eNews: January 8, 2010


January 13:  PTA Coffee, 8:00 AM

January 18:  No School

January 20:  Site Council Meeting, 3:30 PM

January 22:  No School

January 27:  Restaurant Night at California Pizza Kitchen

February 9:  Science Night, 6:30 PM

Palo Verde and PTA News

Happy New Year Palo Verde Families!

Along with the arrival of 2010, I’m excited to unveil our new Palo Verde Elementary School PTA Newsletter now being delivered via a new email delivery system – Constant Contact. As a result, some of you may be receiving this newsletter for the first time as this new system makes it easier to add new families and deliver our newsletter to the Palo Verde community electronically. You also will notice a new look and feel, which hopefully is easier to read.

In an effort to “go green,” we are delivering our newsletter electronically every Friday. We will be delivering a printed version of our newsletter via Friday Folders only once a month.

Constant Contact is a safe, secure email delivery software provider. You can “opt-out” of receiving our newsletter at anytime. Simply follow the instructions included at the bottom of this newsletter.

Please send along any suggestions or feedback to either myself, Kim Amsbaugh, PTA President, amsbaugh (at) gmail (dot) com, or to our Newsletter Editors, Gail Foelsch and Sherry Walston Heller: paloverdevoice (at) gmail (dot) com.


Kim Amsbaugh

Lost and Found

Our lost and found cart is overflowing.  Please spend a few minutes looking for your lost items.  The contents of the cart will be emptied on January 8th and all items will be donated.

Restaurant Night

Please join us at California Pizza Kitchen on Wednesday, January 27 any time between 11 AM and 9 PM for our first Restaurant Night of 2010!  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!

Save The Date!

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

Reduce Waste and Raise Funds

Purchase a reusable lunch kit at www.citizenpip.com

Did you know that the average school-age child generates 67 lbs of lunch waste each school year?  Help us reduce waste at school by packing a waste-free lunch for your kids.  Not only is it better for the environment, but it will reduce our waste collection costs and result in substanial savings for our school.

Palo Verde School has partnered with Citizenpip, a company that sells reusable lunch kits designed to be fun and stylish for kids, and practical and convenient for parents. Everything in the kits is made from eco-friendly and lab-tested materials that are lead-free, PVC-free, phthalate-free, and BPA-free.  Kits include an insulated lunch bag, stainless steel water bottle, BPA-free airtight food containers, stainless steel insulated food jar, stainless steel fork and spoon, and 100% cotton napkins.  Purchase a kit, or just the items you need.

Purchase a reusable lunch kit at www.citizenpip.com. During checkout, enter school code ILOVEPALOVERDE and 15% of your purchase will be donated to Palo Verde School.  Spread the word to family and friends, Palo Verde School benefits from any purchases with the school code.


PAUSD Budget Input Sought

The overall PAUSD budget for 2009/2010 is $153 million. 85% of the budget is personnel-related (i.e. salary + benefits).  Enrollment is 11,680 students.  The projected shortfall or structural deficit is forecast to be $5.7 million for school year 2201/2011, climbing to $10.2 million in 2013/2014.

Click here for an overview of the budget situation.

PAUSD is collecting input from many stakeholders including site councils, principals, staff, PTA members and others in a transparent, iterative, inclusive process. You have the opportunity to consider some options that are being looked at and give your input, or generate new ideas and submit those.  You can take this survey, designed to collect information to help inform the process. The survey is open now and closes 1/11/10.

Savings recommendations from all stakeholders can be emailed to Assistant Superintendent Scott Bowers at balancedbudget (at) @pausd dot org or, if you prefer that your suggestions be anonymous, to Palo Alto PTA Council Advocacy Chair, Lauren Janov,  janovLL (at) yahoo dot com, who will forward them to Mr. Bowers without attribution.

Spanish Immersion Information Meeting

Thursday, January 14, 7-8:15 PM, Escondido Library (in English), Aula 4 (en español), 890 Escondido Rd., Stanford

The Spanish Immersion Program is open to all families eligible for enrollment in the Palo Alto Unified School District.  Participation in the program is decided by lottery.  The information meeting is for new families interested in enrolling children in the program in the fall of 2010.  At the meeting, families will receive information about the two-way immersion model, how the program is implemented in the district, and the registration and lottery processes.  The information will be presented by members of the Escondido community, including the principal, teachers, parents and students.  All new families must attend this meeting (or watch a video of the meeting) before enrolling in the Spanish Immersion Program.

JLS Connections Program Informational Meeting

Wednesday, January 20, 6:30-7:30 PM, Escondido Elementary MP Room, 890 Escondido Road, Stanford

5th graders and parents of 5th graders are invited to come find out if JLS Connections is right for you.  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, with applications due in the Spring.

