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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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 oxfordelementary.org/resources/calendar.

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.

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School Tour Guides Still Needed

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circle timeWe need volunteer tour guides to lead school tours for prospective K/new families from 8:30 to 9:30 am on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from November to January—sign up now!

You don’t have to be an expert on all things Oxford, just willing to lead a group, talk a little and maneuver through the school. At 9:30 am, I meet with the tour group and answer questions and share information. This is a great time to tell people all that you love about Oxford!

If you can stay until 10:00 am, you could join the Q&A that I hold with the group. Sometimes questions come up that tour guides like to answer. The Q&A sessions are usually in the library or the cafeteria. I’ll provide a school map for tour guides, as well as brochures to distribute to visitors.

~Beth Rhine, Principal

“A way forward & a channel for worries” + more

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love rainbowMs. Anna, Oxford’s art teacher, told me that in today’s art class in Room 26 that she and Ms. Foster “asked the class to make symbols that could show a way forward and give an outlet for all their worries.”

I want to share the pictures with you here. And acknowledge the talented teachers and staff we have at Oxford. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

~ Annie Burke, newsletter editor, Oxford Facebook photo post maker, and mom to Alex and Benny

From the Principal

We had a great Halloween last week, with lots of exciting costumes and a fun parade. It was great to see so many families at the parade, too. I think it’s one of my favorite school events because so many parents/guardians come to Oxford to help with the celebration!

Speaking of visiting the school, the purpose of the shortened school days was to provide time for teachers to meet with parents/guardians. If you weren’t able to schedule a conference with your child’s teacher, I encourage you to set up that appointment. The home-school connection is critical for your child’s academic growth.

And finally, at this time of year, flu and sickness begin to impact our community. If your child is sick, please keep them home until they are feeling better. The general guidelines are 24 hours of no vomiting and no fever for 24 hours before returning to school. Please keep in mind that we have medically-fragile students at Oxford and a flu or cold can hit them hard. Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly, as well as to not touch their face (eyes, nose, mouth). If your child is absent, it’s best if you call and leave a message the day of the absence, as early as possible. Continue reading ““A way forward & a channel for worries” + more” »

Help sell Chinook Books in Sept & Oct

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Chinook BookThank you to all the people who brought baked goods and fruit to this morning’s Back-to-School Coffee. Remember that there’ll be another Coffee tomorrow morning, same place, same time. And whilst we’re at it, we’d like to ask you for your help selling Chinook Books to our community. What is the Chinook Book? It’s a book of coupons from local stores. (You may have seen it at your local supermarket.)

Every year, Oxford partners with the Chinook Book company to raise money for our school. The Chinook Book, together with the app, costs $20, half of which goes to Oxford. The coupons in this year’s book and app expire on September 30, 2017—so you’ve got a whole year to make the most of a wide range of excellent discounts.

In a nutshell, we’ve got the books and the app. Now we need you. Can you help us sell them at school?

This is a short-term volunteer opportunity. We’ve got 8 weeks to sell as many chinook books and apps as possible. Help us start now and we can add to our fundraising goal. You could start tomorrow or Thursday morning at the Back-to-School Coffee. Or you choose the times.

Contact us at if you’re interested (or meet us at Thursday’s Back-to-School Coffee).

Thank you,
Betsy Maisel & Aïda Garcia Pons
(2015-17 PTA co-presidents)

Sign up to Help @ Back-to-School Picnic 8/28

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San Pablo ParkA quick reminder about Sunday’s Back-to School Picnic: 8/28, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at San Pablo Park (2800 Park Street, Berkeley).

If you can give us a hand selling Oxford T-shirts and PTA memberships, sign up at the link below. All money goes straight to fund our school programs. Like last year, we’re using SignUp.com (formerly called Volunteer Spot) to organize all volunteer positions. Here’s how it works in three easy steps:

  1. Click to see our SignUp.
  2. Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
  3. Sign up! It’s easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.

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Oxford Project Day, Sat 11/8

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Berkeley Project Day, 11-8-2014Join 20 Cal student volunteers with 5 beautification projects around the school. This year we will create a simple underwater hallway scene, surprise the children with whimsical art on the playground walls, add color to the lower hallway, and create a rock garden. Your help will transform the putty-colored schoolyard walls, replace an eye-sore dirt patch, and bring smiles to the faces of the children! Sign up to volunteer at the board on Pencil for Berkeley Project Day or .

Volunteers and Donations Needed:

  • A volunteer to ‘oversee’ each of 5 project areas
  • Donations of paint, plants, and pizza
  • Volunteers to pick up supplies a few days before the 8th

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The PTA Needs You Next Year!

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Harvest Fair 2013

A Great Year, With More to Come

The PTA would like to offer a huge thank you to all of the parents/guardians who volunteered their time and money to help make this year’s events successful! The events and programming surely wouldn’t have been so great without the hard work of all of you. A sincere thank you, Sabrina & Laurie.

Many hands make light work: the PTA needs your help for 2014/15. (Thanks to those of you who have already stepped up to the plate!)

PTA Open Positions

  • 1 person needed: Food Coordinator for events (Kirsten Tobey, Yelena Libova will assist)
  • 1 person needed: Co-Coordinator for Harvest Faire (with Nishanga Bliss)
  • 1 person needed: Volunteer Coordinator for events
  • 2 to 4 people needed: Assistant grant writers (to help Niki Laddish and Nina Cohen)
  • 1 person needed: Scrip Gift Card Coordinator (to assist Tara Baker)

Please email and let us know if you have questions. Thanks!

OxfordElementary.org is all NEW!

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The school’s website has a brand new look! The whole shebang has been rebuilt using the popular WordPress content management system, updated with useful widgets and menus, and edited down into more user-friendly sections and pages.

What we’ve got now is an easier-to-navigate online brochure on Oxford for prospective families, plus all the key information for current families, including the calendar, volunteer, donate, scrip and PTA/SGC pages. And we have a news blog (which feeds to Facebook and Twitter), where I’m posting The Oxford News and some of the alerts submitted to the Oxford listserv.

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