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Weekly Post
December 9, 2013
Superintendent's Message

I hope that you will be joining us for one of our many events this week:


Project Based Learning - Want to know what it is and what it will look like in PVSD? Join Justin Wells (Stanford University) as he shares and responds to questions on Monday night from 6 - 7:30 pm in the Annex.


On Tuesday night, the "Master Schedule Design Thinking" Team will be sharing its first round of learnings about the schedule at CMS. Please join us in the Annex from 6 - 8 pm. If you can't make it but are interested in design thinking, tune into PBS on December 11th from 10 - 11 pm. They will be airing "Extreme By Design." I viewed a sneak preview a couple of months back and found it engaging and informative, realizing the use of design thinking as an approach to build empathy for how we look at programs "for" students was the best direction to use for the CMS master schedule.


On Wednesday night, we will be welcoming our new board member, Tim McAdam, and swearing in new officers for our Governing Board from 6:30 - 7 pm, with our General Meeting beginning at 7 pm. Topics on this agenda include proposed expectations by the Expectations Team (part of our Strategic Plan), a report from CMS staff on high school acceptance data, approving our First Interim Budget, an informational report on Independent Study, and proposed use of our Common Core funds over the next two years. A huge congratulations to outgoing trustee Bill Youstra for his six plus years of steady, sound leadership during the years when PVSD needed him most.


Have you seen our website? We've added a Twitter stream so you can see what I see during the school days and at events. And we have a new treat coming in January....a PVSD app because "there's an app for that!"


Hope that you all had a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving vacation and are in heavy preparation mode for the upcoming holidays. The tradition in our family is to staff our Christmas tree farm up in Placerville every weekend from Thanksgiving through December. The memories made with my children and their cousins? Priceless. The girls' 3rd grade teacher, the recipient of their "show and tell" treat from last week might be as impressed; the girls brought a recently discovered deer skull, backbone and jawbones to share with their classmates. Hey, it's about the teachable moments, right? Happy holidays!


Lisa Gonzales


In This Issue
Donate Today!
eScrip and Amazon.com
PTO Fundraiser
ORM Principal's Message
ORM Science News
Pajama Drive
Star Lab
Order Your Yearbook
Reusable Bags Sale
Community Section
This Week's Calendar
Ormondale * Corte Madera * District
Mon, December 9 (B)
 Project-Based Learning Presentation by Justin Wells (Stanford & Buck Institute)  
6 pm, Annex 
Tue, December 10 (A)
Principal's Coffee
Room 102, 8 am
PV Teacher's Association Negotiations 
3:30 pm CMS Room 102
CMS Master Schedule Community Outreach Meeting #1, 6 pm
Wed, December 11 (B)
School Board Organizational and Regular Meetings
6:30 pm - Annex Building 
Thu, December 12 (A)
Fri, December 13 (B)
ORM Cummunity Coffee
Library Courtyard
8:30 am
Rynowicz's Class to Lytton Gardens 10:30 am
K-8 Movie Night
"Polar Express"
MUR 6:30 pm - 8:15 pm
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

Second Harvest Food Drive - Huge Success 

The Second Harvest Food Drive was a huge success!  Thank you to all the families who generously supported this endeavor.  A total of 1,397 lbs of non-perishable food was collected over 6 days!  In addition, several generous monetary donations were made.  The staff at Second Harvest was truly impressed and incredibly appreciative.  Again, thank you for helping make this possible.

Lastly, thank you to Karen Allen, Brook Coffee, Melvisha Gaines, Alison Haazer, Tabitha Jordan, Brandie Ambler Revoy, and Gloria Sin for helping distribute fliers, paper bags, and posters.
PVSF Annual Campaign Ends This Thursday, 12/12



Time is running out to achieve our 80% participation goal.  We are currently at 70% participation overall and YOUR DONATION MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!  Please give to support our award winning schools and provide the needed funding for the current school year.  You can visit our website at www.pvschoolsfoundation.org to donate. You can also drop off your donation to one of the drop boxes in the Ormondale or Corte Madera offices.  Thank you to all the families who have already donated for your support in helping to provide an excellent education for our children.
Perfect for Holiday Shopping, the Amazon School Rewards Affiliate Program - It Just Adds Up!
Did you know our schools can earn an average of 7% of every purchase made on Amazon with our School Rewards Affiliate Program?   

