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Cooking with Chef Lauren!

Many have asked and we're here to help you make some of the kids' Oakhill favorites at home! 

Baked Potato Soup Recipe

Serves 4
Use leftover baked potatoes, or leftover mashed potatoes for this recipe as well!

- 5 large russet potatoes, washed
- 1 1/2 quarts whole milk
- 1/2 stick butter, unsalted
- 1 small yellow onion, small diced
- 4 cloves of garlic; whole, peeled
- 1 tablespoon of your favorite hot pepper sauce; we use Cholula at Oakhill
- 1/2 tsp Onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 (or 1/2 if you like spice)tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp white and black pepper
- 1/4 tsp allspice (if desired, not necessary)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 375°F
2. Coat potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper(wrap each potato with foil if you want to use the potato peels in your soup, the foil will keep the skins from drying out in the oven)
3. Bake potatoes until very tender, about 50 minutes.
4. While the potatoes bake, heat a large saucepan/soup pot to medium heat, add the butter and melt.
5. Add the diced onion, microplane (or use a garlic press, or mince with a knife) the garlic into the pot.
6. Saute for 3 or 4 minutes, then add the seasonings (salt, peppers, powders, and allspice if desired). Continue sauteing for 4 more minutes.
7. Add whole milk to the onion and garlic mixture, lower heat to medium
8. Remove potatoes from oven and rest 5 minutes.

-WITH POTATO SKINS- just rough-chop the hot baked potatoes and toss them into the soup pot with the milk (we use the skins at Oakhill).

-WITHOUT POTATO SKINS- slice the hot potatoes in half lengthwise and remove the insides from the skins. Add the potato insides directly to the soup pot with milk.

CHEF TIP- I like to use a clean towel to hold the potatoes when they're fresh from the oven, so I can handle them easier without burning my hands.

9. Once everything is in the soup pot, cook over medium/medium low heat until desired consistency is reached, around 15-25 minutes.
10. To finish, add a tablespoon of your favorite hot pepper sauce, and taste to check the seasoning, add more if needed.
11.Blend the soup with a handheld blender if you prefer a more smooth soup, or leave it slightly chunky.
12. Serve hot with shredded cheese, sour cream, chives and bacon or as is!


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Technology Tidbits

1 to 1 Instruction Consent

As we continue to evaluate distance learning at Oakhill and continue to incorporate virtual class meetings, we recognize the need for more 1 to 1 student/teacher instruction or tutoring may arise. Some of you may have already started having 1 to 1 meetings with your teacher. If you would like to opt out of 1 to 1 video instruction/tutoring or would like another teacher or administrator present during 1 to 1 instruction/tutoring, please send an email to your division head with your request. 

Division Head Contact

Here are great resource downloads to help keep your family safe while using online video chat tools: 

Student Technology Expectations - Please Review

During this time of distance learning, we want to remind students that our school account and device expectations/policies are still in effect. School accounts and school issued devices should be used in a school appropriate manner and only for school learning activities.

2019/2020 iPad and Account Expectations

2019/2020 Device and Account Expectations

Technology Help Desk

You also should have received information from your child's teacher about the k12itc Technology Help Desk. k12itc has expanded their services to be of assistance to all Oakhill families, not just those with school devices. Should you need any help at all with your devices you can contact k12itc.


Download k12itc Help Desk Information Here

Screenagers Screening Rescheduled

Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills For Stress Resilience
Join us for an ONLINE LIVE STREAMING Interactive Community Movie Screening and Discussion!

Register to screen from home

The program is 1 HR 45 MIN. The movie is 60 minutes, followed by a 45 minute Q & A. REGISTRATION IS FREE.

With COVID-19 giving many of us downtime at home with our families, we invite you to take this opportunity to attend our online interactive community discussion. We will use the movie "Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills For Stress Resilience" as a starting point for an online interactive discussion about how we help teens build crucial skills to navigate stress, anxiety, and depression in our digital age.

