After School, Spelling and Dancing K!

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peace in many colorsI hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving break. December is going to be a busy time, just three weeks of school, and we have prospective family tours, the Spellathon, an assembly with the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble on 12/15, a Movie Night tomorrow, our ELAC Meeting on 12/6, an SGC Meeting on 12/7, and last, a Community Meeting on Friday 12/16. If you want to know what is happening at Oxford, be sure to check out the school website and there, you will find the calendar at

Make Up Picture Day is tomorrow, Friday, December 2. If your child missed the first Picture Day, this is the time to get their picture taken. If you want your child to retake their picture, this is the time! Class pictures will be sent home later, after we have Make Up Picture Day.

Alexandra Ballard, one of our Oxford parents, is coordinating the holiday gift card drive. A flyer with the information was sent out before Thanksgiving break. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. It’s a great time to help out those close to home, some of our own here at Oxford.

Continue reading “After School, Spelling and Dancing K!” »

Details on the 2016-17 School Year

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1Dear Oxford Families,

Welcome to the opening of what promises to be a wonderful school year! At this time of the year, there is great anticipation of what is to come, and I am as excited as the Oxford staff, children, and parents and guardians.

Kick-off Events

Throughout the year, I look forward to meeting the members of our community. I encourage families to get to know each other so that we can build new friendships, support each other throughout the year, and build our school community. Continue reading “Details on the 2016-17 School Year” »

Oxford Mourns Mr. Jones, Beloved Educator

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Mr. JonesMr. Paul Jones, “Hutch,” a wonderful Instructional Specialist in the Special Education program, passed away July 4, losing his battle with cancer. He was an integral part of the school community since 2007, as a presence in the classroom as well as in the after school program, in music concerts and in all areas of school life. Adults and students all loved and respected Mr. Jones.

Mr. Jones was a true professional, always respectful, kind and cool, a model for everyone. He was one of those people who always greeted you in the hallway with a smile and a nod. Hutch was a “rock” at Oxford, providing the stability and calm needed at a school. We will miss him.

Hutch Jones with Sun Ra Arkestra at Monterey Jazz Festival
Hutch Jones at center, with the Sun Ra Arkestra at the Monterey Jazz Festival

Besides being a father, grandfather, and husband, Hutch Jones was also an amazing jazz musician. An alumnus of Berklee College of Music, he played with legends like Sun RaJohn Gilmore and Philly Joe Jones. He toured nationally and internationally, worked as a studio musician on the East and West coasts and recorded widely, on Sun Ra albums, on the Philly sounds of Instant Funk and as a leader of his own groups. The Oxford community was fortunate to have him play at school events—always a treat. We are sure he is somewhere new, playing his saxophone, making music, as he always loved to do.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, July 9 at 2:00 pm at Harris Funeral Home, 1331 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. Mr. Jones’s music will be played throughout the service. Read his full obituary and learn further details about the service and sending condolences, go to Mr. Jones’s pages on Harris Funeral Home’s website.

Also, please spread the word of an informal gathering to honor the life of Mr. Jones on Sunday, July 10 at 1:00 pm in Cesar Chavez Park in the Marina, near the benches at the parking roundabout. (This is where is his CD photos were shot.) Feel free to bring some small snacks to share and blankets to sit on.

Mr. Jones: "Hutch"
We will miss you, Mr. Jones!

Chess Now + Mini Maker Fair Plans

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Chess Set by Alan Light
photo: Alan Light

Chess at Oxford

The Chess Class meets Mondays from 2:30 to 3:30, and 3:30 to 4:30. The first class is for kids K to 2nd grade, and the second is for the bigger kids. The class and the tournaments will be taught and supervised by the Berkeley Chess School, but the classes are registered for through the LEARNS After School Program at Oxford. The classes will be ongoing and will eventually involve tournaments with ranking.

If you are interested in signing up your child for the class, please do so with the After School Director, Aaron Grayson. Aaron can be reached by phone 510.644.8883, or email . If you have any issues that you want to discuss, please , Volunteer Chess Program Coordinator.

Interested in Planning a Mini Maker Fair?

CALLING ALL MAKER PARENTS!!!! Calling all PARENTS WITH MAKER KIDS!!! Calling all PARENTS WHO MAKE ANYTHING!!! Yeah, you!! Can you use shop tools? Build anything? Wire anything? Program anything? Do you think it would be fun to join a club of parents who would help kids materialize their inventions?! I would like to start a Mini Maker Fair at Oxford School!!! Come join me in trying to get this idea off the ground! I need collaborators! .