News Blog

Parent and Caregiver Support Group

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The aim of the group, which meets the first Thursday of every month (changed from Wednesdays), is for parents and caregivers to connect with each other, have fun, create a network of support, and share ideas of how to support kids’ and caregivers’ wellness. One or both of Oxford’s mental health counselors will be acting as facilitators and will also be available to provide information about additional resources and support.

If you are interested, please RSVP each month by sending an email to Robin Olip-Booth at . A Zoom link and more information will then be sent to you. If you have any questions about the group, including how to access it, please let us know through the email above.

Please also let us know if you would be interested in such a group if it were held at a different time. We can’t make any promises, but we would like to accommodate the needs of as many people as possible.

Kindergarten Information Night

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Tonight, January 12 at 7pm, Oxford holds its Annual Kindergarten Information Night. 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 878 9558 9656
Passcode: 566441

Monday Password Reset

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On Monday evening, September 28 the Berkeley Unified School district will force a password reset for all elementary students. The first time your child logs into their account after the password reset, they should input their original as usual. After entering their password, they will be required to enter a new password. 

Why is this happening?

It is always good practice to change passwords frequently – requiring a password change will help protect your child’s privacy and keep them safe, especially considering these accounts are being used more frequently during distance learning.

What should we do to prepare for the change?

  • First you can take a look at this slideshow – your child’s classroom teacher will go over this presentation during a live class session before Monday, September 28.
  • Right now, you and your child should pick a new, strong password, and write it down.  
    • Note: Strong passwords use at least 8 characters and have both upper and lower case letters. 
    • Make your password long, memorable and difficult to guess. For example pick your favorite color, animal and food together (For example, PurpleTigerPasta).

What will happen after Monday, September 28?  How do we change the password?

You can review the steps to take HERE.  

  • After this forced password reset, your child will log into their account as usual, using the old password.  
  • They will then need to enter the new password twice.  It will look like this:

What if I forget the new password? Try ONE method below

  • Emergency Zoom Hotline: only available on Tuesday 9/29 & Wednesday 9/30 from 8:30am – 10:30am.  Guardians can join the Zoom Meeting below:

Meeting ID: 811 8626 6322

Passcode: 922399

Hola Familias en las Escuelas Primarias:

El lunes, 28 de septiembre Berkeley Unified School District va a forzar un password reset (restablecimiento de contraseña) para todos los estudiantes en primaria.  Ese día, después de logging (iniciar sesión) en la cuenta de, se le pedirá a su hijo que ingrese una NUEVA password (contraseña).

¿Por qué esta sucediendo esto?

Siempre es una buena práctica cambiar las passwords con frecuencia; el requerir un cambio de password ayudará a proteger la privacidad de su hijo y a mantenerlo seguro, especialmente considerando que estas cuentas se utilizan con más frecuencia durante el distance learning (aprendizaje a distancia).

¿Que debemos hacer para prepararnos para el cambio?

·   Primero vea estas diapositivas this slideshow (diapositivas) – el maestro de clase de su hijo repasará esta presentación durante una sesión de clase en vivo antes del lunes, 28 de septiembre.

·   Ahora mismo, usted y su hijo deben escoger una nueva, y fuerte password, y escribirla.  

  • Aviso: Un password fuerte usa por lo menos 8 caracteres y contiene letras mayúsculas y minúsculas. 
  • Haga que su contraseña sea larga, memorable y difícil de adivinar. Por ejemplo elija su color, animal y comida preferida juntos (Por ejemplo, PurpleTigerPasta (MoradoTigrePasta).

¿Que pasará el lunes, 28 de septiembre?  ¿Cómo cambiamos el password?

Usted puede revisar los pasos a seguir AQUÍ.  

·   El 28 de septiembre, su hijo iniciará sesión en su cuenta como de costumbre, usando su password anterior.  

·   Luego deberán ingresar la nueva contraseña dos veces.  Se verá de esta manera:

¿Que sucede si olvido el nuevo password?

