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Coach Nat, Kinder happenings, SGC & more

The first two weeks of school have gone very well. Routines are getting into place, we’ve been reviewing school expectations, classrooms are busy, and we have already practiced using two of our “tools” from the Toolbox program (The Breathing Tool and Listening Tool). It was great to see those who were able to make it out for Back-to-School Night last week; we missed you if you weren’t able to join us! We had a 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.

Just a reminder, the Oxford school newsletter 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 subscribe to the email list and e-newsletter (which sometimes has extras that don’t fit in the paper edition). All the links you need are listed and explained in this handy blog post:

A big thanks to everyone who completed the school forms sent home last week! Yes! They have information that is important for us to have on file at Oxford. And in case you missed messages about the school lunch form, please make sure to turn that one in, too, or you can do it online at If you do it online, there’s no need to submit the paper form too. You can also pay ahead for lunches at

Thanks for all of your support of Oxford Elementary!

~ Principal Beth Rhine,

Great volunteer opportunity

You can have a direct impact on your child’s education. Join the dynamic group of parents, teachers and staff on the School Governance Council, working to meet the learning needs of ALL students and forge a strong school-home connection. The SGC writes our annual school site plan and determines funding priorities for Oxford. Nomination forms are available in the school office and were sent home last week. Consider nominating yourself for the SGC election—it’s a two-year term and one parent/guardian position is open on the council this year. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Sept. 15. Contact Beth Rhine at or SGC Chair Lauren Morrison at if you have questions. The first official meeting with the 2017–18 Committee will be on October 19.

Meet Coach Nat!

As you probably know by now, we have a new PE teacher this year. We are super lucky to have Coach Nat join us this fall to run our PE classes and to be on the playground during recesses. Coach Nat works at Thousand Oaks after school and was super excited to add teaching PE at Oxford to her day. Some students already know her, as she teaches swimming classes locally in the summer and runs summer camps. Due to the hiring process, Coach Nat is here on a provisional basis but hopefully we can keep her here for good! Stop by and introduce yourself if you are here on campus.

What’s Happening in Kindergarten?

Kindergarten is an exciting time for students, and our teachers work hard to create a engaging learning experience. They cover a variety of areas, including motor skills, literacy, music and more. In motor skills, students are working on skills such as hopping, jumping, balancing and catching. They also use different equipment like the bouncy balls, pogo sticks, balance beams, scooters, and the walking cups. In literacy, the emphasis is on learning about letters, the sounds and names. They use letter tiles, sing rhyming songs, make name books, and form letters with wooden pieces. During reading workshop, our kindergarten students are learning to read independently and with a partner. They use their predicting skills by looking at the book cover and thinking what it’s about and their rereading skills to get more details from the book. Teachers emphasize that students are the bosses of their own writing, writing their own ideas and drawing illustrations to match the writing. Inventive spelling is introduced and encouraged during writing workshop. In math, students are learning about attributes by sorting by color, shape, size, texture, pattern, identifying same/different, and matching exactly the same. At the end of the week on Friday, both classes gather and have a Kinder Singalong.

At last week’s community meeting, kinders were asked what they like about school so far. Some answers were marshmallow mouth, playing and going on vacation. (Vacation?! They just started school!)

How early can my kid get to school in the morning?

Answer: if you’re with them, as early as you want (staying on the playground). If you’re dropping them off, not before 7:50 am. Why? Supervision on the playground begins at 7:50. Please don’t drop kids off before then. [Full details here.]

What happens if I’m late to picking them up at the end of the day?

Answer: They will be waiting in the office for pickup. [Full details here.]

Prefer to read this by email? You can!

Find out how to subscribe to the e-newsletter at

Get ready for the Oxford traffic flow! Because it’s going to flow.

Drop off and pickup at Oxford School can be challenging. The surrounding streets are narrow, and congestion is common. We are fortunate to have Ms. Val out front on Oxford Street, facilitating drop-off. You can pull up, your child can exit the car safely, and Ms. Val will make sure they enter the building.

You can also help the traffic flow by doing the following:

  1. Travel around the school in a clockwise direction. This way, the passenger door will open out to the sidewalk on the school side of the street, making drop-off smoother and safer.

  2. Make sure to park legally and do not block driveways. (We need to be good neighbors.)

  3. Do not block bus zones, either on Walnut Street or on Oxford.

  4. The small bus on Oxford drops off some of our students who have physical disabilities. It’s critical that the bus can pull up to the curb in the loading zone. Please don’t block the bus.

  5. The Walnut and Oxford Street curbs are for active passenger loading and unloading only. Do not use these gray zones for waiting in your car, and don’t park there and leave the car unattended. You will block others from dropping off their child.

  6. Warning: the City of Berkeley gives out tickets for illegal parking, and they are pricey.

  7. Please do not drop your child off on the opposite side of the street from the school and have them run across the street. It’s especially dangerous on Oxford, with its blind corner.

The best strategy is to park 1 to 2 blocks away and walk to school with your child, or drive around clockwise and allow Ms. Val to facilitate the drop off process. We appreciate everyone’s efforts to keep the traffic moving smoothly and our students safe. [Further details here.]

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