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Weekly Post
November 4, 2013
Superintendent's Message

What wonderful Halloween events at our schools on Thursday. I love the spirit and air of playful fun. Thanks to all of the parents there to enjoy. Hope you captured some great pictures.


On Wednesday, I had an opportunity to spend some extended time in classrooms at Corte Madera. Many of you were at Mr. Frederick's Publishing Day where students shared final drafts of personal narratives. I worked with two students, Joe and Julia, who explained their process and the use of Google docs to get feedback and review edits from classmates. When asked probing questions, students had to defend how they came upon their revisions.

The skills I observed students demonstrate are those the Common Core expects us to do more of - explain, collaborate, defend, revise, reflect - and these are skills you can reinforce at home in all grades when students are sharing their own work and completing assignments.


Right now, as part of our Strategic Plan, we are reviewing the many ways we communicate, including with the Weekly Post. We are aware of the different methods used to communicate with parents and are trying to hone our messages to get to you the information you need in a method that is most effective. While a work in progress, I appreciate the input of the PTO (Kristi Patterson and her "weekly post" team) and others who have provided feedback.


Congratulations to Juan Green who is retiring as our Custodian at Corte Madera School. If you see him, please stop by and tell him he will be missed after more than 10 years of service to our district. Did you know that Jon Barth, our new Chief Business Officer, started last week? Do stop by and say HI or welcome him at our next board meeting on November 13th.


Have a great week!


Lisa Marie Gonzales, Ed.D.
Portola Valley School District
$100K Challenge Grant Extension Ends This Wednesday!


Time is running out to unlock the $100,000 grant! 


We can't make our goal without your help. We are seeking a suggested donation of $2,000 per student or whatever amount is meaningful to your family. If you haven't had the opportunity to give yet, please donate or pledge today. EVERY DONATION MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
In This Issue
State Testing and Common Core Update
Celebrate Your Child's Creativity
School Photos
Turkey Trot
Safe Routes to School
Years of Service
ORM Principal's Message
CMS Principal's Message
CMS Book Fair
CMS Basketball Registrations
Reusable Bags Sale
More Pastel Party Thanks
Community Section
This Week's Calendar
Ormondale * Corte Madera * District
Mon, November 4 (A)  

CMS 4/5 Conferences
CMS Book Fair, Annex, 
7:30 am - 5 pm
Tue, November 5 (B) 


CMS 4/5 Conferences
CMS Book Fair, Annex,
7:30 am - 5 pm 
PTO Meeting at ORM, 3:30 pm
Joint Priorities Meeting, CMS Room 102, 5:30 pm
Wed, November 6 (A) 

ORM Cultural Arts Assembly, Author Marc Barnett,
 10:35 am
CMS 4/5 Conferences
CMS Book Fair, Annex,
7:30 am - 5 pm 
PVSF Phonaton, 6:30 pm
Thu, November 7 (B)  

CMS 4/5 Conferences

CMS Book Fair, Annex, 
7:30 am - 5 pm 
Fri, November 8 (A)

ORM 1st Grade field trip:  
Pastorino's Farm
CMS BBQ for 6/7/8 Grade
CMS 4/5 Conferences
CMS Book Fair, Annex,
7:30 am - 5 pm 
Weekly Post Reminders: 
To submit an article to the Weekly Post, please send it to weeklypost@pvsd.net.  Deadline is Thursday at noon.  See the PVSD website for more information

State Testing and Common Core Update
Greetings Portola Valley Community,

The shift to the new common core State Standards has begun across the country. All California public schools will officially test on the common core standards starting Spring of 2015. As Dr. Gonzales shared in previous weekly posts, state leaders realized that doing one more year of STAR testing, which is based on the 1997 standards, would not be useful. There will be only two state requirements for STAR testing for this Spring. 
  1. Science will be required for 5th and 8th grade. 
  2. The California Alternative Performance Assessment (CAPA) that is taken by a small percentage of students with special needs.
California's new assessment system is the California Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress, or CalMapp. CalMapp is an online, adaptive test based on the Smarter Balanced assessments, also known as SBAC. Results of the CalMapp will not be able to be compared to STAR as they are completely different types of assessment. For the Spring of 2014, students in grades 3-8 will take either the English Language Arts or Math portion of the CalMapp. PVSD will not be able to choose which subject area our students will take. Additionally, there will be no score reporting or performance feedback for the Spring 2014 CalMapp testing at the district or parent level. This year will essentially be a test of the test. 

