The Pioneer Express! 
Your Community Brief from Oak Ridge High School
Friday, January 10, 2020

Welcome Back & Happy New Year!  
I would like to extend best wishes to all of our Pioneers and to our school community for a wonderful 2020! It has been a real pleasure to see all of the students, teachers and staff back on campus this week after a long, well deserved winter break.  
We now have officially entered both the 3rd quarter and 2nd semester of the 2019-2020 school year. Please remember that we will not have school on Monday, January 20th in recognition of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday.  
The Florida Department of Education released the Class of 2019 graduation rates this week for all schools across the state of Florida - Click here for details by school and school district. I am very proud to share that our 2018-2019 federal graduation rate as published by the FLDOE was 98.5% and that OCPS tied Pinellas County (St. Petersburg/Clearwater market area) for #1 among Florida's seven largest school districts:
  • Oak Ridge High School 98.5% 
  • Orange County (OCPS) 88.4%
  • Pinellas County (St. Petersburg/Clearwater area) 88.4%
  • Palm Beach County 87.1%
  • Hillsborough County (Tampa area) 86.2%
  • Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale area) 86.2%
  • Duval County (Jacksonville area) 86.5%
  • Miami-Dade County 85.6%
  • State of Florida 86.9%
Congratulations are due not just to our awesome Class of 2019 and their families, but also to our tireless educators and our school community that all worked together towards this incredible achievement. I am now hoping that our Class of 2020 might be able to even exceed this extremely impressive 98.5% graduation rate as we got this 2nd semester off to a successful start this week.  
Thank you for looking over this first issue of 2020 and have a great weekend! 
Ms. Jennifer Bellinger

Pictured very top and just below: National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (Jan. 9, 2020). Our School Resource Officers can be seen around campus positively interacting with the students at any given time of the day. Pictured are Master Deputy Richard Febo and Master Deputy Laura Mallard with a few of our students in the courtyard during lunch.

Follow us on Twitter 
Home of the Pioneers!
Dates to Watch ForUpcomingevents  

Friday, January 10
  • Boys Basketball vs Jones at Jones - 6:00PM
Saturday, January 11
  • Lady Pioneers Basketball vs Lady Blue Wave Classic at Gainesville
Monday, January 13
  • Boys Soccer vs Gateway at Gateway - 6:00PM
Tuesday, January 14
  • Girls Soccer vs Cypress Creek at Cypress Creek - 6:00PM
  • Lady Pioneers Basketball vs Dr. Phillips at Home - 7:00PM
Thursday, January 16
  • Cap & Gown Orders - A & B Lunches - Cafeteria
  • Boys Basketball vs Osceola at Osceola - 6:00PM
  • Boys Soccer vs Colonial at Colonial - 6:00PM
  • Lady Pioneers vs Olympia at Olympia - 7:30PM
Friday, January 17
  • Cap & Gown Orders - A & B Lunches - Cafeteria
  • Girls Soccer vs University at Home - 6:00PM
  • Boys Basketball vs University of Ft. Lauderdale at Home - 7:30PM
Monday, January 20
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - School Closed

Tuesday, January 21
  • Boys Soccer vs East River at Home - 6:00PM
  • Lady Pioneers Basketball vs Colonial at Home - 7:30PM
Wednesday, January 22
  • Hispanic National Honor Society Induction - Auditorium - 4:00PM
Thursday, January 23
  • Boys Soccer vs Cornerstone at Cornerstone - 5:00PM
  • Boys Basketball vs Boone at Home - 6:00PM
  • Girls Soccer vs Ocoee at Ocoee - 6:00PM
  • Lady Pioneers Basketball vs Apopka at Apopka - 7:30PM
Friday, January 24
  • Boys Basketball vs Windermere at Windermere - 6:00PM
Saturday, January 25

OCPS Parent and Family Engagement will host a Parent Academy, "Together, Towards Tomorrow" at Edgewater High School on Jan. 25. This academy, primarily for secondary students and families, will include a mini magnet school and college fair in collaboration with other district offices. Free lunch will be provided for each attending family, in addition to translation services and free child care for all students ages 4-18.

Tutoring and transportation available Monday through Thursday from 2:30-4:30PM. Come see us and get the assistance you need to be academically successful! See you there.

Prom - Ticket Sales 

No Early Release Wednesdays
Plan Ahead - No Early Dismissal Wednesdays: March 4, April 1 and May 6
Mark your calendars now - in order for all students to complete their SAT or FSA tests without concern for running out of time, all OCPS students will be scheduled for a full school day instead of the normal early dismissal on three Wednesdays: March 4, April 1, and May 6, 2020.  

Rigor in the Classroom 
College & Career readiness with Ms. Evans' students . . .
College and Career Elective students in Ms. Gena Evans' class, play "University Admission Committee" for a day! Each group was given a student profile to start. They then presented themselves to an evaluation committee during a mock interview. The committee had to determine whether that student was admitted, denied or wait-listed. It was a fun activity that gave our students some aspect of the college admissions process.

Related College Planning News - College Costs

Source: The Wall Street Journal (Dec. 15, 2019) - "What You Need to Know About Prepaid College-Tuition Plans"

Forever Pioneers! 
Where are they now? 

