Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 28, Issue 3, August 25, 2020

In This Issue

  • Note from our Principal
  • Technology: Chromebooks, Konstella, Clever
  • Social Media: YouTube, Facebook
  • Enrichment classes
  • Safety notes
  • Get Involved with OUSD
  • Calendar of important dates


From our Principal

Dear Thornhill Families,

I hope you are all doing well. It was so great to see you at back to school night. Thank you all for coming and building community in this virtual way. I know it’s far from perfect AND we will do our best! The air quality has been challenging and I’m hoping that your indoor air quality is good. We have drafty windows at home and I need to put new windows on my list of things to do to avoid smoke coming into our home.

If you have not had a chance to pick up the packets that you requested for this week (week 3), you can get them anytime, day or night. Thanks to Ms. Zettie, each grade level can pick up their packets on the fence near the side gate on Alhambra Lane (see picture below).

I want to thank all of our students that have been joining their classes online. I am so proud of our students’ ability to transition to this online learning world.

Have a wonderful week.


Mr. Daubenspeck

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Chromebook pickup is postponed this week. Thornhill will be in touch with you via Konstella as soon as OUSD has a schedule set up. For now, please complete the Chromebook Request Form and the district-wide Oakland Undivided Tech Check Survey, which will be used to distribute donated devices from the Oakland Undivided campaign.


A Note on Konstella Messages

Konstella is a great place to get all the information you need about the school and to have relevant discussions with other parents in your class. In your individual classrooms, please note that any text sent in the “messages” area goes to all the parents and the teacher in your classroom, which is usually over 50 people. So please keep this in mind before you start a discussion. Is this something you need urgently like a Zoom link? Send away! Is this something you should instead ask the teacher directly or that might have been in another announcement? Check the main Thornhill Elementary Konstella feed for previous announcements or send a message directly to the teacher. If you're discussing an assignment with other parents in the classroom, that's a great use of Konstella too, just be aware of the volume of notifications.

We love to see the support in the classrooms, but remember that even sending "Thanks!" generates a separate email to the entire classroom. Consider sending your thanks privately! (We have a request to Konstella to have a "like" button which would solve this problem.)

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Thank you for keeping our communications as streamlined as possible!


Clever and Thornhill's Distance Learning Platforms

OUSD uses a single sign-in platform called Clever to access all of the online learning programs we’ll be using this year (Seesaw, ST Math, etc.). You may have also received login instructions from your teacher if they’ve started using any of the distance learning software. Once you log into Clever, all of the programs needed will be accessible with one click. If more platforms are added later in the year, they will also be accessible through Clever.

  1. Go to the OUSD Clever Portal at

  2. Click on the “Log in with Google” button

  3. Enter student’s username (email address)

  4. Enter student’s password (00+ their ID number)

The email format for every student is If you do not have your student’s ID number, you can find it in the Aeries Parent Portal at Go to Student Info > Profile and click on General in the top right menu. Your student’s ID number will be right under their name (you want the first Student ID, not the State Student ID). Remember to add two zeros to the front of the ID number as your student’s password.

Some teachers in younger grades have provided QR codes to make it easier for little ones to log in by holding it up to the camera.

IF YOU HAVE NOT REGISTERED ON THE AERIES PARENT PORTAL, PLEASE DO SO RIGHT AWAY. If you have any questions about registration, email For questions about Clever and the distance learning software, check in with your teacher.


YouTube Channels

We have 2 YouTube channels! Please subscribe to both:

Also please watch our 3 1/2 minute "Back to School Night" video from the PFC! We promise, we made it informative and entertaining. :)


Facebook Groups: Stay Connected

Konstella is Thornhill’s official communication channel, along with this newsletter and our school website, but we also have an informal community Facebook group that we invite everyone who uses Facebook to join for sharing resources and supporting one another. Each grade also has its own Facebook group: Find the specific links in the Files section of Konstella here. Please make sure to answer the membership questions when you request to join, and read the group rules!


Enrichment Classes

Due to district requirements, we will not be running any after-school or online enrichment courses through Thornhill. Some of our vendors are still offering virtual courses and welcome you to sign up.

