Tag Archives: Lower School

OHS Open on Friday

Update – Nov. 10 – 6:30 p.m.

Given the improving forecast of TS Nicole, campus will reopen, and classes will resume normal schedule tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 11. We’ll see you then!

Update – Nov. 9 – 10 a.m.

Dear Families,

Due to Tropical Storm Nicole, effective 6:00 p.m. this evening, Wednesday, November 9th, Oak Hall’s campus will be closed. Campus will remain closed and there will be no classes on Thursday, November 10th. A decision regarding campus reopening on Friday, November 11th will be communicated using our Emergency Notification System via email, text, and phone call on the evening of Thursday, November 10th.

To satisfy the required number of school days for this academic year, we will be combining Wellness Day and Conference Day on February 27th. School will now be in session on February 28th.

The Junior Class Introduction to College Night scheduled for this evening has been postponed. Mrs. Wilkins will be in touch with more information.

If you have any questions, please reach out.

Stay safe,

Nov. 9 – 8:30 a.m.

As of the 7 a.m. advisory, Tropical Storm Nicole is a Category 1 storm with winds maxing out at 70 mph. Its current track has it coming near Gainesville on Thursday afternoon.

Alachua County is under a Tropical Storm Warning. Oak Hall will make the decision campus will be closed tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 10) after the 11 a.m. advisory.

Just Because: Keeping Candy Safe this Halloween

By Elizabeth Birkner

Halloween is right around the corner, and it is important to be aware of the deadly fentanyl outbreak in the United States. Fentanyl is so deadly that a lethal amount can fit on the tip of a pencil. A rising problem is that it is being pressed into brightly colored tablets into what is being referred to as “rainbow fentanyl”. This is a growing concern among law enforcement and parents as trick or treating is occurring this weekend and Monday. In fact, earlier this month, 48 pounds of fentanyl along with 15,000 fentanyl pills were seized in Polk County (two hours south of Gainesville).

Like most years, but this one especially, parents need to be careful and quick to identify possible distributed fentanyl in Halloween candy. If a piece of candy does not look normal, or is not in a labeled and sealed package, it would be best to be safe and throw it out. Andrew Hinson, one of Oak Hall’s Security Officers is advising parents to check their child’s candy to make sure the candy tablets don’t have imprinted numbers or letters. “Fentanyl is commonly made to look like other pills such as Xanax, Oxycodone, or Adderall. It can also look like gummy bears or jolly rancher candy,” he said. The resemblance between regular safe candy, and those that contain fentanyl is almost identical, so it is incredibly important to be especially careful with Halloween candy this year.

Rainbow fentanyl, known as “Smarties” or “SweetTarts”, are shaped like candy

Another concern is children receiving homemade treats from trick or treating. There is no way to know if a homemade treat was tampered with, so it is important to dispose of any homemade treats to be safe. “Fentanyl can easily be added to baked goods. Therefore, I would highly recommend to only except homemade treats from people that are personally known to you and your family,” Hinson added. With the current concerns of fentanyl, it would be wise to avoid homemade treats given out on Halloween to ensure trick or treaters’ safety. 

Since fentanyl candy is made to look like ordinary candy, it is crucial to be careful and cautious when examining Halloween candy for possible risks. When asked about what parents should look out for, Hinson advised avoiding “Any candy that is not in a commercially labeled package. Any package that is open or torn. And any candy that has pin holes in it. These should all be discarded. Remember: if in doubt, throw it out!” When in a situation where you are faced with a piece of candy that does not look normal, the smart choice would be to throw it away.

Finally, in the terrible situation where someone is exposed to fentanyl, it is very important to act quickly. “Immediately clear the area and call 911. Fentanyl has the consistency of baking flour and can become airborne when moved or agitated, which can cause cross contamination,” Hinson warned. Some signs of fentanyl ingestion to look out for include slow breathing, no breathing, gurgling sounds, blue lips and nails, tiny pupils, damp, and cold skin, and not moving or waking up.

