1/16/2014 Principal’s Monthly Message
Happy New Year! It is always a pleasure to see all of the children, teachers and staff back on campus after a long break. We enjoyed a seamless transition back to school after the winter holidays, and kids seem generally refreshed and focused after the time off. Here is a look at what is happening at Montclair Elementary as we kick off 2014 together.
NEW DROP-OFF PROCEDURE – keep our cars moving and our kids safe!
When you drop off your child, please pull forward all the way to the back fence. The lane continues around from there, so please trust that you WILL be able to exit the parking lot – in fact, if we can reduce congestion you will be able to get in AND out more quickly. Pulling forward all the way allows those behind you to pull in, easing congestion on Mountain Boulevard and facilitating drop-off so that all of our kids can arrive on time. Please be courteous to those behind you and pull forward all the way!
BASKETBALL IN REAR LOT – please keep cars out during play times!
The basketball courts in the back section of the parking lot are now being used regularly during the school day (for P.E.) and after school (by A.T.). Feel free to park there during drop-off and pick-up as well as for big school events. However, on normal school days, please keep the area clear of cars from 8:50 am – 2:30 pm and from 3:30 pm – 5 pm so our kids can use the hoops without running around (or denting) your car.
COOKING KITCHEN OPEN – 2 weeks of free, fresh, hot lunches coming!
We are pleased to announce that, as of Monday, the beautiful new cooking kitchen is up and running! Over the next couple of weeks the staff will be working hard to ensure that all is going smoothly. Once this test period is over, to encourage trial, we will be providing two weeks of free hot lunches for all students and staff. Look for an email with all the details coming soon!
NEW GARDEN AREA OPEN – soon we will be planting!
The planter boxes are complete and filled with soil and the upper garden area will open next week! The irrigation system will be installed in the coming weeks, and we anticipate being able to plant in time for spring.
FLU SEASON – help keep us all healthy!
Flu season is upon us! We have seen an increased number of absences due to illness. In order to protect those around us, parents and guardians are required to keep children at home until they have been fever-free for 24 hours. Please do not send your child to school with a low-grade fever—or the morning after he or she had a fever! Such decisions spread illness and ultimately reduce attendance.
GATE SECURITY – help keep them closed during school hours!
If you leave campus during school hours, please be conscious of closing the gates behind you. After drop off and before 2:30, you may access the campus only through the main doors next to the school office. Nancy Bloom will be locking all gates each morning between 8:45 am and 8:50 am. If you are parked on the Moraga Blvd side of campus, you must leave campus before 8:45 or plan to walk around the block. This gate is not self-locking and must be manually secured each morning and evening.
SPELLING BEE – Congratulations to all who participated!
Congratulations to all children who participated in the school spelling bee, which was held on Tuesday, January 14th. And kudos to our school champion, Kamilah Bundang (5th grade) as well as our runners up: Avery Reischer-Craft (3rd grade) and Samantha Rogers (4th grade).
CALIFORNIA DISTINGUISHED SCHOOL – going for it again!
Our 2014 application has been submitted to the state. We hope to receive good news soon. If we pass the first round of cuts, the site verification committee will visit campus in the coming weeks. We will keep you posted as the process continues.
THE FAMILY DANCE PARTY – a huge success!
Thanks to all of the families who attended and supported our fifth grade class. We had an impressive turnout and the children raised lots of money for the 5th grade class trip that will take place in the spring.
LOST AND FOUND – retrieve your belongings while you still can
Please swing by the lost and found soon—it is unusually full this month! We still have all items that were left on campus in December, as well as the new January items. All will be donated at the end of this month.
- NO SCHOOL in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Monday, January 20th.
- NO SCHOOL due to a Professional Development Day on Friday, January 31st.
- The 2nd grade Drama Performance will take place in the Multipurpose Room on Tuesday, January 28th from 6:30-8:00 pm. Performers should arrive by 6:15.
- 3rd-5th Grade Art Show – the art will be on display for your viewing pleasure in the Main Building halls Tuesday, January 28th 6:00-7:30 pm.
- The MLK Oratorical will take place on Wednesday, January 29th during a school assembly. The top scorers from MES go on to the district level, and from there, winners go on to the county level.
- We will celebrate U.N. Day on Friday, February 21. Check your child’s weekly green folder for details and to find out how you can help!
- Mark your calendars for upcoming PTA meetings and the exciting guest speakers we have coming!
- 2/19 – The Boys Project
- 3/19 – Girls Leadership Institute
- 4/9 – Dave Nettle (ask your kids about Mr. Nettle if you don’t know who he is…)
A FINAL NOTE ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S SAFETY: Oakland Unified School District has been impressed with the cutting-edge work that Montclair Elementary is doing with the Red Cross. The District is interested in adopting our emergency procedures as the model for the district. In order to perfect these procedures, we anticipate that we will have one more disaster drill at release time before the end of the academic year. We know that this may present some logistical headaches for you, but please bear in mind that our sole purpose in doing these drills is to ensure that your child will be safe and secure in an emergency, and that he or she will only be released to an approved caretaker. Please stay tuned for details regarding date and time.