News: November 6, 2009

Calendar:

November 11: NO SCHOOL
November 17 – 20: Annual Book Fair with Kepler’s
November 18: PTA Coffee and Kepler’s Book Talk, 8:15 – 9:15 AM
December 2:  Restaurant Night at Armadillo Willy’s

From the desk of Lupe Garcia:

Dear Palo Verde Parents and Community,

We are definitely into our school routines and students, parents, and teachers are working to ensure we maximize the results of our collective efforts.  Parent/Teacher conferences have already begun and continue through the rest of November. Teachers spend countless hours reviewing your child’s work in order to complete the progress report card and to prepare for the conference with you.  Do drop by your child’s classroom to get informed about what your child is doing in his/her class.

Here are some of the things to expect at your parent-teacher conference:

  • The teacher will review your child’s strengths and areas for continuing development.
  • Samples of your child’s work and the results of various assessments will be shared.
  • The teacher will refer to the report card and will indicate your child’s progress toward meeting the standards that we expect students to know and be able to achieve by the end of the school year.  Is s/he making expected progress?  Is s/he making limited progress? If so, is there a need to put increased attention on a particular skill or concept? Has s/he already met or exceeded the standard?
  • Conference topics will include academic growth and performance, as well as study skills and social/emotional development.
  • The teacher may suggest ways in which you can assist and support your child’s progress at home.
  • The teacher will give you an opportunity to ask questions and share reflections about your child’s growth and achievement.   

It is our common goal, as parents and teachers, to work together in the best interest of all our children. 

I want to express my personal gratitude for your thoughtful, kind and generous support, all of which directly benefits our children.  As such, the PiE Fundraising drive that will benefit our school next year is currently taking place.  For those of you who have already donated to PiE this year, I say Thank You.  If you haven’t donated yet, you can double your donation from now through November 20th, thanks to a Challenge Grant made possible by the PiE Board and Advisory Council members.

As you might know, your PiE donations from last year are allowing us to offer Spectra Art lessons and instructional aides in every classroom and some classroom support through the Palo Alto Junior Museum.  Thank you in advance for any and all donations, which will make it possible for us to maintain the level of support we currently offer our students at Palo Verde.

Again, we are most grateful for your active and supportive role in helping Palo Verde School provide a strong educational foundation for all our children.

Warmest regards,
Lupe Garcia

Palo Verde and PTA Announcements:

PIE News: The Challenge Grant is Here!

Your PiE donation will be DOUBLED between November 2nd and November 20th, through a generous $250,000 matching grant provided by the PiE Board and Advisory Council. Take advantage of this opportunity to stretch your dollars and retain critical school programs and staff funded by PiE! Suggested donation is $650 per child, although we welcome any contribution that is meaningful for your family. All schools will sponsor “Donation Days” events during the last week of the Challenge Grant, Nov. 16th-Nov. 20th. Meet your PiE representatives, ask your burning PiE questions, and make your tax-deductible donation count…twice! Online donations welcome: http://www.papie.org/donPers.shtml

The PTA NEEDs You!

Our Palo Verde parents contribute thousands of volunteer hours to benefit our school. In many cases, the PTA helps coordinate the efforts of behind the scenes volunteers who help keep our school running happily. We still have several open positions that need generous parents to volunteer to fill.

Some jobs are smaller and easier than others. Some jobs can be completed almost entirely at home or in the evenings. Some jobs give you an extra opportunity to interact with students. Some jobs involve a year long commitment, some last only one day. Some jobs will give you a stronger understanding of how the school or even the district function. Any time and energy you choose to give can be valuable.

If you are interested in any of the following positions, please contact me. If you know you would love to help more but aren’t sure what could be a good fit, I’ll be very happy to help you find a role that both you and Palo Verde will find gratifying. Thank you very much! -Heather Schultz, PTA, VP of Social Events, at (650) 424-8380 or hschultz (at) @hotmail dot com

ONCE/TWICE PER MONTH or LESS
PTA Parent Coffee Hour Coordinator
Noon Games Coordinator
EScrip Fundraising Coordinator
Lost and Found Organizer
Lice Check Records Keeper
School Board Representative

PTA BOARD POSITIONS and COMMITTEE CHAIRS
International Fair Co-chairs
Parliamentarian
VP of Fundraising

Five Reasons to Visit the Book Fair:

1. Teachers will have wish lists for books so you can purchase one as a gift for your child’s classroom
2. A Kepler’s staff person will always be available to answer questions and help you find a great book
3. The money raised from the book fair will be used for our Palo Verde library
4. It’s a great place to get gifts!
5. It’s fun!
What is the Book Fair? This is a fabulous event when Kepler’s sets up a store just for us in the Palo Verde multi-purpose room, bringing tons of books just right for our elementary students and some for their siblings and parents as well.
How do I pay for things? We take cash, checks, and credit cards
More questions? Email Gail Foelsch at foelschg (at) hotmail dot com or Alison Cormack at acormack (at) sbcglobal dot net
To sign up to help go to http://tinyurl.com/ylojode
(or http://www.jooners.com/guest?t=help&p=none&l=-517e749b:124a3221ece:-3a1f)

Two Easy Ways to Raise Funds for Palo Verde

eScrip is the fastest and easiest way for you to give funds to our schools. All you need to do is register your credit card(s) and store cards (like your Safeway Club card) and every time you make a purchase a percentage will be given back to Palo Verde. In past years the PTA has earned as much as $12,000 this way! If you are not already a member, please visit http://www.escrip.com and today to start contributing to our school when you shop online and around town. It’s safe, easy, powerful and FREE!

Another way to donate to the school without any cost to you is if you start your online shopping trips at OneCause. When you use OneCause you will contribute as much as 20% of every eligible purchase to Palo Verde PTA, at no extra cost to you. Hundreds of well-known merchants such as Amazon.com, Apple iTunes, Lands’ End, Pottery Barn and Travelocity participate. If you are not already registered, please take time to register at http://www.escrip.com and/or http://www.onecause.com today.

Palo Verde Auction

Mark the date of Saturday March 13, 2010 on your calendars for the Palo Verde Silent Auction. Your chance to support your school and bid for some fabulous items. This year we have a new venue and enchanting theme, and will also offer a babysitting service…more details to follow! In the meantime if you’d like to be part of the team organizing this year’s event please get in touch with Sheri Tye (sherilyn.tye (at) stanfordalumni dot org or (510) 219-0969) or Jackie Cook (Jackie.cook (at) live dot com or (650) 391-9258), your auction chairs. We need help in lots of different areas…see below:

Donations:

 Can you help contact merchants for donations? We need people in the next few weeks to follow up a letter we have already sent out. We’ll provide you with all the details you need to follow up. Maximum two hours work at times that suit you.
 Do you own your own business or have a favorite business you use often? Can you solicit a donation directly from them? Please just let us know who it is and we can provide you with a letter and tax details (remember all donations are tax deductible).  Lastly do you have a special skill you could turn into an auction item (e.g. photography, cookery, sewing, fitness instruction, etc), or own something that you can donate (holiday homes, plane rides, season passes to sports venues, etc), or do you just love organizing parties? These donations are great fun to bid on and take part in. Please start thinking now about what you could pull together and contact us if you need help.

Organizing the event:
 Let us know if you’re interested in helping nearer the time on the event itself. We’ll need people to help promote and advertise the event, sell tickets, coordinate babysitting, decorate and set up the venue.  Thanks for your support and we look forward to hearing from you! Jackie & Sheri

Listen to Town Hall with Board Members Barb Mitchell and Dana Tom

If you missed PTA Council’s October 26 Town Hall with Board Members Barb Mitchell and Dana Tom, you can listen to the recorded session on the Web or over the phone. See instructions at http://info.paloaltopta.org/parent_ed.shtml#community.

PAUSD Announcements:

EVERYDAY MATH
Building Basic Facts Fluency (Grades K-5) Monday, November 23, 7-9 PM, Palo Verde School, 3450 Louis Road, Palo Alto A Parent Information Night on Everyday Math. Spanish interpreting will be available. Questions? Linda at 329-3709

RAINY DAY COMMUTES
Even if it is predicted to rain, families can still choose safe, environmentally friendly transportation alternatives. Remember that forecasted rain in the Bay Area usually lasts only for a short while, leaving school commute times sunny and dry. If the weather is clear in the morning, students can set out on foot or on bikes. If the weather is particularly bad in the afternoon, parents still can opt to pick up then.

Gear Up for Rain!
Rainy day walks to school are a fun adventure and a good learning experience for young children. On your way, point out how the world changes in the rain. Enjoy the sounds, smells and sights that come with these natural changes. Gear up to enjoy a little puddle jumping on the way. Dressing children in brightly colored umbrellas, boots, ponchos and/or raincoats insures they will be comfortable and safely visible in inclement weather.

Safety Tips for Slick Streets
Teach your child to be more cautious and alert than usual. Drivers are often frustrated and in a hurry because of the extra congestion that comes with rain. Also, since wet streets are slick, young children should be taught that it takes vehicles longer to stop. Learning and practicing these fundamental rainy day street skills now prepares children to navigate streets safely when they become more independent. When you drive on rainy days, please allow yourself extra time so you can reduce your speed to avoid slipping. All road users should be vigilant in these conditions.

