Oak Knoll School News

September 17, 2017 
 Otter W eekly
In This Issue
Join Our Mailing List
To Do
Checklist  for Parents 
> Donate to the PTO & MPAEF and ask your  employer if they will match your donation

> Attend the Parents for Safe Routes talk this Tuesday 9/19

> RSVP to the MPAEF New Family Social on Sunday 9/24

Scroll down for more details on these & other items. 

This Week 

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

Looking Ahead 

Monday, September 25
  • Balclutha Field Trip (Austin), 11:30am-10:00am (next day)
  • Free used instructional books and novels available at Oak Knoll, 9:00am-12:00pm, outside the Small Gym
Tuesday, September 26
  • Oak Knoll Parent Book Club, 8:30-9:30am
  • Balclutha Field Trip (Cline), 11:30am-10:00am (next day)
Wednesday, September 27
  • Balclutha Field Trip (Garagozzo), 11:30am-10:00am (next day)
Friday, September 29
  • PTO Fundraising Drive ends
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
Tuesday, October 10
  • Kindergarten Field Trip: CuriOdyssey
See the
Oak Knoll calendar for more important dates and events 
MPCSD Facebook Page

Check out our newly updated district Facebook page. Like us and share your stories, too! Let's get social and tell the story of our wonderful community-funded district together. #goMPCSD
Wondering what the teachers were doing last Monday with no kids at school? 

All  of the teachers in MPCSD kicked off the year together at Hillview in the morning. It was a valuable opportunity to launch all the great initiatives happening in the district as a whole and at all of the school sites, from the district's commitment to collecting feedback, to Oak Knoll's Whole Teacher approach that Mrs. Gracia shared about at Back to School Night. 

Teachers also engaged in Professional Development in grade level groups. In the afternoon, our teachers returned to Oak Knoll to collaborate around student data and set goals for their own students and as a grade level. We know that teachers have the greatest influence on a child's learning and progress, and our staff's commitment to ongoing professional development and using data to plan instruction is yet another example of what makes our Oak Knoll teachers so incredible.

Students Produce a Video on PTO & MPAEF
In case you missed seeing it at Back to School Night, watch the student-produced video that highlights the importance of supporting the PTO and the MPAEF.

Students on PTO
Students on PTO and MPAEF
Spotlight on the MPAEF: How Your Dollars Make a Difference
Your donations to the MPAEF make a real difference by funding...

Best-in-Class Teachers
 - We support additional teachers and their professional development, allowing students to enjoy smaller class sizes and more personal attention.

Arts & Sciences
 - We aim to spark their scientific thinking, help them express themselves through the arts, and explore new ideas in our libraries.

Innovation & Technology
 - We support innovative projects, including design thinking workshops, and thoughtful use of technology in the classroom.

Guidance & Wellness
 - We support the whole child, inside and out, with dedicated guidance and wellness counselors.

For more information about the MPAEF and to donate or pledge by  November 3rd , please go to  mpaef.org/donate .

Thank you for your support!

The PTO Budget Explained
PTO funds raised during September's campaign pay for this school year's programs...

The 2017-2018 Oak Knoll PTO budget was put together in the Spring and approved at the PTO General Meeting in May (view the budget  here, and find it on the school website under  PTO Overview). This budget contains necessary classroom supplies, enrichment activities, inspiring assemblies, educational field trips, after-school sports, and community-building events, all of which help make Oak Knoll the school it is.

However, we have to hit our PTO Membership goal in order to fund all these budget items for this coming school year - otherwise items will need to be cut. Please put this at the top of your list today and  donate to the Oak Knoll PTO! The ask is $250 per student, but please give as you can. Please participate in this process - the one fundraiser for the PTO for the school year - and help provide our kids an exceptional school experience. 

Thank you for your support!
Corporate Matching - Increase Your Donations
Make your donations go further!

Double your contribution with corporate-matching funds available through your employer. Many generous employers will match all or a portion of their employee's donation, and this adds up to more money for our school.  Check your employer's internal website for information and links or contact your company's Human Resources department which should be able to provide you with information on how to submit your matching request. 

Want to find out if your company participates?  Check here  for information on corporate m atching and a quick list of potentially participating companies.  

Contact Nancy Lieberman for PTO corporate matching questions or  matching@mpaef.org for MPAEF corporate matching questions. 

Did you notice that our bioswale has a new look? 

Thanks to our Oak Knoll students and Mr. Almquist, our art specialist, the front of our school has a colorful welcoming formation of rocks. This project was based on the book  Only One You . This book has beautiful artwork (painted river rocks) and shares important advice and encouraging words. 

Smarter Balanced Assessment Score Reports
Smarter Balanced Assessment Score Reports for Oak Knoll 4th-5th students will be delivered to your mailbox soon!

MPCSD families of fourth through eight graders will be receiving Smarter Balanced Student Score Reports within the next two weeks. These Score Reports will provide information on how your child performed in spring 2017 against the California Common Core State Standards.  You can view examples and explanations of the scores reports by clicking the links: Examples and Parent Score Reports.  Our teachers have access to your child's scores and will be in touch if they have concerns. 

Please remember that the SBAC is ONE of the many ways we measure student achievement.
Medication at School
If your child requires any medication at school, prescribed and/or over-the-counter, medication authorization from your child's health care provider is required. Forms may be printed from the district website by clicking here

If you received new forms in the mail in June 2017 and you have not brought your completed paperwork and medications to the school office, please do so immediately. Medications should expire in June 2018 or later. 

