OASD eNews - Summer 2021
IN THIS ISSUE
- Superintendent Transition
- Celebrating Class of 2021
- 2020/2021 Retirees and 25-year Service Employees
- Washington Elementary Summer Climb
- Alumni Spotlight
- Referendum 2020 Progress Update
- Summer Meal Options
- School Recognition
- School Fees Update
- Recreation News
Oshkosh Area School District
215 S Eagle Street
Oshkosh, WI 54935
A Message from the School Board
It is hard to believe that July is upon us and with it a time of transition for the Oshkosh Area School District (OASD). As we look to the future, we also understand the importance of reflecting on our journey and the many successes that have paved our way forward. The OASD Board of Education extends its heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Vickie Cartwright - who departed the District on June 30, 2021. Under her leadership, the OASD has made significant advances that will positively impact our students and community for generations to come. We are grateful for Dr. Cartwright’s strategic vision, commitment to putting students first, and willingness to be a change agent. We wish her all the best in her professional journey.
The Board also extends a warm welcome to Dr. Bryan Davis - who joined the District as our next superintendent of schools on July 1, 2021. Dr. Davis embodies all of the qualities the community and Board were seeking - a leader with experience in building positive staff culture, strong community involvement, and equitable student growth and achievement. In the coming weeks and months, Dr. Davis will be focused on meeting key stakeholders - listening, learning, and getting to know our District and community. He will also be working closely with our District and school leaders to ensure a successful start to the 2021-22 school year. Your continued support and engagement remain critical and are most appreciated.
As the summer months continue to fly by, I hope that you are able to spend time with loved ones and doing things that you enjoy most.
OASD Board of Education
ICYMI: The Oshkosh School Board selected Dr. Bryan Davis as the next OASD superintendent, effective July 1, 2021. The Board voted on Davis' appointment during a special public meeting on June 1, 2021. LEARN MORE
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Celebrating the OASD Class of 2021
The Oshkosh Area School District honored the Class of 2021 during in-person graduation ceremonies at the Menominee Nation Arena. Within the Oshkosh Area School District, we are committed to ensuring that every graduate is college, career, and community ready. We understand that life after high school looks very different for each of our graduates and it is this understanding that is the foundation of our strong community. The OASD extends its sincerest congratulations and best wishes to the Class of 2021!
NOTE: Both ceremonies were professionally live streamed, and are temporarily available for viewing on Vimeo.
Recognizing Retirees and 25-Year Service Employees
The Oshkosh Area School District recently honored 97 retirees and 59 25-year service employees from 2020 and 2021. At the annual celebration, which was extended to the 2020 retirees and 25-year employees who could not be honored in person last spring due to the pandemic, OASD Board of Education members spoke about the incredible careers of these employees. Retirees received a crystal apple and 25-year service employees received an engraved clock in recognition of their many years of service to the Oshkosh Area School District.
A commemorative 2020 / 2021 OASD Retiree Booklet is available and spotlights the difference these employees have made in the lives of students.
Changing Futures through Summer Climb Program
Washington Elementary Going Above and Beyond to Support Kindergarteners and First-graders
The first-ever Summer Climb program at Washington Elementary School is already making a difference for kindergarteners and first-graders. The seven-week program is unique to Washington and made possible through grant support from the Oshkosh United Way and the OASD. Through the program, students are spending the summer getting highly targeted instruction, enrichment and intervention in Literacy, Math and Social/Emotional skills in order to help them reach their highest potential prior to the start of 1st and 2nd grade.
Research-based: Summer Climb is providing students at Washington with personalized instruction at a time in their academic career when the research tells us it is most impactful. The body of research regarding the correlation between early childhood literacy acquisition and adult success is vast and definitive - if our youngest learners are competent, confident readers and writers and mathematicians, the long-term success they experience in life rises exponentially. In looking at studies related to long-term academic success, experts routinely point to kindergarten and 1st grade as the crucial years for building a life-long foundation for academic success. By offering Summer Climb, Washington Elementary is focused on helping each student enter 1st or 2nd grade performing at his/her highest potential. In fact, research also shows that early intervention and enrichment in Math and Literacy change the long-term trajectory of a student's academic life through middle school, high school and beyond, which means that Summer Climb has the potential to be truly life-changing for students.
