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Online Learning During COVID-19

 

Our Building is Closed, but our Learning Continues.  Please check back to read about our updated online learning plans during COVID-19.  

Oakland Christian School COVID-19 FAQ - Friday Update 4.24.2020

As mentioned in our communication last Friday, we know and expect changes as we navigate the current environment we are facing.  As of today, we find ourselves in a two week extension of the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order.  Although with some release on restrictions, I pray these restrictions continue to ease, and we are all able to responsibly resume some level of activity and work soon.

As we address some of these changes, we have additional Q&A and updates to the FAQs that we communicated last Friday.  

Update on re-enrollment deadline:   

Due to the continued economic uncertainty, we will be extending our re-enrollment deadline to July 1st.  Our goal is to allow our families additional time to gain a better understanding of what their job and financial situations will be as we move into next school year.  For those of you who still wish to divide your tuition payments into 12 months (vs. 10 if re-enrolling in July), we encourage you to still re-enroll by May 1.

Is OCS offering tuition assistance?  What is the ACCESS program?

As mentioned last week, OCS is committed to working individually with each family to allow them to remain at OCS.  To do so, we are committing additional funding to our ACCESS tuition grant program with an emphasis on short term/temporary need. If your financial situation has been negatively impacted, we encourage you to consider completing the ACCESS application through FACTS.  This will allow us the opportunity to work individually with each family to determine the best plan for you.  Click here for grant and aid information.  Please contact Tracy Gottschalk at tgottschalk@oaklandchristian.com  if you have questions.

Will I be billed for Family Service Hours if I didn't have the opportunity to complete my hours? 

Due to the abrupt, early end to the school year, we will not be billing for incomplete Family Service Hours in the 2019-2020 school year.

Are there additional resources available to assist parents and students in this online distance learning environment? 

As we continue our online learning program, we will provide resources that may assist you and your students.  We will add these to this FAQ section. 

School at home is teeming with distractions for everyone. Techniques often helpful for students with ADD/ ADHD can, at times, help all learners when the learning environment has changed. Using a timer can help students know when to be on task, and easily recognize when it is time to transition. Pick a fun digital timer and let it signal time for transition.  

Oakland Christian School COVID-19 FAQ  Version 1.0 (April 17, 2020)

There are many questions that continue to arise as OCS and our families navigate uncharted waters. Unfortunately, many answers are not yet knowable as changes are occurring daily. Most of these changes prompt more questions. This FAQ, while by no means exhaustive, is intended to help with some of the most commonly asked questions. We will update regularly as more questions arise and more information is known.  Please continue to send your questions to Susan Brock (sbrock@oaklandchristian.com).

Will we finish the school year on time?  

  • We will make the following two revisions to the current calendar:
  • Friday, May 1 will be a “break” day for students and faculty 
  • Thursday, May 21 will be the FINAL DAY of the OCS school year 
  • As currently scheduled, the “last day” for seniors is May 14.

Will the kids have such a rigorous academic schedule moving forward?

  • We plan to continue to provide a quality academic experience, understanding that online education cannot replicate that which occurs in the classroom with a professional educator.  
  • We are blessed as a school and a professional faculty to be nimble and agile in moving from a traditional model of teaching to one that utilizes technology in this time.    

What is the distance learning plan for the remainder of the year?  Does this work count?

We will continue to conduct classes with an expectation of student attendance, participation, learning and assessments, as all classes, elementary through high school, do count.

  • Elementary students will be expected to complete learning goals for grades in the core content areas (Bible, Reading, Writing, Math, Science and Social Studies) that will be recorded for the student’s report card. Teachers will communicate which assignments will be graded for the trimester grade.
  • Spanish Immersion Elementary Students are encouraged to take advantage of all the scheduled interactions with their classroom teacher and assistants to keep their language development active.
  • Elementary Specials provide skill-based learning activities each week that will provide healthy and creative learning experiences. We encourage students to work on these activities but understand that the core curriculum class work needs to be completed first. 
  • Final exams and terminal projects will be cancelled. This includes final tests, projects and papers that normally would have represented the entire trimester and filled the “Final Exam” portion of the grade.  That will be proportionately distributed over the remaining grade categories. 
  • For those students registered to take AP exams, these will be aligned with the College Board published dates.
  • All standardized tests that have been cancelled (NWEA, PreACT and ACT) will be evaluated for alternative testing dates and/or times. Families will be communicated with once decisions are made.

What is the plan for current families to re-enroll?