Homecoming Celebrations Let the Good Times Roll

By Ryan McKinney

As Homecoming Week is right around the corner let’s see the numerous activities that Oak Hall’s Student Government Association (SGA) has organized for the student body this year. 

Beginning in the Upper School on Monday, Oct. 17 is “Deck the Halls” with the overall theme of “Let the Good Times Roll”. That will be held in the Upper School front foyer from 10 a.m. until noon. “Deck the Halls” allows the Upper School students to decorate the hallways of the Upper School with the designated grade level theme, this year being the suits of playing cards. Even though there is no school that day because it’s a Mental Health and Wellness Day, there is still an event planned for that night. The Powder Buff volleyball game will be held in the gym at 7 p.m. for the Upper School gentlemen with the ladies coaching, although everyone is free to come out and watch. Each male participant will receive a t-shirt coordinating with their class design, and those who opt to not participate in the game can still purchase a t-shirt. 

The designs for each grade are as follows:
Freshmen: Spades
Sophomores: Clubs
Juniors: Diamonds
Seniors: Hearts

Tuesday, Oct. 18 is Parent/Teacher Conference Day, thus allowing the students another day off of school! The Upper School ladies can participate in the “Under the Lights” Powder Puff football game at 7 p.m. at the stadium, which is an enormous change from past years when the game was played during lunch. Those who participate will each have t-shirts with their appropriate grade level design, and girls who do not participate may purchase a t- shirt as well. The designs for each grade level are the same listed above. 

On Wed. October 19th Upper School students will dress up to the according theme of “Decades Day”:

Freshmen, Class of 2026: Babies
Sophomores, Class of 2025: Tweens
Juniors, Class of 2024: Mid-life
Seniors, Class of 2023: Senior Citizens

Middle School students are allowed to dress up as their future profession, and the Lower School will be participating in “Tie Dye Day”. 

Following the themes, Upper School students will participate in the Dodgeball tournament held in the gym during lunch. Wednesday night our girls volleyball team will compete in the district tournament. 

Thursday, Oct. 20 is “Music Genre Day” for the Upper School students, where students can dress up as their favorite musician. The Middle and Lower schoolers can wear their favorite sports team attire to go with their theme of “Favorite Sports Team Day”. For the Upper School during lunchtime SGA will be hosting games of Capture the Card on the Stadium field. Teams will be separated by grade level for this. Lastly, the Volleyball District Championship Game will be held in the Oxborough Gym at 6 p.m. 

On the last school day of the week, all students will be on the pep rally schedule and participating in “Spirt Day” in representing the Eagles. The pep rally will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the gym. Starting at 5 p.m. is the Homecoming Tailgate, which includes food, drinks, and fun! Make sure you register by Monday, Oct. 17 (please click here to register) This night will be action packed as our Eagle football team plays against crosstown rival St. Francis starting at 7 p.m. This is both Senior Night and Homecoming celebration game with senior night beginning around 6:30 p.m. The homecoming king and queen will also be announced at halftime

Lastly, the final Homecoming event is the dance for Upper School students, which will be held on Oct. 22 from 7:30 – 10:30 p.m. at Touchdown Terrace with the theme “Let the Good Times Roll”.

One School Musical Preview: “Seussical the Musical”

By Elizabeth Birkner

For the last five years, with the exception of the 2020-21 school year, Oak Hall students have performed in the One School Musical. Next month, around 100 third graders through seniors are performing Seussical the Musical, a musical based off Dr. Seuss’s literary creations. Theater teacher Brooke Molitor and music teacher Erin Cushing work together to decide which musical will be performed. “Every January, Ms. Molitor and I start with a huge list of musicals and start narrowing them down,” Cushing said. When deciding which musical to produce, the two teachers take into consideration how large the cast should be, what type of technical equipment they would need, and what instruments need to be used for the orchestra pit, among other things. 

