PTA Newsletter - April 15, 2019
Mon, Apr 15 2:15pm
Frank Otis Elementary


PTA Meeting - Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 7:00pm
April 2019
April 18th, Thursday
-PTA Meeting, 7:00pm, Media Center (childcare in room 102)
April 22nd-26th, Monday through Friday
-Earth Week
April 24th, Wednesday
-Equity & Inclusion Meeting, 6:00pm, Media Center
April 25th, Thursday
-Soul Shoppe Parent Workshop, 6:30-8:00pm, Media Center
April 26th, Friday
-School Spirit Day - "Crazy Hair Day!
April 27th, Saturday
-Spring Auction (adults only), 6pm-11pm, Grandview Pavillion
May 2019
May 2nd, Thursday
-Birds & Bees Parent Workshop - (Nurturing Positive Identity), 6:30-8:30pm, Media Center (childcare in room 102) 
May 6th-10th, Monday through Friday
- Teacher Appreciation Week 
May 8th, Wednesday
-5th Grade Promotion Photos
May 10th, Friday
-A's Baseball Game, 6:35pm, Oakland Coliseum 
May 13th, Monday
-Bike to School Day, 8:20am, Otis Blacktop
May 16th, Thursday
-Otis Open House, 6:30-7:30pm, Otis classrooms
May 19th, Sunday
-Alameda Bike Fest & Rodeo, 9:00am-3:00pm, Otis Blacktop
May 22nd, Wednesday
-Volunteer Tea, 2:00pm
-Equity & Inclusion Meeting, 6:00-7:00pm, Media Center (childcare in room 102)
May 23rd, Thursday
-PTA Meeting, 7:00pm, Media Center (childcare in room 102)
May 27th, Monday
-Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL!
May 31st, Friday
-School Spirit Day - "Beach Day"
-Family Pride Potluck, 6:30-8:00pm, Otis Blacktop/MPR

