RHS SPOTLIGHT: March 19, 2021

Distance Learning # for Redwood Heights: 510-879-2148


Book Highlight: by Paisley Kuoh

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Keeper of the Lost Cities

Keeper of the Lost Cities is a great book series and i've read it twice! It's about this girl named Sophie and she finds out she's an elf and gets brought to an amazing shimmery city called The lost cities. And she gets powers along the way and is always in danger. It's a great book and I hope you try it out.

Dear RHS Families,

At the beginning of this week everyone received an update regarding the OEA tentative agreement that included start dates for teachers and students. Since then, I’ve been to multiple meetings hoping to find something definitive to give you. Unfortunately there is no certainty right now. Everything is in flux, changing daily, and being planned based on unknowns. We find ourselves in an incredibly complex and messy situation, and to be transparent, we are all feeling frustrated and impatient with the current process.

Please know that I am doing everything in my power to ensure that we have a smooth transition to in-person learning and the new schedule (that will also affect students who opt to remain home for distance learning). As a principal, I’m maintaining an open-minded, problem-solving perspective to reach the best outcome for our students and our community. I will have more information for you after the OEA TA has been voted upon. I believe we will find out the results over the weekend or on Monday. I’m planning on having a tentative emergency RHS Town Hall meeting next Tuesday or Wednesday, dependent on how I’m feeling after my second vaccination on Monday. But I’m feeling positive and hopeful that I’ll be fine.

I will keep you all posted,

Peace, love and much patience,


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Racist acts in the United States have become more brazen. More recently, we have seen our Asian American community at the receiving end of acts of hate and racism.

Hate crimes against Asian Americans have risen since the start of the pandemic and recently, we have seen a sharp rise of incidents of violence. In our own city, Asian elders have been assaulted in their daily walks, while operating their business, and even just getting into their cars. The incident in Atlanta yesterday is the most recent and tragic example of the violence Asian Americans are experiencing at the hand of white supremacy. Many of the assaults go unreported, however, it’s too much to be ignored. It is necessary that we stand in solidarity with our community.

Oakland reflects the growing diversity of our nation and we know that the recent hate crimes impact our school community, our staff and students. We know from our own experiences that if we don’t interrupt harmful words, they will become harmful actions.

Please find these resources:

Possible Classroom Circle Prompts

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Parent Square

OUSD sent out Parent Square messages to all of you last week. Parent Square is a new platform OUSD (and eventually school sites) will be using for sending messages and important forms to all families. It automatically translates into over 100 languages. Each family's account will include all of the OUSD students in your household, and each parent/guardian may have their own account.

First and foremost however, Parent Square will be used for daily health screenings required of all students coming to school in person. With Parent Square, you will be able to complete the screening for all the OUSD students living in your household at the same time.

Some of you have been reaching out with registration issues. I am getting trained on ParentSquare on Monday and should then be able to assist you. Until then, please refer to the following directions:


NOTE: If you have any trouble setting up an account using your email or cell phone, please try an alternate address/number. If that doesn’t get you in, try going to the Aeries Parent Portal to update so that the primary number is a cell phone and/or the correct email addresses are noted. After 24 hours, the system should update, and you should be able to set up your Parent Square account. If you encounter any difficulties, please contact Ms. K (adelma.killingsworth@ousd.org) and Ms. Eve (eve.isbell@ousd.org)

For a Smart Phone: Download the ParentSquare mobile app (Video instructions for using ParentSquare mobile app)

  1. Launch the ParentSquare app.

  2. If you have a Gmail account registered with the school: click on “Sign in with Google.”

  3. If you don’t have a Gmail account or aren't sure if you do, enter the email or cell phone number the school has.

  4. Check your email or texts for a registration link.

  5. Click on the link and follow the instructions to set your password.

On a Computer: Go to http://www.ParentSquare.com

  1. If you have a Gmail account registered with the school: click on “Sign in with Google.”

  2. If you don’t have a Gmail account or aren't sure if you do, then on the right side of the screen under “Sign Up / Create Password," enter the email or cell phone number you have in Aeries and click “GO.”

  3. Check your email or text message for a registration link.

  4. Click on the link and follow the instructions to set your password.

FYI - you can also access Parent Square through the Aeries Parent Portal on a computer or using the Aeries Mobile App. Once in Aeries, click on "COMMUNICATIONS" to access Parent Square.

If an adult in your household does not receive this message, please check the Aeries Parent Portal to be sure each parent/guardian’s correct email is listed in the contacts, updating as needed. Give the system 24 hours, and it should update, enabling them to create their Parent Square account. Again, contact Ms. K (adelma.killingsworth@ousd.org) and Ms. Eve (eve.isbell@ousd.org)

if you encounter difficulties.

