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Otter News - September 22, 2023

September 22nd, 2023

Oxford Elementary School

Go Otters!

Happy Friday Oxford Otters!

We have had two great events since the last newsletter. Last week, our 3rd - 5th grade

students enjoyed an author visit from Grace Lin! Grace Lin is a well known children’s author and our students not only had the opportunity to hear her speak, but also were able to interact with her during a student theater experience!

We also kicked off Latinx Heritage Month at our Community Meeting. A number of families joined as the students learned about why we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month and heard as Latinx 5th graders at our school shared where their families are from and a tradition or celebration that they are proud of. To end the meeting, our Kindergartners led us in the song, “Que Bonita Bandera” and students sang about and saw the flag of each Latino country.

In this newsletter, you will find important dates and events, a look into Oxford Classrooms, and PTA information about October events, the Campaign for Oxford and more!

Have a great weekend!


Please help your children follow school rules:

  • Eat only food packed from home.

    • We do not allow sharing of food items due to allergies and dietary restrictions.

  • Leave toys at home.

    • We do not bring toys to school because they frequently lead to distress when lost or broken.

  • Phones and texting devices (watches / Ipads / etc) are to be turned off and stowed during the school day.

    • If you need to get a hold of your child during the day, please call Kaitlin and we will make sure that they get the message! The school number is 510-644-6300

Classroom Highlight: Ms. Lewis - Kindergarten

Today’s classroom highlight brings us into Kindergarten. The students have been busy at work building letter awareness while also laying the foundation for writing. Ms. Lewis’ class starts each morning by reviewing the alphabet. As Ms. Lewis points at each letter, the students say the letter name, write the letter in the air and then say the sound that the letter makes. An example is “A, apple, /a/” This simple exercise is building essential foundational reading skills including letter recognition and phonemic awareness. Through skywriting, the students build gross motor skills that will help form a motor pattern in the brain. Eventually this practice will lead to handwriting skills and, as a result, higher reading and spelling fluency.

Thank you to our amazing School Site Council Nominees. Please vote today!

Upcoming Dates/Events

Sept 18th - 27th: SSC Voting English Ballot Boleta Espanol para el SSC

Friday, September 29 - 5pm PTA Happy Hour El Patio

October 3rd: Picture Day

October 9th: PD Day - NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, October 10th: General PTA Meeting 6 PM via Zoom. Here’s the link!

October 13th: End of 1st Trimester

October 22nd: 12:00pm - 3:00pm Harvest Fair

October 23-26th: Conference Week (shortened days)

October 27: NO SCHOOL for students

SUBSCRIBE TO THE CALENDAR! We recommend subscribing to at least the Oxford Calendar (, but subscribing to the BUSD general calendar is also helpful

Looking ahead. . . Halloween

Halloween is coming around the corner. More details will come in October, but I want to send out the costume guidelines early! Students may wear costumes to school, and Oxford will host a parade on the morning of the 31st. Students who do not celebrate Halloween will be allowed to go to the library during that time. No weapons, fake blood or super scary masks will be allowed. They scare the younger students, and we want it to be a celebration for all. I also recommend keeping special accessories at home. They often get lost, left behind or broken at school and then your child will not have them for Halloween that evening.

Thank you to everyone who came to the last PTA meeting, where we approved this year’s budget, reviewed the financial report, and shared all the many things the PTA has been up to. Our next meeting is another Zoom meeting on Tuesday, October 10th at 6:00pm. Are you a member yet? BECOME ONE TODAY, SIGN UP HERE!

Join us for a happy hour at El Patio on Friday, September 29 from 5pm-7pm. We also still have space at our private Oxford Bar Method class Friday, October 6 at 7pm - is a fun way to connect with other Oxford parents, get some exercise, and raise some funds for Oxford. Champagne toast to celebrate. $40 suggested donation, all proceeds go to the Oxford PTA. Email our amazing Auction maven Christine at

We still do not have event leads for Otterpalooza or Toast to Oxford. Events need leads to happen. We are also looking for a beautification day lead to replace our wonderful Sandy Stokes!

Oxford Directory is up on our website. It is an OPT IN only service. It will be updated monthly. PW was in this week’s remind. We kindly ask that you do not share this information outside of the Oxford community. If you have not submitted information, please do so at this form - Oxford Elementary Directory. If you have more than one child, please submit a separate entry for each child.

As always, you can always email the PTA at

We only have one more week left for the Campaign for Oxford and we’re behind! We’ve raised $5,300 towards our $40,000 goal for the Campaign. PTA covers an additional Kindergarten aid, our amazing Art teacher Ms. Anna, supplies for teachers so that no student has to provide their own supplies, support for field trips, science supplies, literacy supplies, supplies for OT, and more!

You can DONATE ONLINE or write a check to the Oxford PTA dropped off at the front desk or mailed to the school.

On Wed, Oct. 4, Oxford Elementary and schools across the country will Walk & Roll to School. Join us for a safe, healthy, sustainable trip to school! Anyone can participate. Meet at the Addison St. entrance of Strawberry Creek Park starting at 7:30am. You can also join a bike ride starting from one of four Berkeley parks listed on the event website. There will be FREE COFFEE AND DONUTS at Strawberry Creek Park for all families who attend. Visit the event website and register now!

Join us for an evening of learning and playing games as a family. David Pistrang is bringing back the wildly successful family math game night. Games will be geared towards Kindergarten - 2nd graders. Older children with siblings in K-2 are welcome to attend, but will be encouraged to join in a more helper role. Pizza and refreshments will be served at 5:00pm in the upper yard by the Addison entrance and games will start at 5:30pm in the cafeteria. Want to volunteer? Email

Save the date. Harvest Fair is making its glorious return on Sunday, October 22 from 12pm-3pm !!!! Live music, a large inflatable slide and booths! Entrance and activities are all free with food and Oxford merchandise available for purchase. Look out for communications from your classroom coordinators as each classroom signs up and leads one of 12 booths/activities. This is an important community-building event for Oxford, so we really want to welcome everyone's favorite cultural traditions, activities and foods to celebrate this time of year. Do families in your class want to share a Halloween, Dia de los Muertos or other fall tradition? Great! Make it part of your class booth, or let us know and we'll find a way!

Want to be part of the planning team? Email


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