Dear Ocean Shore Families,
Hello! I hope you had a wonderful midwinter break. Kids have been swapping stories about their experiences with epic snow in Tahoe, playing on the beach in our own backyard here in Pacifica, or just sleeping (this was as a common thread from our middle school kiddos!).
I enjoyed a wonderful trip to see my brother and family in London. My niece and nephew proudly gave me a tour of their school, which of course included showcasing their favorite space – the playground. My London experience was lovely – from a day trip to the coast and countryside to touring Kensington Palace – it was memorable and worth the jetlag when I returned!
Reflections from my Office:
We returned this week with several special events occurring, as is often the case at Ocean Shore! Tuesday launched the Coral Café – a tradition at Ocean Shore! Thanks to the support of many dedicated volunteers and teachers like Sheila, the students were treated to an exciting preview of what is to come with Oceans 411. I had fun stopping by the science lab. It had been transformed into an interactive, engaging marine exhibition where kids were introduced to the theme of this year’s Oceans Week – coral reefs. As I was walking with a kindergarten class into the Café, a little girl looked at me and exclaimed, “Principal Julie! I love the Corral Café! Have you been before? They have the BEST FOOD. It is my favorite place to eat!” I smiled and asked her if was referring to the Coral Café in the Science Lab which we were about to enter. She replied, “Oh yes! Of course! It is so tasty, I am so excited!” How precious.
Another reflection from this week was the roll out of our safety drill. I was incredibly impressed with how well our students and staff enacted the “Secure Campus” and “Lockdown Barricade” drill. We began with a “Secure Campus” which meant students were safely inside their classroom with doors locked, attendance taken and instruction resumes. However, it is likely that a situation such as this would require the need to elevate the level of security. Following this first drill, we elevated the protocol to a “Lockdown/Barricade”. After quickly accounting for every child, teacher, staff member and parent volunteer, Seva and I did a thorough inspection of campus while the students were in lockdown with our local law enforcement partners such as Captain Spanheimer. It was impressive to see how quickly the school transformed into a ghost town. The halls and rooms were silent, blinds were drawn and not one person was visible or heard. Frankly, it was quite eerie. However, the silence was a poignant, calming reminder that the children were tucked away and out of sight from the passerby view. I was proud of our team’s effort with the initial drill and eager to continue training and bettering our practices.
While inside the classrooms, many students took the opportunity to practice responding in a safe manner with their teacher. Given the seriousness of this topic, this is not easy to achieve. I applaud our staff for guiding the students with such grace and expertise. Here are a few pictures of them during the activity. Some students read quietly, and our kindergarteners enjoyed “Lollipops for Lockdowns” which was a fun – and calming – way for students to practice a drill that can be a little bit scary. Here are a few images from the day.
Earlier in the year, I shared a link to these resources. They are helpful tools for adults to help them guide children to understanding trauma and other difficult topics. I hope they are useful for you and your family:
A Message from the Ocean Shore Vara Family: Chris, Kendra, Andrew, Jack, and Ellie
This last month has been filled with downs and ups for us. On January 16th, we were told that our son, Andrew, had a brain tumor. We were in disbelief. He had the brain tumor, and yet it seemed like our brains were not working very well. When the OSS community found out, lots of people offered help. We were grateful, but we also had no idea what help we needed. Our ability to think logically and to remember everything was instantly impaired. The OSS family didn't wait to be asked. You -- all of you -- just scooped us up into your arms and did things for us that we did not know we needed. Your texts, your emails, your cards, your Team Blue clothes, your support, your Caring Bridge messages, and your delicious, comforting meals, buoyed our family and made us feel nurtured during a time when we've really needed that more than we knew.
Last week, Andrew's doctors told us that the tumor was benign and probably won't recur. The doctors said the only long-term effect of his having had a brain tumor is that he will need regular MRIs. But that's not the only long-term effect. Finding out the real meaning of how a school becomes a family -- that's a long-term effect, too. We will never forget how you all took care of us. Your generosity will forever be part of our family story.
Staff Makin’ Waves:
On Thursdays, our staff hosts “Treat Day” which means we divide up the days and brings treats. Some days designated teachers bring treats, and other days it is a potluck. It is a wonderful reflection of how tightly woven our staff is as a family. They know that food and good conversation bring people together. This is the case on most days – especially Thursdays – in the staff lounge. Yesterday, our teacher Virginia noticed our potluck needed some extra items. During her precious “free” time before school, she ran over to the store to get pizzas. Thinking of others before herself is something our teachers do on a regular basis and Virginia did just that yesterday by getting extra food. I also noticed her in the late afternoon, long after the kids went home and she had spent time after school helping students, cleaning up the food and kitchen from the treat day. We are so lucky to have teachers like Virginia at Ocean Shore!