  • We understand the negative economic impact that these extraordinary times are having on the OCS community and recognize that challenges differ from family to family. Our goal is to personally assist our OCS families in order to have their children remain with us in the fall. We strongly encourage all of our families to re-enroll by the May 1 deadline to avoid the $150 per child re-enrollment fee.
  • Short term: OCS will work diligently and individually with any current family who faces unexpected financial distress. Please contact Tracy Gottschalk at tgottschalk@oaklandchristian.com to discuss options for your family.
  • Long term: OCS continues to offer needs-based tuition grants to families through our well-established ACCESS program. 

Has there been a discussion of moving full tuition payment dates back due to the financial position many families are facing? 

  • Please see second point above.  Please contact Tracy Gottschalk to discuss the options for your family.

Does OCS intend on having a graduation ceremony when the “Stay Home, Stay Safe mandate” is over?  What are other plans for the Class of 2020?

Yes! However, we do not yet know what this looks like or when it will occur.  We plan to have an online meeting with all Seniors in early May to gather ideas so we can consider options.

  • We hope to offer a new version of the traditional Senior run - Date/ format TBD
  • Awards ceremony - To be determined
  • Senior Skydive - Hoping to offer as a summer experience, date TBD

What are the plans for OCS regarding the other milestone events?

We are also reviewing a list of these milestone events that are so important to our students and our school. We certainly would like to plan for them in some fashion. We hope to address these in early May.

  • Drama production - We do not expect that we'll have the opportunity to prepare and present our Spring Musical, but are looking at options that may allow a portion of the production to be presented, possibly in conjunction with other events rescheduled in the summer.
  • 5th grade graduation - TBD
  • Kindergarten graduation - TBD
  • 8th grade class trip - Cancelled

What is the current plan for OCS Summer Camps?

As of this time, summer camps are on hold. A decision will be made in early May once we have a better understanding of the Governor’s mandate for Michigan regarding access to the building, social distancing, etc.

Are we able to come on campus? What are the plans for students to access their lockers at school?

  • As soon as the Michigan mandate is relaxed or removed, we will notify all families that their children will be able to return to campus to clean out their lockers. In the meantime, their personal items in their lockers are safe.
  • For those students with AP materials still at school, we will let your teachers know when they will be available for pick up. They will be made available by one of the members of the administrative team.

Will there be grace given in the Fall to incoming 6th graders who don’t get the prep day and full transition experience that usually happens at the end of 5th grade?

  • We plan to introduce a middle school preparation plan for all rising 6th graders and their parents. 
  • We will restructure the start of the school year so that new middle school students will gradually and systematically gain an understanding of the MS workload. The MS Faculty will collectively be partnering with each student and their families.

Does OCS plan to provide any additional support or resources prior to the start of next school year?     

We are currently working to develop an OCS Summer Enrichment/Academic Check-up Program (EACUP). More information will be forthcoming about this program in mid-May with an expected implementation date in mid-June.

Will there be any changes to next year’s academic calendar?

We currently anticipate no significant changes to the published Academic Year 2020-21 calendar.

What changes will OCS make to how the school is cleaned daily?

  • In May, we will announce the details of the new OCS Safe School Program.
  • This program will include a “Certified Clean” program in coordination with our contracted cleaning company. 

What changes will OCS make to Student & Staff “Sick” policy?

  • This is being reviewed and revised in light of current information using guidance from professional organizations as we implement these new policies.
  • We plan to introduce this with the OCS Safe School Program (see point 1 from above question)

What are the plans for the announced OCS trip to Israel in 2021?

  • As of now, this trip is on hold. 
  • An announcement will be made NLT July 2020

What are the plans for OCS athletic programs?

All athletic events and practices are currently on hold as we monitor direction from the MHSAA and comply with state mandated restrictions

Will the class of 2021 be able to select and paint personal parking spaces?

  • Yes. This is currently planned to be an event on campus prior to the start of the school year. 
  • The process and timing for selection of assigned spaces and submission of artwork/plans will be announced at a later date.

Updated: 4/3/2020

Happy Friday, 

'tis a great day to be a Lancer! As we wind down for a much-deserved and much-needed Spring break I would like to share with every OCS family the following information, ideas and thoughts. 

