Monday Notes from Mrs. Rice, 10/15

"The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence." -Denis Waitley

Dear Palm Valley Families,

I had the pleasure this weekend of attending our first Open House for Admissions this year! Our Director of Enrollment Management, Shannon Markel, did an excellent job organizing the first of these four opportunities to showcase our campus and faculty to prospective students and families. The prospective families that attended the event were led around to meet Faculty and see the facilities by our wonderful grade 5-12 Student Ambassadors. I am always so impressed with how articulately our students can speak to visitors about what Palm Valley School means to them and why they love it here. I am so grateful for all the current parents who also attended to be on hand to offer their perspective to potential new families about why they choose to send their children to Palm Valley School. Thank you to our Faculty, Administration, students, and families who were here to make it a successful event! Our next Open House event will be on Tuesday, November 6th at 5 pm, so if you know of any family who may be interested, send them to to RSVP! As a reminder, if a family that you refer to us enrolls their child(ren), you receive a $500 tuition credit as a thank you!

In my many conversations with parents, a topic that seems to come up frequently is that of screen time, social media usage, cyberbullying, and content in movies and videos. Although this topic is often more urgent in the older elementary, middle, and upper grades, it's never too early to start thinking about how to help your child become a responsible digital citizen. October 15th-19th is national Digital Citizenship Week (#DigCitWeek). As a school institution, we have many areas of the school curriculum for helping students learn about what being a responsible digital citizen means, but it's imperative that we also have a strong partnership with families to best ensure student success. Being a good Digital Citizen means knowing how to use critical thinking in regards to the content they come across, staying safe by protecting their personal details and that of others, and acting responsibly and courteously in how they portray and interact with others on the internet. Just a few years ago, an article came out about students who had their acceptances to Harvard revoked when the school discovered some online behavior that they felt was not in line with their values as an institution. The internet can be permanent, and students sometimes don't realize that the things they do online can have long-term effects on their lives and on how others view them. If you want to learn more about Digital Citizenship, we highly recommend Common Sense Media. On their website, you can find great articles, research, resources, and more. Take a moment this week to check it out and discuss what Digital Citizenship means with your child. Their independence on the internet comes with a high level of responsibility - let's work together to ensure they are prepared for how to embrace and navigate that with success.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who has chosen to support the #FeedTheFire campaign for this year's Annual Fund so far! By supporting the Annual Fund, you are giving directly to our students and the programs that make our school so incredible. We are reaching for a goal of 100% participation this year from our families and we need you to help us reach that goal. All gifts are important to us and to our ability to #FeedTheFire. We are grateful for your help in achieving our goal this year. You can go online or on our Facebook page to give a gift, give in person to the Business Office, or by using one of the Annual Fund envelopes and dropping it to any of the Division reception desks on campus. Thank you for your support this year! Visit to view an updated version of last Friday's Phoenix Newsletter that lists our current supporters. Please consider joining them and make your Annual Fund donation today.

Thanks for all you do to make our Firebird community so great! Have an incredible week!

With gratitude,

Susan Rice
Head of School