Students Makin’ Waves:
The winner of the Oceans 411 T-shirt design contest is 5th grader, Lila Waters.
8th graders, Ruby Folber's and Maggie Menigo's designs will be on the Oceans411 booklet.
7th grader, Sarah Betschart's and and 5th grader Katherine Tran's designs will be made into posters.
Congratulations to all the artists!
From the Front Office:
Next Week Oceana Blvd. Paving Project: Please note that next week Oceana Blvd will be getting repaved and therefore there will not be any street parking. Please also be aware there may be delays though the street will remain open. In light of this, next week the gate on Monterey Road will be open (only at the start of school) to allow for students to enter campus as an alternative to using the main entrance on Oceana Blvd.
Cleaning out Closets? We Are Looking for Gently Used Children’s Clothing for the Office! When kids slip in mud, get wet, have accidents, etc. we like to have an abundance of clothes the kids can change into, wear home, then return at their convenience. The following would be greatly appreciated!
Boys shoes: sizes 13 & 1 in particular, as well as any other sizes
You Tube Videos Being Dubbed Over: A reminder to be careful about what your child is watching online – anytime – and especially on You Tube. Parents have reported that innocent children’s videos and shows are being dubbed over with scary images and messages. As with anything, it is important to consider viewing any online images together as a family or in a public space in your home so that children can have appropriate guidance utilizing their digital citizenship and presence. Remember to check out these great resource for parents: Common Sense Media (click HERE).
SPRING BOOK FAIR IS COMING!
Dates: Friday, March 1st – Friday, March 8th
Thank you for your continued support! Barbara and Renee
Volunteers Needed! We need help:
Set Up: Friday, March 1, from 8:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Shift workers (2 hour increments) to help run the fair for its duration. Sign-up sheets are posted in the Parent Hallway.
Breakdown: Friday, March 8th 3:00-5:00 p.m
Thank you very much for your support!!
FROM THE PEF CORNER:
The Pacifica Education Foundation (PEF) is taking education to new heights. They completely fund educational programs which exceed California’s core school standards; which our district budget cannot accommodate. Simply, PEF funds, advances, and protects a higher quality education for OUR students.
Learn more at http://www.pacificaef.org/about-us.
PEF SPONSORED PROGRAMS:
- Elementary School Music Program
- Middle School Band Program (Music Matters in Pacifica - MMIP)
- Middle School Computer Science Program
- Elementary School Slam Poetry Program (SPARC - Stage Performance + Rhythmic Culture - Poetry)
- Professional Science Curriculum Development & Training For Teachers (Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS))
Learn more at http://www.pacificaef.org/programs-c1ylq.
PEF gives our children an enriched educational experience. Give back to PEF and don’t forget your employer sponsored donation matching too! Donate at http://www.pacificaef.org/how-to-give.
UPCOMING PEF EVENTS:
- DONATION WEEK: Mark Your Calendars - April 29th - May 3rd! Support our school by volunteering with PEF during the “School Competition” day, on May 2nd.
- NEW MEMBERSHIP PLANS: Membership provides you tickets and/or discounted access to fun annual family events, supporter decals, and much, much more: https://www.pacificaef.org/membership
- LISTEN & LEARN: PEF Ambassadors will be onsite at PTO events.
HOW CAN I HELP?
- Volunteers needed, sign up here: http://www.pacificaef.org/volunteer
- Like & Follow PEF on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PacificaEducationFoundation/
- Reach Out to our PEF Ambassadors, below:
From the Diversity Leadership Group: Are you a member of a Multi-Racial and/or Multi-Faith family and would like to share your story!? The Diversity Leadership Group is hoping to find a few families who would be interested in talking to our students about your experiences at home, at school, and in the world on Celebrate Diversity Day (CDD). CDD is taking place on Friday, March 22. Timing is flexible. If you are interested in participating, please contact Lissin at Lissin@EarthCapades.com
NEXT WEEK HAPPENINGS!
MINIMUM DAY SCHEDULE NEXT WEEK TUESDAY – FRIDAY! A reminder that we have minimum day schedules next week for parent-teacher conferences!
Next Week: Spring parent teacher conferences! Teachers will coordinate a conference time with you should the feel the need to meet. Check with your child’s teacher to coordinate!
Monday – Friday: BOOK FAIR!
Evening Events Next Week:
Monday 3/4: Environmental Action Committee (EAT) meeting in library 6 - 8 pm.
Thursday 3/7: Diversity Leadership Group (DLG) meeting in library 6 - 8 pm.
Friday, March 22nd: Diversity Day!