  1. Faculty Kudos: The faculty continues to do school well and I am so proud of them. They have gone above and beyond in transitioning from traditional classroom instruction to at-home learning.
  2. Student Kudos: Well done! You have been wonderful, resilient & patient in the process of adapting to at-home instruction. It's not easy, but you have seen your teachers model that, no matter the circumstances, we all can learn something new. Thank you!
  3. Parental Kudos: Thank you for your support, prayers and encouragement. The governor's announcement does not change our course. We will continue to follow the academic calendar for the remainder of the school year.
  4. Curriculum: When we return from Spring Break we will continue our online teaching format. In all grades we fully expect to cover all essential curriculum by the end of our school year.  All teachers are focused on the "Must do" aspects of our curriculum and they will stay the course.
  5. Milestones: We are committed to celebrate OCS milestone events. We are not sure what this will look like or when, but our prayer is to bring our OCS students & families together for our now delayed school events, activities & ceremonies, even if they become summertime events. 
  6. Seniors:  We love you. We will celebrate you. We share your hurt. We may not know what the OCS 2020 graduation will look like, but I suspect it will be like no other! We will endeavor to make it both memorable and great and are brainstorming new ways to honor and recognize you. Stay tuned...
  7. Athletics: The MHSAA announced today that all athletic events have been cancelled for the remainder of the school year. Insert "sad face" emoji here.
  8. Re-enrollment: We understand the negative economic impact that these extraordinary times are having on many OCS families. We are working diligently to develop a financial strategy designed to assist those in our OCS community to have their children remain with us in the fall. 
  9. FAQ: There are many questions that arise as we navigate these waters. Changes are occurring every day that prompt more questions. So, we are developing an FAQ that we'll introduce the week we come back. Any questions? If so, please send them to Susan (sbrock@oaklandchristian.com)
  10. Our Christian calling: This is the time for us, as Christians, to model our faith, one that is rooted in a relationship with Him; we do not have a spirit of fear & anxiety...but stand in the power of the Holy Spirit that resides within and gives us the hope & strength we need to overcome.
  11. Prayer: Pray for those impacted by COVID-19. Pray for those serving on the front lines. Pray for those in isolation/quarantine. Pray for our political leaders. Pray for our school and for one another.
  12. Closing Salutations: 

Take a break from academics, enjoy your family, celebrate Holy week & our Lord's resurrection

Be safe, stay healthy and wash your hands!

The BEST is yet to come!

Eyes on Christ - Pat

Updated:  3/20/2020

The empty hallways and empty classrooms are strange. Not, summer vacation strange, but "where is everybody?" strange. The school is alive when filled with the sounds of children and the smiles of the faculty who teach, mentor, and love on them. We miss everyone.


Faculty: This first week of CoronaClosure has been, by all accounts, a success. Our faculty had 48 hours to be ready for a completely different means of delivering education, and they have risen to the occasion. We've learned (and are still learning) how to do it well. I am just one of many who thank-you! A few of the testimonials we've received...


             "Day 3! I’m thankful my boys get to do virtual school together and I’m grateful for the instruction and support their teachers and the administration at Oakland Christian School are providing."


              "I'm so impressed with how quickly and smoothly you all transitioned to virtual learning. My son is only in EEC but I cannot tell you how thankful we are for all the updates and reminders to trust in God through all this!"


              "Man, my student has adjusted so fast to remote learning thanks to Mrs. Ream and the OCS team.  She has been completely independent in her learning and she's only in 3rd grade.  So proud of her and our OCS school!"


Parents: Y'all have been incredible. Juggling work-at-home schedules, disrupting home routines, and kids taking classes online have all been new territory for everyone. But, we're light years ahead of most schools as we are educating virtually. Your prayers, support, understanding, patience and feedback have been invaluable. Thank you!


Students: Well done! You kiddos are so teachable, adaptable and resilient. This is different but it's temporary. We miss seeing you face-to-face. We miss YOU - the laughter, the stories, the questions, the craziness (OK, most of it) and all of the other gifts you bring to OCS. Obey your parents, be kind and nice to one another, and do your classwork!  At some point, we will return to what we know, hang in there. There is a silver lining; here's what some of your classmates are saying...


       "I'm thankful that I have understanding teachers who are willing to go slow and give grace in these crazy times."

       "I am thankful for the school and my host family and everyone who’s taking care of the international students. I‘m also glad to be able to stay in a healthy environment with a sufficient amount of food."

       "My silver lining is that I can do my homework late at night and not have to worry about getting up early in the morning."

      ".....And I am thankful for the school I attend and everything the teachers and staff has done for us to make our lives easier.  I feel as though we haven’t skipped a stride in our learning even when we are all in different places."

- Mr. Pat McCarty, Head of School


Updated:  3/16/2020

Our Opportunity

As Christians, we are traveling together through a time unlike any we have experienced in our lives. We are not sure what tomorrow will bring, but we are sure that He is in control. We seek to understand and to do what we need to keep our families safe. We are not fearful, but pray for wisdom, discernment and strength. As followers of Christ, we give testimony to all who would ask about the hope that lies within us. What an opportunity!

As educators, we are adapting to what education will look like for the near future. All of our classroom experience and content knowledge is being utilized to adapt to an online learning model using our Schoology platform. We are well equipped and working diligently to change our mode of instructional delivery.  Our faculty, students, and parents will be learning together.  This is an unprecedented time for all of us. We are blessed that at Oakland Christian School we have the professional faculty, technology, and opportunity to continue engaging and challenging our students. What an opportunity!

