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Oakhill Day School COVID-19 Dashboard

Confirmed Positive Cases

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Back to Oakhill 2020-2021

We are excited to be back at school and learning, in-person. Our approach to get back on campus was based on what is best for our students. 

Oakhill’s Return to School Task Force was able to identify 5 Guiding Principles that reflect our school’s mission and address our approach to learning.

  • Safety - We will do what we can to mitigate risk in a common sense and healthy way

  • On Campus Instruction - We believe in-person on campus instruction is the model for Oakhill

  • Academic Continuity - We want to build a bridge when a student is unable to be on campus and in-person (remote learning) and if school closes for the betterment of the health and safety of our community (distance learning)

  • School Culture and Climate - We will make decisions based on what is best for the education of our students, to maximize the health and safety of our community and the well-being of our school as a small business/institution. (Flexibility and Adaptability)

  • Whole Child - We will continue to be committed to every student’s social and emotional wellness both online and in-person. By utilizing smaller, “family” groups or cohort groups, we will be better able to mitigate risk and exposure

Role of the Community

Each member of the school community will be asked to act responsibly to help protect everyone’s health and welfare by practicing physical distancing in a common sense manner, wearing face coverings in spaces when physical distancing cannot be maintained, remaining vigilant to changes in one's individual or child's health, and responding to temporary measures related to the pandemic - all with a spirit of cooperation and the ultimate goal of keeping our students on campus.

Oakhill will be prepared to adapt as necessary in response to evolving circumstances within our local community. We are all in this together. We all have a common goal to stay healthy and keep Oakhill healthy so we can remain open for business. 

Daily Well Checks

  • Each morning before you send your child to school, do an at-home temperature screening and check for COVID like symptoms - please do not send your child if he/she is not feeling well

Stay Home When Ill

  • Stay home when you are not well; we will be ensuring our faculty and staff are conducting a self-screening each morning prior to their arrival on campus

Hygiene & Masks

  • Please help reinforce good hygiene practices at home, emphasizing the importance of frequent hand washing and how to properly wear and remove facial coverings

COVID-19 Reporting

  • Transparency is so important, especially in our close family-like community. If your child or someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, please notify the school immediately

Be Respectful

  • Respect one another, support one another, and refrain from judgment. We will meet one another where we currently are, and we will do our best to grow, listen, and accept one another’s views


  • If you travel to areas of high exposure to the virus, we ask that you follow CDC guidelines

(Last update 8/28/2020)

Virus Communication from Oakhill Day School

September 4: Weekly COVID-19 Update

Dear Parents,

Two full weeks of school are in the books, and we are doing great! To date, there are no active COVID-19 cases at Oakhill. Thank you for your attention to protecting our students' health and safety by keeping your children home while sick. 

With the upcoming holiday weekend coming up, we want to remind you to continue using all of the mitigation strategies outlined by the health professionals, especially when traveling. They predict we will see a rise in cases in the next few weeks, so our vigilance is essential to a safe and healthy return next week!

Please remember that you can always find the most up-to-date school-related Coronavirus information on our COVID-19 web page on the Oakhill website.

Thank you,

Cathy Bernholtz

For additional information please refer to:

For information from Clay County Health Department:

August 18: COVID and Security Improvement Walkthrough

July 31: Back to School Presentations

LS/IM/MS Back to School Presentation

Early Childhood Back to School Presentation

July 30: Back to School Plan

Good evening Oakhill Families,

Below you will find access links to the Back to School Walkthrough. We know that there may be lots of questions and we encourage you to submit them as we guide you through the return process so that we can address them in a Frequently Asked Questions document to be distributed with the recordings of tomorrow sessions. Feel free to hop on to another walkthrough if you cannot attend the one for your specific division. 

Read Oakhill's Back to School Reopen Guide

Webinar links were sent to you via email.

Please contact Dorothy Beckham or Michelle McDaniel if you did not receive the email.

Submit your questions about the plan here:

Submit Questions for Parent FAQ's

Recordings of the presentations will be sent with the FAQ sheet.

Thank you for your patience and we hope you will join us tomorrow!

Michelle McDaniel
Director of Marketing & Communications

July 17: Back to School Outline

Dear Oakhill Families,

I hope you are enjoying your summer so has already been a memorable one in so many ways! Here at school, the classic movie Groundhog Day is the only way I can describe it! Each day we make so much progress, yet the next morning we wake up with the same unsolved problems or unanswered questions! But, each day we continue the discussions, the planning, and the many aspects of preparation for the new school year. 

Will it be a little different than "normal"? YES. But, will it still feel like Oakhill? ABSOLUTELY! I can promise we are doing our very best to balance common sense and safety! Physical distancing is temporary, but the Oakhill family is forever. Physical distancing and new policies and procedures will not keep us apart; moving through all of this together will actually bring us closer together. 

There has NEVER been a time when small class sizes and a small community has been so important to the health and safety of our school.

Faculty/Staff Updates 

There will be additions to the faculty/staff and potential changes to roles and responsibilities coming soon. Once finalized, I will share those changes in early August.

I want to thank both Matt Armato and Michelle Weeks for their time at Oakhill. I appreciate all they have done for Oakhill in their respective roles, and I wish them all the best as they head in a different direction for next year.

4th and 5th Grade Science - I want to welcome Jaci Henshaw to our faculty. Jaci graduated with a Degree in Elementary Education from Northwest Missouri State, and she taught 4th grade for two years. She took a year off from teaching, feeling as though she couldn't be the teacher she needed to be or wanted to be in a classroom of 28 students. Jaci is excited about Oakhill's mission and core values, and she is excited to continue her career in our Intermediate Division teaching science. She JUST got engaged, has a dog, Zoey, and loves to go on walks and drink coffee! I know Jaci will be a great fit for Oakhill.

Wellness Counselor - Oakhill now has a school counselor for all grade levels. Maggie Chandler will begin her new role in early August, and will be here to support all students and families. We know the past several months have been stressful, and we acknowledge that the next several months will be equally as challenging. She will help our students cope with normal school life and all that COVID-19 has introduced to it. 

Student Success Specialist - Way back in early March, I shared there would be a new role for the 20/21 school year. Brenda Bock's new position will be called the Student Support Specialist. Brenda will support all Oakhill students in achieving their academic best through student conferencing and goal setting, score analysis, family support and expectations, and teacher support in providing differentiated learning to meet each student's needs. All students will be guided to become advocates for themselves, knowing their strengths and challenges and encouraged to work to their maximum potential.

The Student Success Specialist will work with teachers and students to remediate and practice grade level objectives, enrich advanced level instruction, support organization and test-taking strategies, conduct informal assessments as needed, interpret testing, coordinate resources (internal and external), and track student progress throughout the Oakhill Education.

Here is an outline of what is to come in late July and August. Please save the date!

July 31 - Virtual Parent Informational Meeting regarding the Detailed Back to School Plan including "Oakhill at School" and "Oakhill at Home" (if we must go to distance learning or if a child is unable to attend in person)

  • 10:00-11:00 am - Early Childhood Division
  • 12:30-1:30 pm - Lower and Intermediate Divisions
  • 3:00-4:00 pm - Middle School Division

August 11 - New Family Orientation (on campus) - 5:00-6:30 pm 

August 12 - All new - Parent Preview - administration will host a "parents only" event throughout the day (see schedule below) at the main building to complete the necessary "to-do's", receive schedules and homeroom/advisory teacher assignments, and to have any and all questions answered. A detailed list of "to-do's" will be sent to you prior to the night so you know what to expect.

