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Weekly Post
October 7, 2013
Superintendent's Message

This week was historic: our Governor, Jerry Brown, signed Assembly Bill 484 (Bonilla, D-Concord) which suspends most standardized tests and replaces them with no-stakes field tests aligned to the new Common Core State Standards. The move to Smarter Balanced Assessment Collaborative (SBAC) test is intended to assess students on skills that reflect real world knowledge needed for our young people to succeed in college and careers.


I was part of a conference call with State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, on Friday, along with our PVSD Director of Learning & Media, John Dean. We were able to have many of our questions addressed on the changes with assessment and our transition.


This move to SBAC will save the state $25 million in testing costs that will now be applied to all districts being able to use the pilot test.   What is important to note is that this year is about testing the test, not the students. No individual student data will result from this spring's assessment, but rather allow teachers and students to experience what it looks like, the technology that will work, what decisions we need to make in PVSD around access to technology, informing instruction on how students are expected to perform and more. The more exposure for our teachers and students, the better our transition in PVSD and in California.


Although SBAC is nothing like we've done in the past in California, it is similar to what we've been using in PVSD with regards to the MARS assessment in math (Mathematical Assessment Resource Service). Want to try it? Go to this site: bit.ly/sbacsample and click "sign in" (don't worry about the other boxes).  Select a grade level on the next screen and click the "Yes" box. You'll see the options for that grade level. Spend a few minutes and see if you're smarter than a 5th grader, or a different grade. When I do it, I notice it's different than any assessments I've used with students or that I experienced when we were all students.


Other notes this week: I'm looking for some parent volunteers. I'm looking for a few volunteers who can join us as we move our strategic plan forward. First of all, I need a few people who can meet during the day (or remotely) in future weeks to help establish a draft of district expectations, which will include norms and protocols we'll use in the district around how we work together and how we make decisions. Secondly, we need a few of you "design thinkers" to join a teacher team looking at our master schedules, particularly at Corte Madera. These meetings will take place in afternoons over the next few months. You can sign up for either group. Interested? Sign up here by Friday, October 11, 2013 at 5 pm.


Great coffee this week for the Learning Differences Advisory Group. Thank you to Student Services Coordinator Julie Flynn and parents Sarah Wernikoff and Jennifer Youstra for your leadership. This casual but effective group is always welcoming parents to their coffees, whether you have students receiving support services or you just want to be around parents who you can work with to share concerns. The focus of this group is: working together!


Lisa Marie Gonzales, Ed.D.
Portola Valley School District


There are only 4 day left until Donation Day! 


We need to collect $800,000 in donations and pledges to unlock this grant and can't do it without your help.   For more information or to donate on line, visit us at 

We will also be collecting donations at the drop off line at both schools on Thursday morning. Thank you in advance for making a difference in our schools! 

In This Issue
Ordering Lunch at ORM and CMS
Safe Routes to School
More from CAvSafe Routes
Turkey Trot
eScrip and Amazon.com
ORM Principal's Message
Amazing Bubble Show
School Photos
Thank Yous
ORM Spirit Wear
ORM Language
Traffic Safety around CMS
SART Pastels
Community Section
This Week's Calendar
Ormondale * Corte Madera * District
Mon, October 7 (B) 
 PVTA Meeting
3:30 pm, ORM, Room 5
Tue, October 8 (A) 
Mandated Reporting Training, 
9 am, CMS, Room 102
Wed, October 9 (B) 
ORM Cultural Arts Assembly,
Amazing Bubble Man, 
10:35 am
Thu, October 10 (A)  
PVSF Foundation Day
Fri, October 11 (B)
ORM Picture Day
CMS Bike/Walk to School Day
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

Ordering Lunch at ORM and CMS
The Portola Valley School District is partnering with Choicelunch this year to provide nutritious, delicious meals for our students.
To register, please visit our website at www.pvsd.net, choose Parent & Community, then School Lunch Program, or call Choicelunch at 1-855-GO-LUNCH (1-855-465-8624).

