What are you most looking forward to over Spring Break?  I cherish the fact that I don’t have to make lunches in each morning.  By this time of the year my creativity is waning and frankly it’s not my favorite part of the day.

Speaking of lunches, I have served Hot Lunch a few times over the past week and I want to take a moment to thank our Lunch Service Co-Chairs Tamisha Apodaca and Stephanie Stone as well as their huge group of volunteers for their work all year long.  Each week we have 11 volunteers come down to set up, serve and clean up lunch service. That’s an awesome number when you multiply it by how many weeks of school we have! The piece that we can’t quantify, but that I know is invaluable, is how important it is to have more caring adults on campus interacting with our kids.  Whether it is a student who bumps their head on the lunch table and needs some help, or the extra encouragement our students get to take a fruit or veggie, or just a short chat about the weekend basketball game as a kid picks up lunch, or taking the time to remind our kids what is expected of them when waiting in line, it all matters and makes a difference.

Please remember that Class Photo Day is TOMORROW 4/11.  Maybe you want to practice your best silly pose at dinner tonight? Details on how to pre-order are further down in Highlights.

Lastly, our April HPC meeting is on Tuesday, April 23rd at 7:00 pm in the Havens Library.  If you haven’t attended a meeting this year this is the last chance. We have a “changeover meeting” in May where we say goodbye to the current HPC board and welcome next year’s board, but April is our last regular meeting. Hope to see you there.

Have a wonderful break,

Laura Amen

HPC President


I wanted to share a great opportunity to get grandparents involved in support of our schools!  Every year as part of the Spring Fling campaign we thank grandparents that have supported the fundraising efforts with an invitation to the “Grandparents Party”.  Grandparents know all too well the importance of access to libraries, art rooms, music programs and more. My mom (we call her “Nanny” and she can often be seen at after school pick up!) attended last year and had such a lovely time.  The party is THIS SUNDAY March 31st so please share with Havens grandparents today!

Details can be found here:  https://www.piedmontedfoundation.org/supporters/grandparents/

As you can imagine, Spring Fling planning is in full swing as the date approaches.  Please check out all details below in this newsletter to find out about parents parties, online auction, etc.

Thanks to all the parent volunteers who have signed up to help with Class Picture Day on April 11th.  The sign up is now full your willingness to give of your time is greatly appreciated.

The 2nd Grade Parent Coffee with Principal Anne Dolid has been rescheduled for Monday, April 8th at 8:30 am in the Havens Library.  It’s a great opportunity to hear from Anne as well as ask her questions about all things 2nd grade.

Also, please mark your calendar for the next HPC meeting: April 23rd at 7:00 pm in the Havens Library.   I’m working on some great guest speakers – more to come on that.

Have a great week,

Laura Amen, HPC President

Lots to share this week so please bear with me and read on…

Parent volunteers needed – Vision & Hearing Screening on 3/14 and 3/15.  Grades TK, K, 2 & 5 (as well as all new students in the district this year) will be participating in vision and hearing screening at the end of next week.  Parent volunteers will help pick up and return students to classrooms, assist with the flow of lines, etc. Your child(ren) do not need to be in the above mentioned grades to lend a hand.

Sign up here:  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409084aaca828a13-vision

Please join us for the next HPC meeting on Friday, March 15th at 8:35 in the Havens Library.  Our focus for the meeting will be HPC budget, but Anne Dolid will also share her Principal’s Report and we will hear from various board committees.  If there is something you’d like to discuss, come and join us and if you haven’t yet attended a meeting this year, time is running out so please take advantage of this month’s opportunity.

You should have received a request via your weekly Room Parent message to help with a silent auction item for the Spring Fling Gala.  This year we are putting together a Restaurant Gift Card Basket that includes gift cards for local Bay Area eateries as well as for Lyft and/or Uber.   The perfect item for a restaurant connoisseur to win! All proceeds for the silent auction go to our 3 elementary schools, so please contribute gift cards to the baskets if you are able.  Check your Room Parent communication for details and link to sign up. Thanks in advance for your support, and special thanks to Teebie Saunders, our Havens Spring Fling Representative, for leading this effort.

