Ohlone Family Connection

June 3, 2021

Pet Treats Fundraiser for Ada's Cafe!

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Wishing you well

Ohlone makes my heart smile. This has been a year of growth for everyone this year. Knowing that we have made it through this gauntlet of a year together reaffirms the strength, compassion, and care in our community.

I am looking forward to next year when we will reconnect and have more opportunities to spend time together in-person. Having parents on campus for promotion yesterday was impactful. We have missed you and cannot wait to have you in our classrooms in the future. Thank you for the support you have given to us. We have felt your warmth and appreciation.

In the fall, social-emotional learning and re-learning will be a priority. We understand that students will be coming back to us in different places in their social skill development and comfort with being around a large number of students. We have kept our staggered recess and lunch schedule to reduce the number of students on the playground while we transition back. We will be working closely with our CASSY counselor and psychologist to proactively seek ways to support students who may struggle upon our return. We've got them.

Next year, we will appreciate every family's commitment to volunteer in some way and support our school community in whatever way they are able. Parent involvement is Ohlone! We have many of the same parents doing many many jobs. Let's share the load and prevent burnout :). As an example, we need every family to volunteer for at least one day on the farm next year. Our beautiful gem needs a lot of work to be accessible for students, and the farm is maintained by you, our awesome parents.

There are a variety of ways to support Ohlone and get involved. Please see the volunteer opportunities further down and join one of our committees for 2021-22. I would love to get to know you better. I need some hands for Site Council for sure!

Staffing information is also included below. Many of you know that Dave is retiring. Huge loss for us and great news for him! There are also teachers who are moving to new positions within Ohlone and within the district. The most recent news is that John is leaving Ohlone. Boo hoo! He has been selected as the principal of an elementary school in Marin County. John has been a strong connection for students and a great support for staff and families. He will definitely be missed.

Lastly, Kathleen Foley-Hughes and her son Charlie, co-founders of Ada's Cafe came to Ohlone along with one of their employees. The Student Council Board presented Ada's Cafe with the check and Student Council Reps and staff came out to watch. It was so meaningful to bring this full circle. Students felt great about supporting an important part of our community that does such good work for people.

Well, that was a long message. Thank you for reading my words. I hope you have a beautiful summer and meaningful connections with your family. I will be escaping to Cambria in less than two weeks time. Beach therapy.

Now, I'm off to my son's 8th grade promotion at JLS. See you in the fall!


Ohlone Principal

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Student Equity Challenge Day 7 What Can I do?

As part of the Student Equity Challenge students are invited to read books and to think about what they can do about racism.

If you haven't had a chance to start, click here for the The 7-Day Student Equity Challenge and star the conversation ;).

Thank you!

  • Thank you, rani for the Mindfulness sessions!
  • Thank you, Jay and Siew Kye for the numerous hours putting together our promotion and farm closing videos. Thank you to Ayla for the awesome farm footage!
  • Thank you to our PTA President Elbra and the PTA Executive Board for keeping connection and joy at the heart of your work this year.
  • Thank you to our Site Council Chair, Jen Glos, for leading Site Council in rich discussions about our safety plan, school goals, and equity work.
  • Thank you to our new CVC Chairs, rani and Krassi who have engaged our community in learning about our core values and looking at our goals through an anti-racist equity lens.
  • Thank you to our PiE Chair, Angie for leading the charge in raising dollars for our coveted instructional aides, Coach Bryant, and much much more.
  • Thank you to our Farm Council Chairs, Jen and Kathy for their coordination of parent volunteers in the management of our beloved farm.
  • Thank you to Marieluise for her ongoing care for the well-being of our animals and farm.
  • Thank you to all of our parent volunteers! We could not do any of this without you!

Happy Retirement, Dave!

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New Staff

Isabelle - 2/3 Cluster

My name is Isabelle Polito, and I am so excited to join the school community of Ohlone Elementary School!

