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Ohlone Family Connection, September 2022


Dear Ohlone Families,

Welcome to the second installment of this year's Ohlone Family Connection (OFC).

While OFC will still contain nuts and bolts information from time to time, I'd like to turn the focus of my message each month toward the reasons why we have chose to be at Ohlone: the Goals of an Ohlone Education and our Core Values. The Ohlone staff is committed to cultivating these values daily in every action, and I invite all families to consider how you can contribute as well.

First off, a story: Some of you may be aware of the Ohlone Guides. They are a group of fifth graders who applied and were recommended by faculty to be leaders and helpers. They assist with tasks ranging from but not limited to supervising in the Friendship Yard, helping with lunch service, assisting on the farm, to facilitating noontime activities. Last Friday, the two staff members who set up noontime activities both had meetings and canceled noontime activities, or so they thought. The Ohlone Guides were committed to making it happen and sought out the materials, organized one another, facilitated, and cleaned up. They had quite a few customers!

As I watched these fifth graders, I smiled and my heart filled with pride. Right here was a prime example of one of the goals of an Ohlone education: citizenship and community. We state, our children will understand their places in the global community and care about the environment.

At Ohlone, our community is everyone that our school touches, including the animals on the farm and our neighbors.

At school, we practice citizenship and community through small acts. This includes picking up trash, even when it isn't ours, because we collectively care for our physical community and the environment. The Green Team, a student organization, will focus this year on education around trash sorting. It is a small act with a big impact.

We discussed citizenship through shared literature. Ohlone's book of the month was I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Our school-wide read alouds will focus on how we treat one another at Ohlone. Students across campus have been challenged to wish more for others. Read their thoughtful responses on my office window. Another student leadership group, Junior Staff, spend their lunch recess facilitating games for all. They put words into action because they wish for more fun at Ohlone. This small act helps all students feel safe, included, and seen at school. And let's not forget that fun activities build strong communities!

We are modeling citizenship and community in everything we do. You do this when you come to volunteer on campus, when you attend community Thursdays at dismissal, and in every interaction with one another. Our kids are watching and listening.

As we look ahead to a new month, let's commit once again to our Ohlone community. Let's slow down and challenge ourselves to do one small act for our community. Families, I encourage you to share over dinner or on the way to or from school: what is community? How is Ohlone a community? How do citizens in a community treat one another and our shared space? How can we make our community a better place for everyone in it?

In partnership,

Elsa Chen