News: September 30, 2008

Bicycle Safety Class

To Palo Verde Parents,

This is a reminder that on Wednesday, October 1 at 7-8:30 PM,  we are offering a free Bicycle Safety class held in the Palo Verde Multipurpose Room.  Before you know it, your child will be an independent bike rider at around age 9 or 10 so this is the time to teach them how to bike safely. I guarantee that you will learn things on how to teach your child to bike safely that you didn’t know.  For more details, click here

We will have door prizes and refreshments.  Please note that this class is for parents and caregivers only- no children please.  El Carmello is offering the same class on October 6th and will have childcare and Spanish translation available.

If your child is older than age 9 and riding independently, please consider taking the Middle School Bike Skills class.

Bike safely!

Lynn Drake

Parent Volunteer and Traffic Safety Rep for Palo Verde

lynndrake2004 (at) yahoo dot com

Palo Alto Walks & Rolls Oct. 6-8

PAUSD students will join children around the world who are choosing alternatives to solo driving to school by walking, biking, riding the bus, skating and carpooling to celebrate international Walk to School Day.  If you would like to walk to school with a group of children and parents, or just be on hand to greet children as they arrive, contact Kathy Durham, 329-2568, kathy.durham(at)cityofpaloalto dot org.

Hindi for US Classes at Palo Verde Elementary School

Start Date Oct 8th, eduHindi Level 1:

The classes provides a unique, creative, fun, highly interactive environment and teach reading, writing, speaking and comprehending Hindi. Games, puzzles and other interactive tools will be used to make it fun. Online Registration here.   Contact: Bina Shah,  (650-) 283-8860 bina (at) eduhindi dot com.

Offered by US Hindi Association(USHA), a 501 (c) (3) Educational Non Profit.

News: September 26, 2008


Wed.        October 1             PTA General Meeting     8:30 AM, MP Room

Bicycle Safety Class       7 – 8:30 PM, MP Room

October 3 – 17      Sally Foster Sales          All Grades

Sunday   October 5               Harvest Fair                 3 – 5 PM, Blacktop

Wed.      October 8               Walk to School Day       All Grades

Wed.      October 15             3rd Grade Bike Rodeo   3rd Grade Only, Blacktop

From the PTA President

October is a busy month, kicking off with the PTA General Meeting on October 1st, followed by the Palo Verde Harvest Fair on Sunday, October 5th and the Palo Verde Walks and Rolls event on Wednesday, October 8th. Below are details about these events.

On October 1st, the PTA General Meeting is in the Multi-Purpose Room following the morning’s assembly. Everyone is welcome to attend and those who are PTA members can vote on items up for approval. We will be discussing and voting on several important items that directly impacts the school and our community. These include: (1) the PTA 2008-2009 Budget; (2) the PTA-Sponsored Events Calendar; and (3) Measure N, the library bond on November’s ballot. We hope you can join
us and participate in this important meeting.

On October 5th, the Palo Verde Harvest Fair is from 3-5 pm at Palo Verde. This free, fun family activity offers carnival games with prizes for the kids, a bake sale with goodies, hot dogs and drinks and the opportunity to meet and socialize with the Palo Verde community. We hope to see everyone there!

On October 8th, Palo Alto Unified School District students along with children around the globe will choose alternatives to solo driving to school by walking, biking, skating, riding the bus, and carpooling to celebrate International Walk to School Day. Palo Verde’s activities planned for October 8th include a student-created “Foot Power” collage and prizes to be raffled off for participants during the morning assembly.

Kim Amsbaugh
PTA President
Amsbaugh (at) gmail dot com

Send in Your Safeway Receipts and Club Card Numbers!

If you visited Safeway during the Safeway/eScrip “10% Back to Schools” buying period (August 6 – September 9), you may have earned rebates that can benefit our school.  Rebate totals and redemption codes began printing on Safeway receipts on September 12.  Please send any receipts or Safeway Club Card numbers that you collect to school with your child by Monday, September 29.  Every child who submits a valid card number or redemption code will receive a small thank you gift and the classroom that turns in the most card numbers and receipts will win a prize!

