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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

Orange Grove Students Recognized for Robot Design

At last weekend's First Lego League Regional Tournament, the middle school team comprised of students from OGMS and ECMS won the Robot Design Award and will advance to the state tournament in January.  Members of The Varmint Vigilantes team are: Ben Seckeller, Gianluca Tenino, Devin Armstrong, Jake Jump, & Violette Donnelly from OGMS and Madison Bonomolo, Delaney Endean, Jaxon Goddard-Westland and Lily Wood from ECMS.

Receiving the Gracious Professionals Award was the team of Homeland Snakecurity comprised of Lily Bhola, Danil Clayton, Emily Gruber, Mateo Malo-Molina, Kenzo Pretzinger from OGMS, Bhargav Ghosh and Geronimo Barela from ECMS and Danilo Malo-Molina from CFHS.

Congratulations to all the students who participated in this First Lego League Tournament!

Donate to the CFSD Foundation at Year End

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Food Drive A Success

On Monday, this week, the Student Action Committee wrapped up its Food Drive to benefit the Community Food Bank of Arizona.  They collected and sorted over 2,100 items collected by each of the classrooms.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to this community project!

Your Tax Credit Donation Matters to OGMS

Arizona Tax Credit in the Foothills

The Catalina Foothills School District is a wonderful school community! It is impressive to see a community with such a commitment to educational excellence and support of the schools here in the Foothills.  CFSD would not be the district it is today without the community that surrounds and supports it! The success of our schools' extracurricular programs is tied to the generous contributions of community members who divert some of their state tax funds to the CFSD programs of their choice!

How does it Work?
Any Arizona taxpayer has the opportunity to give to Catalina Foothills School District instead of paying it in taxes. The donation must be earmarked for support of one of our many qualifying fee-based, extracurricular activities. We'll send the donor a receipt for their records. Then, when the taxpayer fills out their 2015 Arizona state taxes, they can subtract the amount of the donation, up to $400 (joint filers) and $200 (individuals), from what is owed in state taxes.  This is not just a tax deduction…it is a tax credit that reduces the amount of taxes owed to the state, dollar-for-dollar.  For more information about how this credit will work for your individual tax situation, contact your tax advisor.

How are these Dollars Spent?
Tax Credit dollars are spent to support fee-based, extra-curricular offerings. However, regular communication between Mrs. Rosenthal and Community Schools, leads to a beneficial partnerships that also helps support the needs at OGMS, as dollars are spent to serve a joint purpose.

What is the Tax Credit Goal at Orange Grove?
We are aiming for $35,000…that is only 175 individuals at $200 each!

Where Can I Donate?
You can donate online ( with your credit card or fill out the 2015 Tax Credit Form, which can be mailed to Murphey Administration Center, 2101 E River Rd., Tucson, AZ, 85718 or dropped off in person at any CFSD school, by December 31, 2015. Please make checks payable to Catalina Foothills School District (CFSD) and note the program to which you'd like to contribute on the check.

What have we purchased at Orange Grove with tax credit dollars?
Here are some of the joint projects that Community Schools and Mrs. Rosenthal have completed/purchased within the past 5 years:

  •       Installation of the new curtain on the OGMS MPR stage.
  •       OGMS gardening club, to benefit the OGMS students, staff, and community through a concerted campus beautification effort, implemented by the students in the club.
  •       Athletic equipment utilized by OG students, staff and Community Schools
  •       Maintenance of soccer, softball and baseball fields utilized by OGMS Physical Education teachers, students, and Community Schools
  •       Basketball and Softball uniforms utilized by OGMS students

Friday, December 2, 2016

Message from the Principal

Dear Orange Grove Families:

On behalf of the teachers and staff members at Orange Grove Middle School, we hope that everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving. 

Our service project has begun and it is in full swing.  We will wrap up the food drive on December 5th.  We thank all of you for the many contributions thus far.  Kindness is our theme this month and we are beginning the theme by helping our students focus on service and kindness outside our school community.  We thank Amy Bhola and Amy Hernandez as well as the other adult and student volunteers who have organized this project through our Student Action Committee (SAC).  SAC meets throughout the year to provide different opportunities for students and parents to come together and make a difference for others right here in our Tucson Community.

"Studies show children who do community service are less likely to take health risks, and are more likely to have academic success."  So this month especially, we thank you for helping us to take time to remind students of the importance of giving to others and showing kindness.  Next week,  as the food drive ends we begin another school project initiated by one of our students, Sarah Randall. Blank cards will be available in the library during lunch for students to decorate and write positive messaging on the cards.  Sarah will then distribute these cards to Diamond Children's Hospital and Handmaker. Finally, Student Council will be passing out snowflakes to post around school with kind messaging. 

We know that giving to others or performing random acts of kindness is an important concept to teach all year long.  However, with the holiday season upon us, it is a great time to do additional kind deeds.  We thank you in-advance for supporting us help model, teach and practice kindness today and always.

Below are various ways the, The Parent Institute®, copyright 2015, Source: Volunteering: Indicators on Children and Youth, shared how to support encouraging students to think about giving to others:

•Remember those who may be alone. Is there someone who would love to join your family for a special event? Have your child issue the invitation.

