News: September 18, 2009


Friday, September 25:  NO SCHOOL

Monday, September 28:  NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, September 29:  3rd Grade Bike Rodeo

Wednesday, September 30:  General PTA Meeting, 8:30 AM

Sunday, October 4:  Harvest Fair, 3 – 5 PM

Palo Verde and PTA Announcements:

Dear Palo Verde Parents, Students and Community,

It’s September and we’re off to school!  Thank you for helping us get-off to a relatively smooth start to the year.  I want to recruit your help to ensure that the focus at school and at home is on teaching, learning and growing up to be wholesome and productive citizens.

Think Safety: Let’s make SAFETY a top priority around Palo Verde School.  Daily at drop-off and pick-up times there is a confluence of motorists, cyclists and pedestrian traffic.  It is CRITICAL that all adults work together to ensure the safety of all children, regardless of the means of transportation.  Please head the following suggestions:

  • Leave home with sufficient time. Quite often, if in a hurry and we are NOT as careful or as aware of our surroundings, thereby putting others and ourselves in danger.
  • The drop-off zone on Louis Road:
    • Please drive forward as far as possible in the drop-off lane.  This allows 6-8 additional cars to drop off child/ren at any one time.
    • Have your child/ren disembark the automobile on the sidewalk closest to the school.  Remember: NO U-TURNS ALLOWED!
    • Please note the NO PARKING signs across the street from the school.  Violators will be cited.
  • Drop-Off on Rorke: please drive slowly and with caution. The street is quite narrow and there are many parked vehicles along both sides of the street, which creates congestion every morning.  Do note the following suggestions:
    • If at all possible, enter Rorke from Ames on the west entrance and keep the school on your right as you drop-off or pick up your child/ren.
    • Use the drop-off zone closest to room 1 and have your child/ren disembark the automobile on the sidewalk closest to the school.
    • DO NOT double park or stop in the middle of the street to drop off your child.  This is extremely unsafe for your child, as well for other vehicles trying to drive past your car.

All of us want our children to be safe.  However, we must model that SAFE behavior on a daily basis.  Children are watching—and they will emulate what they observe.  Let’s work together to keep them safe!

Primary Parents, we need your help right after dismissal (2:00–2:50 PM) When PRIMARY students in grades 1, 2, 3 are dismissed, they must leave campus for home or childcare, unless accompanied by an adult.  Some of you pick up your child and stay around to chat with friends and neighbors while the children play.  That’s perfectly fine, as it’s one of the benefits of a close-knit community.  However, you must stay close to your child/ren and make sure play is appropriate and that they do not disrupt upper grade classes. Please closely supervise your child/ren’s play! If you are picking up your child and know that you are going to be late, have him/her wait in the office, NOT on the playground.  In addition, please make sure your child/ren do not ride their bikes or scooters on campus, while school is still in session.  In the morning, a child may ride his/her bike or scooter to his/her classroom, but then must secure it by leaving it in his/her classroom.  After school, especially for a primary student, a child may ride his/her scooter or bike, if leaving for home.  Otherwise, riding it on campus while school is still in session is not allowed, as it creates unsafe situations for children.

After School Activities: some activities began this past week and others will begin soon.  If you would like to know more about what after activities are available at Palo Verde, please contact our office.  In the past, we’ve offered a variety of things, including Jr. Museum Science, Chess, Spanish, One-On-One Basketball, and others.  Drop by and check out the list of options.

The staff and I are quite excited about the year ahead.  Join us in our efforts to provide the most enriching experiences for all our students.  Let’s stay in touch!

Warmest regards,

Lupe García

Potluck Thank Yous

Thank you to everyone who attended our annual Back to School Annual Potluck. It was a record-attending event and we hope that everyone had the opportunity to enjoy some great food, meet some new Palo Verde families and catch up with old ones. A special Thank You goes out to Dipti Joshi who organized the whole affair. And thanks to those who helped along the way, both behind the scenes and on the day of the event, setting up and cleaning up. Those individuals included Bina Shah, Girish Joshi, Heather Schultz, Susan Fineberg, Kala Mehta and Xia Guan. And finally, thank you Carlos, our night custodian, who helped immensely by setting up the tables and doing more than his fair share of breaking everything down and cleaning up the school so it looked perfect for the kids the next day.

Kim Amsbaugh and the PTA Executive Board

The Palo Verde Harvest Fair is coming!

