Weekly Notes from Head of Upper School, 1/8

Dear Upper School Families,

Happy New Year!  I hope you enjoyed your holidays and made some great memories with family and friends. I know 2020 will be an incredible year.  Palm Valley has many exciting events coming soon, so keep your eyes out.  

Congratulations to seniors with their recent college acceptances:  
Castiel Yu-University of Illinois
Charles Schnell-Texas Christian University, Pepperdine University
Hannah Makkai-Loyola Marymount University, University of Denver, Lewis and Clark College, University of the Pacific, University of Puget Sound
Shelby Armor-Chapman University
Lawrence Nelson-Harvey Mudd College
Brennan Nick-Georgetown University
Sydney Armor-Allegheny College
Renee Vazquez-Humboldt State University
Trey Tadevic-University of Arizona

Upcoming Finals Weeks
Upper School students will be taking final exams during the weeks of January 13th and 20th.  Teachers have prepared study guides for all their courses, so please encourage your students to take the time and prepare for these exams.  Final exams/projects are 20% of a student’s overall semester grade. Check with your student to ensure classwork and projects are turned in on time and they are prepared for these exams.   

Head of School Finalist Open Parent Meeting
This week, the Chair of the Search Committee, Mrs. Cherise Sonderman has invited parents to meet the first of several candidates for our next Head of School. You are an important part of the process! This Friday, January 10th, the first Parent Open Forum will be held in the MPR at 8:35 - 9:45 am and the second will be later that evening from 5:15 - 6:15 pm. You are invited to meet the candidates and give feedback to the Search Committee. I encourage all of our families to attend and participate in these meetings. Open forums with the other two candidates will be on Friday, January 17th, and Friday, January 24th, at the same times.

Annual Fund
Each year, the Palm Valley School community contributes to the education of our Firebirds.  There is always a 100% participation from members of the Board of Trustees and from PVS staff members showing their Firebird pride.  This annual fund is important to our students and families at Palm Valley. Please remember to submit your contribution or gift in kind. Donate easily and securely online! Thank you for your consideration.

Palm Valley Gala
This year, our gala will be held at the Westin Mission Hills on the evening of Saturday, February 8th. This "Secret Garden" is shaping up to be a lovely, beautiful event that you will not want to miss! If you attended last year’s Gala, all your registration information should be saved under the email that was used, making ticket purchases or auction bidding easy and quick. We are in the process of securing items for the auction and we need your help! If you have a business or connection that you think might be great for an auction donation to make our event a success - please contact us at gala@pvs.org. Additionally, we have sold out tickets for this event for the last couple of years and anticipate this year will be no different! Please log on today and secure your tickets or table today!

Upcoming ACT Tutorial and Test
On February 5, Revolution Prep will be working with interested sophomore and junior students on a practice ACT.  On February 25th, the ACT will be offered to juniors.  

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.   

Events Pass 2020
Get the Golden ticket to all of Palm Valley School’s exciting events this year with the Events Pass! One purchase equals three enjoyable evenings, all of which support Palm Valley School and the students PVS serves. Pay $250 (or $300 for VIP Fashion Week seating) and get admission for one to our Secret Garden Annual Gala, Fashion Week El Paseo and Bourbon + Barbecue. This is a great value which gives you the opportunity to attend all three of our major events on a single purchase. 

The Events Passes are limited and will not be available after January 8th.

To purchase, click here, then click on TICKETS-->Add Ons-->Events Pass

Upcoming Dates:
1/10 Parent Open Forum, MPR 8:35 am - 9:35 am and 5:15 - 6:15 pm
1/13 - Week 1 of Finals
1/17 - Parent Open Forum, MPR 8:35 am - 9:35 am and 5:15 - 6:15 pm
1/20 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - NO SCHOOL, Offices Closed
1/20 - Week 2 of Finals
1/24 - 8th to 9th grade Move-Up Day
1/24 - End of Q2 (Semester 1)
1/24 - Parent Open Forum, MPR 8:35 am - 9:35 am and 5:15 - 6:15 pm
2/8 - PVS Secret Garden Gala
2/17 - President’s Day - NO SCHOOL, Offices Closed
2/18 - 2/21 - February Break - NO SCHOOL

Dr. Kurt McLachlan
Head of Upper School