  • 8:30-10:00 am - Last names A-C
  • 10:00-11:30 am - Last names D-I
  • 12:30-2:00 pm - Last names J-M
  • 2:00-3:30 pm - Last names N-R
  • 3:30-5:00 pm - Last names S-Z
  • 5:00-6:30 pm - open for those who cannot make scheduled time

August 18 - Back to School Night and Ice Cream Social for parents and students - 4:00-7:00 pm with staggered arrival times for families. 

  • 4:00-5:00 - Families with last names Q-Z
  • 5:00-6:00 - Families with last names I-P
  • 6:00-7:00 - Families with last names A-H

August 20 - First day of school (unless you are a 3 day student in Early Childhood)

Postcards - Parents will receive homeroom teacher/advisory information at the Parent Preview. We will send an electronic postcard to each family that includes the entire grade level's class list at the conclusion of the Parent Preview. These digital postcards will not get "lost in the mail", they will arrive at the same time, and they will show the entire grade level's placement. 

I know this was a lot of information, and I know you have questions! Please know we are here to answer your questions or listen to your concerns. I am so proud of this school and its community; I know your children are looking forward to coming back to campus - to be with friends, to interact with the faculty and staff, and to find a sense of normalcy once again (even amid a global pandemic). 


Grateful to lead this community,


*Exemptions to the Clay County Mask mandate includes persons under ten years of age. However, CDC guidance strongly recommends that children over age two wear face coverings.

May 17: Sunday Message from Mrs. McCanles

Oakhill families,

The end of a school year is such a bittersweet time for all of us. As a school, we are intentional about the effort we put into the last few days – we want our families to know how much we thank them for choosing Oakhill. The teachers strike the balance between smiles, laughter and tears knowing that their class is moving on to the next grade level. We embrace the 8th grade parents with hugs and laughter as we reminisce about the prior years - 13 years for some of them; they truly are family! And, we take a moment to be proud of the school year from the opening carnival in August to Grandparents Day in October to the holiday musicals in December to the auction in March! 

And, this year is no different in that respect; we are all so proud of our students! We are so proud of the school year. We are proud of how we have handled adversity (and, we had our fair share this year)! We have a great deal to celebrate! There is no time for sadness… for what we missed, for what we didn't have, for what we had taken away by this pandemic! We are here to celebrate how close we all truly became this year! Two months ago, I said this will be a time we will always remember or hope to forget. After living it, I will say this is truly a special time that we will always remember – we made it… we did it… we put an exclamation point on the 19/20 school year.

If this was a "normal" last week of school, I would be putting the finishing touches on my graduation speeches for Kindergarten and 8th Grade. I would be crafting that perfect message for these two groups of graduates! But, this is not a normal last week of school, and I don't believe I have found the vision for my message just yet! I have been gifted two extra months to find this vision and finalize this message for our graduates, and I promise not to procrastinate!

I asked the faculty and staff to help me find words or sentiments to share with our Oakhill students this year. Here are a few more heartfelt words for you!


  • Our relationships are stronger because we depended on, and learned, from each other!
  • The joys of learning have taken us on one adventure after another. We laughed together, shared together, and more than anything - we grew together. You've left an imprint on my heart!
  • Learning about history is one thing. Living through it is quite another. Because of this experience, you will be the generation who can make real and lasting change - safer food, more effective medicine, all the ways to make sure family comes first, and is treasured and not lost in the chaos of daily life. Thank you for letting me be part of history with you.
  • To my students: our time together in person was cut short, but you will hold a special place in my heart forever. I will always remember that we went through this experience together!
  • I hope this has shown you the value of learning, but I also hope this has shown you YOUR value. I missed YOU. I didn't just miss people in general, or going to school; I missed you, specifically and specially.  YOU have value because of who you are, and when you are not around, you're missed. YOU help make my job amazing. 
  • I enjoyed each and every moment I spent with you, and boy did I miss those moments this last quarter! YOU are the reason I teach, and even with a year as challenging as this, you remind me -each and every day - why I do it! I am so proud of all you have accomplished!
  • This has been quite the school year. It's sad to see it come to an end, especially under these circumstances, but I am so very proud of each and every one of you. Through all of this, you have worked incredibly hard and kept a positive attitude. And even though this hasn't been easy for any of us, it's been a privilege to go through it with you. 
  • I have missed you! This has been a crazy time to live through, and I have thought about you every day that we've been apart!  I hope that we made it fun for you to keep learning and growing, and I will be thinking about you every day over the summer until we get to see each other again!
  • Change, although hard when you're in it, creates something beautiful in the end. These changes are teaching you to persevere in difficult times. You will come out of this better than you were before, and it will be a year you never forget!
  • Distance Learning may have altered how we taught, but it could never change the love and joy we as teachers feel each day for the profession…and, most importantly, the children.
  • "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain," a quote from Vivian Greene. I hope you ALL learned to dance in the rain!

I know I had this paragraph in last week's message, but I want to reiterate that Oakhill will continue to be Oakhill! We recognize you come for the strong academics, but you stay for the relationships…the traditions….and, the community! We promise to keep health and safety our priority while continuing to deliver our mission; we will remain Oakhill in every aspect regardless of policy, procedure or changing logistics due to recommendations and guidelines set forth by our local health departments. Being an independent school, we will be able to forge our own path and make our own decisions while taking all relevant and pertinent information into account. We will find the right balance of common sense and safety procedures!

I can't wait to see you on Thursday. Each and every family and faculty member has a unique perspective and/or circumstance right now… a specific comfort level with regards to being away from the safety of their home, being in a public setting where we must social distance in a responsible way, and with varying opinions regarding the wearing of a mask. I ask that we all respect one another's position and current place; our lifeskills must shine through. 

The faculty and staff will be wearing masks on Thursday for the protection of all, but our smiles will shine through! We can't wait to see you!

We are Oakhill strong!


May 10: Sunday Message from Mrs. McCanles

Oakhill families,

With only 9 more days of school ahead of us, I want to take this opportunity to thank moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and anyone else who has offered support to our students during the last 7 weeks. I am so proud of the entire Oakhill community - from the Board of Trustees to the administration, and from the faculty to the parents. I am especially proud of our students; they practiced every lifeskill we value from resilience to compassion. Oakhill has shown its true colors during this very trying time.

Over the last 7 weeks, much has gone on behind the scenes from hiring to event planning for next year. Here are a few highlights and insights! 

Construction continues in the main building. The new office/lobby space is coming along nicely, and finishing touches such as carpet, casework and furniture selections are being made. All of the new doors are installed, and the center drive hallway has expanded! All of these renovations will allow our displaced administrative crew to get back into an office soon, as well! 

Chris Fernandez will stay on board in Middle School for another school year teaching science. Consistency is best right now, and he graciously agreed to continue on the Oakhill Team! I thank Chris from the bottom of my heart, and I look forward to his continued dedication to his students and colleagues.

Maggie Chandler has been hired as our mental wellness counselor for the entire campus and school community. Maggie has spent the past few years at Tri-County Mental Health as a prevention counselor. Maggie has been no stranger to our middle school students over the past two years educating about prevention strategies, as well as anxiety and depression. Maggie will serve both buildings creating programs to meet the needs of all ages! We are excited to have her expertise on staff next year!

