News: October 31, 2008


Monday, November 3 – School Picture Make-Ups
Wednesday, November 5 – Restaurant Night at Armadillos Willy’s from 5:00 – 9:00 PM
Tuesday, November 11 – NO SCHOOL
Tuesday – Saturday, November 18 – November 22 – Book Fair with Kepler’s Books
Wednesday – Friday, November 26 – November 28 – NO SCHOOL

From the PTA President…

Hello Palo Verde Families,

Happy Halloween! Below are updates on new purchases made as a result of your Walk-a-thon donations and information on our upcoming Book Fair.

New Tech/Educational Purchases
First, I want to update you all on some new technology and educational purchases the school recently made as a result everyone’s generous Walk-a-thon donations last month. With the Walk-a-thon funds you and your children raised, Palo Verde has 2 new color printers, one in the library and one in the teacher’s lounge. All the teachers’ laptops have been wirelessly networked to the printers so they are able to use them from anywhere on campus.

Also, with the Walk-a-thon funds, each grade now has access to Reading A-Z, an online resource of downloadable books, reading lessons, worksheets and other research and standards-based materials that allow teachers to develop both highly individualized and classroom reading programs.

More purchases as a result of your Walk-a-thon donations are underway and we will continue to update you on those as they are made.

Kepler’s Book Fair Nov. 18th – 22nd
The Palo Verde Book Fair, in partnership with Kepler’s Book Store, is coming to Palo Verde November 18th – 22nd. This is an annual Palo Verde event that kids and parents enjoy. A percentage of the book fair sales go to Palo Verde School. Also, as a reminder, year-round, a percentage of any purchase you make at Kepler’s Book Store goes to Palo Verde when you mention our school at check out.

Kim Amsbaugh
PTA President
Amsbaugh (at) gmail dot com

Duck for President!

Look for news about the upcoming book fair soon! In the meantime, click here and be sure to mention Palo Verde every time you shop at Kepler’s. When you do, they donate 10 percent of your purchase to our school!

School Pictures Make-up Day

Monday, November 3, 2008

Students who wish to have a picture retaken DO Not need to complete an order form.  Please read the retake policy on your picture package insert.

Students who were not photographed, please complete an order form and return to your classroom teacher on Monday.  Forms can be found in the Office.

The “Help!” Desk

5th grade parents and families –  your 5th graders need your help in making their last year in Palo Verde extra-special!
Can you help with the Promotion (graduation), Promotion party, taking photos, year book?  Contact Julie Schwardt jnschwardt (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Parents and Traffic Safety

Palo Verde’s 3rd Grade Bike/Traffic Safety Program was a big success, with the culmination of the program being the 3rd Grade Bike Rodeo on October 15.

The five stations in the rodeo included practice in signaling and turning, scanning over your left shoulder, controlled riding around obstacles, yielding right of way, and checking for proper helmet fit. Many of these skills are as critical for pedestrians, skaters or scooter riders as they are for cyclists.

But even more important is what happens outside the classroom.  Each of us has an important role in teaching our children to be safe on the street.  Some suggestions for when you’re walking, biking or driving around the community with your children:

  • Encourage your child to observe the behavior of other users of the road, especially at intersections.
  • Help your child recognize examples of safe vs. unsafe choices.   Crossing at corners, making eye contact with drivers before crossing their paths and riding with (not against) traffic will greatly reduce your child’s risk of being hit by a car.
  • Be a good role model for your children on the road.  Whether it’s wearing a well-fitted helmet or yielding to those with the right of way at intersections, they will do as you do, not as you say.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped to make the Bike Rodeo an excellent learning experience for the children: Diane Jakubowski, Doug Keith, Sylvie Pierce, Kristin Foss, Katharine Saunders, Stefanie Bastian, Alagu Periyannan, Linda Verhulp, Evelyn Guernsey, Celia Cheng, Larry Cheng, Silvia Siu, Paulmer Soderberg, Kathy Phung, John Wang, Jeannie Llewelyn, Fidelia Wang, Lidija Davis, Gaby Boscaci, Jasmine Kuen, Gail Foelsch, Alison Cormack, Tomoko Kamiya, Xioyun Wu, PA Medical Foundation’s Carol Anderson and the PA Fire and Police Departments.

