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Frequently Asked Questions

You will find many frequently asked questions about registration, arrival and dismissal, attendance, lunch, visiting school and more listed here. If your questions isn't listed here, please contact us. We would be happy to assist you!


How do I register my child in Oakland School?
First you need to make sure you live within the boundary areas for our school. You can do this by phoning the office at 662-4302 or by checking our online map. Please keep in mind along the boundary edges, homes on the far side of the street may be in a different attendance area. Additionally, all K-5 students requiring bilingual services attend Bent School. Students can be registered during office hours - 8:00 am-4:00 pm. Students must be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2020 in order to be eligible or the 2020-2021 school year.

What items do I need to bring to registration?
Parents/Guardians will need to bring the following to register a student: 2 proofs of residency (current lease agreement, bank closing papers, or utility bills), an original certified copy of the student's birth certificate (or passport), and current physical and immunization records. If your student is transferring, we will request the records from your child's previous school. If your child has an Individualized Education Plan, commonly referred to as an IEP, it would be helpful if you bring a copy when you register.
All students arriving from out of state must have a physical examination completed on a State of Illinois form and a proof of eye exam. All students arriving from out of the country must provide the required physical and proof of all required immunizations prior to enrollment.  

Arrival and Dismissal

What are school hours?
School is in session from 9:00 am-3:15 pm. The office is open Monday through Friday (excluding school holidays) from 8:00 am-4:00 pm. Students who arrive after the 9:00 am bell will be considered tardy. 

What is the earliest my child can arrive at school?
For safety reasons, students should not arrive before 8:45 am because there is no supervision until this time. The only time students may arrive before this time is to attend the breakfast program which begins at 8:30 am. The YWCA of McLean County offers a before and after school childcare program at Oakland School. All questions and arrangements for this program can be answered by calling YWCA staff at 662-7826.

What do I do if my child has an appointment during the school day?
Appointments during school hours should be avoided whenever possible. If your child will not arrive in time for the start of the day, please call the office at 662-4302. If students will need to leave during the day, please send a note to your child's teacher informing them of the appointment. You will need to sign your child out in the office. A secretary will then page your child to come to the office. To allow for maximum instruction, students will not be sent to the office until you have arrived at school. Any student returning from an appointment needs to be signed in at the office. 


What do I do when my child will miss school?
Absences should be reported to the office at 662-4302 or by email no later than 9:30 am on the day of the absence. State law requires the school to attempt to contact parents when we do not have a reason for an absence. Failure to notify the office on the day of the absence will result in the absence being classified as unexcused. Homework requests should be made before 11:00 am and will be ready for pick up at 3:15 pm. Planned or extended absences should be reported to both the classroom teacher and the office. 

My student doesn't feel well.  Should he/she attend class?
Students who have a fever 100.0° or above, diarrhea, a contagious rash or illness, or vomiting should not attend school. In addition, students should be free of the above conditions for 24 hours before returning to school. You are the best judge of whether or not your child is well. If your child is under the weather and his/her condition would not be conducive to learning or would cause a disruption in the classroom, please keep them at home. 

What are tardies and unexcused absences?
Any student who arrives to class after the 9:00 am bell is considered tardy. An adult should come into the office to sign in late students. Regular and punctual attendance is expected for all students, therefore a before school detention will be given for every four unexcused tardies. In addition, students may also receive a detention for four or more unexcused instances of leaving school early. Reported illness, death in the family, medical appointments, student court appearances, and religious holidays are examples of excused absences. Other reasons would be considered unexcused. Examples of unexcused absences are: running late, oversleeping, having car trouble, errands, and being out of town. It is the student's responsibility to gather and complete all work as a result of absences.  Please refer to the Elementary Student Handbook for more information regarding attendance.

Lunch and Breakfast at Oakland School

What choices are offered for lunch?
Students have a variety of choices for lunch. Our menu repeats every three weeks, and the same menu is used all year long.  In addition to the hot lunch choice students may also choose from grilled cheese sandwich, meat sandwich, chef salad, sunbutter sandwich, or yogurt with string cheese. When students choose the alternate entrée they also receive the sides for the day.
Oakland School has several students with peanut allergies. Due to the seriousness of these allergies, our cafeteria does not serve peanut products. To help make our lunchroom as safe as possible, we request that students not bring peanut products in their lunches from home.

