Weekly Notes from the Head of Upper School, 1/10

Dear Upper School Families,

A very happy New Year to all of you! I hope your break was relaxing and rejuvenating. At school, our main goal is to get back to our normal routine. While January is mostly a quiet month, we will have our first semester exams of the year. Our new format means that students no longer take their exams all at the same time in the gym, but instead, take their exams during their normal class period. This allows teachers more flexibility in deciding how to assess student learning, and makes the exams feel a little less “high stakes.” While the stakes can be high, exams account for 20% of the semester grade, students should approach these exams with confidence, and the nurturing support of their teachers. Helping students along this journey, help them prepare for what will be expected when they get to college.

CSF Winter Story Slam
Congratulations to junior Holden Hartle on his second Story Slam win. Holden unfolded his tale of winter woes before a lunchtime Upper School audience. Judges Sarkis, Dean, and Mulé selected his first-person account as the most entertaining Winter-Holiday themed story. Holden walks away with a $25 gift card to Panera and the Story Slam crown. California Scholarship Federation, PVS Upper School’s honor society, hosts several themed story slams on campus throughout the year.

Semester Exams
The semester exam schedule has been sent out to all students. They should have received it by email during the break. Additionally, students should also receive their study guides, if they have not already. Exams will be the weeks of January 16, and January 22during regular class periods.  Students will only be assigned homework that is relevant to preparing for exams, and there should be no assessments unrelated to semester exams during the two week assessment period.  Students who have accommodations will be instructed by their individual teachers on where they will complete their exams.

Athletics
The Spring season is fast approaching. If your student, or a student you know, is interested in any of our Spring sports, please have them speak to Coach Makkai or via email at athletics@pvs.org to sign up by Friday, January 12Students must commit now, so that we may guarantee a team is ready for competition in the Spring!

Admissions Open House
Please join us for our last Admissions Open House for this year. See parts of our campus, and meet teachers that you normally don’t have an opportunity to visit. We welcome any and all families, prospective and returning. It’s a fun day to roam the campus and connect with the faculty and other families. We hope to see you there on Sunday, January 28 from 1 pm-4 pm.

Gala!
Our 2018 "Casino Royale" Gala will be taking place on Saturday, February 10from 6 pm-11:30 pm at the gorgeous Tamarisk Country Club. The evening will feature cocktails, a casino, dinner, auction, a raise the paddle and more. Additionally, you can stay for dancing and martinis with the DJ in the After Party! So far, we have sold 175 tickets and are quickly nearing capacity. If you are planning to attend, I strongly urge you to buy your tickets soon before we sell out at www.pvs.org/annual-gala.

“Identify” Photo Exhibit
Palm Valley Upper School students, Hannah Makkai, Linda Gao, Sydney Armor, Tilly Green, Machi Iwata, Jordan Dinerman and Marianne Capetz were chosen as winners of Tolerance Education Center's photography competition! A showing of their work will take place at the grand opening of the “IDENTIFY” photo exhibit on Tuesday, February 13from 3 pm-6 pm at the Tolerance Education Center in Rancho Mirage. Special thanks to Ms. Clark for sharing her expertise in photography class!

Summer Programs
Please click here for information on some of the available summer programs across California and beyond for 2018!

Important Dates and Reminders:
1/12 - All School Free Dress Day
1/15 - MLK Day - NO SCHOOL
1/16 - Semester Exams Begin
1/19 - Pep Rally - 1:45pm - Gym
1/22 - Semester Exams Continue
1/23 - SEED - 6:00pm - MPR
1/25 - Senior Night Basketball - 5:30pm - Gym
1/26 - End of Quarter 2/Semester 1
1/28 - Admissions Open House - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
2/10 - Casino Royale Gala - 6 pm
2/16 - All School Move Up Day
2/19 - 2/23 -  February Break - NO SCHOOL

Ms. Steinman
Head of Upper School