News: February 27, 2009


Wednesday, March 4 – Science Fair 6 – 8 PM, MP Room

Wednesday, March 11 – PTA Coffee and General Meeting – 8 AM, Outside Mr. Garcia’s Office

Auction a Great Success

Thank you to the Palo Verde parents, teachers and staff who attended the Sweet Tooth Auction on February 7th. Because of your generosity, the Auction raised nearly $15,000. And with many classroom parties that still have plenty of open slots, we hope to raise up to $2,000 more by year’s end. The money raised from the Auction is going toward Palo Verde Library improvements. We will keep you updated on completed library improvements in upcoming Voice issues.

While the Auction only lasted a few hours on one Saturday night, the preparation and organization for the night took months. I want to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful group of dedicated parents who without their help the Auction could never have taken place: Kathy and Dave Pasin, Andrea, Peng, Simone Nanzer, Diane Jakabowski, Larry Cheng, Carleen Ho, Renanta Tong, Margaret Renteria, Heather Brownlee, Sara Longstreth, Tom Culbertson, Marc and Dana Guillet and Saundra Hand. 

And finally, I would like to give special kudos and an immense thank you to Kristin Foss and Celia Cheng, whose dedicated endless hours to make sure the Palo Verde Sweet Tooth Auction was the standout event of the year. 

Thank you!

Kim Amsbaugh

PTA President

The Ice Skating Party Thanks You

A big Thank You to all the Palo Verde families who braved the rain and attended our annual Ice Skating Party at Winter Lodge on Feb. 6.   Despite the drizzle, we had a great turnout with 120 skaters and their families enjoying a fun night of outdoor ice skating, pizza and bake sale goodies.  

I would like to thank all the families who donated to our Bake Sale and I would especially like to thank our wonderful volunteers listed below who stuck it out through the evening in the damp cold, making sure everything ran smoothly.  Your time was very much appreciated and we couldn’t have done it without you! 

Katie Crist, Alison Cormack, Gail Foelsch,  Tracey Stewart, Sharon Wong, Rajan Ranga

Lori Harrenstien — Ice Skating Party Coordinator

Volunteers needed for the Science Fair

This year’s Science Fair will be held on Wednesday, March 4th.  Thanks to the parents who have already volunteered to help us organize this event.  We still need 1-2 parents more on the morning of March 4th from 7:45am-9:00am (or even until 8:15am, if you can’t stay later) to help receive the science fair projects, to help set them up in the MP room, and then to attach ribbons to each project.  Please contact Pandu Nayak at nayak (at) cs dot stanford dot edu or at 650-804-1286 if you are able to help out at this time.  

Thanks for your help.

Leigh Klotz and Pandu Nayak

New Bike Racks Are Here at Palo Verde

We recently received several sets of new bike racks at Palo Verde.  We were able to buy the racks courtesy of a Santa Clara County grant for $3500- free for Palo Verde!  The purpose of the grant is to promote walking and biking to school and we hope it encourages you and your children to do just that.  

Our old bike racks were the “comb” style which made it difficult for kids to properly lock their bike.  Most kids could only lock the front wheel which makes them vulnerable to theft.  It’s very easy for a thief to unhook the front wheel and take the frame. The new “u-shaped” racks allow the children to lock the frame to the rack.   Although no bike rack is perfect, we hope the new racks are easier and prevent the bikes from falling on top of each other as they sometimes do on the comb racks. 

Here is a helpful link on properly locking a bike and some information on good bike locks.

I would encourage you to buy your child a good cable lock with a combination.  I notice some kids have no locks (!!!) or a very small thin lock that looks easy to break or cut.  The local bike shops can recommend good locks. Spending $25 on a lock is good insurance against theft. 

Lynn Drake- Traffic Safety Rep at Palo Verde, lynndrake2004 (at) yahoo dot com

Traffic Safety Representative Needed for the 2009-10 School Year

Every year, Palo Verde continues to increase the number of students and families who decide to leave the car at home and commute to school on their bike, scooter, or simply walking.  This  progress is made possible by the programs funded and energized by the City/School Traffic Safety committee.  

Every school in the district has a Traffic Safety Representative (TSR) that carries out the two programs a year that the committee sponsors.  I have been that person for the last two years but I am graduating to be the TSR at JLS Middle School (and both my kids, Kinsey and Aidan will both be there also).   That means we need someone to step up.  Can that be you?  

There are two events a year that the TSR holds: 

1)  The “Walk and Roll to school day” in around October 8th. 

2)  Earth Day in April (same walk/bike/scooter) to school day. 

