Oak Knoll School News

August 20, 2017 
 Otter W eekly
In This Issue
Join Our Mailing List
To Do
Checklist  for Parents 
Write your child's name on clothes! Don't be the first to start the lost and found collection!

Make a note of dates for this school year

> Read the Back-to-School Checklist

Stop by the Back-to-School Coffee after drop-off on 8/24

Scroll down for more details on these & other items. 

This Week 

Monday, August 21
  • Class Lists Posted, 3:00pm onwards, Office Bulletin Boards 
Tuesday, August 22 
  • Incoming Kindergarten Welcome, 9-11am
    • 9:00am: Mrs. Stella & Mrs. Andolina
    • 9:30am: Mrs. Lopez/Ms. Dehne & Mrs. Fujimoto/Boatright/Lavezzo
  • New Family Ice Cream Social, 1:30-2:30pm
Thursday, August 24 
  • First Day of School! Dismissal at 1:25pm
  • Back to School Coffee, 8:15am, Gym
Friday, August 25
  • Room Parent Training Meeting, 8:15am, Gym

Looking Ahead 

Monday, August 28
  • PTO & MPAEF Campaign Kick-off
Sunday, September 3
  • Last day to register for 4th & 5th Grade Girls Volleyball
Monday, September 4
  • NO SCHOOL - Labor Day
Thursday, September 7
  • Back to School Night
    • 6-7pm 3rd-5th Grades
    • 7-7:30pm Mrs. Gracia Welcome Back 
    • 7:30-8:30pm K-2nd Grades
Tuesday, September 19
  • Speaker Series, Safe Routes: Between Home and School - Why Safe Routes Matter and How to Make Them Happen, 6:30pm, Hillview PAC
Sunday, September 24 
  • New Family Social, 3:00-5:00pm
See the Oak Knoll calendar for more important dates and events 
Welcome back and welcome to all our new Oak Knoll families! We hope you have had a great summer and see you all on August 24 for the start of the school year!

Each week in the newsletter, we try to balance providing parents with comprehensive and accurate details on school programs and events whilst not contributing to information overload! You can refer to the "In This Issue" box (top left of the newsletter) to see the edition contents if you would like to read selectively, and the "To Do Checklist" box (above) for key actions. Or scan below for all the items, many of which are linked to further information on the school or district websites. 
Welcome back to school! I hope you are enjoying the last few days of summer with your families before the excitement of the First Day of School is upon us. I am experiencing my own first here in MPCSD, too, as I begin my journey as your superintendent. I know many of you already, but for those I have not had the pleasure of meeting, I'd like to introduce myself. This is my sixth year serving the Menlo Park, Atherton, and East Palo Alto community, having been Hillview's principal for three years and assistant superintendent for the past two years. I am also a part of the parent community here as my son is in the district. One of the things that most impresses me about our community-funded district is the collaboration between parents, teachers, staff, and administration. It is such a joy to serve in a district where we all have the same goal - providing a world class education to our children - and we continually work together to achieve that goal. Whether you are a new kindergarten family, or this is your last year of many in our district, I extend a warm welcome and hearty thank you for everything you do to make our district the special place that it is. I look forward to partnering with you, meeting as many families as I can, and seeing what amazing things we can continue to create together. Please reach out to me at eburmeister@mpcsd.org.

For a more complete view of important dates throughout the year, please seen PTO key school events, the Oak Knoll Calendar, and  the  MPCSD Instructional Calendar  
Make sure you are ready for the 2017-2018 school year with the documents and links conveniently laid out in the  Back-to-School Checklist.
It would be much appreciated if you could check your child's head for lice before sending them back to school. Though head lice can cause anxiety and worry, they are not dangerous. When a child is found to have lice, the office and parents are in close communication and we ask that the child not return to school until he/she has been treated. Upon returning, the child is checked by the nurse to be sure the lice are gone. However, lice can reoccur and parents must remain diligent in continuing to monitor their child. In order to stay on top of this problem, we ask that you be proactive in checking your children before they return to school. 

Please refer to this video as good examples of a proper lice check and combing.

