Jim Andersen, Head of Upper School


November 10, 2023

“The most important part of the human brain—the place where actions are weighed, situations judged, and decisions made—is right behind the forehead, in the frontal lobes. This is the last part of the brain to develop, and that is why you need to be your teens’ frontal lobes until their brains are fully wired and hooked up and ready to go on their own.”

― Frances E. Jensen, The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults


I appreciate the continuous work that you do as parents assisting your teen’s development. There is no job more important, rewarding, and at times, difficult. Keep up the good work!

  • Progress Report 2.1

  • Canned Food Drive and Turkey Toss

  • AP Exams 

  • 9th Grade Trip - Very important new information

  • Robotics Team

  • XC Results

  • STEM Showcase Application 

  • Check out procedures- updated email link

  • Campus policy

Progress Report 2.1: The next academic progress report is next Friday, November 10. This is a perfect time for students to speak with their teachers about their progress and to be sure they have all of their work turned in. You may access your child’s grades by going to your parent portal in My Backpack and clicking on Marking Period Grades and Comments.

Canned Food Drive and Turkey Toss:  Our Oakridge community stands strong in serving others.  This is particularly true during the Thanksgiving season. Please have your child bring canned goods this week and next to donate to Mission Arlington.

We also hope you join us from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 20 at Mission Arlington.  Our service is to remove the frozen turkeys from the walk-in freezers and begin the thawing so they are ready for Thanksgiving Day.  Bring a jacket and some gloves and join us!  Families, friends, alumni, and students of all ages are welcome.

AP Exams: Even though AP EXAMS are not taken until May, College Board requires schools to order them by November 15. Students were given a class code at the beginning of the school year by their teacher. This code allows them to use the AP classroom materials and it automatically registers them to take the exam. If they don’t register in AP Classroom, an exam cannot be ordered for them. So, parents, please make sure your student is registered.

If a student does not wish to take the AP exam, they must ask me by email ppfursich@theoakridgeschool.org to change it to “No” for them. If not, please know that they will be charged for the exam ($100) or the ($40) cancellation fee. Any exam ordered AFTER November 15 incurs an extra $40 fee on top of the $100 exam cost. Therefore, we really need accurate records before the order is placed. Thank you for your help and attention to this!

Robotics Team: The Oakridge Robotics team competed in Kennedale this past weekend and earned a great sixth place finish out of more than 25 schools in the Head to Head portion of the competition before having connectivity issues in the semi final round. During the semi final rounds, the robot had connectivity problems between the robot and controller. Congratulations to Mr. Farley and our robotic Owls! 

Freshman Class Trip Adjustment: Due to a serious fire at The Outdoor School, we are changing the venue and dates of the class trip.  We will be at Camp Carter in Fort Worth from Monday, November 13 - Wednesday, November 15.  We are excited to spend off-campus time together with our wonderful 9th graders! We are grateful to Camp Carter’s availability since The Outdoor School is temporarily not accepting visitors.  The shared stories/experiences and time spent together yield benefits for years to come. Contact Mr. Andersen immediately if there is an unavoidable conflict.  We are happy to work with you.  Here is the full letter with revised information for the trip.

XC Results: The varsity cross country team of Karina Wheeler, Rocco Guevara, Dhilan Rohatgi, Vincent Germain, Vincent Walters, Caden Beam, Zachary Rogers, and Larkin Taylor competed in the SPC Cross Country Championships on Saturday.  Rocco Guevara finished in the top 20 with a time of 18:35 for the 5K course.  Five of our runners posted sub-21 minute finish times.  It was a tough field of competition with even tougher course conditions.  Our crew rose to the occasion and did a phenomenal job as an end to the season.  Way to go Owls!

STEM Showcase Application: The 2024 STEM Showcase is now accepting applications. Complete the application here. 

Grandparents’ and Grandfriends’ Day: Join us Friday, November 17 as we celebrate our special family and friends.


Checkout Procedures: Anytime a student needs to leave campus early, a parent must email Ms. Halbert-Blake to let the US office know. Once the office knows, the teachers are notified, and then the student can be dismissed from the class without disrupting the teacher and be on time for their checkout. It is best practice to give 24 hours notice. Giving less than an hour notice may result in classroom disruption and delayed dismissal. 

Campus Policy: Parents, please support us with our updated security policies. All students and families must have a car tag on their rearview mirror; deliveries from outside vendors are not allowed; parents may deliver to the Admissions office and text their child to pick up delivery from the main office as soon as possible. Parents may check into the main office and then proceed to any appointments scheduled on campus. We are a closed campus. This means students may not leave for study hall and return, nor may they leave for lunch and return. If they leave campus, it must be with prior parental notification. Appointments should be accompanied by a note to return to school, ensuring the absence is excused.


The  Upper School Team


Please note the dates for the US November Calendar:









Please save the following dates:

  • November 1 - 15: Can Food Drive
  • November 10: Checkpoint 2.1 
  • November 13-15: 9th Grade Class Trip - Camp Carter

  • November 16: Library closes at 4:00- Librarian’s Conference

  • November 17: Grandparents’/Grandfriends’ Day- 11:15 a.m. dismissal- Buses depart at 11:30 a.m.

  • November 20: Turkey Toss 9-11 a.m. at Mission Arlington

  • November 20-24: Thanksgiving Break- Classes resume on Monday, November 27

  • November 28: Fall Award Assembly- students only

  • November 29: Senior Buddy Lunch

  • November 29: Junior Buddies at ECC

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