Food Service Department Update

Beginning with the November menu, the Food Service Department will no longer print hard copy menus for all elementary students to take home. In an effort to cut down on the amount of paper used, the Food Service Department will post the menu on the webpage and approximately 50 copies will be sent to each school office.

Please access the menu via the webpage or for those without computer access, the school office.

Noticias al Día del Departamento de comida

Comenzando el mes de Noviembre, la lista de los platos que se sirven durante el mes, ya no será imprimidas (copias que llevan a casa)  para los estudiantes de las escuelas de primaria.  El propósito es cortar la cantidad de papel que se usa.  La lista de platos que se servirán estará en nuestra pagina de la internet (  habrán  aproximadamente 50 copias en la oficina de cada escuela para los que no tienen  acceso a computadora.   Gracias por su cooperación

Renew Palo Alto Libraries!

Measure “N” is an important bond measure that is on the upcoming November ballot.
It will modernize and expand the Palo Alto library system while still keeping our neighborhood branch libraries intact. In particular, it will expand the Mitchell Park library and community center and upgrade the Downtown and Main branch facilities as well.  Each library will be upgraded with energy-efficient lighting and electrical systems to save money and reduce environmental impact.  Collections will be updated and study/meeting rooms will be available for community use.  Students in Palo Alto will finally have a quiet place to study and work on projects.  This library upgrade bond will cost most taxpayers about $139 per year, with 1/3 of the bond paid by commercial property owners.  This bond measure requires a 2/3 “yes” vote in order to pass.

Measure N is endorsed by the Palo Verde PTA

PiE Middle School Tours

Tour your child’s middle school with staff and current parents to see how your gifts to PiE truly make a difference.   Adults only, space is limited, advanced reservations are required.   Please e-mail PiE with attendee name(s), e-mail address and school that you would like to tour. Confirmation e-mails with tour details will be sent out a few days before the tour.  All tours will last about 2 hours and start between 8:15 and 9 am.
Tour Dates:  Jordan – October 28, JLS – November 5, Terman – November 7

JLS Connections Information Night

Please come and learn about the JLS Connections Program at an informational evening with the Connections’ Staff.

The Connections Program is a project based learning environment that promotes learning in a community of students, teachers and parents, where hearts and minds are inspired through challenging, innovative and relevant curriculum.  All current 5th Graders are encouraged to attend.

Date: Thursday, November 13
Time:  7pm
Place:  El Carmelo Elementary MP Room, 3024 Bryant, Palo Alto

Questions: Melinda Schuur, msschuur (at) pacbell dot net

Help Your Child Succeed in School Using Library Tools

The Reference Staff of the Palo Alto City Library will present “How to Help Your Child Succeed in School Using Library Tools.”  Librarians will demonstrate outstanding resources for elementary, middle and high school students available through the Library’s Web site that can be used at home for assignments and projects.  Pre-registration required.

Date:  Wednesday, November 12
Time:  10:30 AM to Noon
Place:  Main Library, 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto

To sign up, go to Library Calendar of Events at

Community Kiosk

Click here for Community Events and Information.

News: October 17, 2008


Wednesday, October 22, 8:15 AM – Palo Verde Assembly

Friday, October 31, 10:30 AM —  PTA Coffee and Halloween Parade

From the Desk of Lupe Garcia…

Dear Palo Verde Parents and Community,

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

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

·  The teacher will review your child’s strengths and areas for continuing development.

·  Samples of your child’s work and the results of various assessments will be shared.

·  The teacher will refer to the report card and will indicate your child’s progress toward meeting the standards that we expect students to know and be able to achieve by the end of the school year.  Is s/he making expected progress?  Is s/he making limited progress? If so, is there a need to put increased attention on a particular skill or concept? Has s/he already met or exceeded the standard?

