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OJHS orientation Aug. 21 & 25

Oakwood Jr. High School will start on Tuesday, Aug. 25. The seventh grade orientation will be Friday, Aug. 21 at 9 a.m. in the East Gym and will last until 12 p.m. There is an orientation for eighth graders new to Oakwood on Friday, Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. in the Jr. High Office.

Oakwood Junior High schedules, with classes only, were mailed on July 24. The final schedules with locker and homeroom assignments will be mailed out on Aug. 12 and student packets will be handed out on the first day of school.

OHS freshman/new student orientation Aug. 21

An orientation program for all members of the Class of 2013 and new students to Oakwood High School is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 21, at 9 a.m. in the auditorium. Parents are welcome to attend. During this orientation, new high school students will meet upper class student leaders, guidance counselors and school administrators. They will also receive their class schedules. Policies and procedures will be discussed and common questions addressed. The program will last about one hour.

Smith School Open House Aug. 24

Families are invited to attend Smith’s Open House on Monday, Aug. 24, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Students can meet the teacher and find their new classrooms. Students are also encouraged to bring supplies at that time. Volunteer sign-up opportunities will be available during the Open House.

German tradition introduced to 1st graders

Every year in late summer, one can see the eager and proud faces of first-graders standing in front of their elementary schools in Germany and Austria, happily holding their large Schultüten, or school cones. Filled to the brim with healthy treats and learning gifts and colorfully decorated with ribbons and crepe paper, these cones make the new students’ hearts beat faster and sweeten their step from kindergarten to elementary school.

Early in the morning, to get them over their apprehension of confronting a new environment, the parents inform the youngster, that a wonderful surprise awaits them when completing their first day of school.

The tradition dates back to 1810, when the first cones made the children’s eyes sparkle in Thuringia and Saxony. According to the legend, at the teacher’s home there stands a tree which is decorated with a cone for every child. Once the tree has matured, it is time to begin school and the cones are handed out to the children.

Surprise cones are being offered in one standard size, decorated in a wide variety of patterns for girls and boys, and you can fill them with school materials (ruler, eraser, fountain pen, writing and math tablets) small trinkets (alarm clock, learning games), toys, and sweets. For more information on obtaining a surprise cone of one’s own contact Karin at or call 294-2896.

Accountability needed for charter schools

“Accountability Looms Large as Charter Proponents Mull Future,” was the headline for the story in Education Week issue of 7-15-09. While President Obama and the new Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan have been calling for the removal of State laws which have stymied the growth of charter schools, Duncan has also been making a strong call for charter leaders to police themselves and root out poor performers.

“Why might this issue of more or better charter schools be of concern to Oakwood voters?” you might ask. The answer is very simple. Even while Oakwood City Schools are receiving less and less state support dollars, Oakwood’s state taxes are being used to support financially VERY poorly performing charter (community) schools in Ohio. The need for much greater accountability and PUBLIC posting of the results of such charter schools is badly needed in Ohio and elsewhere.

A major sophisticated study of Charter Schools by the Stanford Center for Research on Education Outcomes found the following major concerns. (1) Mathematics scores at 2,403 charter schools in 15 states and DC showed that “37 percent of the schools posted gains that were ‘significantly below’ what their students would have realized if they had enrolled in their local regular public schools instead.” (2) An additional 46 percent of charter schools produced learning gains that were indistinguishable from those of local public schools with public elected boards of education (3) The shows “that we’ve got a two-to-one margin of bad charters to good charters...That’s a RED FLAG.”

A major study like this which matched charter schools with very similar in enrollment make-up (poverty, racial, first language of families, etc.) to provide “twin-like” comparisons is especially significant. The findings just cited above take on much more importance as a result.

A big issue is that nearly every state law which authorized charter schools FAILS to give anything more than a cursory look at the groups and agencies which can create a charter school. Those “authorizers” MUST be held to much more clear and strong standards if the public tax dollars being spent on these schools are to be spent effectively.

While both President Obama and Secretary Duncan clearly want to give charter schools a real chance to succeed and are holding available monies as a way to get states to enact more charter-friendly laws, they are ALSO demanding enhanced and public accountability. For me this may be a ‘chicken and egg’ issue. I can support more federal emphasis on charter schools, BUT only when I know that such schools are held to the same level of public expectations as is the case for our public (elected school boards) schools.

Sam Andrews Hall of Honor luncheon Sept. 17

The Sam Andrews Educational Hall of Honor luncheon and induction ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 17, 2009. The following persons will be inducted:

Mrs. Pamela Lahman, who taught at Harman Elementary School from 1973-1981 and E.D. Smith Elementary School from 1981-2003. Mrs. Lahman resides in Huron, Ohio.

Mr. Lester Steinlage, who taught mathematics at Oakwood High School from 1972-1995. Mr. Steinlage resides in Englewood, Ohio.

A luncheon will be held at The Mandalay Banquet Center at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17, where the inductees, as well as previous recipients of the award, will be honored. The public is invited to attend the luncheon (cost is $16.50). To make reservations for the luncheon, please call or email Sandy Maresh at the Board Office at (937) 297-5332 or by Wednesday, Sept. 9.

On Thursday evening at 6:45 p.m., prior to the game, the recipients will meet with wellwishers and friends on the Alumni Terrace on the southwest corner of Mack Hummon Stadium. Prior to the start of the home football game with Valley View there will be a brief awards ceremony.

Big weekend in works for OHS 50th reunion

The Oakwood High School Class of 1959 will be holding their 50th Reunion on Friday, Oct. 2, from 6 to 10 p.m. at John Gray’s “The Farm” at 1911 Ridgeway Rd. Attendees are also invited to attend the OHS Homecoming football game at the high school starting at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Oct. 3, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., tours of the renovated high school, Jr. high, Harman and E.D. Smith Elementary schools will be conducted.

A tour of the Wright Brothers’ home Hawthorn Hill will be given. The tour departs only from Carillon Park.

At 6 p.m., a reunion celebration will be hosted at the Dayton Country Club, 555 Kramer Rd. A class picture, cocktails and dinner are planned.

On Sunday, Oct. 4 at 10 a.m., Brunch at Jay’s Restaurant, 226 E. Sixth St., Dayton, will be held.

Contact Evan Zonars Valassiades at 937-434-5600 or by e-mail at Reservation deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 1.




The Who and Where


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August 18, 2009
Volume 18, No. 33

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