October at Oxford High School

What makes Oxford High School an outstanding school is both the number and quality of opportunities that we provide our students.  You will find few high schools in the state of Michigan that can match what we can.  We are able to sustain the quality and success of our programs because of the amazing staff, students and parents who are engaged in our learning community.  The purpose of this monthly blog is to better highlight and share the amazing things that take place at Oxford High School.  Our mission is to provide an education that challenges all students to achieve their maximum potential.  We strive to help our students become the best version of themselves.  Our amazing students inspire our staff and give us purpose to work hard to help them succeed.  Our students also give us pride and joy when they excel at everything they do.  This is why we aim to better celebrate our success and highlight our accomplishments each month.  It helps us stay connected with our community and provides the enthusiasm our school feeds off as we continue to grow.

Relationships First.  Learning is about making connections - both cognitively and socially. Without a connection, learning lacks meaning.  We know that personal connections facilitate learning, and that's why we value the relationships we build with each other in our learning community.

Bully Busters (above) has become a part of our curriculum through Mrs.  Goetz’s 1st hour Mentorship class.  Ms. Fine helps facilitate this program and integrates it into her daily practice as our Dean of Students.  Our Bully Buster students visit our MS approximately 6 times per month.  They visit each grade level and are assigned to an OMS homeroom teacher for the entire year.  The relationship that forms between our middle school students and their high school Bully Buster is very strong.  It allows for a connectedness not only between students, but also between schools.  This helps build positive school cultures within our district. By making Bully Busters a component of the class, students are the drivers behind brainstorming and creating the lessons. They also work on classroom management skills prior to each visit.  OHS is one of only 2 districts nationally who has implemented HS students teaching younger students through Olweus.  We are encouraged by the reported drop in bullying of over 60% since implementing Olweus and Bully Busters.  As with most programs, the success of Bully Busters lies in the strength of our students and the relationships they are building.  Over time, our students begin to feel an intellectual and emotional empathy with our MS students.  This allows them to relate to what our MS students are experiencing - as they seek similarities in their own life experiences.  

Congratulations to our Boys and Girls Cross Country teams for an outstanding season!  On October 19th, our Boys won the OAA Red Championship with our top 5 runners earning spots as All League Champions (placing in the top 15) in a very competitive division.

American Sign Language teacher, Cristie DeSano, presented at the Michigan World Language Association (MIWLA) conference in Lansing on October 13th. The MIWLA aims to promote public awareness of the importance and value of world language study. This opportunity allowed Mrs. DeSano to deliver meaningful Professional Development to members and share about the importance of encouraging student involvement in the Deaf community.  Mrs. DeSano also leads our ASL club who meets on the first Wednesday each month at 9:30am. During meetings, ASL members learn new signs and plan for community events, such as Deaf Santa at Canterbury Village and signing Christmas carols in downtown Oxford. 

Our International students had an exceptional month of October at OHS.  They showed amazing school spirit at our Homecoming events during Spirit Week, helping host our International Food Festival, sharing their Diwali Festival traditions with us and participating in activities with our Mexican guest students from de Mayo HS.  
Our Intercultural Food Festival was held on October 24th in the cafeteria during all lunches.  Students had a chance to purchase authentic cuisine from India, China and Mexico.  This celebration gave our students an opportunity to learn more about the cultures of our Chinese and Indian International students, as well as our visitors from Pueblo, Mexico. 

From October 18th - 20th, our Indian students were excited to share some of their customs and traditions by helping us celebrate the Festival of Diwali.  This is one of the most popular festivals in Hinduism, so student Ashu took some time to share its meaning and significance with our students during our morning announcements.  Please take a look here.  Pictured below, International student Rajat delivered a presentation to host parents, students and administration to help us better understand the significance of Diwali.  

This month, our Dual Enrolled Lawrence Tech Engineering students went on a field trip to LT University.  Our students had the opportunity to tour the engineering facilities and labs on campus.  Following the facilities tour, students later attended the career fair Lawrence Tech holds each Fall for all college students.  Our kids had their resumes ready and discussed potential employment possibilities with over 50 engineering firms.  It was an outstanding opportunity for our students to interact with recruiters.  Our students received so many compliments on their current course-load as well as their preparedness for this event.  Several of our students even discussed potential internship positions for the upcoming summer. 

Congrats to our Girls Swim & Dive team for their perfect undefeated season!  Our ladies also ended the season as league champs!

On October 23rd, OCS welcomed 9 students from our sister school, 5 de Mayo HS from Puebla, Mexico, to join us for two weeks.  These students and accompanying staff will spend time visiting Oxford HS, Oxford MS, Lakeville and Leonard Elementary schools.  They will also spend time visiting various attractions and landmarks in southeast Michigan as a way to better learn about our culture.  In turn, we value their perspective and cultural contributions to Oxford as they engage with our students and staff.  

On October 25th, our de Mayo HS guest students delivered a lesson on the Mexican holiday, the Day of the Dead, which will is celebrated November 1st & 2nd.  Our students asked questions and were given an insight into traditions and customs in different parts of the world.  The Spanish Club will join the International students and our Puebla guest students for dance lessons and a discussion on music and teenage life. IT was such a pleasure and learning experience for us to have them come engage with us during their two week visit! 

