Weekly Notes from the Head of Middle School, 9/12

Dear Middle School Families,

Competence is defined as the ability to do something successfully or efficiently. Middle School can be the perfect time in life to strive for competence in many areas, but most importantly, in life overall. These are the years when students begin to assert their independence and autonomy. Our role as their parents, guardians, and teachers is to help them achieve that independence while still supporting them when they fall and need to get back up. The challenge for us during these middle years is letting them fall. Mrs. Rice shared this great articlewith me about raising independent kids. I’m passing it on as I found it to be quite valuable.

One way to help your student feel competent and successful as a person is to allow them to participate in school trips. We have two coming up in October for 6th and 7th grades and another in February for 8th and 9th grades.

6th grade trip to CIMI
The Catalina Island Marine Institute at Toyon Bay is an outdoor education science camp providing students with experiences that build self-esteem and self-confidence. Students will learn the basic concepts of marine science and island ecology. The trip is planned for Wednesday, October 17th - Friday, October 19th. More details will be shared at Back to School Night and sent home with your student.

7th Grade Trip to Pathfinder Ranch
Pathfinder is an Outdoor Education Program providing safe and meaningful learning experiences intent on building conservation awareness and confidence in becoming responsible global citizens. This trip offers academic and recreational classes that help build communication and problem-solving skills and perseverance. This trip is planned for Monday, October 22th - Wednesday, October 24th. More details will be shared at Back to School Night and sent electronically.

8th and 9th Grade Trip to Puerto Rico
Partnering with Global Works - Travel with Purpose, our students will participate in meaningful service learning projects while experiencing some cultural and language immersion. This trip is scheduled for Saturday, February 16th - Friday, February 22nd. That is over the week of our mid-winter break. More details to follow electronically.

Early Morning Drop-Off
Please remember NOT to drop your student off for their zero period class directly in front of the entrance to the campus. Instead, please drop your student at either the Middle or Upper School curb.

Back to School Night
Please join us in the Middle School for Back to School Night tomorrow, Thursday, September 13th. Families are invited to visit their student’s classes by following their class schedule for the night. Please plan to arrive at the Middle School lobby before 6 pm. Your student’s advisor will be present with a copy of your student’s schedule. Students are not expected to attend.

All School Picture Day
Tuesday, September 18th is All School Picture Day. Formal Dress Uniform is required for Picture Day. Information about the uniform can be found in the Student and Families Handbook. For Middle School, Formal Dress Uniform includes the white PVS button-down shirt, approved neckwear, long black pants, black skirt, or plaid skirt. Shoes should be solid colored, black, brown, tan, or gray. Socks should be white, black, brown, tan, or gray.

Student Ambassador Program (5th-12th grades only)
Our Director of Enrollment Management, Ms. Shannon Markel is organizing student ambassadors for the new school year! If your student is interested in becoming an ambassador, please return the application to Ms. Markel by this Friday, September 14th. If you did not receive an application, click here to download. This is a great opportunity for your student to learn valuable public speaking and leadership skills and build their college resume!

Hot Lunch & Pizza
This is the last week to change, add, or cancel Hot Lunch or Pizza. Please have all submissions in by this Friday, September 14th.

Family Directory
This Friday, September 14th is also the last day to opt out for publishing your information in the My BackPack online directory. While our online directory is only visible to current Palm Valley School families, you have the option to opt-out of sharing your contact information. If you do NOT want your information published to My BackPack, please contact Ms. Jimenez.

Upcoming Dates:
9/13 - MS/US Back to School Night - 6 pm
9/18 - All School Picture Day - FORMAL DRESS
9/20 - New Parent Reception - MPR - 6 pm
9/26 - Wine Down Wednesday at Acqua California Bistro - $10 at door, all proceeds benefit Palm Valley School
10/3 - Student Led Conferences
10/8 - NO SCHOOL (Professional Development)

Mrs. Mulé
Head of Middle School