Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 27, Issue 38, May 26, 2020

From the Editor

Last year, my brief farewell note for the last Thornhill newsletter of the school year said something trite about how quickly the year flew by. I do not feel that way about this year. But I could not have picked a better community to endure this crisis with—even while working full-time and homeschooling, doing the newsletter every week and having the opportunity to connect with so many of you truly made this spring more bearable.

WHICH REMINDS ME: After two years of editing Thornhill’s newsletter, I’m joining Erin Proudfoot next year as the PFC’s VP of Communications, so I need to pass along my red pen to a new Newsletter Chair—it’s the perfect job for someone who likes to be creative (but doesn't always have to if you're too tired), and wants to be meaningfully involved with the school, but can’t do much during school/working hours (I put it together in my bed on Sunday nights before that week’s most anticipated episode of prestige television). And I’ll still be working closely with you, so you will have lots of support. If you’re considering it or just have questions, please email

In the meantime, please read on for:

  • A note from Principal Daubenspeck
  • A tear-jerker of a video congratulating our fabulous fifth graders
  • A schedule for picking up your students’ belongings and lost and found items
  • A way to stay connected to your class on Facebook
  • A radical Read-a-thon update
  • A big appreciation for our teachers
  • A reminder to register for the 2020-21 school year

Hang in there,

Evie Nagy

P.S. Konstella will remain as-is with our current classrooms throughout the summer. On desktop, you always have the option to download a "Print Directory to PDF" while having "Directory" selected on the left navigation. This gives you information only to those families who have chosen to share information.


From the Principal

Dear Thornhill Families!

I hope you had a chance to relax this Memorial Day Weekend. I personally love the weather as it gets me out. Nothing like a daily walk at dawn or dusk. I hope you are all getting out too.

I am well aware of the challenges that the pandemic has caused for many and I sincerely do not want to belabor the topic. But I will say what a phenomenal job our students have done transitioning on a dime to an online learning platform. Clearly our students have 21st century skills and I thank you for supporting them with technology issues at home. Additionally, I know you have been tolerating competing for Zoom airspace in your homes while you work and our kids’ success has only been achieved by your patience. Rest assured there is a reprieve...Summer Break begins Friday!

Fifth Graders!

Wow! You are almost across the finish line and your dedication to your learning has been inspiring. You have endured one wild ride and I know you will all be stronger from this experience. What a way to end your years at Thornhill...your resilience and enthusiasm does not go unnoticed. If/when we have a chance to congregate again we will plan a gathering in the future. I will see you later this week. Parents do keep the office up to date if you move as we want you to stay in touch for a future gathering when possible.

Vickie Carter is Retiring

Our former 2nd grade teacher is retiring after more than 20 years in OUSD. Vickie loved teaching and is well known by her students for all the dinosaur projects. If you want to contribute anything towards her retirement please contact Sherry Katzel or me.

Lost and Found

Please pick up your Lost and Found items. They are on the fence now. Ideally you can pick up items before Thursday, and unclaimed items will be donated on June 1. Thank you Bonnie Forbes for getting all that clothing to the fence! You're amazing!

About Next Year

We do not have any new information about how OUSD students will return to school yet. We will inform you when we have details. I know this is challenging to not know. Our return to school date is August 10.

Summer Break!

Please take this summer break to do some decompressing and to get outdoors. With all the uncertainty, I recommend you continue with the routines that have supported you in maintaining a balance at home and with your families. Or perhaps you want to start some new routines that require less screen time or having a digital fast. You know what you and your kids need so please take this summer to have some fun, stay healthy and stay connected to friends and family. Nature is always there for you, so please incorporate that into your summer! I already miss you all and will miss you even more this summer.

Much love to all,

Mr. Daubenspeck



Our fifth graders have accomplished so much in their time at Thornhill, and we deeply wish we could send off our graduates in person to celebrate what they’ve achieved and the great things they’ll do in middle school and beyond. Some parents and teachers made a very special video to honor each member of Thornhill’s graduating fifth grade class—click on the image below and be sure to grab the Kleenex.


Pick Up, Take Away, Put Down!

Three school related action items coming up starting Tuesday, May 26!

