OPA Message 6/11/2021

Dear OPA Families and Staff,

As we wind down the school year, I want to thank all of our champions, staff, and families for an amazing, if somewhat unique, school year. We, along with all schools in California, started out the year completely virtual. However, our students still received excellent academic instruction, social and emotional learning, and a variety of enrichment opportunities. In October, we were able to move to a hybrid instructional model, where students had the option to attend school in person. Then in April, we were able to return to a full day of in person instruction and infuse some normalcy into the day with recess, lunch, and some traditional enrichment activities, including in person cross country. Although this year saw many changes to the way students received instruction, our professors and support staff ensured that all students continued to receive extremely high-quality academic experiences, no matter what instructional model they participated in. It is because of this dedication and our high OPA standards that our champions have shown academic growth based on end of year assessments that is on par with a normal school year. This is a tremendous accomplishment and one that could only happen at OPA!! And these accomplishments will allow us to head into the new school year strong.

I am very excited that we will be able to return to a full day of in person instruction next year, as this will allow us to bring back many of the activities and programs that make OPA so special and our champions so successful! Some of these activities include:

  • Rigorous Academics – Although our students have had rigorous academics and instruction throughout the pandemic, we are going to up the game next year with a stronger focus on writing, enhanced data-informed instruction to meet the needs of all students, increased supports and interventions, additional enrichment opportunities, after school intervention classes, an innovative STEAM lab, and newly adopted Social Studies curriculum.
  • Multiple Intelligences – Now that students will be attending school in person for the full day, teachers will be able to implement more activities and instructional strategies based on each student’s multiple intelligences. At OPA, we understand the importance of providing instruction and allowing students to “show what they know” in a variety of ways and to continually build on their multiple intelligences.
  • University Themes – Each class will be a specific university to build excitement for college and allow students to explore university requirements, culture, student life, academics, etc. These university themes will also be used to build college and career readiness and skills. Student will each receive a University T-shirt with their university logo at the beginning of the year to wear on Fridays. I also can’t wait to hear all of those University chants at recess!!
  • Uniforms – OPA students will be required to wear appropriate uniforms and show off their teal! Information about the uniforms and the weekly uniform schedule can be found on our website. Information about where to purchase OPA uniforms is attached. I can’t wait to see the teal bows and sneakers and all of the plaid on the first day of school next year.
  • Parent Education/Input – We love our OPA parents and are so lucky to have parents who are so involved. We will be increasing our parent education opportunities next year as well as ways that parents can provide input and get involved. We are currently working on a parent education schedule with great information nights and events. We will also be having a variety of Town Halls and committees where parents can provide input and ideas to help us as we continue to improve.
  • Character Education and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) – We want all of our champions be good citizens and always exhibit good behavior. We will have a strong focus next year on character education, including becoming a “No Place for Hate School”, where all students feel welcome and included. We are also continuing our implementation of PBIS, to ensure that students are rewarded for exhibiting good behavior and all students understand our high expectations.
  • Social and Emotional Learning – We will continue to focus on educating the whole child, including ensuring that students have the social and emotional skills necessary to be successful.
  • Future Readiness – At OPA, we want all of our champions to be ready to succeed in high school, college, and beyond. Our champions will be provided a variety of experiences and instruction to enhance their future readiness in the areas of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity, compassion, civic engagement, and innovation. We want our champions to be sought after by the best high schools, colleges, and employers because of the skills, knowledge, and character traits they built at OPA!

Next year will be a chance to take what we learned throughout the pandemic and use it to improve the excellent practices that we had in place in the past. I am excited to start a new chapter at OPA, where we embrace the things that made us so successful in the past but continue to improve and innovate to create the best possible learning environment for our champions. 

I want to congratulate all of our 8th grade champions. As you head into high school and your future, I know that you will be extremely successful in all of your endeavors. You have been a pleasure to work with throughout your years at OPA and have the skills, knowledge, and character to excel in the future. And a very special shout out to our 16 students who have been at OPA since kindergarten.  It is so amazing now to have student who have grown up for their entire school career as champions! This year, we will be live streaming both of our promotion ceremonies so that everyone can join us to celebrate our promoting champions. The links to view the promotions will be posted on the school websites next week.      

Thank you all for your dedication and support of our OPA champions throughout this difficult year. We have some wonderful activities coming up to celebrate the end of the year, so please make sure to check your email regularly for information. Have a wonderful weekend OPA!

Sincerely,

Amy Kernan

Executive Director