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Toolbox, Harvest/Book Fair, new counselor . . .

On Monday, October 10, all staff participated in professional development sessions. In the morning, the classroom teachers participated in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) with a focus on writing. We looked at writing samples, discussed student progress and planned for next steps. After that, teachers participated in various literacy workshops. Our staff also participated in learning sessions, including team building, Mandated Reporter Training and more. Overall, it was a productive day!

Wondering what the “Breathing Tool” is, or maybe the “Personal Space Tool?” All BUSD schools use the Toolbox Program, a social emotional program emphasizing using our “tools.” We discuss how these tools are inside us and when we can use them at Community Meetings; teachers also do some Toolbox work in their classrooms.If you want to know more about the program, check out the new Toolbox Curriculum page on the Oxford website.

And, please mark your calendars for the upcoming shortened school days the first week of November. The purpose of the shortened days is to give teachers time to have parent/guardian conferences. Shortened days are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, November 3 and 4, and again on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 8 and 9.

Early release times are as follows:

  1. Kindergarten release time: 12:20 pm

  2. 1st–3rd grades release time: 12:55 pm

  3. 4th–5th grade release time: 1:00 pm

There is no school for students on Monday, November 7 (for conferences) and then there is a holiday for everyone on Friday, November 11. Thanks for all you do to support Oxford and hope to see everyone at the Harvest Fair on October 23!

~Beth Rhine

P.S. If you are not receiving robo-calls from me or the school district, please let me know as soon as possible. We may have an old or incorrect phone number in our system.

From the Oxford PTA

We’re having our first big event in a few days, the Harvest and Book Fair (October 23). We’re hoping you’ll come and spend a few hours playing with the kids, browsing the books that Mr. Mopps’ will have on offer in the school cafeteria, and dancing to live music. We need to increase our PTA memberships, too! So come by the tickets stall and become an Oxford PTA member for $15 (and get a free T-shirt as well). PTA memberships allow you to vote when decisions have to be made. Your membership dues are yet another way that we raise money for the school.

Our Grown-up Books Corner is up and running and we’re excited to announce the arrival of a bookshelf for our swap, as well as a community board where we—parents, grandparents and caregivers at Oxford—can advertise local events and make recommendations that we think are important for our community. With the community board we want to bring our families together a bit more. Oxford is full of amazing adults with terribly interesting jobs and it makes sense that we get to know about one another. You need a gardener / landscape architect / guzheng teacher / Bulgarian tutor / cleaner / nanny / caregiver / yoga instructor / massage therapist? Chances are we’ve got them at Oxford—come check the board! And if you offer any of those services, or others, pin your card up and let us know what you do. Someone at Oxford is likely to need your help.

Our first Movie Night of the year was a great success. Thanks to all participants, the PTA made $900. Not bad for a couple of hours of fun for the kids! Our next Movie & Pizza Night will be on December 2.

As of yesterday and until October 19, October 12–19, Oxford is partnering with Tea’s School Days to get 15% off all the Tea Collection clothing, plus another 15% of our sales that Tea’s School Days will donate to Oxford. Our unique code is SDF16OXFORD; please feel free to pass this on to friends or relatives who may want to make the most of this special sale.

There are two ways to buy these great clothes: in person at Kid Dynamo (2108 Vine Street, Berkeley) or online. If you prefer to shop in person, tell the cashier at Kid Dynamo the name of our school and give them our code (SDF16OXFORD). For those shopping online, go to (not and enter SDF16OXFORD in the promo code box at checkout and click “apply code.” ( is a private site that mirrors

Once you arrive at, you will need to log in or create an account with Tea. After you enter the site, you will see that all Tea Collection items (excluding non-Tea merchandise or Tea clothing sets) have been marked down 15%, special for School Days participants. Just add items to your cart and proceed to check out, and you will be prompted to enter Oxford’s promo code—SDF16OXFORD—and hit “apply my code.” Once the code is applied, Oxford will receive 15% back of the final order total before tax and shipping, for each purchase using this code. In addition, you will receive free 6–10 business day shipping (you must select that shipping option for the code to apply), which will appear on the last page of checkout. Orders placed without this code cannot be adjusted.

Thank you, Betsy & Aïda Oxford 2015–17 PTA co-presidents


Harvest Fair on Sunday October 23, 11 am–3 pm

Come one and all to enjoy live music, book fair, apple cider press, grilled sausages, homemade sauerkraut, organic salad bar and farmers’ market, bake sale, games, jumpy house, prizes and organic farmers’ market. Wear a costume or get your face painted to be in the costume contest!

Can you contribute?

  1. We need donations of apples for our cider press, which is a great stop on your way around the fair. Do you or a neighbor have an apple tree? If you’d like to donate some apples, please drop off any amount in the front office bin.

  2. Please donate your gently used small toys and games to be re-purposed as prizes. Just drop them in the bin too.

  3. We hope that each Oxford family can volunteer some time to make the fair a success—sign up with your room parent.

Book Fair! Book Fair! Book Fair! Same date & time!

Come enjoy Oxford’s Book Fair in the venerable Cafetorium during the Harvest Fair. Support Oxford by purchasing a book for your child’s classroom, or the after-school program, or the science program, or the library… you get the idea! Teachers love to receive new books and it’s a wonderful way to show your support. Or simply buy a book for your family, or some gifts for the holidays.

We are looking forward to a selection of interesting titles curated by Berkeley’s own Mr. Mopps’. Because of their generosity, 15% of sales goes straight back to Oxford. If you choose, you and/or your child may write a dedication that will be seen on the book’s inside cover for years to come.

What a sweet tradition! Fun when your kid cracks open a book and sees their name, or their friends’ names.

Questions? Email Jos Burns.

Dine Out and Support Oxford!

Head out for dinner October 24 from 5-9pm at Farm Burger in West Berkeley, and a portion of all sales will go to Oxford. No need to present a coupon. Just eat! (we recommend the milkshakes).

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.

Oxford is a Welcoming School poster

Oxford has a school counselor . . .

. . . and her name is Jenny Hays. Jenny joined the staff this year and is here full-time. She is affiliated with BACR, Bay Area Community Resources; her position is funded by Oxford site funds and by Berkeley Mental Health. Jenny works with individual students, as well as small groups. In addition to the clinical work, Jenny has been doing classroom presentations on kindness and friendship. She has a background in acting and applied theater so the students are up and performing. Last week I saw 5th grade students creating tableaus of various scenarios and students had to come up with solutions for the conflicts presented. It was great to see the students interacting, performing and problem solving. Jenny is a great addition to the Oxford staff!

Family Tip on Online Security!

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 Media: Common Sense on Online Security.

Attention all Runners!

The Berkeley Public Schools Fund is a non-profit foundation which gives grants to teachers and programs at ALL of the Berkeley public schools. They strive constantly to grant things that the PTA isn’t able to cover, including teacher training in differentiated instruction, support for new programs in our schools, and many other programs enhancing the learning experiences of all of our children.

One of their fundraising efforts is through the Berkeley Half Marathon.

For the fourth year, the Schools Fund with be the official charity for the Berkeley Half Marathon! The event this year is on Sunday, November 20th and will feature a 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon race. This year they are offering the Race for Free program: free race registration in exchange for a modest fundraising minimum.

Join Team Schools Fund today to start raising money for our students and teachers. Simply click “Get Started” and either join the Race for Free program or fundraise without a minimum.

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.) Children should not wear their costume to school; please send your child’s costume in a bag.

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

  1. No weapons at school (including light sabers)

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

  3. Costumes should avoid ethnic stereotypes

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

  5. 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 make up or help with costume pieces.

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