Welcome Back

Was your house a bit hectic yesterday morning?  If not, get in touch with me right away and share your secret to a calm first day back at school.  Havens Parents Club (HPC) will find a good use for you!

Huge thanks to our many HPC teams for their work over the summer.  From the Merchandise Team (Cindy Hinman, Cori Kau, Lindsay Thomasson and Mia Tindle) preparing our new Havens gear to sell, to our Lunch Service Co-Chairs (Stephanie Stone and Tamisha Apodaca) lining up parent lunch volunteers, to our Emergency Prep Rep (Amy Gurvitz) reviewing and refilling our classroom emergency backpacks, to our Hospitality Team (Tania Blanford, Elise Hatchell, Blaire Paige and Jen Rego) getting coffee and treats ready for our Back to School Coffee, to our New Families Chair (Dana Lung) welcoming and buddying up new families arriving at Havens, and to so many more, we are more than ready for a great year.  I can’t thank our board volunteers enough for all they do for Havens.

Speaking of before school preparations, this past Sunday a few of our HPC families generously volunteered their time to clean up the garden and blacktop areas to make them look great for the first day of school.  And boy did we make a difference!  Thanks to the Saunders,  Bahrami/Veiseh and Boris families for joining my own Amen family crew to spruce up the garden beds and remove litter from all over campus.  We even had a few middle school Boy Scouts join us in the effort as well as superstar Fourth Grade Teacher, Mrs. Jepsen, who has one heck of a green thumb.  Please thank these individuals for their service when you see them on campus and please remind your kids to be respectful of the garden beds (they are an awesome and hands-on teaching tool) and to throw their trash in the correct bins both during and after hours at school. If you want to join me for campus clean up in the future, let me know and we will make it happen!

It was nice to see familiar faces and meet new parents yesterday morning at the Back-to-School Coffee.  HPC teams had an opportunity to speak with parents about the many ways to volunteer at school.  Havens wouldn’t be what it is without your contributions.

If you missed the Back-to-School Coffee but still want to celebrate the start of the school year, sign up for volunteer opportunities and learn about the many parent groups that support our school district, bring the entire family to the Havens Family Fun Fest (Friday, August 24, from 5:00-7:00 pm on our blacktop). You can purchase dinner (taco truck-on site) or bring your own picnic (remember, no alcohol allowed on school grounds) and hang out with old and new friends.

Lastly, we still need a few parent volunteers for Picture Day on August 16th. No experience necessary and I promise it will make you smile!   https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409084aaca828a13-havens

Thanks and enjoy the first week back,

Laura Amen, HPC President

Summertime!

When did the end of year countdown begin in your home?  I actually think my kids have been too busy to even start one this year! One last task for you from Havens Parents Club, please mark your calendars with a few dates for the start of the school year:

8/13 – TK/Kindergarten Open House & Play Date (8:50 am in classrooms/blacktop)

8/14 – First Day of School

8/14 – Back to School Coffee (right after drop off in Ellen Driscoll)*

8/16 – New Parent Orientation (6:00 pm in Ellen Driscoll)

8/24 – Havens Family Fun Fest (5:00 pm on the blacktop)

*All parents (and of course younger siblings that aren’t in school) are welcome.  Come learn more about our many Havens Parents Club groups, what HPC membership means to our school and sign up to volunteer for room parent, library, lunch service, and MANY more opportunities.  Please join us!

Lastly, thank you to those HPC teams who will continue their work this summer to get ready for the beginning of school in August – Merchandise, After School Enrichment, Safety/Emergency Prep and certainly more teams will be busy preparing for the coming school year.

The last few weeks, while a whirlwind, have reminded me just how enriching our school and community are…but I do admit a slower pace can’t come soon enough.  I hope you and your families have a super fun summer!

