Garden Work Day this Saturday, September 9, 9:00-1:00. We have a Garden Committee that coordinates caring for the garden. Garden Work Days are for everyone to participate, and no skills are requires. They are the second Saturday of each month, 9:00-1:00. Bring snacks, if possible.
The Peralta Racial Justice Study Group has a meeting next week, location TBD. The group thinks about ways to get the Peralta community to think more about racial inclusion and equity, and to think about how macro issues play out in the micro environment at Peralta. All are welcome.
Volunteer Clearance Procedures.
- Peralta does not work without bodies on the ground, and a lot of volunteer effort. We have new volunteer clearance procedures that started last year, and we were concerned it would deplete our volunteering. We understand it is onerous, but in order to do the important work, it is necessary to take the steps to get cleared.
- There are two upcoming opportunities to fulfill the steps: (1) Tomorrow, Thursday - Free Livescaning and TB clearance at a location on Telegraph; and (2) an event at school next week, cost $35. Email to follow with details.
- To express objection to the onerous process, email Lilly Smith, the volunteering person at OUSD.
- If you received a volunteer clearance badge last year, you do not need to do the process again this year.
- Peralta Brewing Community - Coffee and pastries the first and third Fridays at 63rd St entrance, starts after the morning bell.
- Book Fair. Sept 19. Need volunteers for 45 minute shifts to work the cash register; 2 people per shift. Allows Ms. Sonia to work with the kids to pick thoughtful books.
- Picture Days coming up. More information coming in flyers and reminders. Sorry that the second picture day is Rosh Hashanah. There is a make up day in November.
- Walk and Roll to school. In the past, it has been once a month, but this year we’re going to one in October and another in May. If someone wants to take over this event to do it monthly, that is an option. It involves giving out stickers and gifts and promoting walking and cycling to school.
- Safety Patrol and Drop Offs. You can drop off students at the Dana St. entrance, and the Safety Patrol of student volunteers help the kids out of cars and into school. Please do not park illegally. Parent volunteers, 8:25-8:45, always appreciated.
- We’re at 44% participation. We have until Friday, September 29 to get to 80% to meet the school goal.
- We want each class at 80% and the whole school at 80%, which helps us get grant money. Even if you can’t give a lot, know that you small donation helps us get more money.
- Remember to check if your employer does corporate matching.
- New Families - guidance on how much to give - we ask you to consider donating the amount that you were paying for your child’s monthly preschool/daycare fee, as an annual contribution.
- Can set up recurring donations.
Recap on budget activity at the August PPTG Meeting.
This year we had the option to pay $20K for three brand new copiers with significantly lower maintenance costs, instead of continuing to pay a lot for maintenance on old, worn out copiers. PPTG is making that purchase, but OUSD is slow - the copiers might be here by the end of October.
Ms. Hendrie spoke to the group:
- -Copiers - thank you to PPTG. If PPTG didn’t buy, we would have had to go down to one copier. The fact that PPTG raised the funds for this is mind blowing to Ms. Hendrie and her principal peers, and she is very appreciative.
- -Reintroducing herself as a continuation after Back to School Night - She is from originally from Trinidad, a sociologist by training, and has lived in New York and California. She started at Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) 12 years ago, an arts based charter school. She was a principal and a college counselor, and wore a lot of hats. She also designed programs and services for general ed students who needed extra services but did not qualify for special ed or other programs. She went back to school for teaching credentials and administrator credential. OUSD asked her about the opening at Peralta, which surprised her because she does not have elementary experience - but she has administrative experience and a deep understanding and experience with the connection between arts and learning. She was so moved by meeting the Peralta interview committee and by the environment of our school. When she got the call that we had chosen her, she was so excited. She knew Peralta was one of the gems in the district. She knew she was coming into a well established community, and wants to respect and celebrate our cultural values. She wants to learn about our community. (“And then I put gates in!”) Her intention is that this is a listening year. She is really grateful and excited and exhausted. She is learning OUSD, and Peralta, and elementary school. She loves learning. She is thrilled to be here. The welcome has been overwhelming.
