Principal’s Message – October 15th, 2019

It has been one month since the OUSD Board of Education voted to merge Kaiser with Sankofa. Over the past four weeks we have experienced strong emotions and uncertainty. It has been a hard time, yet our community remains strong. The quality and rigor of learning is as rich as ever; we had a fun and successful Walk-a-thon; and we gathered in our Multi Purpose Building for a deeply honest facilitated community conversation.

Although emotions remain strong, it is imperative that we begin the design process. There is a lot of work to do in a relatively short period of time, so the Sankofa and Kaiser communities will launch the design process for joining together as one community this month. Those in the Kaiser and Sankofa communities who participate on the Design Team will make a significant impact on the experience of our children for next year and beyond. For those who are not able to make the full commitment to be on the Design Team, there will be many opportunities to engage and influence. Detailed information is included in this Pink Panther.

This October brings exciting new opportunities as well as established traditions to Kaiser. We have retooled our computer class. Professional Development time has been prioritized to focus on instructional technology and to connect classroom teachers’ goals and objectives with the work of Tanika Brown, who I am excited to announce will be our new computer teacher! (This is a PTA paid position and another example of why fundraising events like our Walk-a-thon, Auction, and snack sales are so important!) This month students will expand their learning on exciting field trips to The Exploratorium, Ardenwood Farm, and “Sailing into Science” on Lake Merritt. And of course the Costume Parade will be on Thursday, October 31st beginning at 1:15 PM. (NOTE: If you would prefer that your child not participate, please let your teacher know so we can plan for a fun alternate activity). As we enter this season, I want to remind families of our healthy snack policy and ask that costumes not include anything that looks like a weapon.

October also brings an opportunity to start building relationships with Sankofa children and families. Inside this Pink Panther is a flier for a community BBQ, which will provide us with the opportunity to break bread and begin to get to know one another. Looking beyond this month, the OUSD Enrollment Window opens in early November and closes on February 7th, 2020. There is no benefit to completing this process early, but it is important not to miss the February 7th end date. In the coming months, 5th grade families should plan to visit middle schools. And of course, all kinder through 4th grade families will want to consider what is best for your child. I expect that most families will choose to stay together in the move to Sankofa, but also respect each family’s individual choice and agency in this decision.

~ Dennis Guikema, Principal