Eblast from the Head of Upper School, 9/27

Dear Upper School Families,

Upper School classes at Palm Valley are well underway. If you have any concerns, or questions, regarding your child’s courses, please reach out to advisors.  During distance learning, every Friday is a teacher conference day, so there is regular, consistent teacher availability on Fridays to discuss concerns and questions.  I wanted to share some incredible recent astrophotography from one of our 2020 Palm Valley graduates.  Enjoy!


Congratulations to senior Leo Milmet for being named Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy” at the “14th annual “Change the World With a Giving Heart” National Philanthropy Day in the Desert virtual awards.  This award presented by Association of Fundraising Professionals CA, Desert Communities Chapter, recognizes the profound impact of philanthropy.

Virtual Back-to-School Night
This year due to the coronavirus, teachers prepared videos for you regarding each of your child’s classes.  After viewing, let me know if you have follow up questions.   

Student-Led Conferences (SLCs)
Palm Valley School student-led conferences (SLCs) will be held on Friday, October 9.  There will be no school for students that day, but advisors will be scheduling times throughout the day to meet with students and families.  These SLCs are an important part of students academic programs where they share their achievements, growth along with challenges and questions from their classes.  Keep your eye out for an invite from your child’s advisor.  

Professional Development Day
Palm Valley professional development day will be held on Friday, October 16.  There will be no school for students that day, and faculty is involved in professional development activities throughout the day.  

10th and 11th grade students are encouraged to take the upcoming PSAT/NMSQT standardized test.  9th graders will take the PSAT 8/9 later this year.  Palm Valley is one of the few schools offering this test this year.  There has been an increase in the cost for the PSAT/NMSQT since this last year.  As a result, the cost to take the test is $10.  Please make a check payable to Palm Valley School or call the business office to pay the fee that covers the increase in cost.  If you have any questions, contact me at kmclachlan@pvs.org

Upcoming College and University Virtual Admissions Meetings for students
College and universities virtual visits this week include:
University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona (Monday, September 28, from 11-12pm)
University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon (Tuesday, September 29, from 11-12pm)
Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York (Thursday, October 1, from 11-12pm)
Scripps College in Claremont, California (Wednesday, October 7, from 11-12pm)
Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pennsylvania (Thursday, October 8, from 6-7pm)
Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia (Friday, October 9, from 11-12pm)
Please encourage your child to attend these sessions to gain a better understanding of how colleges and universities approach schooling beyond high school.  These admissions officers are very nice people who want to encourage students to explore their college options.  It is scheduled during your children’s lunchtime, or in the evening, so it is not during their classes.  They have all received a calendar with the zoom link for each of the admissions officers.  Advisors will also be posting this information in Advisory google classrooms.  From 9th grade on, students are preparing themselves for school beyond high school.  It starts now.

Coachella Valley Regional College and Career Fair
Palm Valley is one of the annual sponsors for the Coachella Valley Regional College and Career Fair.  I recommend all Upper School students check this fair out as there are many great colleges and universities represented.  This year the fair is virtual, but definitely worthwhile.  Below is the website with information and student registration:


Palm Valley School Family Forms for 2020-2021
Each year it is important to fill out the Palm Valley School required family forms for each child.  These are the documents sent out with the summer mailing.  If you have not completed and returned these forms, please do so as soon as possible.  These forms can be emailed to Ms. Anders at danders@pvs.org, mailed to Palm Valley School, or dropped off in the Upper School office.  I will be reaching out to families later in the week for missing documents.

MyBackpack and the Distance Learning Schedule
MyBackpack is an excellent tool to monitor the performance of your child throughout the school year.  If you note any concerns, or have any questions, with any of the courses, please reach out to your child’s advisor.  Your child’s advisor will then assist you with communicating directly with the teacher of the course.  

The Distance Learning Schedule is the class schedule being used until students are physically attending Palm Valley.  If you need an additional copy of this schedule, please contact Ms. Anders at danders@pvs.org  The distance learning schedule is different from the schedule in mybackpack.  Also, please remember that Fridays are office hours for teachers and are the perfect time for students to schedule meetings.

Box Tops and Amazon Smiles
Box Tops for Education is now online and digital, with an easy to use app. Families can download the Box Tops app and scan their receipt(s) within 14 days of purchase to earn cash (typically 10 cents per Box Top item, although additional incentives are offered). Users don't need to know what products are eligible when the receipt is scanned, the app will show the box tops earned at that time and credit PVS. When online shopping, you can still earn box tops for purchased goods by submitting your emailed receipt(s) from certain retailers. If you have questions, our PVS Box Tops for Education Coordinator is Sarah Dunn, dienys@hotmail.com.

Similar to Box Tops, Amazon Smile is a program that can help support PVS. With families purchasing from Amazon, especially during the pandemic, remembering to conduct their purchases through smile.amazon.com and indicating PVS, a small percent (0.5%) of that purchase will benefit our school. These are small ways to help earn money for our learning community and every dollar for PVS counts!

Upcoming Dates:
October 9-Student-led Conferences (NO SCHOOL)
October 10-Senior Sunrise and Senior Parking (Seniors and Senior Families ONLY)
October 12-Coachella Valley Regional College and Career Fair
October 14-PSAT/NMSQT (Grades 10 and 11)
October 16-Teacher Professional Development (NO SCHOOL)


Dr. McLachlan