Weekly Notes from the Head of Lower School, 5/2

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." -Wayne Gretzky

Dear Families,

As an educator and a mom, one of the traits I hoped to inspire in my students and my children was the desire to step out of their comfort zone and try. Whether it was a new food, a sport, hobby, or attempting to solve a problem, I continually encouraged them to take a chance. When they do so, chances are children will discover talents and interests they may not have known existed. Our teachers try to instill the same in their classrooms, and we see the fruits of their labor as actors, poets, athletes, readers, scientists, and mathematicians emerge daily.

On that note, Teacher Appreciation Week is next week, May 7th-11th. Remember to thank our teachers for all that they do!

There is still an opportunity for your student to be part of the musical production of Wiz of the West, based on The Wizard of Oz. The cost is just $50 per student. All students, Kindergarten through Fifth grade will have a part in the production. This nominal fee helps defray the cost of hosting the production company and includes two tickets to the performance.

Casting and rehearsals will begin Monday, May 7th. Participating students will be escorted to the gym at 3 pm Monday - ThursdayOn Monday, parents need to be in the gym by 4:45 pm. At this time, you will receive information for rehearsal times for the rest of the week. Depending on the role, students will be in rehearsals every day, including Monday, until 5:15 pm or 7:30 pm. On Friday, all students will be finished at 5:15 pm. Make sure you send water, a snack and dinner. Please refer to the informational sheet or contact the office if you have questions.

Please join us for the performance on Saturday, May 12th at 3:00 pm or 5:30 pm. Tickets are $5.00 for students and $10.00 for adults. See Erika in the Lower School office to purchase yours.

Mark your calendars for the Annual Spring Sing on Thursday, May 17th. The students have a fantastic show planned for you. The performance will be at 8:30 am in the gym. Dress uniform is required.

Standardized tests are administered in May. First through Fifth Graders take the CTP IV test May 21st - 25thThe following week, May 29th - June 1st, our Third through Fifth graders take the WrAP Writing Assessment. I will be giving more details next week.

As the 2017/18 school year draws to a close, I am happy to announce that Mr. Timothy Kroe has accepted the position of Lower School Art Teacher for next year. He has been working as the long-term substitute in Art class since mid-March. Mr. Kroe moved to the desert in 2000 and has a B.A. in Archetypal Imagery from Antioch University. His work is displayed in several local galleries, and he has sold pieces to collectors around the world. His enthusiasm for teaching is contagious.

There is another change in the faculty for next year. Ms. Kristine Ellis has decided to return to Minnesota to be with family. When she informed us, she wrote, "It was an amazing experience and opportunity to be a part of the Palm Valley School Community, it is with sadness that I will be saying goodbye at the end of this school year. I will always cherish the work I have done with students, staff, and families."

While it will be sad to see Ms. Ellis leave, we have hired Mrs. Kate Agoglia as our Learning Specialist for the upcoming school year. Mrs. Agoglia is a frequent visitor to the desert and holds a Bachelor and Master's Degree from Mills College in Oakland, California. She has worked with students, First through Twelfth grade in Special Education. She is currently teaching at an independent school in the San Francisco area. In her interview, Mrs. Agoglia said, "Encouraging students to unleash their potential is my passion, and I am able to reach and inspire students at various academic levels."

We will also be saying goodbye to Miss Desireé Palmer at the end of this year, as she has decided to take the next step in her career in education. Miss Palmer said, "My years at Palm Valley have been filled with growth, teamwork, and friendship. I’m am so thankful to my students, colleagues, and administration for all that I have learned from them."

We wish Ms. Ellis and Miss Palmer all the best in their future endeavors!

Have a wonderful week. Hopefully, you or your child will try something new!


Mrs. Fisher