From The Oxford News
We had a wonderful Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Fest last week. The students did such an amazing job sharing poems, speeches and powerful words related to the messages of MLK and other leaders, including themselves! I want to thank participants and their families for supporting their participation.
Another great Oxford event is coming up: the Emmy Orth Strong Women of the World Celebration. Flyers were sent home a few weeks back; an email version was also sent out. If you have any questions, feel free to ask your child’s teacher or me. Projects are due 2/28/17. They will be displayed for one to two weeks on tables in the hallway and on the walls for everyone to enjoy. The big celebration will be at Community Meeting on Friday, March 24. Everyone is welcome to join the celebration!
And my special request to all of you: if you aren’t already planning on doing so, please consider coming to the Oxford Auction event on Saturday, March 18. You can dress up ‘80’s style or just come as you are. You can bid on things or just come and meet a few people and hang out with other Oxford parents. Don’t know anyone? Well, you know me and there will be staff there, too. It would be great to have everyone there and to have that chance to hang out and visit. Please?
On Monday, Jan 30, the teachers participated in an all-day training with all of the other BUSD teachers on our reading program, TCRWP (Teachers College of Reading Writing Program). They were divided up by grade level and had the opportunity to review the program, learn more about it and collaborate with colleagues. It was great to have the day to work together and strengthen our teaching practices.
Oxford’s Student Council met during lunch last week. We have a few things on our agenda this year: to pick a new school mascot, to plan spirit days, to practice and come up with movements for the Oxford chant, and to coordinate a service project. We will be busy! After brainstorming a list of possible mascots, the Student Council came up with the top 3. All students have been voting for the new mascot:
We will let you know what we will be!
~ Principal Beth Rhine
Welcome to February!
February begins with a Movie and Pizza Night tomorrow!
We’ll be showing The Secret Life of Pets and Finding Dory. Bring your kids at 6:00 pm at the school cafeteria, register them and pick them up at 8:30 pm. Two and a half hours of fun both for our children as well as the parents, who can get a night out! And just for $25 per kid plus an additional (optional) $10 per sibling. (If your child would like to attend movie night, but the $25 is an obstacle, please let us know.) Please let us know by tomorrow noon if your kids can attend so we can order the right amount of food.
Throughout the winter, we have school tours for prospective Oxford families. We have great tour guides who lead the families around the school, sharing information and answering questions. At the end of each tour, I meet with the prospective parents/guardians to have an informal Q&A. It’s always interesting because I’m asked things like “How is Oxford different than other BUSD schools?” Or “What are some of the great things happening here?” And also, “What are some of the challenges?” Every year it makes me reflect on what we are doing at Oxford, where we want to go, and what else we need to do to continue to meet the needs of our students.
Welcome back and Happy New Year! I hope you all had a happy, healthy, safe holiday break. It was so good to have some time for rest and relaxation. I’m looking forward to the second half of the school year and 2017.
The upcoming presidential Inauguration may be a challenging event for many. I encourage us all to be sensitive and respectful of everyone’s beliefs as the new president begins his term. I want to remind all of us how strong the Oxford community is and how we need to embrace and welcome our differences; it’s part of what makes Oxford a strong community for our students!
Here’s to a great 2017!
~ Principal Beth Rhine
Announcing Oxford’s Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Fest
We had a wonderful performance by our kindergarten students last Friday, led by dance instructor (and Oxford parent), Kimberly Lloyd. The students did a dance warm up, responding to ballet vocabulary, practicing balancing skills, using left/right movements, as well as counting. They then had a choreographed dance with each child having an opportunity for a solo. Students added their own touch to the choreography, with one class “dabbing” in their performance. I want to thank the PTA and the Oxford families for supporting the kindergarten dance performance.
We have our final Community Meeting for 2016 tomorrow, Friday, December 16. One of the 5th grade classes is doing a presentation about the holidays, and we will be singing some holiday songs with students from Room 10. Stop on by for a little fun.
If you’re wondering what you can have your child do over winter break, I recommend having your child read daily, and write letters to relatives and friends. If you have computer access, there are links to educational activities and games on the Oxford library web portal and on our STEM Resources page.
