Ohlone Family Connection

October 2, 2021

Learning and Growing

On Friday, our staff had the opportunity to learn, collaborate, and connect with each other for our Professional Learning Day. Teachers and specialists discussed reading assessments and how to best utilize the data to inform our reading instruction so that we meet students right where they are. Ohlone hosted PAUSD 4th grade teachers for the day, and we calibrated our scoring practices to ensure continuity across school sites.

Our librarians spent time learning about equity and looking through an equity lens to increase our number of diverse books so that children have mirrors and windows to explore through literature. Our music teachers learned about ways to integrate SEL into their music lessons. P.E. teachers spent time learning about both equity and SEL in their work with students.

Our specialists and instructional aides spent the day learning about a variety of topics, including reading assessments, challenging behaviors, communication support, and assessment of dual language learners. It was a wonderfully busy day for us!

There is much in the works for October. Please read on to hear all about it. I have linked Dr. Austin's Superintendent Update. Last week's update had detailed information about our early literacy assessments and ELA Adoption that you may be interested in reading.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend. My two sons (21 and 14) are going to spend the day together. Sibling friendships warm my heart. It was definitely something that needed constant watering and replanting when they were young :). It wasn't easy. If yours have yet to take root, don't worry. The sunshine is there. Please reach out if you want to chat!

Finally, think about responding with "Yes!" when your child asks you to play this weekend, even if you're busy or your mind is swamped. Or mix it up and ask them to play. It will 100% make their day :).


Ohlone Principal

On the Horizon

10/5 - PAUSD Board Meeting 6:30pm

10/8 - PTA General Meeting 8:30-9:30

10/11 - Full Day Kinder Begins

10/13 - Principal's Tea

10/13 - BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Meeting


Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is a big focus for us this year. In our conversations in Site Council and Core Values Committee (CVC), it is apparent that parents would appreciate learning about ways to support their children's social and emotional growth and development. This fall, CVC will host three cluster nights with teachers and parents where we can discuss what we see at home and school and learn from each other.

As a staff, we will be looking at our practices in SEL and how they align with our Core Values and Ohlone Goals of an Education. We are hoping to strengthen our continuity and have some common language across classrooms and clusters. Classrooms are using Kimochis (pictured above, aw!), Responsive Classroom, and Project Happiness. Some teachers may also explore the Second Step SEL curriculum this year.

Safe Drivers, Safe Kids

We have observed some very unsafe driving practices. To keep students, families, and staff safe, please ensure the following:

  • Do not make a U-turn at any time
  • Do not make a left onto Amarillo when exiting the drop-off zone; Right turn only
  • Do not pull around cars after dropping off child; Please be patient. It takes just a minute.
  • Stay off cell phone; Our kids need your full attention
  • Only drop off students in the yellow drop off zone (after the rooster, at curb)
  • Have students exit from passenger side only; Stay in your car

Thank you for your care and attention for our students.

Green Team - October 5

The next Green Team meeting for students is Tuesday, Oct 5, 12:15-12:45 in the Garden Lobby (under tree by MP Room).

Green Team will be making postcards to send to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasglow about what kids want to see zero of (trash, pollution, wildfires). Students will draw and/or write their ideas. So cool! Big thanks to Ashley for organizing activities for the caretakers of our planet :).

Principal's Tea - October 13

It's been a minute! I am holding a Principal's Tea on Wednesday, October 13th during the lunch hour, 12:00-1:00. Brittney Tabel, our school counselor, will provide some information about mental health and the transition back to school. We would like to tailor our conversation so that we cover the areas of interest to you. Please feel free to share your thoughts through this Google form: 10/13 Principal's Tea

Unity Day - October 20

Unity Day is a day to promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. Here is a short video that introduces and gives ideas for what kids can do for Unity Day and every day.

On Unity Day, students and staff will make one large paper link chain that connects each class and symbolizes the unity of our school community. Other activities include:

  • Wearing orange, of course!
  • Noon activities organized by parent volunteers
  • Literature connected to Unity Day
  • Digital citizenship lessons around cyberbullying.
  • A video compilation of student-created artwork, poetry, animation aligning to Unity Day by parent, Jay Gluckman, like last year!

Costume Parade - Oct 29

Yes! 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. Biggest bummer of all :(. I will snap some photos to share. Promise.

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. No weapons, scary masks, or blood and gore allowed
  3. Costumes should be festive and fun; Spooky not scary (check with teacher if unsure)
  4. Have your child bring a bag to put their costume in if they will not wear it all day.

Spectra Art

From Teresa, K-5 Spectra Art Teacher!

Students learned about a Russian abstract artist Kandinsky whose work represented things felt as opposed to things seen in reality. Emphasis of the lesson was not only on seeing shapes but also our own personal way of seeing things to remind us of our uniqueness in the world. We painted while listening to music, which was his greatest teacher. Like Kandinsky, we learned to interpret and compose painting based on music and sound.

Examples above are especially impressive because of their sensitivity, the small bits of colors added into their tiny shapes created within the scribbles. The Kandinsky shape lesson was a project for the kinder and first graders.

Student Involvement

Student Council - Grades 2-5

It's coming! It's coming! Next week, teachers will select two fall student council representatives and one alternate. Following this, I will schedule an informational meeting for those 5th graders on Student Council who are interested in running for the Student Council Executive Board. If we have an open position, we will open it up to 4th grade. More information to come!

Ohlone Guides - Grade 5

Nikki Moore and Allyson Zeman are our reading specialists AND our Ohlone Guides Leads. How cool is that? They will be working with students soon. Applications are rolling in. Ohlone Guides is a service position for 5th graders at Ohlone. I can't wait to see what they will do for our school community! For more information, please contact your child's teacher.

Ohlone Times - Grades 2-5 (there is willingness to mentor a budding K/1 journalist/artist!)

Wow! What a hardworking group! We have already had a few meetings and the paper is coming along nicely. We are hoping for a publishing date of mid-October. Stay tuned!

COVID-19 Reporting and Questions

Reporting Close Contacts or Positive Cases

If your child is a close contact or has tested positive for COVID-19, please email me right away (as well as attendance) and include the best number to call you. It will also help if you put "COVID" in the subject line.

Testing Results: If you have a question about your Predicine test results, please email covid19-test@predicine.com.

Health Questions: If you have a question for Health Services, please email health@pausd.org.

Parent Education & Resources

Parenting Through Uncertainty - October 7

Thursday October 7th, 2021, at 12:00pm PST - Free!

Parenting Through Uncertainty: Talking with Children about Illness, Death, and Other Topics We'd Rather Avoid

Emily Ach, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford

More information here


A House - Storytime with Kevin Henkes - 10/7, 5:00pm

Kevin Henkes has been praised both as a writer and as an illustrator and is the recipient of the Children’s Literature Legacy Award for his lasting contribution to literature for children.

A House introduces young readers to shapes, numbers, the weather, and the parts of a house, with a rhythmic, repetitive text and remarkable illustrations. A story about home, family, community, and belonging, A House is sure to become you next family favorite. Register for free here!

The Essentials of Executive Functioning - October 12

October 12, 2021 - 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

More Information here


Getting Back in the Door: Transitioning Back to School During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Have a Lovely Weekend!