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It’s That Time of Year . . .

On Saturday, October 22, Oxford parent Kristen Burmester organized and supervised a group of Cal students as they did some projects around the school. Check out the new stairs with a railing for the cafeteria stage! And they cleaned out and organized the emergency bin, another major endeavor. They did painting and posting student work, too. I am so excited about the stairs, I can’t get over it!

And then on Sunday, October 23, we had the Annual Harvest Fair. Gaby Raymond organized the Fair and Jos Burns and Kendra Dodsworth organized the Book Fair. It was really nice, people hanging out while the kids ran around and had fun. There was lots of good food and games to enjoy. It was a great day. A big thanks to Kristen, Gaby, Jos, Kendra, all the room parents, and the volunteers!

Report cards are coming soon. They will be given to parents/guardians during conferences with teachers in the beginning of November. It might seems like school hasn’t been in session long enough for report cards but BUSD has a shorter first trimester in order for families to be notified of their child’s progress early in the year. This way, if additional support is needed, we can intervene early. And for those who are working at or above grade level, challenge opportunities can be created. If you haven’t already set up your teacher/parent conference, teachers will be in touch soon.

Thanks for making Oxford such an amazing school! ~ Principal Beth Rhine

From the PTA Presidents!

We’ve started having our Dine-Out events of the school year. On Monday we ate at Farm Burger and enjoyed their food and the company of so many Oxfordians. There are more Dine-Outs planned for the next couple of weeks, so please check the school calendar and mark the dates.

Our next PTA meeting is on Friday November 18 at 8:00 am. We’ll have a guest speaker who’ll come and teach us about standardized tests. The state testing for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders is an issue many parents worry about and we want to make sure our community is prepared for it. Come and learn what happens with our kids’ results, what they mean, and how they help us see what Oxford’s needs are.

We have heard from many of you that you’re interested in helping out with the PTA. Yes! There are a few immediate vacancies we need to fill, including:

  1. Historian

  2. Chinook Book Coordinator

  3. T-shirt Sales Coordinator

  4. Staff-Appreciation Lunch Coordinator

Interested in learning more? Email and we’ll give you more details.

~ Betsy & Aïda, your 2015–17 PTA Co-presidents


photo: Beth Rhine

Halloween at Oxford!

We will be having our annual Halloween parade at 1:00 pm on Monday, October 31 on the lower playground—if it rains, we have a parade plan for inside the building.

For this to be a fun and safe event, please follow our guidelines:

  1. No clowns this year, please!

  2. No weapons at school (including light sabers)

  3. Costumes should be age-appropriate and not too scary for the little ones

  4. Costumes should avoid ethnic stereotypes

  5. Children should be able to walk in their shoes, including up and down stairs

  6. Please send your child’s costume in a bag—students should not wear their costume to school.

  7. If your child needs assistance putting on their costume, please arrange to come to school to help or work something out with the teacher. Do not count on the teacher being able to apply makeup or help with costume pieces.

If you have a personal objection to your child’s participation in the parade, please let your classroom teacher know. We want every student to come to school!

What’s Measure E1? What’s BSEP?

20% of all current funding for the Berkeley public schools comes from BSEP, a tax authorized by voter ballot measure. Oxford’s library, music and technology programs, among other things, are provided by BSEP funds. If 2/3 of Berkeley voters vote to reauthorize BSEP in the November 8 general election (Measure E1), funding will remain in place for the next eight years. Read more about how BSEP is used at Oxford…

Great California Shakeout

At 10:20 am on October 20, 2016, millions of people, including the students at Oxford, participated in the largest worldwide earthquake drill ever: ShakeOut! Earthquakes can happen anywhere you work, live, study, or travel, which is why everyone, everywhere should know how to protect themselves should an earthquake occur. Go to to improve your family’s level of earthquake safety, and make sure your emergency information is up-to-date in the school office!

In the case of a major earthquake, we plan to evacuate students to the lower yard and release them to caregivers at the Walnut Street/driveway exit. If we had to evacuate the school site, we would go to Live Oak Park. See the Emergency Info page for more information on disaster preparedness.

Book Fair 2016

photo: Annie Burke

Cafeteria Changes

Due to hiring difficulties, most BUSD elementary kitchens will only be staffed by one person. This means that Cindy is not able to do the cooking and preparation as she used to and the food comes packaged from the Central Kitchen. There is still fresh fruit and the salad bar available but the hot entrees arrive plastic-wrapped. We hope this is not a permanent change.

Kindergartners are Dancing!

My name is Kimberly Johnson-Lloyd. I am the dance instructor for Grade K. Teaching the kindergarten students has been a wonderful experience. Our focus for this session is contemporary dance. Dance is a tool I use to aid children in self-discovery and to encourage a positive sense of self-worth. I employ various techniques to physically condition the body and to encourage self-expression. Kindergarten students are learning how to count music, listen to rhythms, and use different dance techniques to enhance their creative movement. I am a native of Berkeley, California. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. Mary’s College High School (Berkeley) and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Fordham University in New York City. I also have performed with a variety of dance companies including Alvin Ailey, and Washington Reflections. My background in the performing arts spans over 20 years in choreography, professional dancing and teaching. Dance is my passion, and I enjoy sharing my experiences and knowledge of the performance arts with the kindergarten students.

Tip: on Copyright & Plagiarism for Young Students

Robin Hurley, our school’s technology teacher, is teaching our kids a lot about how to be a digital citizen. And she recommends this for you from Common Sense MediaRespecting Creative Work.

Preparing for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Caregiver-Teacher Conferences are coming up November 3–9. Have you and your child’s teacher scheduled a time to discuss your child’s progress? If you can’t attend a conference at any of the times offered by the teacher, ask about other possible times. And if you will need translation support, please let your child’s teacher know.

You can prepare for the conference by:

  1. Talking with your child about their experiences in class this year

  2. Thinking about your child’s strengths and challenges

  3. Reviewing your child’s work, tests, etc.

  4. Making a list of questions to ask at the conference

  5. Thinking about ways you’d like to be involved in your child’s learning this year

We hope these conferences will be effective two-way conversations, focused on working together to ensure your child’s success in school.

scarecrow & black cat

photo: Beth Rhine

You made it to the end of the e-newsletter . . .

. . . you get this bonus. Thanks for reading!

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