  • Belongings Pick-Up!! For sure our kiddos left things behind, inside and outside the school building. Zettie created a helpful document detailing how we can safely come to Thornhill on May 26, May 27 and May 28 (scheduled depending on last name) and pick up left behind school and personal related items. Please review and follow the Personal Property Pick up Procedure and Schedule.

  • Bring Your Library Books, 5th grade instruments and 5th grade computers!!! Bring all your library books and 5th grade items when you come to the school to pick up your stuff.

  • Lost-and-Found Curbside!! Starting the evening of May 25, all Lost and Found will be brought to Thornhill’s sidewalk by Bonnie Forbes for curbside pick-up. Of course, as in the case of everything now, please wear a mask and observe strict social distancing! Everything not claimed will be given away on June 1!!!

  • TerraCycle!! Final Thornhill collection of the year!! When you come to collect your kiddos’ belongings, please feel free to bring your collected TerraCycle chip and bar wrappers (all clean foil-lined wrappers)—we will send them off to get repurposed!

  • Box Tops for Thornhill! Box Tops have gone online (checkout the BTFE app and start scanning your receipts) but if you still have a pile of them at home, please turn them in! If you aren't sure, if makes a good kid project—clean out the pantry and look for the little Box Tops for Education label on your shelf-stable packaging (hint: Ziploc bags, Annie's Mac & Cheese, Cheerios all have Box Tops). Please email to arrange a contactless pickup/dropoff. Thornhill earns 10 cents for each of those little BoxTops and it adds up! Thanks for your support.


Grade-Specific Facebook Groups: Stay Connected!

Looking to connect over the summer break and beyond? Each grade (except TK) has its own Facebook group. Find the specific links in the Files section of Konstella here.


Thunderbirds wrap up an amazing Read-a-thon!

Together we have logged over an amazing over 155,000 minutes read, and almost $18,000 raised to support our school programs!

In celebration, Ms. Fox had her children throw pies in her face (!), which you can watch here!

The final day for recording minutes is this Thursday, May 28. Prizes for individuals in each class will be awarded after the tally is completed on Thursday—we will contact family winners by email. Participation prizes for all children who created a page will be with their materials at the personal property pick up this week.

For anyone who wants to continue tracking minutes read on their own, the platform will be left open over the summer.

Summer reading materials, including book bingo, summer reading shelfies, and schedules for reading with Ms. Fox will be sent out later this week via all-school Konstella blast.

Thank you so much for making this Read-a-thon such a big success!

Marie and Adimika


Beautiful Thank You Gifts for our Wonderful Teachers

We could not be luckier to have our incredible Thornhill staff, or to have parents who volunteer during difficult times to put together gifts of flowers and wine to show our appreciation. Thank you to Kim Diaz for procuring masks and succulent arrangements and bags, Nicole Munoz for donating all of the wine, Lauren Lockwood and Kate McCarthy for assistance and inspiration, Bonnie Forbes (who is in both of the above categories) for overseeing our contactless drop off/pick up, and Alicia Streight for leading this entire charge!!!


Please Register for the 2020-21 School Year!

If you have a student returning to OUSD next year, you need to register through the Aeries Data Confirmation system. Please follow the instructions here, and email Sherry Kaetzel at if you need your student’s ID number or passcode. If you have a new TK or Kindergarten student, enrollment will be through School Mint, and you’ll get separate instructions.


About the Thornhill Newsletter

The Thornhill Parent-Faculty Club (PFC) eNews team publishes this weekly newsletter each Tuesday in the school year to communicate school, PFC and OUSD news, events and information.

Email submissions to our Newsletter Chair, Evie Nagy, at by 8 p.m. Thursday for approval—nothing sent after this will be included in the following week’s newsletter unless there are extremely compelling extenuating circumstances. It’s fine to include text in the body of the email with links and no formatting, and attach photos preferably as 150 x 150, 72 dpi JPG or GIFs only (not embedded in email or Word file). Submissions may be edited for spelling, grammar, brevity and clarity. Advertising and items not related to Thornhill are not accepted, as we need to keep the newsletter focused on need-to-know info for the community.

THANK YOU to everyone who submits articles and to PFC Board Members, Teachers, VP of Communications Erin Proudfoot, PFC President Rex Crum, and Principal Steve Daubenspeck. Member of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).