Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 26, Issue 36, May 14, 2019

From the PFC President

One thing I have learned about being PFC president this is year is that volunteering is work. When people have stepped up to volunteer their time and efforts for Thornhill they have, in many cases, taken on the equivalent of an extra job. And this type of commitment requires a person with a special kind of devotion to a cause.

Which is why I want to use my next-to-last newsletter item here to acknowledge the efforts of two Thornhill parents who spent this year putting a lot of their non-work free time into working for our school.

--Derek McDonald. Derek took over as PFC treasurer this year and has done an amazing job running the numbers, balancing the books, handling checks from all kinds of individuals and groups and, in general, ensuring that all the bills and staff salaries have been paid. It's because of Derek that we are in a good financial position, and everyone should give him a round of thanks for his effort.

--Erin Proudfoot. I'm not convinced that Erin's middle name isn't "Konstella," because she has made what was once a strange messaging program that sounded like it came from an IKEA storeroom into the main method by which the PFC and Thornhill staff and parents keep informed about anything at the school. No one communicates as thoroughly as Erin, and we can thank her for always getting the message out, and clearly, too.


Rex Crum


Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast

For any parents or community members who have helped at a Thornhill event, driven on a field trip, or volunteered in a classroom: The teachers have planned a breakfast to honor you on Thursday, May 16 from 8:00-8:30am. It is casual and you can come and go as you please. Child care is provided on the playground so you can have a quiet moment to enjoy your coffee or pastry. Please see the evite here and let the teachers know if you can attend.

Thank you for all the ways that you have supported the staff and students of Thornhill School this year! We'd like to take a minute to brighten your day as much as you have brightened ours!

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Spirit Fridays!

For the month of May, your Thornhill Student Council has created "Spirit Fridays,” which are continuing with the below themes. Dress up and have fun!

Friday, May 17: PJ and Stuffy Day

Friday, May 24: Color Day per grade

  • TK/K: Red

  • 1st: Orange

  • 2nd: Yellow

  • 3rd: Green

  • 4th: Blue

  • 5th: Purple

Show your school spirit!


Summer Reading Kick-off

Hello Thornhill families!

Before we know it, summer will be here—and with summer comes the Oakland Public Library Summer Reading Program!

An Oakland Public Librarian, Pat Toney, will visit Thornhill classrooms on Thursday, May 23 to discuss the OPL summer reading program. She will give presentations to classes and provide flyers for every student. If your student missed the presentation or needs a flyer, please contact Ms. Fox at, or send them to the library at school to get information.

You can read more about the Summer Reading Program here or watch a video about it here. It is a great program that encourages children to stay engaged in reading over the summer, offering incentives such as a free book and eligibility for other fun raffle prizes! And the library is full of great summertime programming and events, too.

Keep up the great work reading over the summer, Thunderbirds!

With gratitude,

Ms. Fox, Librarian


And the Read-A-Thon Winners Are...

Congratulations are in order for all of the Thunderbird readers! The community support for this event with over 73% participation was really phenomenal: thank you all. We surpassed our fundraising goal and raised over $24,000!

And, the results of the Read-a-thon are in. We’re happy to announce the following classrooms will be celebrating their hard work:

Ms. Holman’s class will have a pizza party for raising the most funds.

Ms. Van Ostrand’s class with have a Mac & Cheese party for the most participation.

Ms. Gustafson’s class will have donuts and milk for logging the most minutes read.

To celebrate the top 25 fundraisers and top 25 readers there will be an Italian Ice party on Thursday 5/23. Sign-up to Volunteer to help with our parties!

Many thanks to Flavor Brigade, Homeroom Mac & Cheese, and Mrs Dalloway's Bookstore for their generous donations.

We appreciate all of the hard work the students, families, and staff put into making this Read-a-thon a success. Keep up the great work reading over the summer!

Adimika Arthur, Angela Engel and Marie Fox


Registration Packets for Next Year Available Online Now!

Some good news for all of you. Do you hate having to come in and fill out all the emergency forms at the beginning of the school year? Well, this year they can all be filled out online and you can take care of them now. No need to wait until August!

Sign into your SchoolMint account, confirm they are returning, and then “re-enroll.” Thornhill is continuously being informed about who has completed the registration packet. Once all is complete, you are done with all the forms for next school year.

When the office staff returns in the fall, your classroom assignments will be e-mailed to you. Please do not call the office for this information. Remember that no assignment will be given until all registration forms are filled out.

If your child is a current OUSD student, the district has already created an account for you! Your username is the email address or phone number that your child's school has on file. If you need help, please use the "Forgot username?" and "Forgot password?" Again the website is here.


Sherry Kaetzel, Secretary


PFC Board Open Positions

We have the following PFC positions open and we would absolutely LOVE to have you join our team. Have questions? Reach out to the current person holding the position or anyone on the executive committee. We'd really - truly - love to tell you all about it.

We have some super-key positions to fill on our Executive Committee:

  • President Co-Chair: Join our amazing leader, Rex Crum, at the helm next year. We are starting a "rotation" with the Presidency where there will always be one person who is returning along with one new person. You do NOT have had to serve any sort of role on the PFC this year to be President - sometimes it helps, but sometimes it helps to have a fresh perspective.

  • Fundraising Vice President: Offers assistance and guidance as needed to board members who oversee major fundraisers, such as the Back to School Donation Drive, Walkathon, Readathon, and Benefit Auction and reports information to the PFC.

  • Personnel Vice President: With help from the Ed Fund, coordinates in the hiring and support of all PFC employees.

We have some (also, super-key) positions to fill on our PFC Board:

  • Auction Co-Chairs: Organizes the school's main fundraiser with a team of volunteers.

  • Grants & Solicitations: Seeks grants that will benefit the school and prepares the grant applications.

  • Hospitality: Coordinates the Back-to-School Coffee and Teacher Appreciation Day Luncheon. Manages the Lost & Found.

  • Konstella: Coordinates with school secretary and VP Communications on maintenance of Konstella. Helps with registration and training of parents/teachers.

  • Parliamentarian: Gives instructions in parliamentary procedure when needed at meetings.

  • Spring Carnival: Organizes and oversees the main Spring school community event.

  • TK/Kindergarten Co-Chair with Catrina Vrankovich: Organizes playdates at the school for incoming TK/Kindergarten families over the summer. Promotes communication among new TK/Kindergarten parents. Best suited for a current TK/Kindergarten parent with an older sibling.

  • Walkathon: Organizes the main fall fundraiser with a team of volunteers.


Enrichment Wrap-Up Performance Schedule

Monday, May 20th

PPAS Drama Performance: 6:00pm in the Multipurpose Room



The website always has the latest calendar information, and here's what's coming up!

  • Wednesday, May 15: Science Fair / Open House (6-7pm)
  • Thursday, May 16: Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast (8am)
  • Thursday, May 16: Spring Performance (3rd-5th, 9am, multi-purpose room)
  • Friday, May 17: Spirit Friday - PJ & Stuffy Day!
  • Friday, May 24: Spirit Friday - Color Day by Grade!
  • Monday, May 27: Memorial Day Holiday (no school)
  • Tuesday - Thursday, May 28-30: Last Week of School (minimum days)
  • Thursday, May 30: Last Day of School
  • and... Monday, August 12: First Day of School! :)

Be sure also to download the OUSD District calendar here and subscribe to our Google 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, Evie Nagy, at by 3 p.m. Thursday for approval—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.

THANK YOU to everyone who submits articles and to PFC Board Members, Teachers, VP of Communications Erin Proudfoot, PFC President Rex Crum, and Principal Steve Daubenspeck. Member of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).