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Weekly Post
November 11, 2013
Superintendent's Message

A great deal of work is taking place that supports our Strategic Plan, and we'll continue to share that with you. The "expectations team" should have a survey out to you soon to get your input on the areas we feel will best address how we work together as a school community. We are working with the PTO to look at how we communicate and what methods are most effective, including the use of the Weekly Post.


A team of teachers, administrators, board members, parents, and students started on the process of "design thinking" as a method to analyze our master schedules at Corte Madera, and how we can build student voice and needs into our arrangements and offerings. Principal Michael Corritone will lead this with consultants from CreateEDU, a team from the Stanford D School.


This week we will begin our quest as a district into Project Based Learning (PBL). Fourteen staff members will attend a three-day PBL training that I guarantee will stretch and challenge them, having attended it myself last year. This team will work closely with me to craft the plan to implement PBL in both schools and train all staff. We'll host two meetings this year: one to provide an overview of PBL and one to share implemented projects and reflections. I'm excited and energized by this work, as are our teachers.


Some dates to put on your calendar for three Innovations in Education events that reinforce important work in this first year of our Strategic Plan:


Monday, December 9th from 6-7:30 pm 

Project Based Learning, as presented by Stanford University and the Buck Institute's Justin Wells


Tuesday, December 10th from 6-8 pm

Design thinking - Corte Madera stakeholder meeting/outreach (this is a chance for stakeholders to participate in giving feedback to potential new master schedule options and understand the "design thinking" process)


Tuesday, January 21st from 6-8 pm

Design thinking - Corte Madera stakeholder meeting/outreach (this is another chance for stakeholders to participate in giving final feedback to a potential new master schedule)


Tuesday, February 11th from 6-8 pm

Math and the Common Core, as presented by the Silicon Valley Math Initiative's David Foster


Thursday, March 6th from 6-7:30 pm

Smarter Balanced Assessment System, as presented by Stanford University's Justin Wells


In closing, I just wanted to thank you all for your emails and notes wishing me good luck. I ran (and survived) the New York City Marathon last weekend, a goal I held for over 4 years. I had a long time to think while running....very long. I reflected upon the goal I set of running and finishing the race as strong as I could. And I shared that with my daughters, Kennedy and Landry, in a very vulnerable way.


Throughout the long training weekends, we talked about how important it is to make "stretch goals" and create plans to get there. They regularly referred to my goal chart on our refrigerator, hoping to run a 2:10 half marathon in preparation for New York, and how in 6 attempts, I didn't reach that goal. But that doesn't mean I've stopped trying (or their advice that I should just run a 1:45 half marathon instead, "like daddy").


I hope you share your goals with your children and let them know when you succeed....and when you don't. Our modeling helps build resiliency in our children. As many friends posted on my Facebook page after the race, the comments that I am "a good role model for my children" were those that meant the most to me. Set stretch goals....and fail. That's what a stretch goal is for. We need to be the role models for the little people in our worlds.


Have a great week. 

Lisa Marie Gonzales, Ed.D.
Portola Valley School District
In This Issue
$100K Grant is Unlocked
Ability Awareness
Math Grant
Second Harvest Food Bank
Safe Routes to School
Turkey Trot
Years of Service
eScrip and Amazon.com
ORM Principal's Message
Turkey Trot Lunchtime Training
Reusable Bags Sale
Community Section
This Week's Calendar
Ormondale * Corte Madera * District
Mon, November 11 (B)  
Veteran's Day - No School
Tue, November 12 (A) 


Ability Awareness Week


ORM 10:35 am 
K and 1st Grade Assembly 
String Quartet
ORM 11:15 am 
2nd and 3rd Grade Assembly 
String Quartet
Wed, November 13 (B) 

Ability Awareness Week 
ORM Bike/Walk to School
CMS Photo Make-up Day
School Board Meeting
CMS Room 102, 6 pm
Thu, November 14 (A)  

Ability Awareness Week 
CMS 5th Graders to Chabot

CMS 9:30 am 
Axis Dance Assembly
Fri, November 15 (B)
Ability Awareness Week 


CMS Bike/Walk to School
CMS 4th/5th Graders
Cocoa Breakfast, 7:30 am
CMS Rynewicz's Class 
Lytton Gardens, 10:30 am
CMS 5th Graders to Chabot 
CMS 6th Graders 
Rosicrucian Museum, 8 am
PTO Years of Service 
Town Center, 4 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

$100K Grant is Unlocked

THANK YOU to all the families that helped unlock the $100,000 Challenge Grant!  We couldn't have done it without you! 