Set Up a Rainy Day Carpool
If you can’t walk or bike, consider carpooling to help reduce overcrowding in the school parking lot and surrounding street systems. Talk with the families you see on your walking or bicycling school route. Make an arrangement in advance and have the phone numbers of rainy day carpool partners ready so it is easy to find someone to share a ride when the clouds burst. Let’s each do our part to reduce congestion and support safe, environmentally friendly school commutes. Thanks for your support! Penny Ellson PTA Council Traffic Safety Committee

Community Information…

Volunteer Track Watch
A volunteer track watch group which has been organized to deter suicides. You can help by signing up for a short shift watching the tracks. The effectiveness of a presence at a site that is a suicide hot spot has been researched and documented. Prevention by deterrence at a hot spot is likely to not only stop a suicide there, but may also prevent the suicide altogether. Volunteers must be over the age of 21. Volunteers monitor the tracks by sitting or standing on the sidewalk with a cell phone to call the police. They do not attempt to take anyone from the tracks. For current information or to sign up for a shift, email hopepaloalto@gmail.com or visit paloaltotrackwatch.weebly.com. Please indicate that you are a parent interested in participating.

American Girl Doll Fashion Show and Tea Benefit for Packard Hospital
Fri, Nov. 13, 4pm and 7pm, Sat. Nov. 14, 10:30am, 1:30pm and 4:30pm, The Los Altos Episcopal Church, 1040 Border Road, Los Altos Tickets are now available for the American Girl Doll Fashion Show and Tea, a wonderful way to spend quality time with your daughter. The event supports the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. Info: http://www.paloaltoauxiliary.com

Dine For Kids
Thursday, November 12 Dine For Kids is an annual community event that raises funds to provide quality child care to low-income families. Palo Alto Community Child Care (PACCC) families, supporters and the community at large will dine out at participating restaurants, enjoy some delicious food and share a wonderful evening. Participating restaurants will then donate 10 – 25% of their evening’s proceeds to PACCC. All funds raised by Dine For Kids directly support the 150-plus children currently enrolled in the PACCC Child Development Subsidy Program. Please check the PACCC website (www.paccc.com) for updates on participating restaurants and sponsors. Also included in the event is an on-line auction that runs Nov. 5-16 and is located at http://paccc.cmarket.com. Flyer: palylink.paloaltopta.org/enews/dineforkids.pdf

PACO Sinfonia Concert
Sunday, November 15, 3pm, Cubberley Theater, 4000 Middlefield, Palo Alto Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra’s Sinfonia will perform their first concert of the 2009-2010 season under the direction of PACO music director Benjamin Simon. This challenging program includes movements of four primary pieces and a variety of masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire performed by small ensembles comprised of Sinfonia members. $10 for general admission and $5 for seniors and students. Info: http://www.pacomusic.org, 856-3848.

Parent Ed Program:
Movement to Motivate Wednesday, November 18, 7-9 PM, Covington Elementary School Multi Purpose Room 205 Covington Road, Los Altos Come hear how you can use movement to enhance academic and physical learning as well as self esteem. Learn some practical strategies that you can put into practice immediately. Programs presented include Brain Gym, Pilates for Kids, and Dance in the Classroom. Speakers include Teresa Maldonado Marchok MPT, a Physical Therapist and mom of a special needs child, Ehud Krauss, founder of IndepenDANCE — applying the benefits of dance education to academic improvement — and Rose Nolen, a third grade teacher integrating movement into her curriculum for the last 15 years. Event geared for parents and teachers. Sponsored by the SELPA 1 CAC (www.selpa1cac.org)

Menlo Park Library and Kepler’s Books Present Barbara Kingsolver
Wednesday, November 18, 7 PM, Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton. In The Lacuna, her first novel in nine years, Barbara Kingsolver, the bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities. For the Community Kiosk click here.

City of Palo Alto Announcements:

Palo Alto Library Commission Openings
Applications due Friday, November 20 The Palo Alto Library Commission is looking for three volunteers to serve in unexpired terms. The Commission meets once a month and is responsible for advising the City Council on a variety of matters including reviewing budgets, receiving community input, commenting on fund raising efforts, and more. If you wish to apply to serve on this committee contact the City of Palo Alto City Clerks Office at 329-2267 or Ronna.Gonsalves (at) cityofpaloalto dot org. More information can be found at http://www.cityofpaloalto.org.

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