• Bake up some cheer. With your child, make a few dozen cookies. Take them to your local police station or firehouse.

•Go through closets. Does your child have any outgrown clothes in decent condition? Help him donate them to a charity.

•Offer to water plants or take care of pets for a neighbor who is traveling during the holidays. Offering to do this for free for someone he cares about would be a wonderful giving gesture on your child’s part.

Child Trends Databank,

Please know that while we support service outside of the OGMS community, we do know we have families who could use a little assistance right here in our own school.  If you need help or you know a family that may need some assistance during this time of year, please contact our school counselors Caryl Altman, or Mary Brannen,, and these individuals will be confidential in what they learn, but then be able to help support families right here in our own school community too. 

We wish everyone the best during the holiday season.


Cell Phone Safety Presentation Resources

On November 17th, Amy Hernandez, attorney with Dwyer Hernandez PC, and Pima County Deputies Caudillo and Cole talked about Cell Phone Safety and various laws, rights, and situations that students are finding themselves in without thinking before acting.  
A special thank you to the law firm of Dwyer Hernandez PC for providing breakfast for the attendees.  

Below is a list of the resources cited in the presentation to support understanding the laws and policies governing various technology.

      Catalina Foothills School District Policies:
1)   K-6400 Use of Technology Resources in Instruction
2)   I-6411 Use of Technology Resources in Instruction
3)   JIC Student Conduct
4)   JICK Student Violence/Harassment/Intimidation/Bullying
5)   JICK-R Student Violence/Harassment/Intimidation/Bullying
6)   JK-E Student Discipline Matrix
Community Information:
7)   Information on Pima County Community Justice Boards
8)   Application for Pima County Community Justice Board Volunteer
9)   Information on Pima County Teen Court
Arizona Revised Statutes:
10)                  Arizona Revised Statute § 8-309 “Unlawful Use of Electronic Communication Device by a Minor”
11)                  Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3019 “Surreptitious photographing, videotaping, filming or digitally recording or viewing; exemptions; classification; definitions”
12)                  Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3553 “Sexual Exploitation of a Minor; Evidence; Classification”
13)                  Arizona Revised Statute § 13-2911 “Interference with or Disruption of an Educational Institution; Violation; Classification; Definitions”
14)                  Arizona Revised Statute § 13-2925 “Hoax; Restitution; Joint and Several Liability; Classification; Definition”
15)                  Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3560 “Aggravated Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation; Classification; Definitions”
16)                  Arizona Revised Statute § 13-802 “Fines for Misdemeanors”
17)                  Arizona Revised Statute § 13-707 “Misdemeanors; Sentencing”
18)                  Arizona Revised Statute § 8-341 “Disposition and Commitment; Definitions”
19)                  Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3551 “Definitions”
20)                  Arizona Revised Statute § 8-201 “Definitions”
21)                  Bosker, Bianca.  The Binge Breaker.  The Atlantic.  November 2016.
22)                  Slides from Pima County Attorney’s Office

Mark Your Calendar

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:

December 5th                        2:30 p.m.           Student Action Committee meets in Commons to                                                                         pack up food donations for the Community Food                                                                         Bank

December 6th                        7:00 p.m.            6th/7th Grade Band Concert MPR

December 7th                        6:00 p.m.            Honor Band Concert at CFHS
                                              7:00 p.m.            Choir Concert MPR

December 13th                      7:00 p.m.            8th Grade Band Concert MPR

December 24th – January 8th                           Winter Break

January 9th                           7:30 a.m.             School Resumes

January 26th                        Both Lunches       Cultural Luncheon – Watch for your invitation

January 31st                                                    8th graders visit CFHS, 5th graders visit OGMS

February 3rd                                                     COLOR RUN

Counselor's Corner

Counselor's Corner

December Edition

The theme of the month is “Kindness”, which blends well with the Holiday Season upon us.  In the hustle and bustle of all December brings, it’s important to step back, take a breath, and reflect on the season’s true meaning.

Celebrating family traditions of kindness and giving, or starting new ones, is a great way to reconnect with your middle school child. Need some ideas? Here are a few:

  • Volunteer at an animal shelter.  Donate towels or your time, both would be greatly appreciated. Also, consider sponsoring an adoption which will allow a cat or dog a better chance of finding a forever home.
  • Visit a nursing home and spend time talking with the residents.  
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter preparing and serving meals.
  • Go to the grocery store together to buy food for a charity.
  • Donate money to your favorite charity.

As always, your counselors are here to support you during this time of the year. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you or your family need assistance.

Mary Brannen - 6th grade
Caryl Altman - 7th and 8th grades

Lost & Found

As the semester draws to a close our Lost and Found is brimming with coats, lunch boxes and more. Please have your student come by the front office before Winter Break to pick up any belonging that are theirs.  Any items left behind will be donated to a local children's charity in early January.  Here's what our Lost and Found rack looks like today:

Do You VUE?