Having each family set up its Parent Square account now will help us with a smooth return to school.

RHS Playground is "officially" open!!! Please see below :).

Our playgrounds to be open daily from 3pm - 6pm. Thank you to the families that have been using the yard and keeping it clean. Ms. Kim our custodian has noticed the thoughtful, and considerate actions.

OUSD Redwood Heights Playground Rules

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Ms. Kim. has placed extra garbage cans for easy clean up.

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The Aliso yard gate door will be the main entrance.

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I take care of myself. I take care of others.

I take care of our school.

This is an excellent opportunity to have social distance play for the kids and connectedness for the adults. Remind our students of the RHS school rules: I take care of myself. I take care of others. I take care of our school. Remind them to clean up behind themselves, put all trash in the school trash bins. And to not add more work to our custodian's workload.

At 6 pm an OUSD night custodian will come to clean our play structure with the electro static sprayer that disinfects the play structure.

We appreciate your understanding, consideration and thoughtfulness. Let's maintain an attitude of gratitude. Thank you to all of you. Reach out to me anytime.

Peace and love,


We are thrilled to announce the formation of a new club here at RHS - the Rainbow Club!

The RC is for students and staff who:

- Is LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning)

-Is curious about being LGBTQ

-Has a friend or family member who is LGBTQ

-Is an ally (a supporter of the LGBTQ community)

Everyone is welcome!

See your teacher for the Zoom link. Please share with your families in your weekly newsletter. If folks have questions, please have them contact Ms. Jennifer at Jenniferrhshugs@gmail.com or Logan moody, HUGS intern, at Logan.Moody@ousd.org

Flyer is here

Thanks everyone!


Due to the Alameda County Shelter in Place we are temporarily canceling our RHS TECH SUPPLY PICKUP HOURS. Instead, make arrangements by contacting the following people below if your child is in need of tech hardware:

Contact our TECH EXPERT: rebecca.weissman@ousd.org

Contact jenniferrhshugs@gmail.com, cynthia.bagby@ousd.org if you have questions.

For more information regarding the shelter in place, please visit: https://covid-19.acgov.org/index.page

UPDATE: A Message from HUGS Counselor, Jennifer Wilson

Greetings Redwood Heights Community!

I hope you are all staying safe and getting some fresh air!

I am writing to update you on the RHS Cares fundraiser as well as to ask once more for more support.

To date, friends, family, staff, teachers far and wide, have raised almost $25,000 in order to support our families at RHS!! This is a beautiful that is a gift for all of us. I want to share the following which resonates with why I am spearheading this ongoing effort.

“Mutual aid consists of the collective actions it takes to support community wellbeing and reaffirm that all lives have inherent value. We all have needs and we are all capable of helping each other to fulfill some of these needs. This approach is distinctively egalitarian and rooted in reciprocity and agency.”

"What is Mutual Aid? A Primer" by the Climate Justice Alliance

One of the core tenets of mutual aid is the idea of solidarity, not charity. Solidarity involves collectively working together to solve the root causes of structural inequity, from trans activist and scholar Dean Spade

We are all part of assuring our community wellbeing and right now all of our community continues to experience food insecurity, housing insecurity and paying for activities of daily living. This is why I am once again asking for you support.

Some of us will be receiving stimulus checks from the federal government. Some of us will need this money to pay our own bills and such. If you are in a position to donate some or all of the money to our RHS Cares campaign, it will go a long way to the ongoing support we are providing to families that are part of our community.

I know I have asked a lot this year and I know we have a generous community, one that cares about the wellbeing of all of us. It is for this reason that I am asking you to donate once again here at RHS Cares

Please email me with questions/concerns at jenniferrhshugs@gmail.com

Deep gratitude and appreciation,


Academic Milestones Available for PK-5

Curious how your child should be progressing with literacy and math skills during the school year? Check out the literacy and math milestones by grade level at Family Central. Available in multiple languages.


RHS Distance Learning, TECH, Clothing & Wellness Survey

HUGS Counselor Jennifer in partnership with the PTA is coordinating a food and clothing drive. Complete this new survey. and let us know how we can support you.


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California Young Readers Medal VOTING NEXT WEEK!

At the end of March all of our students will vote to choose the winners of California’s Young Reader Medal. Here is a link to the list of nominees. NOTICE - the list for next year is already out. Scroll down to see who we are voting on this year. Our students will hear all of the books in the Primary and Picture Books for Older Readers categories during library class. Most titles are available on Sora.


