A Message From Mr. Patterson, Oak Mesa Principal
On behalf of our school family, welcome to Oak Mesa Elementary School! Built in 1990, Oak Mesa rests at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. In what used to be an orchard growing community of La Verne, Oak Mesa is surrounded by mature oak trees. Entering campus, one’s focus is immediately turned to colorful tiles, designed by students. The tradition dates back to the first promoting class, where fifth graders design tiles as part of a continuous mural. Each morning, students are greeted by their Principal and custodian, receiving words of encouragement to begin their day.
The Oak Mesa staff is one of the most dedicated, collaborative, and innovative staff one will find, creating a high performing school that was the recipient of the California Distinguished School Award in 2008, 2012, 2020, and most recently, 2023. Although state assessments have changed over time, Oak Mesa’s growth in scores and parent involvement have not. Parents assist classrooms in various ways such as centers, reading and math support, hands on projects, serving as guest speakers, attending field trips, and more. As a result of Oak Mesa’s welcoming nature towards students and families and the meaningful connections made, Oak Mesa continues to be a destination school with roughly 41% of our student population coming from outside our school residence.
Oak Mesa has implemented a reading incentive program where classes are awarded certificates based on the number of words read. Students who read and pass Accelerated Reader quizzes can earn individual certificates, buttons, and coupons towards restaurants within the local community. Each Monday morning, the Principal celebrates the accomplishments, presenting awards to students and classes. Each trimester, students who have met their reading goals are recognized in the form of an assembly. In addition to the reading goals, students who demonstrate Character Traits in the areas of Trustworthiness, Fairness, Respect, Responsibility, Caring, Citizenship, and Perseverance are celebrated. Students who exhibit Character Traits may be given Proud Owl tickets where a prize can be selected in the office. Each week, students in grades three through five demonstrate Character Traits, serving as mentors and helpers to our students in Kindergarten through second grade. The mentors assist younger students with reading, research projects, technology and more.
There are several after school opportunities for Oak Mesa students to extend their educational program. Students are invited to join after school programs such as Science, Chess Masters, Young Rembrandts art classes, and G.A.T.E. activities. In addition, there are teacher sponsored after school classes for students such as Code Masters where students learn how to code and compete in competitions amongst other classmates. Other after school classes offered are in choir and band where students not only learn to appreciate music, but have the opportunity to perform in our district’s acclaimed, Bonita Center of the Arts each trimester. One of Oak Mesa’s most anticipated programs is attending a four-day science camp in the Big Bear area as fifth graders. Not only do students learn concepts that support Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), but actively participate in team building exercises, encouraging one another while creating bonds and lifelong friendships.
Along with strong academics, the cultural backgrounds and social-emotional health are a major focus of Oak Mesa’s staff. Our district’s LCAP supports this focus as each elementary school employs a 50% certified mental health counselor. Oak Mesa’s mental health counselor gives student presentations on how to treat one another. In addition, our mental health counselor works with students both individually and in small groups. For students needing emotional and social attention, our mental health counselor and librarian work with students during lunchtime, playing games, sharing, and making arts and crafts. Our mental health counselor also assists students who may be facing cultural challenges. Because of his welcoming nature and years of experience, he has made tremendous connections with students and families.
Oak Mesa students have the necessary tools to succeed. Through PTA donations, students are equipped with 1:1 Chromebooks, while the district furnishes each classroom with a teacher computer, overhead projector, document camera, and Smartboard. Finally, Oak Mesa has the rare benefit of having a science lab building with workstations and supplies to perform NGSS lessons. Our commitment and instruction in NGSS has set a standard for elementary schools within the district. Oak Mesa cares for our students, families, staff members, and community and welcome all to join our family.