Weekly Notes from the Head of Upper School, 12/20

Dear Upper School Families,

It may seem counterintuitive, but breaks from school can be a time of great anxiety for children. Even though the students are just as excited about vacation as teachers are, breaks in routine can cause students to experience transition anxiety. While not as serious as summer transition anxiety, a few weeks with no schedule, and no routine, can make it hard for students to return to their school life after the holiday break. Your student may try to convince you that they really need to “chill,” but even older teens find comfort in a day to day routine, and sometimes struggle to get back with the program.

Here are some suggestions to prevent transition anxiety: 1) keep your student on a good sleep schedule, 2) try to keep some type of routine over the break, 3) encourage small amounts of homework each day (for those who have assignments) instead of letting them wait until the weekend before school resumes, and last but not least, 4) ask your student to spend some time unplugged!

With the exception of AP classes, there should not be any homework over the break. I truly hope that every family has a wonderful winter break and happy holidays!

Semester Assessments
As I wrote about earlier in the year, we are changing how we do semester assessments. While the assessments at the end of the first and second semester still comprise 20% of the semester grade in the Upper School, we no longer have two-hour exams in the gym. Instead, teachers are scheduling their assessments for in-class time, during the last two weeks of the semester, January 16 - 26. I will email a schedule of exams to students Friday, December 22. Teachers will make their review guides available to students at least two weeks prior to their scheduled exam date. Instruction and homework related to preparation for exams will continue during this two week period, although there should not be any assessments or projects due unless they are part of the semester assessment (with the exception of AP classes). Students with testing accommodations will also receive information this Friday. Any questions about semester exams should be directed to the relevant teacher. Questions regarding accommodations can be directed to me at asteinman@pvs.org.

Songs of the Season
Please join us for the Palm Valley School Winter Choir Concerts! There will be two performances to choose from this year, and you can purchase your tickets here. This concert features our Middle and Upper School students in Vocal Music Elective and Select Choir. Concert dates are December 20 and 21 at 7:00 pm in the MPR.

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

Important Dates and Reminders:
12/20-12/21 - MS/US Choir Concert - 7:00 pm - MPR
12/21 - PA MUS Luncheon - 12:25 pm
12/22 - All School Pajama Day - Half Day, 12:25 pm Dismissal, No Lunch or After-Care provided

Ms. Steinman
Head of Upper School