News: February 26, 2010

Calendar

March 2:          New Principal Selection Information Meeting with    
                           Scott Bowers, 7 PM
March 13:           Annual Palo Verde Auction
March 17:           Site Council Meeting, 3:30 PM
                           Science Fair, 6 – 8 PM

Palo Verde and PTA News

Please Join Us at the Auction! 
The Palo Verde Auction is set for March 13th at Trader Vic’s and this year’s event promises to be a great one. As we gear up for the event, Lupe and I thought we would take a few moments to describe how important the Auction is to our school.

First and foremost, the Palo Verde Auction is fun. It’s a great time to build friendships with fellow parents in an atmosphere of community and common interest toward bettering our children’s school. And that’s just at the Auction itself.

The activities and parties up for Auction further build on creating an involved, connected community for both our kids and parents, alike. Each teacher offers a party for either a small group or their whole classroom. For parents, families host annual poker parties, sushi-making parties and much more. The Auction simply provides a great opportunity for all our kids and families to get to know one another better and build lasting relationships.

The Auction also plays an important role in raising funds for Palo Verde. As the district prepares to cut $3.7 million from its budget for the next school year, now more than ever we need to support Palo Verde in every way we can. Over the past two years, the Auction has raised about $40,000. These funds have allowed us to purchase classroom and school-yard items our kids use every day: from smart boards and computers to playground equipment and library books. It also helps pay for educational activities like our upcoming Science Fair and International Fair as well as student activities like our annual Ice Skating Party and Noon Art.

If these programs and funding of school supplies are to continue into the future, we need parents to support this event so that our kids can continue to enjoy the unique school experience Palo Alto and Palo Verde have to offer.

Both Lupe and I hope to see you at the Auction: March 13th, Trader Vics, 7-11 pm.  And don’t forget: Palo Verde Kids’ Club is offering babysitting for only $10 per child for the entire evening. 

Happy Bidding!
Principal Lupe Garcia
Palo Verde PTA President Kim Amsbaugh

Meeting on New Principal Selection with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Scott Bower
As the Palo Alto Unified School District begins the process of selecting a new Principal for Palo Verde Elementary School, we would like to hear from you. On Tuesday, March 2nd from 7:00-8:30 PM in the Palo Verde Library, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowers will hold a meeting with interested parents to gather their views on the school.
 
In his recent letter staff and parents, current principal, Lupe Garcia, announced that he will retire at the end of this year.  One of the first steps in the process for placing a new principal at Palo Verde is to gather your thoughts on what you value most about Palo Verde, what you see as challenges for the school over the next few years, and what leadership qualities you feel are most important for your school’s principal.
 
Please join Dr. Bowers at this Palo Verde parent meeting so that your views may help inform in this important staffing decision. The Palo Verde PTA has also arranged child care with Palo Verde Kids’ Club during this meeting. More details will be available soon. Space will be limited.

Palo Verde PTA Needs You!
Do you like to organize parties? Are you good with numbers? Do you
like to show teachers how much you appreciate them?

If you answered yes to any one of those questions then that means you would be great at helping throw our annual Palo Verde Auction; be our PTA Teasurer; or organize Teacher Appreciation Week! 

These are just a few of the positions that rely on parent volunteers to help make Palo Verde the terrific school and community it is today. And while the school year is not over yet, it’s time to start planning for the 2010-2011 school year.

If you are interested in getting involved, contact Kim Amsbaugh, PTA
president, at amsbaugh@gmail.com or call me at 650-8130-1669. Or if
you would like to anonimously suggest someone, put their name in our PTA Volunteer Box located in the Office.

I look forwad to hearing from you!
Kim Amsbaugh

Enchanted Tiki Auction Update 
Our Enchanted Tiki Auction is getting close!  Have you reserved your tickets and your babysitting spots yet?  It should be a fun evening. If you are already going why don’t you let your class know and encourage them to come along? Parents from a few classes are getting together before the auction and coming all together.  Some moms are coming solo and making it a moms’ night out.  It’s a very casual evening and a great way to meet new people, chat to old friends and raise money for the school!

Trader Vics is a fantastic venue with lots of ambience.  You’ll receive a free Mai Tai cocktail included in your ticket price and some tasty nibbles plus some sweet treats.  All the items will be there for you to bid on at your leisure.  The evening starts at 7, the auction closes at 9.30 but you’re welcome to stay on until 11.

This week you’ll be receiving the auction catalog in the bookbags.  It is packed with great stuff.  Check out the parties with your favorite teachers and staff.  And this year we’ve got more parties donated by parents than ever before.  Look out for a fun Poker Night and a Battle of the Bands party for adults.  There’s also some great parties this year for the kids – flash tag in the park, a hot wheels party, cookie baking for incoming Kinders and a family scavenger hunt to name just a few.  And if you can’t make the auction look out for the absentee bid form in the front of the catalog.

Thanks again to all our sponsors who are supporting the event:  Charleston Cleaners, Realtor Kathy Pasin, Peninsula Pediatric Dentistry, Agile Physical Therapy, Keycon Construction, Dura-Foam Inc., Opus 1 Music Studio, Morgan Gault Homes and LJS Orthodontics.

Don’t forget to return your invitation forms to the office to reserve your tickets – we look forward to seeing on March 13th!

Jackie & Sheri

Denise Pope DVD Available
Order Deadline Mon. March 8
“A Healthy Balance: Help Your Child Be Fulfilled Without Sacrificing Achievement,” the parent ed program given by Stanford educator and Challenge Success co-founder Denise Pope at Fairmeadow on Feb. 3, is now available on DVD for $2.  Details and Order Form: http://info.paloaltopta.org/docs/100221denisepopedvd.pdf

ArtSpeak! Dale Dougherty, Maker Faire
Thurs. March 4, 7:30pm, Boardroom, 25 Churchill
Editor and Publisher of Make magazine, Dale Dougherty is one of the founders and driving forces behind the Maker Faire (www.makerfaire.com).  He’s a big believer in the Do-It-Yourself mindset, and how making things is a great way to learn.  Come hear how the Maker Faire got started, see photos and video clips from past Faires, and get a preview of what’s in store for this year.  Presented by the Palo Alto Council of PTAs as part of its ArtSpeak! Series. 

Save the Date!
International Fair & Food Festival – Saturday, May 15, 4 – 7 PM
Enjoy the adventure of first-hand experience of varied cultures. See the arts and crafts, hear the sounds and be entertained.Have fun with your passport! Visit and explore the countries and feel the ambiance of world travel. See the smiles on your kids’ faces as they enjoy all the fun and deepen their understanding of the cultural diversity. 

Experience the cuisines around the world. This year, for the first time, families of Palo Verde will get to enjoy an International Food Festival at the International Fair.  Bring friends and family to enjoy the food festival. The proceeds from the food festival will go to PTA. 

Put on that apron and whip up your most favorite dish! Culinary contributions are needed to make this event a huge success. Any cuisine around the world is welcome.  Thanks to all the volunteers who have stepped up to help with the fair. We have booth leaders for India, UK, Thailand, Netherlands, Brazil, Taiwan and Russia.

 We need your help with the following:

  1. Volunteers to help with booths, setup, cleanup, activities etc on the day of the fair as well as planning and preparation before the fair.
  2. Booth leaders for more countries.
  3. Food contributions for the Food Festival.

For more information or to volunteer contact:  Ritu Das (rituparnad (at) yahoo dot com), Dipti Joshi (dsonak (at) yahoo dot com) or Priya Junnarkar (priya dot junnarkar (at) gmail dot com 

PAUSD News

JLS Connections Program Information Meeting
Tuesday, March 2, 7 PM, JLS Cafetorium
The JLS Connections Program is open to all PAUSD 2010 incoming 6th graders.  Connections is a learning community of students, teachers, and parents where hearts and minds are inspired through challenging and innovative teaching practices, including project-based and hands-on learning, differentiated instruction, and leadership development.  Application to the program is through lottery (the district recently mailed the middle school choice enrollment info to all 5th grade families).  This informational meeting is open to all interested parents and current 5th grade children.  Connections’ teachers and current and former students will be available to answer questions. Info: www.jlsconnections.org.