Let's say you're holiday shopping on Amazon with a shopping cart of say, $300. If you had linked through our rewards program, that would translate to about $21. No much you say. But if 100 families spend $300 on Amazon, that's $2100! If 100 families spend $300 at Amazon every month, that would be $25,200 a year for the kids. It just adds up!

It's simple and free to participate. Simply click this special link (encoded for PV schools) and then bookmark the page. Shop and check out as normal with your own account and you'll earn money for our schools automatically. The next time you want to shop, go back to your saved PV School Rewards Affiliate Program bookmark to access Amazon again. 

So remember, if you're Amazon shopping, go to bookmarks, and click the link!  It just adds up!   
(And make sure you tell your spouse, friends, and family!)
Shop at Honey Bear Trees and Cheeky Monkey Toys...

... to help raise money for the PV-PTO!

We have two easy ways to raise money for the PV-PTO during the holidays.

If you are buying a tree or wreath for the holidays, HONEY BEAR TREES at 955 Woodside Road, Redwood City, or 1579 El Camino, San Carlos or 2495 S. Delaware St., San Mateo they will donate 15% of the sale to our schools!

Simply bring this flyer when you purchase your tree and/or wreath. (If you happen to forget it, there will be extra flyers on the lot). It's that simple!

Redwood City lot opens November 23rd, San Carlos lot opens November 23rd and San Mateo November 28th.

When you shop at CHEEKY MONKEY TOYS at 640 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park between November 25-December 6, 10% of your net purchase will go to our schools. Just tell them you are from Ormondale or Corte Madera.  This includes online shopping as well at www.cheekymonkeytoys.com. As always, Cheeky Monkey offers complimentary gift wrapping and assembly. Spread the word to your family and friends.

Ormondale Home
ORM Principal's Message

Dear Families,


Welcome back from what was hopefully a relaxing and fun Thanksgiving vacation.  We are looking forward to the next two weeks of school and all of the excitement that comes with the holiday season.  The record setting cold has made for some exciting mornings of attempted ice-skating on the icy grass and miniature "snow" ball making attempts.  I am amazed that my son still thinks that this is shorts weather and see that we have a number of students who believe the same thing!  Brrrrrrr!   Luckily, the classrooms are filled with warmth and active engaging lessons that keep our students moving and growing towards their learning goals. 


It is the time of year that our least favorite bugs, head lice, begin to show up in schools.  This year has been no different.  According to the California Department of Public Health, "head lice, while a significant social problem, do not transmit disease to humans."  Our goal is to keep the students and our school lice free, while supporting families who may have to deal with head lice. We do not allow sharing of hats or headwear and work with kids to minimize contact that could spread lice.  If you are concerned about head lice or receive a notice that your child's class been exposed to head lice, it is recommended that you check your child's head daily, for a period of ten days.  We have a number of resources available for families concerned with lice and or office staff and Nurse Abbe are happy to help.


Upcoming Events


Project Base Learning Presentation with Justin Wells

We hope that you can join us for a Project Base Learning presentation with Justin Wells.  The presentation is in the CMS annex on Monday, December 9th from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm.


Winter Concert

Our students and staff are preparing an amazing concert that you are sure to enjoy.  The concert is set for Wednesday, December 18th from 8:30 am - 10:00 am.


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




Kevin F. Keegan  

Ormondale Science News

1st Grade -  This month we are wrapping up our Solids, Liquids and Gases Unit with some memorable labs: We just completed an Ice Cream Phase Change where we lowered the temperature of ice by adding salt to it, and used this phenomenon to turn a liquid mixture into a solid- ice cream! We then collected evidence on our lab by eating the final experiment- it was delicious! During the third week of  December all the 1st grade classes will participate in a Bubble Festival in Science that will bring together all the states of matter to make fantastic bubbles of all shapes and sizes. Please contact your child's classroom teacher if you might be able to volunteer to help in Science the week of December 9-13th . It should be memorable!

