News: March 13, 2009


Monday, March 16:  Restaurant Night, Fresh Choice in Mountain View
Wednesday, March 18, 7 PM – Elementary School Boundary Discussion, MP Room
Friday, March 20:  1:25 Dismissal ALL Students – District Wide Minimum Day
Monday – Friday, March 23 – 27 –  NO SCHOOL – Spring Break
Wednesday, April 15, 3:30 PM – Site Council Meeting

From the desk of Lupe Garcia…

Dear Palo Verde Parents, Students, and Community,

What a successful series of science events we had last week! The Lawrence Hall of Science demonstration was quite an exciting beginning to the week, followed by the Science Fair, which was sensational.  To have two hundred fifty four students submit a project for the fair is quite a feat.  All the student projects, from kindergarten through fifth grade, were wonderfully designed.  Kudos to everyone, participants and organizers!

Updates and Other General Information:

  • 2009-2010 Planning Forms:  This Friday, 3/13/09 you will be receiving via your child a planning form for the 2009-2010 school year. This important information helps us track enrollment numbers across all grade levels for the site and District. Please take a few moments to complete. We are asking for this form to be returned to the classrooms or the Main Office by Friday, March 20, 2009. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office staff at 856-1672.
  • Site Council Vacancies: The Palo Verde Site Council will have two parent vacancies for two-year terms beginning in the 2009-2010 school year. If you would like more information about the Site Council, please feel free to contact one of the current members: Parents: Geoff Butner, Kristin Foss, Joanna Schloss, Linda Verhulp or any of the staff members: Sheri Cundall, Chris McGranahan, Jocelyn Mason, or Trebor Winslow.
  • Other Thank Yous: we are most appreciative of the depth of parent and community involvement.  Many of you are actively and quietly involved in the classrooms in an ongoing basis.  The staff and I would like to say “Thank You” to all who provide essential support to our children.  In addition, major school events happen because individuals step up and take responsibility for organizing, coordinating, and making sure to take care of the “details”.  To these individuals, I would also like to say, “We are most grateful”.  Needless to say, it takes the participation of many helpers (quiet hands) to put on an event.  I’d like to personally thank Ms. Brinda Ghosh for organizing and bringing the Lawrence Hall of Science demonstration to our school last week.  The MP Room was packed with eager observers and wild cheers.  The scientific demonstrations were captivating!  I would also like to thank all the students who participated in the Science Fair, as well as Pandu Nayak and Leigh Klotz for organizing and bringing it to fruition.  Pandu’s and Leigh’s demonstrations peeked student interest (along with the Lawrence Hall of Science demonstrations), which resulted in such a high turn out of individual student experiments: 254 students participated by coming up with their own scientific experiment and creating a display that summarized their work, from prediction to results.  All was a great display of the Scientific Method!

Thank you for returning the school questionnaire.  Your input will help us better plan for next school year.

Warmest regards,
Lupe García

Fresh Choice Restaurant Night, Monday, March 16, 4-9 PM

Palo Verde’s next Restaurant Night is Monday, March 16th, from 4-9 pm at Fresh Choice in Mountain View. Simply bring in the Fresh Choice/Palo Verde flyer included in your child’s Friday folder and Fresh Choice will donate 15 percent of group sales back to Palo Verde. We hope to see you there.

Garland Boundary Discussion,  March 18 @ 7 PM

Scott Laurence with the Garland Boundary Committee and Palo Alto Unified School District will be at Palo Verde next Wednesday evening, March 18th, 7-8 pm in the MP Room. Scott will be there to discuss the proposed elementary school boundary changes as PAUSD brings Garland Elementary School, currently the Stratford School on N. California next to Jordan Middle School, back into the district in the next couple of years.

This impacts the Palo Verde community as the proposed Garland boundary crosses south over Oregon Expressway. So future students and families living within a few blocks of Oregon in South Palo Alto may be designated as Garland students.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, the 18th, at 7 pm. This event is sponsored by the Palo Verde PTA.