Paly Theatre Presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream
March 5, 6, 13, 7:30pm, March 14, 2 pm, Haymarket Theatre, Palo Alto High School
Paly’s spring play is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare’s delightful comedy of thwarted romance, magical transformation, and mistaken identity. Directed by Kathleen Woods, Paly’s production will add touches of Victorian romance and a few surprises to Shakespeare’s popular, farcical tale of love, fairy magic, and confusion.
Tickets $7 students and seniors, $10 adults.  Tickets available at the door one hour prior to performances, at Paly Auditor’s office during school hours, or by calling 329-3710 x7245 for reservations.  Flyer: palylink.paloaltopta.org/flyers/midsummer.pdf
Info, including online ticket ordering: web.me.com/palytheatre  

Let’s Really Talk About Reading!
Wed. March 10, 7-9pm, Board Room, 25 Churchill
K-12 Parents and educational staff: learn about the reading process, how PAUSD teachers use a wide range of strategies, techniques and tools to instruct their students in reading, and what parents can do to help at home.  Presenters: Pat Dawson, District Literacy Specialist, and Julie Saxena, District Literacy Specialist/Kindergarten Teacher.  With Question and Answer help from: Rachel  Milliken-Weitzman, Elementary Resource Teacherm Nancy Ayling, Middle/High School Literacy Consultant, Holly Hume, Middle School Resource Teacher, and Cindy Lazzareschi, Middle School Reading Specialist/English Teacher.  Presented by Palo Alto Unified School District, and Palo Alto’s TACKLE (Taking A Closer Kid Look Early).  Spanish language translation provided.
Flyer: palylink.paloaltopta.org/enews/readingmarch10.pdf 

Parent Ed:  Christine Carter, Raising Happy Kids
Tuesday, March 16, 7 PM, Barron Park School
Dr. Carter’s talk addresses what science tells us about the factors that breed happiness in childhood and beyond. Dr. Carter is executive director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley and a sociologist who studies the childhood roots of happiness.  For more information click here. 

Dr. Ken Ginsburg:  Building Resilience in Children and Teens
Thursday, March 25, Resource fair and community social 6 PM, Presentation 6:30 PM, Spangenberg Theatre, Gunn High School
Using humor and real-life scenarios, Dr. Ken Ginsburg will teach you how to raise resilient children who can deal with stress in an increasingly complex world.  His unique perspective emphasizes the developmental strengths of youth, equipping participants with skills needed to better teach kids to help themselves.  Dr. Ginsburg is a nationally renowned pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.  His books include: A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens and Less Stress, More Success.  Free.  Sponsors include Palo Alto PTA Council, Palo Alto School PTAs, and Los Altos-Mountain View PTA Council. 

PAUSD Summer School: Middle School Music Opportunities
Registration begins April 19; Summer School June 21 – July 16, J.L.Stanford Middle School
Music opportunities at PAUSD Summer School include Brass, Clarinet, and Flute Ensembles, Chorus, Band, Chamber String Workshop, and Intermediate String Orchestra.  Registration information and forms may be obtained from the district web page at pausd.org.  Click on the “Summer School” button and scroll down to “Middle School Program” for registration information and forms.
Flyer: palylink.paloaltopta.org/enews/summerschoolmusic.pdf

Raffle to Benefit Paly Choirs
Support the Palo Alto High School Choirs and have a chance to win valuable prizes including an aerial tour of the SF Bay, Apple iPad, $1000 cash, and a Grand Prize trip for two to Paris.  Tickets ($10 each or $40 for 5) on sale through Sunday, May 16.  Winners selected at the Choirs’ Spring Concert at St Mark’s Episcopal Church;  need not be present to win.  Must be 18+ to buy ticket/enter raffle.  Info including ticket purchase: Paly Choir website.

City of Palo Alto News

Palo Alto Library Commission Opening
Applications due Monday, March 8
The Palo Alto Library Commission is looking for one volunteer to serve in an unexpired term.  The Commission meets once a month and is responsible for advising the City Council on a variety of matters relating to the Libraries.  Info:  www.cityofpaloalto.org or the City of Palo Alto City Clerk’s Office, 329-2267.

Children’s Theatre 10-Minute Playwriting Contest
Deadline March 22
Bay Area students are invited to participate in the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre’s Second Annual 10-Minute Playwriting Contest.  All genres of plays accepted from students ages 8 through high school.  Winning plays receive a staged reading and reception at PACT.  They will be performed by members of the Teen Arts Council and directed by a professional director.  Winning authors will also receive a prize donated by the Friends of the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre.  Plays will be judged in three categories: Elementary (age 8-10), Jr. High (Age 11-13), and Young Adult 14-18.  Winners announced May 11.  Submit plays electronically to Childrens.Theatre (at) cityofpaloalto dot org or by snail mail to Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, ATTN: Playwriting Contest, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94301.  Questions: 463-4930.

Become a Certified Bicycle Safety Instructor
Additional instructors are needed to continue the City of Palo Alto Recreation Department’s highly successful bicycle education program. League of American Bicyclists certification as a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) is required.  A 23-hour seminar will be given for prospective instructors in June.  Ideal candidates for the seminar are experienced, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic bicyclists.  Before the LCI Certification Seminar, applicants must become a member of the League ($35/year) and must have completed a 9-hour Smart Cycling Traffic Skills 101 course with high marks.  Info:  PTA Council Traffic Safety Chair Penny Ellson, 856-0736, pellson (at) pacbell.net 

Community News

Media Center “Zoom In” Workshop
Join a new video-making community project, no experience or equipment necessary.  The Midpeninsula Community Media Center is launching “Zoom In”, a video workshop and production collaborative.  A low-cost, fast-track course provides all the basics you need to shoot and edit videos, as well as publish them on the web.  Use your camcorder or borrow one from the Media Center.  Zoom In gives video makers of all levels of experience the chance to contribute to local media coverage and make a difference in the community. Videos can range from coverage of local events to organizations to people to scripted narratives.  Cost for sixteen hours of training is $100 and for an extra $50 you can have access to Media Center camera equipment for six months. 
Info: Becky Sanders, 494-8686 x 11 or www.Midpenmedia.org/zoomin

Upcoming Canopy Tree Events
Friday, March 5:
9 AM-3:30 PM – Canopy Workshop: Pruning and Training Young Trees for Strength, Beauty, Longevity and Appropriate Clearances: A Practical Approach for Arborists

To sign up: sharon (at) canopy dot org.  Info: www.canopy.org

Seussical the Musical
March 19-28, Fridays 7:30pm, Saturdays/Sundays 2:00 pm, Cañada College Mainstage Theater, 4200 Farm Hill Road, Redwood City
Bay Area Educational Theater Company presents Seussical the Musical, based on the works of Dr. Seuss.  “Seussical” is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza. 
Info and to order tickets: www.bayareaetc.org or 802-8423.

BandWorks Rock n’ Roll Summer Camp in Los Altos & San Carlos 
For kids ages 8-18, week-long Summer Day Camps are open to young beginners through advanced, older teen players. Professional musician-instructors create a fun and supportive environment while they teach kids the skills they need to play in a rock band-and make new friends in the process. 

Info: info (at) bandworks dot com, 510-843-BAND(2263) or www.BandWorks.com

Camp Kwizera: Empowering Youth to Lead Through Service
A week-long day camp held at Stanford University in June and July 2010 that encourages youth to identify issues they are passionate about and turn that passion into committed action by combining interactive, fun, and kid-friendly global learning about social justice issues with local community service field trips. 
Info and to register: http://faceaids.org/camp or contact Executive Director Julie Veroff, julie (at) faceaids dot org or (559) 790-7052.

Sibling Relationship Issues When One Sib Has Special Needs
Wednesday, March 17, 7-9 PM, Springer Elementary School, MP Room, 1120 Rose Avenue, Mountain View
All PAUSD parents warmly welcome!  This is a free program, open to any parent with an interest in supporting the emotional needs of all their children, especially when dealing with special needs within a family.
 
Leslie Vaasquez is the parent of two daughters, one with special health care needs.  She grew up with a brother with multiple disabilities.  Leslie, who has a Masters degree in Counseling, has served as a Parents Helping Parents support group facilitator, mentor parent, and board member for 9 years.  Her talk focuses on the sibling relationship – why it’s important to focus on siblings in a special needs family and the ways parents and others can support siblings.  She discusses the particular issues and concerns for siblings such as isolation, lack of information, loss of attention, embarrassment, guilt, and responsibility.  She also addresses strategies parents can use to deal with these issues.  Finally, she will discuss benefits of being positive and how siblings have a lot to gain by being actively involved with their special needs sibling.
 
The meeting is 7 to 9 PM.  Hospitality begins at 6:45pm. 
This parent education event is sponsored by the SELPA 1 CAC (www.selpa1cac.org)  All of our events are free and open to anyone who feels they might benefit.  No registration is necessary.

Community Kiosk

News: February 19, 2010

Calendar

February 24:      Family Math Night, 6:30 PM
March 2:             New Principal Selection Information Meeting with Scott Bowers, 7 PM
March 13:           Annual Palo Verde Auction
March 17:           Site Council Meeting, 3:30 PM
Science Fair, 6 – 8 PM

Palo Verde and PTA News

Family Math Game Night
Students, parents, and siblings are all invited to join Palo Verde teachers in an evening of Math Games. Join your children as we play a variety of games from our new math program, Everyday Mathematics. You will see how games develop over the grades, and gain insight into the deeper mathematical thinking involved in some activities that may be deceivingly simple on the surface. Learn games that will help your child master the basic number facts as well as develop a solid number sense. Modifications will be shared that will help to make games appropriate and challenging for your whole family!

What?           Math Game Night for Families
When?          Wednesday, February 24th
Time?            6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Where?         Palo Verde Multipurpose Room
Who?            Palo Verde students and their families

Meeting on New Principal Selection with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowers
As the Palo Alto Unified School District begins the process of selecting a new Principal for Palo Verde Elementary School, we would like to hear from you.

