OCS District Communications

OCS District Communications




May 24, 2022
8:33 p.m. Email to families

Today, we are reminded how important school safety has become and why it is so critical we make every effort to protect our students while attending school.  The mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas is so horrific that I can hardly believe it happened and can’t imagine what the families, school staff and community are going through.  I want to use this event to remind our families that OCS has taken school safety seriously for many many years and we are one of few districts who believes we need an armed officer in each of our six core school buildings on a daily basis.  At times, we were questioned as to why we added a School Resource Officer (SRO) in each of our elementary buildings.  The answer is to deter and prevent anything bad from happening to anyone.  All students, no matter what age, deserve to be protected and reassured they are safe on a daily basis.  We are extremely blessed and lucky to have six highly dedicated officers willing to do whatever it takes to keep kids and staff safe.  

The Oregon Police are our biggest supporters and school safety advocates.  As superintendent, I want to thank the City of Oregon, Oregon Police, and the Oregon Board of Education for forming this amazing partnership and providing our students and staff peace of mind every day.  Without the support of these three entities, the SRO program would not be as strong as it is.    

Thank you to these amazing SROs - Tim, Mark, Sara, Jeff, Mike and Ted along with Sgt. Jeff Martin, Chief Brandon Begin and all officers who protect our community.  I consider these individuals the best in the business. 

Send your kids with confidence and enjoy the last few days of school and all the fun activities that go along with it.  

Thank you.
Hal Gregory, Superintendent



March 17, 2022
2:48 a.m. Email to families

OCS is passing along information to our families who may be in need of some assistance with food through a local monthly food co-op.  You can find information in the attached flyer. Monthly_Food_CoOp_Flyer.pdf 

For more information please contact Doreen Robeson at (419) 349-3559.

Have an awesome upcoming weekend. 



March 15, 2022
8:29 a.m. Email to families

OCS Families,

COVID Dashboard

As of today, 3/15/22, the OCS COVID Dashboard has been removed from the OCS website.  School districts in Ohio are no longer required to report cases to the health departments or provide data to the community.  Here is a final chart showing the positive cases throughout the year.  


 

Moana Jr.  - Moana Postcard.pdf 

Forty six very talented fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students have joined together to form The Oregon City Schools Junior Limelighters.  They have been hard at work since mid December putting together their rendition of Moana Jr.  

See the line where the sky meets the sea?  You’ll love this thrilling and heartwarming stage adaptation of the coming-of-age tale of Moana as she sets sail across the Pacific to save her village and discover the truth about her heritage.  She and the demigod Maui, embark on an epic journey of self-discovery and camaraderie as she learns to harness the power that lies within.  With its empowering message of bravery, Moana Jr. is sure to awaken your inner hero!

Show Dates

Friday, March 25th at 7:30

Saturday, March 26th at 7:30

Sunday March 27th at 3:00

All performances are at Eisenhower Intermediate School.  Tickets are $12.00 for adults and $10.00 for students and seniors (60+).  All tickets are reserved seating.  Tickets can be ordered by contacting Kristina Kidd at 419-836-8498 ext. 2045 or email at kkidd@oregoncs.org.  Your order will be filled and tickets can be picked up and paid for at Will Call before each show.  Tickets are also available at the box office prior to each show.  Payment methods include cash and check only. 

We hope to see you at the show!




February 27, 2022
9:59 a.m. Email to families

OCS Families,

Beginning Monday, 2/28/22, OCS will be lifting the mask requirement for students, athletes and drivers on school buses.  The CDC recently updated their guidance which no longer requires masks to be worn on buses operated by public schools.  This is great news and another big step towards returning to normalcy.  Thank you.

Hal Gregory
Superintendent 



February 4, 2022
1:13 p.m. Email to families

OCS Families and Staff,

Beginning on Monday, February 7, 2022, OCS will implement a mask optional policy for all schools and remove the mask requirement.  Our numbers have reached a low level of positive cases and we feel comfortable moving forward with the option to wear a mask for all students, staff and visitors.  Students and bus drivers must still wear a mask on buses per the federal transportation requirement.  We will continue with our mask optional policy at all after school athletic and extracurricular events.  

Thank you to everyone for your understanding and cooperation.  

