News: March 12, 2010


March 13:           Annual Palo Verde Auction

March 17:           Site Council Meeting, 3:30 PM
                           Science Fair, 6 – 8 PM
March 30:           Hobee’s Restaurant Night & Books, Inc. Fundraiser

Palo Verde and PTA News

Come to the Palo Verde Auction: Tickets Available at the Door 
Did you forget to buy your ticket to the Palo Verde Auction? No worries. You can just show up at the door and purchase your tickets for $25 a person. The auction is taking place tomorrow, Saturday, March 13th, 7-11 pm at Trader Vic’s in Palo Alto. More than 100 people are attending, including several teachers and Principal Garcia. We have lots of gift certificates and goodies from local businesses; teacher parties for our kids; parent parties; and hot items like Principal for a Day. We hope you can join us for this annual event. It’s the PTA’s top fundraiser for the year. Funds raised at the auction significantly impact the PTA’s ability to fund a variety of its programs and activities, such as the Science Fair, International Fair, Noon Art and the purchase of technology in the classrooms and playground equipment.
Hope to see you there!
Kim Amsbaugh
PTA President  

Volunteer for the Measure A Phone Bank
On March 18, 6-9 pm, at Keller Williams Realty, 505 Hamilton, Suite 100, Palo Verde is leading the charge to contact via phone Palo Alto residents to encourage them to vote “yes” on Measure A. For only 3 hours of your time, you can play a role in  providing over $11 million/yr in stable funding for Palo Alto Unified School District. It’s a small investment for 6 years of immense return.

Sign-up is easy: just go to, scroll over to the March 18th date and enter your name in a blank volunteer spot. Drinks and light snacks will be served.
Please join me, members of the School District Board and Palo Verde teachers to help ensure Measure A passes.
Kim Amsbaugh
PTA President

Volunteers needed for the Science Fair
This year’s Science Fair will be held on Wednesday, March 17th.  We need some parent volunteers to help receive, set up, and attach ribbons to science projects in the MP room on March 17th from about 7:30am-9:00am. Please contact Pandu Nayak at or at 650-804-1286 if you are able to help out at this time. Thanks for your help.

—  Pandu Nayak and Pavan Desikan

Help Support Measure A
We need your help to pass Measure A, the PAUSD parcel tax measure on the May 4 ballot.  For the first time, this will be a Mail-in only ballot.  We need your help to tell voters about this election and to remind them to mail their ballots by April 30.  If we do not renew the current parcel tax our schools will lose $9.4 million in critical funding. Here’s how you can help:

  1. Volunteer at Phone Banks – Sign up to make calls. Training, a script, and other support provided.  You do not need to be an expert to participate.  Phone banks start March 1st and continue for 8 weeks.  Donate just 3 hours of your time.  Our school nights are March 18th and April 13th. Sign up today:
  2. Endorse Measure A, Display a Lawn Sign and Contribute – Our goal is 500 endorsements by March 1st – add your name!  For more information, go to:
  3. Become a Fan of Measure A on Facebook by clicking here. Parents are only 24% of registered voters, so we must engage all of our community voters to pass this important measure for our kids, teachers and schools.
  4. Be our Palo Verde Measure A PTA coordinator, helping to spread the word and garner support of this important ballot measure.

Questions?  Contact Kim Amsbaugh, PTA president, at amsbaugh (at) gmail dot com. Thank you for Supporting our Palo Alto Schools!

Tiki Auction Update 
Our auction is this weekend, and we hope to see many of you there.  This is your chance to purchase some great items, often at discounted prices, and raise money for the school at the same time.  We’ve got donations from lots of your favorite camps and classes, local stores and restaurants. 

We’ve got some really fun parties donated by families at our school.  Want to learn to make sushi?   Place a bid on our 10th Annual Roll Your Own Sushi party.  Enjoy fine wine?  Come along to our first ever Night of Fine Wine and Cheese Tasting party, and don’t worry about a babysitter there’s a kids Flashlight Tag party the very same night so the whole family can have fun! 

All our teachers have generously donated parties – make sure you check out what’s on offer.  And of course there is the ever popular principal of the day and new this year front row seats at the 5th grade promotion ceremony. 

It’s still not too late to turn in your form for tickets and we have a few babysitting spots left.  If you want to just show up at Trader Vics on the night, that’s OK too, but please note Kids Club can only accommodate people who have booked in advance.  Any questions please email Maria Zajac (

Please help us make this a great event …see you there! 
Jackie & Sheri

Sponsored by:  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.  