June 2019
June 5th-7th, Wednesday through Friday
-Minimum Days: 12:30pm dismissal for all grades 
June 6th, Thursday
- 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony, 10:30am, MPR
June 7th, Friday
Dear Owl Families,
It was lovely to see so many families at Art a la Mode. The artwork is simply amazing, and I was blown away by all of the creativity. I expect a pretty intense bidding war at Solid Gold!
It is officially springtime, and we have taken advantage of the lovely weather by picnicking in the park during lunch. Fingers crossed the weather holds so we can stay outside. Everyone is their best when we are out in the fresh air.
Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Your Best - Traffic Style
We have had neighborhood concerns regarding parking during drop off and pick up. Our neighbors' driveways have been blocked or garbage cans have been tossed aside. I completely understand the morning rush, but it is important to be safe, kind, and our best when it comes to bringing our kids to school. Please follow the Owls Behind the Wheel guidelines and be aware of where you are parking, do not leave your car unattended in the drop off/pick up loading zones, and make sure to give a smile and a thank you to our amazing safety patrol! 
Construction Update
Good news...the bathroom and fence projects have begun and so far we are on schedule.
State Testing
Third, Fourth, and Fifth grade students will participate in SBAC testing. SBAC is a state assessment that is aligned to California Common Core State Standards for English/language arts, math, and Fifth grade science. During the testing windows (see below), please make sure that your child gets enough rest, eats healthy, and attends school.
SBAC Testing Windows:
3rd Grade - week of April 29 and May 6
4th Grade - May 14, 15, 21, 22
5th Grade - April 30, May 1, 2, 7, 8, 9
Have a wonderful week!
~Tanya Harris, Principal
Be Safe, Be Kind, and Be Your Best!
PTA Meeting - Thursday, April 18 at 7pm
Please come and welcome in our new slate of board members! We will announce the slate of nominees to the Executive Board for next school year, with elections to be held at the last PTA meeting of the year on May 23. Jessie Seyfer will share the results of our PTA Fundraising and Spending Survey, which will help inform our fundraising and spending decisions for the coming year. Finally, we will usher in Earth Week (starting April 22) with a visit from Jeanine Sidron from StopWaste (and the Go Green Lead at Edison) to answer all of our questions about what can be recycled and composted and what happens to our waste when it leaves our curb. Come with questions about your trash! Hope to see many of you there!
Art a la Mode
It is no secret that Otis has incredibly talented, creative, and hardworking young artists and Art a la Mode was their opportunity to shine for the entire school community. We hope you had a chance to see your child's work on display, vote on our (always) incredible collaborative classroom projects, and make cards for Meals on Wheels clients at our the art table hosted by our Community Service Committee. We want to send a HUGE shout-out to Rachel Wilson and Abby Williams, the event co-leads, who worked so hard to make this event so successful. Kristan LaVietes and Chris Camozzi helped wrangle and organize the Collaborative Art pieces; and Neveen AceroCaephren McKenna and Jennifer Yip kept us satiated with ice cream from Rita's. Thank you Emily Nurthen for your support on the night and for volunteering to co-chair the event next year! Our Community Service Committee table was hosted by a group of fantastic teens - Isabel ConnorsJake GuthmoreElliot LaTorre and James O'Brien.
School Parent Survey
Our school needs your feedback! Please take 5 minutes to complete this anonymous parent survey designed to provide teachers, administrators, and other school staff with information directly from parents that can be used to foster positive learning and teaching environments, parent involvement, and student achievement, health, and well-being. Please complete the survey by April 19. Thanks for your time!
Hope to see you at the PTA Meeting this Thursday! Have a great week!
Jenny Beck, PTA President           
For the month of April, with support from the PTA, the Otis Equity and Inclusion Committee is providing each teacher with the opportunity to pick one book by Latinx authors that celebrate Latinxs contributions to our country. 
Latinx (la-TEEN-ex) (the plural is Latinxs) is the gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina. Used by scholars, activists and an increasing number of journalists, Latinx has gained popularity among the general public. It's part of a "linguistic revolution" that aims to move beyond gender binaries and is inclusive of the intersecting identities of Latin American descendants. In addition to men and women from all racial backgrounds, Latinx also makes room for people who are trans, queer, agender, non-binary, gender non-conforming or gender fluid. Latinx gives people a way to avoid choosing a gender for a group or an unknown individual, much like using singular "they" avoids the choice between "he" or "she" in English. 
To Order a yearbook go to:
Enter CODE: 32685M  
Tickets are sold, donations are in, and the collaborative art pieces have been voted on for the live auction. Now, it's time to pick out your outfit and sign up to help on the day of the event.
There are many opportunities to participate - we need help with collecting donated deserts from local bakeries, venue set up, managing the desert auction, selling balloon pops, and clean up, to name a few - PLEASE sign up HERE.
Not sure what to wear and looking for inspiration? Check out our Solid Gold Pinterest Board.

And if you are coming to the Gala, please RSVP to the Solid Gold Gala Facebook Event page in Otis Elementary Parents Facebook Page. We'll be taking music requests, sharing outfit ideas, and making general merriment leading up to the dazzling event.
At Otis we give the earth a whole week of our attention and celebration. Keep your eyes peeled for Earth Week activities and drives happening next week. Our focus this year is on reducing/recycling/reusing plastics to keep them out of the bay and our oceans. Here is a preview of what's to come:
Classroom Plastic Bag Collection (April 22-26)
We ask that students bring plastic bags and wraps to their classrooms where teachers and Room Parents will collect these and help keep them out of landfills. We can take plastic bags from takeout/delivery restaurants, retail stores, market produce bags, airpacks (popped) that come in shipped packages, and plastic film that paper towels, tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls, and dry cleaning bags, as well as any plastic bags that certain vegetables or fruit come in, such as onions (yes, the mesh bags), grapes, bananas, lettuce/bag salad, etc.
Used Sneaker Drive (April 15 - 26)
It's back! Donate your old, worn out or smelly athletic shoes to be recycled into playground material! Just place your shoes in the bin by the school office. We can only accept athletic shoes. No boots, sandals, dress shoes, cleats, etc. Click HERE for the flyer. 
Terracycle Voting (April 2 - May 3)
Last year, Otis Owls earned $67 for all of our Terracycle efforts. This year, we more than quadrupled this amount, raising $327 dollars that Terracycle will donate to an earth-friendly charity of our choice! Great job Owls!! There will be ballot boxes in the Main Office during this time and anyone can vote for the charity of their choice. We will announce the winner at an upcoming Morning Meeting.
Neighborhood Clean Up Project (April 27th, 10:30-12pm)
Join other Otis families as we work our way through our neighborhood, picking up trash that could otherwise make its way into the storm drains, hurting animals and plant life. We will start at the school, then work our way up Park Street and celebrate our work with an ice cream at Tucker's! Green Team will supply the gloves, bags and some trash picker-uppers.
Looking forward to celebrating Earth Week with all of you!
~The Otis Green Team
Otis Night Out With the Oakland A's! 
May 10, 2019 - 6:35pm
LAST CALL FOR TICKETS! Join Otis families to watch the A's take on the Cleveland Indians and then stay for the Hip Hop fireworks show after the game. Seats are in section 312 so you can stay put to watch the fireworks, or make your way down to the field. 
Tickets are $22/each. Click HERE to buy tickets now! Questions? Contact Kimberly Kato Chambliss
Bring in used pens and markers (including sharpies, ball point pens, and dry erase markers) and put them in the box inside the office. You'll find the special box on top of the pencil dispenser across from LaShonda's desk. We go through lots of pens and markers - let's keep them out of the landfill!
There is a bin for this in front of the main office. The toys DO NOT have to be strictly Hasbro brand, and can include stuffed animals (which we all know cannot be donated), board games, electronic toys & games, metal/plastic/wood toys & games, action figures, dolls, etc.

PLEASE REMEMBER!!! REMOVE ALL BATTERIES before recycling. Also NO car seats, skateboards, bikes, scooters, or things of that nature. This is a pilot program, so take advantage and clear out those broken and unwanted toys now! This program will continue until further notice. 
Click HERE to sign up to receive newsletters and other important information from AUSD. 
  • Next Board of Education Meeting: April 23 at 6:30pm (City Hall).
  • Click HERE for the agenda.
AUSD Superintendent Search: Leadership Associates, a consultant hired to coordinate the search process for a new AUSD Superintendent, developed an online survey designed to collect feedback about the desired characteristics of the next superintendent. Please take the time to provide your input! The survey is available here and is open through April 20. Please also check the AUSD Superintendent Search page for ongoing updates and important announcements regarding the superintendent search process.
Everyone Belongs Here Poster Contest: Every Pronoun Belongs Here  
Through your original art and writing show that whether you use she, he, they, or ze, or hir pronouns, you are part of our community, a citizen, and accept all citizens. The contest is open to 4th -12th graders. Contestants can write a poem, design a poster, or both. Awards will be given to winners grades 4-8 and 9-12. The overall winning poster will be displayed in AUSD schools and offices. 
Submissions are due April 30, 2019 and can be sent to Susan Davis at the AUSD district office (2060 Challenger Drive, Alameda, CA, 94501) or to Gene Kahane at Books, Inc. on Park St. Direct questions to All entries must have: name, school, teacher, email and phone number.
Alameda Education Foundation 
AEF's Salute To Education! Celebrate the great work going on in Alameda's public schools by students, teachers, staff, and volunteers. Join AEF for Alameda's premier event honoring our schools on Friday, May 3, 2019 from  6:00 - 9:00 PM at Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave, Alameda. Purchase tickets HERE.
Participate in the Safe Routes to Schools Parent
Survey to Win Prizes
Throughout the school year, our school community enjoys the free programming the Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) Program delivers to our students, such as Walk and Roll to School Day, and Bike to School Day. Now you can help improve the program! Please participate in the SR2S Parent/Caregiver Survey
Our partners at SR2S are constantly working to better serve our families' travel needs and these surveys help gauge the impact of the program in our school community. The survey is available in English, Chinese and Spanish. If you need to complete the survey in a different language, please send a request to surveys@alamedacountysr2s.orgThe survey only takes about 5 minutes to complete.
Complete the survey by April 26, 2019 to be entered into a drawing to win one of two $250 grocery store gift cards.
OTIS 101
Ever wonder what a room parent does, what "MPR" means, how the money from PTA fundraising events is used, or what's what at Otis?  If so, you will find this guide to be a helpful resource and reference guide.  It's also posted on the school website at for easy reference.  Please take a few minutes to read Otis 101 so you're up to speed!

Questions?  Please contact any member of the PTA Executive Board for more information. 
To contact Otis PTA Outlook, please send an e-mail to, or hit reply to this newsletter. These emails will go directly to the Editor's personal in-box. 

Thank you, 
Outlook Editor