Hal Gregory
Superintendent




January 28, 2022
2:04 p.m. Email to families
OCS Families,
I am excited to share with you changes in our COVID protocols after two long years.  In the past few days, there has been a shift from the Ohio Department of Health allowing school districts to discontinue contact tracing and mandated parent communications which in turn essentially eliminates the need to quarantine exposed students.  OCS discontinued these practices beginning today, January 28, 2022.  This is a major shift reducing workload for our staff and frustration for our families.  This is truly a turning point for our schools and families.  

If your student is COVID positive we still require you to keep your children home for at least five days and major symptoms free.  Symptomatic students can return to school with a negative test or alternative diagnosis.  This applies to athletes and all extra-curricular participants.  Again, please do not send your child to school if he/she is sick. 

If your children are exposed to a COVID positive family member, but have no symptoms, we will allow the child to attend school, but must wear a mask for ten days.  The majority of spread we see is through family exposures.  

Finally, we will maintain the mask requirement moving forward, but will evaluate each week.  We will evaluate our numbers again on February 4,  2022.  Our COVID positive numbers have dropped significantly this week close to the range we are comfortable with.  If we maintain this range, we will move to mask optional.  
Have a great weekend!
Hal Gregory
Superintendent
 
 
January 26, 2022
4:24 p.m. Email to families

OCS Families,

We have had a crazy weather week.  I want to remind our families about how we deal with cold weather.  There is a lot of social media chatter all around NW Ohio regarding what schools should and should not do related to delaying or closing schools due to cold.  As it relates to the cold weather, we have used the -15 to -20 temperature/windchill for all of my years as Superintendent and many years previously as the temperature range we would make the decision to delay or close with.  School districts delay or close for cold based on unique circumstances to each district such as how many students walk to school, ride buses, condition of buses, etc.  No two districts are alike.  Tomorrow’s forecast for 6am in the morning on the 13abc weather app is 10 degrees with a windchill of -4.  If these conditions stay true, we would not delay or close in the morning.  Of course, we will review the conditions very early in the morning.  

I hope this helps to clarify our process.  Please share this with your children so there are limited unrealistic expectations by our students.  

Thank you and stay warm!
Hal Gregory
Superintendent



January 6, 2022
9:28 a.m. Email to families

OCS Families,

I am sending this communication out to update our families on the status of COVID in OCS.  There are rumors OCS plans on implementing remote learning in the near future.  This is not true.  As of now, we have been able to cover our staff who are out for COVID and other various reasons, with substitute staff.  This is happening in big part to our community stepping up and applying to be substitute teachers and support staff, allowing for appropriate coverage on a daily basis.  THANK YOU!  We are averaging between 30 and 45 staff members out per day.  This includes teachers, bus drivers and support staff.  These are high numbers, but because of the recent number of substitutes available, we are keeping the doors open.  Luckily, those who have to be out are not out for as long due to the recent changes to the COVID quarantine guidelines and the illnesses do not appear to be as severe.  If we become short on bus drivers, we may have to cancel a few routes on a particular day.  This will inconvenience some families but should not disrupt the entire district.  If this happens parents will be contacted. 

The number of students out varies from day to day.  These numbers are a moment in time.   As of today, our district has 7.32% of our students out due to COVID or exposure.  Here is the breakdown by school as of today.  These numbers are high, but not at a point in which we would close school or change too remote learning.
Clay:  6.15% out
Fassett:  8.07% out
Eisenhower:  5.41% out
Coy:  6.03% out
Jerusalem:  10.89% out
Starr:  11.19% out

It is my hope we are hitting our peak of COVID positive students and staff.  Last week was tough.  This week is better, still rough, but better so far.  Nothing is for certain, but we will continue to work hard to keep the doors open and provide all the services and instruction you expect from OCS.  Our teachers and school leaders have become accustomed to adjusting and adapting to students coming in and out of school.  Please take some time to thank your child's teacher(s) and your building principal.  Nothing is easy about what we are all dealing with.  I wish all of you the best as we continue to navigate this pandemic.  

Have a great night.

Hal Gregory
Superintendent



January 6, 2022
9:28 a.m. Email to families

OCS Families,

OCS will implement a mask requirement beginning tomorrow, January 7, 2022 for all students, staff and visitors in our schools.  We have documented over 50 positive student cases and 20 positive staff cases since our return to school after the holiday break and more pending.  Unlike our past experience with COVID, we believe some of the spread is now occurring in our schools, particularly with staff members who work closely together.  The data indicates we need to take action to make every effort to keep our students and teachers in the classroom.