On Tuesday, March 2nd from 7:00-8:30 PM in the Palo Verde Library, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowers will hold a meeting with interested parents to gather their views on the school.

In his recent letter staff and parents, current principal, Lupe Garcia, announced that he will retire at the end of this year.  One of the first steps in the process for placing a new principal at Palo Verde is to gather your thoughts on what you value most about Palo Verde, what you see as challenges for the school over the next few years, and what leadership qualities you feel are most important for your school’s principal.

Please join Dr. Bowers at this Palo Verde parent meeting so that your views may help inform in this important staffing decision.

The Palo Verde PTA has also arranged child care with Palo Verde Kids’ Club during this meeting. More details will be available soon. Space will be limited.

Palo Verde PTA Needs You!
Do you like to organize parties? Are you good with numbers? Do you
like to show teachers how much you appreciate them?

If you answered yes to any one of those questions then that means you would be great at helping throw our annual Palo Verde Auction; be our PTA Teasurer; or organize Teacher Appreciation Week! These are just a few of the positions that rely on parent volunteers to help make Palo Verde the terrific school and community it is today. And while the school year is not over yet, it’s time to start planning for the
2010-2011 school year.

If you are interested in getting involved, contact Kim Amsbaugh, PTA
president, at amsbaugh (at) gmail dot com or at (650) 8130-1669. Or if you would like to anonimously suggest someone, put their name in our PTA Volunteer Box located in the Office.

I look forwad to hearing from you!
Kim

Science Night Update
We had a very fun and successful Science Night on Tuesday, February 9th.  The Lawrence Hall of Science presented their Build It! Festival in the multipurpose room. Student and parent participation was strong, enthusiasm was evident as children started showing up prior to the start time.  The room was full, and from the noise and laughter it appeared that all were having a wonderful and educational time.

I would like to thank the volunteers who helped set up the stations and assisted the children:  Kelly Berschauer, Evelyn Guernsey, Diane Jakubowski, Dipti Joshi, Pandu Nayak, Arthur Reyes, Heather Schultz, Ashish Shete and Fidelia Wang.

Theivanai Palaniappan

Earthquake Kits
Still thinking about purchasing your family earthquake kit . . .
With the recent devastation in Haiti, I think that preparing our
families in the event of an earthquake or disaster is probably on
everyone’s mind these days.

You can order online at: http://www.earthshakes.com
Indicate your school name on check-out so the school will receive
credit. If you want to avoid shipping fees, choose “Event Delivery” as
a shipping option and indicate Palo Verde Elementary School as the
shipping address.  If you would like to avoid paying shipping fees –
you must order by March 11th.

Earth Shakes will donate 20% of “Basic Kits” and 12% of “Deluxe Kits”
to the Palo Verde PTA.

New Recycling/Compost Program at Palo Verde!
The City and the district have adopted a new waste diversion program that includes increased recycling and introduces composting of organic material.  At our school, students will learn how to sort their waste in the following ways:

  • Recycle – plastic, glass, metal, clean paper and cardboard
  • Compost – all uneaten food, cardboard lunch trays, napkins, paper towels, paper plates and cups, milk cartons (from lunch program), and pizza boxes.
  • Garbage – juice boxes and juice pouches, chip bags, granola and candy bar wrappers

When packing your child’s lunch please keep this program in mind and strive for a “zero waste” lunch.  Tips:

  • Buy snacks in bulk and send them to school in reusable containers
  • Pack sandwiches in reusable containers instead of Ziploc bags
  • Use a bottle or thermos for drinks instead of juice boxes

A waste audit conducted last year showed that only 10-20% of what we threw away was actually garbage.  Environmentally and economically beneficial, our goal is to reduce our garbage, reuse what we can, and recycle and compost the rest.  Please look for the new blue recycling and green compost cans when you are on campus.

Thank you for your support,
Palo Verde Elementary School and the Green Team

Palo Verde Auction Update:  Enchanted Tiki Auction, Saturday, March 13 at Trader Vic’s
A big thank you to all those families that have donated so far to the auction.  Thanks to the school community and the merchants we’ve contacted we have lots of exciting items for you to bid on at our forthcoming auction.  Highlights include Disney tickets, top seats at a Giants game and a whole range of parties hosted by your teachers.  And don’t forget the ever popular opportunity for your child to be principal for the day. We’re busy putting together the catalog right now and it will be with you shortly!

Look out for the auction invitations this week in the book bags. We owe a big thank you to the noon art students for all their hard work on these invites.  Every one of the wiki tiki men is individually designed by one of the noon art students.  They are quite eye catching!

We hope that this year we’ll see lots of you at this special event – our principal and our teachers greatly value your participation. In the face of budget cuts funds raised at the auction help to fill the gaps for classroom equipment and materials needed by all our teachers. That can range from new books, computers and art supplies, to equipment for PE and noon games. Your support of this important PTA event truly makes a positive difference for our children and our school!

And for the first time we will offer a babysitting service at KidsClub on auction night. You can drop off your kids from 6.30-10.30 at kids club at the rate of $10 a child.  Avoid disappointment and book early as spots are limited.  The reservation form is on the invite.

Finally a special note of thanks to all our sponsors who are supporting the event:  Charleston Cleaners, Realtor Kathy Pasin, Peninsula Pediatric Dentistry, Agile Physical Therapy, Keycon Construction, Dura-Foam Inc., Opus 1 Music Studio, Morgan Gault Homes and just in this week LJS Orthodontics.

Don’t forget to return your invitation forms to the office to reserve your tickets and look out for the catalog coming soon.
Jackie & Sheri

Save the Date!
International Fair & Food Festival – Saturday, May 15, 4 – 7 PM
Enjoy the adventure of first-hand experience of varied cultures. See the arts and crafts, hear the sounds and be entertained.Have fun with your passport! Visit and explore the countries and feel the ambiance of world travel. See the smiles on your kids’ faces as they enjoy all the fun and deepen their understanding of the cultural diversity.

Experience the cuisines around the world. This year, for the first time, families of Palo Verde will get to enjoy an International Food Festival at the International Fair.  Bring friends and family to enjoy the food festival. The proceeds from the food festival will go to PTA.

Put on that apron and whip up your most favorite dish! Culinary contributions are needed to make this event a huge success. Any cuisine around the world is welcome.

Thanks to all the volunteers who have stepped up to help with the fair. We have booth leaders for India, UK, Thailand, Netherlands, Brazil, Taiwan and Russia.

We need your help with the following:

  1. Volunteers to help with booths, setup, cleanup, activities etc on the day of the fair as well as planning and preparation before the fair.
  2. Booth leaders for more countries.
  3. Food contributions for the Food Festival.

For more information or to volunteer contact:  Ritu Das (rituparnad (at) yahoo dot com), Dipti Joshi (dsonak (at) yahoo dot com) or Priya Junnarkar (priya dot junnarkar (at) gmail dot com)

PAUSD News

PiE Donates $2.9 Million to PAUSD
PiE is thrilled to announce its 2009-2010 fundraising campaign has donated a record-breaking $2.9 million for the Palo Alto School District, a 13% increase over last year’s donation including a 30% increase in donations from local businesses and residents without children in PAUSD.  With the school district facing deep budget cuts in the coming year, PiE’s donation provides critical support for essential programs and staff.  PiE sends out a heartfelt thank you to every family that donated this year, especially in this challenging economic climate. Check out PiE’s website for more details on how PiE dollars benefit every child in the district: www.papie.org.

Juana Run

Saturday, February 20, Juana Briones School

The 14th annual Juana Run is a community event with running races for all ages and abilities.  The certified 8K race starts at 8:30am and runs through the streets of Barron Park, the kids races by elementary school grade start at 10am and a family friendly 1 mile race starts at 11:10am.  Register: www.juanarun.org.  Registration will also be available race morning starting at 7am.  Parking is available at Gunn High school.  Questions: juanarun (at) aol dot com or the race hotline 599-3434

Annual CAC Sweetheart Awards
Monday, February 22, 7:30-9 PM,  Boardroom, 25 Churchill Avenue,  Palo Alto
Come help CAC honor those “Every Day Heroes” who have made a difference in the life of a special needs child. This will be a joyous, heartwarming and touching event to celebrate many deserving individuals.  Refreshments will be served.

You Made It! Jamboree
Submission deadline Sunday, February 28; Jamboree Saturday, May 15, Palo Alto Art Center
The Palo Alto PTA Council’s very own student “makers faire” is a celebration of innovation and creativity.  The You Made It! Jamboree is a chance for any PAUSD student to show the world his or her awesome creations.  Does your student make robots?  Invent new toys?  Design computer games or animations?  Create new fashions?  The You Made It! Jamboree is your student’s chance to celebrate the creative spirit within and display their innovations.  Info and entry forms: www.youmadeitjamboree.com

JLS Connections Program Information Meeting
Tuesday, March 2, 7 PM, JLS Cafetorium
The JLS Connections Program is open to all PAUSD 2010 incoming 6th graders.  Connections is a learning community of students, teachers, and parents where hearts and minds are inspired through challenging and innovative teaching practices, including project-based and hands-on learning, differentiated instruction, and leadership development.  Application to the program is through lottery (the district recently mailed the middle school choice enrollment info to all 5th grade families).  This informational meeting is open to all interested parents and current 5th grade children.  Connections’ teachers and current and former students will be available to answer questions. Info: www.jlsconnections.org.