Both of these events are heavily supported by the committee and flyers, goodies, posters, and newsletter articles promoting these events are given to you to hold the events.  Our principal Lupe Garcia is very interested in traffic safety and is a big supporter of these events and of the TSR’s activities.  It’s a great way to make a difference and get involved in school.   

Palo Verde’s Earth Day celebration is Wednesday morning April 22nd.   Ideally a TSR for next year will step up and shadow me.    Please contact me at 856-4891 or lynndrake2004 (at) yahoo dot com if you can help.   Thanks for your support and keep walking and biking to school!

Lynn Drake,  Traffic Safety Rep for Palo Verde 2008-2009

We Need You – Volunteer for the PTA

Planning for next school year’s PTA is underway…and we need your help. We are looking for volunteers to participate on the Nominating Committee, which helps find people interested in participating in the PTA, or for people interested in volunteering themselves for one of many positions currently open.

With so many open positions, we have an immediate need to find people interested in being on the Executive Board. The Executive Board positions currently open are: Executive Vice President, Treasurer, Auditor, VP of Communications, VP of Social Activities, VP of Fundraising, Parliamentarian and VP of Parent Education. If we do not fill the Treasurer position, the Palo Verde PTA must disband as it no longer will meet the lowest standard of a PTA as defined by the National Parent Teacher Association. 

The Palo Verde PTA plays an integral role in enhancing every child’s experience at Palo Verde, be it through social or learning activities. We recognize that we all have families, jobs and other commitments and obligations outside of Palo Verde. Yet, as parents and members of the PTA, we play a key role in enhancing each child’s experience at Palo Verde beyond what The District can provide.

So…if you would like to play an active role in truly enhancing your child’s experience at Palo Verde, volunteer for either the Nominating Committee or get involved yourself by helping organize a school event or activity. Any Board Member can answer questions about time commitments, role and responsibilities. Or, feel free to contact me personally at amsbaugh (at) gmail dot com, or 650-813-1669. 

Thank you for your consideration,

Kim Amsbaugh, PTA President

On behalf of the Palo Verde PTA Executive Board — Heather Brownlee, Kathy Pasin, Margaret Renterio, Lili Nova-Roessig, Kathryn Schugart, Julie Schwardt, Amanda Tumminaro, Louise Valente

Executive Board Descriptions

For the Executive Board positions described below, a more comprehensive description exists on the California PTA website

Treasurer (Required)

Maintains the books for the Palo Verde PTA, tracking all incoming and outgoing funds while writing checks to individuals and organizations in an effort to pay all bills and expenses. The Treasurer also helps develop the annual PTA budget and prepares the books for the periodic audits conducted by the Auditor. The Treasurer also attends monthly PTA meetings as a member of the Executive Board.

Executive Vice President

Acts as the president in the event the President is unavailable. Attends monthly PTA meetings. Works with the school administrative staff to ensure a cohesiveness of programs and fundraising efforts.  Helps ensure all PTA-related events and activities are meeting the appropriate deadlines and timelines.

Vice President of Fundraising

Helps ensure that all fundraising activities are meeting the appropriate deadlines and timelines. In this position, the VP of Fundraising is not responsible for any one event. Instead, the VP of Fundraising acts as a liaison between the PTA Executive Board and the chairs of the Palo Verde fundraising events, which are the Auction, the Book Fair, Box Tops, e-Script, Gift Wrap, Kids Art Note Cards, Restaurant Nights. The VP of Fundraising also attends monthly PTA meetings as a member of the Executive Board. 

Vice President of Social Events
Helps ensure all school-wide social events are meeting the appropriate deadlines and timelines. In this position, the VP of Social Events is not responsible for any one event. Instead, the VP of Social Events acts as a liaison between the PTA Executive Board and the chairs of the Palo Verde social activities, which are the Back to School Ice Cream, Back to School Potluck, PTA Morning Coffees, Harvest Fair, Ice Skating Party, International Fair and the May Fete Float and Parade activities. The VP of Social Events also attends monthly PTA meetings as a member of the Executive Board. 

Vice President of Communications

Helps communicate school-wide the varying social, educational and fundraising events and activities. Works closely with the publishing volunteers of The Voice and the PTA and Palo Verde website volunteers to communicate information on those events. The VP of Communications also attends monthly PTA meetings as a member of the Executive Board. 

Vice President Parent Education

Works with the school administration and the Palo Alto PTA to disseminate information about parent education opportunities happening throughout the district. The VP of Parent Education also attends monthly PTA meetings as a member of the Executive Board. 