This mask requirement is planned through January 31, 2022. At such time, we will remove the mask mandate if case loads decline and return closer to our pre-break average of 10 or fewer cases per week.

Given the voluntary nature of after-school activities, the mask requirement will not apply to after school sporting events or activities held in our school facilities at this time.  Masks at those events will remain optional.

I thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we, once again, adjust to the circumstances before us.  Have a great rest of the week.

Hal Gregory
Superintendent



January 5, 2022
5:05 p.m. Email to families

OCS Families,

OCS is in need of bus drivers.  If you are interested please contact us.  Information in on this flyer:  OCS Interview Flyer 

OCS in need of substitute teachers and support staff.  The law has changes allowing anyone who is 18 with a high school diploma to substitute teach.  If you are looking to help out please apply here:  Applitrack Online Application

Thank you for the support at this very challenging time.  

Go Eagles!



January 3, 2022
4:24 p.m. Email to families

OCS Families,

Welcome to the New Year!  We are excited to have our students return tomorrow and begin the second semester of the school year.  I have been receiving some questions if there will be any changes to the start of the second semester due to COVID cases.  At this point, we are planning on business as usual in our schools holding classes and transporting students as we did in the first semester.  Masks will remain optional in school but we encourage anyone who feels at risk or scared to please wear a mask.  Masks will remain a mandate on school buses per the Department of Transportation.  If we start to see significant COVID spread within our schools, we will revisit the mask optional policy.  We will let the data drive changes to our procedures.  

We will be adjusting our quarantine procedures to align with the Ohio Department of Health’s updated guidelines.  We are awaiting the final guidance from our local health department, but moving forward, we expect students and staff to return to school after being sick or exposed sooner based on the new guidance.  You can see the guidance here:  https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/media-center/odh-news-releases/odh-news-release-12-30-21

I want to reiterate that OCS priorities are to keep kids in school.... and safe while at school.  We have done a very good job doing this so far and I anticipate the same for the second semester.  We have an outstanding nursing and leadership team.  We are fortunate to have such a caring group of nurses.  We know students and staff will become ill with COVID and/or be exposed to someone who is ill.  I ask all of you to be understanding and patient with our nurses and leaders who are charged with implementing difficult procedures. Please be kind when you receive a call from your school informing you that your child will need to be quarantined or have to wear a mask.  I can’t tell you how much our nurses and leaders appreciate your kindness. 

Have a great week!

Hal Gregory
Superintendent 



December 17, 2021 
4:16 p.m. Email to families

OCS Families and Staff,

TiKTok Challenge:  National School Threats

OCS School Leadership has been made aware of recent media reports concerning a National TikTok general violence/threat to schools across the United States for Friday, December 17.  The reports indicate the initial TikTok threat was generalized to all schools across the country.  There are media reports in other states about additional TikTok and other social media platform threats from this initial message.  It appears to be another TikTok Challenge for students to threaten schools.  OCS is monitoring the reports and has made the Oregon Police Department aware of these messages. 

 Please understand, there is no direct or indirect threat against any specific school in OCS and we will be holding school tomorrow as scheduled.  This communication is so we all are aware and collectively can keep everyone safe.  Please remind your children not to take part in this challenge.  Any threat to a school will result in a felony charge and expulsion from school. 

We would like to remind students, parents, community members, and staff  to please report any school safety concerns to school administration or anonymously through the Safer Ohio School Tip line at (844) 723-3764 or our direct OCS hotline at 419-698-6030.  You can also email emergency@oregoncs.org with information.  Working with the Oregon Police, we will have extra police patrols around our schools throughout the day tomorrow.

Thank you, 

Hal Gregory
Superintendent, OCS

 

December 16, 2021 
12:27 p.m. Email to families

OCS Families,

On behalf of the entire OCS organization, we want to wish you a happy holiday season.  Students will be finishing the first semester of the school year tomorrow.  Hard to believe how fast school years go by.   As a school district, we continue to deal with challenges related to COVID, safety and security, mental health, and various points of view on a number of topics, but with all that said, our teachers, counselors, administrators, bus drivers and all support staff continue to work hard every day on behalf of our students and our organization.  Please continue to support your local school and staff.  Everyone needs positive encouragement right now. 

