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blewis - Posted Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019 3:32:00 PM

From a vivacious pep rally and festive parade to savory and sweet tailgate food, football game victory, and exciting fireworks! Oakridge Owls combined 40-years of school spirit with many creative, fun, and family-friendly opportunities to make Homecoming 2019 an Oakridge event unlike any other. The topping on the cake? The Owls claimed victory in a 28-21 win over Casady (Oklahoma City, OK). Here is a look back at the day and night, and Spirit Week, which lived up to this year's theme: "Big Top Oakridge: The Greatest Show on Earth."    

Parents may login to their Vidigami account to view more photos from Homecoming 2019 at The Oakridge School.

blewis - Posted Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 2:58:00 PM

More than 100 people took advantage of a flu shot clinic held Tuesday, October 1 at The Oakridge School. Nurse Kim Campbell-Martinez organized the event and called it the most successful the school has ever seen in its 20 years of hosting the annual clinic. 

"For a number of reasons, people think 'I never get sick' or 'I tend to stay healthy, so I don't need it' and they forgo getting a flu shot," said Nurse Campbell-Martinez. "However, Oakridge administrators do all they can to promote overall health and wellness, and in this case, partnered with Kroger Pharmacy to vaccinate 125 students, teachers, and parents. That's the highest number of people that we have ever served."

The flu shots were free to those who had their insurance cards, with most major carriers accepted. Otherwise, attendees paid a $25 fee. The shots were available to children ages 7 and older. Students under 18 were required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  

Oakridge parent Deme Cleveland took advantage of the flu shot clinic by getting a vaccination for herself, her son Zach ’22, and daughter Sammie ’24.  “I loved the convenience of getting both kids their shots between sporting events and rehearsals," said Mrs. Cleveland. "The decision was made easier because I was able to get the shot also. It was very fast and the fact it was free made it even better.”

Science Teacher Elissa Eggleston also got her flu shot and commended Oakridge for partnering with retail and health care providers in the Arlington community to deliver the vaccinations. “My arm might get sore, but the shot is much better than the suffering involved when you contract the flu,” said Ms. Eggleston. “Besides, the Kroger pharmacist was very skilled when giving the shot; I hardly felt it.”

While seasonal flu viruses are detected year-round in the U.S., flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase in October.

Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May. The CDC table shows peak flu activity in the U.S. by month for the 1982-1983 through 2017-2018 flu seasons. The "peak month of flu activity" is the month with the highest percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza virus infection during that influenza season. During this 36-year period, flu activity most often peaked in February (15 seasons), followed by December (7 seasons), January (6 seasons) and March (6 seasons).

In addition to flu vaccinations, Oakridge makes available to every classroom hand sanitizer, boxes of tissue, and disinfecting wipes for cleaning counters, handles, computer keyboards, and other frequently touched surfaces where small droplets of flu can spread. Contact Nurse Kim Campbell-Martinez for more information about the flu shot clinic, other health care-related services, or for information about partnering with Oakridge for a healthier community at 817-451-4994 ext. 2714 or kcampbell@theoakridgeschool.org.

blewis - Posted Wednesday, Oct 2, 2019 4:26:43 PM

At times it feels as though parents are being asked to help their children balance school, family time, extracurricular activities, and now, an ever-changing digital world. To partner with our Oakridge families, we invite you to join Michelle Vaughn and Ashley Read, the Director and Assistant Director of Technology and Modern Learning, on Wednesday, October 9 from 8:15 - 9:15 a.m. in the OPC Building for a discussion on "Navigating Our Digital World."