The upside of having a year without a formal standardized assessment is that we can get ready for 2015. Teachers will be able to focus specifically on the new standards. Students will be able to go into the 2015 testing with familiarity of the interface by practicing click and drag, highlighting text, typing responses, and navigating through the test items etc. If you haven't tried out the assessments already, try these samples.

The challenge of not having score reporting is that we will not be able to measure how our students did with the new test. We will be using other means to assess our effectiveness in transitioning to common core and monitoring students progress in shifting to the new Common Core state standards for English Language Arts, Math, and Science. 

PVSD is coordinating informational nights for parents to learn about common core, more details to follow. In the interim, if you are interested in learning more about common core I recommend visiting here

John Dean
Director of Learning and Media
Portola Valley School District
Celebrate Your Child's Creativity!

PV-PTO  has teamed up with Original Works, a nation-wide art-based program, to offer this special opportunity to order memorable gifts for any occasion, and support the PV-PTO at the same time!


Your child's artwork can be reproduced onto a wide selection of high quality full-color products, ranging from magnets, iPhone cases, mugs, mouse pads to t-shirts, tote bags and tiles...and more!  


Please participate in this fun way to show off your child's creative talents -- and support the PV-PTO in providing innovative programs and recognition for our teachers and students


All orders are due on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 to ensure timely delivery for the holidays.  Checks should be made out to "PV-PTO".

Place your order in the Original Works DROP BOX in your school office, or return packet and order with your student to their teacher.


For questions or more information:

School Photos - Update!
By now you should have received an email from iClickSmiles with information on how to view and order your child's photos through the iClickSmiles website. If you do not have access to the web, they will send you an order form via the mail. Please contact iClickSmiles directly at: 888-298-0744, cs@iclicksmiles.com, or visit www.iClickSmiles.com for more information.

Makeup Photo Day is Wednesday, Nov 13th!  To participate please follow this link and fill out ALL the information.
You MUST be signed up no later than Tuesday November 5th. 
Signups after the 5th will not be possible.

Thank you's! Thank you to our wonderful parent volunteers!  Photo Day was a huge success thanks to the following...
Ormondale: Kirsten Dalm and Jeff Klugman
Corte Madera:  Tiffany Hong and Sonia Reed

For any additional questions please contact a Photo Day Parent Coordinator:
Ormondale: Sarah Byrne
Corte Madera: Elise Gabrielson

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. 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 (urbanek.karen@gmail.com) or Aimee Armsby (armsbyfamily@comcast.net) if you have any questions.


Turkey Trot Lunchtime Running
Lap running around the field at lunch recess for 1-3 graders on Monday and Friday this week. Prizes will be handed out both days. Questions or to help volunteer (we need more volunteers to help the more than 75 kids who came out and ran this past week!), please contact Kari Rust at karirust@sbcglobal.net.

Turkey Trot Lunchtime Training
Mr. C and Turkey Trot organizers have set a goal: each Ormondale student will try to run ONE mile at school before the Turkey Trot on November 16. Students will be running in PE class and can also get laps at lunchtime training. Free playground balls for the whole school once every student has reached our goal!
Safe Routes to School
Ormondale Golden Sneaker Awards
Prizes were handed out last week at Ormondale for all of the terrific participation in our Golden Sneaker program. Winning grades for the two week bike/walk/bus to school program were:

Kindergarten - Andrighetto
First - Miller
Second - Wong
Third - Lebsack

Winning overall grade with the highest participation: Second Grade. Bravo second graders and your teachers!

85 Ormondale students participated every day. Outstanding job to all of you daily participants!

Bike/Walk to School Days
The International Bike/Walk Day at Ormondale was a wonderful success. 175 students participated, and our terrific volunteer crew was out helping pass out treats to everyone.

Corte Madera had 130 particpants for International Bike/Walk to School Day. Great job to all of the participants and the wonderful 8th grade crew for all your help passing out treats. 

Save the dates for the next Bike/Walk to School Days:
Ormondale- Wednesday, November 13
Corte Madera - Friday, November 15

Parent Transportation Survey
Please take a quick moment to fill out the online Safe Routes to School survey coming your way via the district office. We appreciate all of your participation and help with collecting transportation data. Last year PVSD won two bicycles for the highest percentage of participation in this survey, and those bicycles are used in P.E. classes at Corte Madera on a regular basis.
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.

