Weekly Notes from the Head of Middle School, 11/8

Dear Middle School Families,

Our 6th graders returned from their exciting adventure on Catalina Island safe and sound! The pictures look incredible and I am so proud of their courage and openness to new experiences. A huge thank you to Mr. Buck, Ms. Clark, and Coach Zinman for chaperoning the students on this trip. The students were grateful for their supervision, patience, and support. It is this kind of dedication to teaching and learning that I so admire about our Palm Valley faculty. Every member of this school wants the best for our students and so much time is dedicated past school hours to ensure our students are given opportunities to grow outside of the classroom and in the real world. I look forward to working further with our incredible student body as we introduce even more opportunities like this through our growing service learning and outdoor education program.

There is so much going on in our school, it definitely is an exciting time to be a Firebird!

Here are some upcoming events:

8th Grade Service Learning and Cultural Education
Global Works has set the registration deadline for November 10thWe only have two students registered for our 8th grade trip to New Orleans, Louisiana and will need more to make this opportunity a reality for our students. The dates of the trip are February 17th to the 23rd. 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.

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.

Safety is a priority for us and to help ease any worries I want to highlight a few things about the trip that may help alleviate any concern about security. Students are not permitted to travel by themselves at any time. Our lodging is in a beautiful state park outside the city. The trip is very structured and well supervised.  We will also spend time with the students to talk about best practices and traveling responsibly while on the trip. Thank you for giving your child the opportunity to attend and grow.

Veteran’s Day Assembly
This Friday, November 10, at 9:00 am, we will hold our annual Veteran’s Day Assembly.  All families and community members are invited to attend. Families in attendance, feel free to visit the Lower School for complimentary coffee from the Parent Association. Please be advised that all students are required to wear formal dress uniform.  Please refer to the Handbook for Students and Families, if you are unsure about the formal dress uniform requirements.

MS Family Math Night
Come join us for some fun and math games at our first Middle School Math Night on November 14th from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM. Families can engage in math games and activities that strengthen their mathematical and problem-solving skills. Come and visit us. Are you up for the challenge?

Support our Troops
This month Palm Valley School will be participating in a project to show our support and gratitude for the men and women serving in our armed services. Middle and Upper School students will be collecting, sorting, and packaging items for care packages.  All of these items will be collected and sent to Support Our Troops, for distribution during the holiday season. Each Middle School Student will be given a cardboard box. Students will be able choose from seven different items they can bring to school. Items are listed below. At the end of the collection period, Friday, November 17, Middle School Students will bring their boxes to the Upper School, where they will be sorted into like items and packaged with drawings and letters provided from the Lower School Students. We have selected the seven most commonly asked for items. Students can choose from these seven types of items, if they'd like to donate.  We can also send non-branded gift cards, such as visa/mastercard or amex gift cards.

Here is the list of items (new, unopened items only):

1) Candy Bars, Snack Bars, Protein Bars
2) Wet Wipes - UNSCENTED
3) 1 GB + USB memory sticks & AA, AAA batteries
4) Disposable Razors, Q-Tips, Cotton balls/pads, Sanitary Napkins and Tampons
5) Cookies
6) Beef Jerky
7) Tins and Packets of Flavored Coffee

Please do not box items that do not fit into these categories. We are following the rules of the Armed Services and Support Our Troops, and will not forward items that are not on the list of items requested. Thank you for your support. We have two weeks to fill our boxes and show our gratitude! Thank you, Middle School!

Make High School Count
Please join Ms. Steinman, Head of Upper School and Mr. Hewitt, Director of College Counseling, for an informational night welcoming all 8th and 9th-grade families in the Coachella Valley.

Learn about our College Counseling program, our Upper School curriculum, and how to make the most of your High School experience for a College-bound outcome. Thursday, November 30 at 6:00 pm in the Upper School.

7th Grade Service Learning Trip - FIND Food Bank
Our 7th Graders will be the first to kick off one of our yearly service learning activities. On November 30th at 8:30 AM to 11:30 AMthey will be returning to the FIND Food Bank. Students will depart from PVS at 8:30 AM and return by 11:30 AM. As part of this wonderful opportunity, students will take a tour of the facility, help other volunteers pack, separate and prepare items for delivery, and learn about all the good they bring to so many families across the valley. I would like to thank 7th Grade families in advance for your willingness to participate alongside the students and help us transport our students to their location and back. Permission slips will be going home with students this week.

Upper School Play
Parents, you are welcome to enjoy and support the Upper School drama production of The Crucible, which will run from December 1-3 and 8-9. This play is rated PG-13 and contains material that is unsuitable for children under the age of 13. Please support our drama program by supporting this incredible play directed by Ken Sarkis. Tickets can be purchased here.

Box Tops
Palm Valley School is participating in the Box Tops for Education program and you too can help earn money for our students. All you need to do is drop the collected box tops off at school before they expire. Box Top collection boxes are located in the front office with Ms. Kaban. We appreciate you taking the time to earn money for our school and to enhance the education for all students with our earnings. If you have questions about the program on our school campus contact, Sarah Dunn (dienys@hotmail.com) who is volunteering as our Palm Valley School Coordinator.

Upcoming Dates:
11/10 - Veterans Day Assembly in the Gym at 9:00 AM - Dress Uniform Required
11/12 - Open House from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
11/14 - MS Family Math Night from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
11/15 - Fall Sports Banquet at 6:00 PM in the Gym
11/20 - 11/24 - Thanksgiving Break - No School
11/30 - FIND Food Bank visit for 7th Grade from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM
11/30 - Making High School Count Night for 8th Grade at 6:00 PM in the US

Mr. Brooks
Head of Middle School