Weekly Notes from the Head of Lower School, 10/24

Dear Lower School Families,

Last week was Digital Citizenship Awareness Week. In a nutshell, Digital Citizenship is the safe and responsible use of technology. Mr. Kisling weaves lessons in Digital Citizenship throughout the year and addresses topics including internet safety, internet etiquette, cyber-bullying, finding reliable resources, and more. Technology is ever-changing, and it is difficult to keep up! There are some valuable resources for parents on this topic through Common Sense Media. This blog post about Cyber Bullying got my attention. I encourage you to visit this site often.

Do you know about the new iOS update? There are a few exciting features that are easy to use and helpful as a way for parents to know how to monitor their student’s use of screens. Screen Time is a great new feature that allows you to monitor how the iPhone is used, and when. You can track the use of the phone, what type of apps are being used, how long the phone is used for different tasks, etc. You can also set time limits on the use of the phone, or set limits on which apps can be used. To use these features, you can go to Settings>Screen Time, and see all the options at your disposal. For more information about how to use Screen Time, you can click here.

Last week, I announced the winners of the online math competition, I want to highlight Sarah Alnabelsi, a first grader. She had the most correct answers in the school, overall: 719!

This is a busy time of year in terms of cultural events and other celebrations. Here are our upcoming events:

Our Annual Fall Festival is coming up on Saturday, October 27th from 3 pm - 6 pm. We still need volunteers to help out, sign up for an activity here. 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.

Halloween is next Wednesday, October 31st! We will have a special all-school assembly on 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.

Señora Huerta and her students will be creating a Dia de Los Muertos display in the Lower School lobby. This cultural celebration 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. Give them to Sra. Huerta or leave them in the Lower School office. We ask that all items be brought in by this 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.

November is Native American Heritage Month. We are honored to have the Cahuilla Bird Singers perform some traditional songs and dances for the Lower School students on Monday, November 5th at 2:00 pm. Our own fifth-grader Michael Pete is part of the group, which just performed in Hawaii!

Another cultural tradition students learn about is Diwali, a five-day festival of lights celebrated by millions. This coincides with the Hindu New Year. Mrs. Bajaj and Mrs. Deshpande will give a short presentation during the all-school assembly on Friday, November 2nd. Diwali is on Wednesday, November 7th. On this day, the buddy groups will meet and create Rangoli, which are colorful patterns made during Diwali and other Indian festivals.

As you may know, Veteran’s Day is very special at Palm Valley School. You are invited to join us at a special assembly on Veterans’ Day, Monday, November 12th at 8:30 am in our gym.  This event is free and open to the public, RSVP here. Please remember to send your student in dress uniform that day.

A reminder that 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 tomorrow, October 25th.

I hope to see you at all of these events!


Mrs. Fisher
Head of Lower School