A Message from the Head of Middle + Upper School

August 22, 2021

Dear Middle and Upper School families,

It has been so great to see all of the students back on campus. The first two weeks have been busy but also inspiring to begin another school year. There are several significant updates and upcoming events of which you need to be aware.

Back to School Night
This Thursday evening (August 26), we will be hosting our traditional Back to School Night. BTSN is a chance for parents to visit each of their child's teachers and get a general idea of the course. We will all begin in the gym at 6 pm with a few words from Dr. Sherman, our new Athletic Director, Ken Erenberg, and me. Following these opening remarks, you will head out to spend a few minutes in each of your child's classes. Please see the BTSN Schedule.

Bring Your Own Device Program Update
Students in grades 9 through 12 have the option to bring in their own device with parent approval and many students have already taken advantage of the program. This new program relies on the web filter company Lightspeed Systems Relay (Smart Agent) to filter the internet on campus and deactivate when off-campus. There have been a few instances of students being "over-blocked" while off-campus. Lightspeed is aware of the issue and is resolving it for individual student accounts as needed. If your student has any problems with their device while off-campus, please reach out to Mr. Kisling at gkisling@pvs.org or have your student drop in during tech help hours Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:30 to 9:00.

HyFlex Policy
As I communicated before the start of school, we are pleased to offer our Middle and Upper School families a synchronous, online learning experience called our Hyflex Learning Option. Families desiring to take advantage of this option must sign the Middle & Upper School HyFlex Agreement (2021-2022) and provide 24 hour advanced notice. Additional fees will be charged for HyFlex instructional days during this academic year. Please note that this is an additional option that we are offering, but it is by no means compulsory.

Hot Lunch Program
Pizza and Hot Lunch order forms were given to students in their advisories on Friday. Please return the order forms to the Middle or Upper School Office by Wednesday, August 25. Note that this year, all pizza orders must be pre-paid- we will accept no same-day orders. If you need additional copies, please contact us. The program begins the week of September 7.

Spirit Store Hours
Our Spirit Store is open every Thursday from 7:30 am to 9:00 am, for your convenience. If Thursday mornings do not work for you, please email spiritstore@pvs.org, and the coordinator will try and accommodate you.

New Member of the Firebird Family
Would you please welcome our new MUS Administrative Assistant, Taylor Kady, who will be starting tomorrow. Please contact her to report absences and to turn in HyFlex Agreements, BYOD Contracts, and Hot Lunch Order Forms. Taylor can be reached at musoffice@pvs.org

Say "Cheese"
We will take school photos on Wednesday, September 8. This is a formal dress uniform day. Please review the dress code in the Handbook for Students and Families.

Return of the Buddy Program
One of the many things that make Palm Valley School unique is our Buddy Program. Every grade level is paired with a Buddy Class from a different division. Buddies get together each month for a special event or activity. The first one will be this Tuesday, where the buddies will meet and greet each other. Be sure and ask your student about their buddy.

Upcoming dates:
Thursday, August 26: Back to School Night, 6-8 pm.
Friday, August 27: Spirit Shirt Day
Friday, September 3: Free Dress Day
Monday, September 6: Labor Day (No School)
Tuesday, September 7: Hot Lunch begins
Wednesday, September 8: Photo Day (formal dress uniforms required)
Friday, September 10: First Pizza Day and Spirit Shirt Day

Sincerely,
Mr. Steve B. Coffey
Head of Middle and Upper School