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Merit Scholarships Available for 2021-2022
Oakhill Day School is excited to offer current and prospective students an opportunity to achieve Merit Scholarships towards your yearly tuition. Merit Scholarships are submitted and reviewed on an individual basis. All families are encouraged to apply for a scholarship for one or multiple children.
Oakhill's Merit Scholarships are available to incoming students 3rd-8th and renewable each year through 8th grade. Financial need is not a consideration to receive a Merit Scholarship. Criteria for award distribution varies depending on grade level and enrollment status. Merit Scholarships vary in amount.
Families who would like to have a student(s) considered for a Merit Scholarship should complete the attached form. The Admissions Office will reach out at that time with more information. Merit Scholarships are available for both current and prospective families!
For families with multiple children, please complete the Merit Scholarship form for each student for consideration.
A total of FIVE scholarships will be awarded each school year.
For more information or with questions on the Merit Scholarship program, please contact the Admissions Office.
Pandemic Life at Oakhill - What Now?
Education is the great equalizer; every student has a right to it! One thing is for sure, education has taken on a new look these days. There are many choices out there! You have chosen Oakhill - a private, independent education for your child; a mission-driven learning environment where your child is known and valued! We thank you!
You know how important the entire educational process is - not just the content, but all that traditional schooling means and brings - the relationships, the interaction, the problem-solving, the critical thinking, the inquiry, the socialization, the shared conversations, the collaboration, and the list goes on and on. All of us became teachers to "make all of this happen"...to make a difference in the lives of our students.
I spent time in the classrooms last week watching this very "thing" take place! Students learn from their teacher, but they also learn from one another. I left those observations in a "great place"; I am grateful to be in school...grateful to employ these awesome educators...grateful to watch our "kids be kids" in the classroom...and, grateful for your trust in us!
Oakhill has already experienced many figurative "wins" this 20/21 school year.
The biggest win is to be on-campus and in-person while continuing to educate our students who have opted to learn virtually for now. I am proud of our classroom teachers AND our remote learning teachers; they have blazed a unique path for alternate learning.
We have only had 5 confirmed cases of Covid-19 this school year. A huge thank you to all of the teachers and staff who have helped keep our community safe and healthy.
We have 248 students who came back to Oakhill this year, and we have 53 brand new students who chose to come, or make a change. We are fortunate to have loyal customers and we are grateful for these relationships. We have nothing but respect for each and every family at Oakhill.
We have several new faculty members who opted to begin a new journey at Oakhill in the middle of a pandemic! All of our newest staff members either had great jobs or had chosen another path for the year, but when the Oakhill doors opened, they recognized it was meant to be!
We completed 4 hours of intense security training in mid-October. We learned, we listened, we asked relevant questions about our space and situations, and we practiced with our "go buckets". I am so proud of this team - we built confidence and became more empowered with the training.
We have completed a successful sports season; both girls' volleyball and cross country competed well and thrived in an unprecedented sports environment within our leagues.
Oakhill has also experienced some figurative "losses" this 20/21 school year, as well.
We had to say farewell to several faculty and staff members this school year due to COVID-related concerns. Although it was hard to say goodbye, I am grateful for the time we all spent together over the years. What is the saying, "Don't be sad because something came to an end...be happy that it happened at all".
We also lost 91 students from last year. Students are like family; therefore, the reality of having a child or family not return (regardless of reason) is heartbreaking.
The loss of students directly impacted Oakhill's revenue creating a significant deficit in this year's operating budget. We trimmed expenses everywhere we could for the 20/21 school year without touching curriculum, student programming, and teachers.
Oakhill is now seizing every opportunity to increase our wins despite our losses.
Because we have experienced growth each year for the past 14 years, we are currently built for 400+ students. With the reality of having approximately 300 current students in 21/22, we must have a plan to "right size" our personnel. This will be directly impacted by enrollment for 21/22; the sooner we know how many students are returning, the better we can plan. Historical trends will help us determine the approximate number of new students for the 21/22 school year.
We will be sharing a new re-enrollment timeline with the community in the next couple of weeks. This new timeline will hopefully accelerate commitments for the 21/22 school year giving us the opportunity to staff appropriately as we "right size".
We will now offer merit scholarships - an opportunity to attract more students in grades 4-8.