Picture to the right: First graders creating a phase change- by making ice cream!


2nd Grade -  The second graders are just completing our Pebbles, Sand and Silt unit by taking a geologic side trip into the "Stories that Rocks Tell." We are doing this by learning about how fossils are made in the natural word- and by then making our own plaster of paris "fossils" during the week of December 9-13th. 

The following week we will have a scavenger hunt to find the hidden fossils and each student had the chance to be a Paleontologist, and unearth the surprize hiding in the fossil they had found. Please contact your child's teacher if you can volunteer during either of these exciting, and very hands-on, weeks of Science!

Next up is a Physical Science unit called Balance and Motion where we will start out by learning some of the basic means of measuring, and exploring the benefits of having a standard means of measurement.

Above: Second graders sorting sizes of sand and gravel in science.


3rd Grade -  After completing our Structures of Life unit, and finishing up with our crawfish and snail observations, the third grade Matter and Energy unit is now rolling right along. This past week we have been exploring all different types of energy, and have tested out different energy sources (like the sun, motion, chemical, sound and heat) and contrasted these to stored energy (like in batteries, food and wood). In the upcoming weeks we are going to be exploring the properties of light: that what we see is reflected light, that light travels in a straight line, goes REALLY fast (!), and travels in waves of different lengths (which gives us colors, among other things!). This unit will continue until the winter break.

Picture to the right: Third graders observing crawfish in science class.



Kindergarten Pajama Drive

December 2-20th


The kindergarten classrooms are collecting NEW pajamas for the Scholastic Pajama Program.  Pajama Program is a nonprofit organization that provides new books and new pajamas to children in need, many of whom are waiting and hoping to be adopted. Since 2001, Pajama Program has donated over one million pajamas and books to children nationwide.  There will be boxes at Ormondale to drop off pajamas in the office, library, and Room 5.  Kindergarten children will be coming to school in their pajamas on the last day of collection Friday, December 20th.  Make a child's holiday season bright!


Contact Sherry Andrighetto [email protected]


Here's What We Need:

*Brand-new pajamas in all sizes, from newborn to adult(Please do not donate used pajamas)

*Pajamas must be complete sets-a top and bottom or an appropriate nightgown

*Pajamas for all seasons, but especially for the winter months.

Star Lab: The Portable Planetarium
Thanks, PTO!  What an exciting three days we had crawling into the portable planetarium to learn about the night sky with local astronomer Allan Stern.  Ask your kids to spot Jupiter at sunset--if you can find the moon, you can't miss Jupiter!  Or why the Subaru emblem on cars has stars pictured on it?  To feed the enthusiasm of any budding astronomers, Sky and Telescope magazine has a website loaded with information.  Try the "This Week's Sky at a Glance" to see what fun things there might be to view on any given night.

Corte Madera Home
Last Chance For Yearbook Orders!

This is the LAST WEEK to order your 2013-2014 CMS Yearbook! Orders must be received by this Friday, December 13th. The cost is only $50 for a lifetime of memories.

PLACE YOUR ORDER TODAY! Again, orders must be received no later than Friday December 13th, so don't delay! Forms are available in the CMS front office. If you have any questions, please contact Tim Sato ([email protected]).
ChoiceLunch is Using New Lunch Trays

I'm excited to announce that a new lunch tray for your schools has been unveiled!

We have been working nearly three years on this tray. After much testing, we are VERY excited to share it with your students!

What makes this new-fangled lunch tray so awesome?