Congratulations to our very own Revel Lubin (our ORHS student at Yale Graduate School) for being selected as a finalist for Central Floridian of the Year. The full story can be read from the link below.

Academics - Performing Arts   
Orchestra students enjoy a competitive edge in the future . . .  

Students from Orchestra, under the instruction of Mrs. Janice Roberts, rehearse music to perform at the Zora Festival on January 31st. Did you know that orchestral musicians have an incredible opportunity to develop a number of marketable skills and social benefits?

Orchestral musicians have advantages which generate both immediate and life-long achievements. A few benefits are: it increases your math comprehension and spatial and pattern recognition, develops language and problem solving skills, increases coordination, and is a healthy outlet for your emotions. So, if you've ever even slightly considered learning to play a string instrument, don't wait. Check it out today!

Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor - Read full article

Senior News - Plan Ahead    

* Graduation date and time: Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 7:30PM - Addition Arena at UCF

* Cap & Gown orders will be accepted during A & B lunches on Thursday & Friday, January 16th & 17th

~ Senior Class Sponsor:  Ms. Sonia Sanders (407) 852-3200 X6102404

Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica
Induction is Thursday, January 22 

On January 22nd select students will be inducted into the Hispanic National Honor Society.  Please come out to support this honorable institution. The induction will begin at 4:00PM and take place in the auditorium. If you have any questions please contact the sponsor, Ms. Vanessa Colon at 407-852-3200 X6103018

Community Service
No Excuses Mentoring Program (NEMP)
The residents at Guardian Care Nursing & Rehabilitation Center were very appreciative of the NEMP program for visiting to play bingo and awarding prizes! Our NEMP students hosted their 2nd Annual Holiday Bingo Event at Guardian Care Nursing Home. Each grandma/grandpa received a gift bag filled with a holiday card, teddy bear, and a motivational book. Also, we spiced up bingo by giving out monetary prizes! It was truly a great time and it was wonderful for the residents to take part in an activity planned by the mentoring program plus interacting with young adults who enjoy giving back to the community and its elderly citizens.

NEMP - Check out our mentoring video and Facebook page . . .

We currently mentor at Palmetto Elementary, Walker Middle and the Boys & Girls Club!

Click here for short videos and other highlights found on our Facebook page.

Club Feature 
G.S.A. Fundraiser
Oak Ridge High School's G.S.A. held their first fundraiser on December 21st at The Center on Mills. The students came together and wrapped presents for donations. The G.S.A. students did a marvelous job wrapping gifts and learned a little bit of their history while at The Center. A huge thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Torres for being our most generous donors!

Friday's Motivational Moment!   


This week's Motivational Moment was chosen in recognition of our Orchestra teacher, Mrs. Janice Roberts, and her students (please see their story above)!
Niccolo Paganini is considered one of the greatest violinists of all time. He was a virtuoso, performing his first concert at age eleven. His great technical ability revolutionized violin technique across Europe.
When he died in 1840, he willed his violin to Genoa, Italy, the place of his birth. But he did so upon one condition: that no other artist ever play his instrument again. Glad to have the violin come into their possession, the city's fathers agreed to the request, and they put it in a beautiful case for everyone to see.  
But wooden instruments have a certain peculiarity. As long as they are handled, they show no wear. But if one lay unused, it begins to decay, which is what happened to Paganini's violin. His once-exquisite instrument became worm-eaten and useless. Other violins of the same vintage have been handed down through the generations, from one gifted musician to another, and they continue to bring great music to attentive audiences. But Paganini's violin is a crumbling relic of what it once was.  
The lesson for our Pioneers? The talent you have been given cannot be set aside like Paganini's violin. If you do not nurture your ability and help it grow, it will steadily decay until it is useless. But if you consistently work with it, diligently trying to bring out its best, it will bring forth "music" that will not only give you joy, but will also serve others and bring you success.
Ms. Bellinger, Principal 
Oak Ridge High School 
Friday, January 10, 2020

Stay Connected!

Follow us on Twitter
View on Instagram
Like us on Facebook

Leadership Team 

Principal: Jennifer Bellinger
Assistant Principal: Michele Browne
Assistant Principal: Dr. Brian Sanchez Corona
Assistant Principal: Luz Gonzalez Cartagena
Assistant Principal: Orlando Norwood

This communication may contain information that is legally privileged, confidential or exempt from disclosure, and intended only for the use of the addressee(s) named above.  If you are not the intended recipient, please note that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. Anyone who receives this message in error should notify the sender immediately by telephone or by return e-mail, and delete the message from their computer and any printout thereof.  Please note that OCPS utilizes spam and junk e-mail filtration applications in its e-mail systems.  That filtering process may prevent or delay delivery of certain e-mail communications. If you do not receive a timely response to an e-mail communication, please contact the intended recipient by phone.

Copyright Notice 
Reproduction of this material, either written or electronically, including the general layout, graphics, analyses, and content topics without the express approval of Target Performance Systems, Inc., a Florida corporation, and OCPS - Oak Ridge High School is forbidden without written consent.  Thank you for your support of the Orange County Public Schools and especially Oak Ridge High School. Please contact Ms. Laurene Householder (ORHS Curriculum Resource Teacher) at with any questions.  
  Oak Ridge High School | Jennifer Bellinger, Principal | 407.852.3200 | Oak Ridge HS Website