Oak Ridge Elementary school is one of the Superintendent’s Priority Schools. As a Priority School, we are focused on developing effective common practices, innovative instructional approaches and a shared belief that all students can and will succeed. Our staff provides meaningful and engaging learning experiences to all students.
Culturally-Responsive Teaching and learning practices are used throughout the campus. A balanced literacy approach helps all students acquire literacy through a variety of high-quality and high-interest texts. The Oak Ridge staff is committed to increasing the achievement of all students. We believe that every child has the right to a personalized quality instructional experience designed for achievement at the highest possible level.
4501 Martin L. King Jr. Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95820
Oak Ridge Elementary School students, in collaboration with sixth grade teachers Whitney Cole and Sarah Wagner, recently hosted an evening to highlight how student action can impact healthy eating.
The celebration was the culmination of two months of research focused on educating families and others about “food justice” in their neighborhoods.
The night revolved around the development of an IDL (Inquiry Driven Learning) project that the sixth grade classes created focusing on this question: How does food impact the community?
Students educated the campus on healthy food options through creating school wide marketing posters, tracking the food options in the cafeteria daily and designing and writing a school newsletter.
In addition, they reached out to community members to support their cause and created incentives to get younger students excited and eager about healthy food choices.
The event began with a student docent-led tour of poster and projects depicting what students learned about healthy food options. Sixth grade students reached out to local chef Ian McBride from Lucca Restaurant. McBride attended the evening celebration and made, with the help of students, some delicious kale pesto, farrow and beet salad, and a tomato and basil salad.
The students led guests on a tour in the school dining room showcasing facts learned from the movie “Fed Up,” demonstrating the knowledge they learned about fruits and vegetables.
The group Food Literacy Center also contributed to the night by giving families and community members a hands-on food literacy lesson. Urban Farmstead and Louie’s Restaurant in Oak Park provided some great healthy snacks.
The evening of community impact was a huge success and a source of pride for students and staff at Oak Ridge. Funds raised will be used to purchase a food and snack cart that will be used to teach students to prepare healthy dishes using fruits and vegetables from our Oak Ridge Garden.
I Got Caught Attending School is a joint effort with SCUSD, KSFM 102.5, and Natomas Walmart to increase attendance rates in our elementary schools. Recently, students at Oak Ridge Elementary and Nicholas Elementary were surprised with T-shirts and a classroom visit — awards for exemplary attendance.
Those “caught” are: Antonio Ortiz, Ian Saephan and Siree Echeverria from Nicholas; and Lauren Valdez, Mekhi Hawkins and Paulina Ochoa from Oak Ridge.
California policymakers and other decision makers saw first-hand the benefits and challenges of providing farm-fresh fruits and vegetables to Sacramento students during a tour of Oak Ridge Elementary’s school garden on Tuesday morning.
The tour was hosted by the University of California, Division of Agriculture and National Resources’ Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. Its goal is to bolster support for farm-to-school grants.
Funding for those grants is currently included in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which is expiring.
Also on Tuesday, the nonprofit group Common Vision planted 17 fruit trees in Oak Ridge’s garden.
Oak Ridge Elementary School teacher Stephanie Smith is one of two area educators selected as Sacramento County Teachers of the Year 2016.
The Sacramento County Office of Education announced the selection of Smith and Jennifer Ruby of the Robla School District during a recognition dinner earlier this month.
Smith teaches a third and fourth grade loop at Oak Ridge Elementary. She is a teacher consultant with the Area 3 Writing Project at UC Davis, a teacher presenter with the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project and a member of Oak Ridge’s School Garden Team.
By winning county Teacher of the Year, she is now eligible to advance to the statewide competition where five teachers will be chosen as California Teachers of the Year.
“When it was announced that I’d be representing not just our district but also the county of Sacramento as Teacher of the Year, I wished the entire staff of Oak Ridge Elementary could have be on the stage with me,” Smith said.
“Working with such talented teachers and supportive administrators for the past five years is what truly made this all possible. Add in the amazing projects, such as the Area 3 Writing Project, Parent Teacher Home Visit Project, and the Growing Together School Garden Initiative that equip me in so many ways as an educator, and that stage would have buckled!”
