Recent News from Oakhill See All News
I know I speak on behalf of our entire faculty and staff when I say how grateful we are for a fulfilling and happy 20/21 school year! We have had so much fun "hosting events" over the last few weeks! It is incredible to have parents back in the building and to have traditions continue! I was blown away by our 8th grade Mission Possible Presentations, and the Early Childhood Field Day couldn't have been better!! I have never seen the students and faculty have so much fun at the Early Childhood Field Day, Middle School Battle and K-8 Field Day activities! Now we prepare for our 8th grade and Kindergarten Graduations; bittersweet! What an honor it has been to be on this journey - with all of you - this year!
I would like to share a few more changes for the 21/22 school year. As I stated in the April Acorn newsletter this is the time of year when faculty and staff begin to think about the coming August... the new school year! It is always bittersweet; some doors close, other doors open, and new challenges and opportunities are embraced. It is also a time when new and exciting roles and changes come to light. Change is healthy for a school and a catalyst for constant growth.
I am excited to share that Tim Ziegler (Coach Ziggy) will be the Early Childhood and Lower School Director for next year. Tim has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and is completing his Masters in Educational Theory and Practice. Tim believes in our mission and philosophy 110% and shows this within our community every single day. He understands the need for a strong climate and staff culture, and he recognizes the importance of parent partnerships. He is excited to work alongside Amy Ganaden (Intermediate and Middle School Director), Kristin Forsen with her oversight of the school's curriculum and instruction, and all of the departments to best support the growth of the Early Childhood and Lower School Divisions. Tim will continue to direct and oversee all of Early Childhood and Lower School athletic programming, as well. I appreciate his energy, compassion, calmness, common sense, and true desire to be a collaborative team player regardless of the situation.
Taylor Clevenger can do anything around here... and, I mean anything! Taylor will continue to lead the Summer Program and Kids Club Program, but will also become a more integral part of the entire school enhancing every aspect of who Oakhill is, and strives to be, on a daily basis. Taylor's new title will be Director of Summer Programs, Kids Club and Edupreneurship (a new term in the educational world mixing education and entrepreneurial/business minded ideas). He will be tasked with infusing innovation and strategy and energy into all departments (from admissions to development to marketing, and beyond), all events, and all programs. Taylor thinks BIG and does BIG things. He will continue to be a revenue generator for the school, as well... always thinking of mission driven ideas to make Oakhill better AND to help balance the budget. His strong relationships with students, parents, and faculty are foundational; I am excited to watch Taylor's strategic thinking help the school grow in all areas.
Alex Hall started at Oakhill 11 years ago in Kids Club as a college student. He quickly became a fan favorite and began his teaching career six years ago. Alex taught 5th grade math and science, coached volleyball, and enjoyed his current role as 4th-6th grade math. Alex and his wife, Kayla, experienced many exciting events in 2020 - a new home and the arrival of their daughter, Emery. Alex has chosen to take a new path next year - to find what is "next". He will be teaching 7th grade math at Harrisonville Public Schools in the fall. Oakhill has been a big part of Alex's life (a third of it to be more mathematical), and he is grateful for his time here. We wish Alex the very best in all that he does!
Whitney Boyd came to Oakhill 9 years ago, starting in 2nd Grade. Whitney brought incredible energy and passion for teaching to both students and colleagues. She left Oakhill to pursue another teaching opportunity. We were fortunate for her subsequent return to Oakhill to teach 3rd grade for two years followed by 4th grade Math and Communication Arts, and currently 4th-5th grade Communication Arts. Whitney has coached cheerleading, and she has sponsored and led many committees and clubs for both students and faculty. Whitney will not be returning next school year. We wish Whitney the best, and we thank her for the impact she has made on Oakhill.
Jessica Vinson has been at Oakhill for six years. She taught 4th grade Social Studies and Writing for four years, and she has taught 4th-5th grade Social Studies for two years. Jessica has brought fun and energy to the entire community. She has coached basketball, served on many faculty committees, and we have been fortunate to watch her own children grow at Oakhill over the years. Jessica will not be returning next year. We wish Jessica the very best in all that she does, and we thank her for her commitment and dedication to Oakhill.