If you haven't yet had the opportunity to donate or pledge, we still need your help to get to our $1,000,000 Annual Campaign goal!  We have $97,000 more to go. Please help support our exceptional schools by giving or pledging today.  EVERY family makes a difference!  The Annual Campaign ends 12/12.  Visit us at www.pvschoolsfoundation.org for more information or drop off your donation/pledge in one of the drop boxes at the Ormondale or Corte Madera school offices.


THANK YOU to all the amazing Phonathon volunteers for your time and support!
This Week: Ability Awareness Week 2013

Portola Valley School District in collaboration with the Student Services Parent Group will be implementing our second annual Ability Awareness Week. This initiative is to help students understand that we are all different and differences are "Ok".  


Activities are planned in grades K-8 that focus on various differences and how
these differences can be celebrated. The activities were developed in mind to provide
ways for teachers, staff and the community to support our end goal. 


This year, we have extended these activities to include a Parent Training on Childhood Anxiety and Depression. Please join Teresa Malekzadeh, Clinical Therapist who will be speaking on the root causes, developmental stages, warning signs, and practical parenting strategies in dealing with childhood anxiety and depression within our community.   

Ability Awareness Week Parent Training
Friday, November 15th @ 9:00 am

Topic: Parenting Strategies for Identifying and Coping with Childhood Anxiety
and Depression

Presenter: Teresa Malekzadeh, Clinical Therapist

Date: Friday November 15th at 9:00 am 

Location: Annex at Corte Madera

PVSD Partners with Nine Other Districts on Math Grant

In the shift to Common Core State Standards (CCSS), it is critical that our elementary and high school districts work together so that all students are prepared to succeed in high school, postsecondary education, and careers.   


Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD) and its partner school districts: Belmont-Redwood Shores, Las Lomitas, Menlo Park City, Portola Valley, Ravenswood City, Redwood City, San Carlos, and Woodside Elementary have coalesced into a Collaborative, The CCSS Math Collaborative, Spotlight on Success. We have received partial grant support from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to work together to understand and implement CCSS in Mathematics. The collaborative will be seeking funding from other foundations and government sources.


Our Collaborative partners include Silicon Valley Math Initiative, Stanford University Professors Linda Darling-Hammond and Jo Boaler, Caņada College and The San Mateo County Office of Education.   


All participating teachers, K-12, will learn new mathematical practices and strategies, will design transitional common core curriculum units, and will build their skill with performance assessments.   


At the end of the three-year period, we will have created 78 common core aligned math units of study and have up to 300 teachers across our districts participate in intensive professional development. Most importantly, we will have shared understanding, processes, and expectations for mathematics instruction across our community so that all of our students transition smoothly from our elementary districts to Sequoia Union High School District well prepared to excel in mathematics.   


Our current funding will allow us to accomplish these goals, but to help make this effort a sustainable shift in mathematical practice, the collaborative has applied for additional grants to provide funding for coaching, technical support, additional professional development and lesson study opportunities for our cohort of teachers. 


John Dean
Director of Learning and Media
Portola Valley School District
Second Havest Food Bank Collection at ORM and CMS

Portola Valley Schools are partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties to bring hope, relief and security to our neighbors struggling with hunger.  From Monday, November 18 to Friday, November 22, our Food and Fund Drive will help the Food Bank meet more of the growing need in our community.Your support allows Second Harvest to continue to provide for the 1 in 10 people in Santa Clara and San Mateo County they're serving each month.  


Here's how to help:



Drop off non-perishable food donations in barrels located outside of Ormondale's and Corte Madera's school office.  

Please consider these most needed foods and avoid donating items packaged in glass:

 Meals in a can (stew, chili, soup)  100% Fruit Juices     Tuna/Canned Meat
 Peanut Butter                            Low Sugar Cereals   Canned Fruits and Vegetables

Visit our Online Food Drive at shfb.org/donate to donate directly to Portola Valley Schools' drive. As one of the most efficient nonprofit organizations in the nation, Second Harvest turns every $1 into 2 nutritious meals!

Your support helps connect hungry children, families, and seniors to nutritious food in the neighborhoods where they live, learn, work, and play. 

Thank you for your active participation!

Safe Routes to School
Bike/Walk to School Day is THIS WEEK!
Ormondale - Wednesday, November 13
Corte Madera - Friday, November 15

Take advantage of this beautiful fall weather, daylight savings, and our wonderful trails to bike or walk to school this whole week. Treats for all participants on Bike/Walk to School Day, and valuable spirit points for all of you Corte Madera students.