On October 18th, our Choir presented Crossing Boarders, which included several performances through a 'Celebration of Music from Cultures Different Than Our Own'. Mr. Card's students always pack our auditorium with sold out performances.  Their productions are always spectacular and include so much more than just singing.  Our Choir program is large, talented and dedicated to improving their craft, both as individual students of the art - but also as a unified group. 

On October 23rd, our Jazz Band and Mr. Hill had a unique opportunity to spend the morning collaborating with NYC touring jazz group, Cowboys & Frenchmen.  During this morning, our students were able to jam with professionals and get some one-one-one coaching and class insight into improving their craft.  Not only did our students learn a great deal about their performance, they had a blast doing it!

Pictured here, Crystal Corbett, Joe Amabile and Molly Darnell lead a professional development session with our High School staff.  During each late start Wednesday, our teachers engage in PD either in their Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), in Departments or as a whole staff.  This hour and forty-five minutes each week is used to improve our instructional practice so we can continue to challenge our students and meet the needs of our learners.   

Students prepare for life after High School in Mrs. Lengemann’s Financial Management courses.  During the month of October, students learned about grants, scholarships, student loans and applying for Financial Aid.  Students also learned effective search strategies for locating applicable scholarships.  They were required to search for a scholarship that matched their life qualities, write an essay and apply.  After the Financial Aid unit, students learned about creating impeccable resumes and cover letters.  

On October 24th, our Orchestra teamed up with Oxford Middle Schools Orchestra students for our annual Spooktacular Concert.  Pictured here, our Dance Conservatory students collaborated with Ms. Natalie Frakes' Nuclassica and our Orchestra students for a blended performance which left the audience in awe!  
Our Dance Conservatory also performed an Amazing Halloween performance on October 30th and again on Halloween day for our students.  Their hard work is certainly paying off!
Pictured here, students in Ms. Price's Stagecraft class work on designing and building different props for the set of our Halloween Dance show. It takes a collective effort as a school from different programs to pull off such outstanding performances.

On October 30th, our Leadership students attended the MASC/MAHS Leadership Conference in Frakenmuth. The Michigan Association of Student Councils and Honor Societies Leadership Division has become one of the most successful state student leadership organizations across the nation.  

Oxford High School hosted our 7th annual Band-o-Rama on October 25th.  This event was a collaborative effort from our Jazz, Concert, Symphonic Bands as well as our Wind Ensemble.  Directors Jim Gibbons, John Hill and Brad Schmaltz led our students to an amazing evening of music ranging from "Eagles Awake" to "Moana".

Our front office secretaries, Angela Weaver, Alicia Bebout and Merlyn Benner, are the main reason why our school operates as smoothly as it does.  There is no role in our building more critical.  We know they are the glue that holds our school together.  They often bring calmness to the chaos that exists in every large high school. That enormous pile of documents on Angela's desk pictured below is all taken care of before 7:30am!  We are so grateful for everything they do!
Are those our secretaries or superheros? Trick question - they are both! 

Our Orchestra program celebrates 10 years in Oxford Community Schools.  This program offers music education to students from the Kindergarten level all the way through OHS.  Ms. Natalie Frakes has dedicated herself to taking our Orchestra program to the next level!  Please check out the article this month in the Oxford Leader.
Our Orchestra students had the opportunity to attend a concert at Orchestra Hall in Detroit to see our very own Detroit Symphony Orchestra perform. They heard an eclectic performance of space themed pieces such as Star Wars, Star Trek, A Space Odyssey, and more! Conductor Stuart Chafetz engaged the audience with fun facts about the scores and our students were taken to another galaxy. Our students were tip-top audience members and toured the hall and spoke with the conductor and some DSO musicians as well. Our Orchestra programs are excited to visit the DSO again in the spring.

On Sunday, October 8th, our students gathered together to cheer on our grade level Power Puff teams.  Pictured below, our Seniors (black), Juniors (blue), Sophomores (yellow) and Freshman (red) pose for group photos following the game.  This annual event is an awesome opportunity for our students to show their comradery and school spirit.  Don't be fooled, our lady Wildcats may play as intense and aggressive as our boys Football teams!

Pictured here, students work on a project on Autonomous Vehicles in Mr. Mezin's CTE Virtual Technology classTeams of students investigated various aspects of this technology and how it may impact society and our future. Students also conducted research on companies, regulations, constraints/opportunities, and will be presenting their findings to their classmates.

The OHS Equestrian team won its second consecutive MIHA State Championship on October 14th, winning at each competition by double or more points over the Reserve Champion team that finished behind them!  Congratulations to Coach Jacquelyn Kubina and our Lady Wildcats 

How many high schools have this many staff get into the Halloween spirit!?!  While dressing up may not influence the quality of our instruction, it helps maintain a strong school culture among our teachers.  Without an environment that allows us to have some fun, it would be hard for us to bring our best each day.   