If your child currently participates in Choicelunch we would like to remind you that on all minimum days, including Wednesdays, packed lunches are still offered to all students at both schools. Ormondale students will need to order through the Office Manager at Ormondale.
Safe Routes to School
International Bike/Walk to School Days
Ormondale - Wednesday, October 9th
Corte Madera - Friday, October 11th

Treats for all participants, and spirit points awarded for CMS students!

Golden Sneaker Program for grades K-5 begins Monday, October 7th
It is time for our second Golden Sneaker Award Program. Students in grades K-5 are encouraged to walk to school (or bike or ride the bus) every day for two weeks. The class in each grade with the highest number of participants over the two-week period is awarded the Golden Sneaker award. All students should record their mode of getting to school with their teacher at the start of every day. Special awards for every student who participates every day of the program. 

Thank you, parents and teachers, for your help and support with this program, which encourages walking or biking to school on a more regular basis. Small and simple changes to our daily routine can benefit our health, decrease carbon emissions, and improve the performance of our students. And it's fun!

Free Mountain Bike Skills Class
Bicycle instructors from our CMS pilot after school bike class will be leading a free mountain bike skills class at Windy Hill on Monday, October 14th from 9-11 am. Kids get the day off and anyone grades 4-8 are welcome. Please contact Kari Rust for more information, at [email protected]

More from CA Safe Routes
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is thrilled to share big news from Sacramento, after a year of hard work by advocates and concerns about major changes to Safe Routes to School: 

Walking and bicycling projects will receive a 35 percent boost in state funding through legislation signed by Governor Jerry Brown last week. The bill establishes a new Active Transportation Program funded by $130 million in the first year, including a minimum of $24 million for Safe Routes to School projects and no less than 25 percent to benefit disadvantaged communities. 

This is a truly impressive win, especially after dedicated federal funding for Safe Routes to School was eliminated and California seemed poised to follow suit.  And, with a new Active Transportation Program, we have the opportunity to work with the Administration and the Legislature to continue expand future funding through means such as cap and trade proceeds. 

California made a significant shift in transportation policy toward greater focus on making pedestrian and bicycle travel safer and easier by enacting the Active Transportation Program.
8th Annual Turkey Trot  - Register Now
1K and 5K Run/Walk
Saturday, November 16th, 2013
8 am - 11 am
Running Turkey


This year's Turkey Trot will be held on Saturday, November 16th. Kids love this event! Parents and siblings can run too. The Turkey Trot is a family event for our community that promotes health and introduces children to athletic competition in a friendly spirit.


The artwork contest is underway. One artwork contest winner will be selected from each grade (K-3). Their turkey-themed artwork will be featured on the annual Turkey Trot T-shirt.  Winning artists will also receive a $25 gift certificate to Kepler's Books in Menlo Park. Please submit artwork to the Turkey Trot box in the Ormondale school office by Tuesday, October 15th. Artwork may be drawn on the artwork contest form (sent home in homework packets) or an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of white paper.  Please include name, grade and teacher's name on the back.


Registration is now open.  Both electronic and paper registration options are available. Please go to the links below to register electronically or to download the registration form. Paper registration forms can also be picked up from the school offices.  Advance T-shirt orders will be available until October 25th. A limited number of T-shirts will be available on race day, and at a higher price, so please register early. The PTO wishes all children to have access to the event, regardless of ability to pay. Please contact Karen Urbanek regarding confidential scholarship registration.


To register, click one of the following:

Contact Karen Urbanek ([email protected]) or Aimee Armsby ([email protected]) if you have any questions.


Interested in helping our kids train for the upcoming Turkey Trot? Come out and help with training at Ormondale for grades 1-3 during lunch recess, beginning October 15th, every Tuesday and Friday. We are looking for four volunteers for each day, to help with handing out training cards and recording laps as the kids come around the field. Please contact Kari Rust at [email protected] if you are available to help on either Tuesdays or Fridays from 12:25-12:55 pm. Thank you! 

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.

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

Dear Families,


It has been a wonderful week here at Ormondale.  The students, staff and families have enjoyed every minute of the Book Fair, from picking out new books and reading them on the spot to eating grilled macaroni and cheese sandwiches from our Family Night at the Oasis.  It was also great to see all of our parents on campus for our conference week.  The partnership that we have with our parents, students and teachers is a great asset for our community of learners.  After sitting in on a number of conferences, it is also obvious how much the staff at Ormondale knows about teaching and learning, the individual students at our school and how to set positive goals for the year.    


