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

Havens Winter Festival this Friday

Thanks to all who attended last Friday’s HPC meeting.  I hope you learned something new and enjoyed hearing from Randy Booker about the district’s goals through the beautiful infographic he shared (there is one posted in the Havens office so check it out!).  Calendar update:  there will be no HPC meeting in December so please remove the 12/18/18 meeting from your calendar.  Hope to see many of you at our January meeting.

My family and I are looking forward to the Havens Winter Festival this Friday, December 7, from 4:00-6:00 in Ellen Driscoll Playhouse.   It will be an fun afternoon of community service, arts and crafts, snacks, holiday shopping and celebrating the season with one another.  I’m excited that there will be students from the middle school (older siblings of Havens students as well as Piedmont Middle School leadership students) coming to help with activities.  If you haven’t already done so, please register to attend. It’s FREE, but we appreciate a headcount for snacks and crafts. Also, please visit our volunteer page to help with a shift. We need you!

Register: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=qihksziab&oeidk=a07efvqnss0a7a614f6

Volunteer: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409084aaca828a13-havens1

Members of the SCRIP team will be at our Winter Festival selling gift cards and See’s Candy (please remember to bring cash or check).  However, if you can’t attend the Winter Festival you can still purchase 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 at face value through our SCRIP reps, and money comes back to our schools.  It really is that easy. For more information, contact our dedicated team at:havensscrip@gmail.com.

Lastly, thank you to all grades 1-5 families who have signed up for the Holiday Giving Program of the Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay.  Your generosity is very much appreciated.  Big congratulations to Ms. Mortan’s class – they were the first to fulfill the wish list for Agara Family!  While many other lists are near full, there are still some lists that need much more participation. Please consider supporting these families in need in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties as well as the underserved preschools in Oakland that have been assigned to Havens.  It’s not too late but time is running out! If your particular class list is full or if you are a TK or K parent looking to participate, please reach out to me and I will make sure you have all necessary details to be a part of this wonderful program. The deadline is this Friday, December 7th.

See you Friday,

Laura Amen, HPC President


A Message from HPC President Laura Amen

I hope you all had a fun and restful Thanksgiving break…because as a very busy December is almost here! 

Reminders for the Week:

Our (rescheduled) HPC meeting is THIS FRIDAY 11/30 at 8:35 am in the Havens Library.  If you haven’t attend one this year, please join us.  You will hear from Principal Anne Dolid, HPC Committees, Superintendent Randy Booker and PUSD’s Facilities Director.  It will be a full and informative meeting.

We have kicked off our annual Holiday Giving Program with JFCS.  Grades 1-5 classrooms have now received details about the family or pre-school that they will be helping this season.  Detailed instructions and sign up information was emailed to all on 11/17.  I encourage you and your children to discuss and participate in this wonderful giving opportunity.  Gifts can be delivered to your child’s classroom anytime 12/3-12/7 (please not earlier) or brought to the Havens Winter Festival on 12/7.  Thank you Havens community for making a difference in pre-schools and families in need.

Looking Ahead:

We are busy planning the annual Havens Winter Festival which will be held next Friday, December 7th from 4:00-6:00 pm in the Ellen Driscoll Playhouse.  Here are 2 easy things to do in preparation for the event:

  1. Register to attend: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=qihksziab&oeidk=a07efvqnss0a7a614f6 (the event is FREE but a headcount is greatly appreciated for crafts and snacks)
  2. Visit our volunteer sign up page: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409084aaca828a13-havens1  (opportunities range from helping to decorate before the event to overseeing a community service or craft table – WE NEED YOU!

I hope you will bring the entire family to come and celebrate the season with other Havens families.  During the event you can participate in community service activities organized by SERVES, drop off your JFCS Holiday Giving Program gifts (wrapping station provided for those needing to wrap their family gifts!), make winter crafts, purchase See’s Candy boxes from the SCRIP team, check off some of the gifts on your list by purchasing Havens merchandise, and enjoy a snack and some cheer with our Havens community.

Take care!

Laura Amen, HPC President