Oak Knoll School News

October 1, 2017 
 Otter W eekly
In This Issue
Join Our Mailing List
To Do
Checklist  for Parents 
Place your burrito orders by Monday for this Friday's Fall Family Picnic 

> Attend Tuesday's Panel Event with the Superintendent & Principals.

Scroll down for more details on these & other items. 

This Week 

Sunday, October 1
  • Basketball registration opens for school teams
Monday, October 2
  • Last day to order food for Fall Family Picnic
Tuesday, October 3
  • A Panel Event with MPCSD Superintendent and Principals, The Future of Education: Menlo Park and Beyond, 6:30pm, Hillview PAC
Wednesday, October 4
  • Balclutha Field Trip (Coldoff), 11:30am-10:00am (next day)
Friday, October 6
  • Fall Family Picnic, Oak Knoll Playground, 5:00-7:00pm

Looking Ahead 

Tuesday, October 10
  • Kindergarten Field Trip: CuriOdyssey
  • MPCSD Board Meeting, 5:00pm, District Office (181 Encinal Avenue, Atherton)
Wednesday, October 11
  • PTO Board Meeting, 8:15am, Oak Knoll Staff Room
Monday, October 16 - Friday, October 20
  • Oak Knoll Book Fair, Various Times (see below), Gym
Wednesday, October 18
  • Family Night at the Book Fair, 6pm, Gym.
  • Balclutha Field Trip (Tom), 11:30am-10:00am (next day)
October 23 - October 26  
  • MPAEF Dine Out
October 24 - October 26
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences, Minimum Days
Tuesday, October 31
  • Halloween Parade 

See the
Oak Knoll calendar for more important dates and events 
PTO Fundraising Drive
After an impressive community push to the finish line last week, teachers, students, parents, and Ollie gathered on Friday in a show of Oak Knoll spirit to mark the official close of the PTO fundraising campaign. 

As of today, 75% of families have contributed, and met the goal for parent donations!  T hank you to all those families and teachers who have donated and made a real difference to the education and experiences our children receive. 

To fully fund the planned PTO budget and associated programs for this year , we are also expecting and tracking  corporate matching contributions which are still being processed and coming in. Please continue to ask your employers about corporate gifting, and thank you to the many of you who have already pursued corporate matches for their donations. 

If you are unsure if you have contributed to the PTO , you can email  ptomembership@oakknollschool.org  to confirm.

If you have not yet donated, you can still do so online, or with a check dropped at the office. Please consider contributing any amount, and be part of continuing to make  our school the special place it is.
Thank you for your support!


MPAEF - Grow Your Impact
To encourage families to Grow their Impact by increasing their donation to MPAEF over last year, our amazing business partners will contribute $5k to the MPAEF Annual Parent Campaign for each percentage point of growth we achieve over last year. 

Our local businesses are excited about partnering with MPAEF and with YOU, our parent community, and they understand that a strong community begins with strong schools. Let's show them we are up to the challenge!

Remember the MPAEF Annual Parent Campaign continues until November 3rd.  If you haven't done so already, please make your pledge or gift to the MPAEF today. Thank you to the Oak Knoll families and teachers who have pledged, donated and supported our school and district.

Thank You!
Thank you to all the families who came to the New Family Social last weekend and for making it such a fun afternoon, we are so happy to welcome you to our amazing school district!

The Oak Knoll Fall Family Picnic is this  Friday, October 6, from 5:00-7:00pm in the big playground. Food, bouncy houses, games, karaoke, and more! Everyone is welcome to join in the community fun at this all-school event. 

Join the fun and bring your own picnic  OR  pre-order burritos from Menlo Park's own Mama Coco at  $10 per person ! Food orders must be made in advance no later than TOMORROW  Monday, October 2nd.  Click here to order food online  or fill out a Fall Picnic form  and drop a check made payable to Oak Knoll PTO in the Oak Knoll office.  

We'd love additional volunteers! If you'd like to help, please  click here

If you have any questions please email   OakKnollFamilyPicnic@gmail.com  
MPCSD Speaker Series: The Future of Education
The Future of Education: Menlo Park and Beyond 
A Panel Event with the Superintendent and Principals of MPCSD 
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 @ 6:30pm,  Hillview PAC.

Join MPCSD's new Superintendent, Erik Burmeister, and MPCSD Principals Willy Haug, Sharon Burns, Linda Creighton, and Kristin Gracia for a thoughtful conversation about the future of education in our community and throughout our nation. 

Hear more about the visions for Oak Knoll, Encinal, Laurel, and Hillview, as well as Early Learning efforts, Personalized Learning, Project-Based Learning, Multi-Graded Classrooms, homework policies, grading reimagination, and more.

Free childcare for potty-trained children.  Light refreshments and beverages served.
More information at  mpcsdspeakerseries.com

Why I Teach
Oak Knoll is a special and nurturing place thanks to our amazing teachers. With the school year in full swing, students and teachers are energized. So what  keeps our staff motivated? What fuels their passion for teaching? We asked them to share #whyiteach.

Featured this week are Oak Knoll's newest teachers.

Ms. Ziff
"Teaching for me is an opportunity to show up for my students each day as the person who inspires academic growth, self-awareness, and an appreciation for others."

Ms. Ziff joins Oak Knoll as our Spanish specialist teacher. Ms. Ziff's passion and skills to our ever-growing World Language program is just what Oak Knoll needed. Ms.Ziff is passionate about teaching Spanish and we are confident our students will love being in her class.

Ms. Synder

"Teaching provides me an opportunity to give back some of the wonderfully rich experiences I've been privileged to have had. I hope to instill in my students the sense of accomplishment and success gained from consistent practice and facing new challenges."  