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 Treasurer; 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 me, Kim Amsbaugh, at amsbaugh (at) gmail dot com or call me at (650) 813-1669. Or if you would like to anonymously suggest someone, put his or her name in our PTA Volunteer Box located in the Office.
I look forward to hearing from you! 

PTA Parent Ed: “Growing Up Asian in Palo Alto”
Wed. March 31, 7-9pm, Mitchell Park Community Center.
Engage with a panel of PAUSD parents, students and alumni as they share their perspective. Hear their diverse, illuminating stories. 

Particpants include: Barbara Sih Klausner, moderator, an American-born Chinese mother of three, a lawyer and educator, serves on the PAUSD Board of Education. Aditya Srinivasan, graduate of the prestigious IIT and fluent in two Indian languages, immigrated in 1998 in his mid-forties and raised his children in Palo Alto. Al Yuen, bilingual father of four, emigrated from Taiwan as a child, an entrepreneur and business executive, Co-Chair of “SupportPaloAltoSchools2010” Parcel Tax Campaign. 

Brought to you by the Parent Education and Community Outreach committees of the Palo Alto PTA Council
Info:; Flyer: 

International Fair & Food Festival:  Saturday, May 15th  2010, 4 – 7 PM
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.

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:

  • Volunteers to help with booths, setup, cleanup, activities etc on the day of the fair as well as planning and preparation before the fair.
  • Booth leaders for more countries.  
  • 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)



Paly Theatre Presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream
March 5, 6, 13, 7:30 PM, 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

Reminder: Strategic Plan Review Survey
Please Complete by Fri. March 19.
PAUSD is asking “What Do YOU Think?”  This survey should take about twenty minutes for you to complete and will provide PAUSD with important input regarding our work and future direction. The parent/guardian survey is intended for parents with students in all grade levels. Elementary school parents are also asked to provide input on math curriculum. In addition, there is a student survey for high school students only that is accessible through inClass.
Find the survey at:

Monthly ADHD Parent Education and Support Group
Thursday, March 25, 7:30-9pm, Morrissey/Compton Educational Center, 2555 Park Ave, Palo Alto
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. 

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.

Parent Ed: Raising Resilient, Successful, Less-Stressed Kids
Thursday, March 18, 7-8:30 PM, Walter Hays Library 1525 Middlefield, Palo Alto
Panel discussion followed by a generous Q&A session with distinguished local educators to discuss some of today’s most pressing questions about parenting.  Anabel Jensen, Ph.D. President of Six Seconds (; Susan Charles, Ed.D. Past Principal, Ohlone Elementary School; Julie Lythcott-Haims, J.D. Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising, Stanford University
Questions: Walter Hays parents Jennie Bernheim jjbernheim (at) yahoo dot com or Lisa Waits lisa.waits (at) nokia dot com

Dr. Ken Ginsburg:  Building Resilience in Children and Teens
Thursday, March 25, Resource fair & 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 Music and Art Teachers Collaborative Faculty Concert and Art Show
Saturday March 27, 3:30 PM, Spangenberg Theatre, Gunn High School
For the 18th year, PAUSD Music Teachers present a chamber music concert.  Also, art teachers will showcase their artwork and offer it for sale. Proceeds from the concert provide scholarships for district music students in grades 4-8.  Audition sign-ups take place at the concert (audition times are limited).  Proceeds from the art sale will be awarded to a PAUSD art student.
Tickets may be purchased by sending a check, made out to “PAUSD” and a SASE to the Music Office, 25 Churchill Ave., Palo Alto, 94306 before March 19; calling 329-3944; or e-mail music (at) pausd dot org for information. Tickets will also be available at the door.   Adults $12.00 ($15 at door) Student/Senior $5.00

You Made It! Jamboree – Entry Period Extended To March 31

Palo Alto PTA Council’s 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 at the Palo Alto Art Center on May 15.  He or she might even be invited to show their creation at the San Mateo Maker Faire. 
Info and entry forms:

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

Community Meeting on Library and Community Center
Thurs. March 18, Mitchell Park Community Center, 3800 Middlefield Road.
The City of Palo Alto will host a community meeting to discuss the plans for the new Mitchell Park Library and Community Center and the renovation of Downtown Library, as well as an update on the temporary library at Cubberley Community Center that will provide service while Mitchell Park Library is closed. The meeting will include presentations by architects from Group 4 Architecture and City staff.  Staff from the City’s Public Works, Library, and Community Services departments as well as the City Manager’s Office will be available to answer questions. Info: Diane Jennings, Library Director, 329-2403.
Press Release: 

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) 

Google Open Fiber
Please support the grassroots effort to help Palo Alto be selected for a Google optic trial.  In addition to being of great benefit to Palo Alto residents and businesses, it would help our school district.  Due to some recent legislation, our district may have significantly higher costs for high bandwidth internet service starting this summer (no need for the story about that here).  Our district could save money and our students would experience tremendously fast access to information and communication. 

