Weekly Notes from Head of Upper School, 2/26

Dear Upper School Families,

Welcome back from your holiday! It is good to be back in the swing of things, and preparing for upcoming Spring events.  Every year, the second semester of the school year seems to come and go quicker than ever.  Please keep your eye on the Palm Valley website and weekly eblasts for information and events.    

Congratulations to seniors with their recent college acceptances (new acceptances bolded and underlined):  
Shelby Armor - Chapman University, University of Oregon, Sarah Lawrence College
Sydney Armor - Allegheny College
Shayne Davis - California State University Channel Islands, Humboldt State University
Angus Gregg - Columbia College Hollywood, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Sacramento
Claire Jenkins - Florida Institute of Technology
Luke Langlois - University of Utah
Hannah Makkai - University of Denver, Lewis and Clark College, Loyola Marymount University, University of Oregon, University of the Pacific, University of Puget Sound, Cal State Monterey Bay
Lawrence Nelson - Harvey Mudd College
Brennan Nick - Georgetown University
Jenna Pace Weber State University
Charles Schnell - Belmont University, Biola University, Indiana University Bloomington (Jacobs School of Music), Pepperdine University, Texas Christian University, Emory, University of Michigan
Trey Tadevic - University of Arizona, Cal State Long Beach
Josh Tyer - College for Creative Studies, Otis College of Art and Design, Laguna College of Art and Design, Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta, Woodbury, Cal State Monterey Bay
Renee Vazquez - Humboldt State University
Castiel Yu - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland, College Park
Doreen Yuan - University of Oregon
James Zheng - University of Oregon, University of Portland, Seton Hall University
Wilton Zuniga - Luther College, University of Portland, Seton Hall University, University of the Pacific, Wisconsin Lutheran College, University of Pittsburgh, Brigham Young University

SAT Exams (Sophomores and Juniors)
The Mock SAT is scheduled for March 3.  The cost is $65.00. Research shows that one factor in higher performance on these standardized tests is when students are taking the tests in a familiar environment.

Student-Led Conferences (SLCs)
March 4th is the Palm Valley student-led conferences.  This day is important for students to share their projects and learning from Semester 1.  Advisors will be reaching out to parents soon and scheduling a time to meet. Be on the lookout for that advisor communication.

Staff Professional Development
March 9th is the staff professional development day at Palm Valley.  It is a student day off.  

Grandparents and Special Friends Day
Our annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day is coming up.  If you would like to have your child's Grandparents or Special Friends (neighbors, aunts, and uncles, family friends or loved ones, etc) invited to this event, please let Ms. Anders know at the Upper School Office, or by email at danders@pvs.org  By leaving us with contact information, we can send them an invitation directly! This event includes a special assembly with student performances, a breakfast from our incredible Parents Association, and classroom activities for visitors to join in on. Please join us on Friday, March 13th at 7:45 am for this special day to honor our community of extended family and friends! Students will be dismissed at 12:25 pm. After-Care will not be available in the Middle School. Please note: Students are required to wear their Formal Dress Uniform on this day.

Contracts for 2020-2021 School Year
Contracts for next year are out.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.  Scheduling for next year’s classes will begin soon, and it is important that the contract is received for scheduling.  Let Dr. McLachlan know if you have any questions.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Student of the Year Campaign
Our very own Firebird Sara Habibipour has been nominated to participate in this important, life-changing, campaign.  The following is her message:  
Hello everyone! I'm Sara Habibipour, a sophomore here at Palm Valley School, and I'm participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Student of the Year Campaign, a seven-week campaign beginning March 19. I'm holding a fundraiser at school to raise money for cancer research, as it is very personal to me and many others. In fact, LLS has funded 34 of the 39 most recent blood cancer treatments! Your child received a form on Monday that must be filled out and returned to the office with your donation by this Friday, February 28! Checks must be post dated March 19, 2020. For your donation of at least $20, your child will receive a T-shirt to be worn on Spirit Fridays, and the class that raises the most money will receive a free dress day! I hope that all Firebirds will participate! Thank you!