Golden Sneaker Award - CMS
The winning classrooms for our recently completed Golden Sneaker Two Week Bike/Walk/Carpool/Bus event were:

4th grade - Rynewicz
5th grade - DeRyck

Congratulations to these two classes for having the highest overall participation for your grade. And congratulations to the almost 50 students in 4th and 5th grade who participated every day. 
Turkey Trot  - Online Registration Ends November 14th at 5 pm
1K and 5K Run/Walk
Saturday, November 16th, 2013
8 am - 11 am
Ormondale School
Rain or Shine
Running Turkey



We are now counting down the days until the Turkey Trot on November 16th at Ormondale School.  Many students have been hard at work training during recess and P.E. for the big event. Reward their terrific efforts and register for the race.  Registration ends Thursday, November 14th at 5PM. Please go to the link below to register electronically or pick up a paper registration form in the school offices.  Race day registration is available but fees will increase. 


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


Ribbons and prizes will be awarded to the 1st-3rd place male and female winners from each grade as well as adults running the 5K.  Prizes have been generously donated by local businesses including Ron Ramies Automotive, Lobster Shack, Ladera Garden Center, Alpine Optometry, PV Garage, Portola Kitchen, Diane's Salon and Fleet Feet Menlo Park.  Funds raised by this event will help support PV - PTO programs and events.


We will be serving coffee, hot chocolate and breakfast foods at the check-in area for your enjoyment. Turkey Trot T-shirts featuring the work of Ormondale students will be available for purchase. The event program is as follows (please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your event):


8:00 AM        Check - in starts/Race Day registration available.

9:00 AM        5K Run/Walk (All grades & Adults. No Bikes or scooters).

10:00 AM       1K Run/Walk (Grades K-3 only. No adults, bikes or scooters).

10:30 AM       Tiny Tots Race (Pre-K. No registration required).

10:45 AM       Awards Ceremony


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

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,


We had another exciting week at Ormondale. We had our first author visit, Mac Barnett, who is an award-winning author. Mac gave a great presentation about writing and publishing and he had the kids laughing throughout. Ask your child about Mac Barnett's books. Good luck with the challenge below!


Do you know what this is measuring?



Hint: The information above was recorded with our (click on the link to see) Ormondale Weather Station that is installed on our roof, next to the TARA Telescope. 


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 playtime. They are excited and getting ready! Registrations are being accepted from now until the day of the race, but the sooner the better.   


Crossing Guard @ Priory

We currently do not have an after-school crossing guard at the Priory crossing to assist in crossing the street. Please take extra caution when walking your children across the street. We are working to staff all crossing stations.  


If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact me at kkeegan@pvsd.net or 650-851-1777. The Answer to the question is: The above chart is measuring the wind at our Ormondale Weather Station during the month of October.  You can see that the wind spiked at over 50km/h on October 27th, so that when we came to school our play yard was littered with branches and leaves.  Check out our weather station through the website www.pvsd.net. You can scroll over Ormondale and click on welcome. 




Kevin F. Keegan     

Turkey Trot Lunchtime Training
Final week of turkey trot training! Training will take place on Tuesday and Friday of this week during lunch recess. Prizes will be handed out this week as well.


Many thanks to Mr. Cullinane for all his help with this program. Because of the running during P.E. this past week, all of the Ormondale students were able to run at least one mile. Terrific job! Overall winners of the turkey trot training will be announced next week.
Many thanks to our wonderful volunteers this year: Natalie Ruiz, Karen Urbanek, Sandi Engel, Ann Kearney, Stephanie Bisgaard, Shannon Basch, Hayley Leinfelder, and our terrific Denise Schectman.

Corte Madera Home
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

Community Calendar and Events
Twas the Night Before Christmas - with ORM and CMS Dancers

Presented by Dancers Repertory Theatre and Menlo Park Academy of Dance- a "charming alternative to the Nutcracker."  


Performances at Woodside Performing Arts Center on Saturday December 7 (4 pm), Sunday December 8 (1 pm and 4 pm) Saturday, December 14, (1 pm and 4 pm), and Sunday, December 15 (1 pm and 4 pm). Tickets available at www.twasthenight.org or by calling 650-323-5292.  


Portola Valley's own young dancers: Catie B., Kiana C., Ilaria F., Tess G., Danielle G., Vivienne G., Lola P., Anna S., Cleo S., & Brisa V. Come, cheer them on and join in the holiday cheer at the same time!