  • The entire container is made from GMO-free potatoes, a renewable resource.
  • With a lid, there is no more plastic film-seal required.
  • Kids can take home leftovers as it is re-sealable, like a takeout box.
  • It retains heat and moisture beautifully, so the lunches we prepare in our kitchensremain fresh and of the quality you expect.
  • It is effortless for little fingers to open and the 'locking tabs' make it easy to know when it is secured shut.
We've worked long and hard to perfect our latest container, and know you will be pleased with the improvements you will see in both food quality and overall design as a result. Thank you, as ever, for your role in working with us and helping improve school lunch for everyone!  

Thank you,



STEM Fair 2013-2014

The STEM Fair once again is upon us, and I'm sure we're all excited about seeing the great projects the students produce. Our CMS Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fair will be held from Jan 8th - 9th , in the MUR. A science reception will be on Thursday evening, Jan 9th, from 6-7:00 p.m. All projects need to be taken home on Thursday evening. Projects advancing to the County Science Fair will be announced that evening.


Project drop-off will be on Tuesday, Jan 7th from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. in the MUR. Please check the science fair brochure/website for the project drop-off form. This will ensure that all students are credited with the correct project.


All students are encouraged to participate in this exciting event. Science Fair is a wonderful way for students to use the Scientific Method to answer a question, or exercise their problem solving and critical thinking skills by making a great invention. Please review the STEM Fair brochure (available online) with your child to review safety precautions and other information.


"But how can I help and support my child in this endeavor?" you may ask. I'm glad you did! We need parent volunteers to help the science department judge our wonderful projects for submission to the County STEM Fair. If you'd like to help judge, please contact any member of the CMS science team: Ms. Brown ([email protected]), Ms. Diehl ([email protected]) or Ms. Burrows ([email protected]).


Thanks in advance for your always-appreciated support.


CMS Science Department

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 sponsored Afghani 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
Summit and Everest High Schools Informal Chat 


Summit and Everest Public High Schools in Redwood City have openings for mid-year transfer students. The admissions directors will be hosting an informal chat on Thursday, December 12, 9:30-11 am, at the Konditorei Café in the Ladera Shopping Center. For more information, keep reading.


Looking for a local, public, tuition-free college-preparatory high school?

Look no further!


At Summit Public Schools...

 Every student completes a minimum of 6 AP courses

 College admission rates are triple the national average

 Every student is known

 Technology is infused throughout the curriculum


We are now accepting applications for all grade levels for the second semester of this school year, as well as for the Fall 2014.


Interested in learning more?


Open Houses

 February 8, 10 am - 12 noon at Everest


Informal Coffee Chats with our Assistant Directors of Admission

 Monday, December 9, 9:30-11 am, Woodside Café - 3052 Woodside Rd., Woodside

 Thursday, December 12, 9:30-11 am, Konditorei -3130 Alpine Rd #284, Portola Valley

 Monday, December 16, 9:30-11 am, Jimmy's Café -1094 Alameda De Las Pulgas, Belmont


Apply Now! Visit our campuses or our websites for applications:


 Deadline for Mid-year Transfer: December 13, 2013 by 3pm

 Deadline for 9th Grade Applications: February 21, 2013 by 3pm


Summit Preparatory Charter High School

890 Broadway

Redwood City, CA




Everest Public High School

455 Fifth Avenue

Redwood City, CA

650- 366-1050


Christmas Holiday Youth Basketball Camp 

Portola Valley based Future Stars Hoops Academy brings you its 5th Annual Christmas Holiday Hoops Camp. We have recently teamed up with a non-profit organization called Hoops of Hope (http://www.HoopsOfHope.org). Hoops of Hope is an organization that raises money to help African children who have been orphaned by HIV & AIDS. Future Stars will be donating a portion of the proceeds earned for each registered camper. So get in the Holiday spirit and register your child not just for Hoops but for Hope!


Camp Runs Saturday December 21st - Tuesday December 24th


RSVP your child(ren) w/ email addressed to [email protected]

Email should include: Name, Age, & Gender of child(ren)

Dates: December 21st - 24th, 2013

Time: 9:00am - 3:00pm (December 24th: 9:00am - 12 noon)

Ages: 6 - 13


Woodside Priory School

302 Portola Road

Portola Valley 94028


Please Contact us with questions or for more information: [email protected]


!! Just $275 for 21 hours of fun and expert instruction!!