·  Conference topics will include academic growth and performance, as well as study skills and social/emotional development.

·  The teacher may suggest ways in which you can assist and support your child’s progress at home.

·  The teacher will give you an opportunity to ask questions and share reflections about your child’s growth and achievement. 

It is our common goal, as parents and teachers, to work together in the best interest of all our children.  Thank you for taking the opportunity to meet with us, so we can move ahead together in supporting your child.

Updates and other general information:

   A Special Thanks to the many of you who take the lead (as well as the many “quiet doers”) in sponsoring and bringing school related activities to fruition. In particular, a “Special Thank You” to:

  • Katherine Saunders for organizing and putting on two successful events: the International Pot Luck Dinner and the Harvest Fair. These activities brought the parents and the children together in a spirit of community.  It was great fun!
  • Lauren Aspegren for organizing and cheering our students on another successful Walkathon.  Thank you also to the many of you who sponsored the fundraising event, which provides direct support for needed classroom items. 

•   School Site Council Election: the community will be voting on two (2) new community members for the Site Council to replace the two outgoing members.  You will find the ballot inside this edition of the Voice.  Please vote for two (2) candidates and turn in the ballot to Chris McGranahan, at our Main Office by Friday, October 24, 2008. 

Again, thank you for your active and supportive role in helping Palo Verde School provide a strong educational foundation for our children and a clear sense of community for all.

Warmest regards,

Lupe Garcia                                                                                                                                    

The “Help!” Desk…

Noon Games organizers are looking for donations of table games, Lego’s and other inside activities for our students to participate in during lunch-time in the Multi-Purpose Room. The table games should be complete in their parts and in good condition. Please drop your donations off at the Palo Verde office.

Our Harvest Fair Was a Big Success!

I would like to give a big thank to all the volunteers who worked hard to make this year’s Harvest Fair a big success!  The bake sale, fabulously run by Mala Nayak and Maria Zajac, made enough money to cover the costs of the Fair plus a little extra for the PTA general fund.  Adults and kids alike had a great time, and none of it would have been possible without help from parents, teachers, family, staff and students who came together to make it happen.

Special thanks go to the fabulous Harvest Fair Committee: Julie Curnow, Queenie Huang, Charlene Temple, Priya Junnarkar, Monica Kim, Ani Gnanalingam, Kathie Yang, Aisha Abeid and Jeff Saunders.  Many thanks also to Lupe Garcia, Chris Mcgranahan, Joan Jennings, Jeannie Llewellyn, Evelyn Guernsey, Theivanai Palaniappan, Khanh Doan, Girl Scout Troops 60801 and  60324, the firefighters of Engine #4, Gaby and Tony Boscacci of National Towing for their hot dog cart, Dan Nitzan, Moises Aguilar and Allan Pascual, the 5th graders at Palo Verde who volunteered at the fair, everyone who came to the Fair and to the wonderful families who donated food and ran the booths.

Thanks also to Palo Alto Bowl for their very popular bowling game and to Gary at Rick’s Rather Rich Ice Cream for donating half the cost of the ice cream certificates.  Both are wonderful local businesses which are involved in the community – please consider stopping by to say thanks in person.

Thank you!

Katharine Saunders

The Caring Committee Needs You!

Do you know of a family in our Palo Verde community who is going through a medical, financial, or relational struggle? Would you like to be able to help families at PV in those situations, but you wonder what you could do?

As Chair of the Caring Team, I invite you to do two things:

1)  When you become aware of a family in need, get their permission and then contact me with details.  I will speak with the family to explore how best to serve them and organize a team of helpers.

2)  If you’d like to be notified of needs (potential helping opportunities!), email me with your name and phone number(s).  I will contact you when opportunities arise.

We want to be a community of friends, and this is one very practical way to stand alongside each other. Thanks for considering these opportunities.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Charlotte Wilson, charwils (at) pacbell dot net

Last Chance for Cookie Dough and Gift Wrap!

Today is the deadline for your Sally Foster order!  Remember, there are 2 easy ways to shop!

