The Pioneer Express! 
Your Community Brief from Oak Ridge High School
Wednesday, August 12, 2020


I hope that this first edition of the 2020-2021 school year finds you and your family healthy and doing very well. All of our Pioneers have begun this first week of school using the OCPS LaunchEd model and I want to thank every student, parent, teacher, and staff member for their awesome flexibility and cooperation so far!

I realize that this school year is opening on a very different footing, but I want to assure our school community that this will not interfere with our students receiving the very best educational experience possible for 2020-2021. In fact, we actually worked throughout the summer to make very sure that from Day #1 that our Pioneers got off to a successful start. Therefore, I encourage you to look over the information below taking note of any important dates and actions needed that may relate to your household.

Please know that the district has been working around the clock to update the OCPS website with the very latest information, Q&A, and helpful tools. District staff has been uploading almost any useful material they can based on community feedback to assist our families with the LaunchEd learning approach. I strongly encourage any student or parent to invest a few minutes exploring the OCPS website today (it is well laid out and easy to navigate) or as issues arise. Many families have already found the website's content to be quite helpful during this first week of school. 

We are so very happy that our Pioneers are back, if only virtually for the moment, and that the 2020-2021 school year is underway. Please maintain that Pioneer spirit and positive attitude as we work through the early part of the school year with this distance learning approach. And above all, kindly remember that all of our faculty and administrators stand ready to help in any way we can - faculty and staff email addresses.
Pictured above are our three Assistant Principals (from left: Mrs. Browne, Mrs. Gonzalez-Cartagena, and Dr. Sanchez-Corona) who created this very short video along with myself to welcome back our Pioneers. I think you will enjoy hearing their special messages produced especially for you!

In Pioneer Pride,

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

Pictured very top and just below: Teachers are conducting their virtual learning from their classrooms on day #3 of the new school year!
Ms. Katherine Montes - Reading/ELD
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Home of the Pioneers!
Dates to Watch For   

Monday, August 10
  • Distance learning begins for the 2020-21 school year
Monday, August 17
Friday, August 21
Thursday, August 27

Bell Schedule

Curbside Meals
The entire week of meals can be picked up every Monday starting 30 minutes after dismissal for an hour and a half.    

Beginning Monday, August 10, OCPS Food and Nutrition Services will provide meals for LaunchEd@Home students with a Curbside Meals Program at all 202 schools. Student ID# is required and will use current meal benefit status (free, reduced or paid). Please click here for more information on the program.

Need Assistance with LaunchEd@Home? 

Check out the parent resources available. Click the link below for valuable and useful information:

Oak Ridge community footnote: World-wide school closures as of early August. OCPS is most fortunate vs. many other U.S. school districts and nations at this time as it has the technology (LaunchEd), a rigorous curriculum, and the teacher talent to get 2020-2021 underway. For many students around the world, they have no idea when they may return to school and sadly, lack the distance learning tools our students are using this week.
Source: UNESCO; read full article
Student Services (Guidance)     

Scholarship Opportunity of the Week (for Seniors)
The Coca-Cola Scholars Program scholarship is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to graduating high school seniors.  
Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities. With the 32nd class in 2020, the Foundation has provided over 6,300 Coca-Cola Scholars with more than $72 million in educational support. 150 Coca-Cola Scholars are selected each year to receive this $20,000 scholarship.  
Our application is open!  High school seniors can apply here.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: data table
Grade Level Deans   

Grade Level
Willie Anderson
Bernetta Buck
Kenny Coutain
John Simmons

Welcome New Pioneers!  
  • Joseph Harper - U.S. History
  • Maribel Luciano - English 1 / English 2
  • Ivelisse Torres - Environmental Science
  • Milburn Duverna - Social Studies
  • Alda Reis - Guidance Counselor
  • Maritza Martinez - ELL Compliance
  • Kristina Baird - School Health Assistant
  • Sarah Gloritt - Biology 1
  • Christopher Denosky - US History
  • Grace Reyes - Guidance Clerk
  • Chelsea Steel - ESE Support Facilitator
Congratulations Mr. Norwood!  

Principal Norwood, South Creek Middle School, Home of the Wildcats!
Orlando Norwood came to Oak Ridge High School in 2016. He stepped on campus with a vision and has worked diligently to make that vision a reality. Mr. Norwood accomplished many things in his time here at Oak Ridge, one of the most prominent was NEMP (No Excuses Mentoring Program). 

NEMP started small and grew to be one of the most successful programs in the community. Even though Mr. Norwood has moved on to a position asPrincipal at South Creek Middle School, NEMP is still in place and looking forward to another strong year filled with giving back to the community!

Congratulations to Mr. Norwood on a well-deserved promotion. We know you will do great things!
New Dress Code   

This past June, the Orlando Sentinel posted a guest piece by School Board Member, Melissa Byrd. Ms, Byrd wrote: "After being frustrated with this code for 11 years, I am proud to have a code no longer objectifying our young girls. The board has held two meetings where revisions were made, and the now the final draft will come before the board to be voted on June 23."
Orlando Sentinel (June 16, 2020) - "Good riddance to Orange County dress code that singles out girls" (Commentary)
Below is the final draft of the OCPS School Dress Code in the Student Code of Conduct that was voted on June 23rd.

OCPS Special Event for ELL Families
*** Thursday, August 13 is the last day ***   

OCPS Parent Academy #1   

Date & Time
  • August 27, 2020  
  • 6:00PM - 7:00PM
  • Virtual
  • Learn how to create conditions that lead to improved social, emotional, academic and physical well-being of our students.
  • For more information and to register click here
** By phone call: 407-317-3300  -  Contact: Alexis Ramos
COVID-19 Health & Safety 

Click on the link below to read more about how OCPS is working to keep your student healthy and safe during the pandemic:

Source: Danske Bank
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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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