Thank you to the wonderful parent volunteers who helped with our vision and hearing screening last Wednesday and Thursday:  Claudia Garcia Chan, Laura Amen, Jennifer Poole, Barbara Dickason, Jae Kim, Jennifer Hong, Qi Johnson, Tara Boris, Lisa Kaplan, Samantha Jurgens, Julie Stein, Alfio Levy, Robert Dorsey, Cyndi Rodriguez, Cori Kau, and standbys Anne Callahan and Amy Gurvitz.  We appreciate your time, flexibility and patience with this important event.  

Please join us for the next HPC Meeting on Thursday, March 8, at 8:35 am in Ellen Driscoll Auditorium (please note the date and time change from the original schedule in August). On the agenda are guest speakers Sara Lillevand, from the Recreation Department, who will talk about the plan for Schoolmates next year, and Jennifer Cavanaugh, City Council Member, who will discuss the ongoing work between the city and PUSD. In addition, Anne Dolid will present her principal’s report and we will hear from various committees on recent past achievements and upcoming requests. So please mark your calendar for this meeting, and I look forward to seeing you there!

After the break, be on the lookout for fun opportunities to get involved with Spring Fling, the annual fundraiser benefiting the 3 elementary schools.  For now, save Friday, April 20, for the Spring Fling Gala at the Scottish Rite Center.  

Thanks, Happy Valentine’s Day, and have a fabulous recess,

Dana Lung, HPC President

As I said last fall, every day should be Teacher Appreciation Day–and last week Monday it was!  Thank you to the Hospitality Committee, led by Jen Rego, for arranging bagels, coffee, and massages for the entire Havens staff as part of our year-round Teacher Appreciation efforts.  The teachers and staff thoroughly enjoyed the goodies and special treatment provided by the Havens Parents Club.

Also, a big shout out to the Havens Dads Club for organizing this year’s Poker Night fundraiser, led by Scott Cunningham, John Assalian and Tom Snyder.  With more than a hundred guests, the event was lively, fun and a bit competitive.  Parents from all 3 elementary schools enjoyed a festive evening of poker, Top Dog, camaraderie and more.  Larsen Fusco was the big winner and took home the coveted bracelet!
Vision and Hearing Screening for grades TK, K, 2 & 5, as well as all new students, will occur at Havens on Wednesday and Thursday, February 7-8.  On Wednesday (vision), we need 3 parent volunteers for each of the time slots (12 volunteers total).  On Thursday (hearing), we need 2 parent volunteers for each time slot (for a total of 10).  Please sign up at the link below if you are available and interested in helping with the logistics of the screenings (e.g., picking up and returning students to their classrooms, helping with lines and flow, assisting the nurses, etc.).  Thanks in advance!

Don’t forget to attend the next HPC meeting this coming Monday, February 5, at 6:30 pm in the Havens Library (please note the date and time change). It will be a tri-school meeting so that our guest speakers can address all 3 parents clubs at once. Our first guest speaker will be PUSD Superintendent Randy Booker who will provide an update on the state’s budget, its impact on PUSD’s budget, and the district’s needs for next year. Our second guest speaker will be Sara Wicht, who is the trainer working with PUSD staff to implement the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Tolerance” curriculum. Sara will be in Piedmont all next week for staff training and community workshops (see next paragraph) and will give us a taste of the work we’re doing together as a district and community. It should be a great meeting, and I hope to see many of you there.
Lastly, there’s still time to sign up for the “Let’s Talk! Building an Inclusive Piedmont Through Deliberative Dialogue” workshops, organized by The City of Piedmont, PUSD, and the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee. Led by facilitator Sara Wicht, the Let’s Talk! workshops are designed specifically for Piedmonters to engage in an enriching community dialogue: to listen, learn, and understand one another better, respectfully. The workshops will be on February 5, 10 and 11 and will be broken up into two sessions. Session I, an introduction offered in the morning on all 3 days, will focus on identities and community building and Session II, a continuation offered in the afternoon on February 10 and 11, will offer advanced discussions. The workshops are free for everyone, including age-appropriate kids. To register for both Session I and Session II and find out more details, please visit: http://www.padc.info/lets-talk -workshops.html
Thanks and Happy February,
Dana Lung
HPC President

A message from our Parent Club President

Next week Wednesday, January 31, at 8:30 am in Ellen Driscoll, Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) Superintendent Randy Booker will be coming to Havens for his second semester’s Superintendent’s Coffee. This event is a rare opportunity for parents to meet and talk with Randy in an informal, intimate setting. We had a small, but vocal group at last semester’s coffee and those in attendance got to ask whatever questions were on their minds. Come to next week’s coffee and take advantage of this special gathering just for Havens parents.
A reminder from last week that the next HPC meeting will be on Monday, February 5, at 6:30 pm in the Havens Library (please note the date and time change). It will be a tri-school meeting so that our guest speakers can address all 3 parents clubs at once. Our first guest speaker will be Randy who will provide an update on the state’s budget, its impact on PUSD’s budget, and the district’s needs for next year. Our second guest speaker will be Sara Wicht, who is the trainer working with PUSD staff to implement the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Tolerance” curriculum. Sara will be in Piedmont that entire week for staff training and community workshops (see next paragraph) and will give us a taste of the work we’re doing together as a district and community.