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

Dear Families,


Monday was quite the day at Ormondale! The wind storm whipped through our redwood trees and covered the playground with leaves and branches. It was great to see the students, parents and staff working together, evidence of our teamwork life skill, to push aside the branches, so we could get back to playing basketball, two touch and jump rope. I was particularly impressed with the students who invented brooms with redwood branches. We also had some students who invented new rules to two touch, allowing a third touch, but only if it was with a branch. 


Differentiation at Ormondale is something that happens on a daily basis and something that educators are always working to perfect. There are some fabulous videos and information on our website at http://pvsd.net/domain/26. For more information, click on the link and explore some of the videos and literature. Below is an introduction to differentiation.


Differentiation Introduction

Every child is unique. Differentiation is the process by which teachers respond to student learning styles, skills, interests, background knowledge, and academic readiness to maximize learning. Engaging students in meaningful, respectful tasks at each stage of their development may appear outwardly different in each grade level, but the purpose is always to enable them to learn to the best of their ability. The goal is for differentiation to be woven seamlessly into the fabric of each classroom, making this process invisible to the students as it is simply part of how every day unfolds.



The Halloween parade was a huge hit. Thank you to all of the families who attended and to all of the students who were full of laughter and excitement. Thank you to Mr. White for his efforts to build on the excitement of Halloween, while teaching the students about music and movement through songs of the season. The Monster Mash was great!   


Turkey Trot

Our Turkey Trot is coming up on Saturday, November 16th @ 8:00 AM. Many of our students are practicing twice a week during their lunch play time. They are excited and getting ready! Registrations are 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 kkeegan@pvsd.net or 650-851-1777.




Kevin F. Keegan     

Corte Madera Home
Corte Madera Principal's Message

4th and 5th Grade Conferences

4th and 5th Grade Conference Week is this week, November 4-8. Information about meeting time and location was sent home with students on Friday afternoon. It was also posted outside the classrooms last week.

Important: Please note that only those conferences held on Wednesday will be in your child's classroom. All other conferences will be in a different location on campus so please review the information that was sent home on Friday. This information will also be posted in front of the CMS main office this week so please arrive to your designated location at least 5-10 minutes ahead of your conference time to ensure the meetings begin on time and stay on schedule.

Thank you very much. Please feel free to contact the main office if you have any questions.


8th Grade Trip to Washington, DC from June 1st - 6th, 2014 is a Go!

Specific information about the 8th grade field trip to Washington, DC was sent home with students and emailed to parents last Friday. Payment forms are due Thursday, November 7! Please contact Mr. Corritone, Susan Strehlow, Angie Schillace or Dave Kastanis with any questions.


Michael Corritone


CMS 6/7/8 Grade BBQ Lunch
The CMS BBQ lunch for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders is now on Friday, November 8.
If you have ordered lunch through Choicelunch, you can cancel up until Thursday 9 am for full credit. For more information, see http://www.choicelunch.com/help/
Corte Madera Book Fair is Coming Today!
Corte Madera book fair starts today until November 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.
CMS 6/7/8th Grade Basketball Registrations
CMS basketball registrations are available online. Click on this link to register.

Contact Dan Flahavan or Kate Cox if you have any questions.  

Registrations are due by Friday, 11/8.  Registrations cannot be guaranteed if they are late.

  • 8th Boys: Games on Monday
  • 7th Boys: Games on Friday
  • 6th Boys: Games on Wednesday 
  • 8th Girls: Games on Monday
  • 7th Girls: Games on Thursday
  • 6th Girls: Games on Tuesday
Reusable Bags to Support 4/5 Learning Service Project

Ready to do some guilt-free shopping for a great cause? We need your help! Mixed Bag Designs is helping CMS 4th and 5th grade classes with our Service Learning Project -- to support four street children in Afghanistan via Trust In Education.

Anyone can support us - all they have to do is shop online at www.mixedbagdesigns.com and use our ID#250566 and 40% of the purchase price will be donated to Trust In Education!  Help us keep our four students off the street and in school for another year.

Mixed Bag Designs has tons of products for everyone in the family including reusable grocery bags, travel totes, shopping bags and more! With the recent county wide ban on plastic bags, this is the perfect time to get stylish bags for holiday gifts AND some for your self too.


Go to the www.mixedbagdesigns.com and start shopping! Every purchase helps us! Forward this email on to your friends and family too, we need all the help we can get and the more the merrier!


Want to have a full color catalog delivered to you? Email Renee Courington and we will drop one off.


Thank you!  