Unlike previous One School Musical’s like Matilda and James and the Giant Peach, Seussical is a play that strays away from the usual set design of musicals with its bright colors and cartoony theme, much like the drawings in a Dr. Seuss book. The musical includes famous Dr. Seuss characters like Horton, the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude, Yertle the Turtle, and the Whos of Who-ville.

Students participating in Seussical say this play is an amazing experience that brings the school together as one and inspires them to share and showcase their love for the performing arts. “There is a big social aspect with everyone being in a group of people and it can be fun to talk with the cast [with parts similar to yours],” said eighth grader, Soie Haberman. She also elaborated on how working with different grades is one of her favorite parts of participating in the musical. “[The musical] gives students of all ages and abilities the opportunity to be leaders or learn from others,” Cushing noted.

Seussical performances will be held Oct. 13 and 14 at 7 p.m., and Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. All performances are in the Edith D. Cofrin Theater on Oak Hall’s campus. Reserved seating is $10 per ticket through Oct. 10 and can be purchased by clicking here! After Oct. 10, general admission tickets will be available at the door for $5 via credit card only (no cash).

It’s Homecoming Week!

By Ryan McKinney

Oak Hall’s Upper School Student Government Association (SGA) has planned out all the activities and events happening this week for homecoming. This year’s homecoming week is Oct. 10 through Oct. 16 and includes dress up days for all divisions. 

On Sunday, Upper School students came to campus to “Deck the Halls” in the overall theme “Hollywood at the Hall”. 

On Monday, Oct. 11, the theme for the Upper School and Middle school is “Country vs. Country Club” which has students dressing up as one of the two themes country or country club, while the Lower School is participating in “Silly Sock Day”. At lunch, Upper School students will battle it out in the gym as they play dodgeball. Upper School students can choose their favorite cartoon character for Tuesday, while the Middle School students participate in “Decades Day” (sixth grade: babies; seventh grade: midlife; eighth grade: senior citizens) and the Lower School has “Tie Dye Tuesday”. The cartoon character theme carries over during lunch for the Upper School, as the Homecoming Court members will be slimed at the softball field. 

The Upper School theme for Wednesday, Oct. 13 is “Decades Day” where each class will dress as a different generation:

Freshmen, Class of 2025: Babies/Toddlers
Sophomores, Class of 2024: Tweens 
Juniors, Class of 2023: Mid-Life
Seniors, Class of 2022: Senior Citizens

On that same Wednesday the Middle School will be dressing as pairs of twins, while the Lower School will be participating in “Crazy Hat Day”. The Upper School boys will take to the volleyball courts in the gym during lunch to participate in Powder Buff; boys from each grade play volleyball and are coached by the girls volleyball team athletes. 

Thursday’s theme for the Upper School is class color day where each class is assigned a color: 

Freshmen, Class of 2025: White
Sophomores, Class of 2024: Grey
Juniors, Class of 2023: Gold
Seniors, Class of 2022: Red

The Middle School will be dressing as tropical or tacky tourists, while the Lower School students will be wearing their favorite players jersey as it is “Favorite Sports Team Jersey Day”. The Upper School ladies will show off their football skills during the annual Powder Puff football game during lunch at the stadium. Later that night, the JV and Varsity volleyball teams play St. Francis at 5:15 and 6:30 in the gym. This volleyball game is Senior Night and festivities begin at 6:15. 

On Friday, the theme for all divisions is “Spirit Day” where students, faculty, and staff wear their best Oak Hall attire. During this Friday we will be on a special Homecoming bell schedule, as the Homecoming parade begins at 1:45. Family and friends are welcome to attend. Students will be dismissed from school after the Pep Rally which will be held after the parade at the stadium. There will be a Homecoming tailgate from 5-7 p.m. with the varsity football team plays at 7 p.m. At halftime, the Homecoming court will be presented, and the King and Queen will be crowned. 

On Saturday, Oct. 16, Upper School students can let loose at the Homecoming dance from 7 – 10:30 p.m. Friendly reminder: no student will be allowed into the dance after 7:45 p.m.