News: February 5, 2010


February 9:         Science Night, 6:30 PM

February 11-15:  No School

February 17:       Site Council, 3:30pm

February 17:       Restaurant Night at Su Hong, Palo Alto

February 17:       Science Fair Parent Information Mtg, 7 PM

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

Palo Verde and PTA News

From the Desk of Lupe Garcia…

Dear Palo Verde Parents, Students, and Community,

Thank you for helping us make a smooth transition into the second half of the school year.  Your continued support and direct efforts benefit all our children. THANK YOU also to the many volunteers who actively contribute in classrooms and in other school related activities, which make Palo Verde School a vibrant place for everyone.  Let’s keep it going!

Updates and other general information:

Please note the following test dates and related information:

Testing dates: Please do not schedule appointments or trips on days when your child is to take a test. Do note the following test dates and please also check with your child’s teacher for other relevant dates:

* March 8-9 all third and fifth graders (and selected second and fourth grade classes) will take the MARS Math Test;

* May 3 – 14 all students in 2nd- 5th grades will take the STAR Test.

Please note the information on participation rate below:

* Participation rate on the STAR Test:  It is critical that at least 95% of our students take the STAR Test.  The state sanctions schools and districts that do not meet this participation rate requirement.  If you have questions, please contact me directly.

Thank you for donating to PiE: educational funding continues to go down dramatically due to economic and political reasons. Fortunately, you, the Palo Alto community, have been the absolute constant in the lives of our schools.  You have maintained a clear focus in support of education in our district. Thank you for your generous donations in support of our children’s education!

“Coins for Haiti” fundraising: our students are doing a fabulous job fundraising for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Our students raised $982.91 by the end of the first week.  Way to go Palo Verde!  We will be donating the funds to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.  It is the only charity organization that publicly states that 100% of the donations will go to relief efforts.  Apparently a private donor donated enough funds to cover the overhead administrative expenses.  Know in advance that ALL donations will go directly to those in need.  Thank you Maria Zajac for doing the research! In addition, different classrooms (or grade levels) will also be hosting different activities for additional fundraising.  Thank you for your support for those in EXTREME NEED in Haiti!

Please continue to be aware of your child’s needs and stay in touch with his/her teacher.  The second half of the year is typically more intense for children, academically and socially. Most students have major projects to complete and friendships sometimes shift, causing emotional stress. Your vigilance and support will be instrumental in providing a safety net when they need it.  Let us know if we can help.

Warmest regards,

Lupe García

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

Restaurant Night

Please join us at Su Hong on February 17 any time between 11 am and 9 pm for our monthly Restaurant Night!  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!

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 Auction Update

Thank you to everyone who has already offered up your time and talents!  We are thrilled with the response from the Palo Verde community.

Some of us are still pondering the question: “What can I give?”

We assure you that no item is too small!

Vacation Home or Time-Share

Pie- or Bread- of the Month or any type of meal delivery

Event Tickets – sports, theatre, tee times, etc.

Baby-sitting or Dog-walking


Whether or not you can donate, we hope you will join us for a casual night of fun and fundraising March 13th at Trader Vic’s in Palo Alto!

This event is more than a party! In the face of state budget cuts and declining property tax revenue, funds raised at the auction help fill the gaps for classroom equipment and materials requested and needed by our teachers at every grade level. Your support of this important PTA event truly makes a positive difference for our children and our school.

Please email details to Rebecca Thompson: rebeccaherrema (at) hotmail dot com or complete one of the forms in the office.  You’ll need to include your name, phone number, email, item description, value, minimum bid and expiration date.  Thank you from your auction co-chairs: Sheri Tye and Jackie Cook

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)


PTA Budget Survey Results

The results are in . . . over 1,400 parents and PTAers filled out the Palo Alto PTA Council’s PAUSD Budget Survey and a summary of their responses is posted here:  A School Board study session discussing these and other suggestions will be held Tuesday, February 9, 12:30-2:30 PM, 25 Churchill.  It is open to the public.