Summer camp for students going into Toddler through 8th grade will begin on June 1. The normal "fully charged" camp must change this year (maybe we are only partially charged)! We will begin the summer with shortened hours and tighter restrictions, and we will continue to communicate every two weeks about changing policies and procedures. It will be good to get students and teachers back into the building!

I wish I had a crystal ball! We have every intent of beginning school on campus in August. IF we needed to adopt distance learning at any time during the 20/21 school year for K-8, we will have smoothed out any and all rough edges regarding the program and delivery thanks to a dedicated task force made up of teachers from all divisions. Our Early Childhood Department (Pretoddler through Prekindergarten) will start on campus the first day of school and will continue on campus child care even during a time of distance learning for K-8.

We promise to keep health and safety our priority while continuing to deliver our mission; we will remain Oakhill in every aspect regardless of policy, procedure or changing logistics due to recommendations and guidelines set forth by our local health departments. Being an independent school, we will be able to forge our own path and make our own decisions while taking all relevant and pertinent information into account. 

I can't wait to see you on May 21. I hope you read the letter I sent out last week about picking up belongings and yearbooks, returning items that need to be returned to school and creating closure for the 19/20 school year. 

Read May 21 Letter

We are Oakhill strong!


*Our President of the Board of Trustees has written a letter explaining the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with regards to Oakhill Day School.

Read PPP Letter Here

May 7: End of Year Supply Pick-up & Celebration

End of Year Celebration & Classroom Supply Pick-up

On May 21, the entire faculty and staff at Oakhill wants to celebrate the 19/20 school year! Many teachers, staff, and administrators will be there to wave and assist. We will follow any and all recommendations that are appropriate for that date (masks, gloves, 6 feet apart, etc...)

Things to do when you come to campus:

  • Drive to the appropriate building (if you have a student at each building, you will need to drive to both). Main building parents will come through the "car line" by the gym while South building parents will come through "car line" as normal

  • Pick up student belongings (desk, cubby, or hive contents) and yearbook. We will have this in a paper bag and will bring to your car for you.

  • For students in 4-8 grades, you will return your iPad plus any accessories or chargers.

  • We will have a box to collect library books at each building.

  • If you choose to take end of year pictures at either building, please maintain a 6- feet distance from others.

Here is the recommended pick up time for each family. If you cannot make it to the allotted time that day, please come between the hours of 1:00-7:00 pm. This will be the only day for pickup.

  • 1:00-2:30 pm – Last names starting with A through G
  • 2:30-4:00 pm – Last names starting with H through M
  • 4:00-5:30 pm – Last names starting with N through S
  • 5:30-7:00 pm – Last names starting with T through Z

If you have any questions, please reach out!


May 3: Sunday Message from Mrs. McCanles

Oakhill families,

As we head into week 7 of distance learning, I realize we are all entering into another phase (figuratively and literally) of the COVID pandemic. Stay at home orders are being lifted/softened across the city, and some businesses are reopening for a new phase of normal. So, we must adapt, once again!

For the past two months, there have been many people working behind the scenes to focus on financial stability, distance learning platforms, communication, and health and safety measures. I am proud of our efforts; we will learn from our successes and challenges as we prepare for June and beyond.

Many board members, administrators, and faculty members are continuing to work in a committee structure, providing expertise and research as we make decisions for the opening of school in August. We have formed a task force for the healthy opening of 20/21. We will work within the boundaries of governmental guidelines as we plan for fall. At this time, we intend to go "back to school" in August, adhering to guidelines set forth. Know the health and safety of our students, faculty, and community is and will be, our number one priority as we continue to move forward.

Currently, we have prepared great things for May – the virtual events, the end of year activities, and a "celebrate the year" on-campus event on May 21. We are also preparing for child care to begin in our Early Childhood Division June 1, in accordance with Clay County guidelines. If all goes well, we hope to offer child care/camp for students K-8, as well. As it is for all businesses, we are in a "hurry up and wait" situation as we follow trends, data, and ever-changing guidelines. We will be sending information regarding adjusted policies, procedures, and expectations as we open the Early Childhood programming for the summer.

It is important that our community move toward the fall with confidence and creativity. We must understand that the path forward will continue to evolve as we face the many challenges of this pandemic. The start of a new school year will be different in some ways, but…what makes us Oakhill will remain the same! 


April 26: Sunday Message from Mrs. McCanles

Good Evening Oakhill,

When the stay at home order began way back in March, I challenged myself to run every day. That was my plan, and I felt like it was one I could achieve! I told myself "there is no excuse"! And, currently I am on a 41-day running streak! My Apple Watch is giving me badges and much praise from an inanimate object!

Now, I like to run 2-3 miles... a brisk pace... paved trail and sidewalks... done in 20-30 minutes, similar to a 5K! This is kind of a reflection on life before COVID - never really making time to stop and smell the roses! Life was on auto-pilot, and my motto was "gotta get lots of stuff done"! 

When the stay at home order began, life seemed more like a triathlon. I was able to enjoy more variety... a 2-3 mile run, a bike ride, and maybe some yoga! With more flexibility in my daily schedule, life gave me opportunities to diversify my recreational routine! This was a nice break from the routine that I had grown accustomed to… when I was too busy to find time!

But, let's face it... many compare what we are going through - (and, will be going through for some time to come) - to a marathon. This takes a lot of training, commitment and perseverance along with much grit, discomfort, and mental endurance. Each day, we learn more about the virus - statistics, data, trends, information, more data and suggested strategies. We are in this for 26.2 miles... nonstop running, but at a moderate and individualized pace. Add some walk breaks, and this marathon seems doable! I've done two actual marathons, and by the time I get to mile 22, I swear I'll never do one again! My knees hurt and I'm just plain mad that I signed up! No one signed up for this marathon, but we just have to keep running.

I have one last analogy - I feel like this journey is more like an ultramarathon (a 50-100 mile trail run). But, this race has a start, but no known finish line. The route is hilly, the trail is single track, and roots and rocks create obstacles along the course. Creatures, weather, unpredictable events and situations come into play each day. I have to watch each step for fear of falling or twisting my ankle if I'm not paying attention. I enjoy the trail experience so I have time to take in the sights, sounds, and nuances around me. But, I will just keep running, walking, jogging, or crawling my way along the trail... continuing on this ultramarathon until I see a finish line! Just like Forrest Gump! A new daily routine has been created, each day has purpose, and the new normal has been integrated into daily life. I've learned to appreciate what has been dealt and to not count on any plan I've made truly happening.

As we head into the month of May, accept the uncertainty of the next few days, weeks or months. Embrace the lack of solid plans. And, just keep going! Find a way regardless of the adversity along your path. 

Bringing this analogy back to Oakhill, we have found a way to bring the traditional spring events to our community and our students. As of today, here are some of our tentative plans.

  • May 2-15 - Online Book Fair
  • May 4-8 - Virtual Parents' Teas
  • May 5 - Volunteer Appreciation PTO Happy Hour (ZOOM)
  • May 11-15 - Virtual Field "Day" Week
  • May 21 - Parents/students will be able to pick up* belongings from the campus, as well as return iPads and Computers. 
    *More detailed information to come regarding times.
  • June 1 – Summer Programming – either on campus or distance learning and enrichment classes

Keep running, walking, crawling! We can do this!