Thank you!
If you would like to contribute to your classroom's shared supplies, please purchase the items for your child(ren)'s grade and send them to school on the first day.   Click here for the supply lists. 
Kindergarteners and parents: the Kindergarten Welcome will be held on Tuesday, August 22. There you will get to meet your teacher, see your classroom and tour your new school. Meet at the flagpole by the office at the times below for your teacher:
    • 9:00am: K1 - Mrs. Stella & K2 - Mrs. Andolina
    • 9:30am: K4 - Mrs. Lopez/Ms. Dehne & Rm 8 - Mrs. Fujimoto/Boatright/Lavezzo
You can learn who your Kindergartener's teacher will be on Monday, August 21 at 3pm  outside the Oak Knoll office, where lists will be posted.

All families new to Oak Knoll with children entering 1st-5th Grades are invited to attend a family informational meeting and meet other Oak Knoll families on Tuesday, August 22 at 1:30-2:30pm in the big playground. 
Please join the PTO at its annual Back-to-School Coffee in the Gym immediately after drop-off on the first day of school, Thursday, August 24. Talk to PTO Committee Chairs, learn about the different initiatives and events, and sign up for volunteer opportunities. You can also check out the new Otterwear, sign your kids up for Hot Lunch, see what's new for After School Programs and more. 

Room Parent Sign-Ups   
You can still sign up to be a room parent! Room parent assignments will be completed by August 23, following class list postings, and volunteers assigned will be contacted directly by the Room Parent Coordinators. If you have any questions please contact  annleydempsey@gmail.com
LunchMaster is back providing your Oak Knoll Otters hot and cold lunch options. To learn more about how to register, order, etc. please visit  click here.

To offer lunch to our students, we rely on parent volunteers to serve. Volunteer weekly, or monthly, or ad hoc. No experience necessary, no cooking, simply help distribute pre-ordered packaged hot and cold lunches, and earn credits towards free lunches for your child(ren) for each shift worked. Please view the volunteer schedule and sign up for slots you can make. For questions, please contact Claudia Tedesco at: oakknolllunch@gmail.com

Registration for Oak Knoll's After School Program is now OPEN! Classes will run September 5 thru December 15. We have several terrific class offerings - some great new classes to Oak Knoll this year, and some good old favorites! Please visit the  ASP webpage for a detailed list of after school classes and registration information. 
Newton After  Care at Oak Knoll  
Newton Center offers after school care at each of the MPCSD Elementary School sites. Registration is available on a first come first served basis. 

For more information on Newton Center click here. Please email  for registration cost and enrollment details.    
4th and 5th Grade girls can now register for the Oak Knoll fall volleyball recreational league by going on TeamSnap. The girls will learn the basic skills of the game in a fun and encouraging environment. Registration deadline is  Sunday, September 3.

We need parent coaches! If you are interested in volunteering, please email Sherwin Chen.

For more information, visit  After School Sports - Volleyball page on the Oak Knoll website. 
The Otterwear store is open! G et your Oak Knoll spirit wear with this year's great customizable collections! 
TURN IN your summer reading forms to Ms. Bennion ASAP!  She LOVES to celebrate your summer reading!  Pop into the library anytime and place your lists and book reports in clearly marked folders by classroom teacher/grade level. You can also turn them in during your first library class period.

If you have not done so already, download your reading forms and instructions per grade level here from Ms. Bennion. Please note s econd grade students going into third grade are considered third graders and will need that book report form. 

