Dear School of the Osage Students, Families, and Community-
At the Board of Education meeting on Monday, School of the Osage Board of Education president, BJ Page, shared the following thoughts on behalf of the entire board.
Welcome all to the School of the Osage’s December Board of Education business meeting. While we recited it earlier, it bears repeating that our mission at Osage is to equip all learners to meet their maximum potential for a lifetime of success and doing so in partnership with students, families, and community.
The board of education strives to carry out this mission, guide the school and makes decisions in ways that reflect our core values of Strength, Opportunity, Innovation, and Tradition. These core values provide a foundation to nearly everything we do. Our goal is, and always will be, to prepare young people to be as successful as they can be upon graduation.
The strong long-held traditions that are associated with School of the Osage around Community, Academics, Athletics and Fine Arts, are all a source of great pride with anyone who works and/or lives in the Osage School community. The future of School of the Osage and its students is bright, and the decisions this Board makes are made through a lens of a brighter future. A future that includes high academic standards and performance for All students in a safe, supporting, and welcoming environment.
School of the Osage understands the importance of the relationship between the school and the community in which it resides. As board president, I would ask that our community stay informed and involved. Our schools are producing the next generation of leaders and it is the board’s deepest desire that those leaders be the best educated and best equipped to meet the challenges ahead of them. School of the Osage belongs to all of us, our entire community; it is a shared resource, a shared institution, and we should all strive to make it a place that meets all the needs of the community; a community which pays into it and benefits directly from it.
So do not stop asking questions, do not disengage. There are formal processes for improving your local school, so stay involved and make your voices heard.
We were all motivated to serve as board members to support our students, staff and administrators. We all strive to provide unwavering leadership to Osage, no matter how challenging the times. We acknowledge that we are only the latest in a long line of individuals, nearly 3 generations of local citizen leaders who came before us, whom served tirelessly for decades on this board with our community, our teachers and staff to create the beloved School of the Osage that we know today. So we say thank you to the distinguished list of board leadership that came before us, some that are still with us but many that are not. Osage will forever be in your debt.
We want to thank those who have voiced their support for our teachers and administrators, as well as for us, in the face of what are unprecedented times for students, teachers and public education. We also want to thank those who have respectfully and constructively expressed their dissatisfaction or concerns. We readily acknowledge that we are not perfect but know we do our best to lead this district, its employees, and its students towards the best possible futures in the best way we know how.
To our teachers and staff, the board could not be prouder of the work and dedication of you and the entire Osage education team. We are forever grateful for your steadfast commitment to our students, for what you do, and for what you have endured, over the last couple years during the pandemic. We believe we have one of the hardest working, best educated and most talented workforces in the area, and we aim to keep it that way!
We also want to take a moment to talk about the use of technology in the classroom. Creating a culture of innovation is based on the goal of preparing our students for their future, not their past. All of us continue to be impacted by the rapid advancements that are happening around us with the use of technology. Preparing our students for a world of opportunities means helping them discover what is possible through technology all while sustaining and not losing site of the importance of teacher interaction and personal attention in the classroom and learning process. We do our best to strike the best balance in this tricky area, while taking necessary precautions to safeguard student privacy and protections around its use.
We continually seek ways and funding to update and improve upon our facilities, our infrastructure, our practices, our educational tools and resources to better equip our teachers, our students and fulfil our mission. We embrace a mindset of continual improvement while incorporating the use of technology and innovation in our schools so all of our students can meet the challenges and realities of the 21st century.
Our schools and district buildings will remain safe havens. Especially in times of disagreement, we should act with civility and respect for our teachers, staff, superintendents, and board who are doing their best throughout this unprecedented time to lead, guide and educate our students.
The board invites public comment at our board meetings and we welcome hearing all perspectives, including differing opinions. The board and our staff will listen attentively, as we have always done. We will seek to understand the needs and concerns that members of the public bring to the meeting, and ways our school can adjust, if needed, to best meet the needs of our students and community.
To that end, the board will remind everyone present today in addition to those seeking to share public comment that they must remain civil. We will remind you that we are in a school facility, we have students present, and we will treat each other with respect. So please do not make comments that are slanderous, that use profane or indecent language, or that might create a substantial disruption to the orderly operation of the board’s business meeting.
As a note for the public comment portion of the agenda, any member of the public who has signed up to speak during the public comment period, they must identify themselves, as per our process. Each speaker will have a total of 3 minutes to provide comment. Any speaker who does not comply with these rules for participation will lose that opportunity, and we will move on to the next speaker.
Thank you for partnering with us for the success of all Osage students. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and look forward to seeing you in the new year.
- Filing for the School of the Osage Board of Education is currently open. Contact Lana McPheeters at 573.365.4091. Click here for information.
- The next community update will be after the break. District offices are closed December 20 - January 2, 2022. All students will return to school on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022. Click here to access the school calendar.
- Please note, Monday, January 3, 2022 is not an Extended Learning Day, however, here is a complete listing of second semester dates. If you have questions, please contact Kim Edwards, [email protected].
- In the event of inclement weather, notifications will be sent to families via robocall, text message, on our school website and social media outlets, and local news stations. Click here for more information.
- Tuesday, January 4, 2022 is Community Night at OHS in conjunction with the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Many local business partners and supporters will have booths set up and will be onsite for you to view as you enter the high school boys basketball game - Osage vs. Camdenton, starting at 4:30 pm. Click here for more information.
- It’s time to turn in your 2nd quarter wellness goal achievement. Submit this form by December 17 to let us know your awesome accomplishments. You will automatically be entered in the drawing. Remember, this is for all staff, students, parents and our entire Osage community. Click here for more information.
- Health info (like Osage COVID dashboard and COMC clinic) can be found on our website.
- You can easily access event information by clicking here for the Osage Fan Plan.
- We know that the holidays can create added challenges for some families. If you or someone you know are in need of assistance of any type, please reach out- we have a variety of resources available and/or can connect you with other organizations. Contact us via our Indian Support Hotline at 573-552-8878 or [email protected].
Dr. Laura Nelson
*Indian Support Hotline:
573-552-8878 or [email protected]
Additional Community Support Resources:
Hope House Food Pantry at (573) 365-0099
Camden County Community Assistance Hotline at (573) 346-6145
Miller County Community Assistance Hotline at (573) 692-0426