A couple of notes:

Building hours this week  - Staff and administrators will be on campus between 9:00 am - 1:00 pm (Teachers will be available as outlined in the communication below.)

Spring break dates will remain as scheduled - April 6th - April 13th

I will communicate additional updates with the OCS community again this Friday, March 20th

Eyes on Christ - Mr. Pat McCarty, Head of School


Secondary Online Learning Plans

OCS is blessed to have resources available to support student learning during this time, and a staff trained in using these resources.  On Monday, March 16, teachers gathered for a day of supplemental training and outlining expectations.  As this is the first time any of us - educators, families, and students - have gone through anything like this, we know it won’t be perfect!  However, we are committed to doing our best.  

- Dr. Hook

Suggestions for Parents

  • Remind your student to check Schoology daily.  
    • Teacher communication will originate there.  
    • Teacher “Office” hours will be posted on class calendars in Schoology.
    • Announcements that apply to middle school and secondary students will be posted there.
  • Even if you have a very independent student, check Schoology yourself.  Our current situation is not typical, and all students will have an adjustment.
  • Help your student build a routine.  Setting aside time for school activities will help ensure they are completed.  The routine also will help prevent boredom and video games from taking over!
  • If you have any questions, please contact the teacher.  During posted Office Hours, replies should be timely.  At other times, teachers will respond as they are able.

Suggestions for Students

  • Check Schoology often!  Review the schedule below to know what classes to check on each day.  We’ve divided them up to make it more manageable.
  • If your teacher schedules a live video, tune in!  We miss you and want to see you even if it is through a screen.
  • Complete your assigned tasks!  They might be different than normal, but they are designed to keep our minds working.  
  • Build a mini schedule for yourself and stick to it!  Include activities such as music, art, and physical education.  These are important for your well-being, too!
  • If you have any questions, contact your teachers.  During posted Office Hours, replies should be quick.  At other times, teachers will respond as they are able.
  • Teachers will be flexible with dates, but some due dates will be set. You should be making continuous progress.  There is an expectation that when we return students will be on track.  A “make up” window might not be provided.
  • If you are unable to complete assignments due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, please let your teachers know.

Academic Overview for Secondary

OCS online learning program begins Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

  • Three touchpoints per week for each class.  These may include assignments, video instruction, live video instruction, Schoology discussion boards, or other activities identified by each teacher.  Due dates will be posted on Schoology to help families and students navigate.
  • AP classes may have more touchpoints each week.  Teachers are trying to balance flexibility with the reality of the upcoming AP tests.  Information about any potential rescheduling by the College Board will be shared if and when it becomes available.
  • Physical Education and Arts classes will have at least one touchpoint per week.  Each teacher will outline their expectations with not more than three due dates in line with other classes.
  • Teachers will provide “Office Hours” on their Touchpoint days. Office hours might be on-line availability via Schoology discussion board, immediate email responses, or live video streaming and interaction via Schoology Conferences.  Each teacher will post their times and methodology to the Course calendar in Schoology.

Touchpoint Schedule


Elementary Online Learning Plans

Here we go on an adventure! Teachers have been at school today preparing plans to work remotely with our students and you. As we’ve gone through the day, Proverbs 16:9 resonates with me,  “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps”.  

- Mr. Nickel

Here are the plans for the Elementary beginning Tuesday for the near future. 

  • Teacher communications with students and parents will come through your Schoology account. We will be using additional Schoology features to assist student learning, and some of these features will require the use of a desktop, laptop or tablet.
  • Teachers will hold online “office hours” according to the following schedule:
  • Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays from 9:00-11:00 am
  • Tuesdays, Thursdays for one hour between 6:00-9:00 pm. (Each teacher will communicate the hour they are available)
  • Teachers will outline learning goals for 5 days of the week. You can control the schedule in your home, but you are strongly encouraged to keep a regular routine and expect 3-5 hours of learning activities per day.
  • If you need to check out a school iPad, you can stop by the school this afternoon between 2:00 - 6:00 pm or tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17 between 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. (A parent/adult must pick up, as no students are allowed in the building.) 
  • Look for activities posted by each of our Specials teachers for the week.

We understand there may be technical issues to troubleshoot as we introduce this new format of communication and instruction. For technical questions, please contact the IT department at onlinehelp@oaklandchristian.com Monday - Friday from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm and again between 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm.  

For all other questions, please contact your child’s teacher or Mr. Nickel at gnickel@oaklandchristian.com.  We appreciate your patience as we begin this online learning endeavor!