4th and 5th grade Students of Ms. Fox/Ms. Rhodes/Ms. Gronet

More Pastel Party Thanks
More Pastel Party thanks are needed to do justice to all of the parents who came together to donate, time, energy, and funds to keep SART up and running. First, I would like to applaud the work of Lisa Cianfichi behind the scenes to plan the event and organize parent volunteers. There were several parents that helped us out on the day of the event with snacks and drinks; I would like to thank Carrie Davis, Kathie Sutherland, Lisa Hill, Elizabeth De Oliveira, Rebecca Scott, and Janelle Gibson.

SART owes the following parents many thanks for contributing to SART:

Rebecca Scott, Sukamol Jakobsson, Michelle Bellomo, Carrie Davis, Lisa Cianfichi, Kathie Sutherland, Lisa Hill, Cindy Russell, Elizabeth De Oliveira, Lisa Palermo, Alona Gian, Pilar Frank, Janelle Gibson, Courtney Tidmarsh, Sandra Vaughan, Tricia Law, Jenny Vaughan, Nancy Orchard, Sonia Reed, and last but not least, 7th grade student Codey & big sis, Courtney Nahmens, class of 2010.  

Their support keeps popular programs like the guinea pig literacy project going. For those naysayers that think our furry friends are just looking at the pictures stop by and ask our guinea pig, Panda, for yourself. 

We have a gecko singing club that is gaining in popularity, look out Panache!  Hagrid would love to thank you personally, when she's done chowing down on crickets! 

Once again, it is not too late to donate and please, please, please stop by and visit us. Parents are always welcome, we are open weekly from 10:00 to 10:15, 12:30 to 1:10 (Wednesdays 12:20 to 1:00). I would appreciate any parent  volunteers to help guide crafts or just help keep an eye on the masses. It can be a mob, especially between 12:30 and 1:00.

Many people have said that they would still like to donate. Make checks to payable to PVSD, attn. Treena Diehl and your donation will be processed for SART.

Thanks again, the students, parents, and terrific colleagues keep me going!

Treena Joi Diehl
'Ms. Tree'

Community Calendar and Events
The students of Menlo-Atherton High School are launching their annual Canned Food Drive on Tuesday, November 5, and hope the greater community will rally around the growing number of San Mateo County residents who cannot feed themselves and their families. One in 4 people in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are at risk for hunger, many of them children. 


M-A has again partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank to connect families with food sources beyond the Food Drive. Also supporting the Food Drive again are: in Portola Valley, Bianchini's and Roberts Market; in Menlo Park, Draeger's, Trader Joe's and both Safeway stores; in Redwood City, Key Market (Marsh Manor) and the Safeway (Sequoia Station), and in Palo Alto, Whole Foods. Here is how you can help the families in your community:

  • When you are shopping, please add a few extra cans to your cart and drop them into the Second Harvest Food Bank barrels.
  • Donate online at https://www.shfb.org/donateonline. Type high school in the Online Food Drive box and select Menlo-Atherton to have your gift can properly credited to the M-A outreach.

Questions? Please contact feedourfamilies@mabearspta.org.

Reading Volunteers Needed for East Palto Alto 3rd Graders - 1 Hour per Week
All Students Matter needs parent volunteers for a structured reading program called Reading Scholars at Brentwood Academy in East Palo Alto (behind Home Depot). Volunteers help 3rd graders who are reading below grade level. For one hour a week you will meet with the same child and read books together. We will provide the training, supplies and coordinate the time. You'll see specific changes in your student's reading over time and enjoy getting to know an enthusiastic and motivated student. Have questions or want to sign up?  Contact Jeanette Kennedy or Carolyn BlatmanTo learn more about our volunteer group, visit www.allstudentsmatter.org.
Golden State Warriors Basketball Camp During Winter Break
The Golden State Warriors will be conducting a basketball camp in Los Altos Hills this Winter.  A four-day session at Foothill College for boys and girls, ages 7-15, will be conducted December 30 - January 3 (No camp on New Year's Day). 
In addition to high quality instruction, all campers receive a reversible Warriors jersey, headband, player evaluation, certificate, two (2) tickets to a Golden State Warriors 2013-2014 home game and more! For more information, please call (510) 986-5310 or go to warriors.com/camps.  Online registration is available. For flyer and registration form, click here.
Portola Valley Library Program

The Lego Club will be meeting this month on Saturday, November 9 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 (portolavalley@smcl.org) the library. 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 portolavalley@smcl.org.  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