Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 24. Issue 7, October 7, 2016

Dear Thornhill Families,

It has been an exciting two weeks at Thornhill. Our visiting students from Fengshulu School in China added to this week’s excitement. On Saturday, our PFC co-presidents and board members hosted an amazing welcome brunch at the school. Seeing kids that had just met less than 24 hours ago playing so well together was very inspiring. We are super proud of our 5th grade students for welcoming our 24 Chinese guests.

Our visiting students participated in all 5th grade activities and they were clearly a novelty for our curious 5th graders. We treated our guests to a special assembly on Tuesday, with an African dance and drum performance by master drummer Pope and a group of dancers from his after-school enrichment class. Our Chinese friends treated us to a couple of performances too, including a beautiful showing of traditional clothing from different ethnicities around the country. We closed out the assembly with a great sing-a-long.

We are so delighted to have this international partnership; it is an incredible opportunity for us to experience another culture and build friendships across the Pacific Ocean. I want to extend a special thank you to all the host families who graciously opened their homes to our exchange students. All of the students reported having so much fun with you -- THANK YOU!

Host Families: Denise Tukenmez, Bambi Vickland, Catherine Wong, Kaya Murray, Joe Mackness, Benoit Brunea, Julie Garfinkle, Sujata Neurgaonkar, Douglas Smith, Molly Wood, Laura Geduldig and Peter Chang. Without you this would not have been possible.

Have a great weekend.

Mr. Daubenspeck

Back To School Donation Drive Update

We have raised almost $50,000 so far, way to go Thornhill Families! Our goal is $160,000, so we still need your participation.

A lot of people have asked us questions about the Back to School Donation Drive so we want to give you some more info:

Do I need to donate before October 14th?

The reason we ask for donations early in the year is because they are used to pay for several teacher salaries, including our technology teacher, PE teacher and librarian. We also pay for various enrichment activities and need to know our budget so we can plan for the school year. But if donating before October 14th does not work with your family’s budget you still have options. Your donations will be accepted any time and will still help support our school. We can also arrange installment plans if that works better for your budget.

Is there a preferred method of payment?
Yes! If you have the option, we prefer checks since we pay a 2.2% fee to PayPal for credit card processing. Those fees ad up and we are happy to pay them to make it more convenient for parents. But if you have the option, checks are always preferred.

Why aren’t we getting auction tickets this year?

We know that parents love the auction tickets but we are always trying to make more money for our school. We made a decision to opt for Thunderbird Spirit Wear as a thank you for parents this year so the money for auction tickets could support the school. We always love to hear your feedback so if you feel strongly about this, let us know!

The PayPal link does not seem to work on the website.

Thanks for letting us know. Several parents have let us know the PayPal link has timed out or had technical issues. If you would like to use PayPal and have issues with the link on the Thornhill website just go directly to and click on the send money link. You can send money directly to Please just make a note when you send the money and let us know it’s for the Back to School Donation Drive and then drop your form in the office.

How do I complete a matching gift from my company?

If you work for a large company, there is a good change your company participates in a matching gift program. Many companies will do a 100% match, which means you can DOUBLE your donation. Email your HR department or search “charitable donation” or “matching gift” in your benefit portal. It is usually as simple as filling out a short form and is a huge benefit to our school.

Thanks Thornhill Famlies – Keep up the Great work!!

Additional Questions? Email

ST Math Night at Thornhill

The Co-VPs of Parent Education are proud to present an informative Math Night on Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 6:00- 7:00 p.m.. Our featured speaker is Ms. Kimberly Conerly, Education Consultant from the Mind Research Institute. She will demonstrate the new technology rich ST Math program, which our K- 5 students use. Please feel free to bring your laptop. We also plan to make Chromebooks available for your use. Childcare will be provided. We hope to see you there.

Jana Holmes and Noelle Bronson

Co- VPs, Parent Education

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Middle School Options Fair

Are your chldren in fifth grade?

Are you you beginning to think about middle school?


