Weekly Notes from the Head of Lower School

"Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind." 
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne


Dear Families, 

I don’t think anyone could have predicted the challenges, changes and opportunities for the 2019-2020 school year! We are abundantly aware of the challenges and changes, but sometimes we overlook the opportunities. The Lower School faculty have had the opportunity to find new ways to teach, communicate, and connect with students and families. We have had the opportunity to come together as a community. Families have  had the opportunity to spend time together- perhaps they’ll never have this much again. Most important is the opportunity to self-reflect and be thankful for what we have. I know I’ll remember this time and probably talk about it with grandchildren someday. I believe we are better and stronger as a result, and I look forward to the 2020-2021 school year!

Whether we are physically or virtually in school, these last two weeks are packed with information:

Stanford University VR Study
Professor Bailenson, Director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab and Professor of Education at Stanford University is currently conducting a new study on the use of educational virtual reality (VR) at home to support children’s learning during the current school closures. Their research focuses on the use of virtual reality and its behavioral and psychological impact on people. Their goal is to understand if VR is a helpful tool at this time, and if not, how it can be improved. They are seeking families with VR headsets to fill out this survey: (STANFORD)

Participants will also have an opportunity to join the second part of the study involving four short questionnaires over a period of eight weeks. They will compensate the participants of the second part with a $30 Amazon gift card. The results of the survey will be kept confidential.

Returning/Retrieving Items:
You can click below to make an appointment to come to campus on Tuesday, June 2nd or Thursday, June 4th to return Chromebooks, class novels, library books and library bags and retrieve students’ personal items. At that time, I’ll have your student’s items bagged and ready to go. Please remember that masks and social distancing protocols are required while on campus. I will confirm your time and give you a list of items that need to be returned: appointment time

Virtual Talent Show: 
Thank you for all of the submissions. If your child still would like to participate, please send me the video by the end of the day today. I will post the video on Friday. Because of this, there will not be scheduled Google Hangouts with me.

End of the Year: 
Our Fifth-Grade Promotion Ceremony will be broadcast on Friday, May 29th at 4:00. All are welcomed to view this and honor our wonderful Fifth Graders.
This year, there will be Department Awards given to a Kindergarten - Second Grader and a Third through Fifth Grader who have shown a passion for the subject and have demonstrated improvement, and diligence in effort and perseverance. These will be announced on May 29th, as well.

Are you looking for something to do this summer? Check out Camp Invention Connect This is a virtual Summer Camp, focused on science, technology, engineering and math for students. I have attached a link to the flyer with details about the program: Details  and another about the Facilitator

Due to COVID-19, Palm Valley School has delayed the date of contract rescission from May 1 to June 15, 2020, for tuition agreements for the 2020-21 school year. I will be contacting families this week to check-in and answer any questions you may have going into the new school year. Please know that you can email me, kbeach@pvs.org or Abby Sturgeon, asturgeon@pvs.org at any time to have your questions answered.

Important upcoming dates:

  • Friday, May 22nd- Lower School Virtual Talent Show at 3:00 pm
  • Monday, May 25th- Memorial Day (No School)
  • Friday, May 29th - Last Day of the School Year
  • Friday, May 29th - Virtual Fifth Grade Promotion Video released at 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday, June 2nd and Thursday, June 4th - Families to drop off/pick up items

Have a terrific week!

Francene Fisher
Head of Lower School