• Kristen Gracia

    Principal, Oak Knoll School
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Principal Messages 2018-2019

  • 2019-2020 Class Placement Process

    April 30, 2018

    Dear Oak Knoll Parents,
    It is time to begin our placement process for the 20​19-20 school year! Our placement process is thoughtful and thorough. Our classroom teachers, specialists, intervention team and administrators will work together and use a full range of dynamic expertise and intimate knowledge of students, programs and services. Our goal is to create balanced classes so each teacher has the capacity to effectively provide their attention to each student. Once again, we are offering a Parent Input Form as a means of communication. This form is not required, however it is the ONLY way for you to provide information regarding your child's placement. Please remember that there is no reason for parents to gather information about teachers, lose sleep over placement, or lobby for preferential teacher choice. Instead, have confidence in our process and focus your input on student information. I read every input form and will ​kindly turn down all placement meetings for three reasons:
    1. Equity and integrity: We have over a thousand parents who all care about their child's education, and a placement process that fairly supports all students.
    2. Input form: It is not necessary to meet because I will read EVERY input form and will contact you if I need additional information (I really do this).
    3. Time: It is important that I spend my time in the classrooms and meeting with teachers regarding student achievement, social well-being and progress. This work supports placement.
    At Oak Knoll, we have two fantastic 3rd-5th upper grade programs! All parents may requestone of the following options on the input form​​:
    • Multi-age Program
    • Traditional Program
    • Let my child's 2nd grade teacher decide
    If you do not complete the input form, our teachers will place your child in an upper grade program. If you do complete the input form, our teachers will be reviewing your program requests. Also, no worries, if your child's 2nd grade teacher has questions or concerns about your program request, they will reach out to you directly. Both programs are subject to lottery based on demand.
    What is Multi-age? Multi-age is an innovative approach to school and is worth your consideration. Most children thrive in a multi-age setting and there is no specific learning profile required. Multi-age is open to everyone. Find out more here an​d/or​ we will be hosting tours ​beginning Monday and until the Input Form is due. Call the office to sign up now: 650-854-4433. We only do tours for multi-age, and not traditional, because many people are not familiar with the format of the multiage program​.​
    Here is the Parent Input Form to complete by May 1​7​, 201​9.​
    Thanks for your continued partnership,
    Kristen Gracia
    Principal, Oak Knoll School
    Welcome Back from Principal Gracia
    August 20th, 2018
    Dear Oak Knoll Parents,
    It is with deep gratitude that I welcome you and yours back to school. To our new families, we open our doors and invite you to join our incredible school community. Oak Knoll is truly a special place and an excellent school. Many leaders, educators, and parents ask for our school climate recipe. They wonder how and why Oak Knoll stands out when it comes to connection, climate and vision, not to mention academics. The answer is always easy. Our success boils down to one variable...the people.
    When we all show up as caring participants within this community, we create an environment for our children to thrive, as well as a strong foundation that our staff, students and families can depend on. I deeply value the unique connection between teachers, staff, parents, and students at Oak Knoll. This past summer, when we experienced the loss of a vibrant student, we were all reminded of the importance of our connections. There was, and continues to be, an outpouring of love, support, and strength from our compassionate community. Oak Knoll brings us together, but ultimately, together we are Oak Knoll.
    As we begin the school year, I invite you to get involved! We are excited to announce more ways to connect, like our Mix and Mingle events for parents, an Office Open House, our Talking About Tech Together coffee talk series, our Fall Family Picnic (where apparently I will be in a dunk tank), and a dynamic parent education Speaker Series. Make sure to peruse the weekly newsletter to stay “in the know” with everything Oak Knoll. Fostering connection and relationships begins with us adults.
    Our school vision, “Every student an exemplary scholar, a valued friend and a courageous citizen” is our primary driver. Our mission is anchored in teaching students about mindset, compassion, and service. We believe exemplary scholars have a growth mindset, valued friends are compassionate, and courageous citizens recognize the needs of others and see themselves as part of the solution.
    Our teachers will continue to be intentional about building a strong and safe classroom community so our students can take risks, be creative, and learn deeply. This process takes many forms, from greeting students by name every day at the door, to getting to know each student, their interests, strengths, and needs. Goal setting and targeted instruction is the path that leads our students to academic success, but we know their success is only as strong as their ability to apply a growth mindset, show compassion and see the needs of others from a global perspective. It all connects!
    I am most excited about seeing the kids return on Thursday, August 23rd at 8:10. Check out our Back to School Top Ten for helpful back to school information. Once again, we are focused on continuous improvement, so you can count on this year being our best year yet!
    With gratitude,
    Kristen Gracia
    Principal, Oak Knoll School