I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving break. December is going to be a busy time, just three weeks of school, and we have prospective family tours, the Spellathon, an assembly with the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble on 12/15, a Movie Night tomorrow, our ELAC Meeting on 12/6, an SGC Meeting on 12/7, and last, a Community Meeting on Friday 12/16. If you want to know what is happening at Oxford, be sure to check out the school website and there, you will find the calendar at oxfordelementary.org/resources/calendar.
Make Up Picture Day is tomorrow, Friday, December 2. If your child missed the first Picture Day, this is the time to get their picture taken. If you want your child to retake their picture, this is the time! Class pictures will be sent home later, after we have Make Up Picture Day.
Alexandra Ballard, one of our Oxford parents, is coordinating the holiday gift card drive. A flyer with the information was sent out before Thanksgiving break. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. It’s a great time to help out those close to home, some of our own here at Oxford.
Ms. Anna, Oxford’s art teacher, told me that in today’s art class in Room 26 that she and Ms. Foster “asked the class to make symbols that could show a way forward and give an outlet for all their worries.”
I want to share the pictures with you here. And acknowledge the talented teachers and staff we have at Oxford. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
~ Annie Burke, newsletter editor, Oxford Facebook photo post maker, and mom to Alex and Benny
From the Principal
We had a great Halloween last week, with lots of exciting costumes and a fun parade. It was great to see so many families at the parade, too. I think it’s one of my favorite school events because so many parents/guardians come to Oxford to help with the celebration!
Speaking of visiting the school, the purpose of the shortened school days was to provide time for teachers to meet with parents/guardians. If you weren’t able to schedule a conference with your child’s teacher, I encourage you to set up that appointment. The home-school connection is critical for your child’s academic growth.
And finally, at this time of year, flu and sickness begin to impact our community. If your child is sick, please keep them home until they are feeling better. The general guidelines are 24 hours of no vomiting and no fever for 24 hours before returning to school. Please keep in mind that we have medically-fragile students at Oxford and a flu or cold can hit them hard. Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly, as well as to not touch their face (eyes, nose, mouth). If your child is absent, it’s best if you call and leave a message the day of the absence, as early as possible. Continue reading ““A way forward & a channel for worries” + more” »
On Saturday, October 22, Oxford parent Kristen Burmester organized and supervised a group of Cal students as they did some projects around the school. Check out the new stairs with a railing for the cafeteria stage! And they cleaned out and organized the emergency bin, another major endeavor. They did painting and posting student work, too. I am so excited about the stairs, I can’t get over it!
And then on Sunday, October 23, we had the Annual Harvest Fair. Gaby Raymond organized the Fair and Jos Burns and Kendra Dodsworth organized the Book Fair. It was really nice, people hanging out while the kids ran around and had fun. There was lots of good food and games to enjoy. It was a great day. A big thanks to Kristen, Gaby, Jos, Kendra, all the room parents, and the volunteers!
Report cards are coming soon. They will be given to parents/guardians during conferences with teachers in the beginning of November. It might seems like school hasn’t been in session long enough for report cards but BUSD has a shorter first trimester in order for families to be notified of their child’s progress early in the year. This way, if additional support is needed, we can intervene early. And for those who are working at or above grade level, challenge opportunities can be created. If you haven’t already set up your teacher/parent conference, teachers will be in touch soon.
On Monday, October 10, all staff participated in professional development sessions. In the morning, the classroom teachers participated in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) with a focus on writing. We looked at writing samples, discussed student progress and planned for next steps. After that, teachers participated in various literacy workshops. Our staff also participated in learning sessions, including team building, Mandated Reporter Training and more. Overall, it was a productive day!
Wondering what the “Breathing Tool” is, or maybe the “Personal Space Tool?” All BUSD schools use the Toolbox Program, a social emotional program emphasizing using our “tools.” We discuss how these tools are inside us and when we can use them at Community Meetings; teachers also do some Toolbox work in their classrooms.If you want to know more about the program, check out the new Toolbox Curriculum page on the Oxford website.
And, please mark your calendars for the upcoming shortened school days the first week of November. The purpose of the shortened days is to give teachers time to have parent/guardian conferences. Shortened days are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, November 3 and 4, and again on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 8 and 9.
Early release times are as follows:
- Kindergarten release time: 12:20 pm
- 1st–3rd grades release time: 12:55 pm
- 4th–5th grade release time: 1:00 pm