OASD eNews - October 2020
IN THIS ISSUE
- Referendum 2020
- Virtual Learning Spotlight
- COVD-19 Dashboard
- Oshkosh Civility Project
- Herb Kohl Nominations
- Free School Meals
Oshkosh Area School District
215 S Eagle Street
Oshkosh, WI 54935
Get news from the Oshkosh Area School District (OASD) in your inbox! We communicate special events, unique opportunities and stories about student, staff, school and district accomplishments through our monthly family and community newsletter. The email address(es) we have on file will receive our family and community newsletter automatically.
A Message from the Superintendent
As we enter our second month of the 2020-21 school year, we could not be more proud of our students and staff for all of the outstanding work they have done these first few weeks of school - in-person and virtually. Additionally, we are so grateful for the continued support and partnership of our families. Our new normal is not easy, but we are in this together and hope that our families continue to lean on us for support to ensure that all students continue to grow. No matter the distance, we are stronger together!
As you know, providing a quality education takes resources - both to fund our school operations and to maintain our school buildings. To ensure we have the funding available to meet both those needs, our School Board unanimously approved placing two school funding requests on the November 3rd ballot.
- Question 1 is a request to renew existing funds for our school operations - helping to maintain our academic programs, technology for learning, and student support services, with no tax increase.
- Question 2 is a request for capital funds to improve our school buildings. If approved, it would support our community-developed long-range facilities plan, and provide safe and accessible schools, flexible and collaborative learning spaces, and cost-effective schools to maximize taxpayer investment.
We understand that these are challenging times. However, now more than ever the importance of continuing to fund school operations is critical, e.g. 1:1 technology access for all students. Additionally, we know that one day COVID-19 will be behind us and our schools will once again be filled with activity. If our community prioritizes our schools, together we can provide environments that help us better serve students, deepen the level of learning, and allow us to not only keep pace with surrounding districts but exceed those efforts and make Oshkosh a destination community for people to live and work.
More information regarding the two referendum questions is available below, as well as on the OASD Referendum webpage. Additionally, the entire Oshkosh community is invited to participate in a Virtual Referendum Information Session tomorrow, Tuesday, October 6 at 6 p.m. Additional information, including the Zoom web link and dial in number, is available on the OASD Referendum webpage. If you are unable to attend the virtual session, we are happy to answer any questions you have or talk to any person or group that may want to learn more. Please reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 920.966.0343.
Education funding is a partnership between schools, the state and federal government, and our community. These requests acknowledge that partnership. This is about our community, our schools, and our future.
Vickie L. Cartwright, Ph.D.,
Superintendent of Schools
Spotlight on Virtual Learning
Model 4: Virtual Learning
All schools within the OASD transitioned to Model 4: Virtual Learning on September 24. This decision was based on daily data monitoring, specifically seeing the number of cases and required quarantines continuing to increase, in our city and county as well as district-wide.
However, our school communities continue to prove that no matter the distance we are stronger together! We appreciate all that our students, families, and staff members are doing to support one another and remain focused on learning and accelerating. Take a look at what virtual learning looks like across the District:
OASD K-12 eAcademy
“I like eAcademy because I get my scores and grades right away. I also like working at my own pace. I get my questions answered quickly and it's easy to talk to my teacher. I like the tools within the lessons that make it easier to understand." - Phoenix, OASD eAcademy Student
Referendum 2020: Our Community. Our Schools. Our Future
The Oshkosh Area School District has two school funding requests on the Nov. 3 ballot.
- Q1: renew existing funds for school operations
- Q2: invest capital funds to improve district school buildings
LEARN MORE VIRTUALLY! Join us for a Virtual Referendum Information Session, happening tomorrow, Tuesday, October 6 at 6 p.m. via Zoom! All community members are invited to join members of the Oshkosh Area School District team as they provide information about the two upcoming referendum questions on the November 3rd ballot. You’ll get the latest information in a 20 minute presentation AND can ask your own questions.
- Web Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83222036485
- Telephone (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799
- Webinar ID: 832 2203 6485
(NOTE: Online viewing instructions are also available at www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us/referendum.)
If voters approve Q1, funds would support academic programs, technology for learning, and student support services - with no tax increase. If voters approve Q2, funds would be invested in our school buildings to improve safety and accessibility, provide more flexible learning spaces, address building maintenance needs, and create more cost-effective schools.
