Quote Of The Week by Sarah Thompson-

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science" ~Einstein

Principal's Message 10/19

Greeting Orlando Gifted Academy Families,

This week started with us welcoming back 32 Face to Face students. It was exciting to see the students interact with their peers and teachers. We are still able to maintain social distance in classrooms and the cafeteria effectively. All students wore their masks and continued to adhere to hallway and classroom transitions. Thank you to everyone for making sure we implement OCPS/OGA Covid-19 protocols and procedures effectively. I want to remind everyone of some helpful tips:

-Avoid touching your mask, face, mouth, nose and eyes as much as possible

-Remember to wash your hands often

-Wear your mask at all times-covering your mouth and nose (except at lunch)

-Please stay home when you are feeling sick!

With the addition of the new students, comes an addition of cars in our car rider loop (school parking lot). I want like to thank all of our families for being flexible the first couple of days. We do need your help with both arrival and dismissal. In order to continue to have an efficient morning drop off car line, it is extremely helpful for students to be ready to exit their vehicles with their backpacks and masks on when parents pull up to the exit area where our staff members are located. In addition, it is equally important that parents follow the traffic flow map to drop off and pick up students.

Magnet Fairs for this school year will be virtual. Our Video Production students and OGA staff put together a very creative video, which interested families will be able to view. We will also share the finished product with our current OGA families on Monday.

On behalf of all OGA staff members, I want to thank the OGA Foundation for providing lunch for all staff members this week. The Foundation provided this lunch to celebrate the teachers and staff for a job well done first quarter. Thank You!

Ms. Tame will be hosting virtual parent meetings this year! The umbrella topic will be creating greater harmony within your family. She will touch on how to build GRIT and connect with your child while providing firm and friendly boundaries. Please be on the lookout for the flyer.

Parents, I want to personally thank all of you for your continued support during these challenging times.

“The same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg. It’s what you’re made of. Not the circumstances.”


~ Mrs. Despenza

Principal's Message 10/5

Greetings OGA Families,

September was an extremely busy yet fantastic month. Students made a lot of progress with navigating their classes, adjusting to instruction using technology, dealing with technology concerns, and remembering to breathe when presented with an issue. Everyone has settled in and embraced the routines in their classes. Our teachers are providing wonderful learning experiences for all of our students and have embraced the “new way of teaching.”

It is hard to believe that it is now October. October is a time of change and anticipation. We welcome the change in seasons, starting of school clubs (stay tuned) and to delving into challenging, yet fun learning activities. We are also welcoming 35 of our LaunchED students who are switching to Face to Face on October 13. It is extremely important that we all continue to wear our masks with fidelity, practice social distancing, wash our hands, use sanitizer and stay home when feeling ill. This is a reminder that any student who exhibits two or more symptoms will have to be picked up and taken home. Our staff will continue to use signage and social distance seating in the cafeteria, during arrival and dismissal, and when in the classrooms.

To keep everyone abreast of the great things we are doing at OGA, we are embarking on a new professional development journey with the district. Teachers are learning about Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). The strategies we are learning will be incorporated into instruction and will eventually permeate throughout the school. This will have a positive impact on our school culture.

October is also Red Ribbon Month. The end of October formally became Red Ribbon Week in 1988 by a proclamation of the United States Congress. It was inspired by the tragic death in 1985 of an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration Agent at the hands of Mexican drug traffickers. Red Ribbon Week activities are organized each October by tens of thousands of schools, government agencies, and social service organizations. The main purpose of Red Ribbon Week is to celebrate and promote positive choices and healthy, drug free lifestyles for young people and adults in the United States. Orlando Gifted Academy will be celebrating Red Ribbon Week this year in late October. Ms. Brown will be forwarding details to all students as to what she has planned. Stay tuned.

Parents, we need your assistance. Math was an instructional focus for OGA last year and it is one of our main focuses this year. Our students need to practice their multiplication facts. We will start biweekly math challenges beginning next week. As you know, math concepts continue to build upon each other as students’ progress to the next year. Math fluency is vital for students’ continued success. Take some time throughout the week to rattle off multiplication problems, addition, and subtraction problems to your child. We like to say “students should respond in a snap.” When you ask the question, snap your finger, and your child should be able to respond. It makes a fun game.

Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in becoming a SAC member. The Orlando Gifted Academy School Advisory Council parent members for the 2020-2021 school year are as follows:

Sarah Courtney, Jenn Mandelion Chrisman, Martha McCormick-Watson, Melonie Sexton, Jeremy Siegel, Reagan Smythe,Jami Valentine Miller, Melissa Vaughan, Jennifer Vose

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. `Mahatma Ghandi

Have a great week!

~Mrs. Despenza

This is The Owl Post, OGA's School Newsletter

This is the newsletter that is created by our Journalism 1 class. Our authors are: Yael Alfonso, Urshitaa Goel, Charleigh Gonzalez, Raleigh Hagood, Cary McCaghren, Terrence Miller, Gabby Powell, Anna Russo, Mackenzie Smoley, Sarah Thompson, and is run by Mrs. Kristen Tame