Parent Ed:  Christine Carter, Raising Happy Kids
Tuesday, March 16, 7 PM, Barron Park School
Dr. Carter’s talk addresses what science tells us about the factors that breed happiness in childhood and beyond. Dr. Carter is executive director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley and a sociologist who studies the childhood roots of happiness.  For more information click here.

Dr. Ken Ginsburg:  Building Resilience in Children and Teens
Thursday, March 25, Resource fair and community social 6 PM, Presentation 6:30 PM, Spangenberg Theatre, Gunn High School
Using humor and real-life scenarios, Dr. Ken Ginsburg will teach you how to raise resilient children who can deal with stress in an increasingly complex world.  His unique perspective emphasizes the developmental strengths of youth, equipping participants with skills needed to better teach kids to help themselves.  Dr. Ginsburg is a nationally renowned pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. His books include A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens
and Less Stress, More Success.  Free.  Sponsors include Palo Alto PTA Council, Palo Alto School PTAs, and Los Altos-Mountain View PTA Council.

Raffle to Benefit Paly Choirs

Support the Palo Alto High School Choirs and have a chance to win valuable prizes including an aerial tour of the SF Bay, Apple iPad, $1000 cash, and a Grand Prize trip for two to Paris.  Tickets ($10 each or $40 for 5) on sale through Sunday, May 16.  Winners selected at the Choirs’ Spring Concert at St Mark’s Episcopal Church;  need not be present to win.  Must be 18+ to buy ticket/enter raffle.  Info including ticket purchase: Paly Choir website.

City of Palo Alto News

Palo Alto Library Commission Opening
Applications due Monday, March 8
The Palo Alto Library Commission is looking for one volunteer to serve in an unexpired term.  The Commission meets once a month and is responsible for advising the City Council on a variety of matters relating to the Libraries.  Info:  www.cityofpaloalto.org or the City of Palo Alto City Clerk’s Office, 329-2267.

Children’s Theatre 10-Minute Playwriting Contest
Deadline March 22
Bay Area students are invited to participate in the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre’s Second Annual 10-Minute Playwriting Contest.  All genres of plays accepted from students ages 8 through high school.  Winning plays receive a staged reading and reception at PACT.  They will be performed by members of the Teen Arts Council and directed by a professional director.  Winning authors will also receive a prize donated by the Friends of the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre.  Plays will be judged in three categories: Elementary (age 8-10), Jr. High (Age 11-13), and Young Adult 14-18.  Winners announced May 11.  Submit plays electronically to Childrens.Theatre (at) cityofpaloalto dot org or by snail mail to Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, ATTN: Playwriting Contest, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94301.  Questions: 463-4930.

Become a Certified Bicycle Safety Instructor
Additional instructors are needed to continue the City of Palo Alto Recreation Department’s highly successful bicycle education program. League of American Bicyclists certification as a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) is required.  A 23-hour seminar will be given for prospective instructors in June.  Ideal candidates for the seminar are experienced, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic bicyclists.  Before the LCI Certification Seminar, applicants must become a member of the League ($35/year) and must have completed a 9-hour Smart Cycling Traffic Skills 101 course with high marks.  Info:  PTA Council Traffic Safety Chair Penny Ellson, 856-0736, pellson (at) pacbell.net

Community News

Kara’s Summer Grief Camp
July 30-August 1, Applications due Monday, February 22
Kara’s annual summer grief camp, Camp Erin, is a free grief camp designed for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of a family member or friend.  It is a weekend-long experience that combines traditional fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support, facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers.  Applications and info: call Kara, 321-5272 or
www.kara-grief.org/camperin

Documentary:  “Race to Nowhere”
Tuesday, Februay 23, 7 PM, Oshman Family JCC 3921 Fabian Way
“Race to Nowhere” is a  film made by a Lafayette mom as a call to families, educators, experts and policy makers to examine current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America.  The film will be followed by dialogue with the director.
Sponsored by Los Altos – Mountain View PTA Council and Mountain View High School Challenge Success.  Tickets: $12 http://racetonowherepaloalto.eventbrite.com.

Media Center “Zoom In” Workshop

Join a new video-making community project, no experience or equipment necessary.  The Midpeninsula Community Media Center is launching “Zoom In”, a video workshop and production collaborative.  A low-cost, fast-track course provides all the basics you need to shoot and edit videos, as well as publish them on the web.  Use your camcorder or borrow one from the Media Center.  Zoom In gives video makers of all levels of experience the chance to contribute to local media coverage and make a difference in the community. Videos can range from coverage of local events to organizations to people to scripted narratives.  Cost for sixteen hours of training is $100 and for an extra $50 you can have access to Media Center camera equipment for six months.
Info: Becky Sanders, 494-8686 x 11 or www.Midpenmedia.org/zoomin

Upcoming Canopy Tree Events

Friday, March 5:
9 AM-3:30 PM – Canopy Workshop: Pruning and Training Young Trees for Strength, Beauty, Longevity and Appropriate Clearances: A Practical Approach for Arborists
To sign up: sharon (at) canopy dot org.  Info: www.canopy.org

Seussical the Musical

March 19-28, Fridays 7:30pm, Saturdays/Sundays 2:00 pm, Cañada College Mainstage Theater, 4200 Farm Hill Road, Redwood City
Bay Area Educational Theater Company presents Seussical the Musical, based on the works of Dr. Seuss.  “Seussical” is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza.
Info and to order tickets: www.bayareaetc.org or 802-8423.

BandWorks Rock n’ Roll Summer Camp in Los Altos & San Carlos
For kids ages 8-18, week-long Summer Day Camps are open to young beginners through advanced, older teen players. Professional musician-instructors create a fun and supportive environment while they teach kids the skills they need to play in a rock band-and make new friends in the process.
Info: info (at) bandworks dot com, 510-843-BAND(2263) or www.BandWorks.com

Camp Kwizera: Empowering Youth to Lead Through Service
A week-long day camp held at Stanford University in June and July 2010 that encourages youth to identify issues they are passionate about and turn that passion into committed action by combining interactive, fun, and kid-friendly global learning about social justice issues with local community service field trips.
Info and to register: http://faceaids.org/camp or contact Executive Director Julie Veroff, julie (at) faceaids dot org or (559) 790-7052.

Sibling Relationship Issues When One Sib Has Special Needs
Wednesday, March 17, 7-9 PM, Springer Elementary School, MP Room, 1120 Rose Avenue, Mountain View
All PAUSD parents warmly welcome!  This is a free program, open to any parent with an interest in supporting the emotional needs of all their children, especially when dealing with special needs within a family.

Leslie Vaasquez is the parent of two daughters, one with special health care needs.  She grew up with a brother with multiple disabilities.  Leslie, who has a Masters degree in Counseling, has served as a Parents Helping Parents support group facilitator, mentor parent, and board member for 9 years.  Her talk focuses on the sibling relationship – why it’s important to focus on siblings in a special needs family and the ways parents and others can support siblings.  She discusses the particular issues and concerns for siblings such as isolation, lack of information, loss of attention, embarrassment, guilt, and responsibility.  She also addresses strategies parents can use to deal with these issues.  Finally, she will discuss benefits of being positive and how siblings have a lot to gain by being actively involved with their special needs sibling.

The meeting is 7 to 9 PM.  Hospitality begins at 6:45pm.
This parent education event is sponsored by the SELPA 1 CAC (www.selpa1cac.org)  All of our events are free and open to anyone who feels they might benefit.  No registration is necessary.

News: February 12, 2010

Calendar

February 11-15:  No School
February 17:       Site Council, 3:30pm; Restaurant Night at Su Hong, Palo Alto;                                   Science Fair Parent Information Mtg, 7 PM
February 24:       Family Math Night, 6:30 PM
March 2:               New Principal Selection Information Meeting with     
                                  Scott Bowers, 7 PM
March 13:           Annual Palo Verde Auction

Palo Verde and PTA News

From the PTA President…
Support Measure to Renew Expiring Parcel Tax
Each year, Palo Alto schools receive approximately $9.4 million in stable locally-controlled parcel tax funding.  By law, these funds cannot be taken away by the State.  Parcel tax funds are used to attract and retain qualified and experienced teachers, keep class sizes small, and protect the innovative instructional programs that lead to high levels of student achievement in our schools.  The parcel tax was originally approved by over 70% of local voters in 2001 and renewed by over 70% of local voters in 2005.  Now this funding is once again set to expire.  If the parcel tax does expire and our schools lose $9.4 million in annual funding on top of other funding reductions, the impact on each and every one of our schools will be devastating.     
 