Shakespeare's Macbeth at Woodside Priory School

Shakespeare's MACBETH comes alive in a thrilling, engaging, unique way in this exciting production.  


Styled as an homage to the greatest Science Fiction movies and TV shows of all time, Shakespeare's brilliant language is there in its entirety, but set in a far future where the fate of the Galaxy hinges on the play's outcome. 


Light-swords, aliens, futuristic robots and starships make Shakespeare's greatest tragedy accessible to many new audience members, while a strong focus on the characters, language and the driving heart of the play make real one of the darkest and most epic tales ever to grace the stage.


Do not miss this exciting production of Shakespeare's MACBETH. Appropriate for all ages.


Tickets are $5 for Students/$15 for Adults and can be purchased at the Door or online at http://priory.ticketleap.com/macbeth/  

November 21st-23rd @ 7:00 pm

November 24th @ 2:00 pm 

Woodside Priory School - Rothrock Performance Hall, 302 Portola Road, Portola Valley

Kindergarten Basketball Clinics
ABA offers kindergarten basketball clinics for boys and girls. Due to the increased interest, the league is going to offer two sessions with each clinic having a limit of 10 players.  


All kinder clinics meet at the day of clinic (Tuesday or Thursday)
 3:15 to 4:00pm
Location: Ormondale Gym
Coach: Johnny Trudelle and assistant


Tuesday Session #1To register, please click here.
 Tuesdays, January 7th through February 11th, 2014

Thursday Session #1To register, please click here.
 Thursdays, January 9th through February 13th, 2014

Tuesday Session #2To register, please click here.
 Tuesdays, February 24th  through April  1st,, 2014

Thursday Session #2To register, please click here.
 Thursdays, February 26th  through April  3rd , 2014

Registration Deadline is November 30th, 2013


To register, please go here: http://www.ababasketball.sites.teamsnap.com/

ABA Basketball Registration 

The Alpine Basketball Association (ABA) a recreational league for boys and girls grades 1-5 opens online registration at www.ababasketball.sites.teamsnap.com. All children in grades 1-5 who are residents of and/or go to school in Portola Valley or Woodside are eligible. Games are on Sat and will begin in January and be completed by the end of March.  The registration will be complete once payment has been received. Those interested in playing should complete the registration process and return a check by mail to the Alpine Basketball Association at the address on the registration site and form or to labeled boxes in the school offices before Nov. 30, 2013.


A copy of the form is attached for those who prefer not to use the online registration process.

Ballet America's Nutcracker December 6 and 8

Come see the Bay Area's most family-friendly Nutcracker performance at the historic Fox Theater in Redwood City on Friday, December 6th at 7:00pm and Sunday, December 8th at 2:00pm. Ballet America 's show has it all: professional dancers, alongside 100 local performers, including Corte Madera's very own Philip M. and graduate Anna K., and PV resident and high school senior, Chloe M. Tickets range in price from $18-$39 and are available via the website: www.balletamerica.org. Get your tickets early before they sell out. See you at the ballet! 

PVTC New Original Work: Persephone
PVTC presents a new original work
Persephone: an enchanting new play with music
Opens Thurs., Nov. 7 and runs through Sat., Nov. 23
Evening performances are at 7:30 P.M. 
Matinee performances are at 2:00 P.M.
Special premium ticket available Sat., Nov. 9 that includes dinner and wine at Parkside Grille
This delightful play is inspired by the ancient Greek myth and tells its story through theatre, dance, poetry, and puppetry, as well as new music that includes jazz, bluegrass and hip hop. Love, loss, and reconciliation are the main themes as Persephone struggles to resolve being caught between two worlds. The circle of her life not only includes the seasons of the year but also the seasons of her own flowering.
Ticket information: www.pvtc-ca.org 
 or 650-851-8282 ext.105
Suitable for adults and students in Grade 4 and up 
Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory
945 Portola Rd.
Portola Valley CA 94028
SmartFit Kids at Menlo Swim and Sport
Acclaimed for coaching excellence, Menlo Swim and Sport's SmartFit Kids is an after-school homework and tutoring program that provides academic coaching and homework oversight for students from 1st - 5th grades. Open Monday - Thursday, 3:30-5:30pm. Visit our website for more details http://www.menloswim.com/menlo/camp_menlo/smartfitkids.html 
Menlo Mavericks Swim and Water Polo Team 
Now accepting new members for this year-round Menlo Park swim and water polo team! USA Swimming certified swim team for youth age 5-18, plus Water Polo for boys and girls, 14 and under. Practices at Burgess and Belle Haven Pools.  www.menlomavericks.com 
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.