News: March 19, 2010


March 30:      Hobee’s Restaurant Night & Books, Inc. Fundraiser
April 12 – 16:  No School – Spring Break
April 19 – 23:  Earth “Week” Activities
April 21:         Site Council Meeting, 3:30 PM

Palo Verde and PTA News

Auction a Great Success!
Thank you to all the Palo Verde parents, staff and teachers who joined us at Trader Vic’s last Saturday for our annual Palo Verde Auction. We don’t have final numbers yet, but because of your generousity, we raised approximately $20,000 for Palo Verde. With the pending budget cuts on the horizon, this money will be used to ensure all our students have the classroom supplies and educational materials they use every day.

Many people, of course, were involved in organizing this wonderful event and helping to make it happen. First, a sincere Thank You to our sponsors. I hope everyone will show their appreciation by doing business with these generous donors: Morgan-Gault Homes (; Agile Physical Therapy (; KeyCon Construction & Design (; Dura-Foam Roofing and Solar Power (; Dr. Brian Quo, of Peninsula Pediatric Denistry (; Dr. Lesley Samuels (; Coldwell Realtor Kathy Pasin (; and Charleston Cleaners (click here).

In addition to our sponsors, we had many parent volunteers to help make auction night happen. Please Thank these parents as well when you see them at Palo Verde: Auction Chairs Jackie Cook and Sheri Tye and also Phil Bednarz, Celia Chang, Larry Chang, Peggy Chang, Elaine Chase, Tatiana Cordoso, Kristin Foss, Lori Harrenstein, Carleen Ho, Emily Jacquette, Padmini Krishnan, Tony Macklin, April McCandless, Chris McGranahan, Margaret Myers, Simone Nanzer, Lili Nova-Roessig, Kathy Pasin, Rebecca Thompson, Renata Tong and Maria Zajac.

Thank you, again, everyone! I look forward to next year!
Kim Amsbaugh
PTA President

Science Fair Update
We had a very successful Science Fair on Wednesday, March 17th.

Student participation was very strong: 261 students participated, preparing a total of 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.
The Science Fair would not have been possible without help from a lot of people.  Thanks to  Alison Cormack, John Liu, Mala Nayak, Heather Schultz,  Ken Schultz, 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.

Pavan Desikan and Pandu Nayak

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!

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!

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

PTA Council and PAUSD News

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.

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.

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

Wednesday, March 31, Mitchell Park Community Center, 7 – 9 PM, 3800 Middlefield Road (simultaneous Mandarin translation)
In the last decade, the Asian student population in PAUSD has grown by 1,500. In a number of schools, “Asians” and “Whites” are almost equal in number. In some classrooms, Asians outnumber other ethnic groups.

  • Who are our Asian students & their families?What experiences & values do they bring to our schools?
  • What successes & challenges do the children face?
  • What do the parents dream for their children?
  • What do the children dream for themselves?

Come join us for this community conversation. Everyone is welcome, including students! Engage with a panel of PAUSD parents, students, & alumni as they share their perspectives. Hear their diverse, illuminating stories: Some immigrated as children, others as adults. They came from China, India, & other Asian countries. Some were born in the U.S., into communities with no other Asians; others were enveloped by their Asian culture. They are caring parents and dutiful children.

Brought to you by PTA Council’s Parent Education & Community Outreach committees.  Info:

Last Call For You Made It Jamboree Entries
Only one more week to enter the PTA Council’s You Made It! Jamboree.  Don’t miss your chance to participate in the first-ever maker’s faire for the students of the Palo Alto Unified School District. 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!  More information and entry forms available at

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.

Community News

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 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

Kidpower Full-Force Parent-Child Workshop
Saturday, April 17, 9 AM – 1 PM, Palo Alto.
4-hour Kidpower Full-Force Parent-Child Workshop for 6-12 year-olds with their adults. Families with older children practice personal safety skills together for handling every day emotional and physical safety problems and self-defense skills for stopping emergencies.
Info:; Register: