Weekly Newsletter 9/16/15

Sep 16, 2015 by

Weekly Newsletter 9/16/15



Don’t forget – Family Movie Night is this coming Friday, September 18, 6:30pm, Upper School Yard, presented by the Dads’ Club. The featured movie is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and we encourage kids and adults to come dressed in your favorite Hogwarts attire – we’ll have a contest for best costumes! Food, drinks, and snacks will be available for purchase at 6:30pm.  We’ll show a quick short film, then the feature presentation will start around 7:20pm.  Don’t forget to bring some comfortable chairs, some blankets, and a reusable water bottle.  We look forward to seeing you there!


The Otter Walk is less than 6 weeks away! Your child should have received his/her Otter Walk packet. NOW is time to help your student secure sponsors. Ask neighbors, family, friends, and colleagues. (And don’t forget about corporate matching gifts!) We’ve given you tips on goal setting, sample letters, and more in the packets that went home on Friday. (If you didn’t receive yours, ask your teacher!)  Just like last year, your son or daughter can set up his or her own fundraising webpage!*  See the packet for instructions on how to help your child personalize these pages.

Pay-to-Plays are Back! Deadline to sign up to host an event is Monday, October 9. Don’t know what a ‘Pay-to-Play’ event is? It is a parent- or teacher-hosted party that is sold at the Otter Walk to raise money for the MES PTA. The parties take place throughout the year and can be just for kids, adult only or festivities the entire family can enjoy. Past parties have included making fairy houses, Minecraft classes, scavenger hunts, wine and beer tasting, mushroom foraging and hikes, among many others. That sounds awesome – How do I get involved? You can sign up for parties at the Otter Walk or, better yet, host your own event! Email the details of your party (who, what, when, where) to no later than Monday, October 9. Need Inspiration? The Pay to Play Committee has a bunch of great ideas and can connect you with other hosts. Hosting a Pay-to-Play event is a great way to build community and a phenomenal way to raise money for a cause all of us care deeply about–our kids!!

Construction Zone – We need boxes! Our Super Otter Walk decorations committee is in need of large-scale, tall boxes (think refrigerator). Have some? Email to arrange pickup or drop-off.

Questions?  Contact Otter Walk co-chairs Pilar Strutin-Belinoff, Katy Geisert, Sonia Chopra, and Ginger Cook at

*Please note, if you would like your student either to not be included in this online system or would like to use a different name for your student for privacy reasons, please email Jennifer Keith at: pta-vp-fundraising@montclairschool.com. The site will be linked to our public website, www.montclairschool.com on Monday, September 21st.


Around this time of year, your student’s teacher will be asking for Enrichment Fund contributions.  We are relieving the teachers of the manual work related to collecting and processing these funds by requesting that payments be made through PayPal.  Use this link to make your Enrichment Fund contribution to your child’s class:

www.montclairschool.com/about/enrichment/. You do not need a PayPal account.


It is not too late to sign up for Montclair Language League classes!  We have class openings in French, Italian and Spanish. There are limited spaces for Beginning/Intermediate French (AM), Advanced French (PM), Italian (AM), Spanish 1 (PM) and Spanish 2/3 (AM).  Click here to register.


MES is happy to announce our first annual Evening of Art and Music fundraiser, on Saturday, October 10, 6-9pm, at the David Brower Center’s art gallery. MES parent Robert Greenberg will lead a program exploring the friendship between Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Mozart entitled “Papa Joe and Wolfie: Birds of a Feather.” Joining Greenberg to perform the music of Mozart will be the Alexander String Quartet. Please join us for an evening of fascinating information, beautiful music, delicious wine, and tasty bites- as alcohol will be served, only those 21 years of age and older will be admitted. Ticket prices increase at midnight, September 21,so be sure to purchase your tickets before then:  $60 for one, $110 for two. All proceeds benefit the MES PTA. For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here. If you have questions or are able to volunteer to help out on the day-of, please contact Laura Moir.


Free lunch for TK and Kindergarteners continues through Sept 25th! For convenience, put money into your child’s account now so they’ll be all set to buy lunch starting on the 28th. Payments can be dropped off in the cafeteria or school office. Checks should be made to OUSD with your child’s name in the memo. Cash should be in a sealed envelope with your child’s name on it. An online payment system is still in the works, hopefully soon, stay tuned! Click here to read the latest newsletter from OUSD Nutrition Services with information about Mindful Meats and new recipes for school lunches.