Familiarizes themselves with the Palo Verde PTA bylaws in an effort to be educated enough to answer any questions about procedures and rules that may come up during meetings. The Parliamentarian also organizes the Nominating Committee, which each year uncovers volunteers for the Executive Board and all social and fundraising committee chairs. The Parliamentarian also attends monthly PTA meetings as a member of the Executive Board. 

Challenge Success New Five-Week Parent Education Seminar

April 29, May 6, May 13, May 20, and May 27, 7-9:30pm, Stanford

Challenge Success co-founders Jim Lobdell and Denise Pope will teach a five-week spring seminar through the Stanford Continuing Studies Program, “Raising Well-Balanced Children in a Fast-Paced World.” Parents of children ages 5-12 will examine current research on childhood stressors and learn specific strategies to promote physical and mental health, engagement in school, and overall well-being for their children. The seminar explores the daily challenges of finding time for play, handling homework, choosing appropriate extracurricular activities, and promoting healthier lifestyles and deeper connections for the entire family.  

Registration opens Feb. 23 online at Stanford Continuing Studies . Space is limited to 30 participants. For more information, click here.  

Palo Alto PTA Council Presents “Creating an Inclusive Community”

A workshop  conducted by Flaurie S. Imberman

Thurs. March 19, Dinner 6:30pm,  Workshop 7-8:30pm, Jordan Middle School Library

Please join an evening designed to promote practices in our daily lives that will  help foster a commitment to diversity that includes all members of our community.  Ms. Imberman teaches Spanish and Latin American History at Castilleja School, where she also runs a monthly seminar for adults on issues of  multiculturalism and inclusion.

Info: PTA Council Community Outreach Chairs Delia Perla, deliaperla3 (at) yahoo dot com, Florence Srinivasan florencesrinivasan (at) gmail dot com.

Community Kiosk

Click here for the current issue.


News: February 24, 2009

Elementary Math Adoption Committee Meeting

The next meeting of the Elementary Math Adoption Committee will be Tuesday, February 24, 8:30-3:30 in the SDC/Board Room at the District Office.  As always, interested parents, teachers, and community members are invited to observe the process.  Cards can be filled out for public comment at the end of the meeting.  Meeting information is available on the PAUSD website, including minutes of prior meetings.  The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting will be posted there on Monday afternoon.

News: February 6, 2009


Friday, February 6, Ice Skating Party at Winter Lodge, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 7, Palo Verde Auction at Lucy Stern, 7 – 10:00 PM
Wednesday, February 11, PTA Coffee, 8:15 AM
Friday – Tuesday, February 13 – 17, NO SCHOOL

From the desk of Lupe Garcia…

Dear Palo Verde Parents, Students, and Community,

Thank you for helping us make a smooth transition into the second half of the school year.  Your continued support and direct efforts benefits all our children. THANK YOU also to the many volunteers who actively contribute in classrooms and in other school related activities, which make Palo Verde School a vibrant place for everyone.  Let’s keep it going!

Updates and other general information:

Please note the following test dates and related information:
Testing dates
: Please do not schedule appointments or trips on days when your child is to take a test. Do note the following test dates and please also check with your child’s teacher for other relevant dates:

  • March 3rd all fourth graders will take the writing component of the STAR Test; Make-ups will be administered on March 4th.
  • March 10-12 all third and fifth graders (and selected second and fourth grade classes) will take the MARS Math Test;
  • May 4 – 15 all students in 2nd–5th grades will take the STAR Test.  Please note the information on participation rate below.

Participation rate on the STAR Test:  Make sure your child participates in the upcoming 4th grade STAR Writing Test.  It is critical that at least 95% of our students take the STAR Test.  The state sanctions schools and districts that do not meet this participation rate requirement.  If you have questions, please contact me directly.

Thank you for your donations to PiE: educational funding has been up and down the last few years due to economic and political reasons.  This coming year is no different.  Fortunately, you and other Palo Altans have been the absolute constants in the lives of our schools.  You have maintained a clear focus in support of education in our district.  However, the community effort in this area does at times create an emotional and, perhaps, financial strain.  To whatever extent you give to this cause, all is extremely helpful.  Thank you in advance for your ongoing and generous donations in support of our children’s education!

Please continue to be aware of your child’s needs and stay in touch with his/her teacher.  The second half of the year is typically more intense for children, academically and socially. Most students have major projects to complete and friendships sometimes shift, causing emotional stress. Your vigilance and support will be instrumental in providing a safety net when they need it.  Let us know if we can help.

Warmest regards,
Lupe García

From the PTA President…

Hello Palo Verde Families,
Your Palo Verde PTA is busy organizing several family and student events over the next month. We hope everyone will participate in these fun and educational opportunities.

