Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 27, Issue 3, August 27, 2019

From the Principal

Dear Thornhill Families,

It was such a pleasure to see you all at Back To School Night. We had more than a full house in the auditorium. We appreciate your involvement in your child’s education; your participation is what makes us a thriving community and a special place! Please seek ways to stay involved all the way up to the fifth grade. There are many ways to be involved via your classroom or the PFC. Remember as I said at Back To School Night: We can’t be great without you! I am thanking you all in advance for your participation.

Have you seen our garden lately? Special thanks to Alexis our garden enrichment teacher for keeping our garden alive through the summer. If you’ve ever worked at a school, gardens normally don’t survive the summer or the neighborhood. Thank you all for keeping our garden in such good shape.

Also please welcome our day custodian, Eric Smith, who took some time to hang out with our kids on the yard. Also see a pic of Mrs. Green helping out with jump rope.

Below are some of my favorite pics of the first few weeks of school.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Mr. Daubenspeck


Back to School Donation Drive (BSDD)

The Back to School Donation Drive has begun! This week you will see a beautiful printed donation form and envelope in your child’s homework folder or backpack. We LOVE donations by check if possible since it helps us avoid the PayPal fee and means MORE money to our school.

This fundraiser is essential to our school and we launch it early in the year so we can support the salaries of several PFC funded staff members.

Your support helps provide teachers' aides, a PE coach, a librarian and books, music and art instruction, computers, classroom supplies and so much more. This year, the PFC (Parent Faculty Club) spends about $1,000 per student, and the Back to School Donation Drive is one of the biggest ways that we do that.

Our goal is 100% participation, with each family contributing what they can. By working together, we can achieve our fundraising goals, and give our kids the best Thornhill experience possible.

More details here!

Questions? Email us at

Thank you,

Erin Fredrick, Christine Pereira, Adrienne Selke, Rianna Stoll

BSDD Committee


Picture Days

Smile! Picture days are coming. We are using MugsyClicks again this year (woo hoo!) who will be coming to capture your child(ren)’s unique personality and charm on Wednesday, September 11 and Thursday, September 12. MugsyClicks recommends that kids wear a simple shirt without large patterns, words, or graphics.

Can't make it? We will have a make-up day on a day to be announced.

The "Class Photo" this year will be the same as last year - a composite of the individual pictures of the kids and teacher and will be available for purchase after the make-up day. Ordering information will be emailed to parents from the photographer. There are no pre-orders. Everything will be done online after the picture is taken. You should have a few shots to choose from!


September Dine Out: Pattys & Buns

Mark your calendars for the first “Dine Out” of this year and stay tuned for more to come. Support a local restaurant, and they'll support our school! Our first Dine Out of the year is at Pattys & Buns. If you tell the cashier you are from Thornhill, they'll return 15% of your bill to the school. Enjoy tasty burgers, fries galore, mouth-watering milkshakes, or their marvelous Mountain Cobb salad.

When: Thursday, September 5th, 11:30am-7:30pm

Where: Pattys & Buns Burgers, 2852 Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA 94602 (map)

How: When you arrive, please tell your server you are there for Thornhill. At the end of the drive, the purchases will get logged and a portion will go to Thornhill PFC.

Eat. Drink. And Raise Money for Thornhill.


It's Harvest Season at the Thornhill Garden!

The school garden is bursting with fruits and veggies that the kids planted last Spring, and I am excited to get back in the garden with the students this week. Let me introduce myself: My name is Alexis Lavine-Moore, and I am the mother of a 1st and 3rd grader at Thornhill. I have been volunteering teaching K through 2nd graders in the school garden for the last 3 years. I am very excited to join the Thornhill staff this year as gardening instructor. I will be teaching gardening classes with the TK through 1st grade classes and offering after-school enrichment classes for the 2nd through 5th graders. For those of you who are new to Thornhill, the main garden area is in between the main building and the portables, and other garden areas are behind the main building and near the TK portable. I encourage you to explore the garden areas with your kids throughout the school year. Food from the school garden is harvested during gardening classes, so please refrain from picking fruits and vegetables from the garden areas.

During our class time, students will enjoy hands-on learning of biology and ecology, and will gain understanding of our food sources and how to nurture, respect, and enjoy them. We will plant, care for, harvest, and eat a variety of fruits and vegetables; build healthy new soil through composting and planting of cover crops; harvest seeds and store them for the next cycle of planting; observe the plant life cycles through the changing of seasons; and study water soil and root systems, as well as the diverse population of insects, invertebrates and animals who inhabit the school garden areas. Being an integral part of the garden’s growth and life cycles instills a sense of environmental stewardship in our students and gives them the rewards of working in community to create something wonderful.

I want to thank Magic Gardens Landscaping for generously donating construction of new bleachers in the garden for gardening instruction.

Lastly, I am looking for a few volunteers to help with watering and weeding throughout the school year, as well as parent volunteers to assist during gardening classes. If you are interested, please send an email to

I look forward to growing and exploring the amazing world of plants with your kids this year!

"Miss Alexis"


Stop the Spread of Illness With A Free Smart Thermometer

Our school won a spot in a public health program that provides free smart thermometers to everyone that wants to participate! This program and these thermometers will help us track and prevent the spread of contagious illness in classrooms this flu season.

Families can sign up to receive a free Kinsa smart thermometer! Here’s how:

  • Text FLUENCYSCHOOL to 555888 to pre-order your thermometer

  • Families that pre-order now will receive access to claim their free Kinsa on September 30, 2019.

  • Thermometers will run out fast so pre-order soon!


Open Positions on our Parent Faculty Club (PFC) Board

We hope you enjoyed hearing about what the PFC does at Back to School Night and are excited to volunteer this year. We still have a few positions where we could really use you. Please seriously consider filling one of these needed positions - email for more information.

  • Co-President: Train with Rex this year and take the helm next year!

  • VP Fundraising: Lead the strategy of our fundraising efforts!

  • VP Personnel: Train with Andy Espinoza to work with our personnel!

  • Auction Chairs: We can't raise the needed $100,000 for our kids without Auction Chairs!

  • Hospitality Chairs: Run the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon in the Spring and more!


Volunteering at Thornhill

Whether you take an official PFC role or not, there are a lot of ways to lend a hand to the school and your child(ren)’s class during the year. Teachers will have information on specific opportunities, but make sure you’re all set to go. OUSD policy states that anyone chaperoning field trips and community members who are volunteering (more than 11 times in a year) at school must be fingerprinted through Live Scan. If you are volunteering at school on a regular basis, you must also have an up-to-date TB test.

To begin the process of registering to become an OUSD volunteer, please visit: Email with any questions.



The website always has the latest calendar information, and here's what's coming up:

  • Monday, August 26: Fall PFC Enrichment classes began
  • Monday, September 2: Labor Day (no school)
  • Thursday, September 5: Dine Out at Pattys & Buns (11:30am-7:30pm)
  • Monday, September 9: First PFC Meeting! (6-7pm, Thornhill Library + dinner/drinks afterwards at Monaghan's)
  • Wednesday, September 11-Thursday, September 12: Picture days with MugsyClicks
  • Friday, September 27: Professional development day (no school)
  • Friday, October 4: Minimum Day for Science (no enrichment classes)
  • Saturday, November 2: Thornhill Walkathon

Be sure also to download the OUSD District calendar here and subscribe to our Google calendar here.


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).