Zero Cost to Families: This year, Washington’s Summer Climb was selected by the Oshkosh Area United Way as a partnership for student learning. As part of that partnership, EVERY Washington student who enrolled in the Summer Climb program received a FULL scholarship that covers the total program cost per pupil ($1,950.35). The United Way is committed to improving the quality of life for our community members and recognized the potential for Summer Climb to be life-changing for students.
Incredible Connections: Perhaps one of the most impactful features of Summer Climb is that it is led by Washington’s very own dedicated and talented teachers. Summer Climb allows students at Washington to spend their summer learning with their very own highly qualified staff who already know them as readers, writers and mathematicians, and most importantly, as people. Not only do students remain with their own classroom teachers, Summer Climb also includes Math and Literacy Intervention teachers and a Special Education teacher. The willingness of these team members to go above and beyond for their students is simply remarkable! Summer Climb team members include:
- Trisha Reinke - Kindergarten
- Bailey Zeinert-Coe - Kindergarten
- Kathryn Noble - 1st Grade
- Dustin Joswick - 1st Grade
- Michelle Philbin - Math IST
- Lisa Hardt - Literacy IST
- Julie Miller - Special Education Teacher
- Matt Bell - Student Support
“The debut of Summer Climb has been years in the making and we are so proud to offer this one-of-a-kind program to our families," stated Kristi Levy, Principal of Washington Elementary School. "The enthusiasm of our staff speaks volumes about the love they have for our children and their families. They have spent countless hours planning during the last 12 months to get ready for this work and have chosen to spend their summer with their students. None of this is possible without our teachers and their dedication to Summer Climb will change outcomes for our kids forever!”
Referendum 2020 Project Progress Report - May and June 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 May 2021 AND June 2021 Referendum Project Progress Reports to learn more:
Project SEARCH Prepares Graduates for Life After High School
The Oshkosh Area School District is proud to recognize the 2021 Project SEARCH graduates. On Thursday, June 3, 2021, 11 incredible young people with different abilities graduated from the nine-month special skills training and internship program at Ascension Mercy Hospital in Oshkosh, WI. Project SEARCH is a business-led collaboration that enables young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration.
Diplomas were handed out during an in-person ceremony to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of the Project SEARCH Class of 2021. As part of the ceremony, each graduate shared an important skill that they learned during the program and explained how it will help them in their career. Customer service, the ability to appropriately respond to criticism, time management, and self-awareness were just a few of the skills learned during the nine-month program.
This year, the Project SEARCH program needed to be reimagined to ensure that students were able to have meaningful learning experiences, while staying safe amid COVID-19. After extensive planning and training, the Project SEARCH interns were welcomed into the Ascension Mercy family and were able to thrive through hands-on learning.
The primary partners of Project Search are:
- Ascension Mercy Hospital
- Oshkosh Area School District
- Goodwill Industries of NE Wisconsin
- Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Lakeland Care & IRIS
Learn More: Check out this Project SEARCH spotlight by WFRV TV: ‘Project SEARCH’ enables young adults with learning disabilities to maintain employment
Meeting the Needs of All Students
Oshkosh Area School District schools have been rewarded for their work with developing positive behaviors in schools during 2020-21 by the Wisconsin Response to Intervention Center. The following OASD schools were recognized by the Wisconsin RtI Center and DPI for their efforts in implementing an equitable, multi-level system of supports! Creating a system that meets the needs of ALL students is rewarding work that takes the determination of many.