What guidelines are followed for providing student lunches?
School lunches follow the standards of the National School Lunch Program. The program is specific about the amounts of various nutritional values needed. Each student must pick three components for their lunch, with the option to take up to five components. One of the components must be a fruit or vegetable, and the students is welcome to take two servings of vegetables. For more information about nutritional requirements, visit the National School Lunch Program website.

What are the lunch and breakfast prices?
Regularly priced student lunches are $2.60 per day. Reduced lunches are $ .40. If you would like to join your child for lunch, an adult meal is $3.50.  Breakfast for students is $2.00 per day. Reduced breakfast is $ .30. Extra milk for lunch or breakfast is $ .50.  For more information about free and reduce meals, please call the office or download an application from the District 87 website. Please note if you receive free/reduced meal prices, guidelines dictate you must pay for an extra milk. For example, if you bring lunch from home, you must pay $ .50 for milk.  

What time does my child have lunch?
While it is ideal for students to eat midway through the school day at noon, it is not possible to accommodate all six grades in this way. To fit all grades in a lunch period, the earliest grade starts at 11:00 and the last class starts at 12:50. Student lunch boxes/bags are not refrigerated and a microwave for heating food is NOT available. Glass containers should not be sent to school in lunch boxes.

1st grade.........11:30
2nd grade........12:30
3rd grade.........12:10
4th grade.........11:50
5th grade.........12:50

Students are permitted approximately 40 (50 for kindergarten) minutes to complete their lunches. After 20 minutes (30 for kindergartne) of eating time, students who are finished eating are dismissed to recess. Students who are not finished are permitted an additional 20 minutes to eat before returning to class.

Especially at the beginning of the school year, students often do not eat many of their lunch items. Excited by the opportunity to socialize and relax a bit, eating becomes secondary to the fun of a less structured time of day. Over time, most students settle in to the routine and begin to consume more food.

May I join my child for lunch?
Parents are welcome to join their children for lunch periodically. If you would like to eat the school lunch, please call the office before 9:30 am so you can be added to the lunch count. Parents pay as they go through the lunch line. An adult school lunch is $3.50. You may also bring in lunch from home or from a restaurant. We ask that you please bring milk or juice instead of soda. Please remember to sign in at the office and get a visitor tag before heading to the cafeteria.

May I take my child off the premises for lunch?
Parents are welcome to take children out to lunch during their scheduled lunch period.  Students should be signed out in the office. Students should return before their recess is over. Recess is the twenty minute period after the lunch time listed above. Parents also need to sign their child back in when returning from lunch.

How do I know how much money is in my child's cafeteria account?
Contact Tami in the cafeteria (by phone or email) to verify your child's lunch balance.  Students receive payment reminders through student backpacks.  Parents may also use With MySchoolBucks you can pay lunch accounts online, view balances, see student purchases and a spending history, set daily or weekly limits, and request low balance email reminders. There is a transaction fee each time you make a deposit into your MySchoolBucks account.

How can I make a payment on my child's cafeteria account?
We have a computerized system for our lunch and breakfast programs.  It is a prepayment system, not a charge account. Lunch money should be sent to school in an enveloped marked "lunch money".  Be sure the envelope is also marked with your child's first and last name or student ID number.  Payment can be made with cash or a check (payable to Bloomington Public Schools Cafeteria). If you have already set up an account, payments may also be made online at In order to set up an account, you will need your student's 6 digit ID number.  Please call the school office at 662-4302 if you need this number.

When is breakfast served?
Breakfast is served daily from 8:30-8:55 am.  Students should not arrive before 8:30 am. 

What time should my walker or car rider arrive for breakfast?
Students who walk to school or are dropped off by parents at side circle should arrive for breakfast between 8:30 and 8:45 am.  Students who arrive after 8:45 am and get to class after the 9:00 am bell will be considered tardy. 

Does my bus rider get breakfast when the bus arrives late?
Students may eat breakfast as soon as the bus arrives at school.  Students who arrive on late a late bus will still be given the option to eat breakfast.

Staying Informed

What is the best way to know what's going on at school?
Checking your child's backpack on a daily basis, reading the monthly Oakland Newsletter, and reading classroom newsletters are the best ways to stay current on the events at Oakland.  The Oakland Newsletter is sent home with students before the start of each month; it is also available on our website. You can also follow us on Facebook!
Talk to your child about school over dinner. Attend PTO meetings. PTO meetings normally are held the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm. Parent Teacher conferences are held in October and February.  