Questions for Ms. Hendrie?
- Does OUSD assign you a mentor? Yes. I have a mentor and a lot of resources from OUSD. I also have my best friend as the principal at Crocker Highlands. Lots of other support and people I can call.
- Do you have any plans for fostering racial equity at the school? Yes. The reality is that the demographic has dramatically shifted in last five years. At OSA we intentionally reached into minority communities to have after school arts activity. But that was a charter school. OUSD is different in the way enrollment works. For me, it’s about opportunity - to make this gem of a school available to people - so where do we have access in the process? I do not have control over enrollment. But we do have access to communities. One of the things that has shifted is that people are reluctant to apply because they think they won’t get in - so we can encourage people to apply. We can convey to communities that their presence is valued. And also the issue of retaining people - creating a culture to support students.
- What are the most promising avenues you see for positive change to make Peralta even better? We made it more secure! (With the gates; more examples of outsiders trying to get into the school and we want to prevent that.) This community is so skilled at what they do, so everything started so smoothly that it is a challenge to find areas for growth. That said, we’re going to try having a site counselor for areas of growth: (1) achievement gap - our lower income black students are performing less well than others, though not necessarily poorly as compared to the state; (2) emotional learning; (3) engagement - inclusive community. This campus signifies the value and importance of childhood and ownership by the kids.
- What should we call you? Kids should call me Ms. Hendrie. That’s what I’m used to. I’m trying on parents and teachers calling me by my first name, Giselle, which is new. But Ms. Hendrie is good in front of the kids.
- -The school year is moving to an earlier start in August - next year starts August 12. There will be a meeting at Chabot Elementary, September 29. An email coming with details.
- -Evolve California - working to recall Prop 14 so that we have enough tax revenue for schools - meeting this Saturday.
Upcoming Events on the Peralta Calendar:
Sunday October 22, all afternoon.
We’ll launch a lot more info after the Peralta Fund push. A super fun event for the kids, who walk laps around the school to raise funds in the community (family, friends, neighbors), earn medals, music, food, snow cones, books. We need about 100 volunteers to make it happen. Usually 1.5 hour shifts throughout the day, so multiple people in your family can volunteer. Biggest fundraiser behind the Peralta Fund and the Auction.
Salad Bar. We have salad bar every lunch to supplement the provided school lunches. We’ve started getting our garden produce in there. Big need for volunteers. We can’t have a salad bar if we don’t get a regular salad bar staff.
Watering/Gardening - we need volunteers to water during shifts. We need a watering coordinator to organize the volunteers. It’s simple and already set up, and an opportunity for people who can’t be on campus that much.
The Auction - the Second biggest fundraiser. We have a $45K hole in our planning for the year to get some leadership to make it happen. Planning the auction is admittedly a big job. We need a person to manage the moving parts, but that person doesn’t have to do all the work. We have teams: (1) Procurement (Procurement Lead (starts in November to collect items); Teacher Gift Lead (starts in January to coordinate with room parents); Pay to Play Lead (getting new ideas and soliciting from past items); Gift Smart Lead (team with our technical support)), (2) Party Planning (Catering Lead, Bar Lead, Publicity Lead (an artist with posters and publicity - and costumes/decoration ideas)), (3) Sponsorship Lead to get support from local businesses, and (4) Post Production Manager (tying up loose ends, finalizing sales, thank yous).
Diversity Dinner - A break from the fall fundraising, and giant potluck the first Saturday of November. Other activities in the yard to allow the kids to play and families to get to know each other.
Peralta in Bloom - Spring Festival - We raise money, but the orientation is more towards celebrating spring and a fun kid event without pressure to raise money. Second week of May. We are looking for someone new to run it in upcoming years (this is David Goodwin’s last year coordinating it). We also need someone to coordinate the grill team.
We’ve made a lot of asks. Another way to help is that we need someone to coordinate grants and sponsorships from the community because we would love to also raise money from people that are not us.
Go sign up!