Foreign Language @ Ormondale           

In order to fill the need for a foreign language at Ormondale, ABC Language will be able to offer Spanish and Mandarin in an after school fee based class.  Please see the information in this Weekly Post about how to sign up.   


TB Test

Thank you to our superstar volunteers, Susan McLaughlin, Cheryl Richter, Kristin Brew, Jennifer Maw, Lisa Cianfichi and Michelle Bellomo who registered, tested and read over 70 volunteers. Thank You!


Book Fair

The Book Fair has been a smashing success!  It is so fun to see students racing in and out of the Book Fair to share show their friends or families the new books they just picked out!  A HUGE Thank You to Sarah Byrne and Julie Dyson for organizing all things Book Fair. 


If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact me at [email protected] or 650-851-1777.




Kevin F. Keegan     

Amazing Bubble Show at Ormondale

This Wednesday October 9, Louis Pearl will bring his Amazing Bubble Show to Ormondale!  Louis has been thrilling audiences around the world for nearly 30 years with the art, magic, science and fun of bubbles.  Be sure to ask your student(s) about his square bubbles, tornado bubbles, or how he put a person inside a bubble!  Thanks to PTO for funding and scheduling this assembly that is sure to inspire both the hearts and minds of all who attend. 

ORM Picture Day
Picture Day will take place on Friday, October 11. In addition to class photos, all individual photos of your child will be taken outside in a natural setting! You will have 5-8 individual poses to choose from and may order as many poses as you'd like. In addition, Color, Black & White and Sepia tone will be available.  PLUS, you will be able to place your order online and your photos will be shipped directly to your home!

PLEASE NOTE: When your child's 
photos are available for ordering, you will receive an email from iClickSmiles ([email protected]) with special ordering instructions.
Questions? Please contact a Photo Day Parent Coordinator:
Ormondale - Sarah Byrne at [email protected].
Thank You

On behalf of our ORM parents and the school library I would like to give a HUGE thank you to Julie Dyson and Sarah Byrne for taking on the enormous effort of organizing this year's book fair.  I don't believe they ever left the MUR!  It was a great success and the new events were super fun and well attended.  I would like to thank Suzie Dickinson for her help, as well as Principal Keegan and Superintendent Gonzales, the special readers on Tuesday night.  We'd also like to thank the first grade parents who provided the Dads' Breakfast and the following for volunteering to help at the book fair: Stacey Low, Ron Eastman, Melvishia Gaines, Susan Silberman, Teri Chilton, Brandie Revoy, Caitlin Kortlang, Hayley Leinfelder, Lynn Holthaus, Stephanie Bisgaard, Liz Cushman, Paul Cushman, Jeff Aalfs, Jenny Unasch, Kari Rust, Kim Zamboldi, Angelica Causor, Kristi Travers, Becky Long, Moonyi Satisfy, Zhiling Liao and junior crew members: Ella Dyson and Catie Byrne. 


And thanks again to all the children and parents who participated in the events and purchased items in support of our library!

The PTO also held TB testing this week at ORM/CMS for the district and would like to thank Susan McLaughlin and her stellar crew of medical professionals: Lisa Cianfichi, Kristin Brew, Jennifer Maw, Cheryl Richter, Artandi Maja, and Martin Bronk for helping us get over 70 parents and 8 staff tested.  We appreciate your generosity in giving your time!
PTO President
Ormondale Spirit Wear for Sale!

We have some new items for sale this year and are planning on making the final order by October 11th.  Fully complete this order form, attach your check (or cash), and place in the envelope.

ABC Language at Ormondale
Dear Ormondale Parents,

ABC Language will be available again as an after-school opportunity at Ormondale. Spanish and Mandarin Chinese language programs will be offered.

CONTENT: Conversational language skills taught through games, play, music and interactive conversation.

