This year we are consolidating our parent & staff directories, room parent communications, and volunteer organization using a free tool called Pencil that can be easily accessed via smartphones, Web or email. We believe it will be a great tool to help all Oxford families stay involved and informed.
Pencil will serve as a private, invitation-only network for:
- Contact information/ Directory
- Room parent/class communication tool
- Volunteer/event sign-up system
Later today, you should receive 2 email invitations to join both a Pencil group for the Oxford community and a group for your child’s grade. Once classrooms are assigned, we will also create groups by classroom.
Once you receive your invitation, please update your profile as follows:
- You will receive an email invitation titled “invitation to Oxford School – entire community” and “invitation to [2nd] grade-entire class”
- Click on “join your group”
- You will then be taken to the group’s home page in Pencil
- Click “more” in upper right hand corner, and go to “My Profile”
- Click “edit” in upper right hand corner and add your contact information
- Check the box next to your email address, phone number, and home address to make this info visible to the community (please share at least your email address and phone number to help facilitate communication amongst your child’s class)
- Click “add a child” to add your child(ren)’s names if they don’t show up automatically
- Click “add a family connection” to add another parent or guardian of your child
- Please consider that this network will serve as our school directory — so making your contact info visible to the Oxford community will help your child’s classmates, teachers, and event organizers to get in touch with you!
If you do not receive an email invitation by Wednesday August 20th:
- You can request to join the Oxford community by with your child’s name and grade and I will make sure you get included in the community.
Later this week, you will also be invited to other school-wide events with opportunities to sign up and support (such as Coffee & Treats the first few days of school).
Pencil is made of communities—ours is Oxford Elementary. Communities are made of groups such as grades, classrooms, committees, clubs, sports teams, and the like. Each group creates Activities (event sign-ups, volunteer opportunities, etc.), and has a discussion board for its members.
Pencil can be used via its iOS and Android apps, Web site or simply via email. You can download them from the GooglePlay store or Apple App Store by following the links at www.getpencil.com. You can also download the iOS app here.
Note that Pencil is a secure community, accessible only by email invitations from members within the community. People from outside the community cannot view any of the information on the group.
Pencil will be rolling out a number of features this fall. It is currently available in English and Spanish and will be adding more languages soon. They are very open to suggestions so let me (or them) know what you’d like to see improved. You can always send questions or suggestions to .
We will keep you updated, but if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
Looking forward to an active and enriching school year!
Kirsten Saenz Tobey, Oxford PTA Pencil Admin