Weekly Notes from the Head of Lower School, 10/17

Dear Families,

We are approaching the end of the first quarter on Friday, November 2nd. At this time of year, parents often ask what they can do to help when their student is struggling academically. It is hard to watch our children grapple with new material or find challenges in subjects where they’ve had success in the past. One of the best things you can do when your children are struggling is avoiding the impulse to remove the obstacle. The process of learning is just as important as mastery. Students who learn that trying their best, analyzing errors, asking questions and persevering are more successful as they move into higher education and adulthood.

It is essential that we support student learning, and give children the tools they need to overcome obstacles and feel like competent, independent learners. You can support your students by listening, encouraging, and applauding a genuine effort and helping them talk through the challenge rather than give them answers. Sometimes just offering to sit with your student while they work through something hard, or offering a “this seems tough, but you can do it” is enough to take the burden off their shoulders and allow them to see their way through a difficult assignment. Most importantly, make sure you keep in close communication with their teacher.

Our Lower School Students are great mathematicians! Last week, students participated in an online math competition with schools in the greater Palm Springs area. Mrs. Bajaj's 4th grade class got 3rd place overall, and Mrs. Withrow's 5th grade class placed 4th. All of the other classes in the top ten were from local middle schools! Also, one of our first-graders, Sara, answered the most questions correctly, 718. She was number one in the school! Way to go!

As temperatures drop, students are beginning to need jackets and sweaters. Please note the uniform policy regarding outerwear: "PVS blazer, V or crew neck sweater, cardigan, fleece, jacket or sweatshirt. These should be purchased from Norman's or our Spirit store only."  It is always a good idea to put your child’s name on the label as well.

Remember that tomorrow, October 18th - is “Pizza With a Purpose.” Dine all day, from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm at California Pizza Kitchen. 20% of dine-in, takeout, catering and beverages benefits PVS. The classroom that has the most participation will win a pizza party! Please make sure you write your child’s teacher’s name when you present this flyer.

Session 2 of our hot lunch program begins Monday, October 29th. Please print and complete the LS Hot Lunch Form and return to Ms. Kaban at the front desk by Thursday, October 25th.

Our Annual Fall Festival is coming up on Saturday, October 27th from 3 pm - 6 pm. There are games, booths, a costume contest, and activities for all ages and admission is FREE! This event is open to the public, so invite your neighbors and friends to attend, too - RSVP today at pvs.org/fallfest.

I am sure many of you are already planning your Halloween costumes! We will have a special all-school assembly on Wednesday, October 31st at 8:30 am in the gym. Students will sit with their buddies and “parade” together down the road adjacent to the gym toward the baseball fields. Families are welcome to join! The students will then go to the Middle and Upper Schools and trick or treat at classrooms with decorated doors. Please note, we do encourage students to dress up and have fun but remember - no blood, no masks, no weapons, no full face paint, and no revealing costumes. If you have any question about your student’s costume, please ask! Students must wear athletic shoes for the entire day.

Sra. Huerta and her students will be creating a Dia de Los Muertos display in the Lower School lobby. Students are learning about this cultural celebration in Global Studies. Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated In Mexico, Guatemala, America, and several other countries. Participation in the display is optional, but if you’d like to, we are asking for photos and ofrenda (offerings) to contribute. These can be given to Sra. Huerta or left for her in the Lower School office. We ask that all items be brought in by Friday, October 26th. Make sure the items are clearly labeled. Consider having your child bring a COPY of a photo of a loved one who has passed away or someone that they want to honor who has passed as part of this display. This photo could be a pet, friend, family member, or historical figures that were important to them, (or to you). Like Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos has roots in several religions. However, it has become much more of a cultural holiday than a religious one. We are focused on the cultural aspect of this holiday. For more information about Dia de Los Muertos, you can check out this link.

Best Regards,

Mrs. Fisher
Head of Lower School