1) Shop On-line at

  • You can shop on-line and have it delivered to your home. Palo Verde’s account number is 0357833.  Ask family and friends to shop on-line.

2) Order from the Catalog

  • Orders are due to the office by Friday, October 17. Checks for catalog orders are payable to Palo Verde PTA. (Internet orders are paid on-line with a credit card.)

Remember, we earn 50% on every item!  Thank you for your support!

Questions? Contact April McCandless – aprilmccand (at) yahoo dot com

Walk and Roll Day Success

Thank you to all the Palo Verde kids and parents that made Walk and Roll Day on Wednesday, October 8th a success at Palo Verde.   Nearly every child came to school either by walking, biking, scooter, carpool, or bus.  As a measure, we normally have 55 bicycles parked during the school day and on Walk and Roll Day we had a whopping 115 on campus.    Children were greeted by several parents. our principal Lupe Garcia, and our Superintendent Kevin Skelly. 

Please continue the habit of leaving the car at home.  If you must bring your car, please bring a friend or two with you.  For more information on safe routes please see the Palo Alto PTA’s website.

Thanks again to the parents who helped, including Carol Hyde and Jasmine Kuen for making the colorful posters and raffle boxes.  If you would like to help continue the success, please contact Lynn Drake (Traffic Safety Rep for Palo Verde) at lynndrake2004 (at) yahoo dot com.

Palo Verde Site Council Elections for 2008-2010

Please VOTE for TWO (2) candidates for the Palo Verde School Site Council by picking up a ballot at the school office and placing an “X” to the left of the names of your choice.  Two candidates will replace two outgoing community Site Council members. Elected members will serve a two-year term, beginning in the 2008 – 2009 school year. 

Turn in the completed ballot to Chris McGranahan at the Palo Verde School Main Office by Friday, October 24, 2008


This is my 4th year in the Palo Verde community with two sons, a third grader and a pre-schooler, who will be in kindergarten next year.  I have enjoyed being involved with a variety of school programs in the past, including a previous term on the Site Council and two years as the PTA president.   I am currently on the district-wide Math Adoption Committee and the Co-chair of the Palo Verde Annual Auction.   In addition, I have been a Little League coach for three years.   I look forward to participating in the Site Council this year.


I am a parent of a 3rd grader at Palo Verde and a 9th grader at Gunn. I am interested in serving on Palo Verde’s Site Council. I have experience serving on the site councils at both, Palo Verde and JLS Middle School, when my son attended these schools and am currently on the board of Palo Alto Partners in Education.  Participating on school committees has given me an opportunity to work with parents and staff towards a common goal of preserving and improving our school’s environment focusing on the academic, social and emotional needs of the students. As the Executive Director of the Morgan Family Foundation, I work directly with non-profit organizations in the area of education. I feel that both my personal and work experience provide me with a unique perspective that would be an asset, if I am selected to serve on Palo Verde’s Site Council. Thank you for your consideration.

Have You Made Your PiE Contribution Yet?

PiE has had a great start to the year. Over $960K has already been collected!  Palo Verde participation rate is 15% at this point. We would like to make 70% this year. Remember to send in your checks and don’t forget to ask your employer for matching funds.


Google, Intel, Microsoft, Sun, Cisco, Wells Fargo, Yahoo, Ebay, (and many, many more)

Donations go twice as far with matching gifts from your employer.  If you are not sure whether your company offers a matching gift program, you can check on our website

Donate now and take advantage of this great matching opportunity! 


Remember to fill in your matching employer information.

Questions?  Please email donations (at) papie dot org or call the PiE office at: (650) 329-3990.

Scaremeadow Haunted House

The public is cordially invited to visit the 15th Annual Scaremeadow Haunted House at Fairmeadow Elementary School, 500 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto.

Also, Gunn Robotics Team members have designed and built a robotic haunted mansion that will be on display outside the Scaremeadow Haunted House and will be available, via silent auction, for one lucky family to display at their residence on Halloween night.

