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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Parents Still Make the Difference

As we conclude don’t let spring fever affect your child’s attendance!

Fever is a reason to keep your child home from school.   Spring fever, however, doesn’t count.  The first rule for doing well in school is a simple one:  Your child needs to be there.  That’s true even on warm spring days when he’d rather be doing something else.

Poor attendance can lead to all sorts of problems, including:
·      Poor grades.
·      Having to repeat a grade.
·      Dropping out of school.
·      Trouble with the law.  Children with too much time on their hands may be tempted to try illegal activities.

The good news is that you can play a big role in making sure your child attends school.  Be sure to:
·      Tell your child that school is his most important job at this time in his life.  Let him know you expect him to be there every day.
·      Don’t let your child stay home for frivolous reasons.  Being tired or unprepared are not valid excuses.
·      Make sure the school knows how to contact you if your child is absent.
·      Work with the school if you discover your child has been skipping school or some of his classes.  There may be a bigger problem going on.
Talk to your child first, then to his teachers and other school staff if necessary.  Most problems can be solved when parents and schools work together.

Excerpted from The Parent Institute, Middle School Parents Still Make the Difference, April 2017, Vol. 20, No. 8

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Time to Pick Up Meds from the Health Office








CFHS Incoming Freshman Football Camp

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

CFHS Swim Team Meeting

The high school swim & dive team is having a pre-season meeting on Tuesday, May 2nd from 6:00-7:00p.m.   Anyone interested in joining the team or learning more about the high school swim and dive team is welcome to attend.

CFHS Swim & Dive Pre-Season Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday, May 2, 201&
TIME:       6:00pm - 7:00 pm
WHERE: CFHS, House 2, Seminar Room

Contact with questions:  Laurie Princiotto, CFHS Swim & Dive Boosters,

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Principal's Message

Dear Families,

We hope everyone has a wonderful Spring Break.  We now have a few weeks of the new quarter behind us, and we would like to remind everyone that attendance is key in helping your child succeed, finishing his/her last quarter strong.  We ask you to partner with us to get your child to school on time, make sure your child isn’t pulled out for appointments, and help remind your child to check his/her StudentVUE for missing work as well as checking his/her teachers’ websites to know exactly what is going on if a day of school is missed.  

We also want to take the time to thank you for attending your child’s student led conference a few weeks ago.  We recognize you are busy, and your feedback and rating of your child’s skills acquired through the conference process were note and exciting to read.  According to Richard Stiggins (1999) the student led conference process…

‘Is the biggest breakthrough in communicating about student achievement
in the last century.  When students are well prepared, over an extended period, to tell the story of their own success (or lack thereof), they seem to experience a fundamental shift in their internal sense of responsibility for that success.  The pride in accomplishment that students feel when they have a positive story to tell and tell it well can be immensely motivational.  The sense of personal responsibility that they feel when anticipating what it will be like to face the music of having to tell their story of poor achievement can also drive them to productive work. ‘(1996) 

While this quote is old current bloggers, articles about the SLC process and educators note the power of students taking ownership for their learning to deepen their understanding of who they are as learners.  We know you saw what we saw, students walking taller, feeling more confident, and acquiring skills that support our student, your child understanding one’s self as a learner and having a better understanding of one’s own strengths and weaknesses.  

We look forward to our continued journey and helping our students develop the knowledge and skills that we know will transfer to high school, college, and eventually their careers and civic life.  Helping our students apply deep learning proficiencies to become literate 21st Century citizens is evident in the SLC process as your child learns the power of self-evaluation, goal setting, positive communication skills, and thinking more critically about his/her work. Thank you for being part of this partnership and supporting your child to be engaged in relevant and meaningful work that helped your child to have voice and choice in their portfolio pieces.

Finally, as we finish our last quarter, I am looking forward to the many end of year activities we have ahead: Celebrating our volunteers at our next FFO parent breakfast, attending our last dine-out at MOD Pizza, hearing our students perform in their Spring Concerts, finalizing the 8th grade legacy project, and commemorating our 8th graders at promotion.  April and May will be busy, as we begin our final countdown to summer.  As we head to summer, our school begins a renovation project.  Get set to hear more information about classroom renovations in May.

Finally, we will be sending a survey out in May to check in on how we are meeting your needs and what we can do to further support the work at OGMS.  A very special thank you to our FFO and executive FFO for their continued support in our programming, our events and our staff appreciation treats!  We couldn’t do the many things we do without their support. Happy April.

Have a wonderful Spring Break!

Susan Rosenthal

AzMERIT Testing April 13-21

AzMERIT Standardized Testing:    

On Thursday, April 13th our standardized testing period begins. Please see our counselor’s article for ways to support your child during testing called Stress and Test Anxiety to support your child having greater success during the week ahead.

This year, testing takes place over several days starting April 13th.  We thank our FFO for our guest speaker Jordan Wiley-Hill who will support our students with some great mindful activities.  See the article on Mindfulness in this blog.

Your child will have his/her test administered on a computer and when not testing, he/she will be in a rotation with Mr. Wiley-Hill.

A reminder that headphones are provided, but some students may prefer to bring their own for testing.  Headphones/earbuds are needed for the AzMERIT Reading, parts 1 and 2.  We ask that you help your child always to be on time, but especially during testing. Once a testing session has begun your student will not be allowed to enter the class until the testing session is complete.  Make-up testing will begin at a later date.

We encourage your child to come with a snack, a water bottle, a book to read and again headphones/earbuds if your child does not want to borrow the school’s equipment. During testing, we will not call into classes so please make sure if you need to take your child out for an appointment, you take him/her after each day’s testing session.  Testing ends each day at 10:45. The full schedule can be seen following this article.

A special note: Our 8th graders will take the AIMS Science assessment (paper and pencil) on April 17th.

Mark Your Calendar

Mark your Calendar

April 12                     8th grade Promotion Speeches due to                                          ELA  teachers
April 13, 17, 18, 20, 21       AzMERIT Testing 7:30 - 10:45 a.m.
April 19                     Track Meet at OGMS
April 20                     Dine Out at MOD Pizza
April 26                     Track Meet at OGMS
April 28                      FFO Meeting
April 28                     Student Action Committee Sack Lunch                                        making event 2:30 p.m.
April 29                     Saturday School

4th Quarter Supplies

Time To Check Backpacks!

As the school year is winding down, it might be the perfect time to check the status of your child's school supplies.  Students are coming with no paper, no pencils and organizers/folders that aren't in great shape.  Think about some spring cleaning over Spring Break and add some new tools to your child's backpack to help him/her finish the year strong.

Students love new folders, new pencils and of course binder paper.  All these school supplies help make participating in school tasks so much easier.  Take some time and do a backpack check with your student, you might be surprised at what's inside.

Speaking of school supplies, the FFO is once again doing their school kits drive for next year, they have partnered with EduKit to package student’s supplies based on the teacher supply lists and deliver these to the school in time for Pick Up and Unpack in August.  You can simply order online by going to the following link:  Note that you should purchase a kit based on your student's grade next year. There is also a donation option to help students in need and our wonderful teachers. All money donated will be used to support kids and the supplies needed school wide.

Keeping You in the Loop

Keeping you in the loop at Orange Grove

Spring Book Fair
Was a big success!  Thank you to all who shopped! Thank you, Lisa Yurkanin, for organizing this event. We are looking for a new chairperson for next year’s book fair- please let us know if you would like more information.

Dine Out @ MOD Pizza
Mark your calendar for our last dine-out of the year. Thursday April 20th, all day, MOD pizza on Wetmore/Oracle. Must show a printed or electronic flyer.

Thank you to all of those who participated in our Chipotle dine-out- we will be receiving a check for $440 to support our school! Amazing!

SAC- Sack Lunch Making Event
Each year the Student Action Committee holds a sack lunch making event at Orange Grove.  All students and parents are invited to participate on Friday, April 28th from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. in the Commons or contribute supplies needed.  We will be making sandwiches and packing sack lunches for the people at Casa Maria Free Kitchen.  This is a fun event that provides hands-on community service experience for our students, all the while helping to feed the homeless and hungry that live among us.  Here’s a link to supplies and volunteers needed Thank you, Amy Bhola for organizing this wonderful event!

8th Grade Promotion
Would you like to help send our 8th graders off in style? We are looking for a cookie reception chair, you must not be an 8th grade parent, it's a very simple job and everything is already planned for you. Let me know if you are interested in helping. 

8th grade families- we still need a $10 donation from many of our 8th graders. These donations will cover the ceremony, cookie reception, 8th grade dance, and lunch on the last day of school. You can make your donation from your intouch account or in the front office. (user ID- Student ID, Password- Students last name first letter capitalized).