Do you VUE? If you are looking to stay connected with your student's assignments, attendance, and grades, ParentVUE is the best resource. 

During the month of December, we are holding a "Do you VUE?" contest. Each student is entered to win. If their name is drawn and they and their parent/guardian have both used their StudentVUE/ParentVUE account within the past 2-weeks, they will win a small prize and have their name announced on morning announcements as "Viewing the VUE winner!" of the day. 

Make sure to login and view the VUE!

What's Happening in the World Language Department

The semester is coming to a close very quickly for the World Languages classes.  Students have the opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency at this point in the year in reading and listening comprehension, writing for presentation and interpersonal speaking.  The students have displayed excellent growth throughout the semester in the various skills.  As we move forward into second semester we will continue the level of proficiency expectations for all language learners and maintain our focus on oral communication skills supported by reading, writing and listening.

These are some specific thematic units that will be addressed at the beginning of the third quarter:
            Spanish 1A – Family
            Spanish 1B – Technology
            Spanish 2A – Clothing and Fashion
            Spanish 2B – School issues and opinions
            Spanish for Heritage Learners (6th) – Mystery and Fantasy
            Spanish for Heritage Learners (7th) – Myths and Legends
            Spanish for Heritage Learners (8th) – Environment

January is the cultural luncheon and some of the Spanish classes will be involved and performing at the cultural assembly.  It is always entertaining and something that the students enjoy tremendously.

In March, the eighth grade students will be taking Stamp assessment in order to assist with appropriate placement as students move forward into high school.  These are important and challenging assessments.  We appreciate support from home in ensuring that your eighth grade student is in attendance during spring testing days.

We look forward to an outstanding semester in all of the language classes and appreciate any opportunities your children have to practice at home and to engage with the material outside of the classroom.

Yearbook Orders - Deadline 12/23

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Keeping You in the Loop

Keeping you in the loop at Orange Grove

The Season of Giving

The holiday season offers us an opportunity to give thanks and lend a hand to those in need.  This year the Orange Grove Student Action Committee (SAC) is collecting donations for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.  Monday, all the donations will be sorted by student and parent volunteers and then picked up by the Community Food Bank.  Monday is the last day to donate food items. The homeroom with the most canned food will be rewarded with a hot chocolate party. Thank you for your support of this wonderful project, and special thanks to Amy Bhola and others for their work in organizing the event.  To sign up you or your student to help organize food on Monday after school see the link…

Another way to give during this season is through our Direct Donation Campaign: 
Donate before Dec 31st to earn a charitable tax donation for your 2016 taxes. Thank you to those of you who have already supported our direct donation fundraiser!  Your donations have already allowed the FFO to purchase online math licenses for the entire 6th grade, financial support for Band, Music, PE, and Teachers, and much more!  There is more needed and we have not met budget yet. If you haven’t already participated in our direct giving campaign, please consider doing so.  You can donate in the front office, or you can donate online at (click on the DONATE button).  Questions can be directed to Linda Gee at  Every donation counts!

Support OGMS while you shop for the holidays!

There are several ways for you to support our school while getting your holiday shopping done. 
·      AJ’s Community Cards:  These cards can be used like gift cards at Bashas’, Food City, and A.J.’s, and are great for gift giving or shopping.  For each card we sell and each time it is reloaded, OGMS earns 6% of the (re)load amount. You can even load your card to purchase gift cards sold at these stores! $10 cards can be purchased with check or cash in the front office; or at our website  To order multiple cards at once, email Galena at
·      Fry’s Community Rewards:  Buying your holiday meal at Fry’s?  Make sure to link your Fry’s VIP card to OGMS by using the following link and clicking on “Enroll Now”.
·      Box Tops for Education:  Don’t forget to clip box tops and turn them into the front office. 

Volunteers always needed for lunch duty

Have time during your day and want to get a glimpse into the middle school culture?  We can always use your help volunteering during lunch.  All that is required is that you ask students to be respectful, throw their trash away, push in their chairs and demonstrate Panther Pride.  If you can help, go to the following link to sign up.


We have so many things to be thankful for at OGMS:
-       Our wonderful Principal, Susan Rosenthal, for always being present and understanding what our kids need to learn and grow as self-directed individuals.
-       Our amazing counselors that help tackle student problems, however big or small.
-       Anne Morgan and Cris Algeo for working tirelessly to keep the front office running smoothly and doing it with smiles!
-       Teachers, educational assistants, custodial staff and every individual that works together to make Orange Grove a fantastic place for our kids to attend.
-       Supportive parents who help in so many ways:  lunch duty, donations to the Panther Pride Campaign, eating at the Dine-Outs, volunteering on an FFO committee, driving safely through the parking lot, reading the newsletter J, and following us on Facebook, to name a few.
-       And of course, a remarkable group of students who work to demonstrate kindness, respect, and responsibility on campus every single day.   

Have a very happy holiday season!  We hope to see you at the first FFO meeting of the New Year on Thursday, January 26th at 8:30 a.m. in the school library. 
Save the date! Friday Feb 3rd is OGMS’s Color Run- more details coming!

Galena Robinson, FFO President,