I grew up in San Jose, California before moving to Bellingham, Washington for college, and then to Toho-mura, Japan to teach English. In the spring of 2020 I graduated from Stanford’s Teacher Education Program, with a Masters in Elementary Education. This past year I taught 4th grade in Mountain View, starting the year in distance learning and ending with a hybrid model.

I am looking forward to working with 2nd and 3rd graders, as well as collaborating with teachers, families, and students! My passions in teaching are integrating S.E.L., and equity work throughout the school day. When I am not working I love to travel, hike, camp and spend time with family and friends.

Allyson - Reading Specialist

My name is Allyson Zeman, and I am looking forward to joining the Ohlone community with its focus on valuing each student as an individual learner with gifts and talents to bring to the school community.

My family moved to Palo Alto when I was a first grader and I attended PAUSD schools until I graduated from Paly. I started teaching in PAUSD in 1998 and will begin my 24th year of teaching when I join the Ohlone community. I have taught 3rd grade and sixth grade as a general education teacher and K-6th as an Educational Specialist both at the elementary and middle school level.

In elementary school, I struggled as a reader and writer. Starting in middle school and going through college, my mentor had me work at her summer school for students with learning differences. This opportunity ignited my passion for teaching students, in particular students who have unique learning styles. I loved looking at each student individually and working to discover their own unique learning style. This passion drove my post-secondary course work where I earned two master's degrees and came back to teach at PAUSD.

I love to be outdoors with my family. My husband, two daughters and I enjoy hiking, kayaking, and being up in the mountains. After graduating from high school, I represented the USA in the World Equestrian Games in Heilbronn, Germany. I competed in a sport called equestrian vaulting, which is gymnastics on the back of a cantering horse.

I am really looking forward to joining Ohlone's special community.

The Ohlone Culture of Volunteering

Volunteering and parent involvement is at the heart of what we do at Ohlone. It has been a hard year without you on campus. I am hopeful that things will allow for you to return to our classrooms soon. Either way, we need every family to pitch in.

Ohlone parent volunteers are the backbone of our school and the heart of our community. It is because of YOU that we are able to offer our kids the amazing experience of learning hand-on, on a Farm. It is because of YOU that we have Bingo Night, a book fair, the yearbook, pancake breakfast, an ice skating party, STEM nights, a green team, the International Potluck, and the list goes on and on. It is because of YOU that we have a school auction to raise funds for many enrichment activities for our kids. Our school would not be the wonderful place it is without the help of every one of YOU.

We ask each and every family at Ohlone to volunteer in our community. Many parents work full-time and can contribute during evening and weekend hours. This is great! Some families can volunteer during the school day and be on campus for meetings and events. Also great! Some parents love to interact with the kids in the classroom; others prefer to be behind a screen. Both wonderful! We need all kinds of help -- days, weekends, evenings, in person, online. There is truly something for everyone at Ohlone and we ask that you find something that works for YOU.

Below are just a few of the many volunteer needs for next school year. These are all important roles which must be filled now in order for the activity or event to take place next year. Please review the list below and see where you can help. Thank you for considering each of these roles and reading all the way through. Whether you have a lot of time to give or a little, there’s truly something for everyone here.

Core Values Committee

The Ohlone Core Values Committee (CVC) is a group of parents, teachers, and staff who gather to discuss the Ohlone Goals and Core Values. As a community, we discuss how our core values are integrated in the classroom and how families can support them at home. We have monthly meetings on a variety of topics. We also organize a Parents Night Out as well as a Kinder Buddy Night in the spring.

Volunteers are needed to be Buddies for incoming Kinder families, and volunteers are needed to help supervise during Parents Night Out. As always, we encourage all families to attend our CVC meetings to gain a better understanding of our educational philosophy and Ohlone Core Values.

Please contact rani at promiserani@gmail.com for more information.