Thank you to all of you who have already signed up for the “Let’s Talk! Building an Inclusive Piedmont Through Deliberative Dialogue” workshops, organized by The City of Piedmont, PUSD, and the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee. Led by facilitator Sara Wicht, the Let’s Talk! workshops are designed specifically for Piedmonters to engage in an enriching community dialogue: to listen, learn, and understand one another better, respectfully. The workshops will be on February 5, 10 and 11 and will be broken up into two sessions. Session I, an introduction offered in the morning on all 3 days, will focus on identities and community building and Session II, a continuation offered in the afternoon on February 10 and 11, will offer advanced discussions. The workshops are free for everyone, including age-appropriate kids. To register for both Session I and Session II and find out more details, please visit: http://www.padc.info/lets-talk -workshops.html
Thanks and get involved where you can,

Dana Lung

HPC President

A message from our President

Thank you to everyone who attended the Havens Parents Club meeting last Thursday morning, and a special thanks to Doug Ireland for being our guest speaker.  Doug gave an impassioned and forthright account of his experience on Piedmont’s Board of Education, and informed us of the board’s current work, opportunities and challenges.  If you missed the meeting, please ask someone who attended to tell you about it.  It was a good one.    

So you don’t miss the next one, mark your calendars now–the next HPC meeting will be on Monday, February 5, at 6:30 pm in the Havens Library (please note the date and time change). We will be meeting with the parents of Beach and Wildwood that evening so that are guest speakers can address all 3 parents clubs at once. Our first guest speaker will be PUSD Superintendent Randy Booker who will provide an update on the state’s budget, its impact on PUSD’s budget, and the district’s needs for next year. Our second guest will be Sara Wicht, who is the trainer working with PUSD staff to implement the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Tolerance” curriculum. Sara will be in Piedmont that entire week for staff training and community workshops (see next paragraph) and will give us a taste of the work we’re doing together as a district and community.

As mentioned in last week’s HPC meeting by Havens parent and Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee (PADC) member Jill Lindenbaum, we have a special opportunity to participate in the upcoming “Let’s Talk! Building an Inclusive Piedmont Through Deliberative Dialogue” workshops, organized by The City of Piedmont, PUSD, and PADC. Led by facilitator Sara Wicht, the Let’s Talk! workshops are designed specifically for Piedmonters to engage in an enriching community dialogue: to listen, learn, and understand one another better, respectfully. The workshops will be on February 5, 10 and 11 and will be broken up into two sessions. Session I, an introduction, will focus on identities and community building and Session II, a continuation, will offer advanced discussions. Here are the basics:

Session I – Intro: Identities and Community Building (mornings)

  • Piedmont Community Hall, 401 Highland Avenue
    • Monday, 2/5/18, 8:30-11:30 am
  • Piedmont Veterans’ Hall, 711 Highland Avenue
    • Saturday, 2/10/18, 8:30-11:30 am (followed by a community lunch*)
    • Sunday, 2/11/18, 8:30-11:30 am (followed by a community lunch*)

Session II – Continuation: Advanced Discussions (afternoons):

  • Piedmont Veterans’ Hall, 711 Highland Avenue
    • Saturday, 2/10/18, 1:30-4:30 pm (come early for a community lunch*)
    • Sunday, 2/11/18, 1:30-4:30 pm (come early for a community lunch*)

*More details to follow 

The workshops are free for everyone, including age-appropriate kids. To register for both Session I and Session II and find out more details, please visit: http://www.padc.info/lets- talk-workshops.html

Thanks and be part of the dialogue by signing up for a workshop,

Dana Lung

HPC President

Happy New Year! Hope your winter break was wonderful and that you returned rested and recharged. The first HPC meeting of 2018 will be on Thursday, January 11, at 8:35 am in Ellen Driscoll (please note date and time change). Our featured speaker will be PUSD Board of Education member and Havens representative Doug Ireland, who will give an overview of the School Board, discuss current issues, and take questions.  In addition, Anne Dolid will give her Principal’s report, a few HPC Board chairs will provide updates, and we’ll discuss what’s coming down the pike this winter and spring. If you haven’t yet attended an HPC meeting this year, Thursday is a great opportunity for you to do so.