- Read Elementary: Silver Level - Behavior
- South Park Middle: Silver Level - Behavior; Bronze Level: Reading
- Webster Stanley Middle: Silver Level - Behavior; Bronze Level: Math
- Washington Elementary: Bronze Level: Behavior
- Carl Traeger Middle: Silver Level: Behavior
- Perry Tipler Middle: Silver Level - Behavior; Bronze Level: Reading
- Oshkosh West High: Bronze Level: Behavior
- Roosevelt Elementary: Silver Level - Behavior; Bronze Level: Reading
- Emmeline Cook Elementary: Silver Level - Behavior
- Oaklawn Elementary: Bronze Level - Behavior
- Oshkosh North High: Bronze Level - Behavior
- Merrill Middle: Bronze Level - Behavior
- Franklin Elementary: Silver Level - Behavior; Bronze Level: Math
- Lakeside Elementary: Silver Level - Behavior
- Jefferson Elementary: Silver Level - Behavior
OASD Eliminates Student Fees
Committed to continuous improvement and equitable practices, the Oshkosh Area School District is pleased to announce the elimination of most student fees. Beginning with the 2021-22 school year, all instructional material fees and the physical education t-shirt fee will be eliminated. Additionally, the high school parking/replacement fee will be reduced by almost half - $75/45 to $45/20.
School Board members and administrators dropped these fees because they wanted to increase student participation and promote a sense of inclusion. Additionally, the District hopes to reduce the financial burden on families, while also saving resources previously spent on collecting and processing fees.
This decision will be evaluated on an annual basis to ensure fiscal responsibility and feasibility.
OASD Summer Feeding Program and Community Offerings
The Oshkosh Area School District (OASD) is once again offering nutritious meals to children during the summer months though its Summer Food Service Program. Free meals are available at four District sites for anyone 18 years of age and under, and persons over 18 years of age who are determined by a state or local public educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who also participate in a public or private non-profit school program during the regular school year.
The following OASD locations are serving free meals this summer, during the dates and times listed:
- Jefferson Elementary: June 14 - July 8 (Monday through Thursday) - Breakfast 7:45 – 8:15 a.m. and Lunch 11:15 a.m. – Noon
- Oaklawn Elementary: June 14 - July 8 (Monday through Thursday) - Breakfast 7:45 – 8:15 a.m. and Lunch 11:15 a.m. – Noon
- Carl Traeger Elementary: June 14 - July 8 (Monday through Thursday) - Lunch 11:15 a.m. - Noon (NOTE: Community members must enter via Door #23 due to construction at the main entrance.)
- North High School: June 7 – July 16 (Monday through Friday) - Breakfast 7:30 - 8:20 a.m. and Lunch 11:30 a.m. - Noon and 12:30 - 1 p.m.
All community members participating in the free meal program will be asked to follow the OASD’s COVID-19 safety protocols while in district buildings.
“This program fills a void created when school lunches are not available,” said Michele Stahmann, OASD Director of Food Services “Helping parents and caregivers meet the nutritional needs of their children is the strength of this program.”
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, provides nutritious meals to children during the summer, when free and reduced-price school meals are typically unavailable. Meals are provided to eligible children regardless of race, color, national origin, age, gender or disability and there will be no discrimination in the course of meal service.
Feeding Hungry Kids
Feeding Hungry Kids, a partnership between Oshkosh neighbors and churches, recognizes that many children rely on the OASD's Free and Reduced Breakfast and Lunch Program at their school. The partnership strives to provide those in need with free meals after the District's Summer Feeding Program ends in mid-July.
Meals are available from July 12 - August 26 at four neighborhood sites. Click the link below to learn more!
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!
Katy Urbas - Grade 3 Teacher, Oaklawn Elementary
“My pandemic positive is that parents felt more comfortable virtually during parent teacher conferences and conversations were very productive.”
Valerie Aronson - Office Tech, Oshkosh West High School
“As hard and frustrating as this pandemic is, it has been a great learning opportunity for all of us! We have had the opportunity to learn patience, coping skills, ‘work arounds’, technology skills I never thought I would need to learn and use, the peacefulness of quiet when we can't always be with our friends and family and the joy in the times that we can. We have learned to ‘hang on’ for one more day and then another and another...I believe that for many of us we have learned to appreciate the small things much more than we have in the past. While we feel that this will never end and many have struggled tremendously, this pandemic has forced us to learn and use skills we never knew we were capable of. These new skills have helped make our kiddos "College, Career and Community Ready."