Someone who loves to plan,


April 24: Information Regarding Summer 2020

Dear Oakhill Families,

I know summer programming and the return to school in August is on your mind. Although every day brings new statistics and information, I can assure you that we are spending our time planning out the many scenarios that are possible for both summer and fall. I am optimistic that we will be able to get back to school in August with some logistical changes, some new policies in place, and with safety continuing to be our number one priority. With all of that said, the feel of Oakhill will remain the same. 

You can expect summer programming to start on June 1, either on-campus or via distance learning. At this time, we intend to continue planning for both options. Please note that we will make all decisions according to the chart below. This schedule will allow us to make decisions throughout the summer based on variables including, virus infection rates, and recommendations from the local and state health departments. Please see the chart below. 

As the situation continues to unfold, we will monitor guidelines set forth by local, state, and federal governments and the CDC, focused on preventing the spread of the virus and ensuring the health and safety of our community. We understand that this is an unprecedented time, and appreciate your support in our effort to keep our students and community safe. 

Taylor Clevenger, Summer Programs Coordinator, will be sending more information early next week.


2020 Summer Communication Schedule

Alternate text

April 19: Sunday Message from Mrs.McCanles

Dear Oakhill,

Certain sounds and smells and sights can take me back to fond memories - moments from my past that become crystal clear. For instance, seeing even a picture of the elusive morel mushroom takes me back to my childhood when I remember mushroom hunting with my dad - he always knew where to find them (the dead red elm by the creek where Mayflowers grow). The taste of a pure maple sugar candy makes me remember when my family was at the gift shop at Mt. Washington in New Hampshire! The smell of fresh asphalt immediately takes me back to my days at Worlds of Fun riding the tram or Silver Dollar City on a hot day. I am sure all of you have your own unique reactions to certain sights, sounds, and smells. Such nostalgia!

I like to divide life up into memories, moments and dreams! For me, I can sort out all that life has been, is, and will be with these categories. Although I feel my job is busier than ever, I have been afforded time due to lack of commute, inability to go shopping, and the expectation to stay home instead of visiting family, friends, or places. With more time to think, I catch myself wallowing in self pity at times; my memories take over my mind and I get frustrated and angry about the situation we are in. But, I have started to learn to stop wallowing and start appreciating the "remember whens" and the "can't waits".

Memories: I remember when we were all together on Auction night! What a night that was...the masks (masquerade masks...not medical masks)...the decor...the auction items...the vibe...the success! I remember when the entire school community came together for Chiefs Pep assemblies leading up to the big game. I remember when the talent show brought tears to my eyes (I am always so proud of our students for getting on that stage and giving it their all). I remember when both mother and sons and fathers and daughters enjoyed the PTO dances and spent quality time with one another. I remember when the campuses were full of life!

Moments: Even over Zoom and Google Hangout Meetings we continue to create moments and make memories virtually. Some of our most beloved events and activities occur this time of year, and we will continue to make these moments in time special for our students and parents. We chose to continue with our Acorn Day tradition...complete with a bench and flowering plants at each campus...and, the students will help create the ceremony and celebratory planting virtually! We will have our Parents' Tea! We will have an on-line book fair. We will create a field day experience (we even have colorful field day t-shirts to commemorate this event). We will celebrate Earth Day as a school! And, we will highlight our 8th graders who have literally grown up at Oakhill; we are their family! And, all of these moments will become special memories. We will say, remember when...back in Quarantine...back when the campus was closed...

Dreams: I have learned, during this time, that dreams do not have to be far fetched or a long time away! Dreams can literally be about tomorrow...about after the stay at home order...about the summer...about the start of the next school year...about a future vacation - they are our "can't waits". Dreams keep us hopeful and excited about something that lies beyond today! I dream of the day (soon to come) that our new main building lobby, vestibule and offices will be complete. I can't wait to see these new spaces come to life. We have dreamed up a plan A and B to be ready for a summer program. I can't wait to see how the summer program might be the same or different. The Kindergarten teachers have been dreaming up a plan for Kindergarten Graduation coming in August, and our 8th graders dream of a traditional graduation experience will also come true in August. I can't wait to celebrate these students. We will continue to dream about fall sports, the back to school carnival, the Booster Club Chicken and Pickle Tournament, and most of all...having our community back person...face to face (not on a screen)! The events themselves are simply tradition, but it is the interactions and experiences that make the traditions special! I can't wait!

Reality: I will have a plan A, B, C, D, E, F, etc... ready to go, but I will continue to hope for Plan A! We will be communicating about when parents and students can come to the campus to pick up items left in hives, cubbies, desks. This will most likely be after the stay at home order expires. We will communicate Plan A AND Plan B with regards to our Summer Program. It will be mid-May before we know which plan makes the cut. We will keep you informed as we know more! The reality is...we can "what if" all day long every day...and, know that is exactly what we are doing behind the scenes. Please know that this administration is making plans for many scenarios, but we are hanging on to the hope of Plan A! And, we are ready to pivot on demand!

I will continue to cherish my memories (which are literally made each day)! I will continue to hold on to the moments and cherish those as they occur each day! And, I will continue to dream about the next exciting thing to come. I will hope for Plan A, and I will be ready for Plan Z! I can't wait for Plan A to become our reality!

Until next Sunday, continue to make memories each and every day! 


April 17: Early Childhood Lower School Parent Q&A

Q & A for Early Childhood and Lower School Parents

What events are still going to happen virtually in April and May?

  • Earth Day Activities
  • Acorn Day
  • Parents’ Tea
  • Field Day

When will Kindergarten Graduation take place?

August 4, 1:30-4:00 at school

When will students be able to come to the building to collect personal belongings?

Late May ... details to come

When will we be able to return library books?

Hold on to them for right now

How are we handling standardized testing for 3rd grade (ERB)?

3rd grade will not be taking the ERB this Spring

When will K-3rd grade students take the iReady diagnostic reading test?

Postponed to the 20/21 school year

Will we be able to order pre-packed school supplies for next year?

No, but a full list will be posted for students and parents

What about summer camp?

More information coming out soon

How will grade cards be handled for the 4th quarter?

Grade cards will basically be handled and in the same format as usual. Students will not be penalized for incomplete work during distance learning. However, we want all students to do their very best for the remainder of the quarter. Work completed during distance learning will be taken into consideration as well as progress throughout the year.

Do I need to worry about my student being held back next year?

No. At Oakhill instruction is designed to meet the needs of the individual student. Teachers at the next grade level will meet the child where they are and continue lessons according to the child’s needs.

How will my child’s teacher for next year know where they are performing?

Teachers hold transition meetings each year to update the receiving teacher on each student’s strengths and areas to continue to work on.

April 17: Intermediate/Middle School Parent Q&A

Q & A for Intermediate and Middle School Parents

How will grade cards be handled for the 4th quarter?

Intermediate and Middle School grade cards will basically be handled the same as usual. However, concessions may be made whole group or individually dependent upon circumstances. We want all students to do their very best for the remainder of the quarter. We hope you trust that we will show as much grace as possible without sacrificing integrity.

Early Childhood grade cards will continue to be a narrative of the child’s progress throughout the year. The Lower School grade card format includes markings and a detailed comment from the teacher, as in previous quarters. All EC and LS grade cards will include student accomplishments and suggestions for skills to continue working on.