If you registered with eScrip before August 1, there’s no need to send in your own receipt or Club Card number.  Your rebates will flow to Palo Verde automatically.  However, we encourage you to collect Club Card numbers and receipts from your co-workers, neighbors, families and friends!

It’s Time to Renew Your Club Card with eScrip!

Current eScrip supporters should visit to renew your Safeway Club Card before November 1.  There is a password recovery feature if you can’t recall your password.  Please also review and update all of your registered credit cards and debit cards.  Rebates to Palo Verde cease when your cards expire.

Not Signed Up Yet?
Please visit and today to start contributing to our school when you shop online and around town.  It’s safe, easy, powerful and FREE!

Palo Verde Walks & Rolls on October 8th

On October 8th Palo Alto Unified School District students along with children around the globe will choose alternatives to solo driving to school by walking, biking, skating, riding the bus, and carpooling to celebrate International Walk to School Day. Palo Verde will join the fun!

Activities planned for October 8th at Palo Verde include a student-created “Foot Power”collage, and prizes to be raffled off for participants at the morning assembly.

The City of Palo Alto, PAUSD, and the Palo Alto Council of PTAs have formed a Safe Routes to School partnership focused on reducing risk for students on their school commutes and encouraging more families to use alternatives to driving to school more often.  The Walk & Roll event emphasizes the benefits of using alternatives other than solo driving as often as possible.

Walking & Biking Is A Healthy Habit
The healthy lifetime habit of getting regular exercise is more fun when we do it together. It builds community, bringing friends and family together before and after school. Also, students who get light exercise on their way to school arrive better prepared to learn.

“Safety In Numbers” Works

Parents are more likely to allow children to walk and bicycle when they are in safe company.  Drivers are more alert to pedestrians and bicyclists when they are present in numbers.  Most importantly, fewer cars on school routes means less risk for everyone.

A Greener Planet
We all want to reduce the environmental impacts of automobiles.  Many of us can’t do it every day.  If we do it when we can, even once or twice a week, we can break the habit of picking up car keys every time we go anywhere and experience our community in a new way.  Each reduced car trip helps our planet.

Join the fun!  Walk & Roll to school with your (school name) friends on October (date).

*Palo Alto Council of PTAs thanks Palo Alto Medical Foundation and the City of Palo Alto for their support of this program.

Get Ready for Gift Wrap and Cookie Dough!

Our fundraiser featuring Sally Foster® gift wrap, gifts, and Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough is just around the corner! The funds we raise will go towards school site improvements, funding programs like Noon Art and Noon Games, events such as the Harvest Fair and International Fair, and updating technology in the classrooms, including the purchase of scanners, DVD players, digital cameras, and color printers.

The fundraiser will include:

  • Premium gift wrap
  • Gifts for everyone
  • Chocolates and cookie dough

And, everything is $20 or less!
50% of every purchase goes directly to Palo Verde!
Watch for the Sally Foster catalog coming home on Friday, October 3rd

Celebrate Your Talents!

Come join thousands of other students and participate in the National PTA Reflections Program.

The theme for 2008 – 2009 year program is “WOW.

You can express your creativity through the six categories below.  You may enter as many categories as you wish.

  • Literature
  • Visual Arts
  • Dance Choreography
  • Film Production
  • Photography
  • Music Composition

Please visit the Reflections Program gallery at to see what other kids did last year.
The link to the entry forms and rules for each category is:

All entry forms are due at the Palo Verde Office by October 17th, 2008.

Please contact Shirley Chin at amchin (at) sbcglobal (dot) net if you have any questions.

Canopy Walk on October 11

Please join visiting certified arborist and Bay Area tree expert Ted Kipping as he leads Canopy’s next Tree Walk through the Palo Verde neighborhood.

