News Blog

Late but Good News from Oxford

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assembly - MLK bannerWe 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?

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Mascots, PCAD, Deep Breaths & Other Good Things

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trees artOn 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:

Oxford Orcas
Oxford Otters

Oxford Owls

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.

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In the News: Oxford & Washington Welcome All

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From Berkeleyside:

Parents at schools around Berkeley want to make sure that all students feel welcome. They are making signs and forming greeting committees to drive that message home. Liz Schultz, the VP of the Washington PTA, wrote: “In response to Trump’s executive order, both Oxford and Washington schools have created messages of support for their immigrant families.”

Berkeleyside photo of Oxford parents welcoming all students
photo: Berkeleyside

Peace March Adapts to the Rain

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peace in many colorsThis morning we had planned to have a Peace March around the neighborhood to show unity and community at Oxford Elementary. Unfortunately, due to the weather, we had to cancel it. I was able to visit several classrooms and saw some wonderful things happening related to Martin Luther King Jr. and the Inauguration.

  • a class watching Martin and Me
  • a class listening to “I Have a Dream” while they drew or wrote something related to the theme
  • a class having a discussion about the Inauguration and our government system
  • a class writing their own “I Have a Dream” speeches

This afternoon, a few classes decided to have a short Peace March, just to share their statements of Hope, Love, and Unity. It was super cute! (It started to rain, so we had to cut it a little short.)

I think a few classes want to hold another Peace March on Monday—your children are amazing!

Have a good weekend.

Mock Newbery, Reading Workshop, MLK Fest +

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oxford newsletter banner

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.

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Enter the MLK Oratorical Fest (for Fri 2/10/17)

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AL state troopers bar Dr. Martin Luther King from the state capitol, 3/25/1965 (AP)
AL state troopers bar Dr. Martin Luther King from the state capitol, 3/25/1965 (AP)

We are having our Annual MLK Jr. Oratorical Fest on Friday, February 10. The flyer went home this week but in case it’s buried in the bottom of a backpack, here’s the PDF version of the entry form.

The Oratorical Fest is optional for everyone. It’s a great chance for your child to select a meaningful speech, poem or written piece (or write it themselves) and practice their public speaking skills. Guidelines are in the flier attached. The spoken piece should be connected to Martin Luther King Jr.’s messages about peace, unity, justice, or anything like that.

If you have any questions, let me know!

~ Beth Rhine

New Year, MLK, Sunshine, and Pretty Art

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faces artWelcome 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

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Happy Holidays from the Principal

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It was busy around school this week, too. This week, I saw and experienced so many great things happening in classrooms and around the school:

• A gingerbread man search by the kindergarteners (it smelled so good around here!)
• A Kwanzaa celebration in a 5th grade classroom
• A talent show in a 3rd grade classroom
• 4th grade students “coding” on the computers
• Parachutes being made in 1st grade
• A snowball game with a 3rd grade class (that one wore me out!)
• The Berkeley High Jazz Band performance

There were a couple of special moments this week, too. Some 5th graders gave their hats they got from the firehouse visit to the kindergarteners when the kinders said they wanted them. I had a 2nd grade student make a point to sit with another child at lunchtime who was sitting alone. I had two boys who had a conflict come to an understanding and apologize to each other. The K/3 buddies celebrating and making holiday crafts together this afternoon. I love those moments.

We had a wonderful community meeting this morning to celebrate the last day of school for 2016. A 5th grade class and a 3rd grade class both shared about their community service projects. The 5th graders donated toys to the firehouse and then sang a wonderful song about how we can help others… and our world. The 3rd graders had made bag lunches and delivered them to the homeless and we got to watch a video showing the delivery. We ended the community meeting with the 2nd graders singing songs, including “This Land is Your Land” which I sang in 4th grade, many, many years ago! It was a really nice community meeting. I love it when students perform.

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Wait, Read This Before Winter Break

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HopeWe 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.

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