Oakhurst Weekly

August 25, 2022

From the Principal

Greetings Oakhurst Family,

This has been a tough couple of weeks for us with the loss of one of our parents. We again extend our deepest sympathy to the Wilson family with the passing of Kenneth Wilson, Jr., father of Ian Wilson, one of our students. Mr. Wilson's funeral was held on Tuesday, August 23, but please continue to offer your support to the family. People tend to rally around people at the time of a loved one's death. Yet, we forget about them after the funeral. So, Wilson Family, we love you, and are here for you because you are part of the Oakhurst Family.

On another note, I would like to inform you that two of our wonderful staff members are leaving - Nurse Dawn Durham and Custodian Spencer Patterson. Nurse Durham has been a wonderful, kind, caring, and knowledgeable nurse at Oakhurst for several years. She not only takes care of our precious children when they are sick or injured, but she is the beautiful face that you see when your children enter our doors daily, and the beautiful voice that you hear over our intercom system when they leave. I've seen her pitch in to help out in almost every imaginable situation at Oakhurst. You can read her farewell message in "Nurse Notes." We will truly miss her and may the next phase in her life be as beautiful as she is!

Spencer Patterson has only been at Oakhurst a short time, but his impact has been long lasting. It is rare to see a young man in this era that exudes the qualities that you find in a gentleman from days long ago. Nurse Durham summed him up best when she called him "Sweet Spencer," and I agree with her. He is one of the most respectful, hard working, and loyal people you ever want to meet. These traits have earned him the opportunity to become an assistant manager at a local business. We hate to lose him, but I've always told young people "Go to Grow!" We wish Spencer the best that life has to offer and we know he will be a success in his new role!

I would like to close with the words of Maya Angelou: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Dawn and Spencer, you definitely made a difference in our lives. Thank you for all you did for us, and your Oakhurst Family knows you will continue to impact the lives of others!

Yours in service,

Sharon Gay

Interim Principal


From the AP

Hello everyone,

We’re looking forward to having you all join us for Curriculum Night next Thursday. This will be a parent only event. You’ll have a lovely introduction from our Principal and hear from all of your students’ amazing teachers. The PTA will also be on site to receive funds for school supplies.

Can’t wait to see you all!

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Breaking News

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Each year, before our first community circle, we practice the run-of-show with students and staff to ensure maximum safety and comfort levels before we add in the element of family members, which is exciting, but can also be distracting for our young students.

Due to this week's weather, we've been unable to practice, and with more rain in the forecast for today, we're uncertain about having dry ground upon which to sit in the morning. So, we're going to reschedule community circle for another date. We'll keep you posted!

Until then, you can brush up on our school song, Nothing More by the Alternate Routes, find the video link with lyrics here.

Nurse Notes

CSD Flu Clinics: Be on the lookout for information in the next few weeks about CSD hosted flu shot clinics. CSD partners with the DeKalb Board of Health to provide immunization against flu each fall. Students and families are welcome to attend and most insurances are accepted.

A Fond and Grateful Farewell: Parents and Families, thank you for an amazing 7+ years as your school nurse at the best little school in the world. I have made the very tough decision to retire from CSD. I am moving on to new adventures with so many great memories to take with me. Thank you for entrusting me with the care of your children, and for your endless support and collaboration. Being a part of the Oakhurst crew has been a privilege and a gift, and I am excited for the next lucky nurse to experience the smiles, conversation and joy Oakhurst students and staff have brought me. I am not going far and look forward to seeing our Oakhurst owls around the neighborhood.

- Nurse Durham

Check it Out!

Media Center Update

Greetings from the very best place on Earth (the Oakhurst Media Center)!

I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the familiar AND new little faces in the library these past few weeks, and I'm looking forward to an amazing, adventure-filled year with these smart, curious, thoughtful, and hilarious students.

Right now, students are checking out books and keeping them in their classrooms while we practice becoming excellent library patrons by being very careful with the books and keeping track of them. After Labor Day, 2nd grade students will start taking books home, and after Fall Break, 1st grade students will start taking books home. I work with kindergarten teachers to determine when K students start taking books home, which is usually around holiday break. Keep your eyes open for a library contract that students and families will read and sign prior to taking books home.

Did you know that families can check out books from the Oakhurst Library? After Labor Day, I'll be sending information about how families can register for a library account.

Finally, one way I'm able to draw students into the wonders of the world of reading is creating visually engaging displays like the ones you see in your favorite independent book stores. If you are looking for somewhere to donate gently loved book character stuffies, please consider bringing them to the Oakhurst library. I've also created an Amazon wishlist if you'd like to contribute in that way.


Erin Guerrieri

Media Specialist


School Notes/Announcements


Hello Oakhurst. We wanted to share that one of our 1st grade owls has lost their father quite suddenly this week. Along with condolences the family is open to receiving support in a few ways if you are inclined. Please know that no gift or token is required to be given but if you desire to you may contribute in these ways:


Amazon Wish List

Meal Train Sign Up


Our lost & found tends to fill up rather quickly so please check it frequently. Items will be photographed and posted in the newsletter on the last Thursday of each month. Anything not claimed by the following Thursday will be donated to the Afghan American Alliance of Georgia.