Ted has been involved with the selection and planting of San Francisco’s trees for 40 years and worked alongside Canopy’s sister organization Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) to create some of San Francisco’s most interesting and beautiful allées of street trees.  Now a consulting arborist with Tree Shapers, Ted is still an active volunteer with FUF and provides lectures, demonstrations and workshops on aspects of arboriculture, regional horticulture and specialty pruning subjects.  Ted brings his expertise to Palo Alto and will educate attendees on the interesting variety of trees in the Palo Verde neighborhood.

For more information about the Palo Verde Tree Walk please contact Canopy at (650) 964-6110 or

When: Saturday, October 11th, 10am-12pm

Where: Meet at the entrance to the Palo Verde Elementary School at 3450 Louis Rd. in Palo Alto

Canopy is a Palo Alto-based non-profit advocate for the urban forest and works to educate, inspire, and engage the community as stewards of young and mature trees.

Community Kiosk

For more information about Community Events please click here.

News: September 20, 2008

Let’s Talk About Aspergers

When: Monday, September 22, 2008, 7:30PM

Where: Board Room, 25 Churchill, Palo Alto

This is an information sharing night with parents of students with Aspergers.  It will be moderated by psychologist Janet Dafoe, PhD, of Morrissey/Compton Educational Center.  Let’s explore the possibility of an ongoing support group, or some kind of parent education group.

Question: Call Janet Dafoe 208-1224 or click here for more information.

News: September 12, 2008 – Addendum

After School French Program at Palo Verde

We are still accepting registrations for the After School French Program at Palo Verde, which will take place on Wednesdays 1:35 – 2:35 PM.  The first day of class will be September 24, 2008.  We invite all students from K through 5th grade.  For registration and additional information, please visit our website at or call Evelyn at 650-610-0675.

A bientot


Missing from the last eNews was the deadline and contact information for this National PTA Reflections program.  All entry forms are due at the Palo Verde Office by October 17th, 2008.  Please contact Shirley Chin at amchin* if you have any questions.  For more information, please visit the Reflections Program gallery at to see what other kids did last year. The link to the entry forms and rules for each category is:

Applicants Sought for PA Architectural Review Board

The City of Palo Alto is currently seeking applicants to serve on the Architectural Review Board for two, three-year terms ending Sept. 30, 2011.  The Board is charged with design review of all new construction, and changes and additions to commercial, industrial and multiple-family projects.  Palo Alto Residency is not required.  Deadline for receipt of applications in the City Clerk’s Office is 5:30pm, Thurs. Sept. 25.  If any one of the incumbents does not reapply, the deadline will be extended to 5:30pm, Tues. Sept. 30.

Application forms and appointment information are available in the City Clerk’s Office, 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto (329-2571) or by visiting the city’s Web site at

Children’s Fine Art Classes

High-quality art experiences for kids 18 months to 18 years including “Digital Animation”, “Knitting Basics”, “Cartoon Art for Kids”, “Gallery Drawing”, and many more.  Classes are at Palo Alto Art Center, Junior Museum & Zoo, and Mitchell Park Teen Center.  Classes begin Sept 23. 

Info & registration: see Enjoy! Catalog,  call the Art Center, 329-2366, or go to

To get on their e-mail list, or for more info, contact Larnie Fox,*

Palo Alto Knights at the New Paly Turf Field

The Palo Alto Knights  Youth Football Program has only 2 more Home Games until the playoffs, at Paly’s new Turf field.  Players include kids from just about every elementary school in the District, and all three Middle Schools.

Sun. Oct. 5 and Sun. Oct. 19, 10am, Noon, 2pm, 4pm

Info: Jeff Frick, 814.0493 (m)

Palo Alto Lightning Track Club Registration

Registration is now open for the Palo Alto Lightning Track Club, for all runners from age 6-18 at any experience level. The club practices four times a week and competes in USA Track & Field cross country meets and the Junior Olympics. Annual fee covers both cross country and track and field.

Info: Coach Young, 321-2175,  sty3000*

Ice Skating at the Winter Lodge

The Winter Lodge fall ice skating lesson registration begins Tues. Sept. 16 at 9:30am.  Classes begin September 29.  Winter Lodge is a non-profit organization and has been teaching ice skating classes for kids for over 50 years here in Palo Alto.

