Principal Messages Archive


    Hello from Outdoor Ed January 2022

    Dear fifth grade families,

    Hello from Jones Gulch!  I went up to join our fifth graders today and walk in the redwoods.  After breakfast today, three classes headed to the beach.  The remaining two classes had been to beach day the day before and in our cabin groups we enjoyed a walk in the redwoods and exploration of the natural museum.

    As we walked through the redwood forest to find Big Red we stopped many times to meet "celebretrees" and climb through a Redwood, learn about fires in the forest, and the history of logging.  We met many banana slugs and I re-upped my membership to the Banana Slug Club from when I went to Outdoor Ed as a student.  Students crabwalked down Unfortunate Ulysses, hugged some redwoods, and learned about how the forest grows.

    All students I spoke to at breakfast told me they were surprised how good the food was at Outdoor ed, and explained what they are learning about composting, and decompostion.  I hope you are all doing well, we look forward to welcoming our students back tomorrow.  We estimate that pick up will be at 12:45 pm tomorrow, and we will message you in ParentSquare if it will be earlier or later.

    Alicia Payton-Miyazaki


    Report cards coming home today Nov 2021

    Dear Oak Knoll Parents,

    I am constantly reassured by the efforts of our whole community to make school work for kids, even during these challenging times.  It’s hard to believe that last year at this time we had just returned to a hybrid model of in-person instruction!  Our students are now all attending school every day, seeing specialists in-person including attending Library with Ms. Bennion and PE with Ms. Scheid, preparing for our musicals including the Lion King and Seussical, and enjoying lunch clubs again.  I hope you’ve had time to see my updates in the newsletter, sharing the wonderful learning experiences happening around Oak Knoll.
    Our students are learning and our teachers are teaching under extraordinary circumstances.  Our work this year is focused on supporting students both academically and supporting their social-emotional development.  You have probably seen some updates from our counselor Ms. Scott.  Her work in classrooms helps give students the tools they need to navigate friendships and engage in healthy problem-solving.  We will continue to help all of our students grow in their ability to self-regulate, foster supportive relationships, and make sound decisions.

    On Monday and Tuesday, next week teachers will have time to examine academic student data from the first trimester and learn new skills in supporting all of our students in self-regulation and developing a growth mindset.  Our teachers will also be learning more about a program called RULER from the Yale Center of Emotional Intelligence which we will be rolling out in all of our classrooms over the course of the next few years.

    Our message for this year, Together is our favorite place to be, is alive and well.  We are prioritizing in-person instruction, and to help families keep students in school as much as possible, the PTO has free Binax tests available in the office for families.  In the event that a child has symptoms such as the sniffles, we want to make sure siblings who are symptom-free can attend school by verifying that child is negative for COVID.

    Today your student will be taking home their report card.  We encourage all of our students to reflect on what they have learned this trimester, and where they have had opportunities to stretch their brains.  At Oak Knoll, we value progress over perfection and work to create lifelong learners who share our joy of reading, math, and science.  At this time of the year, many students are still working to develop mastery in their grade-level standards.  Here are some questions that you could use tonight in discussing your child’s report card together.

    • What are you most proud of this trimester?
    • When did you stretch your brain this trimester?  
    • What are your goals for the next trimester, and how can we help you reach your goals?

    If you have any questions about your child’s report card please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s classroom teacher.

    Finally, I want to wish you and your family a peaceful Thanksgiving.  Please remember that school is not in session from 11/22-11/26.  I continue to be amazed by our staff, students, and community.  My heart is full of appreciation and respect for each and every one of you. 

    Alicia Payton-Miyazaki

    Newsletter Update September

    Dear Families,
    I enjoyed popping into Zoom rooms for Back-to-School night this past Thursday evening, and sharing the Jeanie Ritchie grants funded by your contributions to the OCC and MPAEF with families at our Community Corner on Thursday morning. This week we were treated to a visit by school board member Francesca Segre, who joined Chana Stewart, teachers, and me in chatting with families and hearing about how the school year is going.  

    With two weeks of pooled testing under our belts, I am pleased to share that starting next week, our students will no longer be cohorted at recess and may play anywhere they like. We have had two weeks of all negative tests. If you have not yet signed up I strongly encourage you to do so. Going forward, you will only hear if a pool that your child is in comes back positive, at which point we will move to individual testing. So you can consider no news as good news!
    We launched this year with the theme of together is our favorite place to be, and I am so grateful for the volunteers in our traffic safety committee who have helped out this week to keep us safely together. The traffic signs around Oak Knoll are not intuitive, but are designed to keep our numerous walkers and bikers safe. Thank you for being mindful of all of our Otters.

    Finally, I’m excited to report that art and collaboration are alive all over our campus, as you can see from a project Ms. Zeiser’s class worked on with Mr. A. I hope you and your family are enjoying the three day weekend.
    Alicia Payton-Miyazaki

    Read our Weekly Newsletter and follow us!
    Twitter @oakknollotters
    Instagram @oakknollotters
    #goMPCSD #OKbestyearyet
    Distinguished School    Digital Citizenship