Weekly Notes from the Head of Middle School, 10/18

Dear Middle School Families,

October 16-20 is Digital Citizenship Week and we will be recognizing the importance of digital citizenship and online safety during our advisory lessons. Throughout the whole month, our students will dedicate their Wednesdayadvisory lessons to the principles, practice, and safety of internet usage. Topics like scams and schemes, cyberbullying, personal social media habits, anonymity, respecting people’s work online, and recognizing quality news websites will be explored. We focus a lot on the interpersonal relationships our students have with their peers in the classroom, during break, in the corridors, and after school. However, we need to remind ourselves that our students are at risk from improper use of their digital and online usage and devices. As such, our Advisors will be creating this awareness and instilling protective measures. Furthermore, appropriate academic use of digital information will be discussed to enhance our student’s ability to use valid online resources. I hope that through the next 3 weeks of lessons focused around digital citizenship, the students will begin to appreciate the reason why we have rules around the use of personal digital devices and the way Chromebooks are utilized on campus.

Catalina Island - 6th Grade
The Catalina trip is designed to excite students about science, help students understand their role in the Earth’s ecosystems, teach students to interact with animals and nature in a responsible manner, provide experiences that build self-esteem and teamwork and give students an outdoor experience that will inspire them throughout their lives. An impressive number of students will be attending the 6th grade trip to Catalina Island. The official cost of the trip is$340 per student. Please make checks payable to Palm Valley School and pay by October 27. In the meantime, it is a good idea to start preparing the students packing list now in preparation for the trip. If you made a t-shirt or sweater order, those checks should be made to Guided Discoveries. Students who cannot attend due to financial challenges should see Mr. Brooks.

MS Halloween Dance
The Halloween Dance is scheduled for Friday, October 27 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. The students are encouraged to dress up in their best Halloween costume and be prepared to munch on spooky snacks and dance the night away to music played by a local DJ. Tickets to the dance are $10. Students can pay Mr. Brooks or Ms. Kaban. You can also pay at the door on the night of the dance. All costumes must be school appropriate and any student wearing a costume deemed to be inappropriate will be sent home or asked to change. Inappropriate costumes include excessive blood, revealing or provocative outfits, and costumes that include weapons. There is a new addition to the Halloween Dance this year, a Taco Bar! From 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm, the students will get to enjoy unlimited tacos! It is going to be a great time, so please encourage your child to participate.

Pizza for Palm Valley
The Slice in Rancho Mirage is going to be putting on a Pizza for Palm Valley event on October 25. Coupons for the event were sent home last week with the students. When you arrive, please be sure to say that you are there for Palm Valley and they will donate 20% of all purchases to the school. Thank you all in advance for attending and supporting PVS!

8th Grade Service Learning and Cultural Education
I am pleased to officially invite all of the 8th graders on a local service learning and cultural education trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. The dates of the trip are February 17th to the 23rd.

The approximate cost, depending on the number of students that register, is $1895 + airfare. A current estimate on the airfare is $555. We are strongly encouraging every 8th-grade student to attend. A $500 deposit will be due when you register. Registration details will be managed through Global Works and be kept completely online for convenience. The registration deadline isNovember 10.

To register, follow these instructions:
1) Go to www.globalworkstravel.com and click ENROLL to access our online application.
For a direct link, click here.

  • A parent or guardian should begin the student application by setting up an account with an email and password.

2) Follow the prompts; choose the year 2018, then the school name and destination from a drop-down menu.

3) Proceed to the end, pay the $500 deposit, and sign off on the Enrollment Agreement.

MS Parent Coffees
The Middle School would like to invite parents to share a cup of coffee and hear about what is happening in their child’s year group and the Middle School overall. During the 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Parent Coffee afternoon, I will be reviewing what is going on in the year group and what the rest of the year has in store. Parents are encouraged through a roundtable, to voice any positive feedback and of course suggestions for improvement moving forward. This is a great “check-in” opportunity for parents and a chance to ask questions and provide us with some constructive feedback. Coach Zinman, Ms. Ellis, and Ms. Clark will all be present to help address questions related to athletics, learning support, and what to look forward to in the Upper School. The dates, times, and locations of our coffee meetings are:

6th Grade

Monday - October 30 at 2:40 PM in room W-7

7th Grade

Friday - October 27 at 2:40 PM in room W-7

8th Grade

Thursday - October 26 at 2:40 PM in room W-7

Upcoming Dates:
10/20 - Red Out Day
10/25 - Pizza for Palm Valley at The Slice
10/26 - 8th Grade Coffee with Families at 2:40 PM in W7
10/27 - 7th Grade Coffee with Families at 2:40 PM in W7
10/27 - End of Quarter 1
10/27 - MS Halloween Dance in the MPR from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
10/28 - Fall Festival from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
10/30 - 6th Grade Coffee with Families at 2:40 PM in W7
10/30 - 2nd Quarter Begins
11/1 - 11/3 - 6th Grade Catalina Island Trip

Mr. Brooks
Head of Middle School