What is the best way to get in touch with my child's teacher?
Communication between parents and teachers is very important.  Please call, write a note, or send an email to your child's teacher anytime you have questions or concern.  Please be aware that responses will be made as soon as possible.  Sometimes, however, teachers may not have an opportunity to return calls or emails the same day.  Be assured that teachers will reply as soon as their schedules allow. 

Visiting Oakland

When can I visit Oakland School?
It is always best to arrange visits with your child's teacher in advance.  Scheduled visits allow you and the teacher to identify the types of activities that would be the most informative and interesting for you to observe.  All visitors, including parents, are required by state law to first sign in at the office before heading to the classroom or lunchroom - even if you are only planning a quick visit. If you do not schedule your visit, please be aware of our non scheduled visit guidelines.  Tours of our school must be planned in advance with our counselor.  Most grade levels hold special daytime events where parents are invited.

Where can I park while visiting the school?
Parents may park on the north/grass side of the front circle drive as long as no buses are presentas and it is not during arrival or dismissal (8:30-9:05 am and 3:00-3:30 pm).  In order to allow passage of emergency vehicles, please do not park on the building side of the front circle at any time.  There are also several parking areas on side streets adjacent to Oakland School. 


We live in a busing area.  How can I find out what the bus schedule is for my child? 
Bus routes are posted on our District 87 website.  Please call the school office with bussing questions.

What should I do if I need to change my child's bus stop?
Please call the office at 309-662-4302 to request bus changes.  It may require 2-3 business days in order for changes to be effective.  Changes will not be made for a one day or a short term basis. Bus routes are created to assure an efficient and timely schedule. Students can expect to walk up to 1.5 to school or to reach an assigned stop. The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Traffic Safety Administration created a brochure to help parents understand more about this topic.

What if I have a concern about bus behavior?
For concerns about safety or behaviors, please call Mr. LaFrance, Oakland Principal, at 309-662-4302. 

Can my child ride the bus home with a friend?
Due to safety concerns and space issues, students may only ride the bus to which they are assigned.  Please call the office in the event of a family emergency. 

What should I do if my child will be going home a different way than normal?
Children will only be allowed to go home a different way if the teacher receives a note from a parent or guardian. 

Are there assigned seats on the bus?
After the first few weeks of school, all students should have an assigned seat on the bus. Should you have concerns about the assignment, please contact Mr. LaFrance by phone or email


What type of assessments are used at Oakland School?
In addition to PARCC, which is our state achievement test for students in grades 3-5, students also participate in benchmark testing several times a year.
Kindergarten: 3-4 times per year, 1:1 testing
Grades 1-5: DIBELS math and reading screening 3 times per year; Discovery Assessment math and reading benchmarking 4 times per year
Grades 2-5: Scholastic Reading Inventory 5 times per year. SRI established reading Lexiles for students.

Does Oakland have an accelerated program for students?
Although we do not have an accelerated program in District 87, our teachers differentiate instruction to meet the needs of a wide range of learners.

Can I have access to the syllabus?
Teachers use the District 87 adopted curricular materials to address the Common Core Learning Standards with students. For more information about Common Core, please visit the Illinois State Board of Education website.

Are electronic textbooks available on-line?
Science and Math textbooks are available on line. Social Studies at the 5th grade level also includes an on-line resource. Information about these resources is available through the classroom teacher.  


What do I need to do if my child needs to take medication at school?
Students must have a medication authorization form on file at school in order to have both nonprescription (cough drops, lip balm, lotion, acetaminophen, allergy medication, etc.) and prescription medicine (inhaler, nebulizer, epi-pen, benedryl, Tylenol, etc) at school.  This form must be completed and signed by a physician.  The parent/guardian should also sign the form.  Parents are welcome to come to school to dispense medicine.

Is a dental exam required for my child?
State law requires kindergarten and second grade students to have a dental exam by May 15 of that school year.  Parents may utilize our free dental cleaning program in order to fulfill this requirement.  Please contact Nurse Colleen for more information.