Send your thank you’s and reviews to emily.akemon@ousd.org

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SORA!! Read the 2/23/2021 PRESS RELEASE HERE.

Exciting news! OUSD got a HUGE Cares Act grant for our virtual library at the very end of 2020 earmarked for SORA! What does that mean? Our Cares Act Grant means we can fill our virtual library NOW! Books students want to read - “All Killer, no Filler” is the motto of the collection development team. We are continually working to improve the OUSD collection. Check back often (daily) and watch the selections grow. Haven’t heard of Sora yet? Sora is how students access our new digital library. Students learned how to access Sora in Library classes in January and I put together this video to explain how to log on the first time. Here is another flyer about Sora, with links to learn more.

7:00 LIBRARY COMMITTEE MEETINGS/7:30 Pajama Story Time with Sora!

April 1st, May 13th in the Library Zoom Room

Come learn more about Sora and our library program at RHS. The library committee supports the programs and funding in our beautiful library. Come learn what we do and how you can help make it even better. We meet every month on the second Thursday. NEW THIS MONTH: I will host a storytime from 7:30-8. Log on to have Ms. Akemon read to you. Come as you are and enjoy a story on Sora. Don’t forget your favorite cuddle buddy!

Do you want to volunteer? OUSD Distance Learning Protocols

Here are some relevant updates regarding virtual parent volunteering. The Oakland Ed Fund parent/guardian webpage is here where you can find a new parent/guardian FAQ for virtual volunteering towards the bottom of the page.


The way that OUSD legal has outlined virtual volunteering, I've interpreted as follows:

  1. Guardians can become Zoom Assistants, joining educator's zoom lessons. Breakout groups are OK so long as the educators can pop in anytime, it is considered supervised. We would prefer that these volunteers register as supervised with our system (above) so that we can clear them on Megan's law.

  2. Guardians can become 1:1 Virtual Tutors. This requires registration on our website as well as fingerprinting clearance and a parent/guardian waiver through the Oakland Public Education Fund. In this situation, the educators would need to submit a request for individual students to be tutored here.

So far, we are sharing the following information with volunteers that's unique to virtual volunteering:


Hi Redwood Heights Families,

I am sending you the Spanish Version of this form which I received last month.

I sent out the English version earlier this school year.

The Health Education and Attendance for Life document (HEAL) produced by the Alameda County Public Health Dept. and Center for Healthy Schools and Communication. It's a flyer that is for parents, first page is about COVID which I think most parents are aware of by now. However, the second page has a list of symptoms and illnesses on the first column and the second column has general guidelines that are in blue which refers to distance learning or learning at home ( whether a child should participate or not in distance learning). Please note these are guidelines and there will always be personal circumstances that have to be considered.

Avelina S. Buijs BSN, RN, PHN

(She, Her, Hers)

We have therabands available for our kiddies:). Contact Ms. Jennifer or Ms. Bagby if interested.

These can help relieve tension and are usually wrapped around the legs of students chairs as a sensory tool.

Help students wiggle while they work.

Can help student release extra energy and anxiety to increase focus and be more productive.
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Redwood Heights FOOD DRIVE!!!

Hello RHS Community!

I first of all want to say thank you to all of you who have supported the GoFundMe campaign for our families.

Many of you have asked if there are other ways to support families and the answer is “Yes”!

WHAT: Redwood Heights FOOD DRIVE!!

WHEN: On going

HOW: Every Tuesday and Thursday, between 8:30 am -

12:00 pm, there will be bins at the main front

entrance to the school at 4401 39th Ave. You may drop off

food in the bins. Please do not leave food at other times unless you have

arranged it with Ms. Jennifer or Principal Bagby.

WHO: Everyone! Anyone can donate.

We are accepting all non perishable foods. If you want to donate flour or sugar, please make sure it is in secure packaging.

If you want to donate fruits or vegetables, we will make sure these get quickly distributed.

If you have other items you want to donate, please contact: jenniferrhshugs@gmail for further information.

If you are food insecure, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Jennifer who will arrange a pick up or drop off time.

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RHS Cares gofundme Opportunity

RHS CARES gofundme

During this time of shelter-in-place due to COVID, some Redwood Heights families have been severely impacted and unable to pay rent or buy food. Some are unable to leave their homes to access food banks or other resources due to medical reasons, lack of safe transportation, or other obstacles.

We have been able to provide some cash assistance through our PTA; however, we have realized that the needs are greater than what the PTA is able to provide on its own.

We have been working with RHS parents who need immediate cash assistance to support their families and avoid falling through the cracks.

