News Blog

A Challenging Week: Emergency

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We made it through this challenging week! The students have been amazing. They have been cooperative (mostly) and on track and making things move smoothly. Lots of snowball game points have been given out; if we could just be able to have a game outside, that would help! I love these kids . . . even those who give me a few gray hairs.

The staff have also been great, everyone stepping up to help out with classroom/recess coverage, giving each other breaks and just making the week flow like the regular routine. I’m lucky to work with such an amazing group of people. Today I got to dance with the kindergarteners and the 2nd grade, read a book to a 2nd grade class, and visit with some 3rd graders while they were writing. It was great to see all that was happening at Oxford!

A big thanks to the families who have been supporting the school, helping out however they can. Running this school really is a community effort.

Some families kept their kids home this week, concerned about air quality; I completely understand that families have to do what they determine is best for their child. If you kept them home due to the air quality, please call the office and leave a message. Those absences are excused, per the Superintendent.

It’s so hard to see what’s happening with the fires up north and how so many people’s lives will be changed forever. I know our community is sending out our best wishes for everyone’s safety and well being.

When I hear of those types of disasters, I think of how we need to be prepared in case something happens to us at Oxford. One of my goals this year is to create a one-page handout for families regarding what Oxford would do in case of a major fire, earthquake or other disaster. Just so you know for now, if we ever had to evacuate Oxford campus, the first place we would go is to Live Oak Park, as indicated on our current Emergency Info page. I’ll work on that document and get that out to you in the near future.

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Harvest Fair, Halloween, Online Directory + more

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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

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Buy Tea clothes, get 15% off and 15% for Oxford

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Tea School Days - Shop & GiveStarting today and until Oct 16, when we buy children’s clothes at, it’s 15% off the purchase plus another 15% (before tax and shipping) for our school. Our unique code is SDF17OXFORD—please note that orders placed without this code cannot be adjusted.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to (not
  2. Log in or create an account with Tea
  3. Enter the site and you will see that all Tea Collection items (excluding non-Tea merchandise) have been marked down 15%—shop!
  4. When you check out, you will be prompted to enter the Oxford promo code SDF17OXFORD and click “apply my code.”
  5. Be sure to choose “6–10 business day shipping” for free shipping before you submit the order

Feel free to pass this on to friends and relatives who may want to make the most of this special sale.

Announcing the brand new Oxford Walkathon

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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).

2017 Student Scores Released

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kid hands on laptopsFrom BUSD:

The 2017 scores for the online California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress have been released, after having been delayed for a month.

“I’m pleased we retained our gains, but we have much more work to do. We need to work diligently to narrow achievement gaps and make sure all students continue to make progress,” said State Superintendent Tom Torlakson.

This is the third year of the computer-based tests, which use California’s challenging academic standards and ask students to write clearly, think critically, and solve complex problems. (Visit the CAASPP Results Web page to view and compare aggregated results among schools, districts, and counties along with statewide results.)

But the question still remains, what caused the delay of the release? According to the California Department of Education, “when small discrepancies were found in August in some schools in San Diego, CDE delayed the official release to make certain all statewide results were completely accurate.”

California testing went smoothly for 3.2 million total students. On a single day nearly 500,000 students took the online tests. The most widely used tests are the Smarter Balanced Assessments in mathematics and English language arts/literacy, which are given in grades three through eight and grade 11.

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Join SiPwiK (Single Parents with Kids)!

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We are so glad you are hereThe PTA is reaching out about a social group idea for Oxford! We really want to encourage community building, and we think that social groups are just the way to do that! We are reaching out to families to find out what they would like, and a Single Parents with their Kids activities group seems like a great candidate. We happen to know that there are a lot of single parents raising kids at Oxford, and we think it would be great if you all met each other.

What kinds of venues and activities would you like to see happen? Playground playdates? Weekend morning play time with kids at rotating venues? Coffee for parents who need to kvetch? Hikes? Beach days? You tell us what sounds appealing, and we will advertise the meet-up.

SiPwiK (Single Parents with Kids
Meet-up group forming at Oxford!
Please respond to 
to receive updates on meetings and activities.

*Please state the group you are interested in and your contact info.

We are hoping that someone interested in being in the group will volunteer to run the group after the first event to keep things going. I propose the first meeting to be something like a weekend play date at Dreamland for Kids (a the Marina) with feeding the ducks. The PTA could provide a box of coffee from Pete’s, plus BYOS (bring your own snacks).

Would you like to be a lead organizer of the group?

Please let us know what you think,
Kendra and Ramon

PTA Updates, LGBTQI Picnic, Music and more!

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LGBTQI picnic 9/19/2017We 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

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We did it! You did it! Go Oxford Otters!

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Thank you so very much to all who donated to the Campaign for Oxford! We’ve exceeded our goal and reached close to $30,000. While it’s only a portion of our annual budget of $140,000, we’re off to a strong start to continue funding art, instructional aides, the math coach, PE and all the great programs so essential to our kids that are paid for by the PTA.

On behalf of Oxford we say:

Didn’t donate? There are plenty of opportunities to contribute:

  • Sign up to VOLUNTEER
  • Come to the PTA meeting on Thursday September 28 at 6:00 pm and learn more about the Oxford Community
  • The Harvest Fair is just around the corner, don’t miss this fabulous fall extravaganza
  • You can still give (or choose to give monthly) anytime DONATE

Enormous thanks to all for your generosity in helping to make Oxford the wonderful school it is.

Coach Nat, Kinder happenings, SGC & more

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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:

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 If you do it online, there’s no need to submit the paper form too. You can also pay ahead for lunches at

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!

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