News: January 15, 2010


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
February 24:  Family Math Night, 6:30 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,  

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a restful and joyous holiday break with family and friends.  The children have returned to school with renewed energy and enthusiasm for tackling the rest of the year.  Let’s work together to ensure your child does his/her best as we move ahead. 

Think safety: The weather is cold and rainy at times, complicating the transition to and from school.  Please emphasize to your child/ren the need for caution when on the way to and from school, whether on bicycle or on foot.  Do ask that they take particular care when crossing the street at intersections and when going behind parked cars.  Better to think defensively and be safe, than to be concerned about who was right, after the fact.  Also keep these tips in mind if you drop-off or pick-up your child before and after school.  Parents, as drivers, please take extra care as you drive to and from school, as well.  You are the model the children look up to and emulate.   

Do stay in touch with us.  Everyone is working diligently on behalf of the children and the community, however sometimes during the course of the day we do things with which you might not agree or perhaps which might not be clear to you.  If that is the case, please contact our office so we can speak directly.  As adults, we need to model clear communication skills for our children when there are questions or concerns.  At Palo Verde, we strongly value your input and support.  Let’s work together! 

Warmest regards,
Lupe García

Winter Lodge Party
A hundred and seventy-seven skaters and their families turned out for our annual Palo Verde Winter Lodge Skating Party on Wed. Jan 6, 2010!  Along with perfect weather, meaning it didn’t pour down rain like last year, and a crew of super volunteers,  it was a great night of skating (and slipping and sliding) for all. 

 A big THANK YOU goes out to all who helped out at the ticket, pizza/drink and bake sale tables; Sharon Wong, Alison Cormack, Gail Foelsch, Emily Jacquette, Jeannie Llewellyn, Jasmine Kuen, Tracy Stewart and Irina Smith.  
Thank you Tracy for all of your years volunteering at this event, single-handily managing the bake sale table. We’ll miss you next year as your last child at Palo Verde moves onto middle school.

 Events like this wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of all those volunteering. Your time is very much appreciated. Thank You to all the families who came out to support this fun event- I look forward to
seeing you again next year!

Lori Harrenstien,

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! 

Parent Education — Social Cruelty 101: Tools to Help Your Child
Wednesday, January 27 at 7:30PM; Addison School MP Room   
Addison PTA Parent Education invites you to attend the first Parent Education event of 2010. We have invited a local expert on social cruelty/friendships/caring for others to present information and practical tools to help your child navigate through relational issues at school and beyond.

Have you ever considered what the best way to empower your child is when it comes to challenging social interactions?  Have you wondered about differences boys and girls may exhibit in the ways they deal with social cruelty?   During this seminar, these and many other questions about social cruelty will be answered and solutions provided. You will also learn the importance of friendships and how to encourage their development, what to do if your child is targeted, and what a child can do as a bystander/observer of social cruelty. 
This is a parent-only event, and Spanish translation will also be available. If you have questions, contact Jennifer Devine jendev7 (at) yahoo dot com

 A Healthy Balance
Wednesday, Feb. 3 from 9-11 am; Fairmeadow MP Room
Please join us for a conversation with Denise Clark-Pope and help your child be fulfilled without sacrificing achievement. Children today live in a culture that is increasingly characterized by a “more is better” and “earlier is better” mindset, both in and out of school. This fast-paced existence for kids too often places them under undue pressure and stress, which can result in burnout, disengagement, unhealthy life patterns, or debilitating health problems. Over-scheduling further infringes upon the most productive activity for children: unstructured play.

This thought-provoking program is a must for parents seeking a healthy balance between achievement and personal fulfillment for their children. In this presentation, you will explore the unique demands placed on children’s time today and examine how today’s high-pressure, fast-paced culture can have unintentional but damaging effects on children. Come discover simple ways your family can counter the fast-paced culture without sacrificing achievement and while allowing kids to be kids.

