Ocean View PTA Newsletter

OCEAN VIEW PTA NEWSLETTER

May 2013

President’s Message

By June McDaniels

Dear Ocean View Community,

The past two years has been a memorable experience for me. Thank you for supporting our PTA and assisting me in being able to make a difference here at OV. We have made great strides and accomplishments here at Ocean View, and we couldn’t have done it without you. I was proud to be the PTA President of such a wonderful school and I look forward to contributing and giving continued support to our OV PTA next year. I will see you all around school, or at some point around town in Albany.

Have a great summer break, and we will see you next year!

100-A-Thon Success!
By Katie Karaca

The Ocean View PTA would like to thank the community for supporting the 100-A-Thon fundraiser! With your contributions the PTA was able to raise $10,000 for our school. This money will go towards valuable programs that directly support our children, our staff, and our OV traditions. We are very proud of our school, what we have accomplished this year, and for all the parent support. We could not do it without all of you.

Thank you!

Why I Volunteer for the PTA
By Wenhua Wang

I am a professor at a university in Beijing, China. I came here as a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley. My son, Ben, is living here with me at Albany since last August and he is now enjoying his remaining days at his beloved school of Ocean View.

He loves the school here, loves his teachers and loves the air of freedom here. From what I know, I am really impressed with the professionalism of the teachers, and above all, the understanding and tolerance they have shown to the kids, and to my son, too. My son told me repeatedly that he prefers to stay here and he does not like to go back to his old school in China any more.

When we first arrived here in last August, we felt very pleased and honored that my son was accepted at Ocean View and was able to enjoy free education as a foreigner and not an American citizen. I thought, and I still think, I am much obliged to do something, however small and insignificant, in return to the school, and the community especially when I came to learn that every parent here, as well as the teachers and staff members, is contributing to the welfare of our kids here. This thought was reinforced when I attended the first PTA meeting last September where I was so impressed with the spirit of dedication and devotion of our parents that I decided that I should try to find time in my tight schedule of my research, to learn, by being a volunteer here, from the teachers and parents here in our closely knitted community. And I think I should bring some of the spirit back to China as well.

Yes, I have really learned a lot in the past months. Last year, I volunteered at the Walk-A-thon. I came to know how much difference we parents can make to the environment where our kids are growing. At the movie night we held, where I helped out with the sales of food, I became aware how much happiness and fun we can bring to our kids. At the Popsicle sales every Wednesday afternoon, I found it is work demanding persistent contribution and good teamwork to pull off things as simple as that. I tried to be present at every PTA meeting because I regard it as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn what the American parents are doing and how they are doing them to improve and enrich the school life of our children. I am an ELAC member and tried to be present at every ELAC meeting and helped out with the translation of some of the handout materials or flyers into Chinese when it was needed.

I have learned a lot here at Ocean View and so has my son Ben. His English has improved a lot and he has become a more open-minded and happier child than he was. We are very grateful for the experience here and I am sure Ben and I will continue to benefit from it in our life back in China. Thank you all.

Upcoming Events
Open House/Art Fair/Science Fair
Thursday, May 23, 5 – 8 PM
Ocean View Classrooms, Multipurpose Room and Library

Field Day
Friday, May 24, 12-1:30 PM
Ocean View School Field

Ocean View School Talent Show
Thursday, May 30, 6 – 8 PM
Ocean View Multipurpose Room

Aloha Potluck
Friday, June 7, 6 – 8 PM
Ocean View Multipurpose Room

5th Grade Graduation
Friday, June 14, 12 – 1:30 PM
Ocean View Multipurpose Room

Congratulations to 2013-2014 PTA Board
President: Karen Gee

Vice President: June McDaniels

Recording Secretary: Tom Ormsby

Corresponding Secretary: Drennen Shelton

Treasurer: Ferunges Afifi

Financial Secretary: Sarah Oldershaw

Parliamentarian: Kendra Knowles

Historian: Katie Karaca

Membership Coordinator: Kari Finch

Volunteer Coordinator: Ebba de la Rosa

Parent Education Coordinator: Gabrielle Galvarro

Join PTA – Become a Member
“Please consider becoming a member of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at the start of this fall. Membership is only $20 and does not obligate you to volunteer or attend PTA meetings – although we hope you will!

To join: fill out a form found in the school office, attach $20 membership fee and return to the PTA mail slot found at the front counter in the office.

Here are three reasons to join:

1.       The #1 reason to join the PTA is to benefit your child. In doing so, you also help our school. More than 30 years of research has proven that children do better when their parents are involved both at home and in school. Grades are higher. Test scores rise. Self-esteem grows. Schools improve.

2.       Every membership counts! When you join Ocean View PTA, you also join the California state and national PTA and become part of a national effort to improve the education, health, and welfare of every child. Membership numbers count in a significant way when our representatives are lobbying funding for education in the California legislature or in Congress.

3.       PTA membership helps you connect with the school, the staff, and other parents and gives you a voice in deciding the direction of Ocean View PTA. Only members can vote on PTA issues and hold a PTA office.

