September 27th, 2016
PERALTA SCHOOL NEWS
Let's Talk about Ashby
I do not mean the street.
One Crazy Summer.
Does that describe the past three months for you?
For Natalie Ashby, Peralta’s new 3rd grade teacher, it’s the title of her most recent read, a book she may use in her classroom at some point. In it, Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland in 1968 to meet their mother, who they believe had abandoned them. They arrive in California expecting Disneyland, but instead, their mother sends them Black Panther Day Camp. The three girls learn a lot about their family, their country, and themselves during that summer.
Ms. Ashby, fresh from her graduate education, reads widely for pleasure. Currently she's enjoying books at the third grade level, with an eye to her classroom — to wit, The One and Only Ivan, and Flora and Ulysses. But it’s One Crazy Summer, historical fiction, that has really lit her fire.
“I love the local connection, and I’m passionate about history,” affirmed Ms. Ashby.
In conjunction with the third grade history curriculum, Ms. Ashby will train her students to look directly at historical artifacts, make observations about them, and then use their observations to hypothesize about historical events.
It wasn’t a given that Ms. Ashby would find her way to teaching. She ruefully recalls an unfortunate slowness with Fast Facts (memorizing multiplication tables) as well as fighting the beast known as cursive handwriting. She also started Kindergarten following a stint abroad which left her with a thick British accent. The accent (would she would lose, courtesy of speech therapy) plus her natural shyness discouraged her from speaking much in class — a significant hurdle for a grade school student.
Later in life, the dance world almost claimed her. She worked as a dance and creative movement teacher for many years. She’d like to bring the creativity she drew upon in the dance world into her teaching practice, incorporating creative movement whenever possible.
In her dream classroom, every student would use an iPad, to help them assess themselves and reflect upon what they have learned.
School Secretary Successfully Selected
If you were at back to school night, you heard Ms. Costello recount how she inadvertently scared off an applicant by explaining a few parameters of the job. Then, she asked him why he wanted a job like that. Turns out, he didn't.
Ms. Costello left him to try some tasks, while she went to handle a few other things. When she returned, he had vanished.
But now, a worthy candidate has accepted the job. Helio Rodrigues now sits in the hot seat. Secretary Emeritus Jan is working with him
to get him settled.
You could stop by to say hi. Or you could just wait until I get a chance to profile him in my own, gripping, probing way.
And now, the hotly awaited follow up to last issue's breaking news:
Meet the Bushtits
Bushtits are birds. They work collectively (awww) to make an elaborate hanging nest of moss and lichen assembled with spider silk and lined with feathers. They're the mixed-media artists of the avian world.
These resourceful birds have chosen a branch of our pine tree, overhanging the sidewalk on 63rd, for their magnificent dwelling. Says garden worker Susanne Wiesman, "I have only ever found one, on display at a childcare center."
This picture, though fine, doesn't really do justice to the nest. Susanne would be happy to show it to you and/or your kids personally. Contact her here if you're interested.
We have determined that the Bushtits will not require TB tests (because they're pretty much going to avoid the kids) or fingerprinting, (mostly because of a distinct lack of fingers).
“Middle school is kind of like Middle-earth. It’s a magical journey filled with elves, dwarves, hobbits, queens, kings, and a few corrupt wizards.”
Middle School: the Jan Brady of your Child’s Education
Opportunities to explore the exciting, malodorous world of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade are presenting themselves for your review. They're wildly raising their hands, desperate for you to call on them:
1) Saturday, Oct 22, 2 - 4:30pm, Claremont Middle School Future Families Open House
Claremont Middle School, 5750 College Avenue
You’ve been walking by that light green building for what feels like forever. Why not come in and see the school yourself? While you’re there, hear from students, faculty, and administrators about life at Claremont. More info to come.
2) Middle School Information Night @ Peralta (with information about many local school options) will be around the same time. Details later, when we have 'em.
- Sep 28: Immortalize that hair on film. Fall picture days for 3rd-5th grade. Last day to turn in picture forms for all grades if you want to avoid paying a $10 late fee. Who doesn't want to avoid that?
- Sep 30: Lice Check. Professionals from Nitwits will check your kids' heads for free. They will send a note home letting you (and only you) know if your child needs to be treated for lice. Permission forms for this have gone home. More available in the office. Sign and return (with a YES or a NO, it's totally up to you).
- Oct 4: It's free and could not be more convenient. Shoo the Flu day. Free flu shots (alas, no nasal spray this year on account of because it didn't work). Opt-in or out via permission slip which has already gone home. More available in the office.
- Oct 5: Walk/Roll to School Day. I know the other calendar says Oct. 4, but that calendar is wrong. Who are you going to trust... me or some faceless calendar interface on a website somewhere?
- Oct 8: in perhaps one of our more unusual pairings... Garden Work Day + onsite fingerprinting from LiveScan. Maybe, like me, your head is in the sand, hoping it will go away? It won't. All parent drivers for field trips, and any other unsupervised volunteers, need to be Livescan fingerprinted. Response floweth over — people are lining up to be fingerprinted at our children's school. $45 per person, cash or credit card. If the $ part is hard for you, contact Eleanor (PPTG chair) or Lilly (Oakland Ed Fund Volunteer Coordinator) for a scholarship to cover the cost.
“It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.”
Which classic children's story opens with those lines? First person to send the correct answer to this address wins a personal reply — from me — and... a Peralta bumper sticker.
Previous answer: The Snowy Day
Previous winner: Zoe Gladstone, faithful waterer of the garden bed in the Kinder courtyard.
Fun fact: At least one reader-couple competes with each other for the win. I'm not naming them, to protect the sanctity of relationships.
Next issue should come out October 11th.
In case you're keeping track. The next issue is just happy to be able to come out in the Bay Area, where we have a warm, accepting climate. Stay tuned. Tell your friends.
About Peralta Broadcast
If you have any school or class announcements, or interesting community events you'd like to share with the Peralta family, please email or forward the information to this address. We publish every two weeks or so. Kudos, complaints and ideas for future posts can go to the same.