Monday Notes from the Head of School, 3/19

"Be a yardstick for quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected." -Steve Jobs

Dear Palm Valley Families,

What an incredible weekend and week it's been! Last week we saw our MS Boys Basketball "Black" team win the League Championship! I could not be more proud of the efforts that these young men made to accomplish an undefeated season. This is also a great time to acknowledge our basketball coaching staff, namely Mr. Reese (a Grandparent at the school) and Mr. Herrada (who also coaches Cross Country for us) on their wonderful leadership this season. I also would be remiss if I didn't credit our new MS Athletic Director, Mr. Rich Zinman who has really made some incredible changes to our MS Athletics program and is taking it up a notch. Great win for our Firebirds!

On Saturday of this weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the closing Concerts for the American Choral Director's Association Western Division Honor Choirs. These groups are comprised of the top vocal students from participating schools in Hawaii, Nevada, California, Utah, and Arizona. Thousands of students audition each year and only about 500 are selected to participate. We are very fortunate to have had two Palm Valley students selected, Elizabeth Shay (to the Youth Treble ensemble) and Charles Schnell (to the High School Mixed Choir) who performed brilliantly. This is a huge honor for our kids and I am so proud to have been there to hear and see them perform in this professional setting with College/University guest conductors and instrumentalists in the beautiful Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Congratulations!

As a reminder, we are in the process of collecting re-enrollment contracts for the 2018-19 school year. As we have had an explosion of applicants in some areas of the school, we want to really encourage you to get those in as soon as possible. Additionally, some areas of our staffing are dictated by the number of students we have contracts for this spring, so this deadline is critical to ensuring we get our staffing in order. Contracts were due to our offices in March. This year, we will be removing families from the re-enrollment roster after April 1If your contract is not submitted by that date we will release your spot in the class to new applicants. If you make a decision after April 1, while we may still have space in certain grade levels, we will be asking that you go through the enrollment process - same as new families. The grace period for re-enrolling your child at Palm Valley School as a returning family spans March 1 - April 1, so hopefully, that is an adequate timeframe for you to sign and return your contracts with the required deposit. We appreciate your support in adhering to this deadline for us to ensure that teacher contracts, budgets, and other planning and spending for the fall can be done in a reasonable timeframe. Please let us know ASAP if you need another copy of your student contracts or if you have any questions about the 18-19 school year.

Lastly, we are looking forward to our 2018 Fashion Week El Paseo Reception this Friday, and we are SOLD OUT! I hope that you will join us for this elegant and wonderful event. We are also looking forward to our last big fundraising event of the year -  the Palm Valley Golf Day on April 21 at the Tahquitz Golf Resort. This year's event will be very family and kid-friendly, and we hope that you will consider attending. This day is a great way to build community with other families, have an enjoyable time under the desert sun and a fun day of golf and footgolf! Tickets are still available and can be found at

It's a great day to be a part of the Palm Valley School community - there is so much happening on our campus in all grades and classrooms and we are so proud of our students in their academic, athletic, and artistic endeavors! Go Firebirds!


Susan Rice
Head of School