Jennifer Petty stepped in to teach Early Childhood and Lower School Music this school year! I have appreciated her commitment and calm nature during a trying year, and I thank her for all she has done to be a positive force in our community. Jennifer has accepted a position to work with Prekindergarten students in the inner city through the Kansas City Prekindergarten Initiative started by Mayor Lucas. She is honored to have been chosen to be a part of this program. All of us at Oakhill wish Jennifer only the best! Jo Hill, who has been at Oakhill for 21 years, along with Barb Ely, in her 21st year at Oakhill, will teach Early Childhood through Middle School next school year!
I will share updates on additional hiring for open positions in a June letter to the community.
Thank you for an incredible year despite the challenges we all encountered over the last few months. This community is stronger together! Thank you for your trust, support, and belief in our mission! Have a fun-filled summer, and we will see you back here in August!
Back to Oakhill 2021-2022
All Back to School information is on the website under Quicklinks > Back to School or directly through the website navigation menu. As with previous summers, this page is where you can find all things back to school, including Sports Physical Information, School Supply Lists, Summer Tutoring Information, Summer Reading Info, and an archive of any summer communications from the school. There is also a list of admin contacts and our summer hours.
The summer calendar is not inclusive of all Oakhill events but important events for back to school. You can click the bell to receive calendar alerts or check back frequently as the page will be updated all summer. Use the main school calendar page for events outside of those that are Back to School. If you have any questions over the summer months, please do not hesitate to contact the school!
We hope that everyone has a safe and happy summer, and we can't wait to see everyone back in the fall!
Ready, Set, Read this Summer with the ODS Library!
Read and record your pages this summer for fun prizes when we return to school in August. Access the book lists, reading logs, and score cards below!
This summer's reading goals:
Read 20 picture books
Kindergarten - 2nd Grade
Read 20 picture books or early chapter books
3rd - 8th Grade
- Read 1 book from EACH genre (15 total), win a Pizza Party + 5 free books!
- Read 10 books, win a special treat, 5 free books + a bookmark
- Read 5 books, win 3 free books + a bookmark
- Read 3 books, win 1 free book + a bookmark
Please remember to track your pages read in the online book log or download the bingo card to track (whichever is applicable for your grade level).
Early Childhood - 2nd Grade - Track books after all 20 books are read
3rd - 8th Grade - Please use the book log after you finish each book
3rd - 8th Grade - Download Bingo Scorecard here
Please contact Lacey Meier if you have any questions about this year's Summer Reading Program.
Caution Kids Having Fun!
I am so excited to share a little bit more about our new early childhood offering! Caution Kids Having Fun is going to be our theme for the new Kids Perfect Day Out. Each day will be filled with play-based learning that's relaxed and fun. This new program will be a great opportunity for kids in our area to experience what we all know and love about Oakhill, but on a flexible, day-to-day basis. Each day will be structured with themed projects and hands on activities with plenty of time for play inside the classroom and out on the playground.
Kids Perfect Day Out will be offered 3-days per week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays starting August 24. The cost is $45/day and registration is flexible. All children however must be potty trained to attend.
Who is this program perfect for?
- Our part-time students who need to drop-in on days when they aren't usually at school so mom and dad can get stuff done!
- Home-school children who want additional opportunities for socialization.
- Mom's groups who want another venue to get the kids together for learning and play!
Register for Kids Perfect Day Out or Share with your friends!
A little bit about our staff:
This is Amy Clevenger's 15th year at Oakhill. Amy has a degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood. She has taught 5th grade, preschool, prekindergarten and most recently kindergarten. She believes in high student engagement and that each day should be lived to the fullest. Amy is looking forward to creating a perfect day for each child that comes her way.
This is Kendra Lowe's first year at Oakhill. She has a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. Kendra owned and operated a home daycare before her two children started elementary school and taught kindergarten for 19 years. Kendra enjoys teaching and working with young children and believes they should be actively involved in meaningful and hands on activities. Kendra is very excited and looking forward to starting a new adventure at Oakhill.