Winter Weather

How will I know if school is closed due to inclement weather?
The announcement of a school closing for any reason will be posted on both the District 87 website as well as the Oakland website. District 87 uses School Reach, an automatic phone messaging system, to notify parents of school weather or emergency related school closures.  School Reach will call the primary number to make this notification. Parents may also tune to WJBC (AM 1230) to listen for closing announcements. The announcement will also be posted on District 87 and Oakland social media pages.

Do students go outside for recess during the winter?
Weather permitting, student go outside for recess when the temperature (including wind chill) is 20° or above.  Please make sure students are dressed appropriately with coats, hats, and gloves as needed. 

Other Common Questions

What should I do if I have moved or changed contact information?
It is important to make sure we have your most current contact information on file.  Please call or send a note with your child so that we can keep our records up to date.  It is also important that students have at least two local emergency contacts.  Emergency contacts are called only when we cannot reach a parent or guardian.  If you move out of Oakland's area during the school year, your child can remain at Oakland for the rest of that same school year as long as you provide timely transportation to and from school. 

Does Oakland have a lost and found?
We do have a cabinet for lost and found items in the cafeteria.  There are often a wide variety of hats, gloves, coats, and jackets in our lost and found.  Small items such as glasses, books, and jewelry are kept in the office.  Parents are welcome to stop by any time to check our lost and found. Unclaimed items are donated to a local charity twice each year. 

What should I do if my child forgot homework at school?
Students may come back to school until 4:00 pm to retrieve forgotten homework.  Students (or parents) should first stop in the office to have a staff member accompany them to the classroom. 

What should I do if my child forgot something at home?
Forgotten items may be left in the office.  A staff member will make sure items are delivered to the classroom or teacher's mailbox.

What is the best way to learn about volunteer opportunities at Oakland School?
There are many opportunities to volunteer at Oakland School. Parents can fill out a PTO volunteer sign up sheet at the beginning of the year. This sign up sheet includes a variety of short and long term situations. Attending PTO meetings is also another great way to learn about upcoming volunteer positions. Occasionally there may also be field trips which require adult supervision; talk you your child's teacher. If you are interested in volunteering to help a student who would benefit from one-on-one interactions, please contact Mr. LaFrance. Classroom and field trip volunteers are required to have a completed background check on file with District 87.

What types of extracurricular activities are offered at Oakland School?
Students in fifth grade have the opportunity at the beginning of the year to sign up to participate in band or orchestra as well as volunteer as safety patrols.  Bloomington Parks and Recreation sponsors organized team sports (volleyball, flag football,  basketball, and track) for fourth and fifth grade students throughout the year.   Fourth and fifth graders can also participate in Student Council. Oakland School also has several active girl scout and cub scout groups.

What can I do to help celebrate my child's birthday at school?
Each teacher has a different routine for acknowledging your child's special day.  Contact your child's teacher before making any plans.  Do keep the following in mind:

  • We do not have birthday parties at school.
  • Birthday treat guidelines are different for each grade level.
  • Only grades kindergarten and first allow food items for birthday treats.  You must check with the teacher before sending birthday snacks to school. If allowed all treats should be relatively mess free and easily distributed to students. Pre-packaged finger food is most desired if food is sent. We do not have birthday parties at school; we simply share a treat or snack while school activities continue. Students in the classroom may have food allergies; check with your child's teacher. Please do not send a cake, cupcakes iced together as a cake, or giant cookies that need to be cut. Drinks may not be okay.  Ask first.  If drinks are acceptable, please make sure they are individual servings.
  • Deliveries such as flowers, candy bouquets, or balloons should not be sent to school; these deliveries will be kept in the office for parent pick-up. 
  • Students may not distribute party invitations at school.  We cannot provide home addresses.  

All students can receive a free birthday book from the office on their birthday.

What is a lexile?
A lexile score measures a student's reading range.  It is based on semantic difficulty (word frequency) and syntactic complexity (sentence length).  The lexile scale for reading ranges from 200 for beginning reader material to above 1700 for advanced text.  Students in grades 2-5 take the Scholastic Reading Inventory (S.R.I.) five times each year to measure and monitor their changing lexile scores.  Students can use their lexile score to find appropriately challenging reading materials.  Many of the books in our Learning Center are marked with lexiles.  You can also search online for books within certain ranges.  For more information about lexile scores visit The Lexile Framework for Reading.  

Have a question you don't see listed here?  Please contact us.  We would be happy to assist you.