2013 Fall Festival Planning
We are starting to plan for our Fall Festival/Walk-A-Thon in October. This is an annual event, our biggest fundraiser at Ocean View School. We need a lot of help to pull off this very popular event.

If you’d like to help the planning committee, here are some areas where we will need help:

1.       Event Publicity

2.       Walk-A-Thon Registration

3.       Walk-A-Thon Logistics

4.       Games Preparation

5.       Prize Preparation

6.       Food Coordination

7.       Activities Coordination

8.       Tickets Sales

9.       Volunteer Coordination

Send an email to volunteers@oceanview-pta.org to let us know your area of interest.

Be a Voice for Ocean View
By Ebba de la Rosa

Did you know that many of the important policy and budget decisions that affect your children’s education are decided by the Albany Unified School District (AUSD) School Board? The School Board is made up of elected officials from the Albany community and many board members have children that are in or have graduated from Albany schools. Also sitting on the board are student representatives from Albany High School. The board is advised by Marla Stephenson and staff members. They meet twice a month at City Hall (2nd & 4th Tuesdays) at 7pm and the meetings are open to the public. An agenda is published before hand and can be found on the district’s website, along with a schedule of meeting dates, past meeting minutes, video recordings of meetings, and other information: http://www.ausdk12.org/. At every meeting there is a public comment section where members of the public can get up and address the board concerning issues not on the agenda. By law the board members cannot discuss items not on the agenda, but often issues heard at this time will make it onto future agendas. Topics on the agenda also have public comment opportunities as well.

It is important for Ocean View’s presence to be felt at these meetings. Currently, there are no school board members that have an affiliation with Ocean View. If you would like to know more about issues affecting our schools we encourage you to attend, address the board about topics of concern, or to let them know about something great that has happened at Ocean View. For example, at the last School Board meeting a parent spoke during the public comment section to let the board know what an amazing job parent volunteers did organizing the 4th grade trip to Point Bonita. The meetings remaining for this school year are on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

§  June 4

§  June 11

§  June 25

We hope to see you there!

We Are Proud of Ocean View
By Kendra Knowles
Parent of a Kindergarten, 2nd and 5th grader

As a week long celebration of our Teachers and Staff has concluded, I was able to think about the treasures Ocean View school has and how fortunate our family is to attend this school.

School is where you spend most of the time of your formative years. If there is a place our children are as comfortable as being home, it is only school. The sense of routine, of seeing the same faces everyday, of being greeted by the same cheerful teacher, is what gives a sense of family to your experience at Ocean View.

A school just doesn’t give knowledge. We are thankful to our school for the opportunity to forge wonderful friendships. The home away from home, that school is, life’s closest confidantes are found here. Ocean View is where my children have found their most loyal, kind and generous supporters, and I can only hope that their friends can say the same about them. And it is again teachers and the school who instill the necessity of finding great friends in life, by assigning study and reading partners, making them share their benches, learning about the various cultures that so richly add to our school and basically teaching lessons in having an open mind. It is at this time in life, that friends are the whole and sole of your life, and you never find stronger bonds than the ones created here.

The soon to become extinct cultural values, though not part of the curriculum have been embraced at Ocean View. Our children won’t forget the values being shared. They have been taught to be thankful and appreciative of wonderful parents, teachers and staff who work hard to make each day special. With the same fervor, they also participate in learning about celebrations for major festivals and holidays celebrated by families in our community. It is amazing how our teachers get each student interested in the wonderful details behind each tradition. We as an Ocean View Community have learned a lot about culture and history and the acceptance of each religion because that is who we are!

To say the least, Ocean View gives our families a sense of belonging, and among the 7+ years of being here, if there is one thing that we have learned, it is that we all belong here. Ocean View accepts us all, no matter what.

We are proud to be at Ocean View. We are proud of our PTA. We are proud of our teachers and staff. We are proud of our accomplishments. We are proud to have our children at this school.

Thanks to PTA Funds…these items were supported
By Sarah Oldershaw

  • Hospitality – All the events we have to support our community and give back, which includes: movie night, sock hop, PTA and Kindergarten meet and greets, dinner on the lawn, 1st day of school treats, aloha potluck, international potluck, teacher/staff appreciation, 5th grade bowling party, member meeting snacks, and graduation
  • Enrichment – Assemblies, field trip support, afterschool programs, and chess club at lunch
  • School equipment – Sound system and PE equipment
  • School Beautification – Science garden, teacher staff room face lift, and various school support
  • Programs – Programs and services that we pay for or provide at cost: the memory book, Point Bonita (it was a parent run trip this year for us and it went really well), and OV kettle corn sales
  • PTA operating expenses – supplies, postage, childcare at meetings, printing, and AUSD invoices for janitorial overtime at fundraising events etc.
  • School operating expenses – AUSD invoices for teacher’s classroom grants
  • Teacher Education/Training – Daily Five
  • Technology – New headsets for the computer lab and IPads
  • Grants for Special Education
  • Books –  Grade level books for the classrooms and the library