White Oaks Weekly - September 13, 2020

From the Principal

Dear White Oaks Families,

At White Oaks, we’re excited to continue to use Reader’s Workshop during distance learning to support literacy learning for each child. The reading workshop is one essential component of a balanced literacy program which also includes read alouds, shared reading, interactive writing, and shared writing.  A workshop method blends direct teaching and carefully selected anchor texts with time for students to read and think about self-selected books.

When observing a workshop lesson in action, you will notice a whole class mini lesson to teach targeted strategies. Asynchronous videos of mini-lessons are used to support the teaching of workshop virtually while we are in distance learning. Students will practice strategies either in breakout rooms reading with a partner or with the teacher. Teachers confer with individual or small groups of students to teach them the next step to move them forward in their reading. Independent reading is an essential part of workshop, so you might see readers sitting with piles of “just right” books during their independent reading time and students “stopping and jotting” to show their thinking while reading. 

Living the Life of an Avid Reader
Our goal is to guide each student to live the life of an avid reader, opening doors to big thinking. These skills translate not only to enjoyment, but also to essential learning. We know that how frequently a child reads self-selected books is a key predictor of academic success.

Avid readers:

  • Set aside a time and place each day for reading
  • Have a set of self-selected books “ready to go” so one book is followed by the next
  • Know how to choose a “right fit” book across genres, and push themselves to read broadly across fiction and nonfiction
  • Think as they read, and talk with others to grow big ideas
  • Grow their stamina as readers, learning to attend to a text for increasing periods of time
  • Embrace journeys through text, following sparks and questions into new books

Helping at Home
A child’s reading life is richest when it spans home and school. Here are some ways you can help at home:

  • Set up a place for books that your child can access
  • Develop reading routines and places where your child feels cozy reading every day
  • Ensure that a “next” book is always waiting! Discover little free libraries in your neighborhood, or trade books with friends. Get your child a library card and make regular visits. Visit local bookstores and our online school Book Fair. Watch for the classroom book orders. 
  • Model reading so that your child sees you as a reader
  • Read together: Even when children become proficient readers, enjoy books as a family. As children grow, enjoy a family novel together. Talk and wonder together!
  • Look for communications from your classroom teacher 

In order to help parents with supporting their children at home in their reading journey, the district has created parent education videos that focus on specific reading strategies. You will find these on our SCSD website - Parent/Community - Parent Education. Parents should consider looking at the grade level below for strategies for varying instructional levels.

In addition to Reader’s Workshop, teachers are using Lexia Core5 Reading which provides supports in differentiating literacy instruction for students of all abilities in grades pre-K–5. Lexia uses an explicit, systematic, personalized learning, targeting skill gaps as they emerge, and providing teachers with data and student-specific resources they can use for individual or small-group instruction.

Thank you for your partnership. We look forward to supporting your child’s growing success as a reader and thinker!


Leah Scholer, Principal

P.S. Students! Sign Up to Participate in Welcome Wednesday!

School News and Events

Joining Together for Student Success!
The White Oaks PTA and the San Carlos Education Foundation (SCEF) invite you to be a part of TeamKid, a joint fundraising campaign to support our schools.

By giving to your school's PTA and SCEF, you are helping to bridge the gap between CA state funding and the educational excellence our students deserve. Join the TeamKid movement by making your PTA donation this fall and planning your SCEF donation at a time that works best for your family.

Our goal is 100% participation and we are grateful for your generous donations large and small! TeamKid suggested donations are $125 per student to PTA, and $1,500 per student to SCEF. Join TeamKid HERE.

Earn Free Money for the White Oaks PTA!
AmazonSmile and eScrip are simple and automatic ways for you to support the White Oaks PTA every time you shop. Please use the link to AmazonSmile in the left margin of the WOW and Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase to our school (please note that our school receives more if you use this WOW link). Create a bookmark and make it easy to remember. Please also use eScrip to register your store cards and credit cards, and then earn money for our school when you shop.

Anti-Racism Team
Hello and welcome back to school from the Anti-Racism Team. We are a newly formed Idea Team at White Oaks.

The team is a work in progress and we welcome any and all ideas and collaboration from parents and the community at large. Our initial approach is three-fold, which includes areas where we can implement immediate change and others that will take continuous time and effort to develop.

  1. Advocacy - Advocate for larger system and process changes within the district and eventually the state level.
  2. Education - Provide education tools for parents, teachers, staff and students to identify and combat racism within our own school.
  3. Visibility - Increase visibility of BIPOC for our White Oaks students through books and activities that celebrate BIPOC voices and cultures, as well as raise the voices of BIPOC within White Oaks by providing them a safe way to share their experiences in the school through engagement and collaboration with teachers, students, parents, the school board and other entities with power.