With only 12 weeks left in the school year, recruitment for the 2019-2020 HPC Board is kicking into high gear.  If you would like to learn about various committees on the board and how to get involved, please contact Vice President (and incoming President) Tara Boris (taraboris@gmail.com) or me (laura_amen@hotmail.com) to learn more.

And with that, I’m off to get ready to drive on a (very wet) field trip to Lawrence Hall of Science.  I might have time to squeeze in my second order with Good Eggs (see below for more details) because my kids and I have been craving the lemon poppy seed cake we ordered last time.  Apologies to my husband Rob who never even got a crumb!

Laura Amen, HPC President


Now through April 30th Good Eggs will donate 5% back to HPC every time you shop.  

Let’s win bagels for our hardworking teachers!  If 25 families from our school place an order over $100 this week, Good Eggs will send bagels for our teachers to enjoy.  

To enroll go to:  https://schools.goodeggs.com

Enter the code: HAVENS19

New customers get $15 off with this code, and if 20 new customers join the fundraiser our school also gets a $500 fundraising bonus. Thanks for your support!


I hope you and your families got to spend some quality time together over the February Break. This week we are back to reality and that means I’m asking for parent volunteers!

Please consider lending your time for Vision and Hearing Screening for grades TK, K, 2 & 5 (as well as all new students in the district). The screenings will take place on March 14th (hearing) and 15th (vision).  Parent volunteers will help pick up and return students to classrooms, assist with the flow of lines, etc.   Sign up sheet will be provided next week, but mark your calendar now and be on the lookout to reserve a volunteer time slot.

Our next HPC Meeting is on Friday, March 15th at 8:35 am in the Havens Library.  In addition to updates from our HPC teams as well as an update from Principal Anne Dolid, we will be discussing our budget in detail so please come and join us.

Lastly, our Good Eggs Fundraiser has officially begun.  I placed my first order with them and it’s being delivered today.  It couldn’t have been easier and with $15 off the first order I thought it was definitely worth a try.  All details about the fundraiser are included below in this newsletter. I hope you’ll consider trying it out in support of our school.

Take care, 

Laura Amen, HPC President



Good Eggs!

I’m excited that we are once again participating in the Good Eggs fundraiser this year. If you don’t know about Good Eggs, they delivery absurdly fresh groceries and meal kits to your home.  They offer same day delivery on orders over $60, they use sustainable and reusable packaging and there is no subscription required.

Starting on February 25th (and continuing through April 30th) Good Eggs will donate 5% back to HPC every time you shop.  While Good Eggs won’t start giving back until February 25th, anyone who checks out using the code now will be enrolled ahead of time and any new customers will be counted towards our new customer bonus.  Visit https://schools.goodeggs.com and enter the code HAVENS19 to enroll in the program.  You will only need to this once at the beginning of the fundraiser.  And to make things even better, if you are new to Good Eggs you will get $15 off your first order when you enroll!  Thanks for your support.

I hope you have marked your calendar to join us at our next HPC meeting, next Tuesday, February 12th at 7:00 pm in the Havens Library.  Our School Board Rep, Andrea Swenson, will be speaking to us about the current priorities of the School Board and the Piedmont School Improvement and Modernization Bond Measure.  She will also take any questions our parent community may have, so come and join the conversation.

Lastly, I want to celebrate the HPC board for reaching 100% participation in the Giving Campaign!  We are only 1 of 2 parent club boards in our district that have been able to reach this milestone and I am so thankful that our Havens volunteer leaders have unanimously supported the funding of our schools.

Take care,

Laura Amen, HPC President

As always there are lots of moving parts when it comes to scheduling.  One item that I need to correct is the Dimensions in Gender Parent Info Night.  It is on Monday, February 4th at 7:00 PM in the Beach Auditorium.  It is NOT in Ellen Driscoll. Please update your calendars.  