Ms. Snyder will be teaching 4-5 orchestra, band and our K-2 violin program. Ms.Snyder has over a decade of experience with youth orchestras, teaching music in various private schools- including violin to young children, and instructing private music lessons. Ms. Snyder is also a gifted musician who plays professionally.

Ms. Kaufman

"I became a teacher because I love working with people and really love working  and getting to know children.  I have a special place in my heart for those who learn differently and require "outside the box" thinking as an avenue to achieving success in school and in life.  Children confirm that there is good in the world and that it just needs to be nurtured."

Mrs. Kaufman joins our Special Education team as our Inclusion Specialist and a Learning Center teacher who will work closely with Ms. Atkinson. This is Mrs. Kaufman's fifth year in our district. She has been a valued paraeducator and preschool teacher, and her background is as a Developmental Specialist.


Spanish Language Program
It has been great to hear all of the positive feedback about our Spanish language program. In response to questions and feedback on last week's piece about World Language, we wanted to clarify the change we made to the program this year. 

The program had initially began as a pilot in 4th and 5th grade, with the thought that students could continue Spanish if they chose to at Hillview. This year, we made the change to align with the other schools and build it from primary grades (K-2) up. We hope to continue to expand into 3rd and 4th grades as those students age up.  This year we are finishing out the 5th graders who were in the original pilot program, which is why this is a transitional year until our more robust program develops. World Language is a value of Oak Knoll and the district, we feel so fortunate to have Maestra Ziff leading and expanding this program!

Oak Knoll 3-5th Grade Girls and Boys Basketball
3rd, 4th and 5th graders can now register  to play basketball this Winter 2017-18! This is a recreational league offered by  the city of Menlo Park and organized by the Oak Knoll After School Sports  Program. Each child will learn the basic skills of the game in a fun and  encouraging environment on teams coached by parent volunteers.

Registration is open until Tuesday, October 17thRegister Here .  

Cost: The cost for the season is $125. Scholarships are available - please
contact Kristen Gracia.

Parent Coaches Needed - The Oak Knoll School Basketball program is run
entirely by parent volunteers. No coaching experience is necessary. Sign up when you register
your child or email Sherwin Chen to learn more.

New Waitlist Process: If not enough coaches are available, a lottery system will
be used to randomly select students, who will be placed on a waitlist until we are
able to find more parent volunteers (i.e., waitlist will no longer be determined by
registration time stamp).

For more information about the program click  here .

Halloween Costume Drive - Donate Old Costumes
Oak Knoll is once again collecting new and gently used Halloween Costumes in any size from infant to adult, as well as accessories, such as hats, scarves and bags. We can not accept wigs or masks or any weapon of any type.  Please only send in costumes that a child would like to wear.  NO rips or stains.  All the costumes will benefit homeless, low-income and foster youth in San Mateo County.

Collection Barrels will be by the office and the Gym  October 2nd-6th.  Costumes will be picked up by the San Mateo Children's fund on  Oct. 6th. 
Thank you for helping Support this Beyond Me Effort!

Buy Your Kids' Halloween Costumes and Support Our Schools
It's not a trick but it is a treat!  Buy costumes this year while also giving money back to your school!  The MPAEF has partnered with retailers such as Amazon and  Target to bring you a wide selection of awesome kids and adult costumes, while also giving back up to 5% of all purchases to the MPAEF to support our schools.

It's FREE MONEY on products you would buy anyway.  Please visit  this link to reach the retailer of your choice. Only spooky detail is that you need to  use this link to get the 5% back, going direct to the site will not reward us.  Thanks for shopping at your favorite places while also doing good for our kids!  

Shop now,  mpaef.org/shop-list

Oak Knoll Book Fair
Howdy Cowboys and Cowgirls!  It's fixin' to be time for the Oak Knoll Book Fair, so get ready to head on down to the O.K. Corral and rope in a good read!  

We'll be lookin' for ya  October 16th - 20th

Monday, October 16th  --  7:45 am  'til  3:30 pm
Tuesday, October 17th  --  7:45 am  'til  3:30 pm
Wednesday, October 18th  -  7:45 am  'til  3:30 pm  and Family Night  6 pm  'til  8 pm
Thursday, October 19th  -  7:45 am  'til  2 pm
Friday, October 20th  -  7:45 am  'til  3:30 pm

Questions? Contact  Jennie Lang  or  Mary Speiser .

Girls Leadership Workshops
Girls Leadership offers a series of courses for girls and their parents to build emotional intelligence. Priority registration for the Oak Knoll community ends on Wednesday, October 18, so act fast to ensure your spot!

In the upcoming workshops held at Oak Knoll, parent-daughter pairs will learn about identifying healthy relationships, finding their voices, and communicating more effectively. Girls also develop resilient responses to conflict, drama, challenges, and mistakes. The program is interactive, fun, and enlightening, and it's also a great opportunity to gain insight and spend time with your daughter in a new and different way. 
For more information, please visit Parent Education page for registration information and details for each Girls Leadership Institute workshop being held at Oak Knoll. 

The next workshops are:  
Kinder/Grade 1:  Mondays,  January 22 , 29,  February 5 , 12, from  4:30-5:30pm
Grades 2/3: Mondays, January 22, 29, February 5, 12, from 6:00-7:30pm
Grades 4/5: Tuesdays, January 16, 23, 30 and February 6, from 6:00-7:30pm

Community News
To read about events, activities and charitable initiatives in the local community, please click here .

Community News
  • St. Raymond Pumpkin Festival
  • Youth League Tennis Registration Open
  • Frozen Sing-Along!
  • Woodside Community Theatre Presents Annie!
  • Cub Scout Pack 222 Meeting
  • Project Cornerstone Workshop

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 the Get School News page.