What events are still going to happen virtually in April and May?

  • 8th Grade Mission Possible Presentations
  • 7th/8th Academic Awards Ceremony 
  • Parents’ Tea
  • Acorn Day
  • Field Day

When is the 8th Grade Skip Trip and Graduation?

  • August 2 & 3 - 8th Grade Skip Trip 
  • August 5 - 6:30 Graduation followed by reception

(This is subject to change but this is our current plan)

When will Kindergarten Graduation take place?
August 4, 1:30-4:00 at school

(This is subject to change but this is our current plan)

When will students turn in iPads and/or be able to come to the building to collect personal belongings?

We do have a plan ready to go but we are waiting to announce dates

If the stay at home order is lifted May 15 it will be late May … details to come

How are we handling standardized testing this year (CTP / ERB)? 

Postponed to the 20/21 school year

Will we be able to order pre-packed school supplies for next year? 

No, but a full list will be posted for students and parents over the summer

April 16: Need a Little Extra Support?

Need a Little Extra Support?

Are you having difficulties managing the added stress of working from home as well as having more responsibilities with your children's online learning platform?  If you feel like you need some help navigating this challenging time, please call Cheryl at Thrive Counseling (816) 699-2047. Thrive Counseling is partnering with Oakhill Day School Families to provide online therapy at a price that will fit your budget. They are accepting new patients at this time and have immediate openings.

April 12: Sunday Message from Mrs. McCanles

Dear Oakhill Family,

Secretly, I could not wait for the year 2020, so many possibilities! Did you know I wanted to go into advertising before I realized that as a teacher, I could write jingles, too? I was excited to be able to use lines like "Oakhill 2020 – everything comes into focus" or "Oakhill 2020 – our vision is clear"! Of course, I have very different thoughts about 2020 at this very moment!

I've had the opportunity to go on a lot of Ralphie (dog) walks, as well as runs! Something about those long walks and peaceful runs makes my mind go into a very reflective mode! Most of my video and email ideas come to me on those journeys! (I bet you are begging me to stop running).

Perhaps 2020 is bringing us clarity and helping things come into focus. Not in the way we hoped or wanted…more of a forced situation for sure! Whether you meditate, or quietly reflect over a cup of coffee or tea (maybe even at 2 am), right now there is plenty to contemplate.

One thing is for sure, 2020 has helped me realize that we are all teachers and we are all learners regardless of our profession or skillset. During this time of quarantine…during the "stay at home" order...we really are a captive audience to our family and to our lives. 

It is a great time to model, discuss and teach grit, resilience, empathy, compassion, and gratitude. There is no better context than now!

It is a great time to teach and/or learn new skills or hobbies; knitting, painting, knot tying, cooking, baking, laundry, cleaning, vacuuming, scrapbooking, calligraphy, how to upload an awesome virtual background to your ZOOM screen (that is a priority for me) and the list goes on and on! There is no better time (to make time) than now!

It is a great time to teach and learn new business skills. While parents are working from home, what a wonderful time to share your occupation or skillset with your children. Maybe you can teach your children or spouse/partner Excel, or how to edit photos, or how to understand the idea of the supply chain, or how to run a business and lead employees, or how to make a budget, save money, give when you can, and invest. There is no other time that this seems as integrated and meaningful as now.

It is a great time to teach and model service to others. While staying home, there are many ways to help others in our family, in our neighborhoods, and in our communities. Start by sewing masks, delivering cards, sending notes to assisted living facilities or nursing homes, calling friends and family, sharing sentiments with hospitals and first responders, creating chalk art to brighten someone's day, or just connecting in any way you can with others who may not have many connections. There is no greater need for connection than now!

It is a great time to share and pass down family traditions. Somehow I have always been "too busy" to really listen to my mom's stories from her childhood – the polio epidemic, the rationing during WWII, her grandma who rode in on a covered wagon, the canning recipes, great grandma's secret bun recipe, the knick-knacks that have been passed down that carry great sentiment, and on and on! There is no conversation as important as these will be! 

We are all doing our best to teach our children while maintaining well-run homes and continuing professional careers from makeshift offices. Some of us are going to work at jobs as essential workers outside of the home. And we are all trying to keep ourselves balanced and fulfilled. Remember that although this is all overwhelming and stressful, our actions and words teach more than any academics ever can or will! 

2020 is forcing us to teach, learn, and appreciate one another! That is clear!

We will not truly see clearly for a while, but when we do, let's make sure we can say we used our time wisely and with meaning!

Until next week,

April 9: COVID-19 Closure Update

Dear Oakhill families and students,

As you have most likely heard, the Governor of Missouri has ordered all public, private, and charter schools to remain closed through the end of the academic school year. This announcement brings sadness and disappointment as we had hoped to end the year at school, with our friends, with our Oakhill family!

Oakhill Day School is committed to our families and our students. We will continue to provide the most impactful and meaningful distance learning we possibly can, and we will continue to make adjustments along the way to make this the best experience possible. We are also committed to providing virtual end of year traditions and events, as well as rescheduling some events for August and beyond such as:

  • Kindergarten Graduation – August 4th from 1:30-4:00 pm
  • 8th Grade Graduation – August 5th at 6:30 pm

With all of this said, this is not Goodbye! The teachers and staff will continue giving our very best to the students. Goodbye for the year will come on May 22nd!

Until then, there are many things that we hope you look forward to in the weeks to come.

Hang in there! We are here for you! We will continue to push forward together!

Hoping for bright days ahead,


Helpful Links:

Emergency Aid Waitlist Form

Contribute to the Emergency Aid Fund

Shop Oakhill Business Directory

April 5: Sunday Message from Mrs. McCanles

Dear Oakhill Families,

Although it has only been a month since we have all been together as a school community, it seems like an eternity! It seems as though every email you get from me, or anyone else for that matter, is related to COVID-19, truly challenging times that require adaptability and an evolving vision. 

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and our entire administrative and faculty team, I want you to know we are committed to your family; we will do all we can to keep your children with us at Oakhill Day School. I also want to thank you for helping us deliver our lesson plans and curriculum to your children – it is evident that ALL of us are doing our very best each day.

We understand the uncertainty and potential financial impact this situation has caused for many of our families. Our community represents a diverse range of employment from healthcare workers to first responders, from small business owners to large corporations, and everything in between! If you have already (or are expecting) a significant change to your financial security due to COVID-19, we invite you to apply for our Emergency Aid Waitlist.

Please complete this form to submit.

Over the next 45 days, we will begin virtual meetings with families to help determine what support will look like on a case-by-case basis. For families immediately impacted, please contact the Finance Office to speak with Kerry Estes, our Director of Finance, or Kristin Smith, our Business Manager. 

We will continue planning and preparing for the next school year; although challenging in some ways, it is inspirational and motivational at the same time! For those families who intend to apply for Emergency Aid (separate from our standard Financial Assistance), you can expect to have that decision communicated back by May 15. If you have questions about the standard Financial Assistance, please contact Dorothy Beckham, Director of Admissions & Financial Assistance.

Not only are we committed to our current families, but we remain committed to our entire faculty and staff. Oakhill dealt with a tornado and campus closure in May of 2008 (my first year as Head). We handled our security threat this fall – together! And, we are meeting this newest challenge head-on; I have never been as proud of a team as I am now. With that, all salaried and hourly employees will maintain their positions, with full pay and benefits (as applicable) through the rest of this school year. Each employee of Oakhill Day School is important, and, most of all – they are family!

