Weekly Notes from the Head of Upper School, 9/19

Dear Upper School Families,

Parents often ask me what they can do to help their student when that student is struggling academically. It is hard to watch our children grapple with new material or a new class. It can be especially hard when it seems like it is a class that they should be good at or a subject where they’ve had good success in the past. There are several developmental stages during the teen years that all students have to move through to ultimately become adult critical thinkers. It is important that we support student learning, and give children the tools they need to overcome obstacles and feel like competent, independent, learners.

One of the best things we can do when our children are struggling is avoiding the impulse to remove the obstacle. Struggle is an important process and if we want our students to be resilient, they need to learn how to handle struggle and stress. Being there for them as support, without judgment, or action is one of the hardest things that parents have to do. With my son, we called this “moral support” time. Sometimes offering to just sit with your student while they work through something hard, or offering a “this seems tough, but you can do it” is enough to take the burden off their shoulders and allow them to see their way through a difficult assignment.

Most importantly, rely on your partnerships with your student’s advisor, teacher or division head. If you need support in helping your student deal with a difficult situation, assignment or class, we are all here to help. The partnership between school, student and family is the best way we have to help students achieve success.

CSF Members
Congratulations to our newest members to CSF. The California Scholarship Federation is Palm Valley School’s honor society. Students can qualify based on their grades after they complete their first semester of 9th grade. Students who meet the criteria during their Upper School career, will graduate with honors and wear the golden stole at graduation. Click here for a list of our current and new members.

8th and 9th Grade Trip to Puerto Rico
Partnering with Global Works, our students will participate in meaningful service learning projects while experiencing some cultural and language immersion. This trip is scheduled for Saturday, February 16th - Friday, February 22nd. The deadline to reserve a spot is Friday, September 28th, please register online.

Wine Down Wednesday
On Wednesday, September 26th Acqua California Bistro at the River in Rancho Mirage and KOOL 95.9 FM are hosting a Wine Down Wednesday event from 5 pm - 7 pm. Tickets are $10 at the door and 100% of the proceeds benefit Palm Valley School!

Student Led Conferences
Student Led Conferences are coming up Wednesday, October 3rd. There will be no regular classes scheduled on this day. Your student’s advisor will send an email with details on how to set up a time.

Volunteers & Items Needed - Upper School Theater Production
Our award-winning Palm Valley Upper School Drama class has chosen a rollicking fun Broadway musical as its 2018 fall production. In the first two weekends of December, we will mount our spectacular production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, a light-hearted and fun-filled look at the quirky world of Broadway in the 1920’s. Our energetic cast, overstocked with singing, acting, and dancing talent, is gearing up to bring to our MPR Stage a quality show that will delight the Palm Valley community. To make that happen, we need your help! Click here for a full wish list of items and volunteer opportunities.

Upcoming Dates
9/20 - New Parent Reception - MPR - 6 pm
9/26 - Wine Down Wednesday at Acqua California Bistro - $10 at door, all proceeds benefit Palm Valley School
9/29 - Senior Parking Painting - 7:00am - 12:00pm
10/3 - Student Led Conferences
10/8 - NO SCHOOL (Professional Development)
10/10 - PSATs (No school for seniors)

Ms. Steinman
Head of Upper School