The Pioneer Express! 
Your Community Brief from Oak Ridge High School
Friday, September 11, 2020

After the last bell this afternoon, we will have successfully completed five weeks of the first quarter and will be sending out Progress Reports next Thursday, September 17. They will be made available on Skyward Family Access and I hope that all of our parents will review their student's results as soon as possible. As we have already seen, these weeks are moving quickly and the first and second quarters of each school year really have a tremendous impact on our Pioneers' success. The Progress Reports are very helpful in cutting off potential academic challenges later in the year.  
In this issue we have featured our Teacher of the Year, Ms. DiBernardino (ESE), and our Support Person of the Year, Mrs. Wright (Receptionist). Please take a moment to read about their journey as what they have achieved with this special recognition is a major career accomplishment. These two dedicated professionals offer our community some idea of the caliber of staff serving here at Oak Ridge. In the event you happen to interact with Ms.DiBernardino or Mrs. Wright either on campus or online, kindly take a moment to congratulate them. They are most deserving of the recognition and we are very proud of them.  
I want to call attention to this week's College and Career segment. There is some important information for our Seniors included as well as key dates to take note of. For all of those Pioneers planning on attending college, this is helpful material.  
Today's edition of The Pioneer Express is dedicated to all the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11.
Have a great weekend. 

Jennifer Bellinger
Proud Principal
Oak Ridge High School
"One Team, One Goal ... Pioneering Our Way To An 'A'! 

Pictured very top: National College Colors Day at Oak Ridge High School (please see story below).

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Dates to Watch For   

Wednesday, September 16
  • OCPS Virtual Financial Aid Night - English - 6:30pm
Thursday, September 17
  • 1st Marking Period Progress Reports
  • OCPS Virtual Financial Aid Night - Spanish - 6:30pm
Congratulations Ms. Bellinger!  
OCPS High Schools Principal of the Year!

We are proud to announce that Ms. Bellinger has been honored by her Learning Community as the OCPS High Schools Principal of the Year! The Principal of the Year program recognizes outstanding principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to their schools and communities.  #PROUDTOBEAPIONEER

Attendance Policy 

General attendance procedures for LaunchED@Home:

1) Students and teachers involved in the LaunchED@Home are to follow the traditional school schedule (bell times).
2) In all LaunchED@Home scenarios, it is required that teachers take attendance each class period during the live video conference.

Students are Present:
* Students are expected to be present in live lessons via video conference daily at the time the bell rings to begin class.
* Students are expected to remain in the live lesson for the duration of the class to be considered present.
* Students who are in attendance and visible for the duration of the live lesson will be marked present.
* It is the expectation that students use their web camera unless they have submitted a support request for a non-functioning web camera.
* Submitting assignments without attending live lessons does not constitute being present in class.

Students are Absent or Tardy:
* Absent: Students who are not in attendance during the live lesson will be marked absent.
* Tardy: Students who are not present in the live lesson by the time the tardy bell rings will be marked tardy.
First Marking Period Progress Report & Report Card Dates
  • Progress reports will be available on Thursday, September 17th
  • Report cards will be available on Wednesday, October 21st
Meet Our Teacher of the Year!
Ms. Danielle DiBernardino, ESE Staffing Specialist

Ms. DiBernardino comes to OCPS from Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. She has been in education for 8 years, 5 of which have been at Oak Ridge. Ms. DiBernardino has been our Staffing Specialist for the past 3 years. Her position is primarily to oversee all of Exceptional Student Education compliance.
When asked what the Oak Ridge Community meant to her, she said:

"The Oak Ridge Community means family to me. This community is made up of administrators, teachers and support staff who all come together for the same goal which is ensuring academic success for all our students. I am proud to be a part of this community working towards the same common goal of student success."
Meet Our Support Person of the Year! 
Mrs. Adreianell Wright, Receptionist

Ms. Wright has been with OCPS for the past 17 years - all of which have been at Oak Ridge! As a school clerk/receptionist, she the first point of contact for our school. Ms. Wright answers, screens and forwards incoming calls to the appropriate office or department and provides basic and accurate information in person via phone/email. She maintains office security by following safety procedures, controlling access via monitor logbooks and issuing visitors clearance. Ms. Wright also performs other clerical duties as assigned such as photocopying, scanning, faxing and assisting students, teachers, administration and other staff members. Overall, her job is to help with the efficient-functioning of the office and communication between employees, outside vendors and visitors.  

