Weekly Notes from the Head of Upper School, 4/11

Dear Upper School Families,

While many top colleges are considering abandoning the use of standardized test scores in their admission criteria, SAT and ACT scores are still in the top criteria for how schools assess students. In the Upper School, we strive to provide the support students need to be successful on standardized tests, without focusing too much effort on “teaching to the test.” Reading, both in and out of class, is one of the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT. Reading from a variety of sources, newspapers, magazines, books, even graphic novels, helps build fluency and vocabulary. Students need to be exposed to a high level of writing, which includes both words they are familiar with, as well as words that may be unfamiliar. Reading at slightly above skill level allows the reader to stretch their vocabulary, and learn to recognize the meaning of words from their context, one of the main ways that the SAT and ACT assess language and writing skills. Upper School classes provide a variety of reading experiences, including the use of primary sources, current events articles, journals, and studies, as well as high-level textbooks. In addition to our course materials, we offer every student in the Upper School a chance to take the PSAT each year. Our belief is that students who take the PSAT suffer less anxiety and feel more confident about taking the SAT and ACT. We also offer a great summer program called College Bootcamp. You can read more about that program below. You can also get some additional ideas for low-stress test prep here. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you have about testing, or the Upper School program in general.

April Dinner Out Event
Visit Chipotle in Palm Springs on Thursday, April 26th between 4 pm - 8 pm and present this flyer to donate 50% of proceeds to PVS!

PVS Day of Golf
Our PVS Day of Golf is coming up Saturday, April 21st at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort. The LAST DAY to purchase tickets is this Friday, April 13thThis family-friendly event is scramble style open to ALL ages and abilities. Bring the whole family for a day of fun in the sun and this year we've added Footgolf! Footgolf is a combination sport where instead of clubs you kick a soccer ball to the pin. Come try it out!  Click here to purchase.

College Bootcamp
Our College Bootcamp is happening the week of June 18, topics covered include SAT prep, writing the college essay, preparing scholarship applications, and an inside look into the admissions process. Sign up early to secure your student’s place in this valuable workshop. To sign up, click HERE.

Alice in Wonderland, Jr. MS Play
Join precocious and curious Alice as she chases the frustrated rabbit down the hole to discover an adventure that is altogether fantastical and memorable. Thirty-one talented singing and dancing Middle School actors and actresses under the direction of Mr. Gahnz and Mr. Sarkis will bring it all to musical life on stage at Palm Valley School. Shows start April 27. For more information, and to purchase tickets, please go to www.pvs.org/tickets.

Upper School Prom
This year, ASB is presenting "Fly Me to the Moon" as their theme for Prom. Students are encouraged to purchase tickets early, as prices will rise as the date approaches. Prom will be on Saturday, May 26 at the Palm Springs Air Museum in Palm Springs. Starting at 7:00 pm, there will be cold drinks and dessert, as well as photos and dancing! As you know, we are a small but mighty Upper School. Only through the participation of all of our students are we able to create a memorable last Prom for the Class of 2018. If our younger students do not come out to support our current seniors, who will come out to support them when they are seniors? Please encourage your students to participate, so that they can ensure a healthy tradition for their own future class! Tickets will go on sale soon - $55 for a single and $90 for a pair. Come join us!

Important Dates and Reminders:
4/20 - Pep Rally - 1:45pm - Gym
4/21-4/22 - JSA Spring State
4/24 - Athletic Photos
4/27-4/28 - Outdoor Club & Photography Field Trip to Joshua Tree
4/27-4/29 - MS Play Alice in Wonderland Jr.
5/4-5/5 - MS Play Alice in Wonderland Jr.
5/7-5/18 - AP Testing
5/18 - CSF Kayaking
5/15 - Disney Grad Nite - Seniors
5/26 - Prom - Palm Springs Air Museum - 7 pm

Ms. Steinman
Head of Upper School