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Josh Kading

Josh Kading, Principal
Oak Grove Elementary School Blog

Spring MAP Testing/Geography Bee

Monday starts our MAP testing for the spring.  Please make sure your student is getting good rest, and a good breakfast before coming to school these next two weeks.  

Also, our Geography Bee packet is posted now.  The Geography Bee is for students in grades 3rd, 4th, and 5th.  This is similar to the Spelling Bee in that it would be something optional to study for those who wish to do so.

Enjoy these past blogs!

Veterans Day

A special thanks to all the veterans who were able to join us today for our Veterans Day Program.  We are extremely honored that you folks were able to join us, but more than that, so very thankful for the sacrifice that these people made so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have as Americans!  The elementary students did a fantastic job of singing and presenting a short skit.  Great job Grovers!  

Making our way to October

What a terrific start to the school year we have had at Oak Grove Lutheran Elementary School!  We have 265 smiling faces to greet every morning, a teaching staff that is second to none, families that are outstanding partners in their students' education, and to top it all off, we have had fantastic fall weather!  It truly is a great time to be a Grover!  

The end of April already?

Is it really possible that we are at the end of April already?  As funny as it may sound, we are now in our last 4 weeks of school starting on Monday, in which we also enter in May.  

April has been a very busy time at the elementary school.  We have had NDSA state testing, NWEA MAP testing, a Geography Bee, another round of Grover Groups, all on top of our day to day activities.  Indeed, many of us are looking forward to all that May will bring with it.  

Thank you to our families and our teachers for making this an excellent school year.  We have truly seen some marvelous things happen over the course of this year.  Let's finish strong!  

Geography Bee

The Elementary School Geography Bee, hosted by our former principal Mr. David Kahl, will be held on April 8th.  This event will be for qualifying students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.  More information will be following as we get closer to the event.  

A study packet has been emailed to families as well as posted on this webpage.  

Upstander Day

On Thursday, December 3rd, we will once again have Upstander Day at the Elementary School.  We have been very conscientious of the efforts made toward one another being positive in nature, and standing up for behaviors that do not fit that expectation.  

Several times throughout the school year, we will show that in a very tangible way by wearing our orange Upstander t-shirts.

Thursday will be another opportunity for that with our Upstander Day by wearing an orange Upstander shirt along with jeans or a pair of uniform pants.

Veterans Day

Oak Grove Elementary School has been able to honor our Veterans with a program during the week of Veterans Day.  This year, our program will be held on Tuesday, November 10th, at 8:30 a.m.  

All Grovers with a connection to a veteran are encouraged to have the veteran join us for our program by filling out the form that is listed on this page.  

We thank you for your service, and hope you can join us.  Thank You Veterans!  

Reflections on a good time had by all

The Oak Grove Elementary School Carnival was once again a huge success.  A huge thank you goes out to our Oak Grove Parent Organization, or OGPO, for providing a great evening of fun and community on Friday, September 18th.  

There were so many people who were able to come through our doors and have fun playing games, bouncing in an inflatable, or dunking either Mr. Odland or myself in the dunk tank.  One common theme that was noticed throughout the entire campus was the look on someone's face.  Smiles abounded as folks were coming and going.  

To the many who were able to join us on that evening, thank you for coming!  We know we had many new families that may have had that be their first experience at an Oak Grove event.  Oak Grove is a wonderful place, thank you to all, as you have made that even more the reality.  

Welcome Back Grovers!

Dear Grover Families,

Welcome back to school!  How time flies!  We are fully back into the swing of things as we have the first week of school officially under our belt.  This is a very exciting time to be a Grover, and we have a record 233 Grovers at the elementary school this year.  Thank you for choosing us as your school home.  

During these first few days, our drop off and pick up loop is one area of particular focus as we fine tune how we can best move people through to help them get on with their day.   

As a friendly reminder, in the morning, when dropping off your student, please only utilize the drive through loop if you are not going to be exiting your vehicle.  If you wish to help your student out of the vehicle and walk them in (which we certainly welcome), please park your vehicle in the parking lot, and then walk to the building.  That way, folks who are utilizing the loop can move through a little more freely and in a more timely manner.  

In addition to following that same practice in the afternoon, we would also ask that our families not enter the actual loop until their designated students are dismissed.  We are now having our Pre-K students down in the gym and dismissing from there as well.  So if you are a Kindergarten or 1st grade family, please don't enter the loop until 2:55.  2nd through 5th grade families are asked to wait until 3:05.  If you happen to be here earlier, you are more than welcome to park in the parking lot and wait to join the loop, or walk into the building which we unlock at or as close to 2:55 as we can.  

As always, it takes a few days to get into the routine of our loop system, and kinks do have a tendency to work themselves out.  Anything we can do to speed up that process is always helpful.  

If there are questions, please refer to the back of the handbook, posted on the school's website, under Publications.  Thanks so much, thank you for a great first week with your students, and have a fantastic weekend!  


Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders will be completing NDSA state testing starting on Monday, May 11th.  We are looking to be finished with all rounds of the tests by May 19th.   

Parents of these students, please try to ensure that students are able to be present during their testing dates.  Also, please make sure that they get a good breakfast to start their day and that they are well rested from a good night's sleep.  

Our Grovers have worked very hard learning new pieces of information this year, and this is our opportunity to show what we know.  They will do great!  

Pick Up and Drop Off Adjustment

Dear Grover Families,

Our north parking lot has been dealing with some traffic issues over the last several weeks, prompting us to think of a safer alternative for drivers who are traveling along 32nd avenue south.

We have come to the conclusion that our Pre-K loop isn’t quite large enough to handle the amount of cars that are moving through it during the morning and afternoon hours.  Our solution makes sense, but is going to require a little more patience on the part of our cars who utilize our K-5 drop off and pick up loop.

We are going to direct all pre-k traffic to work through the same doors that we utilize for everyone else.  The only regular drop off and pick up traffic on the north side of the building will be for our students in the 3 year old program.  All others will utilize the loop on the south side of the parking lot. 

Because of an increase in traffic, we are going to try to make available even more parking closest to the gymnasium in our south parking lot.  If you wish to come in and pick up your student, please feel free to park and come into the building, which we will unlock as close to 2:55 as we can.  If you wish to continue to use the loop, remember that now, in addition to having our K-1st grade students being dismissed at 2:55, we also will have our Pre-K dismissing at 3:00, and our 2nd-5th graders dismissed at 3:05; in an effort to keep the traffic flowing. 

We will be starting this process upon returning from our Mid-Winter Break, on Tuesday, February 24th.  Thank you for your patience as we work through the process to keep our students safe as well as the rest of the drivers on 32nd avenue south. 



Josh Kading, Elementary Principal        

Mona Lybeck, Pre-K Director

A great time to be a Grover!

We have had a fantastic end of the month of January.  

On Thursday the 22nd, our Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade Spelling Bee was a smash hit!  24 participants showcased their talents and took us right up to the end of the school day.

Not do be outdone were 18 of our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders!  Their Spelling Bee exhausted the list of words available in the packet on the afternoon of Friday the 23rd.  

Then, to top it all off, our Elementary School Night at the boys basketball game was a huge success on Friday evening!  Thank you to all the families that showed up!  It was a wonderful event!  

Each week, teachers look for students, and colleagues, who have gone above and beyond in some way. It can be in an academic area, it can be going out of their way to help someone or it can be any way that the person shows a characteristic of Grover Greatness. Teachers submit names and everyone who is nominated gets honored at chapel. One student and adult is randomly selected from the group to represent the group by displaying the bar for the week. The adult now has the rooster as their traveling sign of greatness, which also is on display in the classroom. 

Raising The Bar! The Week of May 9



Spelling Bee Held at Elementary

Thursday, January 26, grades K through 2nd participated in a spelling bee. Congratulations to the following students for finishing in the top three:

First Place - Aidan Saunders, 2nd grade
Second Place - Corey Grossman, 2nd grade
Third Place - Will Ness, 2nd grade 

Friday, January 27, grades 3rd through 5th participated in a spelling bee. Congratulations to the following students for finishing in the top three:

First Place - Ryan Saunders, 5th grade
Second Place - John DeJong, 5th grade
Third Place - Camden Oltvedt, 4th grade


Gearing Up for Kindergarten 2017 Dates
Every THURSDAY from February 23 thru May 4 from 6:00 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
*no class will be held on April 13th

New Faces At Oak Grove

Julie Durgin_webJulie Durgin
4th Grade Teacher

I am excited to be joining the Oak Grove family teaching 4th grade at the elementary school. I graduated from Valley City State University and taught in the Fargo Public Schools. During a short break from teaching, I worked for Moorhead Youth Hockey as the Office Manager. I live in Fargo with my husband, Doug, and daughter Kendall who will be a Kindergartner at Oak Grove. I also have two older children-Abby, who is 24, married, and about to have a baby girl, and Andrew, who is 20 and will be attending Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa on a baseball scholarship. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone and look forward to the upcoming school year!

Kate birney cropKate (Gallaher) Birney
Kindergarten Teacher

Kate is a 2004 graduate of Oak Grove and is very excited be joining the Oak Grove community as a kindergarten teacher. After graduating from Oak Grove, she went on to graduate from the University of North Dakota with a master of science in elementary education. Prior to working at Oak Grove she worked as kindergarten teacher for six years in two other districts. Kate and her husband, Ryan, live in Fargo and have a son, Nolan, who is 9 months old. She am looking forward to a great school year! 

Tina Wehri_webTina Wehri
3rd Grade Teacher

Tina Wehri is joining the Oak Grove community as the newest 3rd grade teacher. Tina is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, with a Masters in Education. For the past two years, Tina has subbed in the Fargo Public Schools. She and her husband, Zach, live in North Fargo with their dog, Kona.

