The Oak Grove staff is grateful to the thousands of firefighters, good neighbors, first responders, and volunteers who continue to work so hard preserving life and property. Two fire crews are currently being hosted on our campus. We are caring for them well with food, coffee, and sleeping accommodations.

This week all of our parents received a direct communication from their child’s teacher providing options to mitigate the loss of school days. They also shared reminders about listening and talking with children to help them to reflect on recent events. Elementary, Junior High and High School teachers have offered optional academic resources and learning suggestions for students to do over the winter break. End-of-term reports will go out on time and senior transcripts will make their way to colleges and universities.

When we return in January, teachers will support opportunities in the classroom for our students to reflect on their experiences with the Thomas Fire. For now, the priority is that your family has time to rest and recover.

Our community has experienced something that has possibly caused us to, in the words of poet Mary Oliver, “pay attention” and “be astonished.” Her poem also invites us to “tell about it.” In January we will be compiling a school-wide Community Scrapbook, a collection of our individual experiences of the Thomas Fire. We have asked all of our secondary students to write a personal reflection piece (prose or poetry) on their experience while it is still fresh in their hearts and minds. We’d like to invite all families to do the same. You can do an individual reflection or create an individual family page and include a photo or drawing. Don’t worry about formatting — we’ll put it together. You can work with younger children by having them dictate their stories and/or draw pictures. Submit the reflection with digital photos or scanned drawings between now and January 15th to Meredy Benson Rice.

Amidst the chaos of recent events, our seniors continue to complete college applications and prepare for the trip to India. They depart on December 27 and return late in January. Let’s wish them well on this incredible opportunity to explore a rich and vibrant culture and to make connections with our sister schools.