Back-to-School Night will be held on Thursday, September 7, at the following times:

    • 6-7pm 3rd-5th Grades
    • 7-7:30pm Mrs. Gracia Welcome Back in the Gym
    • 7:30-8:30pm K-2nd Grades
Please plan to attend to meet your child's teacher, learn about the upcoming year in their classroom and grade, and sign up for classroom-specific volunteer opportunities. A friendly reminder to arrange childcare for Back-to-School Night as this is a parents-only event. 
Hello, and welcome to Oak Knoll and the start of the 2017-18 school year.  Part of what makes our school so special is the collaborative work our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and the Menlo Park Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF) do to support and provide the best education possible for our kids.  In order for our schools to continue to thrive, we need your help. Join us and invest in your child's education:

Together, we INSPIRE in our children a love of learning
Together, we INVOLVE ourselves in their learning journey 
Together, we INVEST in their future

When you join the Oak Knoll PTO, you make possible curriculum enrichment, field trips, community building events, and well-supplied classrooms. When you support the MPAEF, you help our district fund additional best-in-class teachers, credentialed specialists, design-thinking curriculum and technology, and dedicated counselors. The PTO and the MPAEF are the two vital organizations that make a real difference in your child's day and, ultimately, in their education. When you support the PTO at $250 per child and the MPAEF at $1500 per child, all students' education is improved in these areas:

Learn more and  donate to the PTO by  September 29
Learn more and  make your gift or pledge to the MPAEF by  November 3

If you have any questions please reach out to Oak Knoll's PTO Membership Team at   ptomembership@oakknollschool.org and/or Oak Knoll's MPAEF Ambassador Team at  oakknollmpaef@mpaef.org

Please support these organizations today! 

The Menlo Park City School District Parent Education  Speaker Series is back with a stellar line-up for the 2017-18 school year.  Events include inspiring and educational talks by Sheryl Sandberg, Michael Gurian and other experts, as well as opportunities to hear from and interact with city, district and school administration.  Check out event descriptions and the full schedule on our website @  www.mpcsdspeakerseries.com  and mark your calendars!  All events are free to the public and held at the Hillview Middle School PAC.  Free onsite childcare (and pizza) is available for potty-trained children.  Snacks and beverages provided for attendees.

This year's speaker series kicks off with an event on Safe Routes:  Between Home and School - Why Safe Routes Matter and How to Make Them Happen, on Tuesday, September 19th at 6:30pm, Hillview PAC.
MPAEF New Family Social
New to Oak Knoll? You're invited to the MPAEF New Family Social!

We look forward to welcoming all new families and those with incoming kindergartners to a casual Welcome Social on  Sunday, September 24 from 3-5pm. You will meet our principal, Kristen Gracia, our new Superintendent, Erik Burmeister, and our MPAEF and Oak Knoll, PTO leaders; they'll be talking about our amazing school and our community-funded school district.

Our goal is to make this a fun and educational afternoon for you to meet other parents and hear about what is happening at Oak Knoll and in our District. We will also have entertainment and treats for kids so please bring the whole family!   Click here to RSVP

We have a lot of fun and exciting activities planned for this year. Make sure to add these to your calendar!

Building Community New Families Social - Sept 24, 2017 @ 3-5pm             
Giving Thanks Donor Appreciation Evening - Oct 17, 2017 @ BBC
Community & Fun Dine Out in Menlo Park - Lunch & Dinner Oct 23, 24, 25, 26, 2017
Community & Fun Wine Walk on Santa Cruz Ave - Dec 2, 2017
FUNdraising Auction and Party - Mar 17, 2018
FUNdraising Online Auction - Mar 18-22, 2018
Building Community Schoolhouse Rocks 5K & Fun Run - May 20, 2018
Mark your calendars for the Oak Knoll Fall Family Picnic on Friday October 6, from 5:00-7:00pm in the big playground. Everyone is welcome to join in the community fun at this all-school event. 

More details, and food orders, to follow. In the meantime, for any questions please email  OakKnollFamilyPicnic@gmail.com  
Kids love to dig and create structures with sand far beyond kindergarten, so Oak Knoll has added  a cool sandbox to the big playground! Thanks to the Oak Knoll PTO for providing the funds to make this happen. Our students are going to love this new addition to our already dynamic playground. What a great way to transition back from summer; keeping hands in the sand!

Newsletter Details
Please send submissions to newsletter@oakknollschool.org  for Oak Knoll news and events. For the Community News, send submissions to communitynews@mpcsd.org. The deadline for both email addresses is by noon on the Wednesday prior to publication date

To read past Oak Knoll PTO newsletters, please visit our archives on the Get School News page.