US Weekly Assemblies
The Upper School weekly assemblies are every Wednesday morning on the front steps of the Upper School from 8:15-8:30am.  This time is a time for the Upper School Associated Student Body, Student Organizations, and staff to make announcements for Upper School.  You are welcome to attend these sessions, and, if you would like to share any particular information, please send an email to Dr. McLachlan at kmclachlan@pvs.org

Upper School Play: The Firebird 
Palm Valley Theater Department presents The Firebird. The play has been created specifically for Palm Valley students, incorporating their unique talents. The production examines a young person’s quest for self-discovery while passing into, through, and out of our wondrous planetary existence. Prepare to be entertained, provoked and inspired, all at the same time, in an audio-visual experience of spiritual delight. Put the dates on your calendar and spread the word about the FIREBIRD! Get your tickets before they get sold out using this link!

March 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28th at 7:30 pm
March 22, Matinee at 2:30 pm

El Paseo Fashion Week
We're excited to announce that the six student models are now set for the night on the runway presented by Palm Springs Life, Palm Valley School and Animal Samaritans at the Le Chien fashion show on March 22, 2020. Each of the four PVS divisions (Preschool, Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School) is represented, so there is probably someone you and your student know bravely taking their turn in the spotlight to benefit the school. Come enjoy an evening of fun, fashion and family and offer your support to them and Palm Valley!

Attendance
Continue to email your student’s advisor, Ms. Anders (danders@pvs.org), and myself if your student is absent, or going to be absent. Attending school on a regular basis is directly connected to high levels of student achievement.  Emergencies, illness, and other events do come up, and we want to be supportive. Letting us know when your student is gone also allows for teachers to be prepared to help them make up for any missed activities.

MyBackpack
All parents/guardians should have a MyBackpack WebID and be able to login and see MyDocuments. Forms to complete will be shown as "New.” Once they are completed they will be submitted to Administrative Assistants for approval. Any questions or concerns may be directed to Mr. Kisling at gkisling@pvs.org  The time for semester final exams is right around the corner in January.  Please contact your child’s advisors with any questions/concerns about academic performance before these exams.

School Approved Devices
Per Palm Valley School policy, Chromebooks are the only school approved electronic device for student use.  All other electronic devices are to remain at home or be put in students’ lockers at the beginning of the school day.   

Community Service Requirements
Students are well on their way with their community service requirements this year.  Please remember that graduation requirements at Palm Valley School include 40 hours of community service each year.  Remember that 20 hours must be completed during the academic school year.  

Lost and Found
Please remember to label your students’ winter jackets. We have had several appear unlabeled in the lost and found cart.  Items that have been left around campus will be on display in the lobby of the MS for the next week. Items that aren’t claimed will be disposed of and/or donated to the spirit store. 

2019-2020 Palm Valley School Yearbook
It is that time of year again to buy yearbooks for this school year. The prices will be going up as we approach the deadline for purchasing yearbooks. Below is the timeline for when the price goes up which has a deadline on April, 24th, 2020. You are able to pay online using this Lifetouch link or you can make a payment with Sarai in our Administration Building in person. The PVS code for our online link is 12453420.

$55 from Feb. 1 - Feb.29
$60 March 1 - March 31
$65 April 1 - April 24

If you would like to purchase and design a 1/4, 1/2 or full page advertisement in the yearbook, they are due next Friday, March 6.  You can order ads online or pay at the front desk just as you would a yearbook. You may email Ms. Straky for more details or if you have any questions at sstraky@pvs.org

Upcoming Dates:
3/3 Mock SAT (Sophomore and Junior students), 12-4 pm.  Parent informational college session   
 to follow. 4-5 pm
3/4 Student-led conferences (SLC)
3/9 Professional Development
3/13 Grandparents and Special Friends Day
3/22 Fashion Week at El Paseo
3/25 SAT for Juniors

Dr. Kurt McLachlan
Head of Upper School