Weekly Notes from Head of Upper School, 5/6

Dear Upper School Families,

Please help me in extending a warm Firebird welcome to our new Head of School, Dr. Steven Sherman. He is excited to join the Firebird family and we look forward to his leadership and direction. 

Thank you to everyone who contributed this past week to support Palm Valley School, and for your continued positive letters and notes. They are greatly appreciated! 

The remaining weeks of the school year include important final projects and exams.  Please encourage your students to persevere with their coursework in this challenging time, as well as reach out to teachers and advisors with any questions. We want all Firebirds to finish the 2019-2020 school year on a high note.  

Senior Decision Day
May 1st was National Decision Day for seniors around the United States. We are pleased and proud to present in the list below the decisions for the Firebird Class of 2020.  We wish them the very best as they move on to the next chapter of their educational journeys:

Shelby Armor-Bates College
Sydney Armor-Middlebury College
Angus Gregg-Columbia College Hollywood
Claire Jenkins-University of California, Berkeley
Luke Langlois-University of Southern California
Hannah Makkai-University of Southern California
Lawrence Nelson-Harvey Mudd College
Brennan Nick-Stanford University
Jenna Pace-Northern Arizona University
Charles Schnell-Emory
Trey Tadevic-University of San Diego
Josh Tyer-Laguna College of Art and Design
Castiel Yu-University of California, Santa Barbara
James Zheng-University of California, Davis
Wilton Zuniga-Johns Hopkins University

Congratulations to seniors with their college acceptances.  Recent acceptances are bolded and underlined:
Shelby Armor - Chapman University, University of Oregon, Sarah Lawrence College, Bates College, Occidental College, Bryn Mawr
Sydney Armor - Allegheny College, Bates College, Dickinson College, College of William and Mary, Middlebury College, Hamilton College
Shayne Davis - California State University Channel Islands, Humboldt State University, Virginia Tech, University of Oregon, University of Puget Sound
Angus Gregg - Columbia College Hollywood, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Sacramento, University of San Francisco
Claire Jenkins - Florida Institute of Technology, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of California, Davis, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, UC Berkeley
Luke Langlois - University of Utah, University of California San Diego, University of California, Santa Barbara, UCLA, George Washington University, USC, UC Berkeley
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, University of San Diego, Occidental College, San Diego State University, USC
Lawrence Nelson - Harvey Mudd College
Brennan Nick - Georgetown University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, USC, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Stanford
Jenna Pace - Weber State University, Northern Arizona 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, University of San Diego, University of California, Santa Barbara, University of California, Santa Cruz, San Diego State University
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, Art Center
Renee Vazquez - Humboldt State University, Cal State San Bernardino
Castiel Yu - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland, College Park, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of California, Riverside, University of California, Davis, University of California San Diego, University of California, Santa Barbara, University of California, Irvine
Doreen Yuan - University of Oregon, University of Arizona, Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta, University of California, Riverside
James Zheng - University of Oregon, University of Portland, Seton Hall University, University of San Francisco, Seattle University, University of California, Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz
Wilton Zuniga - Luther College, University of Portland, Seton Hall University, University of the Pacific, Wisconsin Lutheran College, University of Pittsburgh, Brigham Young University, University of Florida, Johns Hopkins University, University of Utah, University of Colorado, Boulder

Palm Valley is now under the Riverside County Health Department order for the campus to remain closed through June 19. As such, we are currently making a few changes to the structure for the end of the year activities, and of course, for our awards and our graduation and promotion ceremony. We remain committed to providing the most fulsome experience for our students that is possible given the circumstances that remain out of our hands. We are particularly proud of our students, who see their sacrifices this year in a positive light that serves the community's health and safety. However, it's important to acknowledge that many are mourning the loss of important milestones this year. We want to do what we can to celebrate them and all their accomplishments. As such, we have plans for a virtual promotion this spring and a physical, rescheduled graduation ceremony for our current seniors and their families in late summer.  We are still working on the details of a virtual celebration and will provide them as they become more concrete.

Contracts for 2020-2021 School Year
Contracts for next year are out and are due back by June 15. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. Upper School class scheduling for the Fall will commence soon for students who have contracts turned in, so please have those contracts signed and submitted as soon as possible.

AP Exams
This year students will be taking their Advanced Placements exams from home.  AP exams are scheduled next week, the week of May 11 and the week of May 18.  AP teachers have received the schedule for all AP exams and will continue to share that information with students.  On the exam day, students will receive an invitation sent to their email accounts to complete their AP exams.  

Video Project for Social Media
If you would like to help promote the school by sharing your experience with #PVSDistanceLearning thus far, please send a short selfie video clip (up to 15 seconds) to our Director of Admissions and Marketing, Abby Sturgeon at asturgeon@pvs.org. Please note that Abby will use these video clips to share on social media and show off how skilled our student body and teaching staff is by moving to virtual learning - we are still one of the only local schools offering this program! Please include the following in your video clips:
1. Your Name
2. Your Grade
3. Favorite Part of PVS Distance Learning (ex. the creative projects the teachers are providing, your favorite virtual class/subject, how easily your teachers/classmates have transitioned to online learning, collaborating with your classmates, etc.)

To participate, please send Abby the short video clip via email.

Upcoming Dates:
05/11-05/22-AP Exams

Dr. Kurt McLachlan
Head of Upper School