During these times of uncertainty is when a strong community is felt and seen – even from a distance. We are trying our best to maintain cohesion and to listen to your opinions and suggestions. Our job is to be here for you. Supporting every Oakhill family, with their unique circumstances, all while delivering quality education, each day! 

For those of you who have asked how you can further help the school during this time, we have launched our Emergency Aid Fund. Oakhill does not have an endowment or significant cash reserves; we strive to spend our money thoughtfully and strategically each year, with approximately 75% of our expenses going toward teachers and staff. If you can contribute to the Emergency Aid Fund and want to extend help to our families in need during these difficult times, please contact Leslie Gasser, our Director of Development or complete this form and let us know that you're all in!

Thank you for being a part of the Oakhill family! We care about you and are here to support you as much as we possibly can!

Grateful to lead this strong community,


April 3: Important Note about 8th Grade Graduation

Important Note about 8th Grade Graduation

Plan A:

If we are able to return to school the first of May we will proceed with all original plans: Skip Day (5/17 & 5/18), Graduation / Reception (5/21), Final Walk / Limo / Fun Day (5/22). 

Plan B:

If we are unable to return to school in May we will follow this plan. We will go for an overnight on Sunday, August 2 followed by lunch and limo day on Monday, August 3. Graduation will be held on Wednesday, August 5 at 6:30pm and will be followed by a reception. The ceremony and reception will be exactly the same as planned for May; it's simply on a different day. 

Of course we are hopeful that we will be able to go with Plan A! Mark your calendars just in case! 

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Ms. G

March 31: 2020-2021 Trip Update

Intermediate and Middle School Parents,

I know you have all been anxiously awaiting word about the 5th-8th grade trips.  When will we get a refund? Are we still traveling in the spring? In the fall? Ever again?  I want you to know that I have been working on this daily since the decision was made to cancel school and the plan has changed nearly every day. With lots of changes in our world that have caused all of us to re-think and re-strategize nearly every facet of our lives, we have done the same with the 2020-2021 school trips. I think we have come up with the best plan for our students and parents for the 2020-2021 school year.

Class of 2021 (current 7th)

I have some good news for you regarding the trip to the Florida Keys.  We have moved the trip to next April 2021! For those of you who had already signed up your child for the trip this spring, you're all set!  Your child will automatically be signed up for the trip next April and the money you have already paid will be transferred. If you didn't sign up your child for this trip, you still can!  Once we pick a date, I will let you know when registration will be open. This means that your child will NOT be going to the Smokies in September 2020. We have canceled that trip.

Class of 2022 (current 6th)

We have had lots of time to think and great discussion about the trip to the Smokies. This season we are in has been difficult on everyone.  Between finances and not knowing when we will get to travel again, we thought it was best to cancel the Smokies trip for 7th grade. However, we are inviting the Class of 2022 to join the Class of 2021 in the Florida Keys in April 2021!  The Florida Keys trip is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I also know from feedback that a $1700 trip in 7th grade and a $2600 trip in 8th grade was going to put a strain on finances or force parents to choose one or the other. We have decided to go with what we know - We know the students will make incredible memories on the Keys trip.  This means that the 7th graders will NOT take a big trip when they are in 8th grade. Don't worry - there are LOTS of opportunities for the students to make memories when they are in 8th grade.

Class of 2023 (current 5th)

Thank you for patiently waiting for information about this trip.  19 students have paid to go on the trip to the Cosmosphere, Salt Mines and Wichita Zoo.  The bad news is that we will not be rescheduling this trip for the current 5th grade class.  The good news is that you will still get to go to Horseshoe Canyon and the money you paid to Grand Classroom will transfer to the Horseshoe Canyon trip.  The cost is a little higher, so you will end up paying a small amount for the trip.

Class of 2024 (current 4th)

You are still going to the Cosmosphere, Salt Mines and Wichita Zoo in the spring of 2021.  Your registration is no longer due on April 1. We are working out all the details for registration and dates and will let you know when registration will re-open for that trip.

To recap:

  • 7th (Class of 2022) and 8th (Class of 2021) grade will be going to the Florida Keys trip in the spring of 2021.  This change will keep the price lower and the students will have an incredible experience.
    We have cancelled the Smokies trip and we are looking into changing the way we do trips for the intermediate and middle school students.  COVID-19 has really made everyone reevaluate, right?
  • 6th grade (Class of 2023) will go to Horseshoe Canyon in the spring of 2021.
  • 5th grade (Class of 2024) will go to the Cosmosphere, Salt Mines, Wichita Zoo in the spring of 2021.
  • Once we have all the details worked out for dates, we will open up registration again.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Thank you,


March 30: Technology Tidbits

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. 


March 23: Florida Keys Trip Update

Eighth Grade Parents,

I have the best news possible for you. You are getting a 100% refund for the Florida Keys trip!  I know this process took MUCH longer than anyone wanted it to (including me), so I really appreciate your patience.  We were originally offered a 60% refund, but with lots of email communication and some outside-the-box thinking (Thank you Mrs. McCanles!), we were able to come to a creative solution with Grand Classroom.  I really appreciate all of the problem solving on their end too! 

Of course, I’m disappointed that I won’t get to take the students to the Keys, but the 8th graders will be learning about marine ecosystems through their online learning and we’ll get to take a virtual trip to the Keys. I told them to save their pennies so they can go another time.

You will be receiving your refund from Grand Classroom in 6-8 weeks.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Thank you,

March 22: Distance Learning Begins Tomorrow

Dear Oakhill Community,

As I write this letter, I am surrounded by the people (and animals) I love. My son, Brady, is home from Dallas – he will end his Sophomore year of college at home (not in his Frat house)! He has come to accept this disappointment, but I feel for him! My daughter, Brooke (who is 16), is taking this the hardest; she misses her friends, sports, and normalcy. My husband, who is a corporate pilot, is home 24/7 (I am definitely not used to that), but I have a long list for him to embark upon! My dog, Ralphie, and my cat, Smokey, are actually loving the family time – more walks and more attention! I miss seeing my mom, but I know this is best for now. And, I have set up my "home office" to resemble my real office, but without the constant laughter, interaction, and business that school brings each day (and without the extra clutter). 

Three weeks ago, I complained about not having time to do the laundry, clean the house, take care of the lawn, watch my favorite shows, paint my kitchen, and spend time with family. I have been given that "opportunity", and I am doing my best to get things done! It has taken me a couple of weeks to regain motivation…I will now embrace what I cannot control. I will enjoy the lack of a morning and evening commute in rush hour; I will walk my dog; I will make time for a 30-minute run, and I will help my family get through THIS! I hope and pray for the light at the end of this tunnel; normal will come again, and when it does, I truly think we will all appreciate everything about it! 

Please know my role hasn't changed at Oakhill. I am committed to my job, and I will continue to support the departments, the teachers, the families, and the students the best I possibly can. Oakhill is so much more than a place to learn; we are your home away from home, and even with our campus closed…we are still your home. I have the utmost confidence in every single teacher, staff member, and administrator at Oakhill. We love the school, and we care deeply about each family! We are committed to our distance learning approach, and we will provide an excellent educational experience – one that defines Oakhill Day School.