On Tuesday, January 12 our Board of Education voted unanimously to place a measure on the ballot this spring to renew our parcel tax for another six years and increase the rate by $96 ($8 per month) to help offset budget cuts to core instructional programs.  The Palo Verde PTA Executive Board also unanimously voted to support this measure because of its significant impact on our school as well as all the others within the district.

Seniors will continue to be eligible for an exemption to ensure the parcel tax is not a burden to those living on a fixed income.  Mandatory annual audits and an Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee will ensure the funds are spent as promised.  Funds from this measure cannot be taken away by the State or other school districts.       

Be careful not to confuse the parcel tax with the bond measure that was passed in 2008.  By law, bond funds may only be used for school buildings, equipment and furnishings.  Bond funds may not be used for teachers or programs.  Parcel taxes are the only way to generate stable local funding that can’t be taken away for teachers and programs.  Remember, bonds are for buildings and parcel taxes are for people and programs. 

This election will be conducted entirely by mail and there will be no polling places.  All registered voters will received a ballot the week of April 5 and all ballots are due by May 4 (postmarks don’t count).   

It is important for parents to note that spring break falls within this voting period.  We strongly encourage all parents wishing to vote in this election to complete your ballot and return it as soon as you receive it to ensure it is received on time. 

Between now and the election we will be providing regular updates regarding the proposed parcel tax, PAUSD’s budget and how you can get involved to help pass the parcel tax.  Keep an eye out for more information.

Kim Amsbaugh,
Palo Verde PTA President

Bake Sale Supports Haiti Relief Efforts
Dear Palo Verde Families,
On behalf of the first grade classrooms, thank you very much for your wholehearted support of last week’s First Grade Bake Sale to Help Haiti.  The first graders did a fantastic job roving the playground to encourage fellow students to “Help Haiti.”  And Palo Verde students and their families responded with such gusto.

A special thank you goes to Dana Guillet, Rani Notowidigdo, Susan Papp, Katharine Saunders, Uma Sonak, Krishna Varia, and their children and grandchildren for their amazing help with the bake sale. Plus, first grader AJ Gualdoni took the bake sale on the road to his mother’s (Krishna Varia’s) office and drummed up more business. Great work, AJ and Krishna!

As a result of everyone’s support and generosity, the bake sale raised $507.43!  The funds will be combined with the money raised from the Palo Verde Coins for Haiti campaign along with funds raised by other classrooms.  Palo Verde will donate the grand total to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support its emergency response in Haiti.  More details will come soon.

Thanks again for your support!
Maria Zajac

Restaurant Night
Please join us at Su Hong on February 17 any time between 11 am and 9 pm for our monthly Restaurant Night!  20% of all proceeds go straight back to Palo Verde.  It’s a chance to have some fun and help the school at the same time!

Science Fair Parent Information Meeting
Wednesday, Feb 17th 2010, 7-8pm, MP Room
This year’s Science Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, March 17th, 2010.  We will be holding a special parent information night for the Science Fair on Wednesday, Feb 17, in the MP room from 7-8pm.  Please consider attending this session if you’d like to find out more about the Science Fair, or if you’re looking for ideas for good Science Fair projects, or if you have any questions.

Family Math Game Night
Students, parents, and siblings are all invited to join Palo Verde teachers in an evening of Math Games. Join your children as we play a variety of games from our new math program, Everyday Mathematics. You will see how games develop over the grades, and gain insight into the deeper mathematical thinking involved in some activities that may be deceivingly simple on the surface. Learn games that will help your child master the basic number facts as well as develop a solid number sense. Modifications will be shared that will help to make games appropriate and challenging for your whole family!

What?           Math Game Night for Families
When?          Wednesday, February 24th
Time?            6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Where?         Palo Verde Multipurpose Room
Who?            Palo Verde students and their families

 Palo Verde Auction Update
A big thank you to all those families that have donated so far to the auction.  We are still accepting items so please consider what you might have to offer. You can email your donations to Rebecca at rebeccaherrema@hotmail.com. By now we hope you’ve marked your calendars for what will be a fun, relaxed evening and a wonderful opportunity to come together as a school community.

We hope that this year we’ll see lots of you at this special event – our principal and our teachers greatly value your participation. Did you know that each teacher at Palo Verde supports the auction by donating a special party or event for their students? In the face of state budget cuts funds raised at the auction help to fill the gaps for classroom equipment and materials needed by our teachers at every grade level. That can range from new books, computers and art supplies, to equipment for PE and noon games. Your whole-hearted support of this important PTA event truly makes a positive difference for our children and our school!

We’ve got some fabulous items at this year’s auction: high-quality camps and classes, local getaways, delicious food and dining, tickets for awesome games and events, family outings, incredible parties, and more! Do you have a child graduating this year? Watch for two sets of front row seats at the 5th Grade promotion ceremony. How about tickets to Disneyland, Raging Waters, or a week at Camp Galileo? A silent auction can be a great place to find a deal!

 And for the first time we will offer a babysitting service at KidsClub on auction night. So if your regular sitter is not around, don’t worry, we can help! More details will follow, but babysitting spots are limited so you will want to reserve early!  Finally a special note of thanks to all our sponsors who are supporting the event:  Charleston Cleaners, Realtor Kathy Pasin, Peninsula Pediatric Dentistry, Agile Physical Therapy, Keycon Construction, Dura-Foam Inc., Opus 1 Music Studio, and Morgan Gault Homes.

Look for further updates coming every week in the enews! Tickets will be on sale soon!
Jackie & Sheri

Meeting on New Principal Selection with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowers
As the Palo Alto Unified School District begins the process of selecting a new Principal for Palo Verde Elementary School, we would like to hear from you.
 On Tuesday, March 2nd from 7:00-8:30 PM in the Palo Verde Library, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowers will hold a meeting with interested parents to gather their views on the school.
 
In his recent letter staff and parents, current principal, Lupe Garcia, announced that he will retire at the end of this year.  One of the first steps in the process for placing a new principal at Palo Verde is to gather your thoughts on what you value most about Palo Verde, what you see as challenges for the school over the next few years, and what leadership qualities you feel are most important for your school’s principal.
 
Please join Dr. Bowers at this Palo Verde parent meeting so that your views may help inform in this important staffing decision.
 
The Palo Verde PTA has also arranged child care with Palo Verde Kids’ Club during this meeting. More details will be available soon. Space will be limited.

Save the Date!
International Fair & Food Festival – Saturday, May 15, 4 – 7 PM
Enjoy the adventure of first-hand experience of varied cultures. See the arts and crafts, hear the sounds and be entertained.Have fun with your passport! Visit and explore the countries and feel the ambiance of world travel. See the smiles on your kids’ faces as they enjoy all the fun and deepen their understanding of the cultural diversity.

Experience the cuisines around the world. This year, for the first time, families of Palo Verde will get to enjoy an International Food Festival at the International Fair.  Bring friends and family to enjoy the food festival. The proceeds from the food festival will go to PTA.

Put on that apron and whip up your most favorite dish! Culinary contributions are needed to make this event a huge success. Any cuisine around the world is welcome.   Thanks to all the volunteers who have stepped up to help with the fair. We have booth leaders for India, UK, Thailand, Netherlands, Brazil, Taiwan and Russia.

We need your help with the following:

  1. Volunteers to help with booths, setup, cleanup, activities etc on the day of the fair as well as planning and preparation before the fair.
  2. Booth leaders for more countries.
  3. Food contributions for the Food Festival.

For more information or to volunteer contact:  Ritu Das (rituparnad (at) yahoo dot com), Dipti Joshi (dsonak (at) yahoo dot com) or Priya Junnarkar (priya dot junnarkar (at) gmail dot com)

TrackWatch Volunteers Needed
TrackWatch needs more volunteers to help monitor the Charleston and Meadow crossings.  Shifts are very flexible.  You can sign up for as little or as much as you would like at times that work for you.  Please contact Caroline Camhy, hopepaloalto@gmail.com, and indicate your connection to the Palo Alto community so that she can get you the information that you need to get started.

PAUSD News

California’s Race to the Top Legislation
On January 7, California enacted sweeping new education legislation, including open enrollment.  For a summary of the new laws see http://paloaltopta.org

JLS Connections Observation Day
Tuesday, February 16, 8:15 AM – 11:25 AM, JLS Classrooms 410, 510, 710 and 720
Current 5th grade students and their parents are welcome to observe classes on February 16 to learn more about the Connections program at JLS.  If your 5th grader is visiting, please make sure that his/her teacher is “ok” with the absence that morning.  On the morning of the visitation, check in at the JLS Office.  Please note that there will be plenty of opportunity to observe classroom activity, but that “shadowing” an individual student is not permitted and that these visitations are for the Connections’ classrooms only. Questions: Connections’ teacher Katie Schramm, kschramm (at) pausd dot org

Monthly ADHD Parent Education and Support Group
Thursday, February 18, 7:30-9 PM, Room A, 25 Churchill. This group meets on one Thursday of each month (March 25, April 22, May 20). The group will discuss a wide range of issues and information will be provided regarding managing ADHD at home and at school.  Behavior management, getting chores and homework done,  managing school, organization, time management and study skills,  and how to get help at school through 504 Plans and IEPs.  Come get your questions answered and share your experiences with other parents.  The meetings sometimes feature guest speakers.  Led by Janet Dafoe, Ph.D., Morrissey-Compton Center.  Questions: 208-1224. 