Volunteer Opportunities
-We can always use help during lunch!  If you can lend a hand during one or both lunch periods on any given day, or on a regular basis, please go to the following website to sign up:
-If you’ve ever considered being a committee chairperson and want to know what’s involved, please send me an email at  I’d love to hear from you! We have several committees that need help next year.
-Can’t give your time but would still like to help? We are always in need of supplies at school. Current top needs are Kleenex!, colored paper, and nut free snacks for the nurse’s office.
-8th grade promotion needs many helping hands. Please email me if you’d like to be added to the volunteer list.

Looking ahead to next year
At the last FFO meeting we elected the following people to serve on the executive FFO board during the 2017-2018 school year:

President – Gina Mehmert
Past President- Galena Robinson
Secretary – Jessica Brandt
Treasurer – Becky Swift
Direct Donations Chair – Blythe Edmondson
Grants Chair – Anne Gruber

If you are interested in getting more involved in the FFO and would like more information about what is available, please contact Gina Mehmert at or Galena Robinson at

Order school supplies for next year now!
Dread the back to school shopping trips?  Feel rushed after your vacation to get your student’s school supplies in order?  This year we hope to make that easier and cheaper for you!  We have partnered with EduKit to package your student’s supplies based on the teacher supply lists and deliver these to the school in time for our Pick Up and Unpack event in August.  You can simply order online by going to the following link:  Note that you should purchase a kit based on your student's grade next year. There is also a donation option to help students in need and our wonderful teachers. All money donated will be used to support kids and the supplies needed school wide.

Upcoming events
- Spring Break April 3rd-7th
-AzMERIT Testing April 13th, 17th, 18th, 20th, and 21st – please send an extra snack with your student
-MOD Pizza Dine-Out April 20th (need flyer)
-Last FFO Meeting – Friday April 28th at 8:30 a.m. in the library.
-SAC- sandwich making Friday April 28th after school in the commons.
-8th grade promotion 6:30 p.m. Tues May 23rd 

Thank you for all that you do for our school!  

Galena Robinson, FFO President  

Dine Out at MOD Pizza 4/20/17

8th Grade Promotion

8th Grade Families,

Promotion will be here before you know it!  Some things you need to know are:

  • The promotion ceremony will be on Tuesday, May 23rd at 6:30 p.m. in the MPR
  • In early May each family will be sent tickets for seating in the MPR.  Overflow seating will be provided in the library where the ceremony will be live broadcast.
  • After the ceremony, there will be a cookie reception in the Commons Courtyard from 7:30 - 8:00 p.m.
  • An 8th grade student-only dance will be held in the Commons from 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. 
  • Students must be picked up from the OGMS bus lot at 10:00 p.m.
We look forward having you on campus for this evening of celebration.

Mindfulness Student Opportunity During AzMERIT Testing

Mindfulness-Jordan Wiley-Hill

Testing time:  can be stressful, and it demands a great deal of focus.  Luckily, mindfulness can provide support in both of those areas!  Indeed, research has shown that mindfulness training improves students’:

·       focus in the classroom and on tests
·       stress management and test anxiety
·       emotion regulation
·       academic performance

Yet something else is still greatly needed during testing time—the chance to let loose, have fun, move around, and interact with peers. 

During AzMERIT Testing Jordan Wiley-Hill will provide mindfulness workshops for 6th, 7th, and 8th grades to provide all of the above. Through highly interactive and hands-on activities, students will learn and practice mindfulness tools and techniques that they can use during testing—and beyond!

8th Graders Qualify for State Finals

Two 8th grade teams from OGMS (one two-person team and one four-person team)

were selected as finalists for the 2017 Personal Finance Case Study Competition in Mesa on April 7th based on their written submissions.  The Arizona Council for Economic Education sponsored the case study competition asking students to analyze a family's current financial situation and provide recommended strategies.  Six teams from the entire state made it to the finals.  OGMS had two of the six.  

We wish both teams the best of luck!

OGMS Bands Succeed at ABODA Festival


Congratulations and Well Done … our 7th grade band students received a Excellent at the ABODA Festival and the 8th grade band received an Superior.  Thank you Mr. Chilson and Dr. Puzzo for supporting our students and we thank the the volunteers who helped at this event!

Breakfast has Benefits and Is Available at OGMS