Info: Linda Stebbins Jensen, Winter Lodge Executive Director, 493-4566,

SELPA 1 CAC Parent Ed: Parent Survival Skills

Lansing Wood, a group facilitator with the adoption group FAIR and mother of 5 and Nancy Ng, a professional counselor and mother of 13, will talk about parent survival skills.  Raising children can be a challenge.  When your child has learning differences or other special needs it can be even more frustrating and crazy-making.  The speakers will talk about how to keep your sanity, how to create balance in your life, when to fight and when to let it go, and how to feel like a good enough parent.

Free and open to anyone who feels they might benefit.  No registration is necessary.

Wed. Oct. 22, Hospitality 6:45pm, meeeting 7-9pm

Covington Elementary School Multi, 205 Covington Rd, Los Altos.

Info: SELPA 1 CAC,

Community Kiosk

Click here for this week’s Community Kiosk.
[Please replace * with @ for all email addresses above.]

News: September 12, 2008


Monday   September 15       Early/Late Reading Begins    1st – 3rd Grade

Friday      September 26       Walk-a-thon                        All Grades

Wed.        October 1             Bicycle Safety Class             7 – 8:30 PM, MP Room

               October 1 – 15      Sally Foster Sales                 All Grades

Sunday    October 5              Harvest Fair                        3 – 5 PM, Blacktop

From the Desk of Lupe Garcia

Dear Palo Verde Parents, Students and Community, 

It’s September and we’re off to school!  Thank you for helping us get-off to a relatively smooth start to the year.  I want to recruit your help to ensure that the focus at school and at home is on teaching, learning and growing up to be wholesome and productive citizens.  

Think Safety:  Let’s make SAFETY a top priority around Palo Verde School.  Daily at drop-off and pick-up times there is a confluence of motorists, cyclists and pedestrian traffic.  It is CRITICAL that all adults work together to ensure the safety of all children, regardless of the means of transportation.  Please head the following pointers:

  • Leave home with sufficient time.  Quite often, if in a hurry, we are NOT as careful or as aware of our surroundings, thereby putting others and ourselves in danger.
  • The drop-off zone on Louis Rd: 
    • Please drive forward as far as possible in the drop-off lane.  This allows 6-8 additional cars to drop off child/ren at any one time.  
    • Have your child/ren disembark the automobile on the sidewalk closest to the school.  
    • Remember: NO U TURNS ALLOWED!
    • Please note the NO PARKING signs across the street from the school.  Violators will be cited.
  • Drop-Off on Rorke:  please drive slowly and with caution. The street is quite narrow and there are many parked vehicles along both sides of the street, which creates congestion every morning.  Do note the following suggestions:
    • If at all possible, enter Rorke from the south end and keep the school on your right.
    • Use the drop-off zone closest to room 1 and have your child/ren disembark the automobile on the sidewalk closest to the school.  
    • DO NOT double park or stop in the middle of the street to drop off your child.  This is extremely unsafe for your child, as well for other vehicles trying to drive past your car.

All of us want our children to be safe.  However, we must model that SAFE behavior on a daily basis.  Children are watching—and they will emulate what they observe.  Let’s do work together to keep them safe!

Site Council Vacancies: The Palo Verde Site Council has two parent vacancies for two-year terms beginning this year. If you would like more information about the Site Council, please read the article in this edition of the Voice about this topic or feel free to contact one of the current members: Parents–Joanna Schloss and Geoff Butner, or one of the staff members—Sheri Cundall or Chris McGranahan, or Lupe Garcia, Principal.

The staff and I are quite excited about the year ahead.  Join us in our efforts to provide the most enriching experiences for all our students. Ongoing communication between you and the school is critical to your child’s success.  Let’s stay in touch!

Warmest regards,

Lupe García

From the PTA President

Welcome to all new and returning Palo Verde families. The year is off to a great start and we look forward to another successful year. Throughout the year, the PTA will use this space to highlight upcoming events and programs the PTA is involved with that may be of interest to parents.

