Oak Grove earns 2018 SSTAGE Star Award for Promising Practices
Oak Grove Elementary School has been selected to receive the 2018 SSTAGE Star Award for Promising Practices at the elementary school level. In making this decision, the SSTAGE Board of Directors Site Team considered the following characteristics of effective implementation of the Pyramid of Interventions and RTI/MTSS practices:
* Effective systematic problem solving process at each tier
* Coordinated system of instructional/behavioral supports/resources
* Coordinated system of assessment and progress monitoring
* Job-embedded professional learning and ongoing teacher supports
* A systematic plan for parent/family communication and involvement
Oak Grove Elementary School’s implementation of these components has brought us to the forefront of RTI/MTSS in Georgia. The SSTAGE Site Team identified the following areas of commendation:
•There is a strong system of assessment and progress monitoring. The data collected informs teams at all levels for decision making.
•Training is provided for a school level academic data team and the development of academic data teams for each grade level. The RTI Teacher Leader along with the designation of an RTI team leader at each grade level is a strong practice.
•Universal screening is in place and the assessment process is carried out to address student needs and inform groups at tiers 2 and 3 for support and enrichment.
•The partnership with Dr. Emily Rubin at the Marcus Institute to implement the SEE-KS (Social Emotional Engagement –Knowledge and Skills) program is a strong practice.
•The practice of holding the multi-disciplinary RTI panel problem-solving meetings for those students that grade-level teachers refer for additional problem solving support is an excellent addition to the grade-level RTI teaming process at Oak Grove. The utilization of your para staff to support academic and behavior interventions is an excellent use of staff.
•The positive culture of the school was impossible to miss, and it was reflected by the leadership and the staff. It is obvious all have adopted the BRAVE motto.
•The process of holding individual student conferences and goal setting with students is a strong practice and to be commended.
•There is a bank of evidenced based interventions available to teachers. The RTI team and teachers in general demonstrated an understanding of the difference in practice between providing strong instructional strategies and implementing an evidence based intervention.
•Teachers interviewed were able to discuss in detail the RTI plan and share the process which is documented through classroom data notebooks, data team meetings and the use of the Google documents.
•Oak Grove Elementary has begun the training and initial implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention Supports to provide students and teachers a means for recognizing and promoting positive behavior as well as know-how for supporting students who struggle behaviorally.
•The RTI plan at OGES embraces the Fayette County Schools’ Pyramid of Interventions focus. It is supported by the central office administrative team and sustained by the faculty and staff.
•Professional Learning is a natural part of the school year. Teachers and staff are trained on the protocols for interventions, PBIS, Mindset and district initiatives. Current staff receives updates while new staff receives training on the OGES process for implementing RTI.
•The unity of leadership among the administrative team is a polarizing force which inspires and motivates the staff.
•There is a concerted effort to keep parents informed through school wide events at school, parent-teacher conferences and teacher supplied reports and letters to parents.
Oak Grove Earns Greatest Gains Award
Mrs. Cloud honored for Advocacy and Volunteer Work
Emory Winship Cancer Institute honored Ivory Cloud, a Pre-K teacher at Oak Grove Elementary, with the Winship 80 award for her outstanding advocacy and volunteer work.
In 2010 Cloud started a non-profit organization, Dreams of Lois Inc, in honor of her mother, Lois Marie Heckstall, who passed away from breast cancer when Cloud was in elementary school. Cloud’s organization originally focused on mentoring and education young girls and women who had lost their mothers to cancer. However, following the death of her nephew in 2012, Cloud wanted to honor him by doing more to give to the community.
With help from her husband, Dr. Antre’ Cloud and her two daughters, Charity and Chasity, the Cloud family has grown Dreams of Lois into a community outreach program that hosts different events throughout the metro Atlanta community.
Each year Cloud and her dedicated team host an annual pajama and craft party; this year Dreams of Lois collected over 120 pajama sets and donated them to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta where children were given the opportunity to select their favorite pajamas.
Additionally, Dreams of Lois also feeds patients and their families during Martin Luther King weekend, hosts an annual Mother’s Day tea, donates new books to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Northside hospital, and hosts a family fun day in the park, as well as various toys and clothing drives. Donated items are given to schools, daycares, and families in need.
Cloud also advocates for young women to get preventative care. Cloud says, “It is important to know your family history and that there is never a dumb question when it comes to your health. It is extremely important to visit your doctor annually and to follow up with any additional testing.”
With support from her family, friends, and the community Cloud hopes to continue building her organization, volunteering, and educating young women.
“I believe that life is about giving and that love is shown through you daily, ” said Cloud.
Hill earns Specialist degree in Early Childhood Education
Congratulations to Mrs. Hill, our newest 3rd grade teacher. She earned her Specialist degree in Early Childhood Education after completing graduate level coursework through the University of West Georgia. Beyond a Master degree, the Specialist is an intense focus program; the degree is one shy of a Doctorate program.
Spicer Honored in Tyrone
July 6th is: Dr. Felecia Spicer Day in Tyrone
Dr. Spicer was recently honored by the Town of Tyrone in a dedication of July 6th being Dr. Felecia Spicer Day in Tyrone in accolades of her work at Burch Elementary. Oak Grove is fortunate to have her leading our school now!
Art Davis Teaches Class at the High Museum
Art Davis had the opportunity to share her knowledge and admiration for Georgia folk artist Howard Finster at the Summer Educator Conference at the High Museum in Atlanta. "He was an inspiring, industrious, creative quirky artist/preacher who could talk the ears off a billy goat:) This year would have been his 100th birthday!"
Blum Participates in Mt. Vernon Teacher Insititute :
Presenting at Georgia Council on Social Studies Conference
Oak Grove's Library Media Teacher, Kenny Blum, was selected to participate in the Mt. Vernon Teacher Insititute : George Washington Slavery during the first days of Spring Break 2017. Along with fellow educators across the U.S., Mr. Blum's culminating activity was a biographical project on a slave of Washington's. Mr. Blum will represent MVTI at this year's GCSS in October in Athens, Georgia. In addition, he will be presenting a break-out session titled “Experience a Virtual Field Trip: Bringing Thomas Jefferson’s Little Mountain to Your Classroom” in support of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Educational program.
Heather Price Named Finalist in Fayette Teacher of the Year
Heather Price, a second grade teacher at Oak Grove Elementary, says she was lead to the teaching profession by the great teachers she had as a student, and her love and passion for working with youth.
While she says all of her teachers from elementary to high school were wonderful, Price especially recalls her high school reading teacher and second grade classroom teacher.
“My second grade teacher noticed my abilities to write stories. I will always remember this, and what a big deal it was for me. Later in life, I realized how I could make that same positive impact for others as a teacher,” she says.
Price believes teachers can recognize special characteristics in their students and find ways to make them shine. She says she went into teaching with the desire to cherish and nurture the gifts of her students.
While it goes without saying that being nominated for teacher of the year by her peers is a very special accomplishment, Price says the most important thing she has done as an educator is to set a strong foundation for her students to build upon in the future.
Price has been a teacher for 15 years, all of them at Oak Grove Elementary.
from The Citizen Feb. 16, 2017