High stress, anxiety, and depression are experienced by millions of young people. This film follows physician and filmmaker, Delaney Ruston, as she discovers solutions for improved adolescent well-being in the digital age. 



ODS COVID-19 Update Webpage

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Message from the Finance Office

A few years after I graduated from college, I took a job in which my office was out of my house. I learned that I can be very productive, but on the flip side I found that I needed the interaction of everyone at the workplace. Fast forward 22 years and I know that productivity will not be a problem, but I know I will miss everyone from school and those interactions. This time around I have a husband that is virtual teaching and two children (18 and 19 years old) that are on the other side and learning from the virtual teaching. So like your family there is quite a bit going on here, so being lonely and having no one to talk to is quite different than years ago! I know that while we are unsure of everything right now, I know that each of has a "job" and we will do great at it.

While I do not anticipate much change in how we are doing things, there will be some changes that Kristin and I ask from you. First and foremost, if you have any questions, please communicate with us. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to communicate if you are running into unforeseen issues. Please know that we understand that and we are here to talk through everything. If you have ever contacted me before, you know that I will do my best to come up with a reasonable solution. We are all running into issues with this event that we did not anticipate a few months ago, so please let me know if you have any problems that I can help with.

Kristin will be the one working mostly with SMART Tuition and enrollment information, while I will be working more on the accounting side. We do work closely together and for that reason, we are asking that you send your emails to If it is easier to just write to one of us, we understand that too! Writing emails is often harder than just talking, so if you would like to talk on the phone, just drop us an email with how to get in touch with you along with a quick explanation (ie: SMART Tuition question or payment question) and one of us will give you a call back. 

Whether email or telephone call, we ask that you give us a bit of time to communicate with you knowing that our goal is to get back with you within 24 hours.

Your family can expect from us in the coming weeks:

  • On or about April 5, you will be receiving your SMART Tuition billed. Included in this upcoming billing will be purchases from the spirit shop, lunch add-ons and after school care up to March 6. If you utilized Kids Club the first week of spring break, you will also be seeing that added to SMART. Tuition and enrollment fees will be included, if applicable.
  • We are refunding a portion of the all-inclusive lunch and after school care billing for the isolation period of March 23 through April 24. Activity/clubs for this time period will also be refunded.

My wish for everyone is to stay healthy and be safe!  We are all in this together and as a team can get through this!


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Message for Students from ODS Health Room 

Oakhill Day School Parents,

While this is a challenging time for all of us, we consider it a privilege to serve you and your family at a time like this. 

How Do I Talk To My Child About COVID-19?

  • Click here for a great article that is very resourceful regarding talking to children. Monitor TV and social media.

  • Maintain a normal routine as much as possible.

  • Be honest and accurate.

  • Take time to talk and keep explanations age appropriate.  Early childhood and elementary school children need brief, simple information that should balance facts with the reassurance that their schools and homes are safe and that adults are there to keep them healthy and to take care of them if they do get sick.  While upper intermediate and middle school students are able to discuss the issue in a more adult like fashion. 

Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms 

Symptoms to watch for:

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

If you develop emergency warning signs of COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  • New confusion or inability to arouse

  • Bluish lips or face


Steps to protect yourself

Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick



To ask Nurse Cathy, Aimee or Jan an Oakhill-specific question, please click here. Other health-related questions should be directed to your primary care physician.

Helpful Links:

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The Generosity of our Community is Amazing!

The first thing I would like to convey to you is that I am here, working hard to help keep Oakhill strong.  I am here for you and all of our donors and community.  