With that, two events are coming up – The 4th Annual Palo Verde Walk-a-thon and Bringing Up Bicyclists, a bicycle safety class for parents.


This event is Friday, September 26th, on the Palo Verde field. The event’s purpose is two-fold: First, encourage students to exercise and get excited about the upcoming kick-off to the Palo Verde Walking Club; and Second, raise money for Palo Verde Elementary School. Students participate by walking around the school’s field as many times as they can during their grades’ designated times. Rather than seeking per lap sponsorships, we ask that donations be made for participation. Donations are tax deductible and the forms are in your students’ Friday folders today, as is additional information on the event.

Bringing Up Bicyclists

On Wednesday, October 1st, from 7-8:30 pm, the Palo Verde and Fairmeadow PTAs are sponsoring this free bicycle safety class for parents only in the Palo Verde Multipurpose Room. The class helps parents determine their children’s bicycle skills and provides tips on how to help children become safe bicyclists.

See you the 26th and the 1st!

Kim Amsbaugh, PTA President, Mom of Ritter, Charlotte and Sherwin 


School Site Council Vacancies for 2008- 20010

The Palo Verde Site Council has two parent vacancies beginning this year.  The term of office is for 2 years.

The School Site Council is a decision making body that is composed equally of four parents and four staff members from Palo Verde School, plus the Principal.  The purpose of the council is to work as an advisory group to the principal, in developing a comprehensive school plan and in approving a school improvement budget that is supportive of said plan. It meets once a month.  The specific day and time for this year is to be determined, pending the election of new members.

The term of office for all members of the site council is two years, with the exception of the principal, who is a permanent member.  Two of our parent members’ terms expired in June of 2008. Typically, elections take place in the spring, but due to the change in principal, this did not happen and will need to take place by the end of September.  Therefore, we are seeking interested candidates for these all-important positions.

If you would like more information about the Site Council, feel free to contact one of the current members: Parents-Joanna Schloss and Geoff Butner, or one of the staff members—Sheri Cundall and Chris McGranahan, or Lupe Garcia, Principal.

If you would like to run for this office, please write a brief paragraph about yourself and why you would like to be on the Site Council. Give it to Lupe or Chris McGranahan in the Main Office by Friday, September 26, 2008.  We will add your name and statement to the ballot.  In addition, the ballot (with the candidates’ names and statements) will be sent out to the community via Enews and will also be posted on Main Office windows and school bulletin boards for the community.  The election will be held the last week of September 2008.

Lupe Garcia

Start Collecting Safeway Receipts & Club Card Numbers!

The Safeway/eScrip “10% Back to Schools” promotion has ended.  If you shopped at Safeway this summer and used your Club Card at checkout, then you may have earned valuable rebates that you can donate to our school.

If you are not registered with eScrip, (or if you registered after July 31, 2008) there are two ways to help:

1) Send us your Club Card number!  Palo Verde can claim your rebates by entering your number at the redemption web site.

2) Send us your Safeway receipt!  Receipts with redemption codes will begin printing on September 12. Turn in any one receipt and we can claim the rebate.  (Please don’t give your coded receipt to more than one school, or send more than one receipt to Palo Verde.  The code can be redeemed only once).

If you ARE registered with eScrip, do not send us your own Club Card number or receipt.  Your rebates will be credited to Palo Verde automatically.  However, we encourage you to collect Club Card numbers and receipts from your co-workers, neighbors, families and friends!

Look for the envelope in today’s Friday folder and send as many Safeway Club Card numbers and receipts as you can to school with your child by Monday, September 29. Every child who turns in a valid card number or redemption code will receive a small thank you gift and the classroom that turns in the most card numbers and receipts will win a prize!