We will use Diana Graber’s book, “Raising Humans in a Digital World,” to guide four parent coffee chats this year. During these coffees, some topics will include:

  • Digital skills in young children 
  • Positive online reputation management
  • Online privacy
  • Screen time
  • Cyberbullying, sexting, and more

As a member of the Oakridge family, you can order this book at 40-percent off by clicking on this link. The book is also available for purchase in both Audible and Kindle formats.  You do not need the book to join us, and we look forward to welcoming all Preschool through Grade 12 parents. 

blewis - Posted Wednesday, Oct 2, 2019 11:41:47 AM

Whether it’s an upcoming school event, an interview about an Oakridge tradition, or a review of an athletic competition, broadcast students in an elective class being taught by Sarah Kramer, assistant head of school, and Bridget Lewis, director of marketing and communications, are learning fundamental lessons about interviewing, hosting, and producing for radio. The segments air daily on K-OWL 1670 AM and the students invite fellow Owls, their family members, and friends to take a listen.

Thanks to a generous donation to the school a few years ago, Oakridge launched a short-range radio station featuring student broadcasters. The move resulted in the creation of a broadcasting elective in the Upper School. Previously, the class was taught by History Teacher William Ray. Kramer and Lewis hope to build on the earlier success by potentially partnering with local broadcasters, live streaming events, or launching podcasts that are of interest to the hosts.

While some students have only a mild interest in broadcasting, others hope to use it as a stepping stone to a career in journalism. “We see this as an opportunity to incorporate new technologies that will resonate with our students in ways unlike ever before,” said Kramer. “We want this to be informative and educationally beneficial, but we also want the students to have fun.”

Want to know more about what’s going on at Oakridge? Our broadcast students share news, sports, and more on our campus station, K-OWL 1670 AM. Listen if you’re in the car line or online at http://radio.citrus3.com:2199/start/kowl/. Also, make sure to follow Oakridge on social media.

blewis - Posted Tuesday, Sep 24, 2019 11:32:56 AM

Kind-hearted families and friends across North Texas opened their wallets and donated $198,088 to The Oakridge School  for this year's North Texas Giving Day. The online event is the largest 18-hour giving extravaganza designed to benefit local nonprofits in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. North Texas Giving Day also served as the official campaign kickoff to Oakridge's 2019-2020 Annual Fund. This year's theme is "All in for Oakridge."

"We are thankful for the generosity of every single person who gave in support of Oakridge," said Head of School Jon Kellam. "No matter the size of the contribution, these gifts have a tangible impact in the lives of our students, faculty, and staff. Such philanthropic commitment confirms that we are all in for Oakridge." 

Director of Development Lauren Matocha expressed her appreciation for Oakridge's supporters and acknowledged the school's 40-year long tradition of giving. "North Texas Giving Day aligns with our school's mission and helps us to provide an incomparable academic experience for our students in the Early Childhood Center, Lower, Middle, and Upper School. Because of our donors, we will be able to strengthen current initiatives and consider or create new ones."

Oakridge Regent Michael Heiskell and his wife, Anita, are this year's Annual Fund Chairs and admit they had only one response when asked to lead the 2019-2020 campaign. "Yes," Mr. and Mrs. Heiskell said. "Having three of our four children as Oakridge alums (Marin '96, James '01, Michael '18) and with our son Mason '20 in his senior year, we can attest to the excellent education and opportunities that Oakridge provides. Each of our children was energized to learn and take advantage of their college prep education. Since the school's inception, Oakridge continues its quest to provide exceptional experiences in academics, the arts, and athletics in a challenging and nurturing environment."

Visit the Annual FundSuper Supper and Auction, and Owl Club Golf Classic links to learn more about how to make a gift and how the contributions are used. Supporters may also email Mrs. Matocha at lmatocha@theoakridgeschool.org

North Texas Giving Day is coordinated by the Communities Foundation of Texas. The main donation day was Sept. 19, 2019, but the annual event is actually 11 days of raising awareness for donations for nearly 3,000 nonprofit organizations across North Texas. Preliminary numbers posted on the North Texas Giving Day website show there were 169,464 donations totaling $50,192,976 as of Tuesday, Sept. 24. Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki and his wife, Jessica, served as this year's Honorary Chairs. Watch a video of their congratulatory message to donors who are making a huge difference to nonprofits and the many people they serve. 

blewis - Posted Friday, Sep 20, 2019 4:11:34 PM

Four Oakridge seniors have been named Commended Students in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSC). The scholastically talented group includes Hannah Didehbani, Eric Johnson, Roman Scott, and Alita Whitaker.