In an effort to help clarify the difference between school Safety Alerts and Lockdowns please read the following letter.  The goal of the letter is to help everyone understand how we address school threats and the terminology we use when decisions are made to enter into a Safety Alert or Lockdown.  These two protection options recently were confused by students, families and even the media.  Thank you for taking the time to read the letter.  

Safety Alert vs Lockdown Letter:  Safety Alert vs Lockdown Letter to Families.pdf 

Have a great Holiday break!

Hal Gregory


December 13, 2021 
3:55 p.m. Email to families

OCS Families,

Today, during the end of the day, two male teenage individuals were out front of Fassett JH.  We have an idea who they are.  One of those individuals came up to a classroom window, tapped on the window and yelled something to bring attention to himself.  Around the same time, a Fassett student received a "snap" on social media stating some kind of threat.  Possibly from one of the two individuals.  We are still investigating what was actually said in the "snap."  Both of these events led Fassett to go into a Safety Alert which means there is no immediate danger, but teachers and students remain in their classrooms.  It means no one is allowed in the hallways.  Also at the same time, our school police officer went looking for the two individuals and immediately called additional police to come to Fassett.  These officers surrounded the school and helped to supervise dismissal of our students.  All students had a safe dismissal without incident.  We could not have asked for a quicker response.  Thank you to the Oregon Police!

I want to commend our staff, students and families for their patience at the end of today.  Unfortunately these situations happen and we always take events like this extremely seriously.  The police and school officials will continue to investigate this incident, but at this time, we do not feel there is any credible threat to the students and staff at Fassett.  School will proceed tomorrow as scheduled.

Thank you for your support!

Hal Gregory
Superintendent 

 

November 4, 2021 
2:41 p.m. Email to families

OCS Vaccination Clinic for students 5-11 years old Information:

Location: Starr Elementary School, 3230 Starr Ave, Oregon, OH 43616
Date: Wednesday, November 17th
Time: 4:00 pm-7:30 pm

People can go to the website:  https://gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov/
Access Code: S7JK3WYXSK

Additional Health Department Vaccination Clinic for students 5-11 years old Information:

TLCHD will be hosting two upcoming pediatric-only clinics at the Lucas County Rec Center for students of any school.  The dates and times are listed below.

Thursday, November 18th, 9 am- 6 pm
Saturday, November 20th, 9 am - 1 pm

Please note that these clinics are by appointment only.  Appointments can be made at https://gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov/ and searching "Lucas County Rec Center".  TLCHD will only be vaccinating children ages 5-11 at these clinics, no booster shots will be given. They also ask that a parent or legal guardian be present and have their photo ID.

Oregon Recreation/Clay Athletic Booster's "Santa Dash" Event Information:
Fundraiser for Toys for Tots

Click on link to see promo video  https://youtu.be/OVuvH24YSIc
2021 Santa Dash Registration Form and Info.pdf 



November 4, 2021 
2:41 p.m. Email to families

To parents and guardians of students ages 5-11 years old, 

OCS is hosting a vaccination clinic for OCS students ages 5-11 years old on November 17, 2021 at Starr Elementary.  See information below:

Location: Starr Elementary School, 3230 Starr Ave, Oregon, OH 43616
Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Time: 4:00 pm-7:30 pm

Parents/Guardians can go to this website to sign up:  https://gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov/

Access Code: S7JK3WYXSK

At the first eligibility screen you will need to enter the above access code. At the next screen you will need to search by Starr Elementary or the zip code for the site (43616) and complete the process.  

The health department will make the second dose appointment, on site, at the time of the first dose. A parent or guardian must accompany the child to their appointment and sign the attached consent form. The updated Fact Sheet for the Pfizer vaccine is also attached. Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 Vaccine Parental Consent Form v2.docx 

Pfizer 5 though 11 Fact Sheet for Recipients-COVID-19 Vaccine.pdf 

*Please note that this clinic is only for pediatric doses of the Pfizer vaccine. This clinic will not be offering first/second/booster doses for anyone 12 years and older. If anyone needs information on where to find a location for doses, they may visit our website at https://lucascountyhealth.com/covidvaccine/ or https://gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov/ .