SCHEDULE CHOICES:  Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays from 3-4pm
START/END DATES:  Start date week of Oct 21st, 2013, and ending the week of June 9th, 2014 
GRADES/LEVELS: K-3, total beginner Level I, and mid-beginner Level II (those who studied last school year or who have a background in the language)


TEACHING METHODS: ABC Languages is a multi-method school with teachers who  draw from a variety linguistic approaches. ABC teachers need to have a minimum of 2 years teaching experience before they interview with ABC. They then hire teachers literate in a multi-method approach for teaching to "multiple intelligences". ABC tends to favor teachers who like to use a "communicative approach" to teaching, who use "Total Physical Response", and who maintain a "student centered classroom". That is to just name a few of the approaches ABC favors. What this all means is the teacher will be speaking mostly in the target language, the focus will be on attaining real-life practical skills. Fun also is an important component to capture and maintain your child's interest in learning.

HOW TO ENROLL YOUR CHILD:  Click on this link below and fill in your and your child's information: http://www.abclanguagesf.com/peninsula/portolavalley.htm
QUESTIONS?:  Please contact ABC Languages at [email protected]  or 650-204-7908

Corte Madera Home
Important Message from our School Resource Officer

Dear CMS Families, 

Just a reminder from our School Resource Officer, Deputy Ron Derespini, about pick up and drop off procedures in and around CMS. 

  1. Follow the posted No Stopping/No Parking Signs on Alpine and surrounding streets. Do not stop or park in red zones. Parents will be ticketed if they are stopped in these areas dropping off or waiting for their students for pick up. 
  2. Do not make U-turns in the middle of the streets crossing a double yellow line.
  3. If students are crossing a street to get to campus, please make sure they use a crosswalk. Do not let them run out in front or behind your car and then run across the street. The officers have seen some close calls where kids almost are getting hit by oncoming traffic.
  4. Do not speed.
  5. When dropping off in front of CMS, please make sure to pull all the way up to the 4/5 area and then have your child get out of the car. Do not stop in the middle of the drop off line as this holds up traffic.  
  6. Please use your indicator when turning into the CMS parking lot from Indian Crossing.

Our goal is to keep all of our kids safe coming to and from school.  


Ms. Shima

Dean of Students

SART Pastels on the Quad Fundraiser

Sunday October 20th, 10:00 to 4:00 pm


Donors and volunteer artists will use chalk pastels to draw on the concrete retaining wall in the 6-8 CMS picnic area. Donors can draw their own square or they may choose to allow a volunteer artist to draw.  Any artist may participate, regardless of donation, in the spirit of community. The art will beautify campus until the rains wash it away. Wildlife themed drawings will done in chalk pastels directly on the concrete. 


Suggested Donations:

$100 for a  1 x 1 meter square

$50  for a half meter square

$25 for a quarter meter square




The purpose of this fundraiser is to provide an enriching Science & Art program (SART).

Investments in SART cover animal related expenses as well biological, environmental, engineering, and art projects. The club provides time to continue the work being done during classes as well as begin new projects.



Community Calendar and Events
Portola Valley Library Program

In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month, the Parents Place will be presenting a workshop on Monday, October 7 @ 7 PM on Digital Middle School Kids: Understanding the Connected Culture of Tweens and TeensThis workshop is for parents, and describes how youth use social networks, online games and other forms of digital media, and how parents can ensure their kids are using media responsibly and safely. 


Enjoy the Farmers' Market at Town Center, then come into the library and join us for a special Family Storytime on Thursday, October 10 @ 5:30 PMAll ages welcome!  This program is generously funded by the Friends of the Portola Valley Library.


The Lego Club will be meeting this month on Saturday, October 12 from 11 AM-12:15 PM. We provide the Legos, you bring your imagination. Duplo building blocks are now available for our youngest builders.  For ages 0-99!  Please register by calling (650.851.0560) or emailing ([email protected]) the library.  This program is generously funded by the Friends of the Portola Valley Library.


On Wednesday, October 16 @ 4 PM, Linda Janklow of peopleologie will lead a workshop on creating a clay plaque using authentic ancient and symbolic animal hieroglyphs from the Olmec, Maya & Aztec cultures.  These symbols are still used today and the plaque you create can be used as a wall hanging or a rubbing surface.  Space is limited, so please register (650.851.0560 or [email protected]). For ages 4+.  This program is generously funded by the Friends of the Portola Valley Library.