We are excited to implement new innovative programming in August including an innovative, personalized high school experience, a parents day out option for early childhood, and a flex experience focused on virtual education and flexible scheduling.
We will offer an in-person high school experience this January to supplement their district's workload. This will allow for socialization, collaboration and augmented curriculum.
Many businesses across the metro are asking the community to shop local... buy local... support small business. We, too, are asking this community to continue to support Oakhill. Share our excellence in education. Market our strong partnership. Tell the Oakhill story - 74 years of character education through our Lifeskills program. 74 years of teachers who know our students well. 74 years of finding the best in each student. 74 years of serving our mission - Oakhill Day School is a community where students are known, valued, and inspired to be their best selves.
We have weathered the 2020 storm, and we are strong and resilient! We are strategic and innovative. We will continue to create "wins"! We will continue to look for opportunities! We will continue to provide a relevant and rigorous education to our students. We will continue to partner with our parents!
There are some things you learn best in calm... and some in storms! I have learned how special we are - again and again!
Always grateful and determined,
Introduction to Design Process
This summer as I was making plans for the school year, I was determined to have my students follow a design process this year. As a former coder, I'd followed the software engineering process which involved gathering requirements, analyzing, designing, coding, testing and maintaining. I knew first hand the importance of following sequential steps and also that the best solution is almost never the first solution. I wanted my students to have the same understanding - not because I told them so, but because they'd seen it in action!
The past couple of years, I'd done my best to follow the engineering design process with my students - define the problem, identify constraints, brainstorm solutions, select the most promising solution, prototype the solution, test and evaluate the prototype, iterate to improve the prototype and share your prototype. As we'd walk through these steps, it always became a struggle identifying the exact step we were on and where exactly we were in the process. It always seemed like the steps were overlapping and I'd struggle when students would ask where we were in the process. I needed something similar, maybe a little less wordy yet still a process to follow.
Walking myself through previous years' projects, I realized we'd brainstorm a little (figuring out what we were trying to solve) create a little (maybe a product to solve the problem) and share a little (tell a friend what we were thinking) and then we'd be back to brainstorming (how are we going to create our product), creating (making a physical product), sharing our product (for feedback) and back to brainstorming to apply the feedback and make changes to our product. Voila - our design process was now defined! Brainstorm, create, share (repeat). Finally something I was comfortable using and sharing with my students!
This week while discussing my 8th graders' outdoor classroom design project with Chad Heinz from Hollis and Miller Architects, we exchanged theories on design processes. In this exchange, he gave the perfect analogy which I'm now stealing! Picture the frosting on top of a Hostess cupcake - you know the looping white frosting? That's exactly how our Brainstorm, Create, Share, (Repeat) design process works - we go forward a little, loop back a little and go forward again. It's not a circular process, it's a linear process! You can check it out here.
Follow my class, @ODSTechtastic, on Twitter and you'll be able to see our new design process in action!
What will you do during the 12 Days of Auction?
To replace our favorite things party, the auction committee is having 12 Days of Auction! Our hope is that the community will help secure awesome items for our annual auction event to help raise money for the students of Oakhill. The Auction is the school's largest fundraiser and we need the entire community's support to make it a success!
Please contact the Auction Committee with questions.
Thank you for supporting Oakhill Day School!
*Don't Forget! Auction Raffle Tickets are due back by November 20*
Awesome Grandparents' & Special Friends' Day!
With the Grandparents' & Special Friends' Event going virtual this year, we have had great success connecting with our family and friends!
Pre-K is sending artwork, Kindergarten is inviting mystery readers, 3rd and 8th grade are hosting video chats, and 7th grade is recording an interview with their grandparents over the Thanksgiving holiday. Teachers are continuing to collect information so they can connect with every child's grandparents and/or special friends at every grade level!
Questions? Contact Maggie Newhouse
Download the ODS App!
We are pleased to announce the launch of our new school app. It is FREE for you to download and is part of our commitment to communicate with parents, delivering the school’s latest news, events, push notifications and much, much more.
The app can be used on smartphones and tablet devices running iOS or Android, and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
To download, click on one of the links above to go directly to your preferred App Store. Open the app, follow the prompts and you’re ready to go. We hope you find our new app useful. If you have any questions please call 816.436.6228 or email.