Farm Needs

Farm Workday Coordinators (2-3 people per Farm Work Day, so need a team of 6-9 for the year): Attend and help coordinate 2 of our yearly 6 Farm Work Days (FWD). Meet with our Farm Manager, Marieluise, prior to FWD to understand projects and needs (usually 1.5 hours, scheduled in the late afternoon/evening the week before FWD). Communicate with classroom Farm Liaisons and Farm Council via email during the 2-3 weeks preceding the FWD. You don’t have to be “handy” or have any farming background. You just need a willingness to learn and be detail oriented as meticulous clean up after FWD is critical: our goats find and eat anything that is left out after FWD is over (cups, paper, etc)(Great for parents who work outside the home, as the job takes place on weekends.)

If you are interested in this or other Farm positions, email: Kathy Howe at kathryn.howe@gmail.com

PTA Needs

  • Auction Lead(s): Work with an amazing team of parents to envision and plan Ohlone’s biggest event of the year! You’ll get lots of help from past organizers in planning this fantastic event. Can be done from school or home! A great way to meet people.

  • Directory Coordinator(s): Work with the PAUSD Infinite Campus data dump and Konstella system to create our school directory. Online work which can be done at night; busiest at the start of the school year.

  • Yearbook Lead(s): Oversee layout and production of Ohlone’s favorite book! Work with a team of volunteer photographers and volunteers throughout the year.

  • Webmaster & Auction Software Lead: Shadow our existing webmaster and learn our auction ticketing / sales software so as to oversee these critical back office functions in the future. (Great evening / home role for a tech-savvy working parent!)

  • Marquee Manager(s): Update the front and / or back gate message boards on a weekly basis. Can be done while you’re dropping off or picking up any day of the week.

  • Pancake Breakfast Shadow(s): Partner with an Ohlone parent this fall to understand how to run the pancake breakfast in coming years. Great for a newer family!

  • School Play Coordinator(s): Interface with Palo Alto Children’s Theater to help oversee the school musical. Ideal for a 4th/5th grade parent. Need to be on campus a few afternoons / week during rehearsals in Oct/Nov/Dec.

  • Digital Content Creator: Use your creative and technical skills to turn photos and videos from the Ohlone community, campus and PTA events into exciting digital content that can be used to promote and engage the Ohlone community.

  • Ice Skating Party Organizer(s): Book a date and oversee the coordination of this great annual event. You’re guaranteed tickets if you plan the event! :)

If you are interested in these or other PTA events or positions, email: elbra.mammone@gmail.com

Site Council: Several Parent Reps Needed!

Looking for a great way to be involved in the future of Ohlone? We’re looking for parent representatives for Ohlone’s Site Council for next year! Site Council meets once a month, typically on a Monday afternoon. The council is made up of parents, teachers, staff and Principal Dawn. We’re responsible for the biennial parent survey as well as reviewing the school’s student achievement (SPSA) plan and the safety plan. In a typical year, topics of discussion range from traffic and playground safety to furthering our students' academic and social-emotional development.

This is a two-year position. If we have multiple people interested, then we’ll ask for a brief statement which includes your reasons for wanting to serve on Site Council and there will be an election before the end of the school year.

See our website for more info: https://ohlone.pausd.org/connecting/site-council.

Please email Jen Glos (Chair, Site Council) at mom@jenglos.com if you have any questions or are interested!

PiE (Partners in Education) Needs

Ohlone PiE Representatives needed. Help spread the word about PiE at Ohlone!

Do you value our school's amazing art and music programs, and the teachers' aides in your child's classroom? Did you know these are funded by PARENTS through PiE? And that PiE makes up the majority of the Principal's discretionary budget?

Then consider volunteering for PiE; we need Ohlone parents who can help spread the word about what we parents fund for ALL of our students. Being a PiE rep is not a large time commitment and requires minimal time on campus.

If you are interested in PiE positions, email: Angie Sanaee at ohlone@papie.org

In Case You Missed It

August 18 - Save the Date!

Join CASSY and PiE for an educational and interactive evening as your children return to school campuses in the fall. You will learn what to expect from their behavior and tips on how to help them adjust. Wednesday, August 18, 7:00-8:00pm.

Zoom: https://pausd.zoom.us/j/93834412697?pwd=T0xicjNvSTArQUJpc2grRHo4bFZsQT09