The Palo Verde Harvest Fair will be Sunday, October 4th, from 3 – 5 pm at Palo Verde School.  This is a fun family activity that offers carnival games with prizes for the kids, a bake sale with hot dogs and goodies made by our own Palo Verde families and the opportunity to meet and socialize with other Palo Verde families.  Admission is FREE – we hope to see you there!

Harvest Fair Help Needed

Interested in baking goods for the Bake Sale? Helping at a booth? Setting up the Fair? Please contact Katharine Saunders, saunderz (at) earthlink dot net, if you are interested in volunteering. The Harvest Fair is Sunday, Oct. 4th, 3-5 pm.

Palo Alto Walks & Rolls Day 2009

Wednesday, October 7th is the annual citywide Palo Alto Walks & Rolls Day to promote safer streets, healthier bodies, a greener planet.  Palo Verde families let’s join in!  Give your car a break and Walk & Roll to and from school on October 7th.  If you have any questions or for more information contact Silvie and George Pierce at

PAUSD Announcements:

Parent Ed Speaker:  Rachel Simmons, The Curse of the Good Girl

Thursday, September 24, 7-9 PM, Spangenberg Theatre, 780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto

The Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto public school PTAs are pleased to present best selling author and expert on girls’ development Rachel Simmons as she kicks off her national book tour for The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence.  Parents and daughters (grades 5 and up), teachers, administrators and medical professionals are invited to hear this highly acclaimed girl expert speaking from The Curse of the Good Girl, the follow up to her international bestseller, Odd Girl Out, providing practical strategies to empower girls and their parents to be confident, courageous, authentic and self-aware.  Free, no registration required. Limited Parking, please carpool.


Info:, or Maureen Griffin m_a_griffin (at) comcast dot net

Dine Our For Packard

Thursday, October 8

Support your Children’s Hospital by joining the first-ever Dine Out for Packard day, benefiting the patients and families of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.  Participating restaurants throughout Palo Alto will donate a percentage of total sales to the Children’s Fund, which helps the Hospital meet its greatest needs each year.  Info including list of participating restaurants:

Current Research on the Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Students

Wednesday, October 14, 7-8:30 PM, Board Room, 25 Churchill, Palo Alto

PAUSD’s Elementary and Middle School GATE Parent Presentation by Dr. Tracy Cross, Ball State Univ. The lives of students with gifts and talents are quite complicated.  They grow up within many subcultures that have differing notions about giftedness.  Consequently, they face dilemmas in their development that their non-gifted peers do not.  Most gifted students develop social coping strategies to help them navigate the complicated social waters of childhood and adolescence.  This presentation will report the recent research on the social and emotional development of our students with gifts and talents.  Flyer:, Questions: 329-3769

For the Community Kiosk click here.

City of Palo Alto Announcements:

Library Home Connection Seeks Volunteers

Library Home Connection is a service of the Palo Alto City Library that provides a visit and delivery of materials to people who cannot get to the library because of an extended illness or long-term disability.  The Palo Alto Library is seeking individuals who could use this service, and individuals who would like to volunteer.  This could even be a great family acitivity–sharing the joy of reading with those folks in our community  in need of a little hands-on help.  Info: Anita Delaney, Volunteer and Connection Coordinator, 617-3100 ext. 3215, anita.delaney (at) cityofpaloalto dot org.

Palo Alto Art Center’s Children’s Fine Art Classes

Registration is now underway for the Palo Alto Art Center’s Children’s Fine Art Classes beginning September 23.  Class titles include “Illustration and Manga”, “Japanese Brush Painting” “Invention: Vehicles” and “Clay for Preschooler and Parent”.  Children’s Fine Art provides exceptional art experiences to 2,000 children annually, from the ages of 18 months to 18 years. Classes are held at the Palo Alto Art center, the Junior Museum and Zoo, and Mitchell Park Teen Center.  For information and to register for upcoming classes see the Enjoy! Catalog found at any City of Palo Alto facility or by calling the Palo Alto Art Center at 329-2366 and online:

To join the CFA email list or for even more info: Larnie Fox, (at) cityofpaloalto dot org

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch

Thousands of glistening glass pumpkins and other unique glass art objects return to Palo Alto, when the Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto Art Center Foundation, and the Bay Area Glass Institute present the 14th Great Glass Pumpkin Patch.  Held at the Palo Alto Art Center, this beloved autumn event—and the largest glass pumpkin patch of its kind in California, will be on display Tuesday & Wednesday, September 29 & 30, from 10 AM – 9 PM, and Thursday & Friday, October 1 & 2, from 10 AM – 5 PM.  All glass pumpkins and other glass art are available for purchase only on Saturday & Sunday, October 3 & 4, from 10 AM – 5 PM, rain or shine.  For more information, call (650) 329-2366, or (408) 993-2244 or visit

