PTA Newsletter - March 18, 2019
Mon, Mar 18 4:19pm
Frank Otis Elementary

March 2019
March 21st, Thursday
-PTA Meeting, 7:00pm, Media Center
March 22nd, Friday
-Early Release Day - 12:30pm dismissal for all grades
March 25th-29th
-Ability Awareness Week, Media Center
March 27th, Wednesday
-Equity & Inclusion Meeting, 6:00pm, Media Center
March 28th, Thursday
-Soul Shoppe Parent Workshop, 6:30-8:00pm, Media Center
March 29th, Friday
-School Spirit Day - "Animal Day"
April 2019
April 1st - 5th
-Spring Break - NO SCHOOL!
April 11th, Thursday
-Art a la Mode (student art exhibition), 6:30pm, MPR
April 18th, Thursday
-PTA Meeting, 7:00pm, Media Center (childcare in room 102)
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

Dear Families,
I hope you all had a lovely weekend with time to enjoy the sun. It was fun to see a handful of folks Saturday afternoon walking along the beach.
Staff Development
Friday, March 22nd is an early release day for all students. Teachers will attend staff development, and many will need to leave Otis to go to another site. Please arrange for your child(ren ) to be picked up at 12:30pm.
Construction Update
The fence and the student bathrooms are finally happening, and the work on both projects will happen simultaneously. Construction will start on March 28th, and work will occur during spring break. It is anticipated that both projects will be completed before we leave for summer break.
An ornamental fence (much like Edison Elementary) will surround the perimeter of the school, and there will be a six-foot automatic gate that separates the blacktop from the bark park. Students will still have access to Krusi during their school day and the community will have access to the blacktop during non-school hours. 
The student bathrooms will be located near the 4th/5th grade building. There will be a girls and boys bathroom.
A skateboard rack will be installed near the bike racks closest to the MPR.
Safety Around School
As part of our safety plan, all exterior doors, including the front door must remain closed and classroom doors are to be locked during school hours. Visitors should enter through the front door and must sign in at the front office.
Please remember that there is no adult supervision on the playground until 8:10 am. Students should not be dropped of before then.
We encourage students and families to walk or ride to school, but ALL wheels need to be walked on the blacktop. This is for the safety of all.
We love animals, but please, no dogs on school grounds during school hours. This includes the blacktop and the hallways/corridors. Please be considerate of barking dogs during our Monday morning assemblies. Thank you for understanding.
Have a wonderful week!
Principal Tanya Harris
~Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Your Best

The next PTA meeting is this Thursday in the Media Center starting at 7:00pm. Principal Michael Hans from Lincoln Middle School will be a guest speaker and will give an overview of the LMS program and take questions from parents. We will also review the budget and get an update from the Spring Fling planning committee. Please join us! Free childcare in Room 102. 
The Nominating Committee is looking for people to step up and join the PTA Executive Board for next school year. Serving on the Executive Board in any role is an opportunity for you to connect more deeply with fellow parents, get to know Otis better, and support our kids/teachers in a meaningful way. 
The following Board positions are open for next year:
If you are interested in serving Otis and this amazing community, or would like to be part of the Nominating Committee, contact Beth Aney for more information. 


March 25th to March 29th

What is Ability Awareness Week?
It is an interactive, hands-on, multi-sensory experience designed to help students increase awareness about what it is like to live with a variety of disabilities. Some may be familiar to them, some may not, so our goal is to increase awareness and empathy. We also focus on creating a space for dialogue, teaching that it is okay to be curious about individual differences and show how communication fosters connection!.

Our students really enjoy Ability Awareness Week and look at it as one of the highlights of the year!

This is an entirely volunteer-led program and we need parent help to make AAW Week a success. As a volunteer you lead small groups of students through an easy, guided experience and foster dialogue as it comes up. You do not have to be an expert in awareness of differing abilities! All you need is a willingness to participate, your curiosity and your enthusiasm!

Click  HERE to see the  2019 Ability Awareness Volunteer Schedule. Please sign up!

Thank you,
Jackie JacksonDaley, AAW Coordinator


March is Women's History Month. The Otis Equity & Inclusion Committee is glad to announce that in cooperation with the PTA, we'll be providing each teacher with a book of their choice that can be used to introduce and discuss different women in history. 

Be on the lookout for a bulletin board that highlights the contributions of some these amazing women both past and present. 


"Pi" Night last Thursday was a great success, thanks to the leadership of Jeff Chorney and the Dad's Club who organized the event, and our group of station leaders who led students and family members through STEM activities. 
Big highlights included testing our own DNA, dissecting owl pellets, playing prediction games, watching a model earthquake in motion, making estimations,  peering at worms under the microscope, and flying paper airplanes. Thank you to all involved for another great Otis night!

SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 2019 6-11PM
This year we are offering tickets on a sliding scale to enable more people to attend. The standard ticket price is $50/person, however, the actual cost of the event is $80/person. When you purchase your ticket, select the Standard Ticket ($50 for Individual tickets, $100 for Couple Ticket). If you can contribute more than the standard ticket price, we ask that you add what you can in the "Choose Your Sliding Scale Add-On" field below your ticket selection. Your ticket add-on assures that costs are covered and all silent and live auction proceeds benefit valuable PTA programming!
  • Open seating
  • Sliding scale pricing
  • Open Seating for 2 people
  • Shared program and bidder number
  • Sliding scale pricing
VIP TABLE $800 (Hurry! Tables are selling fast!)
  • Reserved table in prime location for 8 people
  • Includes bubbly and swag!
We are still accepting donations for the auction. Interested in hosting a party or donating an item or service, or know someone who is? Contact Neveen Acero, Beth Leonardo or Kristan LaVietes for more information. All donations to the Otis auction are tax-deductible.

The countdown to Solid Gold fun begins!


Owlapalooza & 5th Grade Owl Drawing Contest
This year's first place winner is ANNA ZHIDAN HUAN from Ms. Smith's class. Her artwork was displayed on the 2019 Owlapalooza poster and t-shirt.
Honorable mentions go to: Safa Asim and Pamela Smith from Ms. Goodwin's class, Milo Meuser from Ms. Galvez's class, and Annika Andersen from Ms. Smith's class. Congratulations to all! 
In our excitement last week, we inadvertently left off a few participants and volunteers who helped make the event a great success: Many thanks to Chuck Kapelke, Matt McLean, Carlo Balboni, Roy Robles and Matt Martin for your music, time and energy. Thank you to our very talented karaoke singers who helped start what we hope to be a new tradition at Owlapalooza: Genesis, Hazel, Emma, Catherine, Rye and Daisy. 


Otis Night Out With the Oakland A's! 
May 10, 2019 - 6:35pm
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


AUSD Strategic Planning Feedback Wanted
AUSD is about to begin a strategic planning process covering a wide range of district-wide initiatives and polices (including student social-emotional wellness, college and career readiness, dual enrollment options, employee compensation, early childhood education, and district facilities). Before the process begins, the Board wants to review the district's mission and vision and hear from all stakeholders about what they think the district should focus on moving forward.
The District is asking community members to review and respond to AUSD's current mission and vision statement. At our last PTA meeting, we reviewed and discussed these statements, but we want to make sure the entire Otis community is given a chance to give feedback.
We believe that our diverse community of students, given a rigorous program in an inclusive, safe, and secure environment, will be prepared to be responsible citizens.
Alameda Unified School District will effectively use our limited resources to ensure that every student succeeds.
After reviewing these statements, the District is asking the community to answer three questions:
(1)   What sticks out to you?
(2)   What is important to you?
(3)   What is missing from these statements?
At our last PTA meeting, we compared AUSD's vision and mission statements to those of other local districts, including Oakland, Richmond and Berkeley. To read the other vision and mission statements and make your own comparisons, click here.
Please forward your constructive comments via email to or send them to Susan Davis, Senior Manager Community Affairs, 2060 Challenger Drive, Alameda 94501.


The Box Top$ for Education collection bins are in the classrooms. Please continue to bring in Box Top$. The next collection is after Spring Break.  Thank you for supporting Otis!


TerraCycle® and Dixon have partnered to create a free recycling program for Ticonderoga, Prang, and Lyra art supplies and writing instruments.
Program accepted waste: Prang Art Markers, Ticonderoga Highlighters, Ticonderoga & Dixon Pencils (mechanical and wood), LYRA & Prang Paint Kits, Prang Crayons, Prang Glue Sticks, Prang & Dixon Erasers, and Prang & LYRA Colored Pencils.

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!

Terracycle has partnered with Hasbro Toys to recycle used, broken toys! 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 BATTERIESbefore 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: March 26 at 6:30pm (City Hall).
  • Click HERE for the agenda.


Alameda Education Foundation 
After School Enrichment at Otis

The next round of AEF after school enrichment classes will start after Spring Break. To review Otis's schedule and to sign up, please CLICK HERE.  Classes include Yoga, Tennis, Art, LEGO, Claymation! Enjoy! 
Questions? Please email:


Whole Kid
Camp EDMO™ for Pre-K-8th Graders
At Camp EDMO™, kids develop their creative capacity, unleash their inner scientist, and plumb the mysteries of the natural world. They lose themselves in STEAM-infused activities designed in concert with experts from brilliant museums.
Young people are inspired to accept themselves and others, push their boundaries with confidence and, most importantly, act with real kindness and compassion. Kids grow on lots of levels.  
This entire experience is the product of the EDMO Method™ we've been perfecting since 2004. Your kids will love it, and they'll learn from it. 
2019 age-targeted sessions include; Critter Kingdom, Tiny Techies, Curious Chemists, Roblox Action Academy, Minecraft Code Masters, YouTube Star, Ecology College, and more. Click HERE for the camp brochure.
Learn more and enroll at


Free Bike Classes!
Bike East Bay is offering a series of free cycling classes for adults and children in Alameda over the next several months. Classes include Urban Cycling 101, Theft Prevention, Bike Commuting Basics, Biking After Dark, and Family Cycling Workshops. Click HERE for the flyer. Learn more and register HERE.
Yu Ying Learning Center
The Yu Ying Learning Center offers an after school enrichment program for children in grades TK-6th grade. Activities include homework, outdoor play, arts and crafts, roboctics, theater, and a Mandarin immersion program. Weekend and summer programs are also available. Call (510) 863-1651 or click HERE for more information and/or to register.




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