Laura Amen, Havens Parents Club President

 

From Laura Amen, HPC President 2018-19

This is my first of many weekly messages to all of you and I MUST start it by thanking Dana Lung for all she has done this year to make Havens shine.  Dana has effusively thanked HPC board members, parent volunteers, teachers and staff throughout the year, and I have been waiting to finally do the same for her.

I have been awe (and I admit slightly terrified as I ponder the coming year!) of her hard work and dedication.   Dana is conscientious – she comes prepared to meetings, looks at all situations with fairness always in mind, reminds everyone of deadlines, connects people that need to communicate, coordinates calendars like a master and never lets anything slip through the cracks – even if it means staying up in the wee hours of the night or rising at the crack of dawn. Dana is also a people person – she remembers EVERYONE’S name (I actually think it’s her superpower), she is warm and thoughtful to all she encounters and she is inclusive to all who cross her path.  Dana personifies our Havens values perfectly! And while Dana has been so lovely to all of us, you may not realize just how kind she has been to our children. I’d be willing to bet she knows pretty much all of their names (remember, it’s her superpower) but in her many hours on campus she always stops to say hello to them, she makes sure they are kind to one another, that the child with the bloody nose in the office is OK, that the child not yet picked up after school has a ride and the list goes on. I know our kids feel how much she cares about them and their school.  We celebrated Dana at yesterday’s HPC changeover meeting and the good news is that she will still be a Havens parent for a few more years and around campus involved in our activities and welcoming to all. If you see Dana or have a moment to send her a note, please thank her for her endless dedication to the Havens Parents Club.

As many of you saw on the new board roster, Tara Boris has agreed to serve as the HPC Vice President in 2018-2019 and as HPC President in 2019-2020.  For those of you who know Tara (with 4 kids formerly in or currently at Havens that’s many of you!) you know exactly why I asked her to be VP – she is friendly, thoughtful, bright, hardworking, kind and hilarious.  Tara has been our HPC New Families Chair, Lunch Service Co-Chair, classroom volunteer extraordinaire, field trip chaperone and the list goes on. I’m thrilled that she and I will be working together next year and I’m excited for Havens that the following year she will be the fearless (and fun!) HPC President.

Thank you to all the families who voted to approve the Havens Parents Club Board slate for 2018-2019.  As I mentioned, yesterday we held the annual changeover meeting to thank our outgoing board members and welcome the new ones.  We have an outstanding group of parents lined up for next year who are ready, willing and able to volunteer their time and talents to support Havens, and I am excited to serve along with them.

Lastly, I encourage you to get in touch with me if you have any ideas/suggestions/thoughts for HPC.  And if you want to get involved let me know. I will work to keep these updates shorter in the future.  My husband suggested I cut out half the text and minimize my use of exclamation points – so I’ll keep that in mind.  Maybe!

Enjoy this last week of school,

Laura Amen, Havens Parents Club President

 

