Weekly Digest: 28th March, 2018

Upcoming Events:
– Friday, Mar 30: COFFEE!  Be green and bring your own cup!
See Details Below For: 

– Make your voice heard – Annual Survey
– Math and Science Night
– Mornings at Jefferson
– Library Initiative
– Our School Cares – Grocery Cards Request
– Petition for interior-locking doors: Successful – see below
– Talent Show Coordinator
– Volunteer Spotlight!!


Jefferson’s Annual Survey

PLEASE MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!! We need input from the community about how we are doing here at Jefferson. This year’s survey focuses on school climate, safety and family engagement. Please take 10 minutes to fill the survey out. Thanks.

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Join us for our annual Math & Science Night

Thursday, April 12 from 6-7:30PM in the cafeteria. Kids and families can experiment with sound waves, play math games, engineer a powerful catapult, help build a Rube Goldberg machine, learn about ocean acidification, check out a sheep’s brain and much more! Pizza and salad will be for sale ($4 suggested donation). We could use a few more volunteers (scientists & non-scientists welcome!). Please email Jess at jessica.reich@yahoo.com to get involved.

The Village Group Presents: Art and Music Night!

Friday, April 28th, 6:00-8:00 pm, $10 per family for a delicious Mexican meal

Come and win beautiful artwork made by your kids through the raffle. This is a family event so we hope to see all Jefferson families out to enjoy a night of art, food and music! $10 per family suggested, but pay what you can. All money raised will go to support important PTA activities.

Mornings at Jefferson

Unless it is raining, please remind your kids to stay on the yard and line up when the bell rings (1st bell at 8:12, 2nd bell at 8:15). The teachers are prepping for the day and supervision is provided on the yard. Thanks for supporting us in this.


The Jefferson Library is looking for creative parent volunteers to help with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities during lunch recess. If you have some time to spare, please contact Mrs. Williams at adoriawilliams@berkeley.net.

The lunch recess schedule is: 11:30 to 11:50 pm (Grades K-1), 12:00 to 12:20 (Grades 2-3), and 12:20 to 12:40 (Grades 4-5).


Our School Cares Request – Grocery Cards

Jefferson has a strong tradition of supporting each other in challenging times.  Part of how we do that is that we keep gift cards (i.e., Safeway, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Target) on hand for emergency situations.  Our supply is low so we are putting out a call to the school community.  Can you donate a gift card?  Please drop it by the office and tell Courtney it is for the Our School Cares folder.  You can also order cards online at Whole Foods (which is near the family homeless shelter) or Target and have them mailed to the school: Attention Lily Howell, 1400 Ada St, Berkeley, CA 94702.

Thanks! Your Our School Cares Team


The letter below is in response to the PTA driven petition for interior locking doors on the remaining classrooms. The locks will be installed over spring break.

Re: Interior Locks for Jefferson School

Dear Ms. Loman:

Thank you contacting me regarding your safety concerns for Jefferson Elementary School. Student safety and security is our most important mission. As a District we take pride in providing a safe and secure student friendly environment conducive for teaching and learning.

Much like you and the entire Jefferson student body, I am very concerned about the increased incidents of active shooters on school campuses nationwide. This year alone in this country, we’ve experienced 18 campus shootings. Approximately twice as many shootings as schools experienced the previous year.

As you are aware the district board has specified Columbine-Style locking devices to be installed on our campuses. These devices can be used to quickly secure doors in the event of a lock-down situation.

Currently, we are planning to complete the installation of Columbine-Style locking devices at Jefferson Elementary School during the spring break. The project will cover the remaining 15 doors referenced in your petition regarding classrooms and community spaces. All funding has been secured and budgeted for this project and will not be an impediment to completing this project.

Additionally I am working with staff on a broader more comprehensive District-Wide Student Staff Safety Assessment and Security Upgrades Project. As you’ve mentioned in your petition, this is a serious concern and expediting facilities safety improvements to school campuses is warranted in the current climate on increased school shootings.


Timothy E. White

Executive Director of Facilities Berkeley Unified School District

Talent Show Coordinator Wanted

We have a talent show where the 3rd-5th graders perform at the end of May or beginning of June. We are looking for 1 or 2 folks to run auditions at lunches, prepare a program and manage stage hands (5th graders). The show is MC’ed by students. Please let Mary know atmarycazden@berkeley.net if you are interested.  It is a really fun job!

Volunteer Spotlight–Immediate Need


Limited time commitment for 3 positions. It’s time to nominate next year’s PTA board and we need your help in searching for new faces. Duties include: Obtaining list of roles and responsibilities of positions needing to be filled and searching for potential candidates. This commitment is great for those who would like to make a difference but only have a limited time to commit.  Candidates to be presented to our PTA in April.


Duties include-posting Sign-Up Genius and getting parents involved on the day of MayFair. Time commitment is approximately 1-2 hours a week in April after Spring Break.

Please contact Jill Loman (jvloman@hotmail.com) or Amanda Goodroe (agoodroe@gmail.com) to learn more about the positions and time commitment required.

Be a Volunteer!  What will you get involved in today?