Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 28, Issue 4, September 1, 2020

In This Issue

  • Note from our PFC Co-Presidents

  • Chromebook Requests

  • Individual Class Packets

  • Summer Garden News

  • Konstella Chat Messages - new Notification setting (daily digest email)

  • Safety Notes

  • Calendar of Important Dates


From our PFC Co-Presidents


With school now in full swing, we want to give a huge shoutout to all of our teachers and our principal, Mr. Daubenspeck, for continuing to keep this ship on track. No easy task right now...And keep in mind all of our PFC crew that’s working behind the scenes to keep our aides and awesome extra curricular activities rolling out. Hopefully, most of you got to experience Library, PE, Art, and Dance last week. And very soon we’ll also be introducing Music and Gardening back into our school lives!

We can’t begin to extend the proper gratitude to all the parents out there working like they’ve never worked before keeping their families and our communities afloat. We see you and appreciate it all. You are amazingly resilient, and we can’t wait to see you all in person one day when it’s safe.

And you want to talk about resilience? Many of the 2000-year-old redwoods survived the wildfire that ran through Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the oldest state park in California. We are fortunate that some of the greatest natural wonders on Earth are practically in our backyard. School may be in session, but it’s never too late to take a field trip out into nature.

If you are looking for some more good news from around the world, check out the Happy Broadcast website. Sometimes, the simplest things can make a big difference.

Stay safe. Keep your head up, and, as always...


Rex Crum & Alicia Streight


Technology Distribution

There will be another Chromebook distribution this Friday, September 4 from 8-10am at Thornhill. You can still fill out the same Chromebook Request Form - you may not get a confirmation, but if you fill out the form please come to the pickup.


Individual Class Printed Packets (No More OUSD Strong Start Packets)

Hello Thornhill Community,

It’s our 4th week of school! Going forward, each individual grade will have different printed requirements/suggestions and you’ll hear directly from your teacher about when there will be new printed materials and how to request them (not every grade will have a new packet every week).

Anything printed that needs to be picked up will continue to be in the same spot - on the fence near the TK trailer and the Alhambra entrance. Packets will be put out Friday mornings after 8:30am.

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Summer Garden News - It's Harvest Time!

Hi Everyone, it's Ms. Alexis here. For those of you who are new to Thornhill, I am the gardening teacher. I have a 2nd and 4th grader at Thornhill and have been teaching gardening at Thornhill for the last few years. The last 2 years I have been doing gardening classes with the TK-2nd grade classes, and am looking forward to expanding the program to all grades this year. Our outdoor garden spaces provide an excellent environment for Thornhill students to enjoy hands-on learning of biology and ecology and to gain understanding of our food sources and how to nurture, respect, and enjoy them. We have several garden areas at Thornhill and are growing a variety of organic fruits and vegetables year-round. While we are in distance learning mode, I will be providing a weekly video and at-home gardening activity that can be used by all of the classes.

You can find out more about our gardening program on the Thornhill website.

In the Spring we planted the garden as if we might be back at school in person this year, and it is now bursting with summer fruits and veggies. We usually eat food from the garden during gardening classes so that the kids can experience their own garden-grown organic fruits and veggies. For the next several weeks (while the summer crops continue to ripen), we will be making food available on Friday mornings by the TK gate where the packet pick up has been for the last few weeks. Please come by and help yourself to some delicious organic fruits and veggies.

Stay tuned for Thornhill Pumpkins and Rainbow Corn this Fall....


Konstella Chat Messages - Notifications


Konstella has added a new notification choice for Chat Messages:

  • Immediate phone notification & daily digest email

The current default is "Immediate phone notification & email" which means you receive an email for every chat that is sent. This new choice means you'll get just one email at the end of the day with all the chats for the day, while continuing to receive immediate phone app notifications (as you've set up in your phone notification settings).

Please note this applies to ALL chats - your classroom(s), groups, and private messages.

You can choose what notifications you receive for Announcements & Events, Files & Photos, and Chat Messages! On a computer/laptop, click on your name/picture in the upper left and go to Account Settings and then Notifications. On the app, click on the gear icon in the upper left and go to Notifications.

We highly suggest you keep the "Announcements & Events" setting to "Immediate phone notification & email" to ensure you receive timely announcements from your teacher(s) and the school.


Safety First!

Hello Thunderbird Families,

Being prepared for any type of emergency, we can show 2020 who's boss, right? You with us?

Insert Thornhill spirit HERE.

This week we wanted to focus on our pets.

First is a checklist of supplies to have already packed in case of an emergency evacuaction.

Next, there's a link to get a sticker to put on the window of your home to tell firefighters that there are pets inside. No need to donate via the link when they ask.


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  • Week of 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).