Many cities are competing for this Google initiative and we only have until March 26 to act.  Here’s how you can help:

1.  Nominate Palo Alto at  You can find more information about the Palo Alto effort at  I’ve pasted some of the information below.

2.  On Facebook, join the group “Push for Palo Alto: We want Google Fiber!!” and become a fan of “Palo Alto for Google Fiber.”  You can search for “Palo Alto Google Fiber” to find them.

3.  Spread the word so this campaign can go viral to get a huge response to Google.  Send emails to your friends, post on Facebook, ask your high school students to spread the word to their friends.  High school students understand the benefits of fast internet access so they could be great advocates.
Dana Tom
Palo Alto School Board Member
Help Palo Alto Win Google Open Fiber

The Google offer of a blazing-fast open fiber network test in selected cities may mean about $50m of leading edge infrastructure for Palo Alto. A Google Open Fiber partnership with the City capitalizes on Palo Alto’s renowned innovative assets, and there are many – residents, businesses, startups, educators, health care professionals, venture capital, professional services, families with students, and volunteers. Among the expected benefits are lower prices, ultra-fast Internet, reliability, and service choices. This is cleantech / greentech which enhances Palo Alto resource conservation and sustainability values. City risk approaches zero. When you study it closely, as I have, deciding to support Google Open Fiber becomes the biggest no-brainer in history.

From now to March 26, click the Google ‘Nominate your community’ button, this is community service at its finest. A Google account is needed (see sample PDF form for help). On the nomination form ‘Get involved: Residents and community groups,’ fill in the *required blanks (for help and suggestions, see sample form – for residents/individuals or for community groups).

Word needs to spread far and wide, quickly and repeatedly. One easy way is to copy and paste this entire page to your email, creatively reword it as you wish while retaining the hot links, then send your email to colleagues and friends; the more emails, the better. Not only our daytime (about 130,000) and nighttime (about 65,000) populations should nominate Palo Alto, but those who electronically visit Silicon Valley from around the globe should nominate Palo Alto, too. It is suggested you email companies, educational institutions, civic groups, non-profits, faith-based groups, charities, service clubs, VCs, professional firms, friends, neighbors and students of all ages, post to Newsgroups, List Servers, Groups, Facebook, and Twitter.

Please ask your recipients to further SPREAD THE WORD. A Google investment of, in effect, about $2,000 for every premise in town will deliver wide-ranging benefits over decades for businesses; startups and students; parents, grandparents and elders; VCs and professionals; you name it. This is good for everyone in Palo Alto, everyone wins. From today through March 26, spread the word.
More resources:
The Google announcement with video
Google project manager Minnie Ingersoll interview
Google RFI – offer in detail
City of Palo Alto working to win Google Open Fiber
Palo Alto Weekly OpEd: How you can help Palo Alto win Google Open Fiber
Facebook: Palo Alto for Google Fiber
iPaloAlto has some ideas why Palo Alto is ideal for Google Open Fiber
Contact iPaloAlto for further help


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

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.

Stanford Email Newsletter, Stanford For You
As a service to the community, Stanford recently has a free monthly email newsletter, Stanford For You.  Each month it provides the latest information about concerts, parenting talks and other lectures, sports events, kids’ activities, drama and dance performances, art exhibits and more. .  All of these events are open to the public, and many of them are free.  The March issue also provides information on a broad array of summer camps.  To subscribe and see past newsletters:

Stanford Math Brain Projects Seek Volunteers
Math Development and Disabilities: seeks 2nd graders with and without difficulties in math.  Participants commit to sessions in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade, each with one 3-4 hour neuropsychological assessment and one 1.5 hour fMRI scan.
Brain Imaging Research on Math Abilities in Autism Spectrum Disorder: seeks verbal 7-12 year olds with high functioning autism (HFA) for a study about how the brain does math. Participants would have a neuropsychological assessment, two autism diagnostic assessments, and two MRI scans.
Info:,, 736-0128.

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. 

India Community Center Summer Camps in Palo Alto
Cultural Immersion Camp, June 21-25, K – 5th Grade
Hindi Camp (Basic), June 28-July 2, K – 5th Grade
Bollywood Dance Camp, July 12-16, K – 5th Grade
Gandhi Camp, (Overnight camp in Olema, CA), Aug. 7-14, 5th – 12th Grade

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