Science Fair Update

We had a very successful Science Fair on Wednesday, March 4th.  Student participation was very strong: 258 students prepared 254 projects.  More importantly, students were very enthusiastic about describing their projects and finding out about their friends’ projects!  You can continue to build upon this enthusiasm throughout the year by doing small weekend projects with your children.  We’ve compiled links to a variety of resources for science projects and do-it-yourself technology projects at  Check it out and enjoy!

The Science Fair would not have been possible without help from a lot of people.  Thanks to Becky Burwell, Brinda Govindan, Yuki Klotz-Burwell, Corinna Leung, Mala Nayak, Nandeeka Nayak, and Nirada Vijay who helped run things smoothly on the day of the Science Fair.  Thanks also to all the parents who volunteered to be “visiting scientists” in their children’s classrooms.  And, of course, thanks to Lupe Garcia, Chris McGranahan,, Moises Aguilar, and Carlos Valencia for all their help throughout the process.

Pandu Nayak and Leigh Klotz

Wizard’s Lab on Wheels

Thanks to the Lawrence Hall of Science for engaging over 150 excited kids and parents with “Wizard’s Lab on Wheels” on February 24.  We could not have programs like this without the support of our Palo Verde PTA! Thanks to our fabulous volunteers for keeping everything under control:  Fidelia Wang, Pandu Nayak, Heather Schultz, Priya Srinivas, Yasmin Shirole and Bhaskar Ghosh.

Brinda Govindan

International Fair, Sunday, April 26th, 3 – 5 PM

Help! We need some more booth leaders for the International Fair….we are still seeking leaders for the following countries: Japan, Korea, China, Israel, Russia, France, Germany, Mexico and any other country you would like to represent at the Fair.

Please contact Brinda Govindan (brinda (at) sfsu dot edu) if you are interested.  Thank you!

Volunteer for the PTA

Thank you to those who so far have offered to volunteer for the Palo Verde PTA next year. We appreciate your time and commitment to our school, our community and our children. We still, however, are in need a few key positions for the Executive Board. This includes: Executive Vice President, Treasurer, VP of Communications, VP of Social Activities, VP of Fundraising, and Parliamentarian.

We also are looking for volunteers to help organize some key fundraising events. This includes the annual Kepler’s Book Fair, Sally Foster Gift Wrap Sales and the Auction. These three events, combined, total more than $20,000 worth of funds that goes directly to Palo Verde in the form of new computers for the classrooms, books for our library and playground equipment, such as the Ball Walls.

We also are looking for a Traffic Safety Volunteer, who helps organize our annual Walk to School and Earth Day celebrations. This position also helps ensure overall traffic safety for the school and acts as a liaison between the school, the district and the city of Palo Alto.

Please contact me if you have any questions about volunteering for the PTA.

Kim Amsbaugh
PTA President

Below you will find brief descriptions of the Executive Board positions and descriptions of the social and fundraising volunteer positions currently open.

Executive Board Descriptions

For the Executive Board positions described below, a more comprehensive description exists on the California PTA website:

Treasurer (Required)

Maintains the books for the Palo Verde PTA, tracking all incoming and outgoing funds while writing checks to individuals and organizations in an effort to pay all bills and expenses. The Treasurer also helps develop the annual PTA budget and prepares the books for the periodic audits conducted by the Auditor. The Treasurer also attends monthly PTA meetings as a member of the Executive Board.

Executive Vice President
Acts as the president in the event the President is unavailable. Attends monthly PTA meetings. Works with the school administrative staff to ensure a cohesiveness of programs and fundraising efforts.  Helps ensure all PTA-related events and activities are meeting the appropriate deadlines and timelines.

