PTSA President’s 2016-17 Message

Welcome from the PTSA to Edna Brewer – the best middle school in Oakland – for the 2016-17 academic year.


For those of you here last year, welcome back.   For those new to the Brewer community, welcome, and we are really glad you are here.   We would like to extend a special welcome to our new 6th grade assistant principal, Ms. Helida Silva, who comes to us from Roosevelt Middle School. We are thrilled to have her tremendous talents, energy and commitment to public education here at Brewer. We also welcome all of our new teachers and staff, and we look forward to working with all of you!  The first few weeks of school are exciting and hopeful, and with continued engagement between teachers, students and parents, our goal will be to maintain that energy and partnership throughout the year.


First and foremost, our big news:  Brewer’s new turf field is almost complete! Final touches should be completed this week – including additional infill and base markings for baseball and softball. We expect students to be able to use the field soon after Labor Day.  The turf field is the result of a long, collaborative effort between the Edna Brewer PTSA, PE teachers, administrators and OUSD’s facilities department. A special thank you to turf field committee members Jim Robins, Hugh Morrison, Eric Londgren and Principal Layne for their tireless efforts to ensure Brewer ended up with the best, biggest and safest field possible. We are also extremely grateful to Oakland Councilmember Noel Gallo and School Board Director Rosie Torres for their support in pushing forward this important project. We will be scheduling a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the near future. Stay tuned!


To fulfill our mission of strengthening a community that fosters personal, academic and artistic success of our studentswe need engagement from ALL members of our community.  Strong communication and participation are key to building and maintaining a strong community, so please attend PTSA meetings, sign up for our weekly newsletter, keep in touch with your children’s teachers, and participate in Brewer community events, such as our annual Back to School Night, Burgers and Bingo Night, Culture Night, Band and Orchestra concerts and our fundraising activities.  Please also check out our website to learn more about what we do.


A few Program highlights for the upcoming year:

1) The PTSA will continue to support Brewer’s innovative peer tutoring program, which engages student tutors to support their peers through homework help, academic community building, and the development of executive functioning skills. For questions about this program, please contact Mr. August Spafford.

2) The PTSA supports our teachers in a variety of ways. We offer teacher mini-grants for innovative educational endeavors as well as new teacher grants to support with classroom management. Every teacher in the school also receives a modest $250 stipend to cover additional classroom supplies. And our teacher & staff appreciation program is vibrant as we partner with the school to build morale through support.

3) The PTSA has increased its field trip budget so that all students at Brewer will be able to participate in experiential learning outside of the classroom.

4) The PTSA is increasing its Healthy Snacks for Kids program, which ensures that any child who is hungry has access to a healthy snack. If you know of businesses or organizations that might be able to donate snacks to this program, please contact

5) The PTSA will be partnering with the PE Department and the Brewer administration to improve the visibility, variety and communication about our after-school athletics programs and school teams. Stay tuned!

6) The PTSA is excited to support Brewer’s brand new after school chorus program, run by the Oakland Youth Chorus. We feel this will be a valuable addition to Brewer’s stellar music program.

7) The PTSA will be hosting a screening of the highly acclaimed movie “Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age“.  Stay tuned as we work to set a date!

8) The PTSA will promote the Panther PRIDE principles of Positivity, Respect, Independence, Determination and Empathy via the PRIDE Store.  We are looking for volunteers to help run our PRIDE store, where students redeem their PRIDE Tickets for small prizes. If you are interested in helping, please contact our VP of programs, Eric Londgren.


Fundraising Highlights:

1) We expect the Giving Campaign to be our largest fundraiser this year – and we are striving for 100% participation.  Please make your donation to the PTSA Giving Campaign today. Every dollar gets us closer to our goal of $45,000 to fund programs such as music, art, science, field trips, tutoring, just to name a few. Thank you for your support!

2) Ride for a Reason is back! For the 4th consecutive year, Brewer riders and volunteers are warmly invited to participate in this amazing fundraiser and community-builder to support public education. So, save the date: April 29th, 2017!

3) Local realtor and Brewer supporter Carla Higgins is partnering with the Lake Merritt Striders on a community fun run at Lake Merritt on September 25th, with proceeds benefiting Edna Brewer. Cost is $12 for adults and $4 for kids under 12. To register, please contact Carla Higgins (

4) 2017 Online Auction. Let us know if  you are interested in being a Co-Chair.

5) We welcome ideas and support for new and innovative fundraisers. If you have any ideas or just want to help, please contact our awesome fundraising chairs, Jo Mortensen and Suzanne Riley.

These are just a few of the many ways the BREWER PTSA tries to improve our school community. Please join us. There is a place for all.


At our first PTSA general association meeting on Tuesday, September 22nd at 6:30 pm we will discuss the role of the PTSA and the calendar for the year. Remember: this is the Parent Teacher Student Association.   We welcome everyone and wish you all success in the 2016-17 academic year!


Thanks, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the school,

Christy Getz
PTSA President
on behalf of the entire PTSA Board