staff news

Día de los Muertos, altar for Mr. Jones

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Over the summer, the Oxford community lost a talented teacher and colleague, Mr Paul Jones. Our Día de los Muertos altar is just a small tribute to this great man, and other people and pets that have passed on.

Next time you’re at the school, be sure to see this. Take a pause and really see it. It’s quite amazing.

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What Happens on “Staff Development Day”?

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Ever wonder what the teachers and other District staff do on Staff Development Days? For school families, it means students don’t go to school. But what do staff do? They go to school!

Read about what Oxford’s and other schools’ staff were learning on October 10 at BUSD’s blog.

Instead of Flowers for Mr. Jones, Please Donate

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Mr. Jones: "Hutch"Two wonderful ceremonies were held for Mr. Paul Jones, “Hutch,” this weekend. The formal Memorial Service for Mr Jones was on Saturday, July 9, 2016. The next day, we had an informal gathering at Cesar Chavez Park in the Berkeley Marina to share our memories of Mr. Jones and to spend some more time together honoring his memory. He will be missed at Oxford.

I’ve had several questions regarding sending flowers or cards. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Berklee College of Music in honor of Hutch. At $1,000 a dorm room will be named in his honor and any balance will go to scholarships. Please for the address information the Berklee website requires.

~ Beth Rhine

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!

Fair Photos, Equity, We’re Making a Neighbor Late for School!

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Snow globes were shaken, cards were made, cider was drunk, pizza was eaten… and a lot of fun was had at the Winter Fair last Friday. Thanks to everyone who contributed their creativity and energy. Room 4 hosted a photo booth that looked like this:

A link was sent via the Oxford “e-tree” mailing list to Shutterfly where you can see who stopped by the booth, who wore the most costumes, and you can also buy prints.

On Monday, January 26, all staff participated in a very productive and informative professional development day. In the morning, a speaker, Richard Villa, talked about the strengths of being a district that fully supports inclusion. Then there were breakout sessions on various topics related to special education, classroom management, and supporting positive behavior. After lunch, another speaker, Pamela Harrison-Small, talked about equity in our schools and how we need to reach all of our students and build a strong supportive school community. After that, there were breakout sessions about 4 different equity strategies to be used in the classroom. Overall, it was a good day to learn, reflect and talk to colleagues.

On another note, one of our neighbors is often late taking her child to school because Oxford parents block her driveway. Traffic safety around Oxford School is a big priority for all of us. Please park legally and if at all possible, travel around the school in a clockwise direction so the passenger door opens to the curb. Consider parking a block or two away and taking a nice morning stroll to bring your child to school. Please be considerate to the neighbors and other drivers… and be safe with our kids!

Thanks to all who made the Winter Fair happen! It was fun and lively and everyone had a good time!

4th Grade Change + Late Notes + Ks Perform

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From our Principal

Teacher Transition

Many of you may have already heard, Mr. Tadesse, one of our 4th grade teachers, has been hired to be the new Assistant Principal at Malcolm X Elementary. As hard as it is for us to see him go, it helps to know that he will have a bigger role in Berkeley, leading our students to success. I am happy to report that I was able to hire a teacher to take over the classroom. Please let me “introduce” you to Ashley Foster! We worked together in Oakland and she has several years experience teaching 4th grade. Ms. Foster will be in the classroom by the end of this week. Please join me in welcoming her to the Oxford community!

Getting to School Late

It happens. If your child arrives at school late, please send a note with him/her or walk them in. We want to know that you know he/she is arriving late. And we want to make sure there is a safe and knowing hand-off between you and the school.

K Performance 12/12

I hope to see you at this Friday’s Community Meeting. Our kindergarten students will be performing!

~ Beth Rhine

Updates from the Principal

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o-to-the-x-f-o-r-d elementary

From The Oxford News

We had a great first week of school! Thanks to everyone who made that possible, staff and families. There are many important announcements in this newsletter, so I’ll keep it brief. One request, please write your child’s name in his/her clothes and belongings. With your help, hopefully we can keep the Lost & Found from overflowing this year. Thank you!

Staffing Updates

Continue reading “Updates from the Principal” »

Honoring Retiring Librarian Ms. Sheng

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Two anonymous donors have installed a recognition plate in the library to honor Ms. Sheng for her 29 years of service. All students, present and past, should think of it as their gift to her thanking Ms Sheng for her reading magic.