Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 25, Issue 6, October 6, 2017

From The PFC Co-Presidents...

We hope that you and your students have settled into the school year and are getting excited for all the October school events to come. Please see Dates to Remember at the bottom of the newsletter, on the calendar on our website, or on Konstella.

The end of September brought an end to our Back to School Donation Drive. Many thanks go out to Christine Pereira, VP Fundraising and BSDD Co-Chairs, Adrienne Selke & Rianna Stoll for all the work they did to show you the importance of supporting Thornhill with your monetary donations. We also want to say thank you to each and every family for your generosity to this great school. We don’t want to steal their thunder, so please see below to find out if we met our goal and which classes will get a pizza/ice cream party for most participation. Thank you Thornhill Families for your generous support!

We hope to see you at our next meeting of the PFC Board on Monday, Oct. 9, at 6 p.m. in the school library. Come to the meeting if you'd like some more insight into what makes Thornhill run. If you plan on attending the meeting, and need child care, please RSVP at this link.

Have a great weekend!

Shanyn and Shauna


Back to School Donation Drive

The Thornhill community is truly amazing!

Our annual 2017-18 PFC budget goal is $361,000 and the BSDD aims to raise $165,000 in the first month of the school year. We were thrilled to see how parents engaged and help us exceed that goal by raising over $168,000 for our Thornhill PFC. A tremendous thank you to every family that participated in BSDD. Your donation goes straight into our classrooms!

  • It's not too late! BSDD will continue to accept donations. If you still wish to contribute, the PayPal link remains open and checks payable to Thornhill PFC can be mailed to: 1315 Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA 94611 (or dropped in the PFC folder in the office).

  • Employer Matching - Matching gifts were down slightly from last year. If you have an employer who will match your gift....please, please, PLEASE take a moment to submit that form to them.

  • Thornhill SWAG - Every family that participated will get a new Thornhill car magnet. Families that donated before 9/15 will also get a stainless steel coffee mug. We'll let you know as soon as they're ready for pick up!

  • Let's Party! Mr. Thompson and Ms. LaFleur's classes each won a celebration for the highest percentage participation in the BSDD. They get to pick between a pizza party or ice cream party. YUM!


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Walk-a-Thon Update

Those sneakers were made for walking…And raising funds!

Mark your calendars, on October 28th we will Trek N’ Treat for Thornhill!

We are celebrating our 40th Annual Walk-a-thon with a Halloween themed event. Everyone (yes, even you parents) is encouraged to dress to impress.

The funds raised during the event support our Parent Faculty Club, enrichment and community programs including library, computer lab, art, music, PE, and much more. Be on the lookout for more info regarding the event and logistics (how to volunteer, rules, prizes, etc.) in the upcoming days. All students will have the opportunity to create their own pledge page but in the meantime, information about the event is available here.

With everyone’s help, it will be a spectacularly spooky success!


Mix It Up Day--Cancelled

National Mix It Up Day has been cancelled. Oct. 24 and 31 had been been considered, but Thornhill won't be participating this year. We hope to be able to do this next year with a parent volunteer leading the effort.


Livescan Fingerprinting For School Volunteers

Redtomatoes LiveScan Fingerprinting will be at Thornhill on Saturday, October 28 during the Walkathon to provide fingerprint scanning (OUSD volunteer requirement for parents wanting to chaperone/drive on school field trips). Registration is required - Sign up here.

The cost is $36, which is payable by cash, check or credit card. Please contact Lilly Smith ( if you need help with the fee.

You must first sign up to be an OUSD volunteer here and then they will email you the LiveScan form. Please bring your ID, payment, and LiveScan form to the the Walk-a-Thon. Each appointment is 10 minutes long so you must arrive on time. Please see all the OUSD volunteer clearance requirements here.


OUSD 2018-19 School Calendar

Keep your 2018 calendar handy, because the next school year might start earlier than this one.

OUSD is proposing that the first day of school for 2018-19 will be August 13. OUSD wants to hear from parents about the school calendar for next year, and is holding community meetings on Oct. 10 and 17 on the matter. The District is also running an online survey about the school year. The survey, meeting details and more information can be found at


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Library News...

There are three wonderful mystery donations this week: Wishtree, Patina and Undefeated. If you donated one or all of these books, let me know so we may honor your student in the library!

If you want to donate a book to the library, have a look at the Thornhill Library Amazon Wish List. If you donate directly from the Amazon Wish List, make sure to add a gift note with your student’s name included! Thank you to all of our donors!

Happy Reading,
Maura Hennessy

Thornhill Library

Thornhill Library Blog


Thornhill Student Art Featured in MOCHA’s My First Art Show

MOCHA is hosting an art exhibit and auction featuring a variety of art mediums done by artists of all ages--Including several young artists from Thornhill!

The exhibit started Sept. 27, and continues until Oct. 21, at MOCHA, located at 1625 Clay St #100 in Oakland. Not only is this an exhibit, but the show culminates in an auction from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 21.

This is your opportunity to fully support art in education, Oakland artists, and MOCHA’s art education program as well as to purchase a piece of original artwork. The artists receive 70 percent of the sale price of their artwork. Let’s empower our young Thornhill artists!