SCUSD’s Child Development Department is currently enrolling children in its free five-week Kindergarten Readiness Summer Academy, available at 10 elementary schools.
The Kindergarten Readiness Summer Academy program provides kindergarten readiness learning opportunities for youngsters with limited or no preschool experience, English Language Learners and children with a range of developmental abilities.
Programs will operate Monday through Thursday (July 1 to July 30) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The following SCUSD elementary schools will host the Kindergarten Readiness Summer Academy:
Ethel I. Baker
Father Keith B. Kenny
Leataata Floyd @ Health Professions (new)
Families interested in enrolling their kindergarten-bound child should call the Child Development Department at (916) 643-7858 or visit the Serna Center at 5735 47th Ave.
The quarterly Reading Rally at Oak Ridge Elementary School last month came to a sweet ending: Every student received a cupcake courtesy of Icing on the Cupcake.
The multipurpose room boomed as students chanted “We love books.” The Mighty Oaks cheered for their classmates as they participated in games such as “pin the pigeon on the school bus.” Students were awarded with prizes that included books, art supplies, gift cards, movie passes and bikes.The Oak Ridge students earned nearly 8,000 Accelerated Reader points, which is double the 4,000-point goal set last year.
At the end of the rally, Oak Ridge Principal Doug Huscher shared an exciting surprise with the students. “This is truly a celebration of a year of incredible progress in reading. And, no celebration is complete without cake!” The students cheered when they were presented with beautiful and delicious cupcakes generously donated by Icing on the Cupcake!
Felicia Wheeler, event coordinator for Icing on the Cupcake joined in the celebration by handing out cupcakes to every Oak Ridge student, kindergarten to sixth grade. She traveled to Oak Park from the Rocklin store to participate in the celebration. “I am thrilled to do this event to reward the children of Oak Ridge Elementary on their excellent progress,” she said.
Oak Ridge Elementary School teacher Stephanie Smith’s passion for building relationships with her students goes far beyond her classroom walls.
Since 2009, Smith has participated in SCUSD’s Parent Teacher Home Visit Project (PTHVP). She writes eloquently about her commitment to visiting families at their homes in “Would You Walk Through My Door?”, an article published in this month’s Educational Leadership.The magazine’s May 2013 issue focuses on “The Faces of Poverty.”
In her article, Smith shares her belief that “home visits are especially essential in areas characterized by poverty and diversity. Most teachers come from a middle-class background and have never experienced the realities of low-income students’ lives. It’s my responsibility to experience and embrace that reality, even if just for 30 minutes in a student’s living room.”
Smith continues, “The school is always asking parents to enter our world — to come to conferences or family night or volunteer in classrooms. I want to return the favor and go into your world.”
Smith’s journey with the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project began in 2009 at Harkness Elementary School. There, she saw the positive impacts that home visits had on her classroom community. When moving to Oak Ridge in 2010, Smith had no doubt that she would continue to visit weekly with her students’ families.
To date, Smith has completed 80 home visits, 26 of which have occurred this year. This commitment to home visits has surprised Smith, since her own childhood experiences initially caused her to question the mission of PTHVP.
Smith’s family would’ve been less than eager to invite one of her teachers home, she says. Smith recalls that “the abyss between the school’s bright lights and the government housing I grew up in was great and it would’ve been too embarrassing to allow any teacher to cross it.”
But Smith persists in arranging visits with the parents of her third graders because she knows it’s essential for teachers to see the realities of home life for students living in poverty — and how much relationship-building and insight into students’ hidden strengths a family visit can yield.
“As embarrassed as I was by my own childhood home, I can’t help but wonder how things would have been different if a teacher had visited my house. That teacher might have seen my brother’s hilarious sense of humor and my mom’s sheer determination to make her children’s lives better than her own — and seen more clearly why I was so shy and lacking in confidence.”
Smith knows that the hidden strengths of her students may only be visible in their own living rooms.