Thank you to Rebecca Thornborrow for leading the Good Eggs fundraiser in the fall and to everyone who participated.  According to Rebecca, it took minimal effort and time on her part, yet we raised more than $1,100 for HPC.  So keep those fundraising ideas coming–we greatly appreciate them.

Thanks and see you on Thursday morning,

Dana Lung, HPC President

The first HPC meeting of 2018 will be on Thursday, January 11, at 8:35 am in Ellen Driscoll (please note date and time change).  Our featured speaker will be PUSD Board of Education member and Havens representative Doug Ireland.  Doug will give an overview of the School Board, discuss current issues, and take questions.  In addition, Anne Dolid will give her Principal’s report, a few HPC Board chairs will provide updates, and we’ll discuss what’s coming down the pike this winter and spring.

As the calendar year comes to an end, I wish you and your family a wonderful winter break and all the best for the new year.  Thank you for your time, hard work, energy, and resources these past few months, and I look forward to working with all of you in the second semester.  I encourage all of you who haven’t yet attended an HPC meeting or participated in an HPC activity to get involved early and often in 2018.  We still have much to do this school year and need talented and committed parents to do it, so please make it your New Year’s resolution to join us in January and beyond.   

Thanks again for your amazing support and Happy Holidays,

Dana Lung, HPC President

Thank you to everyone who attended the Havens Winter Festival last Friday night.  I enjoyed seeing so many families enter beautifully-decorated Ellen Driscoll with their donations for the Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) Holiday Giving Program; then loved watching them take their gifts to the wrapping table or place their preschool supplies and wrapped presents on the festive and full stage.  Kids were quite busy moving from one arts and crafts station to the next (did you see the adorable photo cut-out booth?) as well as participating in the many SERVES activities benefiting UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, Grand Lake Gardens Senior Community, and a Santa Rosa school district affected by the October North Bay fires.  Everyone devoured the yummy treats of freshly popped popcorn, baked goods, and hot chocolate and cider.  Parents socialized; purchased SCRIP gift cards, See’s candy and Havens merchandise; and listened to lovely music performed by third-grade teacher Shauna Revelli’s instrumental music students.  

With almost 300 people registered for the event, it took a village to organize and execute.  Thank you to the amazing planning team of Laura Amen, Natalia Ferretti, Katie Gudiksen, Amy Gurvitz, and Heidi Upton.  Thanks to the SERVES team for their creative and charitable service activities.  For the delicious treats and warm beverages, thank you to Eileen Kwei, Charlene Reis and Summer Kitchen Bake Shop, Natalia Ferretti, Mulberry’s Market, Robert Dorsey, and the many families who donated cookies and other baked goods.  Thanks to Shauna Revelli and her instrumental music students, Rebecca and Jackson Thornborrow, and Jack Sample for providing us with amazing music throughout the night.  Thank you to the following for volunteering their time and energy during and after the event:  Piedmont Middle School student volunteers, SCRIP team, Merchandise team, SERVES team, Julie Fujimoto, Elise Hatchell, Betty Winnacker and daughters, Nancy White, Alissa Welch, Rebecca Thornborrow, Amber Chaudhry, Santhoshi Dumpala, Eileen Kwei, Beshka Vukasin, and Jennifer Poole.  I am very grateful for all of your contributions.      

In addition, I appreciate all of the Havens families and room parent coordinators (led by Heidi Upton) who supported the JFCS Holiday Giving Program this year.  All classrooms in grades Kindergarten through 5th participated in the program and helped to fulfill the wish lists of 17 refugee families in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and numerous underserved preschools in Oakland.  A group of us delivered the hundreds of gifts and supplies to the JFCS office in Walnut Creek yesterday, and the JFCS staff was overwhelmed by the unbelievable generosity of the Havens community.    

Last but not least, please mark your calendars for our next HPC meeting the morning of Thursday, January 11, 2018 (note date change).

Thanks and Enjoy the Last Week Before Break,

Dana Lung, HPC President

See You on Friday Evening at the Winter Festival

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Havens Winter Festival this Friday, December 8, from 6:30-8:30 pm in Ellen Driscoll.  It will be a fun night of community service, arts and crafts, treats, music, holiday shopping, and camaraderie in a lovely winter-themed setting.  If you haven’t already, please register to attend at http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=qihksziab&oeidk=a07eeugx8f587680e67  (it’s FREE, but we need a headcount for the crafts and treats).  To volunteer for the event (we could use your support!) please visit our volunteer sign-up page at www.SignUpGenius.com/go/904044EA9A92FA64-havens1.  

