October 31, 2021

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by: admin

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Tags: District, education, Oakland, School, Spotlight

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Categories: Special needs education

Highlight on Oakland College District #1 | Training

Oakland School District is a tightly knit hilltop community and is home to 600 students attending elementary, middle, or high school.

“There’s something magical here,” said Patti Lovemark, superintendent of the Oakland School District. “It’s a close, caring environment and feels like family.”

Superintendent Lovemark has served as a class teacher, special education director, and curriculum director throughout her educational career in Douglas County. She retired a few years ago and shortly thereafter became the special education contract director for the Oakland School District before assuming her current role as superintendent.

“I love what I do,” she said.

Lovemark isn’t the only one who loves what she does. “The dedication of the staff is what makes the district remarkable,” said Lovemark. “When people come here, they notice how special this place is. So many of the staff are Native Oakers, from our chefs, janitors, office workers and faculty. You may have gone away for a short time but decided to return.

Sometimes an employee says, “I just enjoy working here.” It’s this excitement that makes Oakland a special place. The administration team consists of long-term employees who contribute to the stability and success of our schools. They started out as teachers and became leaders in the district. “

The staff strives to provide a safe environment in which students acquire knowledge and skills, develop social responsibility, develop self-esteem, and cherish learning for a lifetime. Students are promoted by grades K-12 and have access to inclusive learning throughout their academic career that includes science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), literacy, social sciences, vocational and technical education (CTE). , Music, athletics, clubs and organizations like FFA.

Many of the opportunities are made possible by staff involved in programs that go beyond the classroom walls.

People seem to appreciate the well-rounded education that is offered to students and the high expectations that the staff has of the students. A third of the students live outside the district. For the past 10 years, high school has had a consistent graduation rate of 95% or better. This is achieved through the high expectations of all schools across all grade levels.

As he ponders the pandemic, Lovemark says, “When times get tough, the community continues to pull together,” and is grateful that personal learning has resumed. She also shared that staff and community are excited to resume activities and classes that are as close to normal as possible.

COVID-19 relief funding from federal and state sources has helped the district continue to grow and make further investments in technology, art, and student social-emotional health. Every student and classroom has access to Chromebooks, and teachers have access to other updated technology as well. “This has been positive progress for students and staff,” says Lovemark.

In the arts, a new singing music teacher and an elementary arts teacher have recently been added to the team. “We used to have an art teacher and a music teacher for all grades,” Lovemark explains. “It’s exciting to see how these areas develop.”

An additional focus on student social-emotional health has improved student services and added an additional level of support. “We understand the importance of the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of our students,” Lovemark emphasizes. “We have expanded our advisory services from one to a team of four people.”

The district is well rooted. “I keep thanking people for their patience, grace and support. I really mean that, ”Lovemark says, mentioning the incredible community that includes students, employees, families, community partners, boosters, board members and the PTO.

Heather Villa is a communications specialist for the Douglas Education Service District, providing collaborative, high quality, equitable, and locally engaging education services to the community and 13 public school districts.

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