Palo Alto Children’s Theatre Annual Costume Sale

Sunday October 4, 9:30 AM – 3 PM, Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto

The Friends of the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre in cooperation with the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre will be selling costumes and accessories from past Palo Alto Children’s Theatre productions including animals, fantasy characters, and vintage clothing in a variety of sizes just in time for Halloween. Flyer:  Info: 463-4930

International Fair to Benefit Palo Alto’s Sister-City Projects

Sunday, October 4, 11 AM – 5 PM, Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto

Family Fun Day, an international fair, will benefit children’s projects of Neighbors Abroad (NA) in Palo Alto’s Sister Cities in Oaxaca, Mexico, and Palo Leyte, Philippines.  Centerpiece of the event is an international store, along with games, crafts and storytelling for children.   Sharing the spotlight is an international fashion show. Admission to the courtyard is free.  All proceeds from activities at the international fair will go directly to NA’s support of a children’s orphanage and a Child-to-Child health program in Oaxaca and a children’s library in Palo Leyte.  Co-sponsored by Neighbors Abroad and the City of Palo Alto.  Donations for the international store welcome. Questions: 493-3798.

Community Announcements:

Challenge Success:  Broadening our Vision of Success for Our Children

Friday, September 25, 7:30-9:30 PM, Memorial Auditorium, Stanford

Two keynote speakers, psychologist Michael Thompson and Facebook executive Chris Kelly.  Also participating, Challenge Success co-founders:  psychologist and author Madeline Levine and Stanford educator and author Denise Clark Pope.  In addition, student panelists will share their perspectives on primary stressors in middle schools and high schools, as well as strategies for coping. Free and open to all. Info:

Lecture on Century-Plus History of Woman’s Club of Palo Alto

Sunday, October 4, 2 PM, Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

Margaret Feuer, former president of the Woman’s Club of Palo Alto and co-author of A Walk Through History:  Women of Palo Alto, will trace the 115-year history of the organization at a free public meeting of the Palo Alto Historical Association (PAHA).  Feuer will discuss the activities of the Club through the years and its relationship to the history of women in America.  She promises to explain what Charles Dickens, who died in 1870, had to do with a Club which was founded in 1894.

Parents Place Workshops

200 Channing, Palo Alto

Parents Place Fall Quarter 2009 workshops for elementary and middle school parents include:

Beyond Sibling Rivalry, Keeping the Peace (ages 3-8), Wednesdays, 9/23 & 9/30, 7-9 PM, $60

Creative Parenting (preschool-5th grade), Mondays, 10/5-11/2, 6:30-8:30 PM, $175

Connecting With Your Child Everyday (5-11 years), Thursday, 10/15, 7-9 PM, $35

Children Who Struggle With Homework (grades 2-6), Tuesdays, 10/20 & 10/27, 6:30-8:30 PM, $60

Pay Attention (Kindergarten-grade 6), Tuesday, 12/8, 6:30-8:30 PM, $35

Registration and full class descriptions:

Electrostatics and Electromagnetism:

Sundays Oct. 11, 18, 25 & November 1, 1-3 PM, (4 sessions) MOAH 351 Homer, Palo Alto

At this Museum of American Heritage Workshop, the students learn about static electricity, going back to the days of the Greek scientists and tribo-electricity (creating electricity by rubbing, e.g., cat’s fur on amber), and progressing to Michael Faraday’s monumental discoveries. Then, students discover magnetism and induction. Content includes the history of magnetism and explores modern theories and applications that underlie electric power generation and magnetic material physics. Class projects include the construction of an electromagnetically charged (no battery required) flashlight.  Ages 10 and up

Fee: $65 members/$75 non-members.  Instructor: Jim Wall  Info or to register: 321-1004 or

Parent Ed Program: I Think My Child Needs Help – Now What Do I Do?

Wednesday, October 21, 7-9 PM, Covington Elementary School Multi, 205 Covington Road, Los Altos

A presentation for Special Ed. parents just getting started. The first hour will be a panel presentation by a developmental psychologist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a speech pathologist who will cover how they assist families who are seeking initial help. Dr. Steve Newton, a Los Altos-based developmental psychologist will discuss private testing and evaluation as well as psychological therapies. During the second hour, the floor will be open for questions and concerns.  Sponsored by the SELPA 1 CAC (