Thank you to Kansas City Credit Union for making the App possible for Oakhill! The support of you and our other Community Partners is huge, especially in this COVID year. Communication is important and you have afforded us the opportunity to improve how we connect with our Oakhill families.
For the November PTO Coffee, we will be presenting information about Oakhill's Lifeskills program. Plus, we will be unveiling several new pilot programs we have in the works. The Coffee will take place on Tuesday, November 10 at 9:00 am.
This PTO Coffee will be hosted IN-PERSON with a presentation to view afterwards for those unable to attend. To maintain social distancing guidelines, we will only be able to include 15 people at in-person session.
Sign up here to join us in-person! Limited spots available.
Panther Project Boxes
Serious Fun, every month
What is Panther Project Box?
Panther Project Box is a monthly STEM-based activity box. We designed these boxes to instill confidence in your child to DREAM BIG and learn to be creative. We want to inspire creativity in your kids and allow them to solve a problem, build a project, or color a picture their way!
We will be offering two different boxes based on students' age, 2-4 years old and 5-10 years old. We took the time to ask educators to help build each Box and decide what materials and activities to include. These boxes will always be a surprise, so your student is more excited than ever, and they come each month!
What activities can my child expect?
We want to keep these a surprise, but we already have several months mapped out and ready for delivery. Every Box will come with instructions, a step-by-step video, and the projects' materials. In the first month, our younger students are going to receive a Box centered around animals. The Box has binoculars, a fun animal hat, multiple activities, and a book to show them some of their favorite animals.
Older students' first Box has materials for them to build their very own Bow and Arrow and a Confetti launcher. These activities will challenge and teach your students what it takes to do these projects while also proving endless fun.
When can I sign up?
The moment we've all been waiting for, when can I sign up? Our goal is to hand out the first boxes within the next month. Sign up by November 15th to receive a bonus welcome Box in November before your first official Box at the start of December! You can register now below. We will also be sharing more updates and highlights on these Boxes soon! The Boxes were created, tested, and now the final step is to get them in the hands of your kids.
New Financial Assistance Program
Your Oakhill Admissions Office is excited to launch a new program to help families with Financial Assistance.
Oakhill awards over $250,000 in financial assistance each school year. Any family may apply and unlike loans, the recipient is not required to pay back these funds. Financial awards are a reduction in tuition fees. Financial Assistance applications must be completed new each year.
For the upcoming school year, Oakhill is working with FACTS to process assistance applications. FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment will be conducting the financial need analysis for all applicants. Families applying for financial aid will need to complete an online application and submit the necessary supporting documentation to FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment. The FACTS program is fully online and can be completed from a computer, phone, or even a tablet.
Our Financial Assistance program consists of three steps:
1. Submit a letter of intent. Letters for the 21-22 School Year are due to your Admissions Office by December 15, 2020, for priority award opportunities.
2. Complete the FACTS application online. Oakhill's FACTS Institution ID# is: 22196. Applications can be submitted after November 2nd for the 21-22 School Year
3. Completion of award paperwork once received from the Admissions Office once award amount is determined.
Oakhill utilizes FACTS for the entry, processing, and calculation of financial information used by The Financial Assistance Committee to determine the need and recommend award amounts. Awards amounts are subject to the availability of funds.
Once an online application has been completed, the following information will need to be sent to FACTS to complete the process. All supporting documentation can be uploaded in pdf or jpeg format online - you can upload a photo from your phone even!
- Copies of your 2019 Federal tax forms including all supporting tax schedules. 2020 taxes will need to be submitted by 3/1/20.
- Copies of any supporting documentation.
Are you a new family looking at Oakhill for the 21-22 School Year? Contact our Admissions Office for more information on Financial Assistance and Enrollment!
If you have questions or concerns about the application process, you may always contact the Admissions Office or you can even speak with a FACTS Customer Care Representative at 866-441-4637.
News from the Development Office
It's a busy time in the Development Office! We are on the road to raising over $400,000 to help Oakhill be strong financially. COVID19 has had a significant financial toll on the school. This can not be stressed enough. However, with aggressive strategies and multiple avenues of raising funds, with your help, our goals are achievable!
There are several ways the Oakhill community can support the school.
Which one fits you?
