2020 Project Progress Report - February 2021
Since the voter-approved November 3 referendum, the District has been hard at work developing plans to address facility needs. Monthly progress reports will be published with the goal of creating a shared understanding of the District's ongoing referendum efforts.
Check out the February 2021 Referendum Project Progress Report to learn more:
Free School Meals and Family Food Boxes
Beginning Wednesday, March 3, the free school meal distribution at Oshkosh West will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. In addition to a week’s worth of school meals, families will also be able to receive Farm to Family Food Boxes - a partnership with Feeding America - which has been extended through the month of March.
Those accessing free meals cannot enter the school parking lot until 4:30 p.m. to allow students and staff to safely exit the area before the distribution begins. Vehicles must enter the parking lot Eastbound on Taft Avenue (making a right turn into the parking lot). There will only be one line to enter the parking lot. Anyone attempting to enter Westbound on Taft (making a left turn into the parking lot) will be asked to continue down to the end of the line. This is to ensure proper traffic flow and safety. No one is to enter off of Eagle Street for the meal distribution. This entrance is only to be used by students, staff, and athletics accessing the parking lot.
Give-Education Fundraising Campaign
Mark your calendars!
The OASD Education Foundation will participate in “Give-Education” on March 24, 2021. Give-Education is a virtual 24-hour fundraising event aimed at helping K-12 public schools across the country with the unprecedented challenges of this past year. Stay tuned for more information.
Help Needed: Hiring for Many Positions
We need your help, now more than ever! If you or someone you know is searching for a job or looking for a way to give back - we are hiring for multiple positions with immediate start dates.
Contact us! If you have questions about becoming a substitute or how to get your substitute license, call Jenni Johnson, OASD Substitute Staff Coordinator, at 920.424.1254.
*NEW* Permanent Substitute Teachers
Become a permanent substitute teacher for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year (ending June 3, 2021)! Benefits include full-time salary, health and dental benefits, and being assigned to one school, with the potential to temporarily shift schools if needed. Anyone with an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in any field can become a permanent substitute teacher, however, a DPI substitute license is required which includes completing an 8-hour training course.
Substitute Teachers and Teacher Assistants
Become a substitute teacher or teacher assistant and enjoy a flexible schedule. Anyone with an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in any field can become a substitute teacher, however, a DPI substitute license is required which includes completing an 8-hour training course. Substitute teacher assistants do not need a degree or license but should be comfortable working with students with special needs.
OASD Family Support Series
In an effort to continue to support our families, the District publishes a weekly support series. Tips and resources are posted online at www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us/families/support-series and on Facebook every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Families are encouraged to follow along on the District's Facebook page or website for the latest updates.
In Our Schools: Good News Spotlight
Journalist of the Year Finalist
Oshkosh North senior, Max Yanacek, recently competed in the WisJEA Journalist of the Year competition and finished as one of two finalists. In all, eight highly-qualified seniors across the state submitted entries for 2021 Wisconsin Journalist of the Year. Aside from the winner, the WisJEA selected two additional students to honor as finalists for their excellent work, with Max being one of them.
A current chief editor and graphics editor for Oshkosh North High School’s student news source, The North Star, Maxwell has been recognized for his insightful and engaging reviews. He has also taken the lead investigating issues important to his school community (including student views on remote learning during the pandemic and the effectiveness of Chromebooks at Oshkosh North) with passion and care. He is also a creative designer and was involved in implementing weekly video announcements on his publication’s website.
United States Youth Senate Delegate
Oshkosh West High School junior, Anika Larson, has been selected to represent Wisconsin as a delegate to the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Larson is one of only two students from Wisconsin who will participate in this year’s program and will be learning alongside 103 students from around the country. As a USSYP delegate, Larson will also receive a $10,000 college scholarship.
OASD Adapted Sports League
For the past few months, OASD high school students who receive adapted physical education services have been participating in the District’s new Adapted Sports League program. Both Oshkosh North and Oshkosh West have been practicing with their cohorts to get ready for their very first gameplay experience. The Adapted Sports League is a school-sponsored extracurricular sport program for high school students with disabilities. This program is designed to provide equal opportunity for high school students who may not be able to participate with their typical peers in sport. The first-ever Adapted Sports League Indoor Soccer game was held on February 17.