Abbie Siirila
1st Grade Teacher

Abbie Siirila is joining the Oak Grove community to be our new 1st grade teacher. Abbie is a graduate of Concordia College. Miss Siirila has substitute taught in the Fargo Public School District, West Fargo Public School District and at Oak Grove as the long-term substitute for Mrs. Spriggs. She and her fiancé Jon live in Fargo and are excited to be tying the knot in November.

Sylvan LogoOak Grove Lutheran Elementary School is excited to be able to offer some STEM enrichment courses in an after school format through Sylvan SEPT -DEC 2016! 
These courses typically run through the course of 1 month and will be offered on campus.  Some of the information is attached in the Sylvan flyer.  If you would be interested in any one of these programs, or if you are looking for more information, please contact Sylvan at the number listed on the flyer.  It is going to be a wonderful opportunity, with courses led by Oak Grove teachers, and with the resources that Sylvan will be providing.  They will also have a table at back to school night next week if you would like to visit with someone in person.  We are extremely excited about the partnership! 

Drop Off and Pick Up 

Please look at the post under "Oak Grove Elementary School Blog" for an important announcement regarding  the drop off and pick up loop.  

Welcome to Oak Grove Lutheran Elementary School! We are excited to share the Oak Grove opportunities with you. We hope this information will allow you to see how Oak Grove is a unique community of learners that may be part of your educational future!

Oak Grove Lutheran Elementary School was established in 2005 in south Fargo. The elementary school is located at 2720 32nd Avenue South. The facility is ideal for elementary education, complete with a Natural Playground that facilitates hands-on learning and imaginative play. Our Early Learning Center, housing our preschool and pre-kindergarten program, is located in the building directly to the east of the elementary school.

The Oak Grove Early Learning Center program is a preschool & pre-kindergarten program for 3, 4, and 5 year olds. It is designed to provide developmentally appropriate activities for each child. Oak Grove offers a full day, five day or three day per week program for 4 and 5 year olds, and a half day, two day per week program for 3 year olds. Oak Grove’s Early Learning Center is an exciting place children want to come and experience many domains of learning: social and emotional development, language development, mathematical thinking, science and problem solving, creative thinking and expression, motor development (large and small) and spiritual growth in a setting that is safe and comfortable.

The Oak Grove elementary program offers a strong academic program for students in pre-kindergarten through grade five. The school nurtures curious and interactive learners who thrive and excel academically, spiritually, and emotionally, building on the solid foundation of Christian teaching and Christ-like character. Through small class sizes, students receive individual attention that encourages them to reach their full potential as students. Oak Grove is proud to post student scores double digits higher on standardized tests compared to the state average.

The school partners with groups in the Fargo-Moorhead community to enrich the academic experience and provide rich and unique experiences for its students. Oak Grove works with Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College for classroom experimentation and field trip opportunities that go beyond the traditional classroom setting, enhancing math and science curriculum. The school is also a part of the national Adopt A School program with the Sons of Norway, which provides intergenerational and cultural experiences. The Grover Buddy Program is a unique opportunity in which Oak Grove’s high school students mentor elementary students.

We are passionately committed to nurturing our students that step through our doors to be well equipped leaders in his/her community and world.

Oak Grove Lutheran Elementary School is committed to:

  • Nurturing students’ relationships with Christ.
  • Providing a safe and caring school climate.
  • Setting clear and high expectations.
  • Encouraging parent involvement.
  • Empowering youth to be servant leaders in their school, home, church and community.
  • Instilling a strong sense of purpose and confidence in students.
  • Teaching students to be caring, honest and responsible.
  • Requiring students to act with justice, integrity and restraint.
  • Fostering curious and interactive learners.

Oak Grove’s elementary school offers a solid academic experience with the following value-added features:

  • Limited class size to ensure a quality classroom experience.
  • A collective community who value high educational goals.
  • A natural playground that provides unique opportunities for imaginative play and exploration.
  • A computer lab that is utilized by students pre-K through fifth grade.

Oak Grove hosts before and after school programming at the elementary school, offered through and directed by the YMCA. Before school programming begins at 7 a.m. and runs until school starts. After school programming begins when school ends and runs until 6 p.m. All billing is conducted through the YMCA. For more information on before and after school programming, please contact: 

Elizabeth Haas
SALC Site Coordinator at Oak Grove and Horace
(P) 218-359-2314
(E) Elizabeth.haas@ymcacassclay.org | (W) www.ymcacassclay.org

Oak Grove encourages you to find out more about its Early Learning Center and elementary program by contacting Kim Forness at 701.373.7114 or kim.forness@oakgrovelutheran.com. We’d love to have you tour the elementary facility and experience the excellence of Oak Grove for yourself. Call today!

Apply Today!