Thursday, January 31, 2013

Weekly Update

Weekly Update 131 by Chelsea Dowd


Hello Everyone.  As you know, Oak Grove is still locking its front door and we have an individual greeting visitors this week.  Our students are going out for recess again, which is great for everyone. The police have been an extra presence in the mornings and stopping in as much as they can during the day. It is unknown to us how long we will be taking these extra precautionary measures or what the final outcome will be for us.  I am very appreciative of how supportive and flexible everyone in our community has been throughout this process.  Thank you!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Red Sox Day will be Wednesday, February 6

Red Sox day has been postponed to next Wednesday, February 6.  The exciting news is that the crew from NESN changed the date because Nancy Pizzuti, the wife of Red Sox owner John Henry, will be coming to join us at Oak Grove!
 Next Wednesday, February 6- Wear your Red Sox gear and show your OG spirit!

Individual e-book accounts


     All students and teachers now have their own e-book accounts on our district Follett Shelf. At the moment there are 86 titles of varying levels. While the shelf has been up and running for several months now, students and teachers can now sign in using their own username and password. This allows them to start reading a book and have their place automatically bookmarked for the next time they pick it up. There are also read-aloud, note-taking, and other interactive features they can access.
     Anybody can access the shelf by going to the login page and use the guest account (login name: ebook, password: bratt). If your child wants to sign in on their own account their login name will be their first and lastname with no space, and the password will be their initials. 
     The shelf can be accessed from any computer. Smart phones, kindlles, and ipads also work, though you may have to download an ap.
     Check it out, and feel free to call me in the Oak Grove Library with questions.
     Have ful!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Winter Sports Canceled

I am sorry to report that Winter Sports has been cancelled for students in the WSESU for tomorrow.  We will do what we can to see if we can reschedule tomorrow for another date in the future.  Thank you.

Update, Monday, January 28, 2013

Dear families,

This weekend the Brattleboro Police Department alerted us to some concerns they have about an individual in our community.  This person has not made any direct threats against any of our students, our staff or any one of our school buildings.  This person is not wanted for arrest.  None the less, the local authorities have asked that we take extra security measures as they look to get more information about this individual.

As a precaution, all schools in our WSESU are securing our buildings today.  This means that our front door will be locked and that we will keep students inside for recess time until we are directed to resume our normal procedures.  Classes and lunch will continue normally, with the exception of classes going outdoors.   In the morning when students are dropped off they will come inside for recess or breakfast, just like we would do when the weather is too bad for outside play.  Students who do not ride the bus will be dismissed out back as always, however, we will wait with students in the hallway lobby until we match them with parents.  Busses will run on their normal schedules. 

At this point, I have no other details to share.  I assure you that as soon as I have more information and or the precautionary measures are lifted, I will alert parents by phone and through our website,   

I want you to know that I have 100% faith that our police department and Superintendent Stahley have the safety of our students and staff as its top priority.  They would never make any decision that might put any of us in harm’s way.  I see this situation as very similar to the bank robbery that occurred in Brattleboro several years ago.  All of our schools took these precautionary steps while the police apprehended the robber. 

I appreciate all of the support from parents of Oak Grove School today.  These situations can be trying for parents, for students and for staff.  I am appreciative of our law enforcement agents who are doing so much to assure that we feel safe at our schools.  There is comfort in knowing that we are handling this situation and any other incident in our community, together. 


Jen Hemmingson

Principal, Oak Grove School

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Oak Grove Winter Sports 4th-6th Sliding/Skating


DCF repost

Here's a repost of an article on the old blog that might still be of interest for those students and families reading DCF books this year. Read on.

Weekly Update January 10

Dear Parents and Families,

We have officially begun our Winter Sports program at Oak Grove School!  This last Tuesday afternoon our students in grades 4 – 6 went off to ski and snowboard at Mt. Snow, to ice skate at the rink, and to sled and slide at Memorial Park.  In three weeks time our students in K-3 will get their opportunity for Winter Sports activities.  Parents should expect a letter home detailing the activity options. 