In this troubling time, there are so many blessings and good news to share:

  • Thanks to our generous Oakhill community, we had a RECORD BREAKING auction! Gross receipts were $252,281 - the highest in Oakhill history!  The night was truly magical as we raised over $75,000 for our fund-a-need! Next year's auction will be on March 6, the Black and Teal Ball... and fabulous things are already planned.
  • We have met our goal for the Titan project and construction is underway! It will be wonderful to come back and see all the changes that have happened.
  • With the magic of technology, I am available for any questions, concerns or just to visit and catch up via email or you can call me at (816) 436.6228. I am open for business!
  • You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook (Look for Leslie Gasser) and I am friends with many of you already. Please share pictures and updates of you and your family.  

I continue to be inspired by our families, our leadership and all of our amazing teachers. It is truly a blessing to be a part of this community.


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We're Getting Ready for Your Return!

So now that we aren't at school...what's going on there? I'm sure you are keeping an eye on construction news as that remains full steam ahead during this time away from school. But what about the rest of the rooms? Randy Owen and his cleaning crew, along with Chris Beckham (our facility coordinator) have been working hard to clean and sanitize each room--and everything in the room!  By everything, we mean everything. They are slowly working their way through each room, wiping down all items, shelves, floors, walls, and more. We want to thank all of them for their tireless efforts to keep our facilities running and clean for our return.  

Construction Update

As I mentioned, construction on the new lobby continues while we are out of the building. Luke Draily Construction is hard at work putting up walls in the new lobby, Jeff Johnson worked hard to get our train hallway ready for new doors, and a few other vendors have been in and out of the lobby area fixing it up. By the time we go back to school, things will look different for sure!  

Technology Support

You might also have some technology questions as you get into the online learning system--as you have seen from previous notices, Sara Verwers, Lacy Meier, and I are here to help. But what you might not know is that our IT partner, K12Itc, is also here to help if you have questions with your computers. They are a phone call away and can give some tips and assistance to all our families if you run into technical difficulties with your computer systems during this time of doing your schoolwork at home.  Simply give them a call at 816-382-4840.

I'd love to see what you are working on at home! 

Follow me on Twitter @KathrynSDodson to see what I'll be learning while we are away from the building.  

Student Help DeskHelp Desk 2

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Heartfelt Welcome Back from the Admissions Office

Hello Oakhill! Welcome back from Spring Break 2020! I hope that you were able to relax and unwind over the last couple of weeks.

I have missed my morning visitors! I have missed the pop-ins from kiddos stopping at my office heading to Sharon's. I have missed the lunch conversations I get to have with our amazing students each day. I miss my Oakhill family! You guys are the best part of my day... my interactions with our parents and kids!

As you know, the Oakhill campus is closed. But Oakhill is here. Stronger than ever! We, your administration, teachers and staff are 110% committed to this community and what it stands for. We are all in this together!

While this isn't ideal, we have an amazing staff who will continue to bring the resources and lessons Oakhill families know and love.

  • For our Early Childhood students: Some great activities coming daily from circle time and videos to things for gross motor and small groups. These will hopefully make it seamless and will keep them connected to teachers and friends!
  • For our Lower School students: Our teachers have amazing lessons that will pick up right where they were, ones designed to meet the goals and objectives for each grade level. Expect videos and SeeSaw. Be ready for the excitement and care these teachers bring each and every day!
  • For our Middle School students (and my boys!): There may be a video to watch or a link to an article to read. Students will turn in assignments online, take tests and quizzes. Teachers have set office hours, ready to answer your questions. Videos are already coming in with words of encouragement, fun ways to think outside the box on math and science and so much more!

Set a schedule. But be flexible. Have patience. With yourself and your kids.

Enjoy the outdoors. Have a dance party. Watch a movie. Sing karaoke... loudly! Take a nap. Bake together. Connect – use technology or write a handwritten note. And before you know it, we will be back. Back to our routines. Back to campus. Back to Oakhill!

The Admissions Office is open - from my kitchen table! We are offering virtual tours (we've created an awesome slide show with pictures of our campus and programs) and are working with our current and prospective families! If you have questions, just holler! If you know someone who is looking to be a part of an amazing school community this fall, send them my way! If you have a younger student you need to enroll, let's talk!