Lindy Mateyka - Grade 5 Teacher, Lakeside Elementary
“My pandemic positive for this year is a growing appreciation for schools from both adults and students. I have noticed a great increase in engagement in the classroom this year from my students and it is paired with students genuine want to be here physically learning in the classroom with each other. With having to be virtual or only in school a few days a week, students seem to have grown a larger passion for in person learning and a drive to be in school each day after being forced to go without it for so long. It has helped us to become an even stronger classroom community of learners and we genuinely enjoy and thrive off of each other's company in our learning environment!”
Courtney Willerty - IST-Math, Roosevelt Elementary
“How teachers used this as an opportunity to reinvent education. They have taken it upon themselves to constantly adapt what they know to best fit the changing learning environment. They have become experts in technology and taken on piloting a new LMS system. They have tried a variety of tactics to improve family and student engagement. They have coordinated supply picks up. Endless amount of dedication has been and still is being done to ensure we are helping our ENTIRE OASD community learn and grow.”
Alumni Spotlight: TJ Rodgers, Oshkosh High School '66
The Oshkosh Area School District is proud of our alumni, and we are pleased to showcase their accomplishments in our “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 next Alumni Spotlight features TJ Rodgers, Oshkosh High School '66 graduate. Rodgers is a philanthropist, local business owner, and founder of Cypress Semiconductor. The Alumni Spotlight interview was conducted by Oshkosh North High School student journalist Max Yanacek, '21.
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.
In Our Schools: Good News Spotlight
School 2 Work Success
Congratulations to the five recent graduates of the OASD’s and Oshkosh Corporation’s School to Work program. A graduation reception for this year’s graduates was held at Oshkosh Corporation’s Global Headquarters on Thursday, May 20. The students plans for life after high school are listed below.
- Andrew Thill - Hired by Oshkosh Defense
- Zach Kleinschmit - Hired by Oshkosh Defense
- Jayden Sweeting - Hired by Oshkosh Defense
- Nick Schweitzer - Attending FVTC
- Andrew Grebe - Hired by Oshkosh Defense
Learn More: Check out this School 2 Work spotlight by WBAY TV: Oshkosh high school juniors offered paid experience at Oshkosh Corporation
Enroll Today: Students entering their junior year can still apply to be in the School 2 Work program for the 2021-22 school year. Additional details are available online at www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us/school-to-work. For more information and to begin the enrollment process, contact Vicki Porior at email@example.com.
Athletic Director of the Year
Congratulations to Oshkosh West Activities Director, Brad Jodarski, who was named District 4 AD of the Year by the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association. Check out this video highlighting his accomplishments!
Mike Graves, the head janitor at Emmeline Cook Elementary School, recently received the 2021 Custodian/Maintenance Professional of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials. The award recognizes Mike's outstanding contributions to the Oshkosh Area School District, the community, the profession and the students and staff he works with. Mike's leadership improves facilities and school safety, while improving student learning.
Working Together to Feed those in Need
Between November and May 2021, the OASD partnered with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin to distribute Farm to Family boxes for community members, along with free school meals for any child 18 and under. Thousands of Farm to Family boxes, along with 143,429 school meals were distributed between the 21 distribution dates.
“We want to thank Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin for giving us the opportunity to work with them and to reach so many more families in need. And we would like to thank our entire Food Service team for all of the hard work and dedication that went into making this happen. Every member of our team played a role in packaging, preparing and distributing the meals at some point during this time. We would especially like to thank the North and West High kitchen crew for continuing to prepare these meals in-between preparing meals for our students once school resumed to in-person learning. And we would like to thank the wonderful group of ladies who came every Wednesday night after their breakfast and lunch shifts to help hand out the meals. We are also grateful to West High school for allowing us to utilize their parking lot and facility. Thank you to the Oshkosh Police Department for helping ensure traffic flowed safely and smoothly. And thank you to all of the volunteers and area businesses who dedicated their time to help hand out the Family to Farmer boxes.”