Archive of Parke Treadway

Parke has written 33 article(s) for InMenlo.


Oak Knoll School, one of three elementary schools in the Menlo Park City School District, has been chosen as a 2020 California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education. The recognition reflects “outstanding education programs and practices” and represents “not just excellent teaching, learning, and collaboration, but also highly successful school climate efforts” according to a statement from State Superintendent of Education Tony Thurmond.

The state selects schools based on a variety of assessment outcomes and also one Model Program or Practice, which the school chooses to highlight. Oak Knoll was selected in part because it has maintained a high level of achievement as measured by Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing.

In 2018 (the year upon which the Distinguished School award was based), 85% of students exceeded or met standards in the area of English Language Arts (ELA), and 82% in math. At that time, the achievement of disaggregated groups continued to rise for gains of 14% average growth in math and 27% average growth in ELA across all student groups.

Oak Knoll serves a wide range of students with very different life experiences and speaking over a dozen different home languages, yet maintains cohesion through a positive school climate where students, teachers, and parents remain engaged and motivated.

In addition to its strong academic performance and assessment measures, Oak Knoll was selected for its Model Practice called Teacher, Peer, Admin (TPA). TPA improves teacher efficacy and has a significant impact on student achievement by providing a regular forum for classroom teachers to give and receive feedback, scale best practices, and professionally develop. During TPA, two teachers and an administrator visit classrooms together, discuss observations, and then share them school-wide.

“We believe that our success is the result of three things: the clarity of our school mission and goals, our positive school culture and climate, and our strong relationships and instruction,” said Principal Kristen Gracia. “Our students are so fortunate to have such incredible teachers. Our high-quality teachers are the main reason our students thrive.”

The California Department of Education recognized 323 elementary schools for 2020, including  eight from San Mateo County. All four of MPCSD’s schools — Encinal, Laurel, Oak Knoll, and Hillview — have received the Distinguished School honors multiple times. Oak Knoll previously received the Distinguished School award in 2014 for its equity work and growth mindset instruction. Oak Knoll will retain the 2020 honor for two years.

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Spotted: Melba Beals, one of the Little Rock Nine, speaking to Hillview 7th Graders

Menlo Park City School District seventh graders are embarking on a unit within their English classes called The Resilience Project. The students are diving into literature based on resilient characters such as The Lions of Little Rock, When My Name Was Keoko, The Island on Bird Street, I Am Malala, and Trevor Noah: Born a […]

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MPCSD announces school board discussion of parcel tax replacement

The Menlo Park City School District School Board at its regular meeting on Thursday, November 14, will consider a timetable for the replacement of parcel tax Measure X. The March 2017 passage of Measure X, along with the $2 million in cuts MPCSD made, was a short-term solution to afford the district a longer planning […]

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Spotted: Encinal School celebrating Cultural Arts Week

Encinal School is enjoying Cultural Arts Week with a focus on El Salvador this week. Spotted on Wednesday was Latin Grammy winning duo 123 Andres, an enthusiastic singing team who use their fun songs and endless energy to entertain and teach Spanish vocabulary. The Encinal Eagles had a blast! This was made possible by the […]

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All Students Matter expands support for building literacy skills among Ravenswood students

Improving literacy skills is a top priority for Ravenswood City School District, as those skills are critical for reading, writing, and common core math. Local volunteer organization All Students Matter supports Ravenswood students in building literacy, with about 200 volunteers set to work with Ravenswood teachers in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park this […]

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Two Menlo Park City School District students become Superintendent for the Day

Menlo Park City School District hosted guest superintendents for two days earlier this month. Laurel School third grader Jacob Atkins (pictured above) and Hillview sixth grader Arhaan Gupta-Rastogi won the “Superintendent for the Day” item at the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation’s annual auction. The students shadowed MPCSD Superintendent Erik Burmeister, who planned activities of interest […]

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Spotted: Pencil posts at Encinal School

Encinal Elementary School art teacher Stephanie Noon officially celebrated the completion of the “pencil posts”  on Wednesday (June 12) with a special gathering of students who helped transform ordinary hallway posts into colorful pencils. The Encinal art students, along with third grade Girl Scout Brownie Troop 62689 — led by Encinal teacher and mom Aimee […]

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Spotted: Oak Knoll students cheering on former Otters in winning World Cup match

Oak Knoll Otters spent their lunch recess Tuesday watching the USA/Thailand World Cup soccer match. Not one, but two Oak Knoll alumni, Abby Dahlkemper and Tierna Davidson, are on the world cup team. The current students had so much fun cheering on their fellow Otters! As the school says, “Once an Otter, always an Otter.” […]

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Menlo Park City School District announces community connection opportunities before the end of school year

The current year may be drawing to a close on June 14, but there are still plenty of chances to share your input and connect with the Menlo Park City School District before then. June 4: School Board meeting with end of year staff celebration. You are invited to attend our regular School Board meeting […]

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Menlo Park City School District wants to hear from you!

It’s time again for MPCSD’s annual community survey. The district uses your feedback as it plans for the future. MPCSD schools are Encinal, Laurel, and Oak Knoll Elementary and Hillview Middle and serve nearly 3000 students and their families. Whether you have children currently in the district schools or not, please help MPCSD by taking […]

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Sup & Sandwich: A Community Conversation with MPCSD Superintendent on April 19

The community is invited to join Menlo Park City School District Superintendent Erik Burmeister for a casual conversation about our schools – the Early Learning Center, Encinal Elementary, Laurel Elementary, Oak Knoll Elementary, and Hillview Middle School. Erik will present a brief overview of some of our priorities and challenges, and invite you to ask […]

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