Sue’s News for October 23, 2019

Recent News

Narrative grade reports were sent last week. Please let us know if you have questions about your child’s report.

Last week was the Great California Shakeout, and during All School Meeting, our Student Safety Officers demonstrated earthquake response protocols. Given the recent earthquakes in the East Bay, coupled with the PG&E blackout, we are reviewing all of our emergency protocols and will be in touch soon with updates. 

The recent blackout will surely not be the last, and all of us in the Bay Area need to be prepared for what happens when the power goes out. Currently, OA does not have a generator, which means when the power is out we don’t have access to our phone, internet, or HVAC systems. This poses safety issues, and so in the event of a future blackout, we will close school. We have an emergency notification system that we can activate via cell phone, and we will alert and update parents via text in these situations. Please note that in an emergency situation we will dismiss students only with parent permission.


Coming Around the Corner

Special Programming Wednesday, October 30
9th grade – habitat restoration field trip with Vicky, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
10th and 11th grades – PSAT test at OA, 9 a.m. to approximately noon
12th grade – college application and essay day + work day for senior-level classes with Cyndy, Peter, and Katherine (all seniors meet in the Art and Music rooms at 9 a.m. and will be dismissed at noon).
Meetings with Sue – I would like to meet with all new and 9th-grade families in the next few weeks. I’d love to hear how your transition to the OA community is going and to learn more about you, your family, and your OA student. Macy will be in touch soon to schedule a meeting.


Plans for the Future

We are off to a great start with our Annual Fund, OA 2020 Vision. We have almost $30,000 pledged toward our goal of $100,000. Thanks to all who have already donated or pledged – let’s keep up the momentum!



Sue’s Muse

For the past several months I have been writing articles for the Piedmont Post. I draw from my years of experience as an educator and sometimes from my recent experience at OA. My work with you and your children is a constant source of inspiration to me and I really enjoy writing about it. 

Here is an article I wrote this summer:


Help for the Feeling Bad Parent

Almost every parent I know feels bad about their parenting. If you’re anything like them, these are some of the things you feel bad about:

You feel bad because you don’t spend enough time with your kids. You feel bad because you spend too much time with your kids. You feel bad because your kids spend too much time online. You feel bad because you secretly like it when your kids spend too much time online because it gives you a break. You feel bad because you don’t spend enough time helping your kids with their homework. You feel bad because you spend too much time helping your kids with their homework (and their grades aren’t even improving, which makes you feel even worse). And mostly you feel bad because if you didn’t feel bad, and if you actually felt confident and at ease about your parenting, this would mean you’re doing something really, really wrong.

Sound familiar?

Feeling bad about your parenting isn’t your fault. Parents today are bombarded with messages about how to parent, and the Parenting Industrial Complex, as I call it, would collapse if parents relied on their instincts, common sense, and the support of friends and family to parent.

So, in this age of Feel Bad Parenting, I’d like to offer some relief.

You’re doing a great job as a parent. Seriously, everything is fine. And I’m going to prove it to you.

For the next week, spend 5-10 minutes every day creating a list of all the things you do well as a parent. Write down everything you can think of–no achievement is too small. The only caveat is that if/when a negative thought about your parenting pops into your head you must dismiss it immediately. Your list of positive parenting achievements might include:

-I work hard (in or outside of the home) to provide for my kids.
-I love my kids more than anything in the world (most of the time).
-I would do anything for my kids.
-Every parent I know can say these things. And this is fantastic.

Parenting will get easier, and you (and your kids) will feel happier when you stop feeling bad about yourself as a parent. If you create a list of all the things you do well as a parent and keep it up daily for just one week, you will start to feel better. I promise.

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