Approximately 34,000 Commended Students from across the country are recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2020 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of the more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2020 competition by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” a spokesperson for the NMSC said. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their education opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

Commended Students receive a Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Oakridge seniors Annemarie Roos and Colin Skinner earlier this month were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

blewis - Posted Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019 4:16:00 PM

Sixty students at The Oakridge School have earned the designation of AP Scholar by the College Board in recognition of their exceptional achievement on the college-level 2019 Advanced Placement Program (AP) Exams.

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program offers students the opportunity to take challenging college-level courses while still in high school and to receive college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on the AP Exams. About 25 percent of more than 2.8 million high school students in more than 26,000 secondary schools worldwide who took AP Exams performed at a sufficiently high level to merit the recognition of AP Scholar. At The Oakridge School 34 percent of the students who took AP Exams were named AP Scholars.

Students took AP Exams in May 2019 after completing challenging college-level courses in the Upper School. In 2018-2019, The Oakridge School offered Advanced Placement courses in Art History, Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Comparative Government and Politics, Computer Science A, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, European History, French Language, Physics I, Physics C: Mechanics, Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, Statistics, Studio Art 2D and 3D, United States Government and Politics and United States History. The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on student’s performance on AP exams. The following is a summary of awards earned by Oakridge Upper School students and graduates.

National AP Scholar (3)
Earned an average grade of 4 or higher on a 5-point scale on all AP Exams taken and grades of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams

  • Anandi Barker (’19)
  • James Burnett (’19)
  • Tushar Kohli (’19)

AP Scholar with Distinction (20)

Earned an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken and grades of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams

  • Anandi Barker (’19)
  • James Burnett (’19)
  • Rachel Clark (’19)
  • Hannah Didehbani (’20)
  • Laura Downey (’19)
  • Austin Foster (’19)
  • Zoe Fowler (’19)
  • Bradford Greer (’19)
  • Abraham Hsu, Jr. (’19)
  • Tushar Kohli (’19)
  • Garret Kundysek (’19)
  • Mack Nason (’19)
  • Janae Pierson (’19)
  • William Robinson (’19)
  • Annemarie Roos (’20)
  • Colin Skinner (’20)
  • Garrett Stewart (’19)
  • Alita Whitaker (’20)
  • Elliot White (’19)
  • Bingjiang Xia (’20)

AP Scholar with Honor (9)

Earned an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken and grades of 3 or higher on four of more of these exams

  • Jace Araujo (’19)
  • Faith Daniels (’19)
  • Eric Johnson (’20)
  • Megan Marr (’19)
  • Kate Mitchell (’19)
  • Anh Nguyen (’19)
  • John Schoening (’20)
  • Roman Scott (’20)
  • Mercedes Swinney (’20)

AP Scholar (31)

Completed three or more AP Examinations with grades of 3 or higher

  • Darren Asmussen (’19)
  • Natalie Benefield (’19)
  • Benjamin Broadus (’19)
  • Camryn Clegg (’19)
  • Edwin Escobar (’20)
  • William Gehring (’19)
  • Briauna Gervais (’20)
  • Emma Gladden (’19)
  • Mason Henegar (’19)
  • Bonni Holloway (’19)
  • Emily Ingram (’19)
  • Harrison Jones (’19)
  • Alicia Lim (’20)
  • Chuan-En Lu (’19)
  • Daniel Manrique (’19)
  • Emilio Martinez (’20)
  • Anna McGough (’19)
  • Olivia McLean (’19)
  • Camille Meshack (’19)
  • Kathryn Miller (’19)
  • Erick Pham (’19)
  • Marisa Sauls (’20)
  • Gurleen Singh (’20)
  • Grayson Stephens (’20)
  • Sarah Tota (’19)
  • Jonathan Trimble (’19)
  • Elizabeth Trimble (’19)
  • David Wang (’20)
  • Thomas White (’19)
  • Nicole Williams (’20)
  • Joshua Wilson (’20)

