Weekly Notes from the Head of Lower School, 9/5

Dear Families,

Although my daughters are now young adults, I remember one of the most challenging aspects of adjusting to the beginning of the year routine - homework! It was difficult to balance my desire to make sure they "did it correctly," with their need to complete things on their own, make mistakes, and take responsibility.

Homework is intended to give students an opportunity to practice skills and go over concepts they have learned or are learning. Just like practicing a new piece of music, you don’t necessarily "get it right" the first time. Homework is also a valuable diagnostic tool for teachers. By seeing students' errors, it helps them adjust instruction and reteach if necessary.

So what should a parent's role be when it comes to homework? Your role is to provide a quiet space to work, help with time management, encourage your students to try, and, most importantly, allow them to make mistakes. Sometimes, it is helpful to break homework time into chunks. Younger students may benefit from a timer. After a few minutes, students can take a short break and then resume. Last, please communicate with the teacher. If your child struggles or has problems understanding what to do or how to complete an assignment, let them know! Here is a link to a great article with more tips about how to support your child.

BoxTops For Education
Palm Valley School is participating in the Box Tops for Education program, and you can help. All you need to do is collect Box Tops and drop them off at the Lower School office before they expire. Each box top earns us $0.10! If you have questions about the program, please contact Sarah Dunn (dienys@hotmail.com) who is our volunteer coordinator.

School Photos
School photos will be taken on Tuesday, September 18th. This is the first time students will be asked to wear their dress uniforms. If you have not already purchased this from Norman’s Uniforms, please do so. The guidelines for dress uniforms are in the Students' and Families' Handbook. Click here to purchase uniforms from Norman's website.

Cross Country
Firebird Athletics is offering competitive Cross Country (co-ed team) to students in grades 4th - 8th. If you missed the informational meeting or have any questions, please contact Coach Zinman at athletics@pvs.org. Your child will need to turn in all required forms to the Business Office before they can participate. A physical is not required for MS sports participation. Forms can be found on the website here.

Hot Lunch & Pizza
The hot lunch program starts on Monday, September 10th, and pizza will begin on Friday, September 14th. Please return your forms with payment by this Friday.

Back to School Night
I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow night, September 6th from 6 pm - 7:30 pm. As a reminder, please note this event is for adults only, and there will be no childcare provided.

Student Ambassador Program (5th-12th grades only)
Our Director of Enrollment Management, Ms. Shannon Markel is organizing student ambassadors for the new school year! If your student is interested in becoming an ambassador, please return the application to Ms. Markel by Friday, September 14th. If you did not receive an application, click here to download. This is a great opportunity for your 5th grader to meet students and teachers in other divisions and to learn valuable public speaking and leadership skills!


Mrs. Fisher
Head of Lower School