Fri. Oct. 24, 6-9pm and Sat. Oct. 25, 1-4pm. and 6-9pm.

Gifted Youth Web Program Available

The Stanford Educational Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) is a web based math and language arts tutorial program, $135 PER SCHOOL YEAR. Developed with the gifted student in mind, Stanford has found that EPGY is valuable FOR ALL LEVELS OF STUDENTS.  EPGY starts at the K-2 level and continues with course offerings through secondary school, including AP and college level, thus providing a runway that parallels potential academic trajectory in school.  For more information, click here.  

Available to Palo Verde Students as a Community-based, extracurricular offering for 2008-2009 school year and beyond.  Ready for your Enrollment NOW!  You are invited to join Stanford EPGY seminar on Thursday, 10/23/08, 6-7pm at MP room, Palo Verde Elementary School where you can get more information about this program. 

Guest speaker:  Marie E. Pfeiffer, Assistant Director of School Marketing, Stanford EPGY

Halloween Make-Up Workshop at Paly

Let Palo Alto High School drama students help you create the make-up to match your child’s Halloween costume! This is a fundraiser for their trip to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland next year!  Make-Up Kits will be for sale too so you’ll be totally set for Halloween.  Cost per child- $10.00.

Saturday, October 25th from 1 – 4 PM, Paly High School, Haymarket Theatre, Sponsored by:  Paly High School Drama Department.  Questions call Lisa @ 494-1288 

Community Kiosk

Click here.

News: October 15, 2008

Last Chance for Cookie Dough and Gift Wrap!

Friday is the deadline for your Sally Foster order!  Remember, there are 2 easy ways to shop!

1) Shop On-line at SallyFoster

  • You can shop on-line and have it delivered to your home. Palo Verde’s account number is 0357833.  Ask family and friends to shop on-line.

2) Order from the Catalog

  • Orders are due to the office by Friday, October 17. Checks for catalog orders are payable to Palo Verde PTA. (Internet orders are paid on-line with a credit card.)

Remember, we earn 50% on every item!  Thank you for your support!

Questions? Contact April McCandless – aprilmccand (at) yahoo dot com

News: October 8, 2008

Today is Walk and Roll to School Day! 

Leave the car at home and help the kids walk, ride a bike, scooter, or skate to school on Wednesday. We’re having a raffle at the morning assembly for everyone who participates.  Remember to have kids bring their colored “sneaker” drawing they received in their Friday Folder to hang on the poster at school. 

For more information how to make it safe, convenient, and fun for children to bicycle and walk to school, click here. 

Cookie Dough and Gift Wrap!

Our Sally Foster Gift Wrap and Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Dough sale has begun.  Now is the time to order! 2 easy ways to shop!

1) Shop Online at

  • Shop online and have it delivered to your home. Our school earns 50% for online sales, too!
  • Ask family and friends to shop online. 
  • Or send friends an email through the Sally Foster web site:
    • Go to the Seller’s Section at to sign up for the email program. 
    • Palo Verde’s account number is 0357833.  Enter the email addresses of everyone you’d like to ask to help.

2)  Order from the Catalog

  • Turn in catalog orders to the office by Friday, October 17.  
  • Checks for catalog orders are payable to Palo Verde PTA. (Internet orders are paid online with a credit card.)

Stop by the office if you need an extra catalog or to see samples. Remember, we earn 50% on every item! Thank you for your support!

Questions? Contact April McCandless – aprilmccand (at) yahoo dot com

SOS Stressed Out Students: A Community-Wide Follow-up

The Palo Alto Council of PTAs presents video highlights from the Sept. 26 SOS Keynote Event at Stanford University, featuring  Dr. Ken Ginsberg, David Elkind, Dr. Madeline Levine, and Denise Clark Pope, followed by a live discussion with other parents and educators on what we can do at home and at school to build resiliency in all our children and teenagers.

Free, open to everyone.  Live Spanish translation provided.

Wed. Oct.15, 7-9pm, Pre-event informal reception at 6:30pm.

JLS Middle School, 480 East Meadow, Palo Alto

For more information, click here