  • Línea directa de emergencia Zoom: solo disponible el martes 29 de septiembre y el miércoles 30 de septiembre de 8:30 a.m. a 10:30 a.m. Los padres pueden unirse a la reunión de Zoom a continuación:

Meeting ID: 811 8626 6322

Passcode: 922399

BUSD: Housing, Student Attendance

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Important Information from Superintendent Stephens

A message was sent out by Dr. Stephens yesterday via School messenger regarding attendance.  In case you missed it, here it is again –

Student Attendance

California made significant changes to the laws about student attendance in the 2020-2021 school year, and although the new state law does not describe every challenge that families are facing, school attendance continues to be compulsory for students.

Compulsory attendance means that all students are expected to participate in school, including the teacher’s live daily online instruction and the completion of assignments made by the teacher. Both of these elements are expected parts of attending school and, to comply with state law, BUSD will soon implement a new attendance taking system that tracks both daily attendance in live instruction and each student’s ongoing completion of school work.

We recognize that attendance in live online instruction can be interrupted by a variety of factors, including the stability of internet service. We ask that families continue to share with their teachers the reason for an absence from an online session. At the school level, we are required to maintain our attendance communications with families, and this still involves automated attendance calls to the home when a student is absent. We will do our best to limit these calls to absences that we have no information about.

Supplemental support is scheduled by Special Education, English Language Development Teachers, and intervention teachers, and these support classes are also mandatory. 

At the elementary level, Choice Time consists of live enrichment classes like Music, Physical Education, Library, Science, and Gardening & Cooking. Student participation in Choice Time enrichment classes is highly encouraged, but may be viewed as optional. No make-up instruction can be offered for families who opt out of these enrichment classes on an ongoing basis, and periodic participation will affect your child’s learning in these subjects.

Students grades should be based on impartial, consistent observation by the teacher of the quality of the student’s work and his/her mastery of course content and objectives. A student’s understanding and work can be affected by attendance, but attendance itself is not included as part of grading.

Some families may choose to opt out of Zoom instruction entirely, and while BUSD discourages this because of its impact on student learning, it is permissible under state law that a child is considered to be attending school if she or he is only completing the teacher’s assignments. Families who elect to miss all or some Zoom sessions should understand that teachers cannot offer individual tutoring, make-up work, additional assignments, or other support beyond what the teacher provides to all students. Families who choose to opt out of Zoom entirely should contact their school principal. 

In keeping with state law about attendance, families that choose not to participate in either live or assigned school work will be dropped from the district, and will be required to re-enroll to begin attending a BUSD school again. A seat at your current school cannot be saved.


Last Chance for SSC Nominations

You can have a direct impact on your child’s education.  Join the dynamic group of parents, teachers & staff on the School Site Council, working to meet the learning needs of ALL students, improve school climate, and forge a strong Home-School Connection.  The SSC helps write our annual School Site Plan and determines funding priorities for Oxford Elementary.

Please nominate yourself here to be on the Oxford SSC ballot. It’s a two-year term and three parent/guardian positions are open on the council this year.  We meet once a month in the late afternoon.  The deadline for nominations is Friday, Sept. 11.  Contact Beth Rhine if you have questions. The first official meeting with the 2020-2021 Committee will be on October 14. 



Coastal Art & Poetry Contest

California students in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit artwork or poetry with a California coastal or marine theme to the Coastal Art & Poetry Contest, presented by the California Coastal Commission. 

Entries can be submitted online until midnight January 31st. For rules, contest flyer, entry form (and helpful links for teachers and students), please visit instructions, flyer, and entry form are also available in Spanish. (If you need the flyer emailed instead, please let me know.) 

Up to ten winners will be selected to win $100 gift certificates to an art supply store (for artists) or book store (for poets). Each winner’s sponsoring teacher will receive a $50 gift certificate for educational supplies, courtesy of Acorn Naturalists. Students may have their work featured on Commission web pages and materials, and winners and honorable mentions will be exhibited throughout the state, as conditions allow. 

