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OUSD Attendance Challenge – Sign up by October 24

If you are interested in enrolling your student in an attendance challenge running between October 17 and November 18, check out this flyer and sign up!



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Spotlight: Vicki Smith (Ms. Vicki)

Spotlight: Vicki Smith (Ms. Vicki)

Spotlight: Vicki Smith (Ms. Vicki)
Small Group Activity Leader


Ever wonder where the funds from the Crocker PTA go? This our first in the series of interviews and articles to get to know PTA funded programs better. This year Crocker has 458 kids in the school with an average class sizes ranging from 24-30 kids in each classroom. Small Group Facilitators are hired by the PTA to support the teachers across our classrooms based on needs and requests.

Interview with Vicki Smith – Small Group Facilitator

This is her 6th year working as a Small Group Facilitator at Crocker. She now works 12 hours/week (2 days) in order to be available to substitute teach within the OUSD school district the other three days (at the urging of Joci and teachers). She has a BA in Urban Studies from SFSU and an MA in Counseling Psychology from USF.

The initial reason she was interested in this role is that as a parent of two students who attended Crocker Highlands from 2003-2010, she felt there were some gaps in services to students. At that time there were no PTA employees, just volunteer parent helpers. Two areas where she saw a need for support were were for children who needed academic help, counseling or social coaching for students. When Beth Rhine (prior principal) called with a job offer, she jumped at the chance to help in both these areas.

She loves the fact that there is no “average” day in her job. She works in various classrooms, with different teachers and students each year. So while she has a set schedule of where to be, there is something different to look forward to every day.  The range includes working with a student on developing their writing; helping with a science investigation; teaching a math concept to a small group; reading aloud and discussing a story; and role-playing possible conflict resolutions at recess. For her, it’s really the relationships with the kids and the teachers that she enjoys the most.  Her “first” class promoted last year, and she felt such pride and joy at their accomplishment, knowing that she had been a part of their learning community at Crocker.  The teachers value the Small Group Activity Leaders’ help in the classroom greatly, and when they are able to draw out details in writing, listen to a student explain a new scientific concept in their own words, or watch kids work out social dilemmas on the yard by themselves, she sees the impact they have had.  That feels really good.

To keep these wonderful programs running, please donate to the PTA through Annual Giving.  Any amount helps!


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Next chance to get swag at Walkathon

Next chance to get swag at Walkathon

While your kiddo is walking the rounds at the Walkathon on Oct 22, come visit us at the swag table. We’ll have the latest new item, women’s turquoise tanks. Check them out at our online store, where you can pre-order for pick up there:

Crocker Swag Store

We accept cash, check and credit cards. See you all there!

Thanks for supporting our school!
Crocker Swag Team (Andrea Kelly, Amy Catalano, Lynda Deakin)


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Annual Giving 2016/2017!

Annual Giving 2016/2017!

A Great Public Education Isn’t Free… It’s Up to Us!

What is Annual Giving? Basically it’s the easiest way to help the PTA raise the funds needed to make Crocker Highlands one of the best elementary schools in Oakland. We support programs that are not covered by state or federal funding.


This academic year, the Crocker PTA will spend approximately $1,000 per child.

Where does your money go?  Programs include:

  • Small Group Activity Leaders – Teachers cannot do it alone! Bringing additional attention to enhance learning.
  • Vocal Music – the best holiday concerts around!
  • Physical Activity – moving our bodies helps our brain and contributes to well-being.
  • Library – Lisa Hobbs (our librarian) is a gift to helping our children learn to love reading.
  • Technology – computer instruction, replacement, repair and more!
  • Supplemental math & reading – giving extra attention for struggling kids and acceleration
  • Community-building events – Dad’s club, Spaghetti Feed, Mosaic Night and lots more

Donations in any amount are welcome from anyone – including relatives and friends. You don’t need to give $1,000 to make a difference! All donations help and are much appreciated. We are hoping to reach 100% family participation, so please give what you can.

Donate Now:

  • Donate online: click here to make a one-time or recurring payment
  • Paypal: Use the “Transfer money to friends” option.  Go to & sign-up to send money to  In your gift, please note that this is for Crocker Annual Giving.  Please do not use for credit card payments or to “purchase goods or services”.
  • Check: payable to Crocker Highlands PTA, and either mail it to the school or return it to the green PTA box outside the school office with the attached form.  In either case, please check with your employer to find out if they have a corporate matching or workplace giving program.
  • Stock Donation: We will follow-up with TDAmeritrade account information to accept stock gifts. Contact us at for more details.

If you’ve already made a donation this year, thank you!

Employer Matching Details

Crocker’s official name and tax ID for employer matching contributions:
Name:  PTA California Congress of Parents, Crocker Highlands Elementary PTA
Tax ID:  94-6171881

Thank You!

With everyone pitching in, we know that we can continue to provide the great educational and community resources that make Crocker the terrific school that it is! We look forward to working with all of you to continue Crocker’s strong tradition of community support.

Gwendolyn Osborn (Kindergarten and 2nd Grade Parent)
Tara Montanez (Kindergarten and 2nd Grade Parent)
Crocker Annual Giving Co-Chairs


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School Photos in October (Updated)

School Photos in October (Updated)

We will again be using Mugsy Clicks for our school photos.  Group photos for all classrooms will be on Monday, October 10th.
Also note the updated grade breakdowns for the Individual Photos:
Monday, October 17th – Butler/Labaro/Wheeler/3rd/5th (Spees 8:30 am)
Tuesday, October 18th – Schane/Kucharski/Bernstein/K/2nd
Some helpful Picture Day tips:
  • Schedule hair cuts at least 10 days prior to photo day.  If you have any special instructions or concerns, please send a note with your child.  We will have a parent volunteer on hand to make sure the kids are looking sharp!
  • A simple collared shirt or blouse in a color that compliments the eyes/hair is best. Stay away from large patterns, words or graphics.  Avoid spaghetti straps, halters and plunging necklines. 
  • Remind your children to smile.  🙂

Website login information will go home in your child’s backpack so you can view and order your portraits online in early November.  You will then be able to choose and create your own print package from a variety of poses. Once you place your order online, the photos will arrive in your mailbox about 2 weeks later.

We’ll need a small number of volunteers to help us get through the actual picture days. View here to sign up: Picture Day Volunteer Sign Up Genius

Click here for some details from the photographers:

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New Swag at the Spaghetti Feed!

New Swag at the Spaghetti Feed!

Order your Crocker Swag online and pick up at the Spaghetti Feed this Thursday!
Come visit us at the swag table to pick up, or bring your credit card to purchase at the Feed. See you there!



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Crocker Bulletin Walkathon 2016 Annual Giving Shop Swag Amazon Fundraising

Our Crocker Circle Sponsors

Amazon Fundraising

Crocker has a partnership with where Crocker gets 7% back on all purchases. When shopping on Amazon - simply follow the link or click below.