Monday Notes from the Head of School, 4/1

"When one neighbor helps another, we strengthen our communities." -Jennifer Pahlka
Dear Palm Valley Families,

Happy April! We have so much coming up this spring that I am excited to tell you about. As you may know, one of the Palm Valley School values is "trust, respect, and partnership." As such, we are committed to ensuring that students are safe and learning how to be "upstanders" when they, or someone they know, isn't being treated appropriately. In 2015, we adopted the NoBully program and received training for all of our staff to identify, interrupt, and address issues of bullying on campus. Since then, we have run numerous Solution Teams within the NoBully framework. This is a program that works well for addressing issues with bullying, but also for heading off potential bullying situations. It leverages students' natural capacity for empathy and builds awareness for their peer situations and interactions. We have had great success with this program and invite you to join us for an evening presentation full of information and an opportunity to ask questions and learn how this program is used at Palm Valley School. You can RSVP here. This is an adults-only evening, no child care is provided. NoBully is used for all students in K-12, so we hope that you will join us!

We are in the process of making our calls to families who have not yet turned in enrollment contracts for 2019-2020. I am so pleased that we are collecting more each and every day from returning and new families. Each year, we welcome some incredible new families to our community and this year is gearing up for a great turnout. If you have not yet returned your contracts for 2019-20, please be advised that after May 1st, you are taken off the rosters and are subject to the re-application process and new family fee. In order for us to plan budgets and hire staff, we have to have as accurate a student count as possible. We have cleaned up this process considerably in prior years from historical practice and eventually, we would love to have a year where all contracts are in by the initial deadline. If you have questions or concerns about next year, please let us know and we would be happy to meet with you and talk about any aspect of our great school. Let's make 2019-2020 our best year yet! Our connection with our incredible families is what sets us apart and we are looking forward to strengthening that partnership as we move ahead.

A quick reminder about speed limits on campus. I know that sometimes we are all running late, especially in the morning. However, we have a posted speed limit on campus so that we can keep all children and adults safe. Please adhere to posted speed limits and if you are running late, know that avoiding a tardy slip is not worth compromising the lives of those in our community. We will be installing additional speed bumps in the Preschool and Middle School areas over the summer, but until that time - please take a moment to slow down. We have a lot of walkers from parking lots to division entrances and have had feedback about cars speeding. Additionally, the Preschool parking lot is never to be used as a shortcut. If you have student drivers, please help them make strong choices about waiting through dismissal traffic rather than speeding or attempting unauthorized paths to get off campus. Taking time to acknowledge and be mindful of these things will keep everyone safe! We appreciate your support and consideration!

Make it a great week, Firebirds! Thank you for all you do!


Susan Rice
Head of School