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Friday, March 17, 2017

New School Nurse Joins OGMS

On Wednesday, March 15th Leslie Nicholson joined OGMS as our new school nurse.  We have attached a letter from her to the OGMS community.  Please feel free to contact her at 209-8204 or by email at  We are excited to have her join the OGMS team!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017

Message from the Principal

February was a busy month... 

Our students readied themselves for their Student Led Conferences, they heard messaging that supported being good digital citizens, as well as hearing reminders about lockdown and sheltering in place drills to continue to support student safety awareness. Furthermore, all students prepared for the 2017/2018 school year by going to Catalina Foothills High School and learning about their elective and core classes and our current students signed up for their 7th and 8th grade electives right here at OGMS.  

Finally, the month closes with my announced retirement and the appointment of Mark Rubin-Toles to the principalship for the 17/18 SY.  You can expect my continued dedication to your student(s) and the OGMS staff and community as I finish my contract out strong, just as I expect our students to finish their year strong.  Appointing Mr. Rubin-Toles as principal truly allows for a smooth transition for next year as we partner and continue with the planning that is already underway for the school year ahead. 

Speaking of next year, please make sure you have gone online and registered for the upcoming school year.  Simply go onto the OGMS website and click on the "Register for School" button to input your child’s information.  Ask your child if he/she has turned in his/her upcoming 7th or 8th grade elective form for band, choir, or art. Registrations allow us to hire and plan for the upcoming school year, and elective forms help us know how many sections we will have for each of our elective options. 

We are excited about all the hard work our students have been doing to ready themselves for Student-Led Conferences on March 16th and 17th.  They have developed well-organized presentations and have practiced giving it in an effective and engaging way.   Below are questions that may support you while you listen to your child share his/her work.  At the end of the SLC we will ask you to complete a quick survey letting us know how your child did and how the process went.

During the conference, we will be asking you to look at your child's introduction, how they reflected and explained pieces of their work, how they concluded their presentation, as well as what their body language and voice conveyed as they presented what we hope will be a variety of portfolio pieces.  The work your student is doing is continually evolving in this area.

Below are questions that can support you in facilitating a rich experience for your child:

Pre-Presentation Questions:

  • How did you generate a plan to present to me today?
  • How did you prepare for this presentation?

After the child shares the piece:

  • What would you say that you learned from this piece?
  • What would you do differently next time?
  • How would you alter your work where you got a 2 to a 3? 4?
  • If you were the teacher, what comments would you have given your assignment?
  • How does this work reflect your growth/effort/goals over time?
  • What ideas might you have that add to the comments your teacher has on this assignment?

Concluding Questions:

  • What would you do differently to improve your work or portfolio that you shared? Why?
  • If you had to share your strongest piece and weakest piece, what would you take away from that?
See the mock SLC presentation by clicking on .  

Thank you for helping us to provide our students with an authentic way to build their skills in self-evaluation, goal setting, organization and communication. We look forward to seeing on the 16th or 17th. 

Please know if you want to discuss your child with his/her teacher, this is always an option.  Simply email, phone, or contact his/her counselor to support a meeting or a conversation. 


Goal:  Students will be able to develop a well-organized and thoughtful SLC presentation, then deliver the presentation in an effective and engaging way.

Portfolio Pieces
Portfolio pieces needed but not included
Portfolio pieces show accomplishments, but aren’t tied to specific claims
Portfolio pieces provide evidence for claims that are made
Portfolio pieces completely and clearly support insightful claims that are made about learning and lead to further goals
Body Language and Voice
Avoids eye contact, monotone voice and stiff gestures, choppy delivery, ill at ease
Occasional eye contact, over or underdone expressions & gestures, some noticeable pauses, somewhat uncomfortable
Consistent eye contact, gestures and expression appropriate, speaks without distracting pauses, poised but not completely comfortable, confident volume and expression
Sustained eye contact with audience, natural gestures and expression, clear and well-paced voice, confident and natural volume and expression, poised and comfortable, smooth delivery
Student sets goals that don’t meet SMART goal criteria
Student sets goals that don’t always match student needs
Student sets appropriate SMART goals
Student sets SMART goals that are insightful and show a high level of self awareness
Minimally effective SLC presentation
Somewhat effective SLC presentation
Effective SLC presentation
Highly effective SLC presentation