Info: Connections website, www.jlsconnections.org.  Questions: Jen Hetterly, hetterly (at) sbcglobal dot net, or Becky Epstein, Epstein (at) meer dot net

City of Palo Alto News

Palo Alto City Library Announces Writing Contest For Kids

Deadline: Monday, January 11; Reception: Wednesday, January 27, 3:30 PM, Children’s Library, 1276 Harriet Street

The Palo Alto City Library announces its 2nd Annual Writing Contest for kids.  Children from grades 2-5 will write an essay no more than 500 words in length on the topic, “How do you help a friend?” Entries may be turned in to any library branch or emailed to librarychildrensservices (at) cityofpaloalto dot org.  Submissions must be received by 9 PM on Monday,  January 11.  The essays will be judged on concept and creativity. Children are eligible to win a 1st place grand prize of a $25 gift certificate to Books Inc. Bookstore. Additionally, each participant will receive a Culture Organic Frozen Yogurt gift certificate for one small yogurt with a free topping. The winners will be announced at a reception held for all writers. Sponsored by the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, Culture Organic Frozen Yogurt and Books Inc. Bookstore.

Info:  www.cityofpaloalto.org/library, 329-2436.

Planning and Transportation Commission: Stanford/El Camino Project

Wednesday, January 13, 7 PM, Council Chambers

The Palo Alto Planning and Transportation Commission will consider plans to redesign the intersection of Stanford Avenue and El Camino Real.  The draft plans provide a more pedestrian and bike-friendly intersection, including bulbouts at the corners which will eliminate the right turn lanes on El Camino and on Stanford Ave.  This project is on a fast track approval process and the Commission wants to hear comments and concerns now.

To view the draft plans, click here

Comments can be sent to Planning.Commission (at) CityofPaloAlto dot org.

Info: project manager Ms. Shahla Yazdy, shahla.yazdy (at) cityofpaloalto dot org or by calling 617-3151.

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: http://pabaseball.org, registration (at) pabaseball dot org

Living LEGO-CY at The Museum of American Heritage

December 11- January 17, 11 AM – 3:30 PM, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, MOAH 321 Homer, Palo Alto

MOAH, The Bay Area LEGO® User Group (BayLUG) and Bay Area LEGO Train Club (BayLTC) are again combining forces this winter to repeat last year’s spectacular Holiday season display at MOAH.  MOAH visitors can explore a variety of LEGO creations and an operating LEGO train layout featuring a wide variety of creations by club members. Highlighting it all is Holidays in the Bay Area, a 12 by 25 foot train layout incorporating multiple trains running through city, farm, and suburban scenes.  Admission tis free for active MOAH and BayLUG members and $2 per person for all others. Info: 321-1004

Ragazzi Boys Chorus Workshop

Saturday, January 9, 9:30 AM – 1 PM, Redwood City

The Ragazzi Boys Chorus, a nationally-recognized performing arts organization based on thePeninsula, invites boys ages 7-11 to join them for a free singing and music workshop and optional auditions on Saturday, January 9, in Redwood City. Info or to reserve a spot, please contact Ragazzi, 342-8785, info (at) ragazzi dot org or www.ragazzi.org/audition.htm

Raising Well-Balanced Children in a Fast-Paced World: Parent Education Course

Wednesdays, January 20 – March 3 (no class 2/17), 7-9:30 PM, Stanford

Offered through Stanford’s Continuing Education Program Winter Quarter, this cutting-edge, in-depth parent education 6-session course was developed by Challenge Success Co-Founders Jim Lobdell and Denise Pope. Designed for parents of children ages 5-12, the course explores this central question: What is success, and how can I foster it in today’s fast-paced, performance-based culture? In a highly interactive environment, participants examine current research on childhood stressors and learn specific strategies to promote physical and mental health, engagement in school, and overall well-being for their children. Participants explore the daily challenges of finding time for play, handling homework, choosing appropriate extracurricular activities, and promoting healthier lifestyles and deeper connections for the entire family.  Taught by Jim Lobdell and Kathy Ruwe, counselor at Las Lomitas Elementary School, and guest speakers include Denise Pope and Madeline Levine, author of The Price of Privilege.  The course is a must for families seeking a healthy balance between achievement and personal fulfillment for their children. Register at http://continuingstudies.stanford.edu.

Meet Your Special Education Director

Wednesday, January 20, 9-11 AM, Covington Elementary Multipurpose Room, 205 Covington Rd, Los Altos

Meet your Special Education Director and hear about existing, new, and planned programs and services in your school district:  Hilarey Davis, Director of Special Education, MVLA High School District, Steve Gingras, Director of Special Education, MVW School District, Anne LePage, Director of Pupil Services, Los Altos School District, and Carol Zepecki, Director of Pupil Services, PAUSD.  Find out how to most effectively work with your special ed team.  Find out how California budget cuts and Federal stimulus money affected programs in our schools. Moderated by Phil Shemanski, SELPA 1 CAC,   Sponsored by the SELPA 1 CAC (www.selpa1cac.org) an all-volunteer group of parents of children with special needs.

MOAH Workshop: Whisper In the Wind: How To Build a Crystal Radio

Sundays, January 24 – February 21, 1-3:30 PM, MOAH 321 Homer, Palo Alto

At this Museum of American Heritage workshop, students build their own crystal radio sets, winding coils, drilling a mounting board and placing all components on it, and then wiring the set according to a schematic.  tudents learn radio history dating back to Marconi and Tesla, basic radio theory, modulation, how headphones work, and how to read schematics.  Ages 10 and up; $65 members/$75 non-members.  Registration must be completed by January 19.

Info: www.moah.org

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