Juana Run
Sat. Feb. 20, Juana Briones School
The 14th annual Juana Run is a community event with running races for all ages and abilities.  The certified 8K race starts at 8:30am and runs through the streets of Barron Park, the kids races by elementary school grade start at 10am and a family friendly 1 mile race starts at 11:10am.  Register: www.juanarun.org.  Registration will also be available race morning starting at 7am.  Parking is available at Gunn High school.  Questions: juanarun@aol.com or the race hotline 599-3434.

Annual CAC Sweetheart Awards
Monday, February 22, 7:30-9 PM,  Boardroom, 25 Churchill Avenue,  Palo Alto
Come help CAC honor those “Every Day Heroes” who have made a difference in the life of a special needs child. This will be a joyous, heartwarming and touching event to celebrate many deserving individuals.  Refreshments will be served.

You Made It! Jamboree
You Made It! Jamboree – Call For Entries
Submission deadline Sun. Feb. 28; Jamboree Sat. May 15, Palo Alto Art Center
The Palo Alto PTA Council’s very own student “makers faire” is a celebration of innovation and creativity.  The You Made It! Jamboree is a chance for any PAUSD student to show the world his or her awesome creations.  Does your student make robots?  Invent new toys?  Design computer games or animations?  Create new fashions?  The You Made It! Jamboree is your student’s chance to celebrate the creative spirit within and display their innovations.  Info and entry forms:  www.youmadeitjamboree.com

Parent Ed:  Christine Carter, Raising Happy Kids
Tuesday, March 16, 7 PM, Barron Park School
Dr. Carter’s talk addresses what science tells us about the factors that breed happiness in childhood and beyond. Dr. Carter is executive director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley and a sociologist who studies the childhood roots of happiness.  For more information click here.

Dr. Ken Ginsburg:  Building Resilience in Children and Teens
Thursday, March 25, Resource fair and community social 6 PM, Presentation 6:30 PM, Spangenberg Theatre, Gunn High School
Using humor and real-life scenarios, Dr. Ken Ginsburg will teach you how to raise resilient children who can deal with stress in an increasingly complex world.  His unique perspective emphasizes the developmental strengths of youth, equipping participants with skills needed to better teach kids to help themselves.  Dr. Ginsburg is a nationally renowned pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.  

His books include:  A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens and Less Stress, More Success.  Free.  Sponsors include Palo Alto PTA Council, Palo Alto School PTAs, and Los Altos-Mountain View PTA Council. 

Raffle to Benefit Paly Choirs
Support the Palo Alto High School Choirs and have a chance to win valuable prizes including an aerial tour of the SF Bay, Apple iPad, $1000 cash, and a Grand Prize trip for two to Paris.  Tickets ($10 each or $40 for 5) on sale through Sun. May 16.  Winners selected at the Choirs’ Spring Concert at St Mark’s Episcopal Church;  need not be present to win.  Must be 18+ to buy ticket/enter raffle.  Info including ticket purchase: Paly Choir website.

City of Palo Alto News

Children’s Theatre 10-Minute Playwriting Contest
Deadline March 22
Bay Area students are invited to participate in the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre’s Second Annual 10-Minute Playwriting Contest.  All genres of plays accepted from students ages 8 through high school.  Winning plays receive a staged reading and reception at PACT.  They will be performed by members of the Teen Arts Council and directed by a professional director.  Winning authors will also receive a prize donated by the Friends of the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre.  Plays will be judged in three categories: Elementary (age 8-10), Jr. High (Age 11-13), and Young Adult 14-18.  Winners announced May 11.  Submit plays electronically to Childrens.Theatre (at) cityofpaloalto dot org or by snail mail to Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, ATTN: Playwriting Contest, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94301.  Questions: 463-4930.

Community News

Upcoming Canopy Tree Events 

Saturday, February 13:

  • 10 AM-Noon –  Free Neighborhood Tree Walk, Palo Alto. Free Tree Walk in Old Palo Alto with leading arborist  Heather Booty
  • 1 PM-4 PM – Canopy Workshop. Palo Alto. Workshop: Restoring Older Fruit Trees

Friday, March 5:

  • 9 AM-3:30 PM – Canopy Workshop: Pruning and Training Young Trees for Strength, Beauty, Longevity and Appropriate Clearances: A Practical Approach for Arborists

To sign up: sharon (at) canopy dot org.  Info: www.canopy.org 

Documentary:  “Race to Nowhere” 
Tuesday, Februay 23, 7 PM, Oshman Family JCC 3921 Fabian Way
“Race to Nowhere” is a  film made by a Lafayette mom as a call to families, educators, experts and policy makers to examine current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America.  The film will be followed by dialogue with the director. 
Sponsored by Los Altos – Mountain View PTA Council and Mountain View High School Challenge Success.  Tickets: $12 http://racetonowherepaloalto.eventbrite.com

Programs offered bythe Center for Sustainable Change (CSC)
For more information, please contact Center for Sustainable Change, 424-0705 x. 21, www.centerforsustainablechange.org

“Growing Mental Health in Our Families”
Friday,  February 19, 8:45-10:15 AM, Fairmeadow Elementary School Library
With Ami Chen Mills-Naim.  Sponsored by the Fairmeadow PTA.  Ms. Mills-Naim is CSC Director and author of “The Spark Inside: A Special Book for Youth.” She has worked with families and adolescents for more than 20 years, teaching the principles that govern innate resiliency-and what gets in the way. She is currently director of the National Community Resiliency Project, in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
“Growing Mental Health for Parents and Teens”
Tuesday, March 30, 6:30-8 PM, Palo Alto Family YMCA, 3412 Ross Road, Palo Alto.  With Ami Chen Mills-Naim. This event is open to the general public, registration is not required.
“Spiritual Fitness”
Thursdays, April 8-May 13, 6:30-8 PM, Palo Alto Family YMCA
A six-part series. Join CSC’s Director Ami Chen Naim for a reflective dive into the 3 Principles of Mind, Consciousness & Thought and how our understanding of these principles impacts family and work life, leading to increased peace-of-mind, harmony, communication, efficiency, and well-being. Teenagers 13 and over are welcome.  Registration through the YMCA, www.paloaltofamilyymca.com, 856-9622.

Seussical the Musical
March 19-28, Fridays 7:30pm, Saturdays/Sundays 2:00 pm, Cañada College Mainstage Theater, 4200 Farm Hill Road, Redwood City
Bay Area Educational Theater Company presents Seussical the Musical, based on the works of Dr. Seuss.  “Seussical” is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza. 
Info and to order tickets: www.bayareaetc.org or 802-8423.

Kara’s Summer Grief Camp
July 30-August 1, Applications due Monday, February 22
Kara’s annual summer grief camp, Camp Erin, is a free grief camp designed for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of a family member or friend.  It is a weekend-long experience that combines traditional fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support, facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers.  Applications and info: call Kara, 321-5272 or www.kara-grief.org/camperin 

BandWorks Rock n’ Roll Summer Camp in Los Altos & San Carlos 
For kids ages 8-18, week-long Summer Day Camps are open to young beginners through advanced, older teen players. Professional musician-instructors create a fun and supportive environment while they teach kids the skills they need to play in a rock band-and make new friends in the process.  Info: info (at) bandworks dot com, 510-843-BAND(2263) or www.BandWorks.com

MOAH Workshop: Solid State Electronics & Integrated Circuits
Sundays, February 28 – March 28, 1-3 PM, MOAH 321 Homer, Palo Alto
This Museum of American Heritage course covers the basics of transistor and vacuum tube circuits.  Students learn about the invention and development of tubes and transistors, then the history, development, and uses of integrated circuits.  Students will discover what ICs are made of, how they work, and how they are designed and manufactured right here in Silicon Valley. Students will also learn how to read simple schematic diagrams and build portable radios that use 2 ICs as take-home projects.  Ages 10 and up;  $75 members/$85 non-members.  Registration must be completed by February 23.  Info:  www.moah.org 

Sibling Relationship Issues When One Sib Has Special Needs
Wednesday, March 17, 7-9 PM, Springer Elementary School, MP Room, 1120 Rose Avenue, Mountain View
All PAUSD parents warmly welcome!  This is a free program, open to any parent with an interest in supporting the emotional needs of all their children, especially when dealing with special needs within a family.
 
