Weekly Notes from the Head of Middle School, 2/7

Dear Middle School Families,

The Drama Students and Families in the MS and US hosted the 7th Annual Coachella Valley Middle School Monologue Festival last Saturday, February 3rd. Palm Valley School was buzzing with more than 200 animated adults, young adults, and children, sharing bright sunshine, good food, dramatic excitement and a common love for theater arts. It was a phenomenal event, and a day to remember! Eighty, 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade performers from middle schools throughout the Coachella Valley joined our own Palm Valley students in a day-long Theater Celebration on our campus. Gifted actors and actresses performed 3 minute comedic and dramatic monologues in front of 8 judges.

At the closing ceremony, 13 trophy winners were picked to compete in the finals. Girls' comedic: 1st place - Sara Habibipour, 2nd place- Harliana Otto, 3rd place - Kanan Levy. Girls' dramatic: 1st place - Kaiya Treash, 2nd place - Sophia Darawal, 3rd place - Lila Nash. Boys' comedic: 1st place - Luke Sonderman and Bennet Creighton (a tie), 2nd place - Elijah Cuevas, 3rd place - Carter Keenan. Boys' dramatic: 1st place - Alexander Kler, 2nd place - Henry Swenning, 3rd place - Bennett Creighton. In the end, Judge/Actor Gavin Macleod, from “Mary Tyler Moore” and “Loveboat”, presented our own Alexander Kler with the Golden Chalice Prize for “Best of the Festival."

I want to send a huge congratulations to all of our Middle School students that competed and well done to those who have been recognized. Thank you, Mr. Sarkis, Mr. Gahnz, and our MS families for all of your support.

Pi Club and 8th Grade Trip to Knotts Berry Farm
On Tuesday, March 13members of MS Pi Club, and the 8th Grade Science class will head to Knott's Berry Farm to experience practical applications of the principles of mass, force, and energy as they are applied to rides. While our students have been learning about Newton's Laws of Motion in class and during club meetings, on this trip, they will actually live and feel it. This guided tour is part of Knott's Berry Farm's acclaimed Passports in Education and is led by experienced scientists. Participants will never look at amusement roller coasters in the same way! We will be dividing into two groups depending on student "thrill" level, so fear not gravity lovers, there will be milder, but still fun, options. Permission slips have been distributed and are due back to Mrs. Farley, with $70 to cover admission and chartered bus, no later than Friday, February 16.

Grandparents and Special Friends Day
This year, our students will decorate and personalize cards that will be sent to invite grandparents and special friends to our event on March 16. A letter has gone home with students asking for you to provide us with the addresses of those you want us to invite. The students will decorate the invitations and we will mail them off on their behalf. Please return the letters with complete addresses this week so we can begin decorating those invitations! Thank you!

Desert Best Friend’s Closet Clothing Drive
Palm Valley School will be holding a clothing drive from February 12 - March 2 to benefit Desert Best Friend’s Closet. This is a great opportunity to make a difference in our community and we encourage you to join the effort to help those in need. The focus of this organization is to help individuals land jobs and assist with employment opportunities. Whether you are able to donate one item or ten, each article of clothing will empower others to look their best. They are requesting suits, business casuals, shoes, handbags, belts, ties, scarves, and accessories. All items must be in clean and good condition. Please present clothes on hangers ready to wear! Bring these items to the front desk of the Middle School. Thank you for your support.

Alice in Wonderland, Jr - A Middle School Musical Production
This year's MS Play is a musical performance of Disney's Alice in Wonderland, Jr. Join precocious and curious Alice on an adventure that is altogether fantastical and memorable. Thirty-one talented singing and dancing Middle School actors and actresses under the direction of Mr. Gahnz and Mr. Sarkis will bring it all to musical life, this Spring, on stage at Palm Valley School. You can purchase your tickets here. This show is guaranteed fun for all ages!

Palm Valley School Yearbook
This year's Ember, Palm Valley School's Preschool-Grade 12 yearbook is returning this spring and promises to be out of this world. The 200 page, full-color, hardbound annual, created by Mrs. Farley's & Ms. Straky's US/MS elective class and Mrs. Fisher and her LS faculty, will be delivered in June 2018. Order your copy online at ybpay.lifetouch.com. Our yearbook ID code is 12453418. The price is $55 until February 28but on March 1 increases to $60. The last day to pre-order your Ember is April 16.

Yearbook ads are also a great way to acknowledge students on a great year, particularly if it is a "milestone" year, like graduating from grades K, 5, 8, or 12. These may also be purchased online. All you need to do is provide payment, photos and copy to Mrs. Farley, no later than April 1, 2018, and the staff will design a custom ad and provide a proof for your approval. Or if you prefer, you may design your own ad and submit it in JPEG format. When the yearbooks arrive in June, your student will be delighted to see their personal ad. Business ads are also available. You may reserve your space and pay online at ybpay.lifetouch.com. using the same code: 12453418. Email Mrs. Farley if you have any questions, sfarley@pvs.org.

Gala Online Auction
If you aren't able to attend this Saturday you can still support our school and score some incredible deals and great items through our Online Auction found HERE! From great vacation packages to jewelry, student art and one-of-a-kind experiences for your student with some faculty fun packages, there is something for everyone! Please take a look and bid on what you are interested in! Join us in raising funds for our incredible school - we are grateful for your support in this way. Every bid and dollar makes a difference in the life of our school, students, and programs.

Upcoming Dates:
2/10 - Casino Royale Gala at the Tamarisk Country Club, 6 pm
2/12 - Report Cards sent home
2/12 - 3/2 - Desert Best Friend’s Closet Clothing Drive
2/16 - All School Move Up Day
2/17 - 2/23 - New Orleans Service Learning Cultural Education Trip, 8th and 9th Grade
2/19 - 2/23 - February Break, NO SCHOOL
3/2 - Fun Friday, Kindness Day and Movie in the MPR

Mr. Brooks
Head of Middle School