Admissions is here for you... to be an ear during COVID social distancing, to answer questions, anything you need! Although the campus is closed, I have regular office hours and am only an email, phone call or chat away! I am confident in our teachers, our staff, and our community. Because we are Oakhill strong!

Dot Beckham | Email Me!

Follow me online!

Twitter: @fabfourbeckhams

Instagram: @dotbeckhamkc

Oh, one more thing...

Our family was excited to bring home the Kindergarten eggs for hatching last week! For those that don't know, I am chicken obsessed! I have 8 ladies of my own... from the Kindergarten eggs 2 years ago! They are spoiled, get nice healthy treats and veggies each day, and bring a smile to my face!

We've had one little chick born already! The rest of the Kindergarten chicks are snuggled in, nice and warm, saving up their energy for the hatching process. BUT I expect more big things to "hatch" later this week! Make sure to follow me above or check out the Oakhill SmugMug and Facebook pages for all the skinny!

More kindergarten chicks are on their way!

Baby Chick


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With all of this uncertainty, one thing is for sure...

It's time to look on the bright side, summer camp is coming!

As we are all stationed at home and trying to figure out how to occupy ourselves, and the kids, through these long days, I am keeping busy making sure that my summer team is ready for you. Our goal each summer is to provide every camper with an environment that cultivates inspiration. It is my sole goal as the Director of Summer Camp to see and hear your students excited to come and spend their time with us at Oakhill Fully Charged. 

I hope this virus passes through quickly and allows us to get back to school in time for summer. This social distancing is truly setting us up for the most engaging, energetic, and need summer yet. Your campers will be eager to get back with friends, see their favorite teachers, and enjoy some ice cream and pool time! Our summertime is always special but with this situation surrounding our city, and the world, this is setting the table for a truly amazing summer experience in 2020. 

Please take a look at our website, email me, follow our Instagram @odssummer, to get the answers to all of your camp questions. I am here to get ideas from your family as to how we can create the perfect summer for each one of you.

If interested, here is a link to learn more about Oakhill Fully Charged.  This will allow you to sign your child up for the Best Summer Ever! 

Please reach out to me with any questions and please let all your kids know that Coach Taylor is thinking of them and is a click away! 

Be safe and see you soon for water balloon fights and suntans!


Your Fully Charged Team

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Dear Oakhill Family,

This is, without a doubt, one of the most difficult times many of us have dealt with as parents.  There is so much uncertainty and concern and at the same time, we can't even spend time with friends and family for the chance to recharge and to discuss our concerns or gain wisdom from others. People talk about kids being resilient- what about us adults?! How are we going to survive this time at home with our sanity intact and our anxiety levels managed?  Well, here are a few ideas for managing your stress during this time. You may notice there is a great deal of focus on self-care! 

1) Exercise. Many services are offering free trials for exercise programs - Peloton has made their app free for a 90 day trial period and there are awesome exercise options there including yoga which is very beneficial for managing stress and finding peace. If you need something calming your kids can do, check out Cosmic Kids yoga on YouTube. If yoga or structured exercise isn't for you, turn on some music and dance around or climb the stairs for 20 minutes. Just get moving.  

2) Take a nap! Never underestimate the power of sleep. And now, we all have a little more time to do that (silver linings)!  If your kids won't nap so you're able to, you can institute a mandatory 30-minute quiet time where everyone HAS to find a quiet activity. This would be a perfect time to get everyone reading as well!

3) Work on one habit/goal/problem area at a time. If you're feeling frustrated that your kids won't pick up their toys- set aside three times a day to do a 5-minute pick-up and kids who don't want to participate don't get to go onto the next fun activity. If your kids won't listen - ask them to repeat what you said - everything you said - until you're sure they heard you - every time. Pick ONE thing to work on and eat that elephant one bite at a time.