Our second pizza pop-up fundraiser was even more successful than the pilot thanks to the efforts and generosity of Havens parents Charlene Reis and Paul Arenstam of Summer Kitchen & Bake Shop. Those families who ordered online ahead of time, picked up their dinners when they picked up their kids from school, and in the process, raised money for Havens through some of the proceeds. We hope to offer this convenient and delicious time-saver more often next year. Thank you to Charlene and Paul, and all the families who participated.
Havens is the place to be tonight for the Spring Book Fair, taco truck, and special viewing of the art show.  The book fair, run by our fabulous HPC Library Team of Penny Graham, Joy Nieman, and Katie Sample, is a fundraiser for the Havens Library, so stock up on tons of great books for your family and friends’ summer reading.  You can also buy books for your teachers and donate them to their individual class libraries.  After buying your books and dinner from the taco truck, don’t forget to view the amazing art work all around campus.  Walk through the office, library and hallways
to see spectacular art created by our students.  Special thanks to art teacher Brittney Price and the parent volunteers who spent hours and hours putting up the beautiful displays.
Our final HPC meeting will be next Tuesday, May 22, at 10:00 am off campus to celebrate our outgoing board and welcome the incoming one.  If you are not a board member and would like to attend the HPC Changeover Brunch, please email me at dana.lung@stanfordalumni.org and I’ll send you the address of the off-campus location.  Please join us!
Although you may be relieved to know that this message is my last as HPC President, I am rather sad about it because the experience of leading the Havens Parents Club has been incredible.  My life has been enriched by getting to meet so many Havens families this year, and getting to know other families better.  I have truly enjoyed working with so many of you, who have tirelessly and valiantly volunteered your time and contributed in so many different ways on behalf of our children.  Your talents, ingenuity, generosity, hard work, passion and caring have inspired me throughout the year, and I am grateful to have served along side you.
Through my many hours at school this year, I got to witness the learning in the classrooms, the repairing of relationships in the counselor’s office, the high-fives on the field, and the curiosity in the library.  As you know, we are fortunate to have such committed and dedicated teachers and staff at Havens, who are not only working to educate our children for success in the future, but also are helping them develop into responsible and thoughtful adults.  I am proud to have been part of of the roll-out of the Havens values and appreciate the efforts of the entire staff in teaching our children about caring, courage, integrity and that everyone at Havens belongs.  Thank you to our courageous leader Anne Dolid, who demonstrates the values every day in her work and who has been so helpful as a resource, advocate, expert, cheerleader, sounding board, and partner.
There are better days ahead for HPC as Laura Amen will be stepping into the role of HPC President.  I asked Laura to be Vice President this year because I knew how conscientious, generous, reliable, enthusiastic, smart and funny she is.  However, in working with her so closely this year,  she surpassed all expectations and confirmed what an outstanding leader she will be next year.  We are in for a treat as Laura takes the helm with her wit, creativity, thoughtfulness and talent.  On a personal note, special thanks to Rebecca Thornborrow, Emeritus President of HPC, who quietly but consistently served as my advisor throughout the year, always happy to listen, give input and provide historical perspective.  As a graduating 5th grade parent, Rebecca will be greatly missed next year at Havens, where she has given so much of her time and talent in the instrumental music class every week, as well as many other contributions throughout the years.
Thank you all again for a wonderful year and Happy Summer,
Dana Lung
HPC President

Spring Book Fair at Havens & May Pizza Pop-Up

Thank you for sending your students to school yesterday with the beautiful flowers.  What a lovely sight!  The bouquets in the classrooms, cards, and other displays of gratitude were greatly appreciated by the teachers and staff.  In addition, we provided a wonderful lunch for all Havens personnel through the planning and coordination of our fabulous HPC Hospitality Team of Frannie Cooley, Jacque Jumper, Blair Paige and Jen Rego.  Huge thanks to them and the parents who brought salads, desserts, and floral arrangements to make the luncheon special.  HPC also personally thanked the 83 Havens staff members with yummy sweet treats left in their mailboxes thanks to the artistic talents of Laura Amen and the baking/packaging prowess and generous subsidy provided by Charlene Reis.

A round of applause for all of those who attended our last regular HPC meeting of the 2017-2018 school year last week.  Thank you to teacher specialists Jessica Roine and Karen Keller, and teacher librarian Laura Remer, who were our guest speakers and provided us with helpful tips and strategies to avoid the “summer slide.”  We also had a substantive discussion on PUSD’s funding requests for this year and our need to spend some of our reserves to fulfill them.  The HPC board voted to fund the requests from PUSD, and we thank you for your support.  Our HPC Board Changeover Meeting will be on Tuesday, May 22, at 10:00 am off campus to celebrate our outgoing board and welcome the new one.  If you are not a board member and would like to attend, please email me at dana.lung@stanfordalumni.org and I’ll send you the address of the off-campus location.  Please join us!
Next week is the Spring Book Fair at Havens.  Please see the Library Team’s message below for details.  Please clean out your old books this week and donate them to the SERVES book drive happening now (bins are around campus) to benefit the East Bay Agency for Children.  Then come to the book fair and purchase new books for your kids, family, friends, teachers, summer reading, etc. while raising critical funds for our library.
Also next week is our May Pizza Pop-Up!  Havens parents Charlene Reis and Paul Arenstam of Summer Kitchen & Bakeshop are generously holding a second pizza fundraiser specifically for Havens. Details below:

Summer Kitchen Pop-Up at Havens

  • Pick up your order when you pick up the kids and dinner is done!
  • Menu includes half-baked pizzas, salads and chicken tenders.
  • Order online before Monday, May 14, and pick up after school at Havens on Tuesday, May 15.  They will take orders until they sell out (which they did with the pilot) possibly before May 14, so order early!
  • 15% of every order will go directly to Havens Elementary.
  • To order, go to https://summer-kitchen-pop- up.myshopify.com
There’s a ton going on so let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks and enjoy the frenzy,
Dana Lung
HPC President

A message from the HPC President

Great to see such a huge crowd at the instrumental music concert by the 4th and 5th graders last night.  The students performed so well (and I’m objective since I don’t have a 4th or 5th grader!), and I am impressed with how far the program has come in the last couple years.  Thanks to our instrumental music instructors Shauna Revelli, Heather King, and Robin Eig, and a special thank you to Havens parent Rebecca Thornborrow for volunteering her time every week to help with the classes.
Next Tuesday, May 8, is Teacher Appreciation Day at Havens.  Please send your child to school with a flower or two (store bought or home grown) to present to his or her teacher.  Parent volunteers will help gather the flowers together and arrange beautiful bouquets for the teachers.  The HPC Hospitality Team will also provide a wonderful lunch for the entire staff with the help of some of you who have graciously volunteered to bring a salad or dessert.  Thanks in advance for your support.
Don’t forget to order your dinner-to-go with our May Pizza Pop-Up!  Havens parents Charlene Reis and Paul Arenstam of Summer Kitchen Bake Shop have generously offered to have a second pizza fundraiser specifically for Havens. Details below: 

Summer Kitchen Pop-Up at Havens

  • Pick up your order when you pick up the kids and dinner is done!
  • Menu includes half-baked pizzas, salads and chicken tenders.
  • Order online before Monday, May 14, and pick up after school at Havens on Tuesday, May 15.  They will take orders until they sell out (which they did with the pilot) possibly before May 14, so order early!
  • 15% of every order will go directly to Havens Elementary.
  • To order, go to https://summer-kitchen-pop- up.myshopify.com
Finally, I look forward to seeing you at our last regular HPC meeting of the 2017-2018 school year tomorrow, Thursday, May 3, at 8:35 am in Ellen Driscoll.  Teacher specialists Jessica Roine and Karen Keller, and teacher librarian Laura Remer will be our guest speakers to provide us with helpful tips and strategies to avoid the “summer slide/slump.”  We will also conduct important end-of-the-year business, including the proposed spending of some of our reserves to address critical PUSD funding requests.  Please join us.
Thanks and see you tomorrow morning,
Dana Lung
HPC President

Thank you Havens Spring Fling Coordinator Committee

It was lovely to see so many of you at the K-3 vocal music concert yesterday morning.  I think the students performed beautifully and am grateful to Mr. Behrendt for his efforts and energy in providing us with a glimpse of our children’s vocal music education.  I am excited for next week’s instrumental music concert by the 4th and 5th graders graders on Tuesday, May 1, at 7 pm in Ellen Driscoll and look forward to seeing many of you there.  
The Spring Fling gala on Friday night was very fun and successful in raising much-needed funds for our 3 elementary schools.  Thank you to all of you who volunteered at, donated to, and/or attended the gala and to all of you who worked tirelessly on all of the activities and events associated with Spring Fling.  In particular, thank you to our Havens Spring Fling Coordinator Teebie Saunders, the many other Havens parents on the Spring Fling Committee, and all of the families who contributed to the 2 Havens baskets for the silent auction.  We’re very grateful.
Back by popular demand, we will have another Pizza Pop-Up in May!  Havens parents Charlene Reis and Paul Arenstam of Summer Kitchen Bake Shop have generously offered to have a second pizza fundraiser specifically for Havens. Details below:

Summer Kitchen Pop-Up at Havens

  • Pick up your order when you pick up the kids and dinner is done!
  • Menu includes half-baked pizzas, salads and chicken tenders.
  • Order online before Monday, May 14, and pick up after school at Havens on Tuesday, May 15.  They will take orders until they sell out (which they did with the pilot) possibly before May 14, so order early!
  • 15% of every order will go directly to Havens Elementary.
  • To order, go to https://summer-kitchen-pop- up.myshopify.com
Please remember to attend our last regular HPC meeting of the 2017-2018 school year on Thursday, May 3, at 8:35 am in Ellen Driscoll.  A few Havens teachers will be our guest speakers that morning to provide us with helpful tips and strategies to avoid the “summer slide/slump,” and we will also conduct important end-of-the-year business, including the proposed spending of some of our reserves to address critical PUSD funding requests.
Thanks and Happy May,
Dana Lung
HPC President
A big thank you to the Havens Dads Club for hosting their annual Spring Swing Family Dance Party last Friday night, with a special shout-out to Havens dad and in-house DJ Jeff Hiller for providing the fabulous tunes.  Havens families enjoyed dancing, eating, socializing, and posing for pictures, all while raising valuable funds for Havens.
Also, please join me in thanking Cori Kau for being the Havens Lice Check Coordinator this year and working with volunteers from Beach and Wildwood to offer the 3 tri-school lice checks.  We appreciate Cori stepping up to do a role that no one wants, but everyone appreciates, and for helping to implement the new tri-school program.
 
This weekend is again jam-packed with fun, so this week I will highlight a few tri-school or district events:
  • The Spring Fling Gala is this Friday, April 20, 5:30 pm, at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center.  Only a few tickets remain, so buy your tickets today.  If you’ve already purchased your ticket, look out for your e-check-in email and auction catalog to plan your bidding strategy.  Auction items are also available for preview on the website.  In addition to attending the gala, you can buy raffle tickets to win 3 nights at an amazing Napa home or play golf in the first annual Spring Fling Golf Classic, both benefiting our elementary schools.  More information at www.piedmontspringfling.org.
  • Celebrate Earth Day with SERVES on Saturday, April 219 am-12 noon, at Oakland Zoo’s Arroyo Viejo Creek. All participants get free admission to the zoo (and free parking).  We will be picking up garbage, pulling invasive species, spreading mulch, moving materials, cleaning signage or planting native plants.  The work will kick off with an introduction to watersheds and local wildlife so that participants understand the value of their work that day.
    Sign up now at 
    http://www.signupgenius.com/go /4090f49abab2aa3fe3-april
  • The 5th annual Piedmont School Maker Faire is on Sunday, April 22, 11am-3pm, at the Piedmont High School campus.  Check out the 100+ projects from Beach, Havens, Wildwood, Piedmont Middle School, Millennium High School, and Piedmont High School students and other community makers.  New this year are  keynote conversations with Maker Faire creator Dale Dougherty and Lt. Governor candidate Jeff Bleich; drones; Nerdy Derby; and more!  Admission is free.
Finally, please remember to mark your calendar for the last regular HPC meeting of the 2017-2018 school year, which will occur on Thursday, May 3, at 8:35 am in Ellen Driscoll.  A few Havens teachers will be our guest speakers that morning to provide us with helpful tips and strategies to avoid the “summer slide/slump,” and we will also conduct important end-of-the-year business.  Hope you will attend.
Thanks and see you at the Spring Fling Gala,
Dana Lung
HPC President

