From The Oxford News
On Monday, October 9, all staff participated in a district-wide professional development day. In the morning, staff selected workshops to attend related to various social emotional topics. For example, there were workshops on Children and Trauma, the Toolbox, Classroom Management Strategies, Welcoming Schools, Social Narratives, and Restorative Communication. In the afternoon, our Oxford staff gathered together and focused on Literacy and English Language Development. Overall, it was a productive day and nice for us to have time to stop, reflect, collaborate and learn.
Wondering what the “Breathing Tool” is, or maybe the “Listening Tool?” All BUSD schools use the Toolbox Curriculum, 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, go to the Toolbox Curriculum page. The “tools” can be useful at home, too.
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. The shortened days are Monday through Thursday, November 6–9. The release times are as follows:
- Kindergarten early release time: 12:20 pm
- 1st–3rd grades early release time: 12:55 pm
- 4th–5th grade early release time: 1:00 pm
Thanks for all you do to support Oxford, and hope to see everyone at the Harvest Fair on October 28! Feel free to wear a costume if you’d like to!
~ Principal Beth Rhine,
Dates to know
We are excited to announce the 1st annual Walkathon—ta da!
Oxford will be hosting this new event the week of November 13–17, during the students’ scheduled P.E. class. The goal of this fundraiser is to encourage children to participate in a healthy activity while raising money for our school. Each year Oxford raises about $20,000 through the Spell-now-Walkathon to support monthly programs our kids rely on, like art, P.E., instructional aides, classroom supplies and more. This will be a fun and festive event with music, while the students wear silly hats, goofy sunglasses and their Oxford T-shirts! Parents, guardians and family members (you!) are encouraged to attend and show your support for our walkers.
Download and print the Pledge Sheets including the P.E. schedule and have your child begin taking pledges as part of their fundraising efforts.
If you have any questions or want to help, please (Sammy’s mom).
We had a great community meeting last Friday, talking about three of our tools: the Breathing Tool, Listening Tool, and the Quiet Safe Place Tool. These tools are inside of us and we use them to focus, relax, calm down and/or listen. At the beginning of the community meeting, one of our third graders played piano while classes entered and settled down at the beginning of the community meeting. It was wonderful to celebrate a student’s talent! Be sure to check out the video of it on the Oxford Facebook page. And at the end of the meeting, second grade teacher Mr. Della Penna led us in two songs, allowing us to sing together. It was a really fun and special community meeting.
Please mark your calendar that there is no school for students on Monday, October 9. Staff will be participating in district-wide professional development: social emotional learning in the morning and literacy in the afternoon. No one will be at Oxford, so don’t drop off your child!
And we appreciate that students want to share some of their home treasures, various toys and Pokémon cards, but please have them leave those items at home. (You might want to check the backpack, too.) They are distracting, and problems arise when kids share, trade, borrow, and give them away. Sometimes they disappear. Students can bring special items if a teacher or staff member has a special time in class or something arranged with students. Otherwise, the toys and cards should stay home. Thanks for your support.
Have a great week, and thanks for all you do for Oxford Elementary!
~ Principal Beth Rhine,
Update from the PTA
The first two weeks of school have gone very well. Routines are getting into place, we’ve been reviewing school expectations, classrooms are busy, and we have already practiced using two of our “tools” from the Toolbox program (The Breathing Tool and Listening Tool). It was great to see those who were able to make it out for Back-to-School Night last week; we missed you if you weren’t able to join us! We had a good turnout, and hopefully it was informative for everyone. If you weren’t able to be there, reach out to your child’s teacher (if you haven’t already heard from them) and check in. The home-school connection is critical for student success at school.
Just a reminder, the Oxford school newsletter will be sent out every other week. If there is timely information to share, we will use the Oxford email list, a robo-call, or send out a special edition of the newsletter. Be sure to check out the Oxford website for information, and if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to the email list and e-newsletter (which sometimes has extras that don’t fit in the paper edition). All the links you need are listed and explained in this handy blog post: oxfordelementary.org/signup.
A big thanks to everyone who completed the school forms sent home last week! Yes! They have information that is important for us to have on file at Oxford. And in case you missed messages about the school lunch form, please make sure to turn that one in, too, or you can do it online at ezmealapp.com. If you do it online, there’s no need to submit the paper form too. You can also pay ahead for lunches at ezschoolpay.com.
Thanks for all of your support of Oxford Elementary!
~ Principal Beth Rhine,
Great volunteer opportunity
You can have a direct impact on your child’s education. Join the dynamic group of parents, teachers and staff on the School Governance Council, working to meet the learning needs of ALL students and forge a strong school-home connection. The SGC writes our annual school site plan and determines funding priorities for Oxford. Nomination forms are available in the school office and were sent home last week. Consider nominating yourself for the SGC election—it’s a two-year term and one parent/guardian position is open on the council this year. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Sept. 15. Contact Beth Rhine at or SGC Chair Lauren Morrison at if you have questions. The first official meeting with the 2017–18 Committee will be on October 19.
Meet Coach Nat!
Dear Oxford Community,
Welcome back to school! I hope everyone had a nice summer break and is ready to start the 2017–18 school year. The teachers and staff have been busy at school, getting everything ready for the new year.
Last Saturday was the Annual Back to School Picnic. A big thanks to Kendra Dodsworth and Ramon Bridges, our new PTA Co-Presidents, for organizing the picnic. It was great to see everyone in a casual, low-key environment. Our Kindergarten Lemonade on 8/24 also went well; a big thanks to Carla Bryant and John Cohen (filling in for Nina Cohen) for organizing the event. Both events were well-attended, and it was great to see so many of you before school began. And we have new Oxford T-shirts with our new student-drawn Oxford Otter logo! T-shirts will be on sale at upcoming school events.
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.