PVSD Banner
District Calendar  |  Weekly Archive  |  PVSD Home  |  PV Schools Foundation  |  Submit an Article
Weekly Post
August 26, 2013
Superintendent's Message
Welcome to the 2013/14 school year: 

New Year, New Team, New Vision!

On behalf of the staff in PVSD, we are inspired and energized for a new school year that will be guided by a new strategic plan, the new Common Core State Standards, and a few new staff members. Keep reading, as our Principals have shared their new team members in their messages below. Please join me in welcoming to the district office team:

Nikki Cota - District Office Secretary
John Dean - Director of Learning & Media
Brian Handy - Tech Assistant II
Emily Marwedel - District Technology Team
Christy Pinelli - DO Support Secretary
Curtis Schneider - District Teacher on Special Assignment (STEM)

At both Back to School Nights, I will share a brief overview of the new Strategic Plan. A Strategic Planning Team, comprised of educators from both school sites and the district office, are in the process of designing the road map to move the strategic direction points into action plans that will guide our work over the next five years. Our plan it to share the roadmap with the School Board at their September 11th and October 2nd meetings, so feel free to join us. There will be other opportunities to better understand the plan in parent meetings at both sites, so watch for more information. 

I was aware of the Portola Valley schools in my work in public education over the years, as the reputation for innovative teaching and learning here isn't a secret. But until I arrived, I had no idea what an amazing team of classified staff, teachers, and administrators we have. Thank you to all of our 12 month employees who work throughout the summer months, and to our amazing custodial staff who have made sure that both campuses are in great shape for the arrival of our students on the first day of school. I am proud to say I am the Superintendent of the Portola Valley School District and look forward to a year of more proactive communication, transparent decision-making, transforming challenges into opportunities, and
sharing all of the little things that we do so well that will continue to make you proud to be PVSD parents.

Here's to the first day of school. See you on Monday!

Lisa Marie Gonzales, Ed.D.
Portola Valley School District
In This Issue
eScrip and Amazon.com
eScrip and Amazon.com
PTO Fundraiser
Kevin's Corner
ORM: BTS Picnic
CMS Principal's Message
PTO Welcome Back
Community Section
This Week's Calendar
Ormondale * Corte Madera * District
Mon, August 26 (A)
First Day of School

CMS PTO Welcome Back Breakfast 7:30am

ORM PTO Welcome Back Breakfast 7:45am 
Tues, August 27 (B) 

Wed, August 28 (A) 
ORM Head Room Parent Orientation, Room 26
Thurs, August 29 (B)
ORM Back to School Night 5pm 
Fri, August 30 (A)

Weekly Post Reminders: 
To submit an article to the Weekly Post, please send it to [email protected].  Deadline is Thursday at noon.  See the PVSD website for more information

eScrip and Amazon.com Shopping Program
Each year the Portola Valley Schools Foundation pays for classroom supplies for every student in the district using funds raised through the eScrip and Amazon.com programs.  All you need to do to help is to go to www.escrip.com and register your credit cards and Safeway Club Card (if you have one).  Please make sure to direct donations to the Portola Valley Schools Foundation.  
Your direct purchases at Amazon.com also support our programs, teachers, and children.  You simply go through the  pvschoolsfoundation.org link to Amazon, sign in with your own account, and shop!  Portola Valley Schools Foundation will receive a minimum of 4% of every purchase made through this method and, aside from the extra click, you should see no difference in your shopping experience.
PTO Needs Your Help
We have a few PTO Leadership Positions for the 2013-2014 school year in which we are seeking additional parent help. Please see the description below and let us know if you are interested.


Student Directory Assistant:  No meeting attendance required.  This is a two year position.  This position is responsible for partnering with the current Directory lead to import student contact information, acquire advertising for the Directory and coordinate distribution of Directories when they come in; will train to take over the Directory lead role the following year. The majority of the work is done in late August and September.

CMS Cultural Arts Coordinator: Propose cultural events to the PTO and the Dean of Student Life and Student Activities, which provide student enrichment. Submit events to the Weekly Post.

CMS Staff Appreciation Week Coordinator: This position is responsible for coordinating with Head Room Parents to plan and recruit volunteers for a wonderful week of events to honor our teachers and staff March 16 - 21, 2014.


If any of these positions interest you or if you have any questions, please contact Sharon Shaffer at [email protected]  or Heather Asborno at [email protected]
Shop at Village Stationers
Shop at Village Stationers and they will give $$$ back to the Portola Valley-PTO!!
Village Stationers will give back 10% of total purchases (not including sales tax) made between August 1st-September 30th.
When paying, just mention you are from (or supporting) Ormondale and/or Corte Madera Schools.
Store Locations:
719 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park
310 South California Ave., Palo Alto
220 Main Street, Los Altos
Some PTO sponsored activities include:  Cultural Art Assemblies, Back to School Picnics, Sports Fairs, Cocoa Breakfasts, BBQ Lunches, TB Tests, Years of Service Regonition, Founder's Day, Emergency Preparedness, Back to School Packets, Turkey Trot and Family Bingo Night.

