Weekly Notes from the Head of Lower School, 10/11

Dear Families,

When I am out in the community, I am often asked if we still teach handwriting and penmanship in the Lower School. The answer is yes! Studies suggest that the act of handwriting, has positive effects on learning, especially if the writer takes time to write what they are hearing or reading into their own words. Further, students who have better handwriting may process information more quickly and generate more creative ideas. The process of learning and practicing handwriting trains the brain to activate working memory portions of the brain that relate to reading and writing.

We begin teaching handwriting in Kindergarten and continue this into First grade. Cursive is introduced in Second grade and emphasized in Third grade. Teachers in Fourth and Fifth grade reinforce the skill by asking students to practice their handwriting through writing and note-taking the "old fashioned way."

If you are interested in reading more about some of the studies regarding handwriting you can start here.

October is quite busy! It is Safety Month. Our First Grade had a visit from the fire department yesterday, and they look forward to a visit from the sheriff on Tuesday, October 24th.

As you may know, our Peace Pole Dedication: Friday, October 13th at 10:00 am. Please note, this is NOT a Spirit Shirt Day. Students are required to wear their Dress Uniform. Our first Pep Rally is also this day. It will be in the gym at 1:45 pm.

Mrs. Bajaj and Mrs. Deshpande will be coordinating a presentation about Diwali on Thursday, October 19th at 2:00 pm in the Lower School Amphitheater

McCallum Theater field trip: First - Fifth Grades, Friday, October 20thCalifornia law states that children must ride in a car seat or booster seat until they are 80 lbs. or 8 years old. If your child meets these criteria, please send a car seat or booster seat with them this day. (Drivers are expected to adhere to all laws, including those requiring seatbelts and booster seats.)

Red Ribbon Week Assemblies: Representatives from the Hazelden Betty Ford Children's program will be giving a short presentation. Wednesday, October 25th in the MPR (1st - 3rd Grade at 10:30 am, 4th - 5th Grade at 11:15 am). The theme this year is, "Your future is key, so stay drug-free." Students in Kindergarten through Fifth grade will be decorating keys which will be displayed around the campus. There will also be lessons and in-class activities around this theme.

Please consider taking the family and joining us at Pizza For Palm Valley,Wednesday, October 25th at The Slice. We will send coupons home with your student. If you present this that evening, 20% of the sales will benefit our school.

Last, don't forget Halloween!  We will have a special all-school assembly on Tuesday, October 31st at 8:30 am in the gym. After the assembly, Lower School students will parade their costumes for Middle and Upper School students on the way back to class. After this, our Preschoolers will come to Kindergarten for a special treat! 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. Students must wear athletic shoes for the entire day.

Have a great week!

Mrs. Fisher
Head of Lower School