Weekly Notes from Head of Upper School, 12/4

Dear Upper School Families,

I sincerely hope that you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving Holiday and shared some restful time with family and friends.  This time of the year is busy as all of you are making preparations and travel plans for the upcoming holiday break. Wintertime is settling into the valley, and temperature are dropping so jackets and sweatshirts are important.  

There are a couple of new individuals I am happy to introduce who will be working in the Upper School.  First, I want to welcome Mr. Grant who will be guest teaching for Mr. Griffin over the next few weeks. Mr. Grant is excited and has already jumped right in working diligently with the ninth grade Introduction to Literature class and the 12th grade Advanced Placement Literature class.  Another new addition to the Upper School is our Administrative Assistant. I am pleased to welcome Deanne Anders. Deanne will begin her new position this upcoming  Monday, December 9.     

Congratulations to the following seniors for their college acceptances:  Claire Jenkins-Florida Institute of Technology; Hannah Makkai-University of Oregon; Charles Schnell-Belmont University, Biola University and Indiana University; and Wilton Zuniga-Luther College, University of Portland, and Seton-Hall.  More acceptances will be coming soon.  

Spirit Week
The week of December 16 is Spirit Week.  Get into the spirit for the following days by dressing up in:  December 16-Neon Day; December 17-Tourist Day; December 18-Ugly Sweater Day; December 19-Wacky Thursday; December 20-Pajama Day.

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! 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!

Poetry Recitation
This last week the poetry recitation preparation commenced in English classes for the Poetry Recitation Division Finals.  This past year Palm Valley student Jackson Dean placed third at the state competition. The Upper School competition for Palm Valley is scheduled for December 11. The Middle School competition for Palm Valley is scheduled for December 17.  

Attendance
Continue to email your student’s advisor, Ms. Anders, 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 December 20th.

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

Upcoming Dates:
12/11-US Poetry Recitation
12/16-12/20 Spirit Week
12/17-MS Poetry Recitation
12/18 - MUS Winter Choral Concert -7pm in the MPR
12/18- Ugly Sweater Day! (details soon!)
12/20 - Early release
12/23 - 1/3 - Winter Holiday, school is closed. 

Dr. Kurt McLachlan
Head of Upper School