Ormondale Home
Kevin's Corner: Ormondale Principal's Message

Dear Families,


The 2013-2014 school year has started!  It is exciting to welcome our families back into our school community and begin the educational journey for the year.  I would like to say a big "Thank You" to everyone who worked overtime to prepare for a wonderful year.  Our custodial staff has done a top rate job preparing the facilities for the return of our students, our teachers are collaborating, creating and planning for their students and our office staff has everything ready for a successful year.   A special "Thank You" to our PTO who has worked diligently to organize volunteer opportunities, to fill in support roles for the programs at Ormondale and to get you all of the information that you need for a successful year.


The Board of Education recently adopted the "what" part of our Strategic Plan for the next five years.  In the coming months and years, we will be working to implement the vision of the Strategic Plan with a focus on the guiding principles and the four planks of the strategic directions.  It is an exciting time in education with the nationwide transition to Common Core Standards and a new assessment system called Smarter Balance.  In the coming months, there will be opportunities to join us for educational nights centered on Common Core Standards, Smarter Balance Assessment and Ormondale.


Back to School Night is Thursday, August 29th. This is an important event where Ormondale teachers look forward to sharing personal insight, explaining our school philosophy and goals and discussing the rituals and routines of the class that will lead to a successful year for your child. In addition, please plan to attend the general session in the MUR this year. We have created a schedule with the intention of having parents home in time to read a quick story before bedtime! The schedule of events is as follows:

5:00-6:00         Kindergarten and 1st Grade Classroom Presentations


6:00-6:45         MUR: School Board Report, Superintendent's Message, Principal's Report, Portola Valley Schools Foundation and PTO Presentations 

6:45-7:45         2nd and 3rd Grade Classroom Presentations


On a personal note, each day that I come to Ormondale, I have grown more impressed with the work that this community has done for the students of Portola Valley.  I am extremely excited to continue to support the great traditions, while we work to further our practice as educators and deliver the highest quality educational experience.  In order to continue to connect with our community, share important information and listen, I would like to invite you to a Community Coffee from 8:15 am to 9:15 am on the following dates.  


Friday, September 20th

Friday, October 18th   

Friday, December 13th


In this new year, we would like to welcome a number of new staff members to the Ormondale Community:  


Lauren Meldonian - Third Grade Teacher

Lisa Scigliano - Psychologist

Todd Patterson - Counselor

Evelyn Barajas Luis - Secretary  


Our new team members have hit the ground running and helping this great school community.  


I look forward a great year.  If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact me at [email protected] or 650-851-1777.




Kevin F. Keegan     

Ormondale Back-to-School Picnic

Friday, September 6th, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Ormondale field and black top.


Join us to catch up with old friends and make a few new ones.  Main course of BBQ chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs will be provided by the PTO.  Please bring

1) a side dish to share (to feed 6 people) OR ready-to-eat fruit like sliced watermelon or berries (to feed 6 people)

2) non-alcoholic drinks for your family

3) a blanket or chairs for picnicking.


NOTE:  No alcohol is allowed on school property. Also, Ormondale has a Healthy Foods policy so please do not bring sugary treats for sharing (see www.pvsd.net for more details).


Questions or wanting to help -- Contact Caroline Krauskopf at [email protected] or Brook Coffee at [email protected]  

Corte Madera Home
Michael's Message: CMS Principal's Message 
Welcome Back


The quiet days of summer have quickly given way to the energy, excitement and "hustle and bustle" of the start of school. I would like to say "thank you" to the Corte Madera staff and parents for all the hard work in preparing for school to open. Our teachers have been collaborating, preparing curriculum and getting their classrooms ready to welcome our students back. Our office staff has been handling all the logistics required to open our school, our dedicated custodial staff has worked tirelessly over the summer to make sure every corner of the school is clean and in good working order and our parent volunteers have been working since last school year to support our efforts to make 2013-14 a great year!


This school year promises to be an exciting one as we welcome our new 4th grade families, begin implementation of our new strategic plan, shift to the common core standards and enhance our instruction to make sure we extend ourselves to meet the needs of all learners.


I look forward to sharing with you all the exciting things going on at Corte Madera throughout the school year and I know our Panthers are going to have a fun, challenging and exciting year of learning!


Principal's Coffee

Are you interested in hearing about the exciting things going on at CMS? Want to share you thoughts and ideas? Join Mr. Corritone for coffee on the following dates from 8:00 - 9:00am in Room 102. Additional dates will be added to the calendar later in the year.


September 24

October 29

December 10


Back To School Night - Time Adjustment

BTSN on September 12 will be as follows:


Grades 4 & 5: 5:00 - 6:45pm

Grades 6,7 & 8: 6:00 - 8:00pm


More detailed schedule information will be sent out soon.



Please Welcome

You will see a new face in the CMS front office this year. I am pleased to welcome Susan Outland as our new school secretary replacing Emily Marwedel, who has taken a position on our district's technology team. Susan comes to CMS with background experience in the private sector as well as schools and we are fortunate to add her to our front office team.


Michael Corritone

Corte Madera Principal

PTO Welcome Back

Welcome back to a new school year at Corte Madera after what we hope was a fun and relaxing summer for all the staff, parents and children.


