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Welcome back!

August 2, 2022

Dear Ohlone Families,

Welcome back to the 2022/23 school year. I am very excited to start my first year as the Ohlone principal. I am filled with a sense of renewal and excitement for a new year as I start my 16th year in education, with the last nine in PAUSD. My husband is also in education in the Mountain View Whisman School District so you can imagine the conversations at our house.

Ohlone is a special place because of the values that guide our community. One of Ohlone's Core Values is student-teacher-parent partnership. I am all three. I step into this role as a student with a goal of learning about each child so we can best support their development. What makes them tick? I am a teacher at heart. I thrive on the challenge of helping others grow by facilitating learning and injecting a little fun along the way. I am a parent. I have two daughters at Escondido Elementary. As parents, we are the biggest advocates for children. This brings me to another Core Value, trusting and respecting each individual. This mutual trust and respect is at the core of how we grow as a community. It is an honor and privilege to serve as your principal.

Below are important items to be aware of as the start of the school year approaches. Your attention to the information is appreciated.

First Day of School

The first day of school is Thursday, August 11, 2022. School starts at 8:15 am.

New "Bell" Schedule Reminder

PAUSD has realigned all elementary bell schedules. Please note our new school schedule that begins next week. Please arrange to pick younger students up at their dismissal time or explore after school care options with OKC or Right at School. Take advantage of the nearby parks while you wait for an older student.

Start Time K-5: 8:15 am
Dismissal Time K-3: 2:20 pm
Dismissal Time 4-5: 2:45 pm
Dismissal Time Wed. (Minimum Day) K - 5: 1:25 pm
K Dismissal Time through October 7th: 12:00

Class Placement

A great deal of time, effort, and thought goes into class placement. Careful consideration was given to balance classrooms. We are unique in our multiage program so class placement is given extra care and thought as a result of our uniqueness.

Thank you so much for being positive with your child and helping them see the potential of new friendships and learning experiences with each new year. All of our staff work hard to make school a positive experience for all students. Thank you for understanding that it can take a few weeks for a child to acclimate to a new class, peer group, and teacher.

Student classroom assignments for the 2022-23 School year will be shared at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, August 10th via email. Lists will not be posted on campus. For those who are new to Ohlone, I encourage you to visit campus after school hours. Ohlone is open to the public after 4:00pm, Mon-Fri.

Child Care for Students

Kids' Club (after school care only)
Ohlone Kids' Club.

Right At School (before and after school care)
Ohlone Right at School

School Snack & Lunch

Snack and lunch will be available at no cost to all students this year. A monthly menu will be posted on the district's website, with limited daily option(s) listed. If you think your child will not eat most of what is served at school, we encourage you to pack a healthy snack/meal for them instead. This will go far in helping us reduce food waste.

Although meals are available at no cost to all students, it is important that families continue to fill out the Meal Application each year. Students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals may qualify for individual benefits such as discounts and/or waivers in college application fees, AP testing fees, internet services, summer programs, access to higher education scholarships, after school club scholarships, holiday gifts, and many other learning and enrichment opportunities. To apply online, please click here.

Medications and Immunizations

If your child takes over-the-counter or prescription medications, they cannot be distributed or brought to school until forms signed by a parent/guardian and your child's pediatrician are on file with the School Office. All necessary forms are accessible through: https://www.pausd.org/school-life/health-wellness/health-services

For families new to PAUSD: Please check the Health Services website for important information about immunization requirements.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

Thank you for observing the following arrival/dismissal procedures. We appreciate your assistance in keeping the children safely supervised.

  • All are encouraged to walk/scoot/bike their children to school whenever possible.
  • Students may enter the campus through any of the gates and openings on the Amarillo Road side of campus. After 8:15am, students check in with the office before heading to their classroom.
  • If you arrive early and stay to supervise, it is ok for students to play on the structure. Students who come early should not be in the buildings or classrooms as teachers are preparing for the day. Please start making your way away from classroom doors at 8:10am so students can start their day of learning. All children should be off of the play structures at 8:10, including younger siblings.
  • Students dropped off curbside should exit the car only on the right side. Please note that cars that drop off in front of the school are asked to pull up to the front to allow as many cars as possible to drop off and avoid back-ups.
  • At dismissal time, please be mindful of teaching and learning. Please do not come onto campus until dismissal time. This gives all students and teachers time to close and reflect on the day without disruption.

