Monday Notes from the Head of School, 12/18

"The Holiday Season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us." Frank Marshall

Dear Palm Valley Families,

It's hard to believe that we only have one week left until the Winter Break! The hallways are abuzz with holiday spirit and all the school activities that are still in full swing! I am so proud of our students and families who contributed to our shoe drive last week. We were able to collect about 100 pairs of brand new shoes for local area children who were in need. While many of us are focusing on holiday shopping and have plenty for ourselves - not all in our area are so fortunate. Giving the gift of a new pair of shoes to a child in need seems so small, but is so important. Thank you to all who participated and made for some warm and protected feet for children in a Desert Hot Springs elementary school this winter!

I hope that you will join us for our Annual "Ugly Sweater" parade on Wednesday, December 20th in the gym at 8:30 am. This special Assembly will take the place of our usual Friday assembly this week. Students are invited to wear their favorite "Ugly" holiday sweaters to school (with their uniform bottoms) to share with others on this day. We assemble in the gym for regular announcements and then parade down the campus to show off our holiday spirit! It's a fun event for the whole school, so please feel free to don your holiday apparel and join us!

We also invite your whole family to join us for either the PS/LS Winter Sing on Thursday, December 21st in the gym from 9-10am and/or the MS/US Winter Choral Concerts on either Wednesday, December 20th or Thursday, December 21st at 7:00 pm in the MPR. This is a great way to celebrate the holiday season with your family through song. Our students all have special presentations to share at these vocal music events to help get you into the spirit. Please mark your calendars and join us!

As the year comes to a close, we are also asking for those end of the year donations to our Annual Firebird Fund. The Annual Firebird Fund helps to sustain us all year long and is responsible for a percentage of our Annual budget each year. It pays for and supports programs that our Tuition does not cover. This year, we are hoping to increase our parent percentage of participation in the Firebird Fund from last year's 42% to 100% this year. Many of our peer schools boast a parent participation level of 98% or higher and we want to reach that goal too! If you don't know what the Annual Fund is or how important it is to our students and school, please take a moment to watch our video about how your gift supports the Foundation of our school and what we do for all our students.

Special thanks to our voice-over volunteer readers in the video this year: Lauren Traupane, Ciera Carr, Jake Presser, Sarah Habibipour, and CJ Chaffins. All of our students are grateful for your support and we hope that we can reach our goal this year of increased participation!

Every donation, large or small, counts and matters. Help us to reach our participation goal by giving your donation online today - here or stop by to drop it off in person. It's also a great time to take advantage of the potentially changing tax laws by getting your donation in before year-end. As a non-profit organization, your gift to Palm Valley School is completely tax-deductible. Please make your donation count by giving before December 31st this year!

I wish each and every one of you a Happy Holiday and a restful winter break - Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and blessed time with family and loved ones, no matter what you believe or celebrate!

All best,

Susan Rice

Last week's Phoenix