4) Reconnect with something you love to do that has nothing to do with your family. Preferably a screen-free thing so you don't end up distracted. Maybe you enjoy reading, puzzling, painting, board games - kinda need family for that one but it still counts, knitting, exercise, scrapbooking, woodworking, cooking/ get the drift. Do something just for yourself and make it known to your family that it is happening and tell them why.

5) Call your friends and family! They are all feeling the same way. There's a reason isolation is used as torture! We weren't meant to go through life without the support of our friends and family.  

6) Look up goofy jokes on the internet or find a comedy channel you enjoy or make a challenge with your family to see who can get the most laughs from a joke and everyone has to bring 5 jokes to the table at dinner. Do anything to get laughing because laughter is medicine!  

7) Make a family signal. When any one person in the house is close to reaching their limits, use the signal. Make everyone aware of the signal and help your kiddos understand that mom & dad are human too, feeling worried and stress trying to deal with this pandemic. Everyone needs grace in this time and everyone deserves to be heard and to be offered a break when they feel they've reached their limit.

8) Most importantly: Don't try to be a superhero! There is no such thing! 

Struggling with problem behaviors or worried that these trying times will cause difficulty in your relationships at home?  Try a few of these ideas:

Make a list of your "Big 3" house rules.  These are the ones you will NOT negotiate on; the three things you're willing to go to the wall for.  Trying to enforce all the rules just gives kids more opportunities to argue and parents more opportunities for frustration.  These three rules should be established at a family meeting or should be made very clear and any consequences for a lack of follow-through should be stated when the rules are established.  This will help keep negotiations and arguments to a minimum.

- Focus on the Big 3 and treat the rest of the "rules" more like requests. Don't worry- you can still get these requests met- and hopefully without argument.  Try rewarding your kiddos (something you know they will really work for) to gain their follow-through of requests.  Use a marble jar or a tally chart or something tangible and offer praise or even a reward for these positive behaviors.  Ask your child to make their bed and when she does it, add a tally to the chart.  Tell her you appreciate her effort.  If she doesn't do it, move on.  It's not the end of the world.  The more tallies she gets, the more likely she will be to abide by your requests with the behavior you expect.

This time, while challenging and very different, doesn't have to be hard.  And more importantly, we don't have to do it alone.  Isolated, yes.  Alone - absolutely not!  PTO is here to help and support you.  Teachers are available.  Call, email, text, message...whatever you can do to stay connected.  We are here for you and we can all come through the other side of this stronger than ever!

Stay healthy, stay safe, best wishes!

Your Oakhill PTO

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Cook at Home with Us!

Hello Oakhill Family,

The entire Food and Beverage Department (Chef Justin, Chef Lauren, Chef Matt, Chef Cordale) ALL miss being able to feed and visit with you every day while we are stuck at home, too.  

Hopefully, you are finding lots of yummy (and healthy) things to eat every day!

Follow us on Twitter (@KitchenODS) and we will try to share how YOU can make some of your favorite school lunch items at home as well as some of our other favorite recipes to eat at home! 

Message to Parents about Billing

Main Campus Families:

We have already processed all refunds for lunches ordered through Boonli through April 6.  If you believe you have any orders placed beyond then, you are free to sign in to remove those orders. You will receive a credit on your account and those will never expire.

South Campus Families:

I will be working with The Finance Department to make sure your smart tuition balance is prorated properly. 


Stay healthy and safe!

-Chef Justiin


Pictured Recipe:

For a quick and easy dinner tonight, all you need are potatoes, peppers, onions, broccoli, and chicken!

All you need to do is layer the chicken on top of the veggies and cover with your favorite seasonings and a little olive oil and bake 5o minutes at 400 degrees! Top with alfredo or marinara, or nothing at all... it's good as is! We made ours with creamy garlic alfredo... Yummy!

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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!

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Oakhill Day School
Oakhill Day School
7019 N. Cherry Street Gladstone, MO 64118
Phone: 816.436.6228
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