Vice President of Fundraising

Helps ensure that all fundraising activities are meeting the appropriate deadlines and timelines. In this position, the VP of Fundraising is not responsible for any one event. Instead, the VP of Fundraising acts as a liaison between the PTA Executive Board and the chairs of the Palo Verde fundraising events, which are the Auction, the Book Fair, Box Tops, e-Script, Gift Wrap, Kids Art Note Cards, Restaurant Nights. The VP of Fundraising also attends monthly PTA meetings as a member of the Executive Board.

Vice President of Social Events

Helps ensure all school-wide social events are meeting the appropriate deadlines and timelines. In this position, the VP of Social Events is not responsible for any one event. Instead, the VP of Social Events acts as a liaison between the PTA Executive Board and the chairs of the Palo Verde social activities, which are the Back to School Ice Cream, Back to School Potluck, PTA Morning Coffees, Harvest Fair, Ice Skating Party, International Fair and the May Fete Float and Parade activities. The VP of Social Events also attends monthly PTA meetings as a member of the Executive Board.

Vice President of Communications

Helps communicate school-wide the varying social, educational and fundraising events and activities. Works closely with the publishing volunteers of The Voice and the PTA and Palo Verde website volunteers to communicate information on those events. The VP of Communications also attends monthly PTA meetings as a member of the Executive Board.

Familiarizes him/herselft with the Palo Verde PTA bylaws in an effort to be educated enough to answer any questions about procedures and rules that may come up during meetings. The Parliamentarian also organizes the Nominating Committee, which each year uncovers volunteers for the Executive Board and all social and fundraising committee chairs. The Parliamentarian also attends monthly PTA meetings as a member of the Executive Board.

Social and Fundraising Volunteer Positions


Helps coordinate all aspects of the event, including reserving the location, pursuing donations, and organizing publicity, food and entertainment.

Back to School Ice Cream Social

Organizes, sets up and breaks down the ice cream social that occurs the day in August class assignments are posted at Palo Verde.

Back to School Packet

Organizes the Back to School Packet of information that is sent out prior to the start of school.

Bike and Traffic Safety Rep
Acts as the liaison between the school and district to promote safe and green methods of transportation to and from school. Also helps organize Walk to School and Earth Day activities.

Book Fair

In collaboration with Kepler’s Books, coordinates and works at the annual Palo Verde Book Fair.

Box Tops

Coordinates the annual Palo Verde Box Top drive in the Spring.

eNews/PTAWebsite/Palo Verde Website
Communicates school news and events via email distribution (eNews) and on the Palo Verde and PTA websites. Works closely with the Palo Verde Voice volunteers.

Gift Cards

Organizes the selling the Gift Cards at school prior to the Winter Break.

International Fair

Organizes the annual Palo Verde International Fair that takes place in the Spring.

Kids Art Note Cards
Organizes the annual Kids Art Note Cards drive, where kids have the opportunity to make a note card design and parents can purchase a set of cards with their children’s design on them.

Lice Patrol
Coordinates the all-school lice checks that take place 3 times per year.

Communicates PTA membership drives that occur at the beginning of the year.

Morning Coffees
Organizes, sets up and breaks down the PTA morning coffees that periodically occur before school. The goal is to find up to 8 volunteers so the PTA can host one coffee per month. With 8 volunteers, each volunteer would donate their time only once.

Noon Art
Organizes the bi-weekly art activity held in the MP Room during lunchtime.

Noon Games
Organizes game activities during lunchtime. This committee coordinates these games with the YMCA.

Palo Verde Voice
Develops the bi-weekly PTA school newsletter.

Restaurant Nights
Identifies and coordinates the monthly restaurant nights.

Sally Foster Gift Wrap
Organizes the school-wide sale of Sally Foster wrapping paper and gifts.

Science Fair
Helps organize the annual Palo Verde Science Fair in Spring.