Notice from the Health Office


HEAD LICE: A Letter from the School Health Office

To Parents/Guardians:
We have had some cases of pediculosis (head lice) reported at OGMS. There has been a resurgence of head lice in recent years. Anyone can get head lice regardless of income, age, sex, race and neighborhood. Head lice are very tiny insects that live on the scalp of humans.  They can spread very fast from person to person through direct contact with combs, bedding, articles of clothing or head gear of an infected person.  Persons who have head lice may have persistent head scratching. It is hard to see head lice as they move quickly and shy away from light.  The nits, or eggs, are tiny, pinpoint size,  round glistening pearl-like beads attached firmly to the hair shaft close to the scalp. Nits can resemble flakes of dandruff but cannot be easily removed because they adhere to the hair shaft with a “glue” like substance.  They are commonly found behind the ears and at the nape of the neck.

Please check your child’s head and other members of your family. If you find nits or head lice proceed with the following instructions.  All cases must be reported to the school health office.

1.         Shampoo the hair with an appropriate shampoo or cream rinse which is labeled for controlling lice. Some examples include Nix and Rid.  These and other products are available at your local drug store, or they may be prescribed by a doctor. A second treatment in 7 to 10 days after the initial treatment may be necessary to kill remaining eggs depending on the product used.  Be sure to follow the directions on the label!!!  Do not use remedies or products that are not labeled for controlling lice as these may not work and they may even be harmful.  After shampooing, rinse hair thoroughly and rub dry with a clean towel.  After shampooing, comb the hair to remove remaining lice and nits.

2.         The MOST important treatment is to "Comb Out" EVERY louse and nit!  Comb well with a clean, fine-toothed comb to manually remove lice and loosen the nits.  Some of the most effective combs on the market are the LiceMeister or the Robi Comb (see, which are available at many drugstores or online.  The National Pediculosis Association has the LiceMeister comb and also a very informative website.  Go to or call 1-888-542-3634 for assistance.  Other excellent advice is from the Harvard School of Public Health:

3.         Wash all dirty clothing, linens and towels in a hot or warm wash cycle.  Non-washable items may be dry-cleaned, or they may be vacuumed and sealed in a black plastic bag for two weeks.

4.         Soak combs, brushes, hair picks, etc. in hot (almost boiling) water for at least 15 minutes.

5.         Vacuum car seats, chairs, couches and other furniture where the children sit, sleep or play in order to remove lice or loose hair that may have nits attached.  Lice only live for 1-2 days off a human head.  You do not need to apply household pesticides.  Pets do not harbor head lice.

6.         Teach your child to avoid getting head lice by not sharing hats, combs, brushes, scarves or coats.      Continue DAILY head checks for nits and live lice for 2 weeks and then on a regular basis at home.

Thank you for your help and attention in the efforts to keep our school’s students healthy learners.  Please contact the school health office, PIMA COUNTY HEALTH DEPT. (243-7797) or your health care provider with any further questions.

Allison Holmes and Lyndee Jones

School Nurses

Counselor's Corner

Counselor’s Corner

March Edition

March Madness!
March means basketball and those brackets we’ll soon be completing!  Here at Orange Grove, we have been learning a different kind of bracketing, or compartmentalizing.

Webster's Dictionary defines compartmentalize as:
·        To separate (something) into sections or categories
·        To separate (two or more things) from each other
·        To put (something) in a place that is separate from other things.

What does this mean in terms of supporting our students attain optimal learning?
It means teaching them to put aside thoughts that disrupt or inhibit the learning at hand.  For example, while in math class, thoughts should be focused only on math, not an English assignment, the soccer game after school, or a video game.  According to Marzano and Pickering, bracketing is a process of maintaining focus and attention by consciously blocking out distractions.  They suggest doing this by first, recognizing when it’s time to pay attention, next acknowledging distracting thoughts and mentally framing or “bracketing” them, then finally, making a commitment to avoid thinking about the distracting thoughts.  Examples of bracketing may include:
·        Use self-talk. (“I won’t think about it now”)
·        Designate a later time to think about it. (“I will think about it at the end of class”)
·        Mentally picture pushing the distracting thoughts out of their head.

Have a conversation with your child about this valuable skill and give examples of  how compartmentalizing benefits you in your daily life. Assisting students to compartmentalize their thoughts and focus only on what is before them will help streamline learning and focus.

As always, contact us for more information on this or any concern/question we can help you with.

Happy Spring!

