News: February 19, 2010


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!

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:
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)


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:

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:  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:

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:

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: 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)

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

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

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

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:

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: 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

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: 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 (  All of our events are free and open to anyone who feels they might benefit.  No registration is necessary.