Science Night
Organizes the annual school-wide Science Night that takes place in February/March

Community News

Working Wonders:
Gently-Used Baseball and Softball Equipment Drive
March 9-20, Walter Hays and  Duveneck
It’s that time of year- baseball and softball season has arrived.  The gloves, bats and other baseball equipment that your child has outgrown can open a whole world of opportunities for an under-resourced child.  Working Wonders will be collecting gently-used baseball and softball mitts, youth aluminum bats (under 21 oz), batting helmets, cleats, and unstained white pants as well as new baseballs and softballs. Note: gently used items are not damaged or in need of repair.  Pitch in at collection points at  Walter Hays and  Duveneck Elementary Schools.  Questions:  Jean Young, jean (at) jeanyoung dot com.

Working Wonders After-School Activity

Wednesday April 8, Walter Hays MP Room
Kids:  Come help clean, oil and polish donated baseball and softball equipment and make it like new.  Then we’ll wrap it up with your personal note to send to an under-resourced child.
Questions:  Jean Young, jean (at) jeanyoung dot com.

Palo Alto Children’s Theatre Spring Break Classes March 23-27
Palo Alto Children’s Theatre is offering fun, high quality, interactive theatre classes over spring break that enliven imaginations, get kids working together, and instill a lifelong love of theatre.  All classes are taught by professional teaching artists with a talent for teaching kids.  Classes include Story Acting (age 4-6), Playing Along (age 7-8), Camp  Sneak Preview (age 8-11), Beginning Hand Sewing (age 10-13), Intermediate Machine Sewing (age 13-18), and Scenic Painting (age 11-18).
Info: or (650) 463-4930.

Palo  Alto Children’s Theatre 10 Minute Playwriting Contest
Deadline March 31
The Palo Alto Children’s Theatre (PACT) is now accepting entries for its first 10 Minute Playwriting Contest.  These original plays may be submitted in one of three categories:  Child (age 8-11), Teen (age 12-14), and Young Adult (age 15 – high school).  Winning plays receive a staged reading and reception at PACT directed by a professional director and performed by members of the PACT acting ensemble, as well as a cash prize donated by the Friends of the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre.  For more information or to obtain an entry form, please call the Children’s Theatre, 463-4930 or visit

Palo Alto PTA Council Honors Outstanding Service to Children
Members of Palo Alto’s PTAs, schools and community devote energy, enthusiasm and initiative in countless ways that benefit our youth. Each year, PTA awards are presented to individuals who have given outstanding service to children. This year’s awards will be presented at the 2009 PTA Council Honorary Service Award (HSA) Luncheon on Friday, June 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Cabana Hotel. This event is an annual highlight!

The Palo Alto Council of PTAs (PTAC) honors service with local and California State PTA awards in several categories. Among considerations are longevity and significance of service, breadth/depth of service, and contributions that benefit more than an individual school.

The Palo Alto Council of PTAs invites you to submit nominations.  The nomination form is due April 3rd 2009; it can be found on the PTAC website at

Questions? Contact Terry Godfrey at bgodfrey (at) pacbell dot net

PTA Snow Clothing Rentals

The Palo Alto Council of PTAs operates the PTA Wardrobe and Snow Clothing Rental service.  Founded in 1934, the Wardrobe provides new and gently used clothing in all sizes at no charge to families within PAUSD.  To support this service, the Snow Clothing Rental allows individuals and families to rent entire outfits (jacket, pants, snow boots, scarves, etc.) for the snow for a two-week period for only $15 for children and $20 for adults.
The PTA Wardrobe is located in a portable at Jordan Middle School, 750 N. California Avenue, in the rear of the Middlefield parking lot.  Open Wed. 2-5pm and Sat. 10am-1pm. Closed school holidays.
Donations are welcome during open hours: clean, gently used clothing and books; new underwear and socks especially appreciated.
Info: or (650) 858-0654

PiE Online Survey – Partners in Education really wants to hear from you!
PiE is planning for next year and looking at ways to improve their efforts to support educational excellence in PAUSD schools.  The survey should take 3-5 minutes and will provide your invaluable input!    Please complete the survey by April 3rd.

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