February 7th: The Palo Verde Sweet Tooth Auction, 7-10 pm, Lucie Stern Community Center
If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, tickets are still available at the door for this annual fundraising event. We have more than 200 items up for auction. All starting bid prices are a ¼ value or less of the actual item price so plenty of deals are to be had! The cost is $20 per person at the door. Doors open at 7 pm. All proceeds go toward improvements to the Palo Verde Library.

February 24th: Lawrence Hall of Science Night, 6-8 pm, MP Room
This event is open to all Palo Verde students and families. This year’s theme is Wizard’s Lab on Wheels. It’s a fun way to learn about science within the context of cool, Harry Potter-like wizardly tricks.

March 4th: Science Fair, 6-8 pm, MP Room
This annual event takes science to a whole new level and. The Science Fair is open to all students and turns the MP Room into an Exhibit Hall, highlighting student research projects and science experiments.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Kim Amsbaugh
PTA President
Amsbaugh (at) gmail dot com

REMINDERS….Fun Events This Weekend!

Palo Verde Annual Ice Skating Party

Where:  Winter Lodge Ice Rink
When: Friday, February 6, 2009
Time: 5:30 – 7:30pm

$15 per skater (includes skate rental)
Pepperoni or Cheese pizza – $2/slice
Soda/water/hot chocolate – $1.00 each
Purchase dessert from our bake sale table
Front Desk Table opens @ 5:15pm/  Doors open @5:30pm
Questions?  Call Lori Harrenstien @ 856-3237

Palo Verde’s Sweet Tooth Auction This Saturday, Feb. 7th

Starting Bids of Items Begin at 1/4 of Actual Value
More than a dozen things have been added in the last week to the already full auction catalog of more than 200 items. A plane ride with a teacher, gym membership and signed SF Giants memorabilia are just a few of the items now available. Starting bids for all items are just 1/4 of the item’s actual value so there are tons of deals to be had by everyone. Come to the Lucie Stern Community Center. Doors open at 7 pm. Tickets at the door are $20 per person. An entry ticket into the auction includes 1 drink ticket. Sweets and drinks will be served.

The PTA Needs You!

While it’s only February, the gears are already turning for next year. The Palo Verde PTA is looking for parents at all grade levels to participate in the organizing of PTA-sponsored events and activities. We also are looking for parents interested in participating on the PTA Executive Board. Everything from organizing Restaurant Nights to the International Fair to being the PTA Treasurer is all thanks to Palo Verde parents. Please contact Kim Amsbaugh, PTA president, if you are interested in getting involved but don’t know how to begin.

News from Partners In Education…

This is your last chance to donate to PiE and you can Double Your Money!  A group of Palo Alto families have put together a challenge grant, they will match any donation made  by February 12th!

We are $250,000 short of our district wide elementary school fund.  If you have never donated, this is the year for you to donate. We have 100% teacher support and 40% of Palo Verde families have donated.  Lets get a 70% Palo Verde participation rate.

In order to get corporate sponsorship we need to show participation from our own families.

Any classroom that get 100% participation gets a PiE sponsored pizza party!

A note from Janet Rose, 2nd grade teacher extraordinaire….

Want to know what I learned last week?  For PiE to  receive corporate sponsorship, schools need to have at least 50% of their parents donating. “Alas,” as my dramatic second grade writers might say, we have only a 40% participation rate!  Our hard-working teachers depend on the skills of others-classroom aides and our specialists (art, reading, noon-time physical education, games, writing), to create a private school atmosphere at a public institution.  And when we cut, everyone suffers.

Everyone is reigning in their spending, but even a small donation from enough folks would get us over the 50% mark.  Of course, the wider the wallet, the more the benefit, but we should all consider it a duty to participate in whatever we can afford.

Save the date!  Palo Verde Science Night

The Lawrence Hall of Science will be bringing a wonderful hands-on program for all ages called “Wizard’s Lab on Wheels” to our MP room on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24th from 6-8pm.  We need a few parent volunteers to help out–please contact brinda (at) sfsu dot edu if you are interested.

Palo Verde Recycling Program

Remember, through the end of this school year Palo Verde will accepts all of these items for recycling. Make sure never to toss your used electronics items into the trash. Instead drop them off at the box marked as ELECTRONICS RECYCLING outside of the office. We’ll take care of the rest for you.

Acceptable Items:
Cell phones and accessories
CDs or DVDs
Inkjet Printer Cartridges
Small electronic Batteries- up to “D” size
Laptop batteries
Cell Phone Batteries
Fluorescent light bulbs

Summer Camp Fun!