Havens Parents Club is busy at work.  Our Hospitality Committee is planning upcoming teacher appreciation activities, After School Enrichment is getting ready for their Spring session, Lunch Service and their crew of volunteers are feeding our hungry kids daily, Lost and Found is trying to reunite lost items (which by the way will be donated on Friday so check it out before then), our Room Parent Coordinator is working to make sure your room parents are up to date in sharing info you need to know and the list goes on.  Come learn more at our next HPC meeting on Tuesday, February 12th at 7:00 pm in the Havens Library.  

Can you believe that 2019 is almost 1/12 of the way complete?  With two 4th graders in our house there is lots of talk about fractions these days!  They are excited about Open House tomorrow evening and showing us all the learning taking place in their classrooms.
I look forward to seeing you in those bustling and overcrowded hallways!

Laura Amen
HPC President

January seems to be flying by with the second half of the year very underway. If you missed the chance to attend one of Principal Anne Dolid’s parent coffees during the first semester, a second coffee will be taking place for each grade level during the second semester.  Anne holds these coffees with individual grade levels to provide an opportunity for parents to ask any questions that may have come up in the past months or that may be on your mind as you look ahead to the coming months.  I have heard that these are assumed to be a purely social gathering, but they aren’t. These parent coffees are intended to be an opportunity to hear from Anne as well as ask her questions about all things related to your child’s grade level. A little chatting before we get underway and coffee are just a bonus!  Come, join the discussion and learn.

Kindergarten Parent Coffee:  Monday, 1/28 8:30-9:30 am (Havens Library)

1st Grade Parent Coffee:  Monday, 3/4 8:30-9:30 am (Havens Library)

All parent coffee dates are included on the Havens calendar.  I will provide reminders for all other grade levels in the coming months.

Other opportunities for parents to learn:

Puberty Education Parent Ed Night: TOMORROW, Thursday 24th at 7:00 pm in the Wildwood Library.  All 4th and 5th grade parents have received details in their room parent communication the last 2 weeks.   I’ve been to this parent talk when my oldest son was in 5th grade and feel it should be required for all parents.

Dimensions in Gender Parent Info Night:  Monday, February 4th at 7:00 pm in Ellen Driscoll.  This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from our teachers and administrators in our district who have been trained in the dimensions of gender as we work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for ALL students.  Come and learn!

As I wrap this up, I’m struck by how fortunate we are, as parents, to have these opportunities to learn.

Enjoy the sunshine this week,

Laura Amen, HPC President


January’s weather has been a bit dreary, but one bright spot was last Friday’s 11th Annual Havens Dad’s Club Poker Night.  A little bit of rain that evening didn’t deter lots of parents from going all in for the kids!  Huge thanks to HDC President Francis Hoang and his planning committee:  Roger Tsai, Bruce Wagg, Scott Cunningham, Tom Snyder, Dave McMurtry, Robert Dorsey, Ricardo Fabi and John Assalian.  We are very lucky to have such a dedicated group working to support Havens.

Thank you to the handful of HPC board members and parents who attended last night’s tri-school parent club meeting.  Superintendent Randy Booker shared an overview of the PUSD budget, explained how funding from the state of California works, provided projections for the 2019-2020 school year and beyond, and highlighted some areas where we will likely need to make changes.  Unfortunately, the budget news is not positive.

In addition to the budget discussion, Piedmont Police Captain Chris Monahan also joined Randy to discuss the current proposal for a School Resource Officer (SRO) at our secondary campuses.  The parent community had many questions about the SRO and it led to a very deep and interesting discussion. In addition to our Superintendent and Police Captain, we had 3 members of our Board of Education and all 3 elementary school Principals in attendance.

I’m sorry more of our Havens community were not able to attend, but please mark your calendar for our next HPC meeting on Tuesday, February 12 at 7:00 pm in the Havens Library.