We are committed to providing advocacy, support and educational development. If you have interest or expertise in these areas, we’d love to hear from you! Please email us at woarideasteam@gmail.com.

SCEF News and Events

Join the TeamKid Movement!
This Fall, more than ever, our great San Carlos Schools need us. This past summer, SCEF and school PTA leaders decided to collaborate to raise much-needed support for our students. Working together, we can create the best experience possible for our eager students and outstanding teachers. The TeamKid campaign is a result of this cooperation.

Through your two-fold commitment to SCEF and PTA, you’ll be supporting the local-level funding that bridges the gap between the needs of San Carlos Schools, and our CA state funding*. Your school will benefit from your contribution to PTA as a donor, member, and advocate. As always, your school will continue to have important programs and people funded by the grant from SCEF.

The goal is 100% participation, so please donate at whatever level is possible for you. Join TeamKid by making your PTA donation this fall and planning your SCEF donation for a date that works best for your family.

*Click here for a short video to learn more about how San Carlos schools are funded.

District News and Events

Wildfire Safety Resources From Our School Counselors
Natural Disasters: Helping Kids During Crisis

  • Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.
  • Limit exposure to television and the news.
  • Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.
  • Listen to kids’ fears and concerns.
  • Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.
  • Parents and adults need to first deal with and assess their own responses to crisis and stress.
  • Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.

CDC: Stay Safe During a Wildfire

Parent Education Event: The Anti-Racist Parent with Victor Rios, PhD
We are proud to be partnering with the Parent Venture Series, an extension of the Parent Education Series, to bring high-quality, engaging speakers and programs to our community. This year, all events will be online and free!

The next event in the series will take place next Tuesday, September 15, 2020 from 12:00-1:00pm featuring Victor Rios, PhD, discussing The Anti-Racist Parent: Engaging Youth Through an Equity and Justice Framework. Click here for information and tickets (a Zoom link will be provided upon registration).

Soon you will be able to subscribe to the Parent Venture Series newsletters, and we will also post all events on the SCSD website. In the meantime, check out the links above to learn about upcoming events.

Community News and Events

Healthy Cities Tutoring - Become a Tutor!
Join our community of volunteers who range in age from 14-96 and provide one-on-one tutoring and mentoring to students for 30-45 minutes per week to improve their academic performance, engagement in learning, and self-esteem. This year with distance learning we are seeking volunteers willing to be trained in tutoring a student remotely once a week. We expect the need to grow this year and hope you or someone you know will get involved in this rewarding volunteer experience.

If you are interested in learning more, please mark your calendar for our annual new tutor orientation & training which will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, September 15. There are two identical sessions, 10-11am OR 7-8pm. Please RSVP via the links to attend whichever time is most convenient for you.

For more information to become a Healthy Cities tutor, visit healthycitiestutoring.org and click VOLUNTEER to complete the online application or email info@healthycitiestutoring.org.

Healthy Cities Tutoring is recruiting volunteers – Reach a child. Touch a Family.

San Carlos Park & Rec Virtual Paint Night - Sep 19
Gather your family or bring a friend and join us for a Virtual Family Paint Night from the comfort of your home from 4-5:30pm. Our instructor will guide you through all the creative steps and techniques necessary to develop a unique, colorful painting. Art kits sponsored by the Parks & Rec Foundation are available for pickup at the Youth Center. Open to ages 6+, fee: $35/per person.

For more information email cmatoso@cityofsancarlos.org and to register visit: cityofsancarlos.org/register.

National Grandparents Day - 9/13
The Museum of San Carlos History is excited to discover your Grandparents’ stories about growing up and living in San Carlos.

For this fun history project, “Grandparents” can also be your “Grand-neighbor”, a “Grand-Aunt”, a Grand-Uncle” or a “Grand-friend of the family.”

Please spend some time with this “Grand” person asking questions about their cherished memories of San Carlos in the 30s/40s/50s//60s/70s/80s.

- What did they do on the weekend with their friends?
- Where was the “cool” hangout?
- What made their neighborhood special?
- What are their fond recollections of school?
- What questions about interesting San Carlos topics will you ask?!?!

Please send a recap of that conversation via email to the Museum of San Carlos History. Submissions can include a short video, a written essay, a slide show of photographs, a PowerPoint deck…be as creative as you want. While there really are no “rules”, we do ask that videos not include images of children under 18 years old. Also, videos should be under 5 minutes in length. Submit multiple videos about different topics, if necessary.

Please submit your story of San Carlos history throughout the month of September. The Villagers, the docents of the Museum, will enjoy watching and reading all submissions. The Villagers will determine an interesting and appropriate way to incorporate these stories into the Museum’s history displays.

Happy Grandparents Day! Looking forward to more GRAND stories of San Carlos history! Have fun!