News: February 26, 2010


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 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:

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 (  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 


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:

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:
Info, including online ticket ordering:  

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.

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  Click on the “Summer School” button and scroll down to “Middle School Program” for registration information and forms.

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

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.

Community Kiosk