Dear Oxford Families,
Welcome to the opening of what promises to be a wonderful school year! At this time of the year, there is great anticipation of what is to come, and I am as excited as the Oxford staff, children, and parents and guardians.
Throughout the year, I look forward to meeting the members of our community. I encourage families to get to know each other so that we can build new friendships, support each other throughout the year, and build our school community.
Our first event this year is our Back-to-School Picnic on Sunday, August 28th, 11:00 am–2:00 pm at San Pablo Park (2800 Park Street, Berkeley). This is an all-school event, we want to encourage everyone to come, to bring a dish to share and to join the fun. It’s for all families, new and returning.
We also have our Kindergarten & New Families Lemonade on Monday, August 29th at 5:00 pm at school. The purpose of the Lemonade is for families to meet each other; the kindergarten teachers will also be there, and you can ask any questions that may have popped up.
The first day of school is Tuesday, August 30th. School begins at 8:00 am, yard supervision at 7:50 am.
Our PTA will be providing coffee on the upper playground for the first three days of school at 8:00 am in order to build community and provide an opportunity for parents/guardians to make connections.
Back-to-School Night is Thursday, September 8th (usually at 6:00–6:45 pm for K–2nd, all-school assembly 6:45–7:15 pm, then 7:15–8:00 for 3rd–5th). This is the time when parents/guardians meet in the classrooms with teachers and learn about grade level curriculum, projects, and expectations.
We have our first Community Meeting on September 9th at 8:00 am. Community Meetings are when we gather together, sing, learn about the Toolbox, discuss the school rules, make announcements and build community. Often students share what they are learning in class via poetry, reading, singing, or acting—those are my favorite Community Meetings! Everyone is invited to Community Meetings.
For our Kindergarten families: due to scheduling conflicts, we have decided to push the Kindergarten Academy until September. More information will follow once school gets up and going.
We have some additions to our staff this school year. A big welcome to the new staff!
Lency Olsen is coming on board as our new 1st grade teacher. (Ms. Uk will continue teaching kindergarten this year.) Lency worked 9 years in San Francisco and three years in Oakland. Lency’s teaching philosophy focuses on developing happy, healthy, contributing members of society. She wants the students to love school so she works to keep it fun.
Also joining us is Rachel Martin as our new 4th grade teacher. Rachel was a student teacher here at Oxford a few years back and has been working in Daly City for the past four years. One of Rachel’s references said that she was “one of the best” and that she will be missed.
Our new Special Education Resource Teacher (Mild/Moderate) is Kelly Miura. Some of you might know Kelly as she volunteered throughout the school last year and was Ms. Alaimo’s student teacher. The staff was impressed with her resourcefulness, organization, and motivation in supporting students. I know she will do a great job in our special education program.
And I’m happy to report that Eileen Cullen will be staying on at Oxford this year, continuing as a 2nd grade teacher.
A few important traffic and drop-off reminders to make our year go more smoothly:
The passenger loading zones on Walnut and Oxford are for active passenger loading and unloading only. Do not use these gray zones for waiting in your car and do not park there. Periodically, the City of Berkeley gives out tickets and they are pricey. It is also critical that cars don’t block the buses, including the small bus that picks up our students on Oxford.
Make sure to park legally; do not block driveways or bus zones.
Please travel around the school in a clockwise direction and the passenger door will open on the school-side sidewalk, making the drop-off smoother and safer. Do not drop your child off on the opposite side of the street from the school and have them run across the street, especially on Oxford Street. It’s a blind corner on Oxford and very dangerous. We want to keep our children safe.
Morning playground supervision begins at 7:50 am and the whistle is blown at 8:00 am for students to line up. Please don’t send students to school before 7:50 am; there is no supervision on the playground.
On the first day of school, all students will assemble on the playground at 8:00 am to meet their teachers and walk to their classrooms together. We ask that 1st to 5th grade parents stay on the playground when children enter the building. Kindergarten parents/guardians are invited to join their children in the classroom for 20 minutes of family reading on the first three days of school, and then we will ask you to say goodbye to them.
First Week and Beyond
Each week, every child will bring home a Thursday Folder with key communications in it. Keep an eye out for it, and send it back every Friday!
If you are interested in signing up for the Berkeley LEARNS after school program here on site, registration is Tuesday, August 23rd, 8:30 am–12:00 pm & 1:30 pm–5:30 pm and Thursday, August 25th, 8:30 am–1:00 pm. You will need to register even if your child attended the after school program last year.
Unfortunately, our “eTree” broke down last spring, but you can receive school- and district-related information via email if you subscribe to the new, temporary Oxford Google Group. This email list is used only to circulate information directly related to Oxford and the Berkeley Unified School District. The link is at the bottom of the right sidebar, under “Mailing List.”
Ready, Set, Go!
We are ready to begin the 2016–2017 school year. At Oxford Elementary, the staff, faculty, and administration are honored that you entrust us with your precious ones. The hours that your children are with us each day are so important. Here’s to a great school year!
Sincerely, Beth Rhine Principal
P.S. We will also be sending out this information via regular mail.