ANTS Sports, one of Thornhill's after school enrichment providers, is offering small group tennis classes at Montclair Park after school on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Classes are grouped by K-2nd and 3rd-5th. They're also offering semi-private neighborhood sports classes on your schedule, location, and desired time frame. Virtual classes are available for martial arts, yoga, and dance. Information on dates & safety protocols for in-person programs are available at They also have a virtual program called Zoom Sports Kids Clubs where you can create your own class at the time you want with the kids you want.

3 O'Clock Rock has some great new online group classes this fall including Pioneering Women in Rock n Roll, Synth Wizards, Keepin’ the Beat (Drums), Shred ‘Til Your Dead (Guitar), Bass Slayer (Bass), and more!!! More information at

Jazz Education Ensemble is offering Jazz Band classes by Robert Jacobs. More info at or email

Nusku Arts is teaching Comics online for Thornhill every Monday at 3pm starting on September 7th with Meggie, our Comics teacher. Here is the link to enroll:

Berkeley Chess School is offering online classes during the entire fall session with multiple classes and multiple levels per day for your convenience! Using a combination of Zoom and, the instructors first give a lesson, consisting of solving puzzles and learning model games, and afterwards the students play each other in a private online tournament with the instructor supervising and encouraging. For more information, go to

Doug's Drama, with Thornhill's drama and storyteller teacher Doug Cole, will be offering online classes throughout the fall semester. Check his website for regular updates on class schedules at

Spanish: Ms. Roxana is offering Spanish classes! Log in to and click on THORNHILL at the top to register.

Homeroom, the program we use to register for enrichment classes, is also offering a variety of online classes. Some are even FREE! Check them out at

Thank you,

Teresa Contreras-Chavez - Enrichment Coordinator


Safety First!

Hello Thunderbird Families,

It's been quite a week with very high temps and lightning storms igniting wildfires around the state of California.

I'd like to say it's been a freak of nature for this to happen near here, but if 2020 has taught us anything, it's that ANYTHING can happen!

But it is wildfire season!

If you’re an Oakland hills resident, you'd know this because of the defensible space that you were asked to create around your home. Did you pass? We hope you did. Having a defensible space of 100 feet around a dwelling is the first line of defense from an oncoming wildfire.

This week, we are passing along some helpful tools for you to use in planning for your family and homes safety. There is a lot more info out there on the web so research away!

Stay Safe,

From your Thornhill Safety team

This link is a great site that can lead you to all fire safety that is local to us.

EBRPD - Be Prepared. Wildfire Season in the East Bay

Click on the 3 pictures below for great websites!


Get Involved in OUSD!

Are you looking for a way to serve the greater OUSD community? OUSD has several vacancies on two oversight committees:

  • Audit Committee. The Audit Committee advises the School Board on the hiring of outside auditors, and the results of reviews conducted by both outside and internal auditors.

  • Measure G Parcel Tax Independent Citizens Oversight Committee This Committee informs the public concerning the expenditure of parcel tax revenues and reviews and reports on the proper expenditure of taxpayers' money generated by the 2009 Measure G parcel tax.

Committees generally meet once a month for 2-3 hours. Committee members are expected to review correspondence and agendas between meetings. Some committees also have opportunities for occasional site visits, no more than one per month. The overall time commitment is 5-10 hours/month. Oversight committee members are volunteers. Each term is 2 years, unless otherwise stated. A member can serve up to three consecutive terms on an oversight committee.

Please click here to learn more and to apply!


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  • Weeks of August 24 and August 31: Look out for new class schedules from your teachers, including small group meetings and specialty classes including art, library, and PE.
  • Monday, September 7: Labor Day! No school!
  • Monday, September 14: PFC meeting (5:30-6:30pm, Zoom link in Konstella)
  • Friday, September 25: NO SCHOOL! Professional Development Day

Be sure also to subscribe to the Thornhill Google Calendar here, and download the OUSD District 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, Jill Evans, 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, VPs of Communications Erin Proudfoot & Evie Nagy, PFC Presidents Rex Crum & Alicia Streight, and Principal Steve Daubenspeck. Member of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).