OUSD is conduction a Volunteer Training Series, September 28 and 30. This training series is for volunteers working with Oakland preschool and elementary, and includes free TB testing and fingerprinting for all volunteers in attendance.  For additional information, please see the flyer in English Versionor Spanish Version.



Science Through Toys! Sarah’s Science is back at Montclair this fall with all new activities! Even though classes began this week, it’s not too late to sign up for our Tuesday session. We need your help to fill the class, and we will prorate the class fee if you join this week. In these exciting hands-on science classes, students build a variety of toys and use them to demonstrate major scientific concepts such as energy, electricity, light, gravity, motion, friction, magnetism and simple machines. Each student will construct and take home a science toy in every class. Highlights for the fall include Light-Up Electric Robot, Motorized Solar Cell Color Spinner, Mighty Mini-Catapult, Static Electroscope. Fly-High Rocket, and more.  For more information, visit http://goo.gl/HJNqLd or call (510) 581-3739. 


Please join us for our next meeting, where we will discuss LCAP Funding, including testing results and federal funds, on Monday, September 21, 2015, 3pm.  Location TBD-check with the main office.


Fill a bag with children & women clothes including handbags and shoes. Add a label onto the bag so our school will get credit. (Labels are available at the drop-off locations). And watch it earn money for our school.

Drop your clothes at one of these Drop-Off Station:

1- At the front entrance & office

2- At the AT Ottertorium entrance

3- In the new building hallway entrance across from the elevators

Help raise funds today and watch our progress at http://www.schoola.com/stitch/montclair-elementary-oakland-ca


Q: Who controls how many emails I receive? 

A: Parents decide how often they want to receive discussion emails. It might be every message, once a day or once a week, but you choose what that looks like. If you want to change your email settings in Big Tent. Click on the arrow by your name in the upper right hand corner, “settings”, “email options”.

Q: Why did I receive a news or event email when I signed up for a weekly blink? 

A: News items and events from the school and from the class will be emailed to all parents as they are posted. We will limit the number of those posts as our goal is to let the parents control how often they receive emails. Everyone is encouraged to use the discussion function as often as possible so that parents control the notifications. 

Q: Why are we using Big Tent? 

A: Our goals with Big Tent are two fold-

1) let parents control how many emails they receive 

2) have all of the information in one place so that people do not have to go back and search through hundreds of emails

Q: Where can I get more help? 

A: If you missed the Big Tent training, and want to learn how to upload files, post discussions, add events, field trips, class parties, etc., please click here for the training replay. Additional questions? Please email our tech VP, Renee White at 


Monday, September 14 – Friday, September 18

MES Clothing Drive

Friday, September 18

6:30pm MES Family Movie Night (Upper School Yard)

Monday, September 21

3pm School Site Council Meeting (Location TBD)

Please see the school calendar on BigTent for more details.




This Saturday, September 19, Sarah’s Science and the Toyology Team present: Bubbleology — a Saturday Science Workshop. In this brand-new workshop, students will learn all about chemistry and surface tension while playing with bubbles. Students will make and take home a Hand-Cranked Bubble Blaster, use soap to power a Surface Tension Speed Boat, and see the world from inside a giant bubble. Choose between a morning session from 9am – 12pm,  or an afternoon session from 1-4pm. For more information, visit http://goo.gl/rbdFms or call (510) 581-3739.


Girls on the Run is an after-school program that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Girls on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades are invited to join our team at Lake Merritt. Each practice consists of a discussion-based lesson, active games, and a running workout. The curriculum has 3 parts: getting girls to understand themselves, value teamwork, and understand how they can influence the world. At the end of the season, the team is physically and emotionally prepared to complete the Girls on the Run 5k in Golden Gate Park. View our flyer or check out our website at www.gotrbayarea.org


In October, the Montclair Library will be having its annual Halloween costume swap. The date of the swap is still TBA, but they are now accepting donations of gently used costumes–they can be dropped off at the library anytime during open hours. This has been a great event both for families looking to de-clutter and families not wanting to buy new costumes every year. All leftovers will be donated to families in need.



Do you have something you’d like to include in the weekly newsletter? Send a 100-word-or-less informational blurb, complete with links and contact info, to Monica Mehta and Marivic Hammond at newsletter@montclairschool.com BEFORE NOON ON TUESDAY to be included that week.

Copyright © 2015 Montclair Elementary School. All rights reserved.

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