Weekly Notes from the Head of Lower School, 5/16

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” -Willam Bruce Cannon

Dear Families,

First through Fifth graders will take the CTP tests the week of May 21st - 25th. The following week, May 29th - June 1ststudents in Third through Fifth grade take the WRaP Writing assessment. This assessment is also given through the Educational Records Bureau, (ERB). The WRaP is a direct measure of students' writing achievement and gives students, families, and teachers specific feedback about strengths and need areas.

The assessment is given over two days. The first day, students receive a writing prompt and construct a rough draft of their essay. On the second day, students revise and edit the drafts, then write a final copy. The essay is scored by two separate readers who use a rubric to rate the essay in several areas including overall development, support, sentence structure, and mechanics.

I added the quote above as a reminder that standardized testing is just one piece of the puzzle that reflects your child's academic strengths and weaknesses. You play an essential part in helping students give their best performance on these assessments. Even though these standardized tests are just a snapshot, it is important that our students have the opportunity to do their best. We don’t want to cause anxiety; instead, we want our students to be as prepared and confident as possible.

There are many ways in which you can help your child put their best foot forward. Please make sure they get a good night's sleep, arrive at school on time and have a nutritious breakfast and snack. Be positive! This is an opportunity for kids to show what they know. Reinforce the fact that students cannot "fail" these tests. Encourage your child to try their best.

I hope to see everyone at our Annual Spring Sing tomorrowMay 17thThe students have a fantastic show planned for you. The performance will be at 8:30 am in the gym. Dress uniform is required.

Next week, plan on joining us for Flapjacks for Families on Friday, May 25thfrom 7:30 am - 9:00 am in the Middle School courtyard.

One of the traditions at Palm Valley School is our Graduation ceremony where students, their families, and the entire faculty come together as a community to celebrate our Upper School Graduates and student advancement from one grade to the next. This year, the ceremony will be on Thursday, June 7th at 6:00 pm, at the JW Marriott Resort on Country Club Drive in Palm Desert. Please mark your calendars for this very special event. To preorder 5th Grade Promotion photos, click here.

The last day of school is Friday, June 8th. We begin with a special end of the year awards assembly. Students will be treated to lunch followed by Water Activities from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm before going home for the summer. After-Care will be provided. This is not a minimum day. We will be sending more information about the end of year events soon.

Don't forget to check out this year's Summer Camp Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead. Mrs. McGrew and her faculty helpers have planned some wonderful activities! Click here for more information.

Last, I'd like to thank Mrs. Leslie Scheil, Mrs. Cindy Habibipour, and Mrs. Kathy Laule, our Library volunteers. They have staffed the Lower School Library this entire year, and in previous years. We all appreciate their generous gift of time.

Warmly,

Mrs. Fisher
Head of Lower School