Thank you to all the K-5 families who have signed up for the Holiday Giving Program of the Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay through your Room Parents.  We appreciate your generosity.  However, most wish lists have not been fulfilled, and we really need everyone’s help in supporting the refugee families in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and the underserved preschools in Oakland that have been assigned to Havens.  Time is running out to purchase your gifts and supplies, so please act now and follow the instructions that your room parents sent you.  The deadline is this Friday, December 8.    

SCRIP will be available at our Winter Festival, but even if you can’t attend, please consider purchasing SCRIP for your holiday gift-giving needs.  SCRIP is an excellent way to raise funds for our schools at no extra cost to you.  Simply purchase gift cards (and, during the holidays, See’s Candy) at face value through our SCRIP reps, and money comes back to our schools.  For more information, contact our dedicated Havens SCRIP team:  Caroline Lau  (cmlau25@gmail.com), Shilpa Patel (shilpatel@yahoo.com), and Amy Taylor (amyreneetaylor@gmail.com).  Thank you to our wonderful team for also coordinating all of the teacher and staff holiday gifts that families funded through Class Funds.   

Registration for our Winter After-School Enrichment (ASE) program opened on Monday to much excitement and demand.  For class offerings and specific information, please see the ASE section below for the links to the brochure and online registration.  Thank you amazing ASE co-chairs Cindy Hinman, Samantha Nobles-Block, and Carey Valentine and the entire team of coordinators for your time, hard work and great care in assembling a rich array of after-school classes for our children.

Thanks and See You on Friday Evening at the Winter Festival,

Dana Lung, HPC President

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday

As mentioned previously, the Havens Winter Festival will be held on Friday, December 8, from 6:30-8:30 in Ellen Driscoll Auditorium.  Please join us for this family-friendly event, which will include community service activities, arts and crafts, post-dinner treats, a self-service wrapping paper station and drop-off site for those participating in the Holiday Giving Program (more info to come!), and Havens merchandise and SCRIP (gift cards and See’s Candy boxes) available for all your holiday shopping needs and donations.  Bring the family and come celebrate the winter season together.

We also need your help with the event.   Please visit our volunteer sign-up page at the following link:  www.SignUpGenius.com/go/904044EA9A92FA64-havens1 Thanks!

With Thanksgiving break and no Highlights next week, I will close by thanking all of you for contributing to the Havens community and for making it the special place it is.  I am grateful for all of the support we receive–in big and small ways, in time and dollars, in talent and effort.  Please also remember to give thanks for our administrators, teachers, and staff for the amazing work they do each and every day for our children.*  We are very fortunate to live in Piedmont and have the great schools that we do.  

Thanks and Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday,

Dana Lung, HPC President

Thank you to everyone who attended the Havens Parents Club meeting on Monday night.  We had an abbreviated agenda due to the Teacher Specialist Open House, but it was quite informative as Principal Dolid gave us an update on safety measures, I spoke of upcoming opportunities and events, and a couple of HPC board members gave committee reports on their important fundraising work.  We then moved into tri-school grade-level bands to participate in the Teacher Specialist Open House.  What a rare and wonderful opportunity to be a student again!  Parents got to experience lessons that their children learn every day in library, P.E., art and technology.  Special thanks to all of the tri-school teacher specialists and principals who gave up their evenings to be with us.  If you missed the meeting, please ask someone who attended to tell you about it and please attend the next one.

As some of us heard on Monday night, the Giving Campaign is going well, but we still have a ways to go to meet our goal, which we really need to reach in order to avoid cuts in programs and positions next year.  Thanks very much to all of you who have already made your contributions this year.  If you haven’t yet, there’s still time–and if you donate today, you can even get a lawn sign!  The deadline for lawn signs has been extended to today, November 8, so hurry and go right now to www.piedmontedfoundation.org/donate.  Participation matters and we welcome and appreciate donations of any size.  

This year’s Piedmont Student Directory has been printed and delivered to all Havens Parents Club members (thanks for your support!), who should have received them earlier this week via their children’s backpacks.  Thank you to Tara Boris for labeling all of the directories and organizing them by classroom teacher for easy distribution.  If you would like a directory and have not joined the Havens Parents Club yet, please visit www.piedmontstore.com to make your donation and receive the highly coveted directory.  If you are a member and didn’t receive a directory, please contact me at dana.lung@stanfordalumni.org.

Thanks and have a wonderful long weekend,

Dana Lung, HPC President