Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 28, Issue 30, March 23, 2021

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

  • Note from our PFC Co-Presidents

  • ParentSquare and Re-opening Communications

  • THIS WEEK: Taps and Take Out Fundraiser - March 23, 24, 25

  • School Garden Veggie Pickup Tomorrow

  • Calling All Whiskey Lovers! And Other Auction Updates

  • Read-a-Thon Update and Assembly Announcement

  • How to Become an OUSD Substitute Teacher

  • California Healthy Kids Parent Survey

  • Kindergarten Heritage Dolls

  • OUSD Family Resources

  • OUSD Announcements

  • Individual Class Printed Packets

  • Calendar of Important Dates


A Note from our PFC Co-Presidents


As you read this, the re-opening of in-person learning at Thornhill is in the works. By now, you probably know that OEA, the district’s teachers’ union, voted to approve the tentative agreement with OUSD to begin onsite instruction for those who want it. Thornhill’s TK through 2nd graders will be able to return to school on a part-time schedule on Tuesday, March 30 (Monday, March 29 is an OUSD holiday). The other elementary school grades are scheduled to return on Monday, April 19. Distance learning will remain an option for all students for the rest of the current school year.

Click here for the link to the ParentSquare announcement regarding re-opening

We know your patience has been tried throughout this entire process. However, we all need to remain patient until the school doors officially do re-open. This certainly isn’t how any of us expected the school year to look. But, even under such trying times, there is much we have to be thankful for.

—Our staff, who have worked tirelessly to maintain Thornhill’s operations.

—Our teachers, who have gone above and beyond the call to provide a strong and consistent education experience for our children.

—And all of you, who have turned kitchens into classrooms and living rooms into libraries over the last year. Every one of you deserves to be commended for all of the time and effort you put in to make this school year as normal as possible.

However, we still need your help and effort to make Thornhill a success. Our annual auction fundraiser is a little more than a month away, on May 1, and what this event generates will help cover our expenses for THIS year and will go a long way toward setting up Thornhill for a strong 2021-2022 school year. The Auction Team has worked tirelessly to organize and acquire donations for the auction, and there is more information about how you can help below.

Let’s all lift our heads up and show our Thornhill pride.


Rex Crum & Alicia Streight


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.


3 Nights: Taps and Take Out Fundraiser - March 23, 24, 25

We are heading back to Taps and Take Out for a fundraiser over three (3) nights in order to lighten the load on the staff and reduce wait times for orders. They are graciously donating 20% of orders for these nights back to Thornhill PFC. There will be limited indoor and outdoor seating for those who want to enjoy a socially distant meal out of the house.

Tuesday, March 23rd: TK-1st grade families (4-8pm) --> TODAY!

Wednesday, March 24th: 2nd-3rd grade families (4-8pm)

Thursday, March 25th: 4th-5th grade families (3:30-8pm)

Order online or by phone or at the restaurant.

If you have children in multiple grades on different nights, no stress, choose the night that is best for you, or come twice! If you can't make your scheduled night, please still come out on another night.

Thank you!

Christina Gibbons, Merchant Partnerships Coordinator


Come Get Your School Garden Veggies this Wednesday!

School garden Spring veggies are ready for harvest and will be out by the entrance to the school yard tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon from 3pm to 6pm. I will be putting out kale, bok choy, broccoli, red mustard greens, mint, potatoes, and more.

Happy Spring!

Miss Alexis



Calling All Whiskey Lovers! And Other Auction Updates

Hey Thornhill Community,

We are excited to announce our first tasting party happening in April!

Join us for an Around the World Zoom Whiskey Tasting with Charles Grabitzky from Rascal + Thorn, purveyors of exquisite worldwide gastronomic experiences. Great for the beginner or seasoned Whiskey fan!

Enjoy a night on Zoom at-home tasting whiskey and learning how whiskey is made as Charles takes you around the world tasting these drams as we will be tasting Whiskeys from the USA, Canada, Ireland, and Scotland.

This virtual live tasting event happens Saturday, April 10 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm.

Cost: $100 per tasting.

Click here to register now as we expect this event to sell out. There’s only 9 spots left - first come, first served!

Important Auction News:


Read-a-Thon Update & April Fools Assembly

We have had a phenomenal start, thank you all for your incredible support! You can still join: sign your student up here!

Highlights so far:

  • Readers registered: 276

  • Raised more than $23,700!

  • Read more than 85,500 minutes as a school community: amazing!

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

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

  • 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.

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!

Thanks again to everyone for all of your support!

Marie Fox, Librarian


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


Kindergarten Heritage Dolls

Are you a new family to Thornhill? Did your child arrive to our school community after Kindergarten and would you like them to have a Heritage Doll hung in the Multipurpose Room? We want to make sure every Thornhill child/family is represented on the walls of the Multipurpose Room! When students return to campus, the dolls will be there, ready to greet them.

All Heritage Dolls will be due the last week of March. Email for more information.

Thank you!

Bonnie Forbes, Kindergarten Teacher


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 Listening sessions about reopening and insight from the medical community.


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.

Big picture



  • March 15 - April 2: Read-A-Thon - sign up your student!

  • Tuesday, March 23 - Thursday, March 25: Take Out for Thornhill: Taps and Takeout (see Konstella for info) --> THIS WEEK!

  • Wednesday, March 24: Auction Meeting (7-8pm, see Konstella for info)

  • Monday, March 29: NO SCHOOL for Cesar Chavez Day

  • Tuesday, March 30: In-Person School start date for TK-2nd and priority students

  • Thursday, April 1: Read-A-Thon Wrap-Up celebration (5-6pm, Zoom info in Konstella)

  • Monday, April 5 - Friday, April 9 - SPRING BREAK!

  • Monday, April 12: PFC Meeting (5:30-7pm, see Konstella for info)

  • Saturday, April 17: Thornhill Family Night (more details to come)

  • Monday, April 19: In-Person School start date for 3rd-5th

  • Saturday, May 1: Virtual Benefit Auction for Thornhill

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).