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

Bird Discovery Day

Sunday, October 27, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Portola Valley Town Center

Come to Bird Day and enjoy live birds including a bald eagle, native and exotic birds, and chickens, diverse nests from a wide variety of birds, an amazing array of feathers to examine under microscopes, and samples and information on bird eggs.
Representatives from local agencies include:
  • The Audubon Society which is providing experts on birds,
  • Mid-peninsula Regional Open Space District which will share maps and information for those who wish to go exploring local open space,
  • Palo Alto Junior Museum which will be bringing a bald eagle, and
  • Wildlife Rescue which will advise residents on how to save injured birds and how to adopt a bird.
Sponsored by the Town's Nature and Science Committee. Contact 'Miss Tree' [email protected] for more information.
Join 4H!

Are you interested in 4 H?  Canada 4 H is about helping young people discover their potential and grow into competent, contributing, and caring citizens. Learn-by-doing activities in animals husbandry, cooking, archery and more; help kids enhance their leadership abilities and develop a wide range of life skills.  Come to the Canada 4 H New Family Open House on Thursday, October 10th 6:30pm at Messiah Lutheran Church, 1835 Valota St. (at Woodside Road).  Contact: Kathie Holmes - 650. 299.1541. 

"Halloween Heroes" Costume Drive - Helping Homeless Families

The Portola Valley Cub Scouts and Brownies are joining together to help make Halloween fun for local families in need.  We'll be collecting new and gently-used costumes in all sizes during the week of September 30th.  The scouts will collect costumes for donation to the InnVision Shelter Network (IVSN).  Please dig through your closets and old boxes to support your community by donating a costume.  If you prefer to donate cash, we will purchase costumes to make sure we have a wide range of sizes.  Donations will be collected at Ormonale drop off this Wednesday through Friday (October 2-4) and at Corte Madera drop off on Thursday and Friday (October 3-4).  Also look for collection boxes at the Ormondale Book Fair.  For more information, please contact Rich Zamboldi at [email protected] or Kristi Travers at [email protected]. 

Woodside Pumpkin Festival

Sunday October 20th and  Saturday & Sunday October 26th & 27th


The 1st Annual Woodside Pumpkin Festival guarantees fun for the whole family. Come and pick your pumpkins and enjoy the activities at the Mounted Patrol on Kings Mountain Road in Woodside. There will be a large selection of pumpkins to choose from starting at $5 and activities for the kids. Explore the Haunted House, the Petting Zoo, the Bouncy House and ride the Ponies and the Mechanical Bull.  The Pumpkin Festival Contest results for children ages 5-14 will be announced on Sunday October 20th. Please see the attachment for the contest rules. A portion of the proceeds will benefit local schools and horse organizations. Proudly hosted by the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County located at 521 Kings Mountain Road in Woodside. See you there!

Day of the Horse at Woodside

On Saturday, October 12th, Woodside will hold its 9th annual Day of the Horse at Town Hall from 10:00 am -2:30 pm.  Ride the stage coach, learn about horses, riding programs and how you can get back into the saddle!  Pony rides, petting zoo, horseshoe decorating, carrot cake social, and lots more!  Admission and activities are free.  For more info, visit www.whoa94062.org.

Toddler Caterpillar Class at Carillon Preschool

Carillon preschool and Christ Church are thrilled to announce the formation of a new toddler caterpillar class for ages 1.5-2.9 mos. This class will meet on Friday mornings from 9-10:50 am and is headed by Mindy Lieberman, a dynamic toddler and parent educator who has many years of experiences teaching similar classes. Mindy and Assistant teacher Janette look forward to welcoming you and your child to spend Friday mornings together in our Parish Hall. Parents or caregivers and children will explore art, indoor and outdoor activities, manipulatives, music and story time. There will be an informal discussion for parents or caregivers once the children become ready for separation.


If you would like to enroll please contact Director Kay Erikson no later than October 1st. Space is limited. Please Don't hesitate to call or email if you have any questions.

Kay Erikson
Director Carillon Preschool
(650) 529-1335