*Discount available for siblings and/or referrals*

"The Bay Area's Best Camp" (Bay Area Parent Magazine) This Winter Break

 Legarza Philosophy & Information:

Legarza Camps give children the knowledge and motivation they need to achieve their personal best in sport and life. Over 100,000 children have experienced and benefited from our 24-year, tested and proven system. Our program is tailored to help your young athlete succeed on and off the court in a safe, professional and encouraging environment of learning and fun. 
This Winter Break will be offering a Basketball and All-Sports Camps at JLS Middle School from Dec 23rd-27th, 2013 and Dec 30th-Jan 3rd, 2014. Camp is available to all current Kindergarten-8th grade Boys and Girls.
Morning Camp 8:15am-12noon 
Afternoon Camp 1:15am-5pm 
All Day Camp 8:15-5pm 
FREE Extended Care: 7:30 drop off and 5:30 pick up
Daily Rates available as well!
For more information call 415-334-3333 or visit www.LBCcamps.org or see this flyer.
Create Art for Young Children - Winter 2014
Portola Valley Town Center 

Jan. 8th-April 5th
(No classes Feb. 12-22)  

Winter brings flurries of SNOW to many parts of the world, sometimes even here. For this session we will...capture visions of WHITE ANIMALS against snowy backgrounds with white paint, some tinted with a little color...learn about " Snowflake Bentley" and draw snowflakes, keeping in mind no two snowflakes are alike...and sculpt SNOWMEN. Then FROSTY'S magic hat will float through our imaginations and lead us to the book "Magritte's Marvelous Hat" and the world of the SURREALISTS. 
Here we will make collages using recycled fun junk to create surreal scenes. And...of coarse we will end with our ever popular ART SHOW and the MAGIC BRUSH.

Wed.    1-3:00        3-5 yrs.
Wed.    3:30-5:30    K-2nd grade
Thurs.  3:30-5:30    K-2nd grade
Fri.        1-3:00        PreK-K
Fri.        4-6:00        3rd-5th grade
Sat.      10-12:00      4-8 yrs.
Sat.      1-3:00          4-8 yrs

All classes $380 for the session

Teacher: Jeannie Goldman
To register contact Portola Valley Town Hall (650) 851-1700, Cindy ext. 200

Reg. forms available @ their office, 765 Portola Rd. or...


Reg. online (portolavalley.net)
Sign-ups start...Nov. 25th P.V. residents; Dec.9th open reg. 

Alpine Holiday Tennis Clinics

Staying at home this holiday season?  If you're planning on playing on your school tennis team this spring, it's time to begin your pre-season training. Alpine offers daily clinics during winter break, for all levels of player. Sessions are offered weekdays from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm and Saturdays (11 am or 12:30 pm, level dependent).  Pick the days that work for you and bring your friends! Please note that there will be no clinics on either Christmas or New Year's Day.  Open to everyone.  Contact Ogidi Obi at [email protected] for more information or to sign up.

Camp Menlo Holiday Camps
Register now for one-day December day camps at Burgess Pool for kids age 5-9! Each day includes a 45 minute swim lesson and out of the pool, campers enjoy various group games and activities that encourage self confidence, growth, teamwork, and fun! http://www.menloswim.com/menlo/camp_menlo/holiday_camps.html 
Give a "sole-ful" gift this Holiday Season

Can you imagine wearing a pair of shoes that are too big or too small?

Believe it or not, many Children in the Bay Area do.

Please join the Portola Valley Girl Scouts along with the Shelter Network help these Children by donating a new pair of athletic shoes.


Collections will be taken at the Portola Valley Holiday Fair;

Sunday, December 8th from 10am - 4pm at the Priory Performing Arts Center. 


The 6th Grade Girl Scout troop will be there to sell Holiday Sweets, Tasty Treats and collect all donations. All proceeds