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Weekly Post
October 28, 2013
Superintendent's Message
It's that time of the year when the weather stays damp longer in the morning, so bundle up those little people. I was at ORM on Thursday morning, singing with Mrs. Castillo's kinders in Mr. White's class and editing complete sentences with Mrs. Wong's 2nd graders, great fun...but the kids said they didn't bring jackets!


Great information was shared at the board meeting last week in regards to the climate survey at CMS. I'm sorry that there weren't many people there to hear it. Did you know that 98% of the students surveyed said "my teachers cares about me"? Or that 98% of the students reported students get along with other students at CMS? A lot of great work is happening at CMS, thanks to the leadership of Michael Corritone and Kristen Shima.


I just have to share a story that Michael shared at the meeting. He was out on the blacktop during lunch recess on Wednesday with groups of students playing four-square, except these groups were very mixed (4th-8th graders playing together). I'm sure you can remember back to your days as a middle schooler and how it might not have been that cool to play with students much younger than you. Michael observed how respectfully the students were playing, including some rough and tumble 8th graders who could have won each game using their strength to beat their opponents. Instead, he noticed how the students were playing much gentler than they would have with their 8th grade classmates, making the game more challenging but competitive for the 4th graders who were really able to hold their own.  After the 4th and 5th graders went back to class, Michael thanked the 8th graders quietly to the side, he said, "The 4th and 5th graders really love playing with you" to which one 8th grade boy responded, "We love it too."


Congratulations, parents! You're raising respectful young people and they are surrounded by adults who bring out the best in them and challenge them in the classroom and beyond.


Kudos to teacher Dr. Davenport who will be presenting at CUE on Teacher Dashboard, sharing his models of effective use of technology and the "PV Way" with other teachers and leaders in Northern California.


And more thank you's to parents Aimee Armsby who volunteered for the "Expectations Team" as well as Lynn Holthaus and Elisa Jagerson who volunteered for the "Design Thinking Team." We appreciate your willingness to help us evaluate our expectations and our master schedules.


In closing, I wanted to thank all of you who have weighed in on the 8th grade field trip options. At the board meeting, it was shared that we have some legal stipulations with regards to out-of-state travel and use of public funds (we can't use them for student travel). We are going to establish a field trip task force (it still needs a name) to look at how we sustain funding for a trip to Washington DC every year. We look forward to your support, your constructive feedback, and your work with us to ensure our students have the best opportunities they can have.


Lisa Marie Gonzales, Ed.D.
Portola Valley School District
In This Issue
Years of Service
Turkey Trot
eScrip and Amazon.com
ORM Principal's Message
CMS SART Pastel Party
CMS Animal Update
CMS Book Fair
Community Section
This Week's Calendar
Ormondale * Corte Madera * District
Mon, October 28 (B)  

CMS 6/7/8 Conferences
Tue, October 29 (A) 

CMS 6/7/8 Conferences


CMS Principal's Coffee 8am Room 102  

Wed, October 30 (B) 

CMS 6/7/8 Conferences

Thu, October 31 (A)  

CMS 6/7/8 Conferences

ORM Halloween Parade 8:15am

CMS Halloween Parade 12:30pm
Fri, November 1 (B)

CMS 6/7/8 Conferences

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

Save the Date: Years of Service Celebration

Friday, November 15th, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Portola Valley Town Center


Biennially the PV-PTO, teachers, staff and community recognize some of our finest for their years of service to the district. This year, come celebrate with us as we honor the following staff for their outstanding dedication:


10 Years

Brigetta Brown

Kate Cox

Treena Diehl

Julie Flynn

Kathy Hoskin

Jeff Mead

Daniela Senties

20 Years
Dan Flahavan


10 Year Honorees not able to attend the ceremony are John Davenport, Anne Gronet, and Denise Schectman.


Our 20 Year Honoree not able to attend is Denise Falzon.


When you see these special honorees on campus next, let them know how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication to our children and the school community.

Turkey Trot  
1K and 5K Run/Walk
Saturday, November 16th, 2013
8 am - 11 am
Running Turkey


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, choose:


Electronic Registration: http://2013ormturkeytrot.eventbrite.com 


Paper Registration: Click here to open the registration form to print.


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

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,


Fall is here with the leaves changing colors and our cool and foggy mornings. It is hard to believe it, but we are starting the tenth week of the school year. This might be our students favorite time of year, Halloween! Hard to disagree with them with all of the dress up and trick or treating going on! We are looking forward to a fun and spooky week!


Over the past few weeks we have hosted a number of local and international visitors who are interested in visiting Ormondale.   It is my job to give them tours and show off the school, which is a lot of fun with all of the great things going on. Three of the noticings our groups always comment on are the wonderful learning environment, the quality instruction and the parent participation. Walking through the halls, our visitors notice parents helping students with 1:1 reading instruction and 1:1 math help in our Power Builders program. The Power Builders program has a rich history at Ormondale. If you are interested, you can find an informational letter, a K-1 sample video and a 2-3 sample video at http://pvsd.net/domain/22. Here is a quick excerpt about Power Builders.


