May 3, 2021
Dear OPA Families and Staff,
Last week was a wonderful week at both of our OPA campuses. We welcomed back over 150 students and all of our in-person students now have a full day program. Our virtual students are also receiving more synchronous instruction and support. Although we are getting close to the end of the school year, this increased instructional time will help ensure that our champions are academically successful moving forward.
Thank you to all of our students, staff, and families for making this change to an extended day program such a success. As a reminder to our in-person families, please make sure that you are following all safety guidelines, especially as it pertains to pick up and drop off. All of these measures are important to keep our students and staff safe. Additionally, if everyone follows the rules, we can make these times as efficient and speedy as possible.
Our staff has been working hard to develop our summer Full STEAM Ahead program. This program will provide support and enrichment for students who have fallen behind during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who qualify for the program, based on assessment and other criteria, will receive an invitation in late May. If there is additional space available, we will open the program up to additional students in June.
We are working with the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA to provide both full day and half day options over the summer. If your student is signed up for either of these programs, and they are invited to be part of the OPA Full STEAM Ahead program, the Boys and Girls Club or YMCA will work with you to switch to a half day program during that time.
This month is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed during the month of May in the United States since 1949. While nearly 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. It is important, especially with the current pandemic, to recognize your emotions and own your feelings, work to find the positive even when facing adversity or loss, reach out and connect with others and create healthy routines to take care of yourself. National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day is Thursday, May 6, 2021. This day shines a national spotlight on the importance of caring for every child's mental health and reinforces that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development. All OPA staff and students are encouraged to wear something green on May 6th to show support and raise awareness. For more information regarding Mental Health Awareness Month, visit Mental Health America.
This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. I want to thank all of our OPA professors for the incredible work they do for our champions! Throughout this difficult time, they have been a constant support to all of our champions, providing not only instruction, but emotional support, fun activities and laughter, and a caring voice each day, even when we were only able to be together on Zoom! Our professors are the finest I have ever worked with, so please show them your appreciation for all of their dedication and hard work!
As we approach the busy end of the school year season, please make sure to read all school emails and announcements. There will be many important events and activities coming up, and we don’t want your champions to miss anything. Thank you for all of your continued support of OPA and our champions. Have a wonderful first week of May!
The OPA Administration Team