Archive | April, 2012

Up on the Roof!

You know what I did today?  I got on the roof and threw eggs!  Well, sort of.  The kindergarten classes are working on their science experiments, creating structures that will keep eggs safe and intact when being dropped off the roof.  It was a lot of fun and all of the students did an amazing job.  Some of the scientists will be going back to review their structures, but isn’t that what science is about?  Experimenting and making changes?  Great job, our wonderful kindergarten students!  And thanks to Simon Bercera for helping me out.  Climbing up and bringing all those egg-speriments up there was no easy feat!

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Big Hit!

“Poem In Your Pocket” day on Thursday was a great success! Lisa Hobbs, our wonderful librarian, got everyone excited about it and everyone had fun sharing poems – students, teachers, me, parents, and even Ms. Valerie had a poem, too!

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State Testing

State testing begins this week for 2nd through 5th grades.  Teachers spent last week reviewing material and will begin testing this week.  Just a few reminders regarding how you can best support our students to do their best:

  1.  Attendance is critical.  Make-ups are hard to coordinate and most students do  better with the routine of taking tests in their regular classrooms with their classmates.
  2. Please have your child to school on time.  Some classes are taking a test right as school begins.
  3. Schedule appointments for the afternoons, after lunch time.
  4. If you are at school helping out, please be quiet in the hallways.  Do not enter classrooms if there is a sign on the door that says, “Testing.”
  5. Please be sure your child has a good night’s rest and a nutritious breakfast every day so he/she is ready to do his/her best on the test!
  6. Remind your child to take his/her time on each test and to do his/her best.
  7. And believe it or not, some students get anxious that if they don’t do well, they will flunk the grade.  Please reassure them that this is not the case!

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4th Kindergarten Classroom in 2012-13

As many of you know, there has been some conversation regarding our growing boundaries and the effects on Crocker Highlands. It was a difficult situation with families who live just down the street being redirected to another school for kindergarten next year. After many discussions with district leadership, we have decided to add a 4th kindergarten class for the 2012-2013 school year. This is a one-time growth spurt, which means that we will go back to three kindergarten classes in the 2013-2014 school year.

We have had 16 classrooms in the past, so we can certainly handle an additional classroom. It will require some possible schedules changes in terms of recesses and enrichment classes, but I am confident that we can make the necessary adjustments.

I wanted to let you all know about our “new addition.” I know there has been a lot of discussion and speculation about how it would be handled. I want to remind everyone that we are a community, a strong community. We want to make everyone feel welcome and an integral part of the Crocker family, regardless of where families live or when they were assigned to Crocker. Thank you for your help in making the vision of a welcoming, inclusive school real at Crocker Highlands.

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Welcome Back…9 Weeks Left

Dear Families,

Welcome back from Spring Break! I hope you all had a nice break and had some time to relax and enjoy some time off from school. There are many events coming up and it’s going to be a busy last nine weeks of school.

Second through fifth grades will begin state testing next week. All public schools in California will be taking the CSTs (California State Tests) during this time period. Classroom schedules vary due to the different number and length of tests at each grade level. Most grades will begin the week of April 23rd. There are from four to six tests to complete, and students usually do one test per day. Check with your child’s teacher if you have questions regarding testing schedules. If you are wondering what you can do to help your child prepare for testing, here are a few suggestions:

1) Make sure your child arrives to school on time.

2) Schedule doctor or dentist appointments for the afternoons. Most testing will be done in the morning before lunchtime.

3) Make sure your child gets a good night’s rest.

4) Make sure your child eats a nutritious breakfast every day.

5) Room parents will be coordinating healthy testing snacks for each classroom. Check in to see what you can contribute.

6) Help keep anxiety low for your child. (When I was teaching, every year my students would ask if they would flunk if they didn’t do well on the tests. Please reassure them that this is not the case.)

7) Help keep anxiety low for the teachers and the students.

8) Encourage your child to work hard and to do his/her best and to show off how smart he/she is!

We want our kids to do well because the reality is that schools are judged by the performance on the state tests. But tests are just a piece of the whole picture, and Crocker provides much more than good test scores.

Have a great week!

Beth Rhine

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1st Annual African American Spring Parent Conference

On behalf of the Oakland Unified School District, the Office of African American Male Achievement is proud to present the 1st Annual African American Spring Parent Conference.  This is an opportunity for African American families throughout our city to come together in community to access valuable information and resources, network with other parents, and have their voices heard!

More information can be found below, or on the attached flyer, which can also be downloaded at the following link:

We hope that you will be able to join us!

In service,

AAMA Staff

Oakland Unified School District African American Spring Parent Conference

“Standing in partnership for our kids and our community”

Saturday, April 21st


Bret Harte Middle School, 3700 Coolidge Avenue, Oakland

Register online at:

Free Event: Book giveaway, raffle, free breakfast, lunch and childcare provided.


  • ·  Keynote Speaker, Ise Lyfe (Oakland native and nationally recognized spoken word artist and educator)
  • ·  Informational Workshops and a Resource Fair featuring representatives from OUSD, City of Oakland, UC Berkeley, Alameda County Public Health, and more
  • ·  Student Performances

Workshop Topics Include:

  • ·  College & Career Readiness
  • ·  Transitional Kindergarten and Preschool
  • ·  Parent Empowerment and Advocacy
  • ·  African American Male Achievement
  • ·  How to Support Your Student at Home
  • ·  Graduation Requirements
  • ·  The Role of the District Advisory Council
  • ·  Healthy Kids, Safe Communities

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