Stephanie’s article concludes with a call to action to the Educational Leadership readers: “The paradigm needs to shift in schools that serve poor students. Teachers need to spend less energy complaining about parents’ lack of involvement or even brainstorming how we can get parents to step through the school doors. Instead, teachers need to ask themselves when are they going to step though students’ front doors. This shift can make all the difference — to students, families and school culture.”
Smith gives fellow teachers the following tips for home visiting:
Never go alone. Invite the teacher of your student’s siblings, or other staff members (including translators) to accompany you.
Ask your your principal for training (visit www.pthv.org).
Bring a gift. Something as small as a baggie of school supplies shows your appreciation and breaks the ice.
Take copious notes after each visit. Write down information that you learned from the families and keep these notes going after every communication you have with the family. Review these notes before conferences.
Don’t worry about timing. It’s ideal to get as many home visits done in the fall. This is a time to send out a general request to visit. Then, make phone calls to arrange visits early on with those parents with whom you anticipate needing a strong relationship.
Don’t worry about the location. Just get yourself off campus and go to a place where the parents feel comfortable: A park, a restaurant or their front yard.
To read a preview version of Smith’s article, please click here.
Parents of Oak Ridge Elementary School second and third graders met with their children’s teachers last month to set goals for what their children will learn in the hours spent at home, a discussion prompted by a newly launched family engagement program.
Called Family Teacher Academic Team (FTAT), the program is aimed at shifting the relationship between teachers and parents away from just celebrations and report card conferences to a true partnership focused on helping kids learn, says Oak Ridge Principal Doug Huscher
“There’s nothing wrong with celebrations and conferences,” says Huscher, “but our primary responsibility is education.”
At the December meetings, parents set goals for students and committed to help with learning at home. “We’re very excited about this,” says Huscher. “It has a whole bunch of win-wins in it.”
Oak Ridge was encouraged to try FTAT by the Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project, which sponsored a workshop on the program during its annual conference in October.
Huscher and four teachers spent six hours learning how to initiate an FTAT program in a session taught by Arizona teacher Maria Paredes, whose research shows that such a program can boost student learning in the classroom.
In a paper, Paredes called parents “the most underused and underestimated resource children have for academic success.”
City Year sponsored a Day of Service at Oak Ridge Elementary School on Saturday, June 2. Volunteers braved temperatures soaring into the upper 90s to paint murals, restripe basketball courts and add color to the hop scotch games. City Year corps members, Oak Ridge staff, more AT&T employees and representatives from City Councilman Jay Schenirer’s office rolled up their sleeves to spruce up and add flare to the campus. Oak Ridge students were excited to return from the weekend and discover the fresh new look. Special thanks to City Year for coordinating Sacramento’s first-ever City Year Community Day of Service.
Oak Ridge Elementary School was buzzing with excitement at its Multicultural Fair on May 23. Hundreds of students, families and staff feasted on tasty treats from around the world in a school-wide potluck. After eating dinner, families enjoyed some amazing art. Every classroom contributed to the displays. The art included story cloths from Laos, beautiful birds from Mexico and colorful sugar skulls celebrating the memories of loved ones.
The Oak Ridge school community then gathered for multicultural performances. Students took the stage to participate in a traditional Mexican dress fashion show, Hmong dance and Chinese Ribbon Dance. Families were delighted when Ballet Folklorico El Milagro took the stage to perform six dances. The evening culminated with Umoja Productions performing a series of African dance and drum numbers. What a great evening celebrating the rich cultures of Oak Ridge!
April 20 officially marked the successful completion of Parents As Partners in Schools (PAPS) first cohort! The second cohort is currently in full swing and will be completed in the next few weeks! PAPS provides parents and community members the opportunity to learn more about being involved in their child’s education, becoming an effective advocate for their child’s needs, gaining leadership skills and improving communication to have effective parent-teacher relationships.
