Welcome Back from Ms. Harris

Welcome Back from Ms. Harris
Posted on 09/02/2020
Oak Knoll Middle School Logo

Dear Oak Knoll Middle School Knights,

Wow! It seems like forever since we have had students, staff, parents, and community members in the hallways of Oak Knoll Middle School (OKMS). We are looking forward to September 8 and September 9 when students return to school. 

As you know, Hanover County Public School (HCPS) is providing the students the option of returning to school online or face-to-face. As we work to support our students in both learning environments, OKMS transitioned approximately 26 staff members to the online-while-learning school. Included in this count is Mrs. Shelli Lipton, assistant principal. Mrs. Lipton will serve as an assistant principal in the online school along with other administrators from across the school division. We are going to miss Mrs. Lipton and hope to have her back soon.

We would also like to welcome Mrs. Kelsey Keith, 6th grade senior teacher, to the OKMS team. Mrs. Keith served as senior teacher at Hanover High School and taught at Atlee High School prior to coming to Oak Knoll. We are thrilled to have her on our team. We wish all of our staff members the very best and look forward to their return to OKMS in the future.

While preparing for the return of our face-to-face Knights, we have put in place daily procedures to keep everyone safe while providing an engaging learning environment for all. Here are several items to keep in mind as you prepare your children for their return to school. Be reminded that 6th grade students only will return on Tuesday, September 8 while all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will return on Wednesday, September 9.

If you have not had the opportunity to view the virtual Knight camp (6th grade focus) video, feel free to do so at any time.

  • Parents are asked to complete daily home health screening for students (check for fever and/or COVID-19 symptoms) prior to sending him/her to school.
  • Please call Ms. Clemson, attendance administrative assistant, at 365-4750 or email her if you have questions and/or your child is showing symptoms.
  • Once our school nurse has been named, we will send out an eConnect message stating his/her name, email address, and phone number.
  • Masks must be worn while on the school bus, walking from the bus to the school, and inside of the school building.

Instructional Day

  • The instructional school day will be from 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There will be staggered arrival times from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m., and dismissal will be between 3:30 and 4:00 p.m. 
  • The first day of school will be an “A” day for 6th grade students.

Student Drop Off and Pick Up

Students being dropped off and/or picked up by a parent will need to follow the schedule below.

Morning Drop-Off: 8:45 to 9:15 a.m.

  • Last name beginning with the letters A–M - 8:45 to 8:55 a.m.
  • Last name beginning with the letters N–Z - 8:55 to 9:10 a.m.

Afternoon Pick-Up: 3:30 to 4:00 p.m.

  • Last name beginning with letters A–M - 3:35 to 3:45 p.m.
  • Last name beginning with letters N–Z - 3:45 to 4:00 p.m.

If you are carpooling with other families, pick a time that works best for families. Parents will use the “loop” in front of the school to drop off/pick up students. Remain in the right lane. We ask that parents drive to the second crosswalk and stop. Students should not exit the vehicle until instructed to do so. Please be patient, and we ask that you not pass vehicles on the left side which is the designated fire lane. 

School employees will assist with these procedures. If a parent must enter the school building, we ask that you park your vehicle in a designated parking space. Any persons entering the school will be asked to wear masks.

Student Arrival

  • Students riding the bus will report directly to their classroom using the entryway to their grade level “house.” (from bus loop).
  • 6th grade students being dropped off and/or picked up will enter through the main entrance of the school.
  • 7th and 8th grade students being dropped off and/or picked up will enter and exit through the doorways closest to the cafeteria.
  • When students arrive at school each morning, they will report directly to their A1/B1 classroom (Be sure to check your schedule in PowerSchool during the first week of September).

Late Arrival/Early Dismissal

  • If your child arrives late to school, after 9:15 a.m., we ask that a parent/guardian walk their child into the foyer/Attendance Office to sign him/her in.
  • If you are picking up your child from school early, please report to the foyer/Attendance Office and remember that you must show a photo ID when signing him/her out of school.
  • To prevent disruption of classes, please send in a note with your child the morning of his/her early dismissal and have him/her submit it to the Attendance Office administrative assistant, Ms. Clemson. This is extremely helpful and alleviates the need to call into the classroom. We will call students out of class upon the parent’s arrival to school.

MySchool Bucks

  • You may check your child’s account balance, view purchases, and add money to his/her meal account using the online service called MySchoolBucks. You may add money to the account by using Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card and American Express. Cash and checks are accepted as well. Please contact our cafeteria manager, Ms. Winder, at 365-4759 or MySchool Bucks at 1 (855) 832-5226.

Online School Payments (OSP)

  • HCPS will continue to use OSP for online payment of school fees. Fees may include items for particular elective classes, 1-1 device damage protection, and school activities. *We will not be collecting school fees before September 8. A notification will be forthcoming when we are accepting fee payments. 
  • Using OSP eliminates the need to send checks or cash to school with children. School fees can be paid on OSP at any time using a credit/debit card. OSP charges a service fee for each online payment. As an alternative, we will still accept cash and checks.
  • In order to use OSP, you will need to set up an account. For helpful information on how to do so, refer to the Quick Start Guide or the How to Use Online School Payments video. Once you set up the account, you will need to add a student profile using your student’s ID. You may add more than one student on your account. Once you add the student(s), OSP will identify which fees are required. You can purchase all required items by clicking the “Pay Obligations” tab. You may also search by school to purchase a la carte items.
  • If you have questions about OSP or need assistance getting started, please email or call (703) 378-8299, ext. 204.

Supply List

  • Visit the OKMS website for the standard supply lists.
  • Please only purchase the basic supplies until students have had the opportunity to meet with their A and B day teachers. Teachers may ask for specific items for their individual classes.

During IgKnight block/flex, students will receive packets of information which must be reviewed, signed, and returned to school. The packet will include the following: 

  • Student demographic and emergency contact verification forms
  • Code of student conduct forms (receipt of code of student conduct, authorization to photograph/videotape physical likeness, and directory information)
  • Acceptable use of the Hanover Academic Network (HAN)
  • Student-owned electronic device acceptable use
  • Dress code agreement
  • Cover Virginia insurance flyer

We thank you for taking time to read through this lengthy document. We are experiencing unprecedented times and it’s unfortunate that we are unable to host a “live” orientation. We hope the following video, Know Before You Go, is helpful. We look forward to seeing you all soon!

Take care, and be safe!

Ms. Harris 

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