This cash support will be a lifeline for these parents, allowing them to feed their children, stay in their homes, pay for medical costs, and maintain their utilities. They are so grateful and frequently in tears upon receiving help from the community.

We can all really make a difference here! We are fortunate to have a generous, caring community.

All funds raised from this campaign will go directly to RHS families in need of financial support during this time.

Thank you for supporting these families and showing up in community!


Jennifer Wilson

HUGS (Helping Us Grow Stronger) Update

HUGS (Helping Us Grow Stronger) Update

Greetings Redwood Heights Community.

We have just finished our sixth week of school. For some of us it may feel like six months due to the enormity of what we are experiencing right now. Here at RHS we have been assessing the needs of families and students over the past 6 weeks. We have been talking with caregivers during coffee chats, surveys, Back to School Night, parent/teacher virtual home visits, and 1:1 conversations. Our COST (Care of Services Team) has been meeting weekly to create systems of support and to discuss how we can best support students and families during this distance learning time.


We are thrilled that once again we will have two HUGS interns. Cierra and Logan, will facilitate small groups and provide 1:1 support to students and families. The interns are eager to get started in getting to know the RHS community.

  • Due to distance learning, the interns will be offering “Lunch Bunch” small groups for all grades. Initially, they will be starting with Kindergarten. The goal is to bring students together to get to know others in a fun, easy going and connecting manner. Each group will meet for 3 weeks and will have 3 students in each group. A separate email will be sent to Kindergarten families.

  • Additionally, Cierra and Logan will be inviting 4th/5th graders to participate in a group with 6-8 students. These groups will last 8-10 weeks and rotate through the school year. The goal of these groups is to provide community, support and connection for students outside of the academic Zoom calls. This is our attempt to be proactive regarding what we know about the social emotional development of this age group. We know that for some students it is especially challenging during distance learning and we want to support all students.


  • Covid - 19 Related Support Group

This is a group for caregivers who have been personally impacted by a positive COVID 19 test, yourself or family member, and/or experienced a death in their family due to COVID 19. Please join us for this confidential and supportive forum. This is an opportunity to receive support and offer support to others.

  • Parenting during COVID

Join other parents in supporting each other and learning ways to navigate this challenging time. This group is for caregivers who are feeling stressed as distance learning continues, as smoke from California fires envelopes us and as challenging life situations unfold. Please join us for this confidential and supportive forum.

Day and time to be determined by interested parties. Ms. Jennifer will be facilitating the group. Please email Ms. Jennifer at: jenniferrhshugs@gmail.com for more information, questions and to sign up.

HUGS Intern: Cierra Ivey

My name is Cierra Ivey. I was born and raised in Oakland, CA.I am 36 years old pursuing my degree in social work at California State University EastBay. I have my bachelors degree in social work, which I received in 2014 from Sacramento State University. I have volunteered with several non profit organizations throughout Oakland, CA. Throughout my years of volunteering, I have helped children and learned so much from them as well. I love children of all ages and am excited to be a part of the Redwood Heights community.

HUGS Intern: Logan Moody

Logan Moody is currently studying Drama Therapy at CIIS in San Franciso. They are excited to be part of the RHS community this year while working as an intern in the HUGS program. They graduated in 2018 from UC Berkeley with a degree in theater and performance studies. Their love for theatre and seeing how it can have a therapeutic effect lead them to their current graduate studies. Their focus both academically and personally has been in social justice art and community building. They hope to bring art, compassion, respect, and a deep sense of community to their work in the HUGS program and school and look forward to learning and growing alongside the kiddos every day.


  1. Recording of Class on Zoom by Student or Family Member. Under Education Code section 51512, Students and family members may only take an audio or video recording of a class (or any parts of a class) on Zoom if they have first obtained written permission to do so from both the teacher and the principal.

  2. Interactions with Teacher/Other Students during Class. Family members may observe their own child during a class on Zoom from off screen and are asked to inform the teacher if possible. However, family members should not interact with the teacher or other students, except to briefly address time-sensitive technical issues, and only where not disruptive. Any concerns regarding a teacher’s teaching or student’s learning must be raised outside the Zoom class.

  3. Familial Support for Children during Class. Family members may support their own child during a class on Zoom provided that such support does not take their child away from instruction, and so long as the support is not otherwise disruptive of how the teacher is teaching the class.

Coronavirus FAQS

For more information on the novel Coronavirus, please see the Coronavirus FAQS posted on our Alameda County Public Health Department website www.acphd.org

RHS Cares gofundme Opportunity

Click to go to the page. This cash support will be a lifeline for parents, allowing them to feed their children, stay in their homes, pay for medical costs, and maintain their utilities. All funds raised will go directly to RHS families in need.