On October 10th, we inducted over 40 Juniors and Seniors into our National Honors Society (NHS). Our NHS students apply to be a part of this prestigious group as a means of providing service and leadership throughout our school.  NHS students set high academic standards to hold setting accountable.  They are our next generation of leaders and positive influences at OHS and in our community.   Our faculty helps set the criteria of Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character to determine which students qualify for this elite group.
Pictured here, NHS students spend time volunteering at Bernie's house, a local resident that needed some assistance on her property.  This is a great example of the ongoing volunteer work that our NHS students have dedicated themselves with as a member of the National Honor Society.

Congratulations to the Oxford Wildcat Marching Band!  Nine marching bands from around the region competed this month during the "Battle of the Bands" at Wisner Memorial Stadium in Pontiac. Oxford took 1st place in Class A with a score of 84.6 as well as earning Best Marching, Best Auxiliary, Best Visual Effects and Best Music Effects.  

Our Student Newspaper staff has launched a new website: www.Ohsnews.org.  Our dedicated team of 18 writers, five of whom pull double-duty as editors, and one dedicated website manager - are working hard to report the news in an unbiased, fair and balanced way.  Please check them out!

Our OHS News Broadcasting has also made some outstanding updates to their daily news show.  You can subscribe to their YouTube Channel and even set alerts to receive their news each day.

Mr. Kimmel's Engineering, Mechatronics, Robotics classes teach students more than just the content.  His students focus on important skills like the art of design, engineering, manufacturing, planning and math/science technology application.  Occupations in these careers provide our students pathways related to the technology necessary to design, develop, install and maintain electrical, mechanical and structural systems.  Check out more in this article from the Oxford Leader.

Our girls Cheerleading team showcased their Seniors at our last home football game on Friday, October 21st.  Our lady Wildcats enjoy sideline cheer but are eager to begin their competitive season to begin.  Our cheerleading athletes work as hard as any team at OHS throughout the entire school year.  Keep up the hard work!

Homecoming 2017
The week of October 9th marked Homecoming week for us at Oxford High School.  Here are some of the highlights below...

No staff participates in Homecoming Spirit Week quite like our staff!  You will find dozens of staff members participating each day during Spirit Week.  Was the photo below taken in Hawaii?  Who is the real Dave Carson in this picture?

The energy from our students and staff during our Homecoming Pep assembly was incredible!  We packed our gymnasium with students who were sectioned off by grade level. Each of our classes fed off each other's enthusiasm to cheer on their classmates during competitions, dances and celebrations.  Pictured here, Seniors show they can lip sing the best - while our Dance Conservatory students (and some staff) performed the Haka.  

Our Dance students performed their halftime show during our pep assembly to keep the crowd fired up!  Our Dance program continues to improve and grow each year - both in our student involvement and in their performances.

Here is another picture of the Haka dance that was performed during our pep assembly.  This performance was led by our Dance students and our dance director, Katy Koivunen - and was participated by both our faculty and students.  They did an amazing job and added so much energy to our pep assembly.

Pictured below is our 2017 Homecoming Court.  Our homecoming Queen, Hope, and homecoming King, Trent, were announced at our Friday, October 13th, football game.  

Our Freshman class of 2021 and Sophomore class of 2020 floats.

Our Junior class of 2019 and Senior class of 2018 floats.

Our Senior class of 2018 pose for one last homecoming float picture.  You could feel the energy our Seniors held throughout our entire Homecoming and Sprit Week.  It has a different feeling and impact in our school when our Seniors know this is the last time they will celebrate as OHS students.  


Communication & Information

Parents who are better informed are more likely to be engaged and supportive of their child and our learning community.  Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the following pages within and in addition to our OHS Homepage.

Mr. Wolf’s Top 6
  1. If you don’t already receive our weekly emails from OHS Administration, please click on SchoolMessenger and subscribe to receive helpful weekly info and updates.
  2. Our Parents & Students webpage is a great resource for parents to access student grades & attendance (PowerSchool), teacher websites (Haiku) and other school resources.
  3. Please visit our OHS School Calendar to view upcoming events.
  4. OHS News Broadcasting YouTube Channel is where you can find all daily announcements.  Subscribing and/or viewing on a regular basis will help keep you informed and updated.
  5. Our Counseling webpage has a number of resources for you and your student, including our curriculum, career resources, transcripts and services.
  6. Make sure you are also visiting our Athletic Website for athletic event dates, games and information.  We are currently working on a redesigned website that we hope you will love using.
  • Check out our Twitter page @oxford_hs to see day-to-day highlights of our wonderful learning community!
  • Our student Newspaper staff has launched a new website: www.Ohsnews.org with a dedicated team of 18 writers working hard to report the news in an unbiased, fair and balanced way. 
  • OCS Facebook is another way to see day-to-day highlights district-wide.
  • Wildcat Review Newsletters are created each quarter to highlight all of the outstanding work and accomplishments throughout Oxford Community Schools.
  • Please also check out Oxford Community Television’s latest Schooling Around from mid-September (episode 59)

Thanks for your support and help in keeping Oxford an amazing Community!

Steve Wolf 

Principal – Oxford High School



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