Mary Brannen  6th grade Counselor
Caryl Altman, 7th & 8th grade Counselor

Source: Dimensions of Learning, Robert J. Marzano and Debra J. Pickering, 1997 McREL

8th Graders Finishing Strong

Attention 8th Grade Parents: 

Did your son or daughter share anything about recommitting to Panther Pride? We hope our 8th graders have a smooth lead up to promotion as we remind them to follow the code of conduct, practice Panther Pride and support their grades to ensure finishing their 8th grade year strong. We have Saturday School tomorrow, March 4th from 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. The quarter ends on March 10th and then we are in the home stretch. We will continue to provide ZAP, Academic Assistance, Counselor/Teacher Support and one more Saturday School after tomorrow's Saturday School to help our 8th graders and all students finish the 16/17 SY strong.

Mark Your Calendar

Please mark your calendars with these important upcoming dates:

March 4          Saturday School 7:30-9:30 a.m.
March 6          Community School 4th Quarter Registration Opens
March 6 - 11   STAMP Spanish testing for 8th graders during their                          Spanish Class
March 9         ABODA Festival -7th and 8th grade band students
March 13-17  Scholastic Book Fair on campus
March 16/17  Half Days 7:30 -11:00 a.m.
                      Student Led Conferences 11:00 - 3:00
                      See Principal Message and Separate SLC Article for more information
March 16       School Dance 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.  MPR
April 3 - 7      Spring Break
April 13, 17, 18, 20, 21  AzMERIT testing

School Dance to be Held March 16th

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Orange Grove Student Council will hold its annual school dance in the MPR on Thursday, the 16th of March from 3:00 to 5:00. On March 16th school ends at 11:00 as it is the first of the two SLC half days that occur that week, so your student or students will leave school at the required time and return when the dance begins.

All students who wish to go to the dance must bring their school IDs in order to gain entrance to the MPR. Students should wear school clothing (dress code appropriate-no need to wear anything special) and leave their cell phones at home. The Student Council guarantees this will be a great event with food, music, and a photobooth. The theme of the dance is currently a secret, but it will be revealed to students via the announcements in case they wish to wear something dress according to the theme. We hope that all students will enjoy this wonderful event!

Parents, this is a student-only event and we ask that you pick your student(s) up in the front parking lot promptly at 5:00 p.m.


Lorenzo Mars
Student Body President

Thursday, March 2, 2017

ParentVUE vs Email Communication

Have you received a message in your ParentVUE, but not received a notification in your email? Teachers often use TeacherVUE to send email communications to students and parents.  In order to ensure that you are receiving messages from teachers, you might need to confirm that the messages are not going to your spam. If your messages are sent to spam, depending on your email provider, you can mark the message as “not spam” or put the teacher on your contact list so that future messages go directly to your in-box. 

You can also check that your email is set up properly in ParentVUE by going to the My Accounts tab at the top of your homepage. You can then change or add email addresses to alert you of where you would like to receive email notifications. If you need assistance or have further questions about your ParentVUE account, please contact our CTI Stephanie Olson via email at:

New OGMS Principal Announced

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Student Led Conferences are in Two Weeks

Student Led Conferences are right around the corner and our students are looking forward to sharing their work with you.  Your child has been reflecting on his/her work, setting goals, and selecting portfolio pieces that show evidence of growth.

Is Your Calendar Marked For Your Child's Student Led Conference? 
March 16th or 17th are the dates set for your child to share his/her work
A reminder that a student–led conference (SLC) is a structured conversation about learning between student and parent(s) that supports a student articulating his her progress toward goals set.  During the SLC, the student shares work samples, reflects on what they’ve learned and what they’re working on as well as sharing goals achieved and goals still yet to be mastered.   The parent listens and asks probing or clarifying questions to invite dialogue about learning. 

Students engaged in a SLC:

  •  accept personal responsibility for their learning
  •  improve their ability to self-evaluate
  •  learn how to set meaningful SMART goals
  •  develop organizational and communication skills
  •  understand how to problem solve, and apply strategies to seek help
  •  know how to monitor and reflect on their progress

Parents engaged in a SLC:
  •   have increased attendance at conferences
  •   see growth over time regarding what’s happening with their student at       school
  •    have improved dialogue with their student about progress towards             academic and personal and social responsibility goals.
In the past, students have indicated that they felt participating in SLC’s helped them self-evaluate and set more realistic goals. Most parents also appreciated the chance to have a structured conversation with their students about learning away from the distractions of home.

We hope that parents will recognize the benefits of setting aside this time to meet in a formal setting with their student. Information about SLC’s appointments have already gone home.