When asked what the Oak Ridge community meant to her, she said:

"To me the Oak Ridge Community is a diverse group of individuals who lean on each other when times are tough; our friends, family, and neighbors who are there for us when we need them. We care about each other enough to create a system of love and support.  It is about sharing and opening up to who you are and what you believe in.  It's having a positive mindset to face new challenges, sharing cultural experiences and the traditions that we create to preserve and connect us. It is a changing, impactful and powerful entity that requires commitment. I'm truly blessed to be surrounded by such incredibly beautiful people in the Oak Ridge community, who are loving, kind and understanding. And, these are the same individuals who give me a lot of encouragement to keep moving forward and to never give up, even when facing a pandemic.  I'm truly grateful to God for allowing me to be in a community of people whom inspire me every day."
College and Career Center  

On the Friday before Labor Day, National College Colors Day encourages everyone to display their team spirit. Across the United States students, parents, family, fans, and alumni wore their team colors. Many of our faculty, staff and students participated by wearing their college team's colors and apparel.

Team spirit has long been a foundation of cheering athletes to victory. Wearing the colors of the school as well as singing the school song goes along with the energy of the day. Not only does it bring back memories, but it carries on traditions.

National College Colors Day at the Ridge was a huge success! Thank you to all that participated!  We look forward to next year's being bigger and better! #CollegeColorsDay

OCPS Financial Aid Night

The 2021 SEAP Application is OPEN!!!
The application for the 2021 Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program has officially opened.
If you are still in high school, you can open a new application by logging onto the SEAP website at

** This year's deadline for the application, transcripts and letters of recommendation is:
November 30, 2020 at 10 PM Eastern

If you have any questions you can email us at or call us at
(202) 649-3833.

FSU Virtual Evenings
Southern Showcase

Wednesday, September 16th, 2-3PM EST - Register for 9/16!
Tuesday, September 29th, 5-6PM EST - Register for 9/29!
Wednesday, October 14th, 2-3PM EST - Register for 10/14!
Tuesday, October 27th, 5-6PM EST - Register for 10/27!
Pioneer Curriculum Highlight
AP Research with Ms. Samantha McCool 

In Ms. McCool's AP Research class, students are focusing on narrowing their topic of choice down to arrive at their official question for their year-long research paper. Students are conferencing one-on-one with Ms. McCool to gain insight and guidance as they begin this investigative process that will focus on resolving or alleviating societal issues that they are concerned with.
School Advisory Committee 

Thank you to all that attended our virtual SAC meeting on September 8th. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 13th. We hope to see you there!
Parent Tech Help

Pioneer Athletics: Varsity Football
** Please note that due to Covid-19 tickets will not be sold. Football players will receive 2 tickets each to give to their guests.

Oak Ridge High School remembers the events of 9/11/2001
Tribute to the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Commercial Aircraft

Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in the coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 on September11, 2001. In approximately 102 minutes that morning, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were intentionally struck by hijacked aircraft, setting off a massive office fire that eventually led to the buildings' collapse.  Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic - has forced the cancellation of this year's Tribute in Light - for the 19th anniversary of the attacks.

"This incredibly difficult decision was reached in consultation with our partners after concluding the health risks during the pandemic were far too great for the large crew required to produce the annual Tribute in Light," the National September 11 Memorial said in a statement posted to its website. "We hope to resume this iconic tribute for the 20th anniversary. In a spirit of unity and remembrance, the city will come together for a 'Tribute in Lights' initiative to inspire the world and honor the promise to never forget."

Source: Statista; Read full article

Student Health & Safety
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to talk about how to best support a student please don't hesitate to reach out.  

It is essential that we all take care of our mental health, especially during these unprecedented times. If you or someone you know is struggling please reach out to get assistance. You can contact me for support, resources, and information on EAP benefits.

Let us join together in breaking the silence and ending the stigma.

Micaela Stone, MSW
Social Worker
(407) 852-3200 ext. 6105317
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Crisis Line staffed with trained counselors 24/7
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 1-888-333-2377
  • Provides referrals for support groups and mental health professionals
Veterans Crisis Line, 1-800-273-8255, press 1
  • For U.S. Military Veterans
Trevor Lifeline, 1-866-488-7386
  • The only national 24/7 national lifeline for LGBTQ youth
Central Florida Behavioral Hospital, 407-370-0111
  • Provides 24/7 no cost in-person and virtual mental health assessments and outpatient services
NAMI Greater Orlando Resources
Community Resources 

* Please click here for more information on Orlando's learning pods.

Orange County Support for its Citizens - "Orange Cares"

As part of the Federal CARES Act, Orange County Government has received $243 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds. These funds will be distributed back into the community, and used for local government expenses related to the response to COVID-19.

Orange County Government has this information and applications available on its webpage Listed below are three of Orange Cares' major support areas:

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Leadership Team 

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


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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