Leslie Vaasquez is the parent of two daughters, one with special health care needs.  She grew up with a brother with multiple disabilities.  Leslie, who has a Masters degree in Counseling, has served as a Parents Helping Parents support group facilitator, mentor parent, and board member for 9 years.  Her talk focuses on the sibling relationship – why it’s important to focus on siblings in a special needs family and the ways parents and others can support siblings.  She discusses the particular issues and concerns for siblings such as isolation, lack of information, loss of attention, embarrassment, guilt, and responsibility.  She also addresses strategies parents can use to deal with these issues.  Finally, she will discuss benefits of being positive and how siblings have a lot to gain by being actively involved with their special needs sibling.
 
The meeting is 7 to 9 PM.  Hospitality begins at 6:45pm. 
This parent education event is sponsored by the SELPA 1 CAC (www.selpa1cac.org)  All of our events are free and open to anyone who feels they might benefit.  No registration is necessary.

Community Kiosk

News: February 5, 2010

Calendar

February 9:         Science Night, 6:30 PM

February 11-15:  No School

February 17:       Site Council, 3:30pm

February 17:       Restaurant Night at Su Hong, Palo Alto

February 17:       Science Fair Parent Information Mtg, 7 PM

February 24:       Family Math Night, 6:30 PM

March 2:             New Principal Selection Information Meeting with Scott Bowers, 7 PM

March 13:           Annual Palo Verde Auction

Palo Verde and PTA News

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 benefit 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 8-9 all third and fifth graders (and selected second and fourth grade classes) will take the MARS Math Test;

* May 3 – 14 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:  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 donating to PiE: educational funding continues to go down dramatically due to economic and political reasons. Fortunately, you, the Palo Alto community, have been the absolute constant in the lives of our schools.  You have maintained a clear focus in support of education in our district. Thank you for your generous donations in support of our children’s education!

“Coins for Haiti” fundraising: our students are doing a fabulous job fundraising for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Our students raised $982.91 by the end of the first week.  Way to go Palo Verde!  We will be donating the funds to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.  It is the only charity organization that publicly states that 100% of the donations will go to relief efforts.  Apparently a private donor donated enough funds to cover the overhead administrative expenses.  Know in advance that ALL donations will go directly to those in need.  Thank you Maria Zajac for doing the research! In addition, different classrooms (or grade levels) will also be hosting different activities for additional fundraising.  Thank you for your support for those in EXTREME NEED in Haiti!

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

Science Night at Palo Verde

Tuesday, February 9th 2010, 6:30-8:20 PM

The Lawrence Hall of Science will be transforming our multipurpose room into hands-on learning stations.  The Build It! festival brings out the engineer and architect in everyone. Participants can exercise their design, problem-solving, and spatial skills by constructing in two and three dimensions.

Volunteers needed to assist with the stations! To volunteer, please call Theivanai Palaniappan at (510) 795-9084 or theivanai.palaniappan (at) gmail dot com

Restaurant Night

Please join us at Su Hong on February 17 any time between 11 am and 9 pm for our monthly Restaurant Night!  20% of all proceeds go straight back to Palo Verde.  It’s a chance to have some fun and help the school at the same time!

Family Math Game Night

Students, parents, and siblings are all invited to join Palo Verde teachers in an evening of Math Games. Join your children as we play a variety of games from our new math program, Everyday Mathematics. You will see how games develop over the grades, and gain insight into the deeper mathematical thinking involved in some activities that may be deceivingly simple on the surface. Learn games that will help your child master the basic number facts as well as develop a solid number sense. Modifications will be shared that will help to make games appropriate and challenging for your whole family!

What?           Math Game Night for Families

When?          Wednesday, February 24th

Time?            6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Where?         Palo Verde Multipurpose Room

Who?            Palo Verde students and their families

Meeting on New Principal Selection with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowers

As the Palo Alto Unified School District begins the process of selecting a new Principal for Palo Verde Elementary School, we would like to hear from you.

On Tuesday, March 2nd from 7:00-8:30 PM in the Palo Verde Library, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowers will hold a meeting with interested parents to gather their views on the school.

In his recent letter staff and parents, current principal, Lupe Garcia, announced that he will retire at the end of this year.  One of the first steps in the process for placing a new principal at Palo Verde is to gather your thoughts on what you value most about Palo Verde, what you see as challenges for the school over the next few years, and what leadership qualities you feel are most important for your school’s principal.

Please join Dr. Bowers at this Palo Verde parent meeting so that your views may help inform in this important staffing decision.

The Palo Verde PTA has also arranged child care with Palo Verde Kids’ Club during this meeting. More details will be available soon. Space will be limited.

Palo Verde Auction Update

Thank you to everyone who has already offered up your time and talents!  We are thrilled with the response from the Palo Verde community.

Some of us are still pondering the question: “What can I give?”

We assure you that no item is too small!

Vacation Home or Time-Share

Pie- or Bread- of the Month or any type of meal delivery

Event Tickets – sports, theatre, tee times, etc.

Baby-sitting or Dog-walking

Photography

Whether or not you can donate, we hope you will join us for a casual night of fun and fundraising March 13th at Trader Vic’s in Palo Alto!

This event is more than a party! In the face of state budget cuts and declining property tax revenue, funds raised at the auction help fill the gaps for classroom equipment and materials requested and needed by our teachers at every grade level. Your support of this important PTA event truly makes a positive difference for our children and our school.

Please email details to Rebecca Thompson: rebeccaherrema (at) hotmail dot com or complete one of the forms in the office.  You’ll need to include your name, phone number, email, item description, value, minimum bid and expiration date.  Thank you from your auction co-chairs: Sheri Tye and Jackie Cook

Save the Date!

International Fair & Food Festival – Saturday, May 15, 4 – 7 PM

Enjoy the adventure of first-hand experience of varied cultures. See the arts and crafts, hear the sounds and be entertained.Have fun with your passport! Visit and explore the countries and feel the ambiance of world travel. See the smiles on your kids’ faces as they enjoy all the fun and deepen their understanding of the cultural diversity.

Experience the cuisines around the world. This year, for the first time, families of Palo Verde will get to enjoy an International Food Festival at the International Fair.  Bring friends and family to enjoy the food festival. The proceeds from the food festival will go to PTA.

Put on that apron and whip up your most favorite dish! Culinary contributions are needed to make this event a huge success. Any cuisine around the world is welcome.

Thanks to all the volunteers who have stepped up to help with the fair. We have booth leaders for India, UK, Thailand, Netherlands, Brazil, Taiwan and Russia.

We need your help with the following:

1. Volunteers to help with booths, setup, cleanup, activities etc on the day of the fair as well as planning and preparation before the fair.
2. Booth leaders for more countries.
3. Food contributions for the Food Festival.

For more information or to volunteer contact:  Ritu Das (rituparnad (at) yahoo dot com), Dipti Joshi (dsonak (at) yahoo dot com) or Priya Junnarkar (priya dot junnarkar (at) gmail dot com)

PAUSD News

PTA Budget Survey Results

The results are in . . . over 1,400 parents and PTAers filled out the Palo Alto PTA Council’s PAUSD Budget Survey and a summary of their responses is posted here: http://paloaltopta.org.  A School Board study session discussing these and other suggestions will be held Tuesday, February 9, 12:30-2:30 PM, 25 Churchill.  It is open to the public.

California’s Race to the Top Legislation

On January 7, California enacted sweeping new education legislation, including open enrollment.  For a summary of the new laws see http://paloaltopta.org

School Board Study Session: 2010-2011 Budget Balancing Plan

Tuesday,  February 9, 12:30 PM, 25 Churchill

School Board Regular Meeting

Tuesday,  February 9, 6:30 PM, 25 Churchill

For Agendas and Materials: Click Here

http://www.pausd.org/community/board/agenda.shtml

Paly Cheer Clinic for Grades K-8

Sat./Sun. Feb. 6/7, 12-3pm; Performance Wed. Feb. 10 Join Paly Cheerleaders at a Cheer Clinic on Feb. 6 & 7.  All ages will have fun tumbling, cheerleading and dancing.  On Feb. 10, all clinic attendees will perform at halftime at the Paly basketball game.  $45, includes Tshirt.  To sign up contact Ann Carter, annescottercarter (at) aol dot com

“Heavenly Bandstand” Rocks Gunn High School

Tuesday, February 9 and Wednesday February 10, 8 PM, Spangenberg Theatre, Gunn High School

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with an evening of young love, lots of laughs and music at Gunn’s annual musical extravaganza, starring the Gunn High School Choirs, the JLS and Terman Middle School Choirs, and 50 of your favorite Gunn Staff.  Directed by Gunn choir director William Liberatore, script by Nancy Hersage.

Tickets: $15 adults, $10 students, www.gunnchoir.org, or in the Gunn Students Activities Center starting February 1.

JLS Connections Observation Day

Tuesday, February 16, 8:15 AM – 11:25 AM, JLS Classrooms 410, 510, 710 and 720

Current 5th grade students and their parents are welcome to observe classes on February 16 to learn more about the Connections program at JLS.  If your 5th grader is visiting, please make sure that his/her teacher is “ok” with the absence that morning.  On the morning of the visitation, check in at the JLS Office.  Please note that there will be plenty of opportunity to observe classroom activity, but that “shadowing” an individual student is not permitted and that these visitations are for the Connections’ classrooms only.

