Ohlone Family Connection

October 19, 2021

On the Horizon

10/19 - PAUSD Board Meeting 6:30pm

10/20 - Unity Day - Wear Orange!

10/22 - Student Council Board Applications & Speeches Due

10/24 - Farm Work Day 9-12

10/25-10/29 - Student Council Speech Practices

10/26 - Middle School Panel 7:00-8:30pm

10/29 - Costume Parade for Students

Unity Day - October 20

It's tomorrow! Don't forget to wear your orange!

Tomorrow, students and staff will make one large paper link chain that connects each class and symbolizes the unity of our school community. We will sing Make New Friends and celebrate our commitment to inclusion, acceptance, and kindness at Ohlone. There will be orange masks for everyone!

Our fabulous PTA will be leading noontime activities that will include:

  1. Unity Day drawings
  2. Unity Day necklaces and bracelets
  3. Unity Day origami
  4. Unity Day Upstanding Superhero puppets

Thank you to Jay and Elsa for their hard work in coordinating the events for this special day. Jay is compiling a video of student-created Unity Day artwork, poetry, and animation. Yay!

Click below for Volunteer Signup and Unity Day Submission Forms:

Diversity in Literature

Through a book diversity audit, we are weeding our school and class libraries of books that do not accurately reflect cultural identities or perpetuate racial and gender stereotypes. We are taking count of the book we have that reflect our beautiful diversity and provides mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors for our students. We need more. Our students need to see themselves in books. They need to see their families in books. They need to see their gifts and learning differences celebrated and uplifted. They need to see themselves included.

I am excited to explore book titles with staff that reflect the diversity in family compositions, gender identity, body images, and learning and physical differences and gifts. We appreciate any recommendations or support you may provide in helping us build in more diversity in our book collections!

I invite you to look at your home libraries and consider the following article that our staff read this past week. Do your own book weeding, planting, and growing!

5 Ways to Audit Your Classroom Library for Inclusion

Diverse books in the classroom, all year round

Book of the Month

This month, Elsa and I are reading Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal. The book explores themes of identity, heritage, and the meaning behind names. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to explore the origin of their names and the connection they have within their families and with their peers. Please chat about your family history of names at the dinner table this month. Kids love to hear stories, especially if it's about them!

Fantastic Tea with Brittney!

We had a fantastic turnout for the Principal's Tea with our CASSY Counselor, Brittney Tabel. Brittney provided an engaging presentation about transitioning back to school. She led a great discussion on social connections, talking about emotions, setting and respecting boundaries, and negative self-talk. Please see some of her slides with helpful tips below!
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5th Grade Student Council Board Election

Election Day is November 2!

5th grade Student Council Reps and Alternates are eligible to run for a Student Council Executive Board position. Teachers shared application information with students last Friday.

Applications and speeches are due no later than Friday, 10/22 by lunch. I will meet with students during recess the week of 10/25 to help them prepare for their big day. Please email me or your child's teacher if you need an application packet.

Farm Work Day - 10/24

Come on out for Farm Work Day this Sunday, October 24, 9-12. Sign up for a one-hour slot or come for 30 minutes. We need about 40 parents to help us with basic upkeep. No experience necessary! We depend on parent volunteers to maintain our outdoor farm classroom so that it is accessible for students. Farmers' Market will be out there as well so please drop by!

Member secure sign-up here/Guest sign-up (no login required) here

Costume Parade - Oct 29

We will have a costume parade for students on Friday, October 29. Unfortunately, we will not be able to have parents on campus for the parade this year. I am looking into a live feed and will share more information soon.

If you would like your child to participate in an alternative activity during the parade, please let your child's teacher know. If your child IS participating, here are some important guidelines:

  1. Your child should come to school in costume.
  2. Costumes should not reflect cultural appropriation (See NPR article for more information)
  3. No weapons, scary masks, or blood and gore allowed
  4. Costumes should be festive and fun; Spooky not scary (check with teacher if unsure)
  5. Have your child bring a bag to put their costume in if they will not wear it all day.

Farewell, Gil & Congratulations, Chau!

As you may have heard, Gil is retiring at the end of next week. Boo hoo for us and yippee for him!

It is with happiness and joy that I share that Chau will be our Ohlone Lead Custodian beginning in November. We couldn't have selected a more dedicated, responsive, and kind person to take over for Gil. Chau has learned from the best. I know we are all ecstatic for him and his well-deserved promotion.

Gil has been an integral part of Ohlone for many many years. Gil's care for our school, students, staff, and families has been gift to us all. It has been an honor to work alongside him. We will miss him dearly.

PAUSD Attendance Message

As attendance and mental health and wellbeing are a major priority for the district this year, we want to remind students and families of the importance of attending school when healthy enough to do so.

During this time, students may be experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety. We know that school demands can sometimes exacerbate these concerns. Please be aware that absences may be excused for both physical and mental health concerns. If your child is experiencing higher than normal anxiety or stress, please contact your site administrator. Parents/Guardians should notify the school when an illness prevents a student from attending school. If staff notice that either physical or mental health absences are frequent for a student missing school, you should expect to hear from an administrator on how the school can best support your child.

Farm Council Needs

Farm Council is in desperate need of filling the following roles. Please consider joining us!

  • Treasurer. This job can be done from home. Click here for more information.
  • Secretary: The Farm Council Secretary takes notes at the Farm Council meetings and distributes them. Must be able to attend Farm Council Meetings (currently 3-4:30 pm on the 4th Thursday of the month).
  • Farm Work Day Coordinators: Farm Work Day Coordinators volunteer to help at 2-3 Farm Work Days per year. The role is open to parents who work full time outside the home as it occurs exclusively on the weekend.

If you are interested, please email Jennifer DiBrienza, Farm Council Co-Chair (jdibrienza@gmail.com). We need you!

Parent Education & Resources

Building Foundations for Families to Thrive - 10/20

SCCOE’s Parent Engagement Program presents “Building Foundations for Families to Thrive,” a Social Emotional Learning themed event. This virtual event invites educators and parents to create a community culture which builds positive attributes in our children so they can respond with resilience and thrive.

Last live Zoom session is tomorrow night:

Managing Stress and Fostering Resilience

Oct 20, 2021 6:30-8:00pm

Register here

Recordings of past sessions are available in English and Spanish!

In Case You Missed It

Covid Clinic

Beginning November 1, 2021, the Palo Alto Unified School District is changing COVID-19 testing providers to a company named Covid Clinic.

Students and Staff registered to participate in the Covid Clinic Testing Program will continue to have the opportunity to be tested every week at their school site. The testing program will use a combination of rapid antigen tests and PCR tests. All tests will be done as nasal swabs. If an individual is unable to do a nasal swab, there will be an option for a saliva test.

Please click here to read the 10/18/21 Parent Square post with additional details.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact PAUSD Health Services Department via email at health@pausd.org, or you can call (650) 833-4240.

In Superintendent's 10/15 Update:


On October 1, Governor Newsom announced changes to school vaccination requirements. The District has met with our partners to discuss and release a joint update. Please review this letter from the District, Palo Alto Management Association, Palo Alto Educators Association, California School Employees Association #301, and Palo Alto Council of PTAs.