Thornhill's Middle School Options Fair is less than three weeks away.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 25th from 6:30pm-8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Thornhill Multipurpose Room

Our Middle School Options Fair is an interactive evening presenting several of the many middle school options available to our families. Come find out about these special OUSD and Oakland Charter Schools as well as information on the Options process. A representative from the OUSD assignment office will also be present to answer questions. So come by, pick up flyers, ask questions, and visit with families and administrators from local middle schools. Families from other local elementary schools will join us as well. See you there!!

Schools tentatively planning to attend:

Montera Middle School

Claremont Middle School

Julia Morgan School for Girls

Edna Brewer Middle School

Bret Harte Middle School

Oakland School for the Arts

Urban Promise Academy

Questions or comments? Contact Andy Espinoza @,

OR Dan Bridgman @

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Library News

Library Website

If you haven’t heard already, the Library Website is live! I’m very excited to have one place to share library resources and information with teachers, parents and students. Be sure to visit the site (and don’t forget to check the revitalized Library Blog) for the latest on the library.

On the website, visit the Wishwall with your student and help them post something about a book that they wish that we had in the library.

Thank you...

I’ve already received some great books from you parents! Big thanks to Preston and Hayden Chin and their family for donating Stephen Curry; Golden Boys; Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn; Malala: A Hero for All; and Who Was Maya Angelou? And thank you to Hannes and Anna Doeppner and their family for donating The Menagerie, and Finding Wonders. The students will love these titles!

Do you want to donate a book to the library? Check out the Amazon Wishlist to see which books we need. The new books are proudly placed on the shelves with your student’s name on the bookplate. It’s a Thornill tradition!

Author Visits

A Great Good Place for Books is bringing us more wonderful author visits this Fall. Local author Dev Petty will visit with TK-2nd grade students on October 18th, and the legendary Jon Agee will be here to visit with TK-3rd grade students on November 10th. Stay tuned for more info on these exciting visits!

Happy Reading,
Maura Hennessy

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Thornhill Movie Night

TICKETS NOW ON SALE. Friday, Oct. 21, from 7-9 P.M. in the Multi-Purpose Room. A special pre-Halloween spooktacular is planned with a costume contest, prizes, and all the popcorn the kids can eat!

We'll be screening Wallace & Gromit’s “Curse of the Were-Rabbit.” This is a parents’ night out event so don’t miss it! Buy admission in advance online and avoid the long check-in lines!

Thanks to all those who ordered Dads Club T-shirts during our recent donation drive. We raised nearly $500 for the school! The shirts are being printed and will arrive shortly. There will be a limited supply on hand at upcoming events ($20 each), so get yours before they are really gone!

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Shop Local First!

This year we are partnering with a local organization called BigPie to work more closely with independent local businesses and restaurants in Montclair to raise funds. Community businesses consistently contribute the most to schools and are often struggling to compete with online shopping and big-box stores. Throughout the year we will be featuring local businesses giving back to Thornhill every day through the program, and we will host special events like Dine Out Nights at participating restaurants.

The process is simple – take just a minute to SIGN UP NOW on BigPie’s website. When you shop at any participating businesses (for example, A Great Good Place for Books, Farmstead Cheese & Wine, Crogan’s, Montclair Sports, Annie’s Hallmark and more), you will use your registered email or phone number when you make a purchase, and the merchant will give back a percentage of the sale to Thornhill!

Please, let’s support the local businesses and restaurants that support us.

About the PFC Newsletter

The Thornhill Parent-Faculty Club (PFC) eNews team publishes this weekly newsletter each Friday in the school year to communicate school, PFC and OUSD news, events and info. Email submissions to our Newsletter Chair, Rex Crum, at by 3 P.M. Wednesday for approval, including Word or Text files with links and no formatting and 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 is not accepted. THANK YOU to everyone who submits articles and to PFC Board Members, Teachers, VP of Communications Mavis Scanlon, PFC Co-Presidents Shauna Fithian and Shanyn Lloyd-Gibson and Principal Steve Daubenspeck. Member of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).