Weekly Notes from the Head of Middle School, 1/16

Dear Middle School Families,

The chance to visit and catch up with former students is one of my favorite things about being a teacher. This is when you get to see the fruition of all your hard work! I ran into several of them before and during the break as they were back from college enjoying a rest between their semester. Hearing about their adventures and experiences brings a kind of joy and pride that is rarely experienced in other professions. The common theme in their stories is how well prepared they felt when they started college. What an easy transition it was, how comfortable they feel going to a professor’s office hours, knowing how to advocate for themselves and most importantly - knowing how to write a 10-page research paper! As the parent of a senior in our Upper School, I am reassured by their stories and comforted in the knowledge that I will be sending my son to college, feeling prepared and confident.

Recently, we had an opportunity to visit a college that Jake has applied to for the fall. As we began the tour, the Admissions Counselor spoke to us about what our student could expect. Professors are looking for students who are able to express themselves in a conference style setting. Students in college today must be prepared to share their thoughts and ideas as well as know how to form relationships with professors, which can be critical in landing internships and research opportunities. These are all skills our Palm Valley students acquire due to the ways in which we structure our programs. We are intentionally small so that we can focus on individual students’ strengths and weaknesses. Our teachers have the opportunity to know your student very well and play to those strengths while helping overcome the weaknesses. Our Advisory program centers on how to properly form relationships and how to learn to advocate for themselves as students. As I come to the end of my road as a Palm Valley parent, I am indebted to all the amazing professionals here who helped Jake get to this point and I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that we have been able to be a part of the Palm Valley community for nearly 20 years.

Norman’s Uniform Sale
Norman’s Uniforms will be on campus Wednesday, January 23rd from 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm in the Upper School lobby. All sizes and styles will be available for purchase.

8th Grade Trip
Permission slips for the 8th grade trip to the Channel Islands National Park on May 13th-15th will be sent home soon. Students have the opportunity to spend 3 days and 2 nights tent camping on Santa Cruz Island where they will develop outdoor skills, self-reliance, and confidence. There will be hiking, kayaking, a scavenger hunt, team-building, and educational activities.

5th/6th Grade Scavenger Hunt
We are having a 5th/6th-grade mixer on Friday, January 25th. Students will be placed in teams and gather at 2:45 pm after the Spirit Assembly. They will team up for a scavenger hunt around the campus and then meet for an ice cream social. The mixer will conclude at 4:00 pm. Details will go home with 6th graders this Friday.

School Choice Week Spirit Assembly
Next week is National School Choice Week (January 20-26)! We're joining over 20,000 different types of schools across the nation in the largest annual celebration of opportunity in education. To show School Choice Spirit, students can choose to wear yellow tops and/or accessories (scarves, socks, hats) with their uniform bottoms on Friday, January 25th. The Upper School ASB has a fun Spirit Assembly planned for our students starting at 2 pm.

Knott’s Berry Farm Trip
The 8th Grade Science classes have the opportunity to experience the Energy in Motion adventure tour where they will explore the physics of the rides. Age-appropriate attractions and activities will be featured. Students depart Tuesday, January 29th at 7:30 am and are expected to return by 4:30-5:00. Permission slips are due to Mrs. Cuthbertson as soon as possible.

#FeedtheFire Classroom Competition
Each class that reaches 100% participation in our 2019 Annual Fund will be invited to a Family Ice Cream Social on February 1st! You can give in person by visiting the Business Office or online at pvs.org/support-pvs/annual-fund. Kindergarten and Grade 10 are in the lead with 57%!

5th/6th Grade Move-Up Day
Friday, February 8th is our annual Move-Up Day! Fifth grade students will have the opportunity to spend some time with the Sixth Grade students. Fifth graders will also get to attend Advisory classes at the end of the day! (This day, 5th graders will be dismissed from the Middle School at 3:20 pm).

Pre-order your Yearbook online at the for $50! Visit ybpay.lifetouch.com and use Palm Valley School’s code: 12453419.

8th Annual Coachella Valley MS Monologue Competition
Palm Valley School will be hosting this exciting event on Saturday, February 2nd from 8:30 am -3:00 pm. This competition is open to all middle school students. Please see Mr. Sarkis for more details.

Puttin' on the Ritz Gala
Enjoy a sit-down dinner and dessert, signature cocktails, a live auction, casino-style gaming, and more! Put on your glitz, ritz, and glam for an evening to remember. The Puttin' on the Ritz Gala will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage on Saturday, March 2nd at 6 pm. Purchase your tickets now at pvs.org/gala19.
Upcoming Dates
1/21- MLK Day Observed - NO SCHOOL, Offices Closed
1/23 - Norman’s Uniform Sale - 2:30 pm
1/25 - End of Quarter 2
1/25 - 5th/6th Grade Scavenger Hunt
1/28 - Start of Semester 2
1/29 - 8th grade to Knott’s Berry Farm

Mrs. Mulé
Head of Middle School