Thanks and take care,

Laura Amen, HPC President


Happy New Year

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a fun and festive winter break.  The first HPC meeting of 2019 will be on Tuesday, January 15th at 7:00 PM in the Wildwood Library.  Please note that the meeting date and location have changed (please remove the 1/18 entry from your calendar).  As Anne mentioned above, this meeting will be a tri-school parents club meeting for Havens, Beach and Wildwood. We will take a few minutes to discuss parent club business before diving into 2 speaker topics:

PUSD Budget – 2019 and Beyond

Superintendent Randy Booker will be giving us an overview of the state of the PUSD budget.  The district shows over $1.5M in deficit spending for the 2019-20 school year which will require the district to be extremely thoughtful in both budget reductions and enhancement strategies.  Superintendent Booker’s presentation will give an overview of the current budget and provide an opportunity for our parent community to give feedback and ask questions.

School Resource Officer

Superintendent Booker and Chief of Police Jeremy Bowers will then present their proposal for a School Resource Officer at the secondary campuses.  This proposal is still in its information gathering stage and they are meeting with each parent club (along with many other groups) to gather more input before making a recommendation to the Board in February.  Their presentation will provide an overview of the goals and operations of a PUSD School Resource Officer Program and provide an opportunity for our parent community to give feedback and ask questions.

If you haven’t yet attended an HPC meeting this year, Tuesday is a great opportunity for you to do so.  

As we kick off 2019, I encourage all of you to get involved.  Reach out with an idea, sign up for something you’ve never done before, drive on a field trip, send a note to your child’s teacher to let them know how they have made a difference, come and serve hot lunch, organize a weekend campus clean-up effort, attend an HPC meeting (my personal favorite!) or contribute in whatever manner speaks to you.

Hope to see you around campus,

Laura Amen, HPC President


Havens Winter Festival

What fun we had last Friday afternoon at the Havens Winter Festival!  Thanks to all who attended and shared together in the joy of the holiday season with snacks and winter crafts.  But even more importantly thanks to all for embracing such a spirit of giving.  The SERVES team had activities benefitting the victims of the Camp Fire as well as creating holiday wishes for a local senior community.  It was touching to see so many gifts pouring into Ellen Driscoll for the Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay as well.  The stage was full of overflowing bags of gifts and preschool supplies, and the gift wrapping table helpers were working feverishly to keep up!  Thank you to all for your generosity and commitment to our Havens values.

An event with a couple of hundred people attending simply cannot happen without MANY helpers.  My sincere thanks to: Amy Gurvitz and Erin Schultz for making Ellen Driscoll glow with winter decorations, Sara Eisemon and Laura Edeen for organizing and overseeing the thoughtful SERVES activities, Julie Stein for helping at the silly snowman craft table, Heidi Upton for creating the many sign ups for the JFCS Gift Giving Program, Dana Lung for managing the monumental task of organizing our JFCS gifts, Michele Cucullu for overseeing the very busy snack table (those kids sure do like Hershey kisses better than string cheese and oranges), Jamie Van Kleeck from Piedmont Middle School for organizing her awesome leadership class students to come and help, the clean up crew (always important but never a popular job) of Michele Cucullu, Dana Lung, Mandana Veiseh and Bahram Bahtami, the Scrip Team from the PEF office for joining our celebration to sell Scrip gift cards and See’s Candy, big sisters (who are also former Havens students) for helping with crafts and face painting, and Jennifer Poole and Tara Boris for joining me in filling our cars on Monday to deliver the gifts to JFCS.  I sincerely thank each of you for stepping up to volunteer.

Reminders & Dates

  • Thank you to all who made a donation to the Class Funds on the Piedmont Store (www.piedmontstore.com).  The Class Fund serves as the group gift that is given to all Havens teachers and staff in December for the holidays and in May for an end of year thank you.  The Scrip team has been busy getting the holiday gifts out, and if you already contributed there is nothing else you need to do!  If your family would like to do something instead of or in addition to the Class Fund, by all means please do so on an individual basis.  Appreciating our teachers and staff is ALWAYS wonderful.  If you have not yet donated to the Class Fund, it’s never too late.  Contribute now and it will be included for our end of year appreciation gifts in May.
  • The December 18th HPC meeting has been cancelled. Please remove from your calendar.
  • The January HPC meeting has a new date and time:  January 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm in the Havens Library.  Please update your calendar and join us.

Have a wonderful week,

Laura Amen, HPC President