If your child no longer requires medication at school, please indicate so in writing to Nancy McMahon, Health Services Assistant. 

The ONLY place to drop off and pick up from school is in the carline. 

Last week, a child riding his bike to school was hit by a car door opening near Hillview. We want to make sure that no matter what form of transportation our students choose to get to school, we are all working together to ensure that they are safe.

For more information and diagrams, please click on the following:
This is a relevant and important topic for our community.There have been four child-related bicycle accidents this last week in Menlo Park. Attend the talk to learn more and find out what you can do.

Between Home and School - Why Safe Routes Matter and How to Make Them A Reality
Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 6:30pm

A talk and panel discussion including Jen Wolosin, MPCSD parent and Founder and Chair, Parents for Safe Routes; Kirsten Keith, MPCSD parent and Mayor of Menlo Park Mayor; and Bianca Walser, Menlo Park Complete Streets Commission Chair

In 1969, 50% of kids nationwide walked or biked to school and enjoyed the benefits of healthier bodies and minds, increased independence and confidence, and greater community connectedness. In contrast, just 13% of American kids walked or biked to school in 2009. If you're tired of driving your kids less than a mile to school, and/or are worried about traffic and safety on the streets, come learn how your fellow parents are advocating for children in our community to be able to walk and bike to school safely, and be inspired to join the Safe Routes movement. A Q&A period will follow the talk and panel discussion.

To learn more about the Parents for Safe Routes organization and find out how you can help, visit their website at parents4saferoutes.org and read their newsletter
New to Oak Knoll? You're invited to the MPAEF New Family Social!

We look forward to welcoming all new families and those with new kindergartners to a casual New Family Social on  Sunday, September 24 from 3-5 p.m.  at Hillview, hosted by the MPAEF. Our goal is to make this a fun and informative afternoon for you. You will meet other new/incoming parents and families and hear from district leaders, including Erik Burmeister, our new Superintendent, as well as school principals, School Board members and MPAEF and 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!   Click here to RSVP .
Free Books Give Away
Enjoy a variety of FREE BOOKS looking for new homes!  Oak Knoll School will be giving away for free our obsolete and damaged instructional materials, textbooks and English language novels. Come with your own bags and enjoy our collections of books!

The book showing will be held on  September 25th 9:00am-12:00pm  inside the small gym.

How do we get our kids to think beyond themselves in a world that is becoming more and more a selfie world.   Please join S chool Counselor Nicole Scott and School Psychologist Jenny Ryan this fall in a Parent Book Club with the book Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World by Dr, Michelle Borba. 

Our goal in reading this book is to help our students shift their focus from I, me and Mine to we, us and ours.   Each week we will   read a different section and then meet to discuss.  The meetings are low pressure and fun.  

We hope you can join us: September 26th, October 3rd, 10th, 17 and 24th 8:30-9:30am. 

Please email Nicole Scott if you are interested in joining.  The Location of the meeting will depend on the number of participants.
Order Scholastic Books
Here at Oak Knoll we are working on growing readers who will read for fun well into adulthood.  Part of that effort involves getting great books into the hands of our great kids. 

This year, our amazing Oak Knoll Reading Specialist, Jacqui Cebrian, will be coordinating online ordering through the Scholastic Book Clubs.   If you are not accessing the book clubs through your classroom teacher's account, follow these simple instructions:
Go online to:  scholastic.com/newparent
Look up her name:    Ms. Cebrian
Or enter Class Code:   FM6CL
Follow the instructions to place your order.

First deadline is September 29, 2017

If you have any questions, please contact Jacqui Cebrian.

Food, Bouncy Houses, Games, Karaoke & more

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. 

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 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  
If your family's anything like ours, backpacks  and instruments tend to get misplaced in the hustle and bustle of the school year! 

This week's featured Otterwear item,  custom bag tags , will not only show your Oak Knoll spirit, but will help make sure that wayward items find their way home (or at least make them easier to spot in the lost and found ;) ).

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Drop us a line at  mpoakknollotterwear@gmail.com

For more great Otterwear items,  click here .  

New Girl Scout Troops
New Oak Knoll Girl Scout troops are forming at the Kindergarten and 4th grade levels and inviting girls to join. We are also looking for a 4th Grade Girl Scout Troop co-leaders!

If interested, please contact  fellow Oak Knoll parents:
To read more about Girl Scouts, please visit girlscoutsnorcal.org.

Volunteer with the MPAEF
Want to volunteer with the MPAEF? We are always looking for more parents to help us! 
E-mail  Amy Coolican or  Stacey Wueste to learn more. 

Volunteer with the Oak Knoll PTO
If you are interested in volunteering with the PTO please contact Christa West. We are looking for more people to help supply the monthly teachers coffee cart with baked goods! This is a great way to show the teachers how much you appreciate everything they do. E-mail  Shalini Magats to learn more. 
Community News
To read about events, activities and charitable initiatives in the local community, please click here.

Community News
  • Free Lacrosse Clinic
  • Girl Scouts Information Night
  • NJB Winter Basketball Registration Open
  • Frozen Sing-Along!
  • Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study
Community Service Opportunities
  • Family Hands-On Volunteering with the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center
  • Ravenswood School District: Adopt-a-School and Adopt-a-Teacher

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.