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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The Lice are Back!

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medical symbolPlease make sure you check your kid’s hair regularly and consider doing a preventive shampoo every so often. Ideally, don’t let children share hats.

If your child has lice, please consider keeping them home from school to remove the beasts. Anti-lice treatments can be found at CVS, Pharmaca and, most likely, your local drugstore. Or, you may want to make an appointment at Lice Control.

Let’s keep Oxford lice and nit free.

Thanks for your cooperation,

Room parents, candy and lice–oh my!

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Teachers posterboard including Obama!The first two weeks of school have gone very well. Routines are in place, we’ve been reviewing school expectations, classrooms are busy, and we have already practiced using our “tools” from the Toolbox program. We are off to a great start! I want to thank those who were able to make it out for Back-to-School Night last week. We had a pretty 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.

After this week, the Oxford News school bulletin 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 sign up to get this newsletter via email and for the email list! (Links are on the website’s sidebar.)

If you haven’t already, please turn in the forms that were sent home in the Thursday folder. They have information that is important for us to have on file at school. And in case you missed my many messages about the school lunch form, please make sure to turn that one in, too, or you can do it on-line at If you do it online, no need to submit the paper form too.

Thanks for all your support!

~ Beth Rhine

From the PTA Co-Presidents

Dear Oxfordians,

We hope you enjoyed Back-to-School Night last week and meeting your child’s teacher and all the other parents in your group. It’s important for one (or more—the responsibility can be shared, of course!) person(s) to volunteer as this year’s room parent(s), to be a bridge between your class and your teacher, the PTA and the rest of the community. The room parent’s tasks are simple and straightforward and do not involve much time. Feel free to ask us or any returning parents questions about this job.

medical symbolWe have heard of lice cases at other BUSD elementary schools, and we would like to ask you to check your kid’s hair regularly in the hope we can avoid an infestation at Oxford. Last year we also used Lice Control on Shattuck Avenue to have all the pupils checked after a successful lice invasion at school (successful for the lice’s part—for the parents it was a nightmare, and for the PTA, an unexpected expense). Yes, it is hard to find the little creatures hiding in the hair; one has to sit down, make the child cooperate (easier said than done) and spend time going through their hair. No, it is not a joyful task, but by checking regularly we can identify the invaders at an early stage and save our budget for the things that matter. Local pharmacies and drugstores have preventive shampoos and lice-treatment kits. And if in dire need, Lice Control also offers lice removal services. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns about this.

Feeling itchy yet?

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Measles Alert from Berkeley Public Health

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medical symbolUnvaccinated kids will stay home for 21 days if there’s an outbreak at school

En español más abajo

The City of Berkeley’s Health Officer urges vaccination against measles due to a statewide outbreak that has reached Alameda County. If your child has not received the recommended two doses of the MMR vaccine, they are at risk of contracting measles, which can have severe consequences including hospitalization and death. If there is a measles outbreak in your school, Public Health will direct all unvaccinated children to stay home from school for at least 21 days, the length of the incubation period.

Measles is highly infectious: 90 percent of those without immunity who share a living space with someone with measles will contract it. People contract the virus through airborne particles that can linger in the air for up to two hours.

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Hygiene reminder: Enterovirus D68 [updated]

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medical symbolYou’ve probably heard news stories about Enterovirus D68, a virus that causes mild to severe respiratory illness. The CDC says that anyone with respiratory illness, especially children with asthma, should contact their doctor if they are having difficulty breathing.

Two cases in Alameda County have been confirmed to date. The Public Health Department is working with local hospitals to identify and conduct testing on children hospitalized with serious respiratory infections. Enterovirus D68 causes symptoms that are similar to the symptoms of a cold or flu, such as cough, sneezing, runny nose, body aches, or fever, but in this outbreak, many children do NOT have a fever.

Enterovirus D68 is thought to spread from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or contaminates a surface with their respiratory secretions. Enteroviruses can also be spread in the stool. Hand hygiene with soap and water is preferred as alcohol-based hand sanitizers have limited effectiveness against enteroviruses.

Pictures + Bugs + Coffee + more from Beth

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If your child is sick, please keep him/her home. We have children in the office on a daily basis complaining about not feeling well. Be on the look out for lice, ringworm, pink eye, and respiratory illnesses. We have had a little bit of everything happening lately!

LifeTouch School PortraitsAnd mark your calendars, it’s Picture Day on Thursday, October 9th. Ordering information went home last week. If you need a new packet, stop by the office; Deanna has extras—but do NOT hand in your order packet until Picture Day. Make-Up Picture Day is on Thursday, November 13th. We are going with LifeTouch this year for school pictures.

Also, I’ll be holding the first Coffee with the Principal on Friday, October 17th at 8:00 am in the cafeteria. That’s a time where anyone can come, have a cup of coffee, and ask questions and hear more about life at Oxford Elementary!

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BUSD Among “10 Best School Lunches” in U.S.

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Berkeley schools are rated at #7 on the “10 Best School Lunches in America” on

Some of the public schools (and, in some cases, entire districts) that made this list earned their place by overhauling pre-existing systems that were clearly in need of a makeover… Check out the slideshow to see how privileged these young students are when it comes to lunch, but prepare for some serious jealousy!

La Encuesta sobre el Desayuno Escolar

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Queridos padres, por favor tomense un minuto para responder a esta encuesta sobre los desayunos escolares. La encuesta esta patrocinada por un grupo de trabajo llevado por padres para la Nutrición del Desayuno escolar. Para responder a laencuesta en español clica aquí. Gracias.

Short Survey about School Breakfasts–for Parents

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Parents, please take a minute to fill out a half page survey about the school breakfasts. The survey is sponsored by the parent-led School Breakfast Nutrition Working Group. Thank you!