If you have more questions about Kids Perfect Day Out, please contact Amy Clevenger!
Back to School 2021-2022
Next year's school supply lists are now live on the ODS website in the Back to School Section or on the Parent HUB and are ready for back to school shopping. We are no longer offering pre-packaged school supplies but be sure to mark your calendar for the 2021 tax free weekend holiday which begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 6, and runs through Sunday, August 8.
Have a great summer!
5th Grade student Emma Avery won Head of School for the day at this year's Black and Teal Ball. As part of her duties, Emma prepared a message for the school, her top 10 highlights from her day acting as Oakhill's Head!
Head of School Top 10 by Emma Avery
I was able to be the Head of School from bidding at the Auction. I have enjoyed my day with Mrs. McCanles being Head of School at Oakhill. These are my Top 10 favorite things from the day:
Helping give ideas on new playground equipment!
Giving snacks to all the teachers to say thank you - good job!
Talking about dogs and how to bring them to Oakhill!
Lunch with Mrs. McCanles, including chicken fingers and french fries!
Receiving an Oakhill employee badge!
Walking the halls and checking in with everyone!
Being able to meet the new teachers who weren't here last year!
Getting to be back in Main Building and seeing my old teachers!
Able to help count the money from items sold in the Mercantile!
No school work!
Thank you Emma for your dynamic leadership and we hope that you had as much fun as we did with you in charge!
Become a Host Family in 2021!
Faces and Our Cultures is an 8-week cultural exchange program from Guatemala. Each year, Faces sends approximately 175 Guatemalan students ages 10-18 to the United States, into 13 states and 100 schools. Faces & Our Cultures has proven to Oakhill that their program is enriching, not only for the students who visit our school but also for Oakhill students, staff, and our entire school community. The program has led to wonderful friendships and has provided our students and our Guatemalan guests with valuable cultural experiences.
In order to participate in the Faces program, Guatemalan students apply to be Cultural Ambassadors from their country and are carefully selected by the Faces & Our Cultures team. They go through an orientation process during the academic year and also prepare cultural projects to share with their host family and school.
Although no students are heading to the United States as part of the program this year, we would love to talk to you about being a host family for the 21-22 school year! We encourage families from all grades to consider hosting.
Faces and Our Cultures will be hosting a webinar next week to share more information on the upcoming school year.
FACES PROGRAMS INFORMATIONAL WEBINAR
Thursday, September 24
6:00 p.m. CT
(The 45-minute webinar will cover general information about the three programs: Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and the new Community Service program)
· Fall Program (hosting) October-December 2021
· Summer Program in Guatemala, 2-4 weeks, June or July 2021
· Community Service Program, July 2021
Attendees are welcome to Register Here
If you are interested in hosting a student and participating in this life-enriching experience, please contact Dorothy Beckham to learn more!
4th - 8th Grade - Oakhill Panthers Track @ Field begins Monday, March 8!
Spring is right around the corner and the weather will be warming up soon, just in time for your Oakhill Panthers to begin track & field practices.
We would love to see many of our 4th - 8th grade students out on the track or trying a field event this spring. On the track & field team there is an event for everyone; running events, jumping events, and throwing events. Come on out and try the high/long jump if you're into jumping, a relay/sprint if you're into running, or the softball throw/shot put/discus if you're into throwing. There are many field and running events to choose from, the coaches will help you find what is best for you!! Come on out and join us for some fun on the track this spring with Coach Ferris and Coach Gabrielson.
Hope to see you on the track March 8th!!!
Online Registration Information:
- Registration is underway for the 2021 track & field season!! Register online today by clicking the link below.
- Please be sure to get registered to ensure a track & field t-shirt is ordered for your child this season. Your registration will provide us the t-shirt size for your child. Uniforms will be ordered following the first week of practice.
First Practice: Monday, March 8 @ 5:30pm - 7:00pm (please note, practice will end @ 7pm on March 8th and March 10th due to daylight)
Practice Days: Monday/Wednesday
Practice Time: 5:30pm - 7:15pm
Practice Location: Staley High School (Auxiliary Track) - located across from the baseball field, and right up the hill from the tennis courts at Staley High School.