October 27, 2021 
4:47 p.m. Email to families

OCS Parents,

Our Toledo Lucas County Health Department is willing to provide a vaccination clinic in our district for students ages 5-11 once final approval is given.  They have ask for an estimated number of children in our schools who may receive the vaccination.  If you are willing, please fill out this one question survey.  Thank you.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdF3r9t_h3xyrpJDU5OCd7wmqsZPps01UmTGNFEtjXblt8TeQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

Biddy Wrestling Information:

FINAL Biddy Registraition Form.pdf 

camp flyer with release (1).pdf 



October 27, 2021 
4:36 p.m. Email to families

Announcement:  

Beginning Thursday, October 28, 2021, OCS will implement a mask optional policy for staff, students and visitors.  Masks or facial coverings are no longer required on a daily basis in all school buildings and offices throughout Oregon City Schools.  

Masks are still mandated on all school buses per the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  This mandate is currently in effect until January 18, 2022 unless extended.  See the rule here:  

This policy change is a direct result of the recent quarantine guidance update by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).  See the full guidance here

As we move to a more typical school experience without the mask requirement, please know, OCS will continue to monitor COVID numbers and the impact it is having in our schools.  For students who are exposed to a COVID positive individual at school, we will be following the guidance and requiring the exposed individual to wear a mask while in school for 14 days.  Masks may be removed after 7 days with a negative COVID test.  For those students who are exposed to an individual outside of school, the 10 day exclusion period still applies per the new guidance. 

For those parents who are concerned about no longer having the mask requirement, please encourage your children to continue wearing a mask.  For some, wearing a mask has become a natural part of their wardrobe.  Vaccinations continue to be available for students 12 years of age and older.  We anticipate approval for children ages 5-11 very soon.  

I'm very proud of our students and staff for handling the previous mask requirement in a positive manner during the first quarter of school.  I know this policy change is welcomed by many and reduces a lot of tension in our community but also adds increased concern to others. 

I want to thank our Board of Education members Carol-Ann Molnar, Michael Csehi, Jeff Ziviski, Paul Magdich and Dan Saevig for supporting this change and we all look forward to a great rest of the school year.  

Hal Gregory
Superintendent, OCS



September 29, 2021 
2:29 p.m. Email to families

OCS Community,

We are reaching out to our community to ask for your help.  The labor shortage is impacting OCS like so many industries.  We are once again seeking help to recruit Substitute teaching staff and Substitute support staff.  

Teaching Substitutes.  Need BA degree of any kind.  We pay $125 per day (the highest in the area).  Apply online at https://www.applitrack.com/oregon/onlineapp/default.aspx?Category=Substitute

Classified/Support Substitutes:  We need nursing substitutes ($15.00 per hour),  We need custodial substitutes ($12.00 per hour), Bus driver substitutes ($17.00 per hour, CDL required), and paraprofessional substitutes (12.00 per hour) and substitutes in several other areas.  Apply online at https://www.applitrack.com/oregon/onlineapp/default.aspx?Category=Support+Staff

If you are interested in obtaining your bus driver CDL, OCS will reimburse you for your training.  We are hopeful the state legislature will bring back the flexibility to use individuals with a high school diploma for substitute teaching as allowed last year, but at this point, that flexibility is not available.  

Today, a neighboring school district had to cancel in-person school because of the lack of substitute staff, not COVID.  Staffing is a highly critical issue at this point in running a school district.  If you have some time, even if it is one day per week or more,  we will welcome you to our OCS employee family. 

If you have any questions related to substitute teaching, please feel free to email Carol Soncrant at csoncrant@oregoncs.org.  If you have questions related to substituting for support staff, please feel free to email Pam Csehi at pcsehi@oregoncs.org.  

For support staff, this is a great time to begin a career in our school system.  Full time openings are available more frequently for those interested.  In years past, you would have to substitute for many months or years before a full time opening was available.   Now is the the time to join our team.  

Finally, we are not seeing the spread of COVID in our schools, and the number of staff affected has been extremely low and all from outside sources.  Our schools are a safe place to work at!!  Please consider helping support our students.   

Thank you for this consideration.  

Hal Gregory
Superintendent



September 21, 2021