Please do not email school staff to request that they retrieve an item you recognize from the photo. Families are welcome to come into the school to look for missing items in the lost & found.

One way to prevent your child's items from becoming lost and ultimately donated is to LABEL EVERYTHING: hoodies, masks, lunch boxes, hats, water bottles, etc. Oakhurst has a passive fundraising partnership with Mabel's Labels, which work really well, but you can also use a good old fashioned Sharpie!

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Oakhurst SLT Elections This Fall

Oakhurst's School Leadership Team (SLT) is an important crew that is created and guided by CSD's charter. SLT members - including administrative, staff, parent and community representatives - operate as a governing body with the purpose of maximizing school-level decisions. Parent representatives are an elected position and serve two-year terms. There will be two open parent seats this Fall; we will hold an election in late August to fill those positions.

The most important requirement of an SLT member is to have an honest desire to contribute to the educational experience and learning of all children at Oakhurst Elementary. We hope you will consider being a part of this very important work! Those interested should contact Jennifer Young, our Assistant Principal (jeyoung@csdecatur.net) and Cindy Aldridge, our Instructional Coach (caldridge@csdecatur.net) to share their interest, along with a short bio to add to our voting form. Thank you for your support!

The deadline for bios is 8/26. Elections will be held electronically on 8/31.

Feel free to contact any of our current parent representatives with questions or for further information including Erica Bacher (Parent)-ebacher@csdecatur.net and Jeff Carter (Parent) - jcarter@csdecatur.net.



RSVP by 9/5 to join us for Family Fun Fest night on Thursday, September 15th from 5:30pm-7:30pm!

Bring your blanket & beverages to enjoy a light dinner sponsored by the PTA and Kelly’s Market - see flyer below for details and PLEASE BE SURE TO CLICK HERE TO RSVP BY 9/5!

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We need your help during the Family Fun Fest night! Volunteer shifts are just 30 minutes, so you’ll be able to volunteer and still enjoy the event with your family! Thank you for your support!


We are looking forward to some exciting things this year in the garden and around the Oakhurst campus. Join us for an initial clean up:

Friday, Sept. 9, 3p-5p

Saturday, Sept 10, 9a-11a

This first work day, we will do some light weeding, pruning, and general clean up. No experience necessary, just a "watering"-can-do attitude. Garden gloves are recommended. If you can spare an hour or two, we hope to see you Friday after school on Sept. 9 or Saturday morning on Spet. 10. You can sign up here or if you are unsure of your availability, please feel free to just drop in.

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PTA DEI Corner

Last year, we partnered with other lower elementary schools and began a series of events uplifting various groups. Accurate representation matters! We would love to celebrate Pride and Native American Heritage Month this year.

Email oakhurstptadei@gmail.com if you would like to be part of the district wide planning team.

School Supplies for 22 - 23 School Year

Thank you to everyone who has donated to help cover school supplies! We’re 56% of the way to our reimbursement goal - if you have not yet paid and are able to do so or are able to help cover costs, we appreciate your support!

The Oakhurst PTA purchased school supplies for all students to ensure that every student has a full school supply kit. If you are able to pay for your child’s supplies, please contribute $35 per student to the PTA via the information below.

How to Pay - $35 per Oakhurst student:

-Cash/Check (made out to Oakhurst PTA): leave at the front desk

-PayPal: Pay to oakhurstelementaryschoolpta@gmail.com or go to paypal.me/OakhurstPTA.

Stock the Teacher's Lounge

Let our awesome Oakhurst staff know that they're all that and a bag of chips by helping to stock the teacher's lounge! Individually packaged, non-perishable snacks can be dropped off at the front office or ordered from the Amazon Wishlist, and items will ship directly to the school!

Dates to Note

August 26: Deadline for SLT bio submission

August 31: SLT elections (online)

September 1: Curriculum Night (more details soon!)

September 5: Labor Day - NO SCHOOL

September 9: PTA Grounds: Fall Clean Up 3pm - 5pm

September 10: PTA Grounds: Fall Clean Up 9am - 11am

September 13, 6:30pm: Board of Education Meeting

September 14: School Picture Day

September 15: PTA Family Fall Fun Fest 5:30 - 7:30 (RSVP by 9/5)

September 16: Picture Day make ups

September 19 - 23: CSD Fall Break - NO SCHOOL

September 26 - 30: PTA/Little Shop of Stories Book Fair

September 27: PTA Meeting @ 6:30pm in the media center

City Schools of Decatur

Strategic Plan Session and Survey

Click below for more information!

Parent Literacy Events

The Teaching and Learning Department is excited to host several parent-focused literacy events this school year. The August and September sessions are listed below. Stay tuned for information about additional programs scheduled for the remainder of the school year.