Kyle Gabrielson: Please join me in welcoming our newest member of the Oakhill Panthers track & field coaching staff for this spring; Head Coach Kyle Gabrielson. Kyle comes to us from Liberty, MO where he grew up and attended Liberty High School. While attending Liberty High School Kyle was a member of their well known cross country program. It was throughout his high school years with some great coaches that Kyle developed his love for running.
After high school Kyle moved on and went off to college where he attended William Woods University in Fulton, MO. While at Williams Woods University Kyle received his undergraduate degree in Sports Medicine, and his graduate degree in Healthcare Administration. Following his time at William Woods, Kyle went on to become a middle school track & field coach at Fulton Middle School in Fulton, Missouri. For three years Kyle was the head coach of a team that had over 100 runners participating each season. Kyle really enjoyed his experience coaching middle school track & field in Fulton. However, three years into his coaching tenure at Fulton Middle School he got a full-time job in Kansas City, MO. and moved. Following his move to Kansas City for a job outside of education/coaching Kyle had always hoped to find a school where he could coach track/cross country while not being a teacher at the school. Fast forward a few years and along came Oakhill Day School.
Kyle comes to Oakhill with a great reference from one of our very own Lower School teachers; Lisa Manley. Lisa has known Kyle for many years and had nothing but great things to say about him. Kyle is very grateful for this opportunity, and could not be more excited for the chance to get back on the track this spring and coach. I am very excited to have Kyle here at Oakhill this spring, his passion and enthusiasm for track & field will be a positive influence on the students here at Oakhill.
George Ferris: Please join me in welcoming Coach Ferris to the track & field coaching staff for the 2021 season. George is excited for this new opportunity and looking forward to getting out on the track and having fun with the kids. This will be Coach Ferris first year coaching track and field here at Oakhill, he will assist Coach Gabrielson at all practices and meets.
Updated Sport Physical: Sport physicals are valid for one year from the date they were completed. Each participant must have an updated sport physical on file here at Oakhill to practice. Please check to make sure the current one your child has does not expire mid-season.
Updated Covid-19 Mask Policy (Spring 2021): Masks will not be required to be worn by the student-athletes while practicing outdoors. We ask that all runners bring their mask with them to practice. When the team meets as a large group and cannot space out we would ask that the kids put their mask on.
Parent Zoom Meeting: Coach Gabrielson/Ferris are planning to have a Zoom parent meeting to go over the track & field informational packet. At that time both coaches will introduce themselves, go over expectations for the season, and will answer any questions you may have. Information regarding the Zoom link, date, and time will be sent out as soon as this is scheduled.
Parochial League - KC: The Oakhill Day School track & field team participates in the Parochial League of Kansas City. Meets will be held on Saturdays, beginning with the first meet on Saturday, April 10th. Below are the dates/times of the league meets. Please note, the 4th - 6th runners will compete in the mornings, with the 7th/8th competing in the afternoon. Once the league posts the date of the 7th/8th MOKAN Invitational I will get that added as well.
- PLKC Website - Link Below
PLKC Meet Dates/Times (Locations for each meet will be posted when released by the league)
- Saturday, April 10th @ TBA
- Saturday, April 17th @ TBA
- Saturday, April 24th @ TBA
- Saturday, May 1st - City Championship Meet @ TBA
- 4th - 6th Grade Division Track Meets
- The 4th - 6th grade participants will have their meets on Saturday mornings (8am - 12pm)
- 7th/8th Grade Division Track Meets
- The 7th/8th grade participants will have their meets on Saturday afternoons (1pm - 5pm)
Look forward to a great season!!!
Kellen Smith (Athletic Director)
Why choose an independent private education?
By choosing an independent private education, you have the opportunity to choose a school whose philosophy, values, and teaching style fit your child. Independent private schools can also offer your family small class sizes, excellent teachers, and high academic standards.
Oakhill Day School is a place where children discover themselves as learners in a community where they feel valued and known. We invite you to learn more about the active learning that happens here!