California’s Race to the Top Legislation

On January 7, California enacted sweeping new education legislation, including open enrollment.  For a summary of the new laws see

School Board Study Session: 2010-2011 Budget Balancing Plan

Tuesday,  February 9, 12:30 PM, 25 Churchill

School Board Regular Meeting

Tuesday,  February 9, 6:30 PM, 25 Churchill

For Agendas and Materials: Click Here

Paly Cheer Clinic for Grades K-8

Sat./Sun. Feb. 6/7, 12-3pm; Performance Wed. Feb. 10 Join Paly Cheerleaders at a Cheer Clinic on Feb. 6 & 7.  All ages will have fun tumbling, cheerleading and dancing.  On Feb. 10, all clinic attendees will perform at halftime at the Paly basketball game.  $45, includes Tshirt.  To sign up contact Ann Carter, annescottercarter (at) aol dot com

“Heavenly Bandstand” Rocks Gunn High School

Tuesday, February 9 and Wednesday February 10, 8 PM, Spangenberg Theatre, Gunn High School

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with an evening of young love, lots of laughs and music at Gunn’s annual musical extravaganza, starring the Gunn High School Choirs, the JLS and Terman Middle School Choirs, and 50 of your favorite Gunn Staff.  Directed by Gunn choir director William Liberatore, script by Nancy Hersage.

Tickets: $15 adults, $10 students,, or in the Gunn Students Activities Center starting February 1.

JLS Connections Observation Day

Tuesday, February 16, 8:15 AM – 11:25 AM, JLS Classrooms 410, 510, 710 and 720

Current 5th grade students and their parents are welcome to observe classes on February 16 to learn more about the Connections program at JLS.  If your 5th grader is visiting, please make sure that his/her teacher is “ok” with the absence that morning.  On the morning of the visitation, check in at the JLS Office.  Please note that there will be plenty of opportunity to observe classroom activity, but that “shadowing” an individual student is not permitted and that these visitations are for the Connections’ classrooms only.

Questions: Connections’ teacher Katie Schramm, kschramm (at) pausd dot org

Monthly ADHD Parent Education and Support Group

Thursday, February 18, 7:30-9 PM, Room A, 25 Churchill. This group meets on one Thursday of each month (March 25, April 22, May 20). The group will discuss a wide range of issues and information will be provided regarding managing ADHD at home and at school.  Behavior management, getting chores and homework done,  managing school, organization, time management and study skills,  and how to get help at school through 504 Plans and IEPs.  Come get your questions answered and share your experiences with other parents.  The meetings sometimes feature guest speakers.  Led by Janet Dafoe, Ph.D., Morrissey-Compton Center.  Questions: 208-1224.

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 You Made It! Jamboree is PAUSD’s first-ever  celebration of creativity and innovation, giving PAUSD students an opportunity to show and share their  original creations with the community in a non-competitive environment, and to inspire others to pursue their own creative ideas and passions. Sponsored by the Palo Alto Council of PTAs, with support from the Palo Alto Art Center.

Info and entry forms:

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

City of Palo Alto News

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: or registration (at) pabaseball dot org

Upcoming Canopy Tree Events

Saturday, February 6:

  • 9 AM-Noon – Volunteer Tree Planting, Stanford. Canopy Volunteer Tree Planting at Nixon Elementary School (Phase 2)

Saturday, February 13:

  • 10 AM-Noon –  Free Neighborhood Tree Walk, Palo Alto. Free Tree Walk in Old Palo Alto with leading arborist  Heather Booty
  • 1 PM-4 PM – Canopy Workshop. Palo Alto. Workshop: Restoring Older Fruit Trees

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:

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

Programs offered bythe Center for Sustainable Change (CSC)

For more information, please contact Center for Sustainable Change, 424-0705 x. 21,

“Growing Mental Health in Our Families”

Friday,  February 19, 8:45-10:15 AM, Fairmeadow Elementary School Library

With Ami Chen Mills-Naim.  Sponsored by the Fairmeadow PTA.  Ms. Mills-Naim is CSC Director and author of “The Spark Inside: A Special Book for Youth.” She has worked with families and adolescents for more than 20 years, teaching the principles that govern innate resiliency-and what gets in the way. She is currently director of the National Community Resiliency Project, in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

“Growing Mental Health for Parents and Teens”

Tuesday, March 30, 6:30-8 PM, Palo Alto Family YMCA, 3412 Ross Road, Palo Alto.  With Ami Chen Mills-Naim. This event is open to the general public, registration is not required.

“Spiritual Fitness”

Thursdays, April 8-May 13, 6:30-8 PM, Palo Alto Family YMCA

A six-part series. Join CSC’s Director Ami Chen Naim for a reflective dive into the 3 Principles of Mind, Consciousness & Thought and how our understanding of these principles impacts family and work life, leading to increased peace-of-mind, harmony, communication, efficiency, and well-being. Teenagers 13 and over are welcome.  Registration through the YMCA,, 856-9622.

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

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

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:

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.