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Forest Freedom School Blog

Jauary 2019 newsletter

shayna cureton

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Dear Forest Freedom School Families,


Happy New Year Forest Freedom Families! Over the past week, teachers have been building together and getting a lot of good work done to make our programs and our systems even more awesome. Thank you so much to all the folks who weighed in on the Parent Survey. We have incorporated your feedback and are looking forward to sharing some updates with you about the upcoming semester. We created an outline of this newsletter so that you do not feel intimidated by its length.


  1. Reclaim MLK! Monday January 21st
  2. Launching A Central Place for Community & Family Resources: The Community Canopy
  3. Communication Protocols between Teachers and Families
  4. Preschool Updates
  5. Elementary Updates



#Reclam MLK! Monday January 21st 

We are so excited to be hosting the 5th Annual Reclaim MLK Teach-In for young activists! This will be a day of hands-on learning, play marching and other ways for our community to plunge into the larger movement for liberation in Oakland. Our FFS students are planning stations for the Teach-In! They will get to share their knowledge of direct action, children's solutions to the housing crisis, who MLK is and other freedom skills. We would love for our whole community to show up and bring friends!! 

*We need all families to fill out this form to let us know if their child will be attending, with or without  parents, and which parents can volunteer during the day to help with stations, in the children's village or most importantly, with children who are there without parents. 

For more information visit the Facbeook event .

We are having a meeting this Friday, 1/18/2019 @ 6:00-8:00pm at the Planting Justice Office 3463 San Pablo Ave, Oakland Ca 94608. It will be pot luck style and kids welcome! 

Participation Survey *REQUIRED*
We have loved our budding partnership with the Junior Center for Arts and Science! We encourage our families to get a membership and explore the space with the whole family! Soon there will be a new early childhood science room and Abundant Beginnings will be helping update the play room, so let us know your ideas! The center has asked us to let families know that they close daily at 3:00pm, so if you would like to enjoy the space, please come on your child's day off of school or on the weekend. 
Become a Member

Community Canopy

We have created a page to centralize links to useful resources and information for FFS families. We received significant feedback that school-wide resources and information are not easily accessible. The website is : The site is password protected and the password is: freedomforest.


Communication Protocols between Teachers and Families


Another significant piece of feedback we received is that we have too many communication platforms to communicate with each other. Teachers feel the same. Moving forward, please know that your primary mode of communication with your child’s teachers will be through ClassDojo. We also love talking to you face-to-face before and after school! We may not always have availability during those windows, in which case, please follow up with a direct message to teachers on ClassDojo Messenger.


We will post school-wide announcements and updates about your child’s class on ClassDojo. Teachers will not be receiving text messages on their private numbers, except in extenuating circumstances, which we will outline further below. Teachers will be checking ClassDojo messages throughout the workday between the hours of 8am-4pm.

For urgent matters during school hours, you can call or text teachers on their private cell phone numbers. All other communications should be on ClassDojo.


For urgent matters outside of school hours, Juniper and Birch class parents may contact Dylan on their cell phone (804-381-1910), Sequoia class parents can contact Shayna on their cell phone (510-612-2283), and Madrone Class can contact Keri on her cell phone (530-312-1902).


For all other non-urgent communications with teachers, (i.e. questions about your child’s day, missing items, pickup or dropoff information, if your child is sick, and so forth), please message your teachers on ClassDojo messenger and expect a response between 8am-4pm.  




Preschool Updates

Pre-School Week Schedule:

Monday: Juniper stays at Lake Merritt, Birch goes to the Forest

Tuesday: Juniper and Birch both go to the Forest

Wednesday: Juniper and Birch at the Lake

Thursday: Juniper and Birch go to the Forest

Friday: Juniper and Birch go to the Forest.


Drop off on all days is at 8:30am at the Junior Center. On days that your child will be going to the forest, we will be leaving at 8:45am. Please be on time.

Also, Please make sure that your child always has a spare set of clean clothes (2 sets for Birch class) left at camp. If they are sent home with wet clothes, please send them back with a new set to keep at camp. Thank you!!


Elementary Updates

It's rainy season!! Please send your child everyday with warm layers, rain pants, rain jacket and rain boots or waterproof hiking shoes. Even if they do not want to. If you need help getting any of these things please let us know. 

Sequoia Announcement:

New Year Reminder! Sequoia drop off is 8:30. Teacher Kris will be back from Vacation Monday, January 21st. 


Madrone Announcements:

1. Climbing Thursdays with Emily Taylor of Brown Girls Climb will be starting this Thursday (1/17). Drop off will be at 8:30 at Great Western Power Company climbing gym (520 20th St, Oakland, CA 94612) and we will ride public transit (the 12 bus) back to the playground for regular pick up. If you have a youth clipper card, please bring it.


2 Reminder that our morning drop off times are from 8:30-9:00. While we acknowledge that some morning transitions take longer than others, being at school by 9:00 significantly helps with our flow of the day and our community ability to hold focused attention. Also, our focus of study for morning workshop this semester is Social Justice 101. Don't miss out!

Also, Please make sure that your child always has a spare set of clean clothes in a plastic bag in their back packs.  Thank you!!



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