Camp Galileo Arrives at Palo Verde! Voted “Best Camp for Kids” in Bay Area Parent and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Camp Galileo is a summer day camp serving kids in Pre-K through 5th grades. Founded in 2002, Camp Galileo inspires kids to imagine new ideas, collaborate with peers and express themselves creatively. Kids enjoy art, science and outdoor programming every day, wrapped in fun camp traditions and delivered by highly enthusiastic staff. Our hands-on curriculum is developed in partnership with The Tech Museum of Innovation, de Young Museum and Klutz. To enroll or learn more, visit or call 800-854-3684.

Galileo Summer Quest is a summer program for 5th through 8th graders, where students dive deeply into subjects they are passionate about. Campers choose from a selection of inspiring Majors, such as Magazine Makers, Go-Karts and Video Game Design. They also hone their teamwork and leadership skills, while creating strong connections with peers who share their interests. To enroll or learn more, visit or call 800-854-3684.

The Tech Museum Summer Camps! 4th-8th graders with a special interest in science and technology can register for The Tech Museum Summer Camps, featuring hands-on science and technology classes held at the world-class Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. A variety of different class topics are offered, including Lego Robotics, Claymation and Roller Coaster Physics. To enroll or learn more, visit or call 800-854-3684.

Summer Fun at PACCC

Did you know that PACCC also has great full-day summer programs with working parents in mind?  Call the PACCC main office if you would like a Summer Fun 2009 Brochure mailed to you, 493-2361 or visit

PACCC Kids’ Clubs:  After-School Child Care at your Elementary School Site

PACCC has immediate openings at some of their sites and Wait Lists are forming for Fall 2009.  For more information, call the Director at the Kids’ Club located on your school campus.  Detailed contact information can be found on the PACCC website at

PTA Parent Ed: “Breaking the Cycle of Bullying”

Wednesday, February 4, 7 PM, Walter Hays Elementary
Wednesday, March 4, 7 PM, Ohlone Elementary
Thursday, April 16 7 PM, El Carmelo Elementary
Tuesday, April 28 7 PM, Duveneck Elementary
Wednesday, May 6 7 PM, Juana Briones Elementary
Parents Place will present the latest research and answer questions on bullying, an issue that at some point impacts every child.

  • How is bullying different from typical disagreements between siblings or peers?
  • How does bullying or what some call “social cruelty” have a potentially lasting impact on the bully, the bullied and the bystander
  • How we can, as parents and teachers, help create inclusive, safe environments for all children?

Learn about the nationally-recognized “Steps for Respect” program and other effective character education resources now in place at a number of PAUSD schools.  Free and open to everyone, all PAUSD parents and community welcome.  Free on-site child care. Live Spanish translation provided.
There will also be a middle school program at JLS Tuesday, April 7.

Details at

Cultural Kaleidoscope Family Day

Sun. March 1, 2-4:00 pm, Green  Oaks Academy Gymnasium, 2450 Ralmar Street, East Palo Alto
Free art fun.  Create African and Native American masks, weaving, watercolor and wax paintings, African necklaces and more.
Los invitamos a usted y su familia a participar en nuestro programa del Día de la Familia de Calidoscopio Cultural el domingo, 1 de marzo de 2009, de 2:00 a 4:00 pm en la escuela Green Oaks  Academy,  2450 Calle Ralmar, East Palo Alto.
El evento es gratis y para el público general.

Sculpture Family Day

Sun. April 5, 2-4pm, Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto
Come for a sculpture-making celebration!  Make magical animals of all kinds, wooden figurines, and much more. All activities are inspired by the Palo Alto Art Center’s exhibitions Joe Brubaker: Somnambulists and Tales from an Imaginary Menagerie.
Los invitamos a usted y su familia a participar en nuestro programa del Día de la Familia el domingo 5 de abril de 2009, de 2:00 a 4:00 pm en el Palo Alto  Art Center, 1313 Calle Newell, Palo Alto.
El evento es gratis y para el público general.

Cultural Kaleidoscope Family Day activities are led by artists and volunteers from the community. Admission and activities are free, thanks to the support of the Palo Alto Art  Center Foundation, and appropriate for ages 5 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Community Kiosk

Click here

News: February 3, 2009

Palo Alto Partners In Education (PiE) Annual Campaign Ends February 12th!!

If you have child you have a reason to give!

Unfortunately, our annual campaign is still $600K short of our overall goal of $2.52MM. If we don’t raise these funds by Feb. 12th, our schools are very much at risk of losing people and programs that greatly enhance our children’s education. If you have not given yet, we really need your help now to continue the level of excellence that we have come to expect from our Palo Alto schools.

Thanks to all who have donated so far. We appreciate your continued and generous support.   To donate, please visit