August Events:

August 18 at 4:00 pm: American Reading Company (ARC) Virtual Parent Education: Pursuing Clarity, Insights, and Opportunities in the Science of Reading Debate

August 24 at 4:00 pm: American Reading Company (ARC) Virtual Parent Education: The Science of Reading Is More Than A Movement

August 24 from 6:30 - 7:30 pm: City Schools of Decatur and American Reading Company (ARC) Virtual Parent Education with Dr. David Liben, Consultant and Author of Foundational Skills Development and Amelia Larson, Executive Vice President of ARC Innovations and Academic Partnerships

September Events:

September 15 at 4:00 pm: American Reading Company (ARC) Virtual Parent Education: Comprehensive Literacy for Turbulent Times - The Power Behind a Knowledge Building Curricula

If you have any questions about these events, please contact the Teaching and Learning Department at csimon@csdecatur.net.

District Wide Intervention Information

If you have questions about interventions, please contact Erica Godfrey, District Intervention Specialist & MTSS Coordinator, at egodfrey@csdecatur.net.

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K-5 Super Saturdays

If you have questions about Super Saturdays, please contact Erica Godfrey, District Intervention Specialist & MTSS Coordinator, at egodfrey@csdecatur.net.

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Special Education Parent Engagement

September Meeting:

disAbility Link - Empowering Youth

Mr. William Thomas, Youth & Diversity Supervisor for disAbility Link, will give an overview of the services and supports offered through the Empowering Youth program for youths ages 14-29. disAbility link provides but is not limited to employment support, self-advocacy, social activities, and peer support.

Target Audience: Parents of students with disabilities ages 14-22 years old

Date: September 15

Time: 6-7pm

Location: Virtual

To RSVP, click this Link or email Cheryl Grant at cgrant@csdecatur.net.

For more information, please see the August Welcome Back Flyer.

CSD Partners

Decatur Farm to School

Do you have plans for a new garden or class project? You're full of fantastic ideas on how to incorporate farm-to-school principles into a teaching unit? Need funds for a "green" field trip?

The Wylde Center Decatur Farm to School Committee invites you to apply for a grant for 2022/23. Teachers, administrators, PTA members, and parent volunteers can apply on behalf of their CSD school. Please get your applications in before August 31, 2022. (Link here and on the Wylde Center website > Education > Farm to School)

2022-2023 DF2S School Grant Application

Decatur Education Foundation

Live music at an afternoon picnic in a beautiful park – what a lovely way to celebrate our 20th Anniversary with us! Saturday, September 10th from 4-8pm at Legacy Park with live music from The Sundogs and JohnBoy & Surround Sound, and opening acts from two DHS senior musicians, Payton Kashdan and Nate Helfrich! This free community concert is presented by our sponsor, Bark Technologies. Who is Bark? Bark Technologies provides a monitoring service across many digital platforms to detect risk signs of bullying, suicidal ideation, threats of violence and sexual predation. They have partnered with City Schools of Decatur to pilot their monitoring system at Talley Street Upper Elementary in the spring with effective results, and it will be fully implemented for the 3rd-12th grade schools beginning September 6th. Bark also offers an app specifically for parents that not only monitors for safety issues, but also allows parents to manage screen time and filter websites to help set healthy boundaries.


Don't miss your chance to be a part of one of Decatur's most iconic neighborhood events! Driver registration is now open for the 11th Annual Madison Avenue Derby, the non-motorized racing event where amateur racers of all ages design and build human-powered soapbox cars to compete against the clock in a downhill race!

Join the excitement as a racer or spectator on October 15, 2022, for a day of family friendly fun - proceeds from the event this year go to support the Friends of Refugees! REGISTER TO RACE NOW

Help us decide on what this year’s t-shirt design should look like by voting on your favorite! VOTE NOW THRU 8/31

DEF has several volunteer opportunities that can fit easily into your weekly schedule! We need tutor volunteers for our Virtual Pals Tutoring program. If you can donate 1 hour per week to help a Decatur student virtually, you can apply here: https://forms.gle/YTbDUk8H4iS4qfD57 (High school students can earn volunteer hours!) We also need adult mentors for our AIM mentoring program and volunteer “coaches” for our brand new FOCUS Prep Program that is specifically for high schoolers in preparation for post-high school. For a mentor application, click here: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/6385892/Mentor-Application. If you’d like to become a coach, click here: https://forms.gle/F73gdN5fxzXqET5o7. You can also find all forms and information at our website, www.decatureducationfoundation.org/mentoring. Together we make a difference for our kids!
For more information about all the ways you can help DEF, click here!

Oakhurst Family Help Box: Who Do I Contact?

Did you know that we have a super awesome one-sheeter on the appropriate person to contact for various issues you may have or questions you need answered? We do! Here it is! You can also find it in the Quick Links section of our website.