Sponsored by the PTAs of  Fairmeadow, El Carmelo, Palo Verde and Walter Hays. Parking is limited; please park in Mitchell Park. For more information, contact Sigrid K Pinsky sigridkp (at) yahoo dot com.

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

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

Palo Verde Auction Update 
Join us for a night of fun and fundraising March 13th at Trader Vic’s Mai Thai Lounge! The Palo Verde PTA Auction Committee is busy drumming up donations of products, services, and events from local businesses for everyone to bid on. Funds raised at the auction will help support school and PTA-sponsored events and activities for our kids.
How You Can Help: In addition to attending the event, consider contributing your time and talents toward auction items such as personal services, parties, vacation homes and more.  Everyone has something to offer.  We can help you package your skills and interests into a valuable auction item!  Hosting (or co-hosting) a party is a fun way to bring families together while raising money for the school community.  Talk to your friends!  No donation is too small. 

Below are just a few ideas to help you start.  Contact us!
–      Host a kid-themed party: Tie-dye party, fire station birthday, model airplane building, princess tea party, cupcake decorating, Star Wars theme, etc.
–      Host a party or event for adults: Retro Bingo Night, Tamale Making, Progressive Cocktail party, Tennis Mixer and BBQ, Mom’s Boot Camp, etc.
–      Offer professional services: Donate a few hours of computer tech support, handyman time, photography, landscaping, or other sought after skills.
–      Package your talents or interests: Do you enjoy baking, calligraphy, sewing, scrapbooking, winemaking, or a unique sport?  Share your talents or interests through lessons or a party or simply deliver a package to the highest bidder (e.g. Pie-of-the-month, Indian dinner for six, Cricket clinic, etc). 
–      Offer services from older siblings:  Yard work, babysitting, dog walking, etc.
–      Donate a vacation home or time share (it may be tax deductible)
–      Donate extra airline or hotel points or sporting or arts event tickets
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


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,  Questions: Jen Hetterly, hetterly (at) sbcglobal dot net, or Becky Epstein, Epstein (at) meer dot net

A Celebration of the Arts at PAUSD
Wed. Jan. 27, 7:30-9pm, PAUSD District Office, 25 Churchill Ave.
Enjoy a sampling of PAUSD’s art, music, theater and dance offerings.  Learn more about the philosophy of the art education programs at PAUSD. Talk to the professionals who bring their knowledge and talents to our youth.  Great fun for all.  Enjoy refreshments.  Families welcome.  Hosted by PTA Council’s ArtSpeak and PAUSD Art and Music Education
Info: Art Education emarshall (at) pausd dot org, 329-3939

Homework and Organizational Strategies for Children with ADHD
Mon. Jan. 25, 7:30-9pm, Boardroom, 25 Churchill Ave. Palo Alto
A Parent Education Seminar sponsored by Community Advisory Committee for Special Education with speaker: Dr. Betsy Corrin, Director of Child Anxiety Disorder Clinic at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford.  Dr. Corrin will present to parents strategies to improve their child’s on-task behaviors, focus, and organizational skills.  General principles for using reinforcement strategies to shape improved behavioral compliance will be discussed.  Dr. Corrin will also provide guidelines on how to interface with the school and with teachers to create an effective behavior management system.
Annual CAC Sweetheart Awards
Mon. Feb. 22, 7:30-9pm,  Boardroom, 25 Churchill Ave. 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 Sun. Feb. 28; Jamboree Sat. 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:

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:, 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

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

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 ( 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.

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.

Sibling Relationship Issues When One Sib Has Special Needs
Wed. March 17, 7-9pm, Springer Elementary School, Multipurpose Room, 1120 Rose Avenue, Mountain View
Speaker Leslie Vasquez is the parent of two daughters, one with special health care needs, has a Masters degree in Counseling, and has served as a PHP support group facilitator, mentor parent, and board member.  Her talk focuses on why it’s important to focus on siblings in a special needs family and the ways parents and others can support siblings.  Sponsored by the SELPA 1 CAC,

Community Kiosk