Archive | April, 2013

Class Placement for 2013-2014

Some parents, especially those new to Crocker this year, might be wondering about the process we use to assign students to classes for the upcoming school year. When we create classrooms, we create the appropriate number of balanced groups, depending upon the grade level. I work with the teachers to create balanced classrooms, and we do our best to provide the most appropriate learning experience for every child. We consider gender, ethnicity, academic skills, energy level, and parent involvement in creating balanced classrooms. At Crocker Highlands, we support all our teachers and continue to move towards greater collaboration at each grade level. Although we believe each teacher has unique strengths to offer, all teachers at Crocker are highly-qualified. Therefore, we ask that you do not request a specific teacher. You are welcome to send an email to your child’s current teacher or myself letting us know the type of learning environment that you feel is best for your child. (I am unable to meet with every parent to discuss every child’s classroom needs)

Thank you for your support and understanding.

Beth Rhine


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2012/13 OFASS Summer Application

Dear Crocker Families,

Please find the 12-13 OFASS Summer application. All families can submit an application because this FREE program is open to all children who reside within the city of Oakland, whether they attend an OUSD school or not. OFASS capacity is approximately 275 students (no more than 300). This application is for the morning program only-8:30am-12:30pm (breakfast from 8:00am-8:30am) and includes a snack (lunch).

On the application there is information including contact information regarding the afternoon OFASS program. This is run by personnel with the Dept. of Parks and Recreation and will be operated at Burckhalter Elementary. There is a fee for this program – families will need to contact OPR to get payment, hours, due dates, etc. Burkhalter staff cannot answer questions regarding the afternoon program.

All applications can be dropped off at Burckhalter, please no mail or scanned copies.

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Coffee with the Principal (3/22 Meeting Notes)

Coffee with the Principal – March 22, 2013

Slides from the meeting can be viewed here CrockerSpringData-March22-2013

Here are the general topics and information shared at the meeting.

  1. I was planning on showing some recent data from English Language Arts, Math, and the SRI assessments but I was missing a cord to connect my laptop to projector.  The OUSD benchmark exams in ELA and Math help to determine students’ progress throughout the year and if intervention is needed.  The OUSD benchmark exams are multiple choice and untimed.

  2. Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) is used to monitor students’ lexile levels.  A lexile level is derived from students reading a passage and answering comprehension questions.  Students in grades 2-5 took an on-line version of the SRI for the first time this year.  2nd grade teachers felt the results didn’t reflect students’ reading levels as accurately because it was the first formal test the students have taken in their school career, and the on-line aspect was challenging.  The data shows the growth of our students from the first to the second round.

  3. The number of students not hitting benchmark in ELA and scoring lower lexile levels in the SRI brought to our attention a need to research more into reading disabilities, in particular, dyslexia.  The staff participated in professional development back on Feb. 1 introducing the idea and we are considering plan to implement something school-wide.  Teaching strategies that target students with dyslexia benefit all students.  This discussion is in the beginning stages.

  4. Enrollment – We talked about the enrollment for the fall.  The number of students enrolled is a big determining factor of the school budget.  We need to have close to 420 students to maintain the current number of teaching staff.  That is one of the reasons why we sent home the notice regarding students returning next year.  We have to monitor enrollment numbers.  At this point, we can’t determine if we will have 3 or 4 kindergarten classes, or 3 or 4 1st grade classes.  There is a possibility there will be a K/1st combination.

  5. PTA Programs – we are currently reviewing programs and prioritizing funding for next year.  The process is as follows:  1) Receipt and organization of proposals; 2) Review and ranking by teaching staff based on student need;  3) Final recommendation by Leadership Team;  4) Review and decisions by Prioritization Committee (composed of SSC, PTA, and staff members).

  6. Enrichment – we also talked about the GATE program and what we are doing for our high-achieving students.  There is no funding for GATE students but by offering Spanish, Vocal Music, Art, Instrumental Music and Library/Computer, we are providing enrichment for all students.

  7. We also talked about the Common Core Standards.  These are a change from the current state standards that teachers use to guide their teaching.  We have been discussing these throughout the year, as OUSD is making the move to adopt them in Fall 2013.  The Common Core Standards are being adopted state-wide, and by most states in the country.  To find out more about the Common Core, here is a link with more information:

Disclaimer:  I didn’t take notes on the questions/answers asked at the meeting, so this is my best recollection. There will be one more “Coffee with the Principal” this year.  Right now it’s schedule for May, but I might try to push it possibly into April.  Stay tuned.


Beth Rhine


Posted in Coffee Talks0 Comments

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