Principal Teas

I will be hosting a series of Principal Teas throughout the school year where we can connect and explore specific topics related to Ohlone's goals and values. Please mark your calendars for our first Principal's Tea on Friday, August 12th at 8:30am. In addition to welcoming and getting to know new families, I hope to connect with returning families.

Visitor and Volunteer Protocols

We are grateful for you and appreciate your help with safety.

  • Always check in with the main office to sign in and out.
  • Must wear a visitor sticker which the school provides at check-in time.
  • Volunteers are not required to show proof of vaccination or wear masks when on campus.

Volunteerism

Ohlone has a strong culture of volunteering and parent involvement. Our school would not be the wonderful place it is without your help. Many parents work full time and can contribute during evening and weekend hours. This is great! Some families can volunteer during the school day and be available for meetings and events. Also great! We need all kinds of help -- days, weekends, evenings, online. There is truly something for everyone at Ohlone and we gratefully ask that you find something that works best for you. As we start the year, you will hear from our parent leadership groups about opportunities to get involved. We ask each and every family at Ohlone to volunteer in some way.

Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and Partners in Education (PiE) have always been integral to our school's community. They have funded supplemental programs and classroom libraries and supported various other events and activities. The classroom aides that attend lovingly to your children are the result of PiE contributions. Similarly, the school supplies and materials used during instruction come directly from your donations to PTA. When you receive information from those organizations, know that the funds raised will enrich your child's school experience. Please donate however you can.

Staff and Faculty

In addition to the following members, there are many aides and support personnel who are an integral part of what we do. (MI=Mandarin Immersion)

  • Cluster 1 (K/1): Nancy Shorum, Roni Kraft, Avery Olesen, Samantha Furlanic, Joanna Kovacs, Piper Joseph, Judy Kislitsyn (MI), Ying Ying Ren (MI)
  • Cluster 2 (2/3): Monica Lynch, Alex White, Ashley McCrea, Lynn Park, Vidya Karra, Michelle Haughney, Claire Albert (MI), Lu Sun (MI)
  • Cluster 3 (4/5): Emma Clark, Nikki Alcantara, Sharon Choi, Eloise DeFrancesco, Janice Stone, Limin Chen (MI), Yineng Lu (MI)
  • Library/PE/Art/Music: Grace Bunya (teacher librarian), Bobby Rankin (PE), Eddie Ramirez (Spectra art), Corinne Sturgis (music), Kate Carmona Arbelaez (music), Robin Smith (music), Keith Hunter (music), Gary Ortega (music), Allison Zenner (music), Shawn McGinn (music), Amie Jan (music)
  • Support Specialist: Allyson Zeman (Reading Specialist), Nikki Moore (Reading Specialist), Sarah Jados (EL Specialist), Kathleen Flynn (Ed Specialist), Hanna Miller (Ed Specialist), Cynthia Ehrhorn (Speech and Language Pathologist), Vandana Koppula (mental health & wellness associate), Elaine Lay (school psychologist)
  • Farm: Anna Christiansen (farm science instructional assistant), Christine Baker (farm manager)
  • Office: Xiomara Rodriguez (school clerk), Jane Dick (secretary), Heike Enders (secretary), Chau Pham (custodian), Ruben Hernandez (custodian), Brittany Gardner (admin TOSA, assistant principal), Elsa Chen (principal)

Important Dates

Please mark your calendars for the following items:

  • Saturday, August 7th - Kinder Playdate
  • Wednesday, August 10th- Class placements emailed to families.
  • Thursday, August 11th - First Day of School, Farm Opening Ceremony
  • Friday, August 12th - Principal's Tea
  • Tuesday, August 16th - Back to School Night

You will receive additional information in the next week. We cannot wait for our students to arrive! They are the reason we do what we do. We are energized when you and your children arrive that first day of school. There are few professions that provide us with the opportunity to begin again and we look forward to a year of growth, reflection, and connection.

Sincerely,

Elsa Chen
Principal