With the newest recommendations, Oakhill's campus will remain closed through April 24. Please continue to follow the recommendations of social distancing, staying home unless it is essential to leave, and to keep gatherings less than 10. I want to applaud and thank the first responders and healthcare workers for their long hours and dedication. You have our highest admiration. 

Although the entire world is going through this together, I acknowledge that each family at Oakhill has its own set of unique circumstances. Please know I am here, as always, to listen, assist, support, and find a solution. Feel free to reach out to me by email; we can set up a time to talk on the phone. I, of all people, enjoy face to face meetings and communication – if I can't do that, a phone call is the next best thing!

I have always steered clear of social media, but I am going to give it a try! Please follow me on Twitter at @McCanles or Instagram at @suzannemccanles. I am new at this, so I ask for some grace (please and thank you)! I will be posting some videos, pictures, or challenges for students and families. I miss the kiddos already! I will also be reaching out weekly to update you on all things Oakhill. 

Wanda Lee Kalsu founded Oakhill in 1947, and we will not let her down. As a school, we will be making decisions very thoughtfully and in the best interest of our students, faculty, and the long-term viability of Oakhill Day School. We will continue serving our mission and living our lifeskills each and every day. In times like this, the Oakhill community is truly at its best!

Hang in there,


March 22: 5-MS Schedule of the Day

5th - 8th Grade Daily Schedule 

8:00 Teachers post lesson/assignment for the day 
8:00-3:30 Students collect and complete lessons/assignments and sign attendance sheet for each class - time is flexible - create a schedule that works for your family. 
Total work time for the day should fall between 4 and 5 total hours 

Office Hours (Optional - Teachers available on google hangouts to answer questions) 
11-11:30 Communication Arts 
12:30-1:00 Science 
1-1:30 Social Studies 
2-2:30 Math 
2:30-3 Spanish/Technology 
3-3:30 Music/Art 
**Students are welcome to email teachers ANY TIME in addition to using office hours 

Required Classes: 
Communication Arts - Daily 
Math - Daily 
Social Studies - Daily 
Science - Daily 
PE - Daily 
Spanish and Music - ODD Days March 23, 25, 27, 31 April 1,3,7,9,13,15,17,21,23 ... 
Art and Technology - EVEN Days March 24, 26, 30, April 2, 6,8,10,14,16,20,22,24 ...

Monday, March 23 you will have the following classes: Communication Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, PE, Spanish, and Music

Tuesday, March 24 you will have the following classes: Communication Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, PE, Art, Technology

Teacher emails: 
Mrs. Bertoldie
Ms. Jackson
Mrs. Stripling
Mr. Feagles
Mr. Fernandez
Mrs. Newhouse
Mr. Kleyh
Mr. Hall
Senora WalkerHolmes
Coach Ziegler
Ms. Stallman
Mrs. Hill 
Mrs. Verwers
Ms. Ganaden

March 21: Getting Ready for the First Day - Letter to EC/LS Parents

Oakhill Families,

I hope this note finds you, your family, and friends healthy. Our upcoming Monday morning "back to school" reminds me of my first day of teaching on the first day of school. Everything is new and exciting! I know it is hard for everyone to make changes in their routine, but now we are off on a new adventure

On Monday morning, March 23, your child's classroom teacher will greet them through Seesaw and then Distance Learning begins. 

I can't begin to tell you how amazed I am at the online classrooms our teachers have put together in one week. They have learned about the features that Seesaw and other programs provide and have collaborated with their colleagues on curriculum and resources. Each teacher has worked hard to provide a wonderful learning experience for your child. We are so fortunate to have a faculty that is passionate about providing the best for their students. 

What can you do to help make the Distance Learning process go smoothly? 

  • First, establish a routine. Decide what the household routine will be and talk specifically to your child about how their day will look. Help them make a chart so they can check off what they have accomplished. Some children find it beneficial to have their schedule made with a sequence of pictures.
  • Another helpful tip is to let your child have a place in the house that is all theirs. It may be a desk with lots of school supplies or a quiet, soft area to read, write, draw, and wind down. Many teachers have a "Calming Area" in their classrooms and you may find this beneficial at home as well.
  • Finally, make sure your child is getting plenty of exercise. The P.E. Department will be providing fun activities throughout the week.

We are all in this together. We have an opportunity for our students to experience learning like never before. Please reach out to your child's teacher or myself if you have any questions. 

Lacey Meier, EC/LS Techbrarian, is who you should contact if you run into technical issues with any of the Distance Learning Platforms used by your teacher. Contact Lacey Meier

Have fun participating in your child's learning over the coming weeks. We know that this extra responsibility might be a cause of stress for your family, but take a deep breath and try to enjoy this extra time with your family. We are here for you every step of the way.

Brenda Bock
Early Childhood/Lower School Division Head

March 15: Post Spring Break Updates

Dear Oakhill Community,

Instead of sending our usual Sunday Update, we wanted to give you an update on what we are planning once our official Spring Break ends this Friday, March 20.

Tomorrow, expect a virtual learning plan from your child's Division Head in your email inbox. We hope that the plan will give you enough information to feel confident beginning your journey of Distance/Virtual learning with Oakhill. Our faculty spent this break preparing for what feels like another first day of school and are excited to give your child the Oakhill experience at home. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child's Division Head if you have questions or concerns about expectations, technology, anything. We are here to support you through this process.

Other things to know about the coming days:

  • Other than the construction crew and the Oakhill cleaning crew, we are closing the entire campus (both buildings and the mod) to general foot traffic as of this Wednesday, March 18
  • Families who have prepaid for the second week of spring break care or kids club during the two weeks after spring break will have their account credited.
  • Families who have prepaid for lunch during the two weeks after spring break will have their account credited.

With all of the changes in the last 72 hours, I found this statement from another school official perfectly sums up where we are today.

"In the end, it will be impossible to know if we overreacted or did too much, but it will be quite apparent if we under reacted or did too little."

Thank you for your patience. We recognize the hardship that this causes and are here to support you. All COVID-19 related updates from Oakhill are also located on our Coronavirus webpage.


March 14: Kansas Adventure Trip Update

Dear Parents,

With in-school learning being postponed until April 6, the trip to the Cosmosphere has been cancelled and I am working to reschedule it for a later date, possibly even next school year.  

Since we are less than 35 days from the trip to the Cosmosphere, Grand Classroom is offering parents a 30% refund on the trip, if we cannot reschedule. At this point, I am still working to both reschedule the trip and/or get you a higher refund.  Even if you purchased travel insurance, the terms and conditions state that insurance will be null and void in situations like this (Act of God, outbreak of illness or quarantine, etc).

I know this isn't an ideal situation, but I want you to know I am doing my best to come to a fair solution.  I have a good relationship with Grand Classroom and I am hoping that will work in my favor.

I will continue to send updates as I know more.

Thank you for your patience,


March 14: Floriday Keys Trip Update

Dear Parents,

I know you have been anxiously awaiting word about our trip to the Florida Keys.  At this point, a final decision has still not been made, but I thought it was important to update you on what I do know.