We had a great first day and students and adults alike reported successful outings.  A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to Christine Hazzard, our parent coordinator, and our school secretary, Sue Strong, who have organized this Program for us.  Also, thank you to the many parent volunteers who helped out this week and in weeks to come.  We would not be able to have Winter Sports without you. 

On that note, we are still looking for someone willing to take over the parent coordinator role for Winter Sports next year.  Please help!  We would hate to lose such a wonderful program for our students.  If you think you could help, please see Sue or Christine, who can provide you with details and expectations for the position.

Happy Snow!

Jen Hemmingson

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Safety at Oak Grove and in our Brattleboro Town Schools

Dear Parents,

It came to my attention that there was a parent meeting this week to discuss issues of school safety at Oak Grove.  Had I known that the meeting was taking place I would have been glad to attend to hear concerns and answer questions.  Whether you attended the meeting or not, I am truly grateful that we have an active group of parents who care so much about our school community.

I hope many of you will be able to attend the Brattleboro Town Community Forum on School Safety scheduled for January 23 at 6:30pm at Academy School.  The purpose of this Forum is to invite community members to share their thoughts about safety in our schools, including requests for locked doors or more security measures.  The School Board and Administration will meet again after the Forum to consider any recommendations and to consider changes to the current policies and procedures.  Any changes made to those procedures will impact all schools in the Brattleboro Town School District. 

In the mean time, I would like to share some of the information about our schools and what is already happening in our town schools to ensure your children are safe and well cared for each day. 

·         Schools in Brattleboro Town have their front doors unlocked throughout the day, but have all other outside doors locked during school hours.  The exception is Academy, which has a second set of doors unlocked during the day to access the modular building on their playground.   

·         BUHS #6 (BUHS, BAMS, WRCC) has a key swipe buzzer system and cameras both in the interior and exterior of the campus.  BUHS#6 employs a School Resource Officer, who works for the Sheriff’s Department.  He is a trained police officer and he is armed.  He works closely with Security staff at BUHS#6. 

·         All Brattleboro Town Schools practice fire drills, lockdown drills and bus evacuation drills each year.  Fire drills occur 10 times per year, lockdowns and bus evacuations are practiced twice each school year. 

·         All Brattleboro schools have a sign-in and out book, as well as procedures for visitors to the building.  Volunteers who come into our schools are directed to complete the necessary background check and paperwork with our Supervisory Union before they work with students.  Volunteers who work with our students without a staff member present are required to complete a more extensive background check, including fingerprinting. 

·         All Brattleboro Town Schools have emergency procedures in place, including a crisis team that meets to discuss events in our community that may potentially impact our schools.

·         All Brattleboro students have outside recess time. 

·         All Brattleboro Schools have a weekly All School Sing that is open to the community.

·         All Staff members at Oak Grove have keys to the exterior of the building and to appropriate classroom spaces.  In 2011 our building was re-keyed to both assure that all keys were accounted for and to create a building plan that secured classroom spaces in the event they needed to be locked quickly.

·         At Oak Grove, classroom doors can be locked from the inside or from the hallway.  Staff members are expected to “prop and lock” their doors during the school day so that when they are closed they are locked without a key being needed. 

·         Oak Grove has radios that are used to communicate between the office and adults on the playground.  The radios are used for regular communication during recess and in the event of an emergency.

·         As part of Oak Grove’s emergency procedures, we have a process for building evacuations, Lockdown and Shelter in Place events, Medical emergencies, and for locating a missing child.  We have a Crisis plan and an Incident Command Post, including a relocation place outside of the school in the event of an emergency.  All staff members have these materials and are made aware of these plans.  Some information, for reasons of safety, is not shared with the greater community.

All Brattleboro Principals and the Superintendent are meeting with representatives from the Vermont State Police, the Brattleboro Fire Department, and the Brattleboro Police Department on January 8 to discuss safety procedures in our school. 

Again, I hope to see you at the Community Forum on January 23.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me any time.

Thank you,

Jen Hemmingson 

Weekly Update 1/3/13

Weekly Update