The first cohort of schools include: Will C. Wood Middle, Rosa Parks Middle, Oak Ridge Elementary, Maple Elementary, Golden Empire Elementary and Mark Hopkins Elementary. These schools have completed their series of workshops with enthusiastic parent participation. Currently, there are over 90 participants in PAPS. Parents that have completed the program expressed they have learned strategies and have gained tools that will be helpful for their families personally and educationally, now as well as for their future. Once participants have completed the series of workshops they will be invited to a much anticipated graduation ceremony on May 29 at Luther Burbank High School.
The cafeteria of Oak Ridge Elementary School was transformed into a “Five Star Restaurant” on March 28 with the help of midtown chef Patrick Mulvaney. The elegant evening of dining was conceived, designed and executed by a group of fifth-grade students as part of an after-school entrepreneurial program sponsored by the group Miracles and Milestones. Keynote speakers at the event were Mark Otero, the founder of KlickNation and a self-described “serial entrepreneur,” and City Councilman Jay Schenirer.
Beginning March 1, 24 of our after-school educational and learning enrichment programs will begin serving an estimated 2,500 “supper” meals daily through the At-Risk After-School Supper Program pilot. The meal is in addition to the snack previously provided to students attending after-school programs that run as late as 6 p.m. Suppers will be served between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and the snack later.
Supper pilot sites are: John Still Elementary, Freeport, Rosa Parks, Edward Kemble, Cesar Chavez, Parkway, Pacific, Fern Bacon, Woodbine, Harkness, C.P. Huntington, Maple, Nicholas, Ethel I. Baker, PS-7, Fruit Ridge, Oak Ridge, Father Keith B. Kenny, C.B. Wire, Elder Creek, Albert Einstein, Washington, Jedediah Smith and Peter Burnett.
The suppers are funded by the USDA and administered by the California Department of Education, Nutrition Services Division. High-poverty schools (more than 50 percent of the students qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch) are eligible. Reimbursement for at-risk after-school snacks has been available since the 1990s. However, reimbursement for at-risk after-school suppers was formerly available only in a few states. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-296) expanded the availability for at-risk after-school meals to all states.
Mary Hardin Young currently serves as Assistant Superintendent of Schools with Sacramento City Unified School District.(SCUSD).
Prior to this position, Mary was an Administrator of Academic Achievement, the Director of Elementary Education and Principal of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School – all with Sac City Schools.Before moving to California, Mary served as a Superintendent for a K-8 district just outside of Yellowstone National Park in Montana, and a Staff Development Specialist and Middle School Principal in Iowa.While her educational settings have included a small community school district, an expansive rural system and two large urban districts, her work has consistently focused on increasing student achievement, educational equity and access for diverse student populations. Mary received her Masters in Educational Leadership, through a Danforth Fellowship at Iowa State University. She holds two Bachelors of Science degrees: One in Elementary Education and one in Disadvantaged Education and Psychology.
SCUSD provides part day State funded preschool for eligible parents. The family monthly income must be under a certain amount.
If you would like to enroll in the State Preschool program please contact one of our two registration center Hiram Johnson Family Education Center, 3535 65th Street, (916) 277-7151;or Capital City Child Development Center, 7220 24th Street, (916) 433-2736.
During the course of any given year, the Child Development program provides early care and education to approximately 3,000 children ages 0-12. Children served include typically developing infants, toddlers and preschoolers and those with disabilities.
Parents are afforded a variety of program options and approaches, including center-based and home-based services, full-day/part-day preschool, infant/toddler playgroups and before/after school-age care.
Elementary, middle, and high school students are assigned to a designated neighborhood school based on where the student lives, as long as the school offers the services the student needs. Each neighborhood school has a defined geographic boundary and is intended to serve the students who live within that geographic boundary.
Go to our Attendance Area page for more information about school boundaries, attendance maps and our neighborhood school locator.
Superintendent Raymond launched the Priority Schools program in the spring of 2010 to accelerate the rate of student learning in low-performing, high-poverty schools. Six schools were initially selected for participation: Oak Ridge, Father Keith B. Kenny and Leataata Floyd (formerly Jedediah Smith) elementary schools; Fern Bacon and Will C. Wood middle schools; and Hiram Johnson High School. Rosa Parks Middle School was added to the program in June 2011.