With the changes to the world around us happening at a rapid pace, all industries are having to make decisions quickly without all of the information we would prefer. Since we are more than 35 days from the trip to the Florida Keys, Grand Classroom is offering parents a 60% refund on the trip, if we cannot reschedule. If we wait until less than 35 days, the refund drops to 30%. At this point, I am still working to both reschedule the trip and/or get you a higher refund.  Even if you purchased travel insurance, the terms and conditionsstate that insurance will be null and void in situations like this (Act of God, outbreak of illness or quarantine, etc).

I know this isn't an ideal situation, but I want you to know I am doing my best to come to a fair solution.  I have a good relationship with Grand Classroom and I am hoping that will work in my favor.

I will continue to send updates (hourly if needed) as I know more.

Thank you for your patience,


March 13: COVID-19 School Closure Update

Dear Oakhill Day School Community,

With so much information coming in during the past 24 hours regarding COVID-19, we continue to monitor the situation closely and the direct impact this has on Oakhill. I realize there is much hype, but I also acknowledge that this is real. With closures occurring throughout the country and city, we all must do our part to help stop the spread.

We are taking precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The safety and well-being of our community (and the greater local and regional community) is our top priority. At this time, there are no known cases of the virus at Oakhill Day School.

Updates are being provided to our community on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates Webpage.

In response to Mayor Lucas' declaration of a state of emergency in Kansas City and response to information from around the country and globe, we are assessing every facet of school life for the next few weeks.

Campus status through Spring Break

There will be NO athletic practices or school-sponsored events/activities next week. We will NOT have full-day childcare next week (March 16-20). This will allow us to continue deep cleaning throughout the entire campus.

Resuming school after Spring Break

We will NOT have students return to our campus until April 6th. This will give our community two full weeks to "socially distance" after Spring Break. There will be no practices, activities, or school events from now until April 6th.

Online Learning Solutions/Distance Learning

I want to thank our faculty and staff; they have been working diligently over the past few days and weeks to prepare. We promise to deliver the very best educational experience possible during this time. We recognize there will be hurdles and glitches along the way; please be patient and flexible.

Your respective Division Head and Techbrarian will be sharing the detailed online/distance learning plans very soon. Please contact Kathryn Dodsonat or Sara Verwers at if you have any concerns about your internet capabilities, devices or software programs.

Travel Guidelines

We realize many of our families and staff are currently traveling, or plan to travel during Spring Break. We encourage everyone to carefully consider travel plans in light of the guidance from the CDC.

Anyone who has traveled to (or through) a level-3 or level-2 CDC warned country is REQUIRED to follow CDC and department of health guidelines, to inform the school, and to self-isolate from the school and the school community as a family for a minimum of 14 days after you return. At the time of this email, the CDC has assessed all international travel as a level-3 or level-2 risk.

These guidelines include any additional travel locations that may be added while we are on break. We will continue to follow the CDC and local health department guidelines. All families and staff should be aware that the dynamic nature of the travel advisories may affect their need to self-isolate or social distance before returning to school.

The CDC released considerations for travel within the United States. Please stay informed.

School Administrative Offices

Out of concern for all of our employees, we will not have administrative offices open but are asking administrators to work from home. We will do our very best to answer questions related to the various operational aspects of our school. Please do not hesitate to contact us through email.

4th Quarter School Travel

Currently, all school-sponsored travel through April 6th has been canceled. We are in contact with Grand Classroom regarding the 7th and 8th grade Florida Keys trip. More information to come.

Our school community has been challenged this school year; the events of this year have helped to solidify our strength. It has been a year that we will never forget. We are Oakhill Strong! Together, we will get through these difficult times. Care for one another, trust one another, and be kind to one another.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Thank you for your trust and support! Lean on one another (stay 6 feet apart)!

This is a very fluid situation; we will continue to communicate regarding new updates and information.



March 2: Planning for the Coronavirus

Dear Oakhill Community,

I know the coronavirus (COVID-19) is on everyone's mind. I want to share some of the steps Oakhill is taking to prevent the spread of illness across our campus and our plan for the possible spread of the coronavirus to our community. Please know the health of our students and employees is our top priority!

As you know, this situation continues to evolve and circumstances may change in the days and weeks ahead. Our administrative team has met to discuss school operations and how we will continue to provide an effective learning environment should we need to close school at any time. 

We are closely monitoring the situation daily and are following the guidelines outlined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Missouri Health Department, and local health officials.


Influenza has been our concern over the past several weeks, and we have taken extra precautions to minimize the spread of the flu. With the threat of the coronavirus, we will continue to do all we can to keep our school healthy. Here are some ways in which Oakhill has been mitigating the risk of flu:

  • We are using a hospital-grade sanitizing agent to clean our facilities each night
  • We have increased the number of times "high-touch" areas are sanitized – doors, bathroom fixtures, water fountains, and stair railings
  • We have asked teachers to practice and promote good hygiene to all age levels: washing hands and using hand sanitizer throughout the day, coughing and sneezing into elbows, wiping down light switches and door handles, and refraining from the use of community crayons or pencils
  • Teachers and staff will help serve students in the lunchroom, including help with condiments such as ketchup and salad dressings
  • We are encouraging families and staff who are ill to stay at home until they are completely well

Other recommendations:

  • Please report illnesses to the school nurses
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth (statistics say we touch our face 90+ times per day)
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and properly wash hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer


We will continue to monitor recommendations from the CDC regarding travel. We realize many of you will be traveling both domestically and internationally over Spring Break. As a result, we ask you to follow the advice of the CDC involving areas that have increased risk of exposure to the virus. 

With two middle school trips coming up in April, we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops.

Additional Resources:

The following links are helpful resources:

In the event that coronavirus spreads into the Kansas City area, the local area, or our school, we are prepared to alter our procedures and planning. We are exploring ways to continue the educational process for all students through online learning solutions, as well. 

We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate as needed.



February 10: Community Letter Regarding Flu/Cold Season

Dear Oakhill Day School Families,

In the midst of this flu season, we are seeing students and staff with both Influenza A and B in both the Main Building and the South Building.  

Important information about the flu:

Influenza, commonly known as "the flu," is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms can be mild to severe. The flu is different from the common cold, comes on suddenly, and you may feel some or all of the following symptoms that can last between two to three weeks.

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough and sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, this is more common in children than adults. 

You can still get the Flu even if you have been vaccinated. Students can also have the flu more than once during the season. 

For parents: 

  • Keep your children home for at least 5 to 7 days after the onset of flu symptoms.
  • Children must be free of all symptoms, including a fever, for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • If your child is diagnosed with influenza, please let the office know so we can notify the appropriate classroom of flu exposure. 
  • If you notice any fever or lack of energy in your child, consult your healthcare provider immediately to get an antiviral medicine like Tamiflu within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
  • Allowing your children to rest at home is the best medicine.
  • Remind your children to always cover their mouths with their sleeves when they sneeze.
  • Encourage effective hand-washing.

What Oakhill Day School is doing:

  • Our facilities department is deep cleaning classrooms where a case of the flu has been reported.
  • In all parts of the school, the cleaning crews are sanitizing touch points, such as door handles and restroom fixtures in addition to their regular cleaning regimen.
  • Teachers will have access to extra cleaning supplies to use throughout the day in their classrooms.
  • Faculty members are reminding students to sneeze into their sleeves, wash their hands often and avoid touching their faces.

Thank you for your efforts, combined with ours to help control the spread of this virus to our school community.

Nurse Cathy, Nurse Jan, and Nurse Aimee

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