Thank you for your support,

Tricia Larsen (Art teacher)

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Karma Volunteers

Three volunteers from Joaquin Miller Elementary supported Thornhill's auction last spring and they'd love to have three Thornhill parents help out with theirs on Saturday, November 4, from 5:30-11 p.m. at the Scottish Rite in Oakland.

Could you help out for an evening at a friend's school? Sign up with a friend and make a fun evening of it. Your support for a neighboring school is also support for Thornhill.

Sign up here to pick your task and hours. They'd be delighted to have 3 hours per person but whatever you can give is welcome. Please add Thornhill to the notes section of your sign-up. Questions can be directed to Veronica Tril (, JM's volunteer coordinator, or Anne Mawdsley (, Thornhill parent.


Adventure Time Enrollment for Friday, October 13

Keep in mind, there is no school on Friday, October 13. (Yes, Friday the 13th there will be no school.) If you have a child already enrolled in Adventure Time and would like your child to spend this day with AT at Montclair Elementary, sign-ups and further information are be available in the AT portable.


New Feature: Thornhill Tales

This week, we are introducing a new feature: Thornhill Tales to our PFC newsletter. Thornhill Tales will highlight stories from our parent community and help you get to know more about your fellow parents.

Our first article comes to us from Thornhill’s Sudat Family, with Felix in Kindergarten, Laurna in 3rd grade, and two-year-old Eleanor, who ventured to Oregon to experience totality during the Aug 21 Eclipse. It's written by Sylvia Sudat.

We ventured to Oregon to experience totality during the Aug 21 eclipse. While viewing the eclipse was an experience of a lifetime, the trip home was also one that we will not soon forget!

Along with thousands of other eclipse chasers, we began our drive home late Monday morning, opting for a very slow journey so we would be back to work and school on Tuesday. We progressed at a snail’s pace through Southern Oregon, traveling approximately 70 miles over a period of 6 hours. Finally, traffic picked up and things were looking good for a 1:30am arrival time.

We made an evening caffeine pit stop in Ashland, Oregon, and then got the kids settled back into our Dodge Charger for the remainder of the journey. However, once we got on the road, it soon became evident that our vehicle had other plans.

The dashboard battery light soon started blinking, and we didn’t make it much farther.

On a dark patch of I-5 South, between Ashland and the California border, more dash lights started coming on. The radio turned off. The air conditioning turned off and the heat came on. The car barely made it off the freeway and onto the shoulder before going completely dark.

We sat for a long two hours by the side of the road waiting for a tow truck, and a taxi to transport the family. With the closest hotel with availability over 200 miles away in Chico, the next best option was to be towed to a Denny’s in Medford, Oregon.

At 1am, the Denny’s parking lot became our home for the night. Not wanting to sleep in the parking lot without patronizing the restaurant, we adopted the 'When in Rome" philosophy and went in for a late-night Grand Slam, during which Laurna asked if she would be late for school on Tuesday! After eating, we returned to our broken-down car for a few hours of sleep until the Medford Dodge dealership opened at 7am.

When the tow truck returned at 6:30am, along with a taxi, we called the dealership to make them aware of our impending arrival. However, more bad news – they did not have availability for us on Tuesday. We tried a different dealership another half-hour north, and were told to come on over. The car was loaded up on the tow truck, we loaded into the taxi, and were on our way.

At around 11:20am on Tuesday--or, about 24 hours after our initial departure from Salem--and after a sleepy breakfast at the Grants Pass Black Bear Diner and balloon animals from the Dodge dealership’s service adviser, we were back on the road. This time, with a new alternator and battery. We finally arrived home at around 9pm on Tuesday, delighted to see our beds again.

And that’s the story of how Felix and Laurna made it to their first day of school at Thornhill...Although, it was unexpectedly on Wednesday!

If you would like to contribute your story to Thornhill Tales, please submit to per the newsletter guidelines below. All stories must be written by a current Thornhill family, be a maximum of 500 words and in keep with the theme of school-related tales. Photo of kids requested with submission.


Dates To Remember...

If you ever need to find out what's going on at Thornhill, you can always find information by visiting the calendar page of the school website.

In the meantime...Keep in mind these upcoming events in October:

Friday, October 6: Science Collaboration (minimum day)

Monday, October 9: PFC Meeting (6-7:30 p.m.)

Friday, October 13: Staff Development Day (no school)

Thursday, October 19: Dads Club Meeting at Monaghan's (7 p.m.)

Friday, October 20: Dads Club Movie Night (7-9 p.m.)

Saturday, October 28: Walkathon

  • Monday, October 30: Shoo the Flu! Be sure to download and sign the permission slips, and send those with your children on Oct. 30 if you want to participate.
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    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 information.

    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 and items not related to Thornhill are not accepted.

    THANK YOU to everyone who submits articles and to PFC Board Members, Teachers, VPs of Communications Erin Proudfoot and Pamela Schwartz, PFC Co-Presidents Shauna Fithian and Shanyn Lloyd-Gibson and Principal Steve Daubenspeck. Member of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).