Noon Games Kicks Off Sept. 15th

Noon games will be starting on Monday, September 15th.  Children who want a break from the playground and like to play games can come to a safe, supervised environment in the MP room during lunchtime on Mondays.  We have a huge assortment of games — board games, puzzles, legos, cards, blocks…. Please let your child know!  Also, we need parent volunteers to supervise and play with the kids (Mondays from 12:00-12:40).  Your child would love to see you at school in the middle of the day.  If interested, please contact Fidelia Wang fkwang* or Brinda Govindan govbria*

Walk-a-thon Volunteers Needed

The 4th Annual Palo Verde Walk-a-thon is Friday, September 26th. This is a school-wide event that not only raises money for Palo Verde but is also lots of fun for our kids. Volunteers are needed to pass out water and help punch lap cards as the children walk around the field. While volunteering, you can cheer your own child’s grade on or stay for the whole event. Below is the Walk-a-thon schedule. If you can help at any time during the event, please contact Lauren Aspegren at msboot* or Kim Amsbaugh at amsbaugh*

Walk-a-thon Schedule

8:30 to 9 am: 4th and 5th graders

9:10 to 9:30: K and 1st graders

9:40 to 10:05: 2nd and 3rd graders 

Bringing up Bicyclists class 

Wednesday October 1, 2008

7-8:30 p.m.

Palo Verde MP Room

Admission is free!

For parents only.  Please do not bring your children.

Taught by Richard Swent- a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor

This class is co-sponsored by the Palo Verde and Fairmeadow PTA and is for parents of elementary school age children. (No children please.) 

Bicycling is a fun and healthy mean of transportation.  Powering themselves to school is a source of great self-esteem for children, and they arrive wide-awake and ready to learn.  Many parents would like their families to do bicycling, but are unsure of their children’s skills and their own abilities to teach them properly. Children are not just small adults; there are differences in their physical and cognitive development that affect their ability to make traffic- related decisions.  This class teaches parents what they need to know to develop and judge their children’s skills. 

Kindergarten and First Grade Parents

Dear Parents,

The teachers and administrators at our school are committed to helping your child become a successful reader. As part of this commitment, our school has chosen to use an additional assessment called DIBELS to help us examine how your child is doing in learning important reading skills.

DIBELS stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. DIBELS assess five skills that are necessary for learning to read. Children who learn these skills become good readers. The skills are:

Phonemic Awareness: Hearing and using sounds in spoken words

Alphabetic Principle: Knowing the sounds of the letters and sounding out written words

Accurate and Fluent Reading: Reading stories and other materials easily and quickly with few mistakes

Vocabulary: Understanding and using a variety of words

Comprehension: Understanding what is spoken or read

DIBELS is made up of seven short individual assessments, called measures. Each DIBELS measure focuses on a different skill and takes about 1 minute to do. Your child may be given two to five of the DIBELS measures depending on their grade level.

Each DIBELS measure takes only about one minute to do because they are used as indicators.

Much like using a thermometer to take a child’s temperature as an indicator of overall health, each measure is an indicator of how well a child is doing in learning a particular early reading skill. DIBELS is used with millions of children throughout the United States. A child’s score on a measure tells us whether the child is likely to be “on track” for learning to read, or whether the child may need some help in learning important reading skills. Your child’s teacher will use the information to better help your child. For example, the DIBELS assessment may tell us that we need to spend more time teaching your child how to “sound out” unknown words. 

DIBELS is used to identify children who may need extra help to become good readers and check up on those children while they receive the extra help to make sure they are making progress. DIBELS may also be used by our school to make decisions about how well the school’s overall reading program is working for all children. DIBELS will not be used to grade your child, or for decisions about retention.

We are working hard at school to make sure that every child is on target for success, and we thank you for your efforts at home. Together, we will help your child become a successful reader.

If you have additional questions, please contact Gail Kruse, gkruse*


Gail Kruse and Sue Ann McBride, Resource Specialists


Come join thousands of other students and participate in the National PTA Reflections Program. The theme for 2008 – 2009 year program is “WOW.” You can express your creativity through the six categories below. You may enter as many categories as you wish.


Visual Arts

Dance Choreography

Film Production


Music Composition

Please visit the Reflections Program gallery at to see what other kids did last year. The link to the entry forms and rules for each category is:

Note: For email addresses, replace * with @.