What is Power Builders?

It's a program to help learn math facts to the level of automaticity.


What is automaticity and why is it important?

Automaticity is when we can go quickly without error and without much conscious attention. Automaticity with math facts means we can answer any math fact instantly and without having to stop and think about it.

Automaticity is important because the whole point of learning facts is to use them in the service of higher and more complex math problems. We want students to be thinking about the complex process, the problem-solving or the multi-step algorithm they are learning, while not having to stop and ponder the answer to simple math facts.


Halloween Parade on Thursday, October 31st @ 8:15 AM

The Halloween tradition is a fun one for all involved. We have a few guidelines to make sure that it continues to be fun for all. We ask that all costumes are age appropriate, with no violent costumes and no weapons of any kind. Please have your child wear their costume to school and plan to stay for the Halloween Parade from 8:15 - 9:00. Please send a change of clothes for your child, so that they can switch back into learning mode after the Halloween festivities are over.  


Turkey Trot

Our Turkey Trot is coming up on Saturday, November 16th @ 8:00 AM. Registration is being accepted from now until the day of the race, but the sooner the better.


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




Kevin F. Keegan     

Corte Madera Home
SART Pastel Party Thank You 
The SART Pastel Party was a HUGE success.  In the true spirit of Science and Art, the wildlife inspired artwork was exceptional and a good time was had by all!  Remember, it is not too late to donate!  


Many thanks to the generous family donations which have reached $2,660 and counting!  Several local business also stepped up to support the program, contributing another $2,400!  I often visit my favorite vendors to share the fruits of the SART program, bringing in our shed tarantula exoskeletons, up-cycled artwork, and tales of harrowing hamster & snake adventures.  How could anyone possibly resist?  

Be sure to thank the following businesses for their support of SART:

Vintage Bath in Los Altos, PV Ace Hardware, Ron Ramies Automotive, Robert's Market, Tom Ramies & the Portola Valley Garage, Bianchini's Market,  Konditorei Cafe, Wildwood Veterinary Hospital, and last but not least, the Ladera Cleaners.  Thank you all so much.  Please be sure to tell these businesses that you appreciate their generous support!  

I am practically an employee emeritus at Ace Hardware, being a tool belt sort of gal. Corte Madera student will soon begin work on a mural that will grace the hardware store window.   This will be a collaborative painting involving the recess SART students, largely 4th-6th graders, and 7th grade students in the SART elective.  The subject will be a Periodic Table of Hardware and promises to be lots of fun!!  During these outreach efforts, Bianchini's also invited our group to create some winter artwork for their window displays.

Thank you for your support and for fostering students that bring out my own passion for the Arts and Sciences.  Their gratitude and enthusiasm feeds my dedication to SART and makes the Portola Valley School District a special place to be of service.

Thank you again and please visit us!  Parents are ALWAYS welcome to drop in.  The lunch time action is between 12:30 and 1:10 p.m. (Wed. 12:20 - 1:00 p.m.).

Treena Joi Diehl (a.k.a 'Ms. Tree')

SART Animal Update 
Where do Pastel Funds go in the SART program?   Our bearded dragons have recently visited the vet for treatment, at great expense.  We are lucky to have a reptile specialist locally at the Wildwood Veterinary hospital across from the Town Center.  Our clinician, Dr. Sanders, was kind enough to let me film some of the procedures and these are posted on my new and improved webpage.   

The good doctor was also so impressed by our program, and my pitch, that he sponsored a square for the Pastel Party.  This treatment has been educational as students learn about recognizing the signs of disease in organisms that cannot talk, the life cycles of intestinal parasites, and their medicinal detection and treatment.
Corte Madera Bookfair is coming!
Corte Madera bookfair is November 4 - 8.  The Annex will be filled with books for children, teens, and adults. Check out what's new and terrific.  Buy gifts for the holidays.  Donate books to your classroom teacher and the library.  All proceeds help fund the school library.  We will be open everyday 7:30 - 5pm.

Community Calendar and Events
Portola Valley Library Program
Is it magic or is it science?  Come and see for yourself at the Xtreme Science Magic Show with Don O'Brien on Wednesday, October 30 @ 4 PM.  Be amazed and wowed by the fast-moving and interactive upbeat show.  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

Alpine Strikers Spring 2014 Tryouts 

Alpine Strikers FC is excited to announce upcoming tryouts for the spring season. If your child is excited about soccer, she or he might be ready to come out and participate in these tryouts. Players new to the club can be evaluated via age group wide tryouts. Roster openings vary from team to team and are at the discretion of the coaches. For general club information, please visit www.alpinestrikers.org. To register your child for tryouts, please click here