Oak Knoll School News

August 27, 2017 
 Otter W eekly
In This Issue
Join Our Mailing List
To Do
Checklist  for Parents 
> Review back to school checklist and make note of key dates 

> Wear grade level colors for the PTO & MPAEF campaign kick-off on Wednesday

> Register for after school programs

Scroll down for more details on these & other items. 

This Week 

Wednesday, August 30
  • PTO & MPAEF Fundraising Campaign Kick-off Spirit Day, Wear the colors of the rainbow: Kindergarten in red, 1st Grade in orange2nd Grade in yellow3rd Grade in green4th grade in blue5th grade in purple.
Sunday, September 3
  • Last day to register for 4th & 5th Grade Girls Volleyball

Looking Ahead 

Monday, September 4
  • NO SCHOOL - Labor Day
Tuesday, September 5
  • After School Programs Begin
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
Monday, September 11
  • NO SCHOOL - Staff Professional Work Day
Wednesday, September 13
  • Balclutha Field Trip (Becker/Emmert), 11:30am-10:00am (next day)
  • PTO Executive Board Meeting, 8:15am, Teacher's Lounge
Thursday, September 14 & Friday, September 15
  • Picture Days
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 
  • MPAEF New Family Social, 3:00-5:00pm
Wednesday, September 25
  • Balclutha Field Trip (Austin), 11:30am-10:00am (next day)
Tuesday, September 26
  • Oak Knoll Parent Book Club, 8:30-9:30am
See the
Oak Knoll calendar for more important dates and events 

Dear Oak Knoll Parents,

W elcome back to what we are once again calling our BEST year yet! As summer (and bed times) begin to wind down, I would like to invite you back on the knoll for another year of engaging curriculum, sweet friendships and exciting learning experiences for our students...

To read Principal Gracia's full letter, please click here

if you have not done so already, take a look through the Back to School Checklist to make sure you have things covered, and make a note of key school dates for 2017-2018 with the  PTO event dates, the Oak Knoll Calendar, and  the  MPCSD Instructional Calendar  
PTO & the MPAEF Campaigns Kick Off 
The PTO and MPAEF fundraising campaigns kick off this Wednesday, August 30 . Celebrate our Oak Knoll spirit by sending your kids to school on Wednesday dressed in the colors of the rainbow: Kindergarten in red, 1st Grade in orange, 2nd Grade in yellow, 3rd Grade in green, 4th grade in blue, 5th grade in purple.
The  Oak Knoll PTO  helps every student every day. Yours is a gift  with an immediate and lasting impact - supporting and making possible your child's enrichment, field trips, community building events, and well-supplied classrooms for this year. Help the PTO reach its goal of 100% participation and continue to invest in Oak Knoll's extraordinary students and faculty.
For more information about the PTO and to donate , please click here.

The  Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF) provides  vital funding to increase the per-pupil spending in our District. When you support the MPAEF, you are putting more teachers in our schools - both in the classroom and in specialized areas such as art, music, drama, library and science .

For more information about the MPAEF and to donate or pledge, please go to mpaef.org/donate.

Please take a moment to read this year's Community Report folder which you will have received in your child's backpack - it outlines clearly how funds to both these  organizations impact our schools.  

Thank you for your support!

Many teachers K-5 will be using the youcubed.org resources this year to enrich our district curriculum of   Math Expressions . A Week Of Inspirational Math is an example of just that! At Oak Knoll, we believe anyone can learn and understand math at high levels. We teach our students that math is about creativity, making mistakes, taking on challenge, asking questions, and visualizing to strengthen their connections to their brain. We also teach them that math is NOT about performing but instead about learning. 

Check out Jo Boaler's youcubed.org and The Week of Inspirational Math to see some of the work we will be engaged in this year!
Final week  for 4th and 5th Grade girls to sign up for the Oak Knoll fall volleyball recreational league! Register on TeamSnap by  Sunday, September 3.

Coaching volleyball is a wonderful volunteer opportunity! No experience required, just a positive attitude and a willingness to bump, set, spike and dig it! If you are interested in volunteering, please email Sherwin Chen.  

For more information, visit the  After School Sports - Volleyball page on the Oak Knoll website. 
Registration for Oak Knoll's After School Program continues. Sign up before your favorite classes book up! Classes will run September 5 thru December 15. Please visit the  ASP webpage for a detailed list of after school classes and registration information. 

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. 
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.    
The Otterwear store is open! G et your Oak Knoll spirit wear with this year's great customizable collections! 
Don't forget to TURN IN your summer reading forms to Ms. Bennion!  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. 
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.
Susannah Hill, our rockstar MPAEF Director, is retiring and we are searching for a new rockstar to lead our team! We are searching for someone passionate about MPCSD and who believes in the value of providing an excellent public school education. The Director is responsible for providing leadership and operational management of the MPAEF to enable the organization to achieve its goals. Please click here  for the job description and forward resumes to info@mpaef.org. Feel free to contact Jennifer Dahmus jdahmus@att.net for more information.  
MPAEF New Family Social and More
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 new Superintendent, Erik Burmeister,  for a discussion about our community-funded school district - how through local support our school leaders create comprehensive, innovative and best in class education offerings for all of our children.

Our goal is to make this a fun and educational afternoon for you. You will meet other new/incoming parents/families and hear from district leaders including school principals, school board members and MPAEF & PTO leaders. We will also have Daffy Dave entertaining the younger kids, games for the middle schoolers, and treats for all - please bring the whole family! 

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

Want to help contribute $1,000's to your kids schools? Become our Volunteer MPAEF Web Master!
The MPAEF Web Master is a fun and easy volunteer job that can be done on your own time. The MPAEF web master will maintain the MPAEF web site, its content management system and the email capabilities on a virtual private server. S/He is also in charge of the  mpaef.org  domain. The time commitment from October to July is 0-1 hour per week. The time commitment for August and September ranges from 2 to 4 hours per week. The web master will:

- Administer virtual private server on site5
- Update web page layout and content for  mpaef.org  and subdomains via Drupal
- Manage email addresses and forwarders for  mpaef.org
Please contact Stacey at  Stacey@daviswueste.com  for more information, we would love to have you join our awesome MPAEF volunteer Board!

Mark Your Calendar!
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  
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.

Earn credits towards free lunches for your child(ren)! Volunteer to serve meals weekly, or monthly, or ad hoc. No experience necessary, no cooking, simply help distribute pre-ordered packaged hot and cold lunches. Please view the volunteer schedule and sign up for slots you can make. For questions, please contact Claudia Tedesco at: oakknolllunch@gmail.com

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.