Of this year’s award recipients at The Oakridge School, 20 were juniors when they took their AP Exams (noted by the ’20 designation after the names above). These students have at least one more year to complete college-level work and possibly earn another AP Scholar Award. The Oakridge School is pleased to congratulate these AP Scholars for their outstanding academic performance.  

blewis - Posted Monday, Sep 9, 2019 9:45:41 AM

A new STEM course being offered at The Oakridge School will give some Upper School students a head start at the University of Texas at Austin. The teacher leading the course, Engineer Your World, hopes the curriculum will also inspire tomorrow’s problem solvers.

“Through Engineer Your World, students learn the engineering process and collegiate level expectations in a high school course,” said Matt Knauf, who teaches Honors Design Thinking & Tech, and Honors Engineering. “The course teaches students how to design like engineers, to use data analysis to drive their decisions, and ultimately design complex solutions in a systems engineering capstone challenge.” Mr. Knauf added that Oakridge is the only school in Arlington offering the course in partnership with UT Austin.

A team of faculty members at the university’s Cockrell School of Engineering developed Engineering Your World, along with NASA engineers, and secondary teachers working with funding from the National Science Foundation. The curriculum engages learners in authentic engineering experiences and inspires them to embrace an engineer’s habits of mind. Oakridge students enrolled in Engineer Your World are eligible to apply for dual credit with UT Austin.

Another goal of Engineering Your World is to offer teacher support. Through the program, educators learn engineering principles that prepare them to teach EYW courses in their high schools. Visit http://engineeryourworld.org/ for more details about the program or contact Mr. Knauf about enrolling in the course.

blewis - Posted Sunday, Sep 8, 2019 4:08:00 PM

The Oakridge School teamed up with the City of Arlington and the Dallas Cowboys organization to host the Mayor's Hometown Huddle. Oakridge students, faculty and staff, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, former Cowboys players, and others volunteered part of their Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Mission Arlington

The citywide day of service celebrated the National Football League's 100th season and was presented by UnitedHealthcare. The effort was dedicated to making the two cities that the Cowboys call home better places to live, work and play. Various projects hosted by the City of Frisco and the City of Arlington gave residents the chance to make a difference in the community as part of Cowboys Huddle for 100 – a nationwide volunteerism campaign.

Among the distinguished and decorated Cowboys alumni who joined the Mayor's Hometown Huddle, were Dexter Coakley, who serves on the coaching staff at Oakridge.

To commemorate the NFL's 100th anniversary celebration, the NFL rallied fans to give 100 million minutes of service to impactful causes in their hometown communities. Huddle for 100 launched nationally at the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, TN, and will conclude at Super Bowl LIV in Miami. Fans, players, alumni, teams and employees are encouraged to volunteer 100 minutes of their time to make meaningful contributions to their communities over the 11-month campaign.

Throughout the Huddle for 100 initiative, the NFL will give participating fans the chance to win a variety of prizes, including game tickets, team gear, or a monetary donation to a charity they select when they track their participation on the Huddle for 100 website.

blewis - Posted Friday, Sep 6, 2019 1:19:00 PM

The Dallas Cowboys mascot, Rowdy, visited with Upper School students Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019 ahead of a national effort that encourages people to participate in community service.


Oakridge teamed up with the City of Arlington, the Cowboys, and others organizations for the Hometown Huddle for 100 initiative. Hometown Huddle celebrates the National Football League's 100th season and the goal is to get 1 million people across the country to donate 100 minutes of their time to a local cause in their community. Oakridge Owls will serve at Mission Arlington on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 12 p.m. to 1:40 p.m. If interested, RSVP at https://tinyurl.com/owlhuddle

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