Spring Fling Gala

I hope you had a wonderful Spring Break and returned reinvigorated to finish out the remaining 7 weeks of school.  Thank you to all who attended the HPC meeting last night. As part of our ongoing effort to be a more inclusive community and ensure that “everyone at Havens belongs,” a team of Havens staff members shared their work on the dimensions of gender as it relates to understanding the whole student. It was an informative and valuable presentation, which we hope will serve as a springboard for future dialogue and work. We also introduced PUSD’s funding requests to HPC for the upcoming school year and will further the financial discussion in our May HPC meeting.
Speaking of our May meeting, a reminder that the last regular HPC meeting of the 2017-2018 school year will be on Thursday, May 3, at 8:35 am in Ellen Driscoll. We will have important end-of-the-year business to conduct, so please join us.  
 
There’s a lot going on this weekend so I thought I’d highlight a few of the events happening at Havens: the Havens Dads Club Spring Swing Family Dance will be on Friday, April 13, 6-9 pm, in Ellen Driscoll, $10/person; the third and final Lice Check of the year will occur on Saturday, April 14, 8-11 am, in Ellen Driscoll, $15/student if you haven’t already paid through the Piedmont Store; and the 1st Annual South Asian Cultural Celebration – A Spring Garba and Raas sponsored by the Piedmont Asian American Club, will take place on Saturday, April 14, 3-6 pm, in Ellen Driscoll, $40/family (2 adults and their kids) or $10/person.
Finally, the Spring Fling Galathe annual fundraiser benefiting all 3 elementary schools, is less than 2 weeks away so purchase your tickets today if you haven’t yet. The gala will be on Friday, April 20, at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center and will include cocktails, dinner, dancing and a fabulous silent auction.  In addition to attending the gala, you can buy a raffle ticket (which will be sold at the Dads Club Spring Swing Family Dance this Friday, April 13) to win 3 nights at an amazing Napa Home; bid on an item in the online auction (closes on Monday, April 16); and purchase tickets to a parent party.   More information at www.piedmontspringfling.org.
Thanks and see you on the dance floor Friday night,
Dana Lung
HPC President

A Message from Dana

Thank you to Havens parents Charlene Reis and Paul Arenstam of Summer Kitchen Bake Shop for the successful “pilot” pizza pop-up yesterday afternoon in front of Havens. Families who ordered dinner online ahead of time (before it sold out!) got to pick up their meals (pizza, salads and chicken tenders) when they picked up their kids from school. It just doesn’t get more convenient than that! In addition to providing these families with dinner and saving them time, the pop-up also raised funds for Havens, as Charlene and Paul generously donated 15% of the proceeds to HPC. It was a win-win for all involved, and we are grateful to Charlene and Paul for their talents and generosity.
Please remember that the next HPC meeting will be on Tuesday, April 10, at 7:00 pm in the Havens Library. Select Havens staff members will be our guest speakers that evening (after working all day with our kids) to present their work on gender identity and expression as it relates to understanding the whole student. We encourage all families to attend this informative presentation. Another very important topic of discussion will be PUSD’s funding requests for next year and HPC’s recommendations. Please join us for this substantive agenda and the penultimate HPC meeting of the year.
Don’t forget to purchase your tickets for Spring Fling, the annual fundraiser benefiting all 3 elementary schools.  The gala will be on Friday, April 20, at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center and will include cocktails, dinner, dancing and a fabulous silent auction.  For the silent auction, please remember that families with kids in grades TK-2 have been asked to assemble a Wine & Cheese Basket, and grades 3-5 have been asked to put together a Restaurant Gift Card Basket.  Please see Room Parent communications for details.  Also part of Spring Fling is Comings & Goings, which captures kindergartners (comings) and fifth graders (goings) in lovely photographs as they begin and end their elementary school years.  Details have already been sent out via Room Parent communication channels, but a big thank you to Elise Hatchell and Jennifer Hong for leading the Comings & Goings project for all 3 schools.  
Thanks and have a wonderful Spring Break,
Dana Lung
HPC President