In an effort to keep students, families, staff, and the entire community up-to-date on the state of COVID-19 in OASD boundaries, the District has created a COVID-19 Dashboard. This dashboard provides a snapshot of the number of students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as those required to quarantine due to being identified as a close contact. In addition to active cases, the dashboard also provides a listing of total cases since the start of the school year. It will be updated every Monday and Thursday and can be found on the OASD website, under the Families menu (www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us/families/covid-19-dashboard).
Encouraging Civility, Spreading Positivity
The Oshkosh Civility Project is a community-based effort working in partnership with others to raise attention and awareness to the principles and the practices of civility. As one of the founding members, the OASD and the Oshkosh Civility Project believe that a strong community can be made stronger when there is shared understanding, awareness, and commitment to improve interpersonal communication skills. Currently in its 10th year, the Civility Project is based on the work of Professor P.M. Forni from Johns Hopkins University. The following nine components are central to the project: pay attention, listen, be inclusive, don’t gossip, show respect, be agreeable, apologize, give constructive criticism, and take responsibility.
During this time of unprecedented and challenging decisions, adhering to these beliefs helps to ensure respectful discourse and meaningful discussions take place.
LEARN MORE: We encourage all of our students, staff, families, and community members to learn more by visiting oshkoshcivilityproject.com.
Chalking it up! In an effort to involve and help children understand the importance of civility, the District recently collaborated to provide 5,000 boxes of chalk to students, thanks to generous partners and donors. Students are encouraged to create #OshkoshCivility and #OshkoshStrong messages on the city’s sidewalks.
Fall 2020 OASD News
This month, the District launched its first issue of the “OASD News.” The goal is to continue to connect with our families, while expanding our communication efforts to members of our community who may not have children currently in our schools. This district-wide newsletter will be distributed to all households within our community multiple times a year.
An electronic version of the Fall 2020 OASD News is also available.
Nominate Great Educators for the Herb Kohl Foundation Recognition
The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation is now seeking nominations for Wisconsin teachers and principals/administrators who have demonstrated excellence and innovation in their school communities and beyond. OASD parents, students, other teachers, and community members are encouraged to nominate Oshkosh educators who have a superior ability to inspire a love of learning and motivate others inside and out of the classroom. Read more about the program at www.kohleducation.org and click on the links below to submit an application today!
The nomination deadline is Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.
Free School Meals
The OASD is providing FREE school meals to ALL children age 18 and younger. This is made possible by federal funding until December 31, 2020 or until funds are depleted.
During District-wide Model 4: Virtual Learning, school meals will be provided in a grab-and-go format at four OASD school sites within the District. The meals will be distributed on Mondays and Thursdays at the locations and times listed below.
- Jefferson Elementary (in front of main entrance) from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
- Webster Stanley Elementary (in front of main entrance) from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
- West High School (in front of door 24) from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.
- North High School (circle drive in front of school) from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.
Model 4 Meal Distribution Details
- On Mondays, breakfast and lunch will be provided for three school days.
- On Thursdays, breakfast and lunch will be provided for two school days. Milk will be available with meals.
- Children do not need to be present at the distribution site as adults are able to pick up meals for children in their household.
- Meal distribution sites are set-up in a drive-thru format, with an area for walk-up service available.
- Due to federal funding, any student may also take FREE meals for their younger (non-school aged) siblings at home.
NOTE: During District-wide Model 4: Virtual Learning, the four sites listed above are the ONLY OASD meal distribution sites. The OASD's community distribution sites are suspended until Model 3: Hybrid Learning resumes. Families who were visiting these sites are encouraged to visit any of the new Model 4 Meal Distribution sites.
Taking advantage of the free school meals is a great idea that benefits your family as well as your school district! Here’s what you should know:
- Taking or picking up school meals for your own children doesn't mean other children will go hungry. We have meals available for every child regardless of financial need!
- The more school meals the OASD provides, the cheaper each meal is to produce. (It allows us to continue buying in bulk and accessing the best wholesale prices.)
- School meals can be a source of comfort and excitement while children are learning from home. It can bring a little reminder of their school environment into their home or remote learning space.
- Taking or picking up school meals can save families/caregivers time and money - no need for you to prepare meals and less money spent on groceries.
- School meals are FREE for any child age 18 and younger until December 31, 2020, or until federal funding is depleted. This is made possible by an extension of COVID-19 child nutrition waivers from the USDA.