Questions: Connections’ teacher Katie Schramm, kschramm (at) pausd dot org

Monthly ADHD Parent Education and Support Group

Thursday, February 18, 7:30-9 PM, Room A, 25 Churchill. This group meets on one Thursday of each month (March 25, April 22, May 20). The group will discuss a wide range of issues and information will be provided regarding managing ADHD at home and at school.  Behavior management, getting chores and homework done,  managing school, organization, time management and study skills,  and how to get help at school through 504 Plans and IEPs.  Come get your questions answered and share your experiences with other parents.  The meetings sometimes feature guest speakers.  Led by Janet Dafoe, Ph.D., Morrissey-Compton Center.  Questions: 208-1224.

Annual CAC Sweetheart Awards

Monday, February 22, 7:30-9 PM,  Boardroom, 25 Churchill Avenue,  Palo Alto

Come help CAC honor those “Every Day Heroes” who have made a difference in the life of a special needs child. This will be a joyous, heartwarming and touching event to celebrate many deserving individuals.  Refreshments will be served.

You Made It! Jamboree

Submission deadline Sunday, February 28

Jamboree – Saturday, May 15, Palo Alto Art Center

The You Made It! Jamboree is PAUSD’s first-ever  celebration of creativity and innovation, giving PAUSD students an opportunity to show and share their  original creations with the community in a non-competitive environment, and to inspire others to pursue their own creative ideas and passions. Sponsored by the Palo Alto Council of PTAs, with support from the Palo Alto Art Center.

Info and entry forms: www.youmadeitjamboree.com

Parent Ed:  Christine Carter, Raising Happy Kids

Tuesday, March 16, 7 PM, Barron Park School

Dr. Carter’s talk addresses what science tells us about the factors that breed happiness in childhood and beyond. Dr. Carter is executive director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley and a sociologist who studies the childhood roots of happiness.  For more information click here.

Dr. Ken Ginsburg:  Building Resilience in Children and Teens

Thursday, March 25, Resource fair and community social 6 PM, Presentation 6:30 PM, Spangenberg Theatre, Gunn High School

Using humor and real-life scenarios, Dr. Ken Ginsburg will teach you how to raise resilient children who can deal with stress in an increasingly complex world.  His unique perspective emphasizes the developmental strengths of youth, equipping participants with skills needed to better teach kids to help themselves.  Dr. Ginsburg is a nationally renowned pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.  His books include A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens and Less Stress, More Success.  Free.  Sponsors include Palo Alto PTA Council, Palo Alto School PTAs, and Los Altos-Mountain View PTA Council

City of Palo Alto News

Children’s Theatre 10-Minute Playwriting Contest

Deadline March 22

Bay Area students are invited to participate in the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre’s Second Annual 10-Minute Playwriting Contest.  All genres of plays accepted from students ages 8 through high school.  Winning plays receive a staged reading and reception at PACT.  They will be performed by members of the Teen Arts Council and directed by a professional director.  Winning authors will also receive a prize donated by the Friends of the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre.  Plays will be judged in three categories: Elementary (age 8-10), Jr. High (Age 11-13), and Young Adult 14-18.  Winners announced May 11.  Submit plays electronically to Childrens.Theatre (at) cityofpaloalto dot org or by snail mail to Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, ATTN: Playwriting Contest, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94301.  Questions: 463-4930.

Community News

Palo Alto Little League Spring 2010 Registration

Palo Alto Little League has baseball leagues for Palo Alto children 5 years of age and older by April 30, 2010.  Kindergarten students: Sign-up for Tee Ball.  New and returning players can sign-up on-line now.  Info: pabaseball.org or registration (at) pabaseball dot org

Upcoming Canopy Tree Events

Saturday, February 6:

  • 9 AM-Noon – Volunteer Tree Planting, Stanford. Canopy Volunteer Tree Planting at Nixon Elementary School (Phase 2)

Saturday, February 13:

  • 10 AM-Noon –  Free Neighborhood Tree Walk, Palo Alto. Free Tree Walk in Old Palo Alto with leading arborist  Heather Booty
  • 1 PM-4 PM – Canopy Workshop. Palo Alto. Workshop: Restoring Older Fruit Trees

Friday, March 5:

  • 9 AM-3:30 PM – Canopy Workshop: Pruning and Training Young Trees for Strength, Beauty, Longevity and Appropriate Clearances: A Practical Approach for Arborists

To sign up: sharon (at) canopy dot org.  Info: www.canopy.org

Documentary:  “Race to Nowhere”

Tuesday, Februay 23, 7 PM, Oshman Family JCC 3921 Fabian Way

“Race to Nowhere” is a  film made by a Lafayette mom as a call to families, educators, experts and policy makers to examine current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America.  The film will be followed by dialogue with the director.

Sponsored by Los Altos – Mountain View PTA Council and Mountain View High School Challenge Success.  Tickets: $12 http://racetonowherepaloalto.eventbrite.com.

Programs offered bythe Center for Sustainable Change (CSC)

For more information, please contact Center for Sustainable Change, 424-0705 x. 21, www.centerforsustainablechange.org

“Growing Mental Health in Our Families”

Friday,  February 19, 8:45-10:15 AM, Fairmeadow Elementary School Library

With Ami Chen Mills-Naim.  Sponsored by the Fairmeadow PTA.  Ms. Mills-Naim is CSC Director and author of “The Spark Inside: A Special Book for Youth.” She has worked with families and adolescents for more than 20 years, teaching the principles that govern innate resiliency-and what gets in the way. She is currently director of the National Community Resiliency Project, in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

“Growing Mental Health for Parents and Teens”

Tuesday, March 30, 6:30-8 PM, Palo Alto Family YMCA, 3412 Ross Road, Palo Alto.  With Ami Chen Mills-Naim. This event is open to the general public, registration is not required.

“Spiritual Fitness”

Thursdays, April 8-May 13, 6:30-8 PM, Palo Alto Family YMCA

A six-part series. Join CSC’s Director Ami Chen Naim for a reflective dive into the 3 Principles of Mind, Consciousness & Thought and how our understanding of these principles impacts family and work life, leading to increased peace-of-mind, harmony, communication, efficiency, and well-being. Teenagers 13 and over are welcome.  Registration through the YMCA, www.paloaltofamilyymca.com, 856-9622.

Kara’s Summer Grief Camp

July 30-August 1, Applications due Monday, February 22

Kara’s annual summer grief camp, Camp Erin, is a free grief camp designed for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of a family member or friend.  It is a weekend-long experience that combines traditional fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support, facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers.  Applications and info: call Kara, 321-5272 or www.kara-grief.org/camperin

BandWorks Rock n’ Roll Summer Camp in Los Altos & San Carlos

For kids ages 8-18, week-long Summer Day Camps are open to young beginners through advanced, older teen players. Professional musician-instructors create a fun and supportive environment while they teach kids the skills they need to play in a rock band-and make new friends in the process.

Info: info (at) bandworks dot com, 510-843-BAND(2263) or www.BandWorks.com

MOAH Workshop: Solid State Electronics & Integrated Circuits

Sundays, February 28 – March 28, 1-3 PM, MOAH 321 Homer, Palo Alto

This Museum of American Heritage course covers the basics of transistor and vacuum tube circuits.  Students learn about the invention and development of tubes and transistors, then the history, development, and uses of integrated circuits.  Students will discover what ICs are made of, how they work, and how they are designed and manufactured right here in Silicon Valley. Students will also learn how to read simple schematic diagrams and build portable radios that use 2 ICs as take-home projects.  Ages 10 and up;  $75 members/$85 non-members.  Registration must be completed by February 23.  Info:  www.moah.org

Sibling Relationship Issues When One Sib Has Special Needs

Wednesday, March 17, 7-9 PM, Springer Elementary School, MP Room, 1120 Rose Avenue, Mountain View

All PAUSD parents warmly welcome!  This is a free program, open to any parent with an interest in supporting the emotional needs of all their children, especially when dealing with special needs within a family.

Leslie Vaasquez is the parent of two daughters, one with special health care needs.  She grew up with a brother with multiple disabilities.  Leslie, who has a Masters degree in Counseling, has served as a Parents Helping Parents support group facilitator, mentor parent, and board member for 9 years.  Her talk focuses on the sibling relationship – why it’s important to focus on siblings in a special needs family and the ways parents and others can support siblings.  She discusses the particular issues and concerns for siblings such as isolation, lack of information, loss of attention, embarrassment, guilt, and responsibility.  She also addresses strategies parents can use to deal with these issues.  Finally, she will discuss benefits of being positive and how siblings have a lot to gain by being actively involved with their special needs sibling.

The meeting is 7 to 9 PM.  Hospitality begins at 6:45pm.

This parent education event is sponsored by the SELPA 1 CAC (www.selpa1cac.org)  All of our events are free and open to anyone who feels they might benefit.  No registration is necessary.