The PTO has many fantastic programs and activities planned this school year. We will start the fall off with 4/5 grade cocoa breakfasts, 6-8 grade BBQ lunches, photo day and the annual book fair. Thank you to all the parents who have already offered to lead one of these wonderful programs.


Please stop by the CMS Welcome Back Coffee Monday from 7:30 am - 10:30 am and enjoy a latte while learning about the variety of volunteer opportunities available. The coffee cart will be serving coffee creations from 7:30 am - 10:30 am in the courtyard directly behind the office and library.


We look forward to seeing you Monday morning and hearing from you through out the year. Any ideas, feedback or questions are always welcome.


Sharon Shaffer, Corte Madera PTO President            [email protected]

Heather Asborno, Corte Madera PTO Vice President           [email protected]

Community Calendar and Events
Library Programs 

The library welcomes the school community back for a new year of learning and discovery!  We've been busy planning informative and fun programs for patrons of all ages. 


Firstly, the Summer Reading Program ends on Saturday, August 31.  If you are in 5th grade or under, and haven't turned in your reading logs yet, there is still time.  Show us your completed log to get a free book and a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of many prizes.  For teens, turn in your reading log and get a chance to win a $50 iTunes card.  The grand raffle prize for adult participants is a Kindle eReader.


On Wednesday, August 28 @ 4 PM, the Surfing Magician will bring his comedy magic show to the library.  The Surfing Magician has recently been seen on the shores of Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk and will be coming to dazzle, amaze and amuse us in Portola Valley.  For all ages. This program is generously funded by the Friends of the Portola Valley Library.


In addition, the library will be supporting Second Harvest Food Bank on August 28 with Fill the Barrel Day to help Stop Childhood Hunger in San Mateo County.  So bring a can of food to the library and stay for the magic show!


The Portola Valley Library is located at 765 Portola Rd at Town Center.  You can contact us at 650.851.0560 or [email protected].  Like us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/portolavalleylibrary

Classroom Volunteers Needed in East Palo Alto

Classroom Volunteers Needed in East Palo Alto - An Hour a Week Could Change a Student's Life

We are looking for parents willing to volunteer in a K-4 classroom this school year.  Assist teachers with tutoring and individualized instruction much like you may have done in your own child's classroom, but these classes have no parents helping...no PTA. The schools are located in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park.  It's one hour per week with training starting September 6th. Our organization coordinates everything. To learn more about us, visit www.allstudentsmatter.org.  Have questions or want to sign up?  Contact Carolyn Blatman at [email protected].  
Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory (PVTC)

Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory (PVTC) offers imaginative, challenging THEATRE CLASSES this fall!


PVTC's classes are open to students of all skill level, novice to experienced in Pre-K through high school. In addition to teaching acting skills, these classes build self-confidence and encourage collaboration with peers. Each week, students learn about theatre through well-loved theatre games and creative acting exercises. Students also rehearse a short play that is performed at the end of our 8-week session for family and friends. One of the highlights of the performance, in addition to the fact that all students get lines, is using simple costumes, props, & lighting, and performing the play on a real stage.  Our fall theme is "Folktales, Myths, and Legends," so all of our short plays will center on classic stories of adventure and heroism. Thursday classes begin Sept. 5. All other classes begin the week of Sept. 9. Register online at www.pvtc-ca.org . Questions? Email [email protected] 
Dance Expressions 
Come join us for dance at Dance Expressions in Menlo Park! Our brand new dance year starts September 3 with many great classes. Start the year off right and join in on the fun! For a complete schedule, please visit www.danceexpressions5678.com . For more information and placement, please contact Maryanne at [email protected].  
Windmill Preschool 
Windmill School in Portola Valley has a few spaces available in their Pre-K program for children eligible for Kindergarten in the fall of 2013.   Children who are age eligible for 2013-14 Kindergarten, but prefer a preschool program for another year due to summer/ fall birthday may also attend our Pre K program.  The class meets Monday through Thursday from 1-4pm with a 1:8 ratio.  


Windmill School is a play-based school designed to focus on children's interest through open - ended exploration. Our classroom opens to a large private playground giving the children access to indoor/outdoor play depending on their preferences. Children are active participants in problem solving and conflict resolution fostering the self - regulation and executive function they need in Kindergarten.


If you are interested please contact our director Thankamma Poulose at 650-851-0771 ext. 2#. For additional information please visit www.windmillschool.com.

Wonders Around the World-After-School Science and Nature 
Wonders Around the World



Wonders of nature abound from warm sandy beaches to the frozen poles, and this class will be going around the world to make their discoveries. Using lots of hands-on activities and outdoor explorations, children will learn about rainforests and deserts, oceans and creeks, volcanoes and glaciers, and more.


Yvonne Tryce will be the instructor for this enrichment opportunity for kindergarten through third grade children. The fee will be $200 for the entire 8-week session. Fees include both materials and snacks and are due upon registration to reserve a space in the class. You may sign up now at the Town Center offices or on-line at the Town website www.portolavalley.net. If you have questions, please send an e-mail to [email protected].


Wednesdays 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Sept. 25, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13