Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 28, Issue 31, March 30, 2021

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In This Issue (bolded items are new contributions for this week)

  • Note from our Principal

  • ParentSquare and Re-opening Communications

  • Did Someone say Party? And Other Auction Updates

  • Read-a-Thon Update and April 1st Assembly

  • Library Donations

  • Thornhill is Hiring!

  • Taps and Takeout...a Huge Success!

  • How to Become an OUSD Substitute Teacher

  • California Healthy Kids Parent Survey

  • OUSD Family Resources

  • OUSD Announcements

  • Individual Class Printed Packets

  • Calendar of Important Dates


A Note from our Principal

Dear Thornhill Community,

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we welcome back our Thunderbirds for the first day of in-person school in a year! Super huge thanks to Christa Pennacchio who supported the traffic. And a huge thank you to third grade teacher Teresa Contreras, our school site safety lead. Lastly, our members of the school safety team, who have been planning with us for weeks:

Sherry Kaetzel

Lisette Ruane (Zettie)

Bree Lancaster

Coach Zach Johnson

Yvette Russell

Tracy Arrowsmith

Siobhan Cushing

Ali Metzler

Susie Gelbron

A HUGE thanks to our custodians, Dejaun Love and Deandre Sullivan, for getting our school clean!

I am happy to report that we completed our health screening process and had everyone in the gate by 12:37pm on day one! Clearly our group A folks were prepared and had their ParentSquare app visible. Thanks, this really helps us to be efficient.

Day 1 = Joy and happiness reigned supreme as students reconnected with their teachers and classmates!

Thank you all for being such a wonderful community!

Mr. Daubenspeck

P.S. Next week is Spring Break! Enjoy your time away - including time away from this newsletter. There won't be a newsletter next week!


ParentSquare and Re-opening Communications

Please make sure to register for ParentSquare and take a look around the app to get familiar with it. Thornhill will be using the platform to pass along important updates and information in the coming days and weeks. It is also the way to complete your daily health screening. Konstella will remain as Thornhill's communication platform for this spring (at least) for PFC communications and committees.


Did Someone Say "Party"? And Other Auction Updates

Hello families,

Spring has sprung! And that means Thornhill's annual auction is just around the corner. The auction will be virtual this year, which means you can attend in your PJs and don't need a babysitter!

The Auction is Saturday, May 1st at 6pm so please mark it on your calendar.

There are a few virtual parties this year as well, like a Harry Potter virtual tour of London that happens this Wednesday, March 31, at 3:30pm. Click here to purchase a ticket for your family - we still have plenty of room!

There are also virtual escape rooms for the kiddos, one for grades 2-3 and one for grades 4-5. Plus, take a look at the auction website to see the adults-only virtual events, like whiskey tasting (5 spots left!) and a Mai Tai Magic Show.

Other exciting news is that we will be raffling a Peloton Bike, so get ready to purchase tickets and tell your family and friends! The price is $50 for 1 ticket for $50 or $200 for 5 tickets - that's 5 tickets for the price of 4 so you can donate one to OUSD staff or keep it for yourself.

Important Auction News:


Read-a-Thon Update & April Fools Assembly

All of our Thunderbirds should be incredibly proud of the amazing work they have put into this year’s Read-a-thon! I am genuinely blown away by the time these students have been putting into this, and also deeply grateful for all of the support from the whole community.

Current standings:

  • Readers registered: 287

  • Raised more than an incredible $29,000

  • Read more than 150,000 minutes as a school community!

It’s no April Fool’s Joke: please save the date!

  • Thursday, April 1st at 5pm, Ms. Calkins and Ms. Fox will host a fun celebration of all that our readers have accomplished. (Zoom info in Konstella)

  • Be prepared for some wacky events to take place to celebrate! Teachers will be getting pies in faces! Eggs on heads?! Spinning on heads?

  • Come dressed as a favorite book character!

  • Share images of your student reading during the Read-a-thon, please send them to or drop them here, we will share them during the celebration!

  • Listen to a reading from Thornhill parent and author Claudia Walker, of her book The ABCs of HBCUs.

A reminder that prizes for 500 and 1000 minutes read (Zoom celebrations of lunch with the librarian and a movie) will take place after spring break, so that all who meet those levels will be able to participate!

Happy Reading!

Ms. Fox, Librarian


Library Donations

A sincere thank you to the following families who have donated amazing new books for our library - I can't wait to share these with our students!

The Oh Family

The Pullman Family

The Yokomizo Family

Thank you for all of the incredible support!

Mrs. Fox, Librarian


Thornhill is Hiring!

The PFC is currently hiring for Teacher's Aides to help with in-person school! Resumes or questions can be sent to the PFC at:

Thank you,

Rachel Gardunio, PFC VP of Personnel


Taps and Takeout....a Huge Success!

The 3 Day Event was a great success! Here's a breakdown of the revenue generated each night.

Tuesday: $1239

Wednesday: $992

Thursday: $1040

Total: $3271

Check to Thornhill = $655 (20%)

Our three fundraiser Take Out events in 2021 have generated as follows for a grand total of $1,265!

$300 Pattys & Buns

$310 Montesacro Pinseria

$655 Taps & Take Out

Thank you!

Christina Gibbons, Merchant Partnerships Coordinator


How to Become an OUSD Substitute Teacher

A great way to help our teachers, school and community is to become a substitute for OUSD. The process is fairly simple and right now we're at an all-time low for humans that can step into a classroom to give our hardworking teachers a break! This is the single most effective thing you can do to help out in a BIG way. If you’re interested and have a college degree, just follow these steps:

  1. Register for the CBEST Test

  2. Check the OUSD hiring page for information on how to apply to be a sub

Once you're done, make sure you let Thornhill know you're ready to go! Any questions about the process can be directed to Alicia Streight, With the in-person school announcement this past weekend, we know some parents are itching to volunteer and/or give money to help the cause. Becoming a substitute is one of the ways, but we know many won’t be able to pursue this option. Please hang tight as we work with Mr. Daubenspeck to see if, and then how, parents might be able to help. There will be a QuickDrop volunteer opportunity!


Alicia Streight


California Healthy Kids Parent Survey (CHKS)

Please complete the CHKS 2021 Parent Survey! This survey is an opportunity for you to help Thornhill by sharing your opinions about it. We want to learn about this school’s efforts to promote academic success and well-being for every student. We also want to know how well the school is supporting you to be a true partner in your child’s education. If you have more than one child at this school, you may either fill out a separate survey for each child or just focus on the experience of one of your children at Thornhill.

Thank you,

Sherry Kaetzel, Thornhill Secretary


OUSD Family Resources

Do you have questions or concerns about food service, mental health support, tutoring or other issues? Please check out these resources for information on how to handle some of the challenges we are faced with during this pandemic. Many thanks to Kim Olofsen (parent to a 3rd & 5th grader) for her time in putting together this document!


OUSD Announcements

Please find OUSD announcements and events here, including past Info and a recorded webinar on the re-opening this week and Fall planning.


Individual Class Printed Packets

If your teacher tells you that printed materials need to be picked up, they will continue to be in the same spot — on the fence near the TK trailer and the Alhambra entrance.

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Be sure also to subscribe to the Thornhill Google Calendar here, and download the OUSD District calendar here.

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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).