 Bekkah Scharf (she/her/hers)

Public Education Program, California Coastal Commission 


Berkeley Housing Information
Jones Berkeley is a new apartment complex at 1080 Jones Street that is now accepting applications for below market rate apartments. There are 16 available units including studios, 1 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms, and 3 bedrooms. They will accept Section 8 and other valid rental assistance program vouchers. 
The property includes:
Fitness Center, Indoor/Outdoor Lounge, Social Lounge, Package Lockers, Indoor Bicyle Parking, On-site Composting, Green Roof Spaces
 You can find information about the property / application process here.  Application due date:  10/13/2020 at 5:00pm.

BUSD Technology Review

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At our PTA meeting we heard from BUSD Teacher Librarian Eric Silverberg, who shared with us an overview of the different technologies the District is using in the new Distanced Learning plan.

Click here to see the presentation deck

Learn about the ED HUB

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The Ed Hub is BUSD’s centralized distribution site for all things teaching & learning during school facilities closure due to COVID-19. The drive-through site allows for BUSD students and their families to pull in, pick up essential learning supplies, and head back home while staying safely inside their car.



Click here to see more information about the ED HUB

“How to” videos for Google Classroom

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In partnership with BUSD’s Digitech, Berkeley Schools Volunteers spent much of the summer researching, designing, and producing a series of Google Classroom “how to” videos for families (grades 3rd and up).

These videos are now linked to the District’s Distance Learning resources page, They are located under the red buttons in both English and Spanish. (Arabic coming soon!)

Or, if you just want to highlight the new Google Classroom how-to videos, you can share these direct links:

In partnership with BUSD’s Digitech, Berkeley Schools Volunteers spent much of the summer researching, designing, and producing a series of Google Classroom “how to” videos for families (grades 3rd and up).

These videos are now linked to the District’s Distance Learning resources page, They are located under the red buttons in both English and Spanish. (Arabic coming soon!)

Or, if you just want to highlight the new Google Classroom how-to videos, you can share these direct links:

Welcome Back Monday!

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Hello, Oxford Families.
We are busily trying to get everything ready for Monday.  Emails and texts have been flying – it’s been a busy day.  I might need to send out another email if there are more updates, but I’ll try to limit the emails.  I’ll try!
First, teachers are working on reaching out to families to share information, links, and a sign-up for Family Conferences.  If you haven’t heard from your teacher, you will hear from them today or tomorrow.  Some are learning a whole new level of technology and are trying to get things in place.
For some tech support for families, check out this link: There are also links for students to use next week during independent work time.
Returning students will likely remember their login email and password.  Please use the BUSD email to log onto all BUSD programs, etc.  Classroom teachers will share the login email and password with the new students and kindergarten students.  I also have the list, so if you’re in a jam, feel free to email me.  
Today, we received a directive from the City of Berkeley Health Department saying that we are not able to hold in-person meetings inside or outside of schools.  I believe some teachers had been setting up outside family conferences next week but those will now need to be moved to Zoom Meetings.  It’s unfortunate but with Covid numbers increasing, we want to follow the guidelines and keep everyone healthy.  
Kindergarten Families, this means that Balanced Beginnings plans have to be cancelled.  I met with the Kinder team today and students have been assigned to teachers.  Ms. Lewis and Ms. Ahmed will be reaching out to families today or tomorrow with information about next week.  We are so bummed about this and were looking forward to seeing families, socially distanced, of course.  But again, we want to keep everyone healthy.
I am going to send out the information in this email via robo-call this evening.  I am using the Illuminate database that has all families in it.  If you don’t get an email or a phone call…or both, let me know.  This means that the information in our system is not accurate and I’d like to get it as accurate as possible.  
For future communications, our plan is to send out the school newsletter via this list on Tuesdays.  I will do a robo-call on Fridays with timely information.  As the school year gets underway, communications might slow down as we get into a groove.
Speaking of getting into a groove, the first couple of days might be a little bumpy while teachers get their virtual classrooms set up and as students figure out the routines.  I am confident that we will get into a groove for Distance Learning and the bumps will smooth out. (It will probably happen right before we go to Hybrid/part school-part home learning!). I really appreciate your patience and support in this whole process.  You are amazing. 
One piece of good news is that the move is still on schedule!  Phew.
Big hugs to you all!
Beth Rhine, Oxford Principal