The Mighty Oak Fund (replaced the Annual Fund) covers all operating expenses not supported through tuition. (Approximately 20% of our budget). Our goal is to raise $150,000 by July 30, 2021. So far, we have received $31,150! Thank you! Please watch your mail boxes for a special holiday appeal arriving in the next few weeks. Please consider making Oakhill your charity of choice with a gift this upcoming holiday season.
Community Partnerships provide a way for organizations to support the school and participate in our events while being promoted through our Oakhill marketing channels. Several levels of sponsorships are available to meet any budget. Our goal is to raise $30,000 through Community Partnerships by July 30, 3021. So far, we have raised $13,000.
Event Sponsorships are a way for you to support the school's mission and the families we serve, and let's be honest. Oakhill events are a blast! We are already accepting silent and live auction items for the Black & Teal Ball. We have special plans in the works. Our goal this year is $160,000 and we already have some sponsorships sold!
And for you golfers, our first annual Helen Wills Golf Tournament is scheduled for June 10, 2021. We have several sponsorship levels sold, but many are still available. Our goal is to raise $60,000. We can do it!
Major Gifts are a way for you to have a meaningful and significant impact on the school and our students. Suzanne and I welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and have a thoughtful conversation about what that would look like for you and your family. Our goal is to raise $300,000 through major gifts for Oakhill. We just received our first major gift of $10,000 from the Roderick & Jo Ann Cyr Foundation because they are so impressed with the quality of our leadership, our programs, and our students!
As you can see, if everyone does their part, if 100% of our families participate, we CAN achieve our goals. We will beat COVID19 and ensure the school is stronger than ever -- now and for future generations of Oakhill students.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Special gratitude to our Community Partners:
CEK Insurance - Silver sponsor for the Black and Teal Ball, and a Diamond sponsor for the Helen Wills Golf Tournament
Security Bank - Community Partnership
Hollis & Miller - Diamond sponsor for golf
Signature Mortgage - Community Partnership and a hole sponsor for golf
Central Bank - Community Partnership
Gregg Engineering - Community Partnership and Swag sponsor for Golf
Clayton Apartments - Community Partnership and Hole-in-One sponsor for Golf
Gladstone Dodge - Hole-in-One sponsor for Golf
Pour Boy Oil Co. - Community Partnership
Corner Cafe - Community Partnership and Silver Sponsor for the Black and Teal Ball
Warm welcome to William Jewell College, our newest Community Partner!
If you are interested in purchasing a customized Community Partnership, or a sponsorship for one of our fabulous events, please call Leslie Gasser in the Development Office (816) 436-6228.
The 2019-2020 Annual Report is live and ready to view. This year, the Annual Report is 100% digital to save printing and postage expenses.
Please enjoy this look-back of the previous year.
The Mighty Oak Fund campaign is well underway! Sincere gratitude and thanks to these special, generous donors who have already made gifts to the Mighty Oak Fund:
Kathryn & Richard Dodson
Leecil & Kendall Culbertson
Bob & Jan Peterson
Stephen & Angela Tatum-Smith
Dan & Mary Lee Sturdevant
Larry & Sharon Blount
The Gasser Family
Kristin & Dan Smith
Ben & Elinore Brown
Don & Deana Mason
Jerry & Lynna McManus
Bob & Gola McDonald
Bren & Leslie Rose
Ron & Sandy Diven
Eddie & Ellen Upton
Daryl & Julie Hercules
Linda & Jeff Hurst
Carol & Ronald Giddens
Brad & Claudia Feaster
Ron Gregg & Michelle Dew
An Le & Tan Nguyen
Elizabeth & Paul Anderson
Sharyl Kennedy & Robert Fritsch
Ann & Forest Bertoldie
Jeff & Courtney Johnson
Jian Liu & Lin Zhao
Ryan & Kay Gerstner
Ed & Judie Koza
Helen Saylor-Kimes & Gary Kimes
Dan & Barb Navarro
Tim & Leah Chapman
Jay & Marta Kimball
Josh & Shannon Smith
Mary Kay Duensing-Lofland
Suzanne & Kevin McCanles
We are accepting auction items for the Black & Teal Ball. Please contact the Development Office at (816) 436-6228 for details and to join the auction committee.
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!