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News: September 12, 2008 – Addendum

After School French Program at Palo Verde

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

A bientot


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

Applicants Sought for PA Architectural Review Board

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

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

Children’s Fine Art Classes

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

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

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

Palo Alto Knights at the New Paly Turf Field

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

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

Info: Jeff Frick, 814.0493 (m)

Palo Alto Lightning Track Club Registration

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

Info: Coach Young, 321-2175,  sty3000*

Ice Skating at the Winter Lodge

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

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

SELPA 1 CAC Parent Ed: Parent Survival Skills

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

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

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

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

Info: SELPA 1 CAC,

Community Kiosk

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

News: September 12, 2008


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

Friday      September 26       Walk-a-thon                        All Grades

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

               October 1 – 15      Sally Foster Sales                 All Grades

Sunday    October 5              Harvest Fair                        3 – 5 PM, Blacktop

From the Desk of Lupe Garcia

Dear Palo Verde Parents, Students and Community, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warmest regards,

Lupe García

From the PTA President

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

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


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

Bringing Up Bicyclists

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

See you the 26th and the 1st!

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


School Site Council Vacancies for 2008- 20010

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

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

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

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

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

Lupe Garcia

Start Collecting Safeway Receipts & Club Card Numbers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noon Games Kicks Off Sept. 15th

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

Walk-a-thon Volunteers Needed

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

Walk-a-thon Schedule

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

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

9:40 to 10:05: 2nd and 3rd graders 

Bringing up Bicyclists class 

Wednesday October 1, 2008

7-8:30 p.m.

Palo Verde MP Room

Admission is free!

For parents only.  Please do not bring your children.

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

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

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

Kindergarten and First Grade Parents

Dear Parents,

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

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

Phonemic Awareness: Hearing and using sounds in spoken words

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

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

Vocabulary: Understanding and using a variety of words

Comprehension: Understanding what is spoken or read

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

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

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

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

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

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


Gail Kruse and Sue Ann McBride, Resource Specialists


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


Visual Arts

Dance Choreography

Film Production


Music Composition

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

Note: For email addresses, replace * with @.