Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 28, Issue 2, August 18, 2020

In This Issue

  • Note from our PFC Co-Presidents
  • Back To School Nights (Tuesday & Thursday, grade-specific)
  • Login instructions for Clever and Thornhill's distance learning platforms
  • A note about Konstella
  • Enrichment classes
  • Safety notes
  • Calendar of important dates


From the PFC Co-Presidents


As the late, great Canadian wordsmith and drummer extraordinaire Neil Peart said. “All the world’s indeed a stage, and we are merely players.” And this week, some of us on the PFC became “players,” if you will, on the YouTube stage with the debut of the Thornhill PFC’s YouTube channel, and a video we made that will also be shown at Thornhill’s Back To School Night events this week. (Note this is different than the Thornhill Elementary YouTube channel run by the teachers.)

We’re just getting up and running this school year, and there’s no point in denying that school is VERY different than what we have all been used to since...Well, since forever. This isn’t an easy time for any of us, but I can guarantee this: Our teachers are going above and beyond the call this year. Please keep this in mind as we get in the groove of school over these first few weeks. And please be patient.

And, remember...The next PFC meeting will be via Zoom on Monday, September 14, from

5:30-6:30pm. Log in details will be on the way.


Rex Crum and Alicia Streight


Back To School Nights

Back To School Nights for each grade (parents/guardians only) are this week. A friendly reminder to please do whatever you can to have your kid(s) entertain themselves during these 30 minutes if at all possible. Please see the Konstella calendar and/or messages from individual teachers for your Zoom link.

Tuesday August 18, Grades TK-2 --> THAT'S TONIGHT!

Thursday August 20, Grades 3-5


Logging Into 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.


Big picture

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.

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


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!

Dear Thunderbird Families,

Since we are all distance learning, your site safety team has looked into providing you with some tips to be safe at home.

Normally at school, we would practice our emergency plan near the beginning of the school year and throughout. You can do the same at home.

In this newsletter, we wanted to share some helpful links for home escape plans. It is important to have a plan and PRACTICE it because it will reduce stress/panic during a fire, as well as save lives.

Stay Safe Thunderbirds!

Your Site Safety team

Useful links:

Annie Makes a Plan

AAA: Disaster Preparedness Program (members get a discount on first aid kits)

Every second counts in a home fire!



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).