Daily Routine

This is the whole shebang—for the quick version, see our Oxford FAQ pdf.

Morning Transportation

District Bus:

Any Oxford student living in Berkeley’s Central Zone further than one‑and‑a‑half miles away can be picked up from and dropped off at a designated BUSD bus stop daily. Read more about the school bus system on the BUSD Transportation web page and call 510-644-6182 with your questions and change requests.

BUSD’s bus drivers are dedicated to safety for students, and benefit from ongoing staff development, on topics such as anti-bullying trainings. Each year all elementary students, including those with special needs, are given bus evacuation safety guidelines, and they practice evacuating a bus.

Safe Drop Off by Car:

  • 15 MPH speed limitCars should travel clockwise around the school—going north on Walnut and south on Oxford—so that the passenger door will always open on the school side for children jumping out to enter school on their own. Do NOT drop your child off on the opposite the school and have them run across the street, especially on Oxford Street with its dangerous blind curves.
  • The gray passenger loading zones on Oxford and Walnut Streets are for active passenger loading and unloading only—do not park in gray passenger zones even if you’re sitting in your car. It is critical for child and traffic safety that cars don’t block either the buses or the long line of cars doing active loading and unloading.
  • On that note, the City of Berkeley gives out tickets periodically and they are pricey. You may be ticketed for blocking bus/passenger zones or driveways.So please consider parking a block or two away and taking a nice morning stroll to bring your child to school. In the past, Oxford families actually made a neighbor’s child chronically late to another school because Oxford cars were so often blocking her driveway—let’s be good neighbors!
  • And please don’t leave valuables in your car, even when only dashing in to drop off your child. Every year, at least one family’s car falls prey to a smash and grab outside the school.

Note that there is always a staff member at the bus zone during drop-off and pick-up. And at pick-up, Kindergarten students are walked directly to the bus by one of the kindergarten teachers.

Bell Schedule

first day of school, fall 2016Please be aware that the before-school time is sacred for teachers who are preparing for the day, so most cannot receive parent drop ins. Read more here about communication with staff.

Upper Playground Supervision Starts:

7:50 am. Students gather behind the school on the upper playground (or in the cafeteria if it’s raining). BUSD buses drop off at the Walnut Street gate—students walk through the lower playground and up the stairs to line up for class. Oxford cannot be responsible for children dropped off before 7:50 am.

Classes Start:

8:00 am. Students are met on the upper yard (or in the cafeteria if it’s raining) by their teachers and walked to class.

[ Read more about late arrivals, absences and other school policies. ]


All students are served a free breakfast by 9:30 am, either at recess or in the class room.


Recess is held in the cafeteria on rainy days.
K & 1st: 9:15–9:30 and 10:50–11:20 am
2nd & 3rd: 9:35–9:50 and 11:20–11:40 am
4th & 5th: 10:00–10:15 and 11:40 am–noon


After second recess, students go to the cafeteria to eat. More about meals below.
K & 1st: 11:20–11:40 am
2nd & 3rd: 11:40 am–noon
4th & 5th: noon–12:20 pm


K: 1:20 pm daily
1st–3rd: 2:05 pm—except Wed 1:15 pm
4th & 5th: 2:10 pm—except Wed 1:15 pm

End-of-Day Playground Supervision Ends:

Supervision on the playground ends at 2:20. If students are not picked up by then, they will be waiting in the office for pick-up.

Afternoon Transportation

District Bus:

After dismissal, teachers will walk students who take the bus down through the lower yard to the bus stop at the Walnut Street gate. One-day bus passes for special circumstances (your child goes home with a designated friend, for example) are available in the Oxford office and must be completed and signed by a parent. A late bus drops students enrolled in Oxford’s After School Program at either Rosa Parks Elementary or Longfellow Middle School.

In-Person Pick Up:

Children being picked up by loved ones or outside after school programs (like the JCC or Trackers) will meet them on the upper playground (or, on rainy days, at the inside steps to the cafeteria)—students may not wait in front of the school on Oxford Street. There is no after-school yard supervision for children not enrolled in the After School Program on site at Oxford.

If you are later than 2:20 to pick up your child, you will find him or her in the office.

On-Site After School Program

After School Program Ends:

Students enrolled in the Berkeley LEARNS After School Program at Oxford may stay until 6:00 pm.

After School Closures:

Note: the program does not operate during school holidays nor during the first week of school (which is a partial week).

Late Bus:

A late bus drops students off at either Rosa Parks Elementary or Longfellow Middle School, but service must be granted specifically after enrollment in Oxford’s After School Program.


All students receive the annual Elementary School Menu calendar in the mail, featuring the breakfast and lunch menus for the year and information about BUSD Nutrition Services—go to the Links page to get to this year’s calendar online. Please refer to the calendar for menu specifics, or go to the BUSD Nutrition Services web page for further info.

Universal Breakfast:

Oxford Elementary now serves Universal Breakfast free to all students, every day. These breakfasts include a healthy entree, fresh fruit or fruit juice, and milk. Some classes have their breakfasts first thing in the morning, and other classes have it as a snack just before morning recess. The Universal Breakfast program was started in 2005 as a pilot program at LeConte Elementary School. Since then it has spread to other Berkeley Public Schools, and now all schools have Universal Breakfast. It is funded through a federal grant and state reimbursements, and aims to provide students with healthy food in the morning (within federal and state regulations).


Students may bring their own lunch. A hot lunch can be purchased daily $3.25 per day and milk for $.60. Free and reduced price lunches are available to those who qualify—we request that all families complete the lunch eligibility forms sent home each fall, even if you know you may or will not qualify. Submitting these applications helps BUSD qualify for much-needed government funding. The number of forms submitted makes a difference in funding and certain programs at every school. If your child qualified for free lunch last year, a new form still needs to be submitted for 2015-216.

Lunches include an entree, fresh fruits and vegetables, grain, salad bar and organic milk. For children bringing their own lunch, organic milk is available for 50 cents. Money and checks should be given to the classroom teacher on Monday mornings, or on the same day of the purchased lunch. Checks should be made payable to “BUSD Food Service.” Parents can pay for school lunch online via EZSchoolPay, a fast and simple online payment site.

Candy, soda and gum are not allowed at school.