Happy Final Weeks of
It is hard to believe that our summer break is drawing to a close.
I hope that you and your children have had a great summer with plenty of
time to get out and play. Our staff has been out playing too, but
we are now busy getting ready for another great school year!
Our amazing lead custodian, Mr. Brian, our afternoon custodian, Mr.
Arturo, and our small but mighty maintenance crew have been hard a work
this summer. The campus is almost ready for opening day. We
are installing a new playground area for the Preschool and our new
Discovery Kindergarten program. A new fence will be installed in
the next few days separating this area from the soccer field, and
additional work will be phased in as time and funds allow. All new
network cabling will be up and running by the beginning of school.
We are on schedule to switch over to the new wireless system the day
before school starts. We have installed 120 security cameras across
the district and several are on our campus. These will protect our
property from vandalism while we are not here, and provide increased
safety in the event of an emergency. We will also have a new phone
system that will be much more user friendly and reliable. We expect
this to be up and running early in the school year.
This year we will welcome four new members to our teaching team.
You have already heard about our new Discovery Kindergarten program, and
this class will be taught by Barbara McPhillips. Barbara comes to
us from Red Oak Elementary, and has experience teaching K and DK, as well
as working in our preschool. Over the summer she has been busy
completely renovating and outfitting Room 24 for this new class, and it
is going to be a beautiful space for this exciting program.
We are also excited to welcome Katelyn Loe to our fifth grade team.
Ms. Loe taught fifth grade at Sycamore Elementary, in neighboring CVUSD,
and comes highly recommended by her colleagues. When I spoke with
her previous principal, he described her as one of the best he's ever
seen. During her demonstration lesson, we were particularly
impressed with her ability to inspire critical thinking and differentiate
instruction, and most of all her ability to connect with her
students. With these skills and attributes, Ms. Loe will fit right
in with our amazing fifth grade team.
We are excited to welcome Amanda Berg to our third grade team this
year. Ms. Berg received her Bachelor's degree and teaching
credentials at California Lutheran University. During her graduate
studies she taught in Moorpark Unified School District. Upon
completing her credential, Ms. Berg decided to go teach in Kampala,
Uganda, where she worked with children who had been abandoned and lived
on the streets. She taught children of various ages at a primary
school. After completing her time of service in Uganda, she
returned to Ventura County and worked at Somis School as their reading
specialist. Her previous superintendent noted that her students
were "highly engaged and active participants in their learning".
We are excited to welcome Kristin Chobanian back to her Oak Hills
roots. She will be joining our 4th grade team and is no stranger to
our 4th grade pod. This is where her teaching career began 20 years
ago when she student taught 4th grade. Mrs. Chobanian says she knew
right then and there that she was meant to teach and loved the 4th grade
curriculum. For the next seven years, she taught 1st and 4th grade
at Red Oak Elementary, where she earned our District's Apple Award
recognition in 1999-2000. After taking time off to start her
family, Mrs. Chobanian worked as Reading Specialist in the Conejo Valley
School District where she enjoyed the challenge of helping students
develop their reading skills, and also returned to Oak Park to teach art
at Brookside Elementary. Her husband also began his teaching career
at Oak Hills and taught 5th grade with Ms. Melville for three
years. He now teaches film and broadcast journalism Oaks Christian
School. They have three children; 7, 9 and 11 years old and a puppy
named Dodger (...and yes, they are BIG fans).
Finally, I want to thank Mrs. Follendrof, Ms. Melville, Mrs. Reints, Mrs.
Arnold, Mrs. Mendivil and Mrs. Novak for all the time and effort they
contributed to help us find the best of the best. Finding the right
people to join our school team is one of the most critical things we
do. Please join me in welcoming these outstanding educators to our
Oak Hills Family.
REGISTRATION AND ORIENTATION:
Monday evening, August 18th, we will hold our Ice Cream Social to welcome
new families. This informal get together is an important
opportunity to help new students and their families get to know each
other and connect with some of our existing families. Thursday,
August 21st and Friday, August 22nd, will be student registration.
Returning students will come in on Thursday and new students will attend
on Friday. Be sure to follow the instructions on our website:
On Friday, we will also give our new students an orientation and tour,
led by a group of our Student Ambassadors. In addition to learning
their way around the campus, these new students will meet some familiar
faces who will help them feel comfortable during the potentially
difficult first few days in their new school. On Tuesday, August
26th at 2:00 p.m., we will have an orientation just for Kindergarten and
Discovery Kindergarten students and their families.
If you are on the campus during the opening days of school and see an
unfamiliar face, please provide a friendly 'hello' and a smile.
Your children often follow your lead and it is important as parents to
show our new families that we welcome them to their new Oak Hills
Family. We want Oak Hills to be a place where families feel
connected and where all children can thrive.
That is all for now. As always, please feel free to contact me if
you have any questions. See you soon!