PTA Newsletter - March 25, 2019
Mon, Mar 25 7:21pm
Frank Otis Elementary

March 2019
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,
This is a very busy time for Otis and the school district!
Superintendent Search
As you may know, Superintendent McPhetridge announced his resignation at the February 26th Board meeting. The Board is now working with Leadership Associates, an executive search firm, to find a new superintendent for AUSD. One key part of this process is stakeholder input. The consultants will be holding an open community forum on March 27th at 6:30 pm in the Otis MPR. If you can't attend the forum, you can complete this survey to give feedback. 
The Otis staff is so proud of fifth grade teacher Ms. Galvez. She will be running the Boston Marathon on April 15. Hoot Hoot Hooray Ms. Galvez! You amaze us!
State Testing
Students in grades third, fourth and fifth grades will soon be taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) for English language arts (ELA) and math. Fifth grade students will also take a science assessment. AUSD's testing window will run from April 29-May 22. Teachers will communicate their specific testing days to families.
The SBAC is a Common Core State Standards aligned summative assessment. For more information please CLICK HERE.

The California Education Code section 60615 states that parents/guardians may annually submit a written request to the principal of their student's school if they do not wish to have their student take any or all tests. If a parent or guardian submits an exemption request after testing  has begun, any test(s) completed before the request is submitted will be scored and the results reported to the parent or guardian and included in the pupil's records AUSD teachers and schools support students to do well on the tests and help them learn test-taking skills that will enable them to be successful throughout their school career and beyond. We encourage parents to contact their child's teacher or principal with any concerns they may have about the test before they request that their student be excluded from taking the test(s). 
The fence and bathroom projects are still set to start on March 28th.
Have a wonderful week!
Principal Tanya Harris
~Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Your Best

We still have several open positions for next year's board. Check out the table below to learn what roles are available and the responsibilities assigned to each one. 
As with any board position, the role is what you make of it. The descriptions below detail the official function of each role; but beyond that, the work is what you put into it. We are looking for board members who want to bring their creativity, time, and energy to the table to ensure that Otis remains a great place for our kids, teachers, and entire school community. If you are remotely curious or interested about any of these positions, please contact the board member currently in the role to learn more, or contact Beth Aney who is heading up the Nominating Committee.
We need to vote on our new slate of board members at our next PTA meeting on April 18. Please let us know if you're interested in making a tremendous difference at Otis and becoming a board member!  We must have a President, Secretary and Treasurer for the PTA to operate - please help and step up for one of these important roles.
Responsible for leading PTA toward specific goals chosen by its members. Creates agendas for, and is presiding officer, at Board and Association Meetings. For more information, contact current President, Jenny Beck at
Responsible for supporting the President and working in partnership with the President to ensure that the board is working toward stated fundraising and programmatic goals. For more information, contact current Executive Vice President, Beth Aney at
Keeps an accurate, concise, permanent record of proceedings at all PTA Board and Association Meetings. For more information, contact current Secretary, Beth Leonardo at
Conducts an annual Membership and Direct Donation Campaign. For more information, contact current VP of Membership, Jennifer Yip, at
Responsible for performing a Mid-Year and Year-End Audit of the financial books and records in accordance with PTA guidelines. For more information, contact the current Auditor, Brina Siv, at
Responsible for collecting the number of PTA volunteer hours of service and preserving a record of PTA activities and achievements for the year. For more information on the position, contact Nick de Vries, at



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! Be sure to ask your student about what they learned this week. 

There are still opportunities to volunteer - we need at least 4 volunteers for each class and we don't have all slots filled yet. Please Click HERE to see the  2019 Ability Awareness Volunteer Schedule. Please sign up!

Thank you,
Jackie JacksonDaley, AAW Coordinator


Please join us on Thursday, March 28 from 6:30-8:00pm in the Media Center for the next Soul Shoppe Parent Workshop. 
Free childcare in Room 102. 

SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 2019 6-11PM
Top 6 Reasons to buy your Solid Gold Gala tickets TODAY!
1.  Solid Gold Gala attendees have first dips on signing up to attend parties donated by Otis family hosts.
2.  Amazing live auction items only available at the event. Items such as: 
  • A ride for six aboard the SF Fire Dept. Fireboat!
  • A two-night stay at Costanoa resort in Pescadero!
  • A tour for eight of Pixar Animation Studios!A decked-out Alameda party at the gorgeous Phoenix event space, with help celebrating from DJ WorkR, Tacos Sinaloa, and Alana Dill facepainting!
  • Disneyland tickets! (this donation thanks to the efforts of Otis' Community Service Club)
  • Plus, kids' camps, wine tours & tastings, family photo sessions, restaurant and retail gift cards, museum & theater tickets, hair styling, and so much more.

3.  Gifts from the Heart - special experiences with teachers like these: Ms. Harris Walks You to School! * Private Karate Lesson with Mr. Slauson * Weekend STEAM Lab with Mr. Jerrold * Razzmatazz Pizza Party at Lunchtime with Second-grade Teachers * Movie Night with Ms. Chapman * Park Street Outing with Ms. Carling * Gaming & Goodies with Fourth-grade Teachers * Bowling & Burgers with Ms. Galvez * Color Me Mine Outing with Ms. Manya and Ms. La Shonda * Movie Night with First-grade Teachers * Paper Crafting & Card-making with Ms. Goodwin * Baking with Kinder Teachers * Pizza Party with Dessert & Games with Third-grade Teachers * Huckleberry Preserve Hike with Mr. Jerrold * and more! Again, only available at the event.

 4. A night to celebrate all your hard work supporting students in the 2018-19 school year.

 5. The chance to shake your groove thang on the dance floor with teachers and friends.

 6. THE DEADLINE TO PURCHASE TICKETS IS TODAY! Get them before they're all gone.


Thursday, April 11 
6:30pm-8pm in the MPR 

Come to Alameda's premier art event: 
Art a la Mode!
MARVEL at the 600+ pieces of student art on display!
GET INVOLVED at our community art table, making cards for Meals on Wheels (hosted by the Community Service Club).
EAT delicious Rita's Italian Ice ($5/each - bring cash!) Proceeds go to Otis.
(The Green Team encourages families to bring your own bowls and spoons in order to reduce waste.)
GAZE IN WONDER at the 21019 Collaborative Art Pieces by each class!
VOTE for which Collaborative Pieces go up for live auction!
CELEBRATE our artists' creativity. 
This event is not to be missed! Every student will have a piece of art on display. 
The 2019 Collaborative Art Pieces by each class will make their debut at Art a la Mode before being auctioned at Spring Fling on April 27th. Art a la Mode is your one and only chance to get a sneak peek at these must-have, priceless art pieces. 
See you there!


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


All orders are due by APRIL 17, 2019! 
To Order a yearbook go to:
Enter CODE: 32685M  
WE NEED PICTURES!! Upload your pictures from CARNIVAL, ASSEMBLIES, FIELD TRIPS, and MATH & SCIENCE NIGHT, ABILITY AWARENESS WEEK! To upload pictures, clicking on this link:



Hello all! This is Elina Graham, and I'm the Otis Alumni who is running the book drive. I've gathered so many books already thanks to your generous donations, and I'm getting closer to reaching my goal of 500 new and like new books for the East Bay Children's Book Project. 

This is the third and final week of the drive, so there is still time to donate. If you have any new or gently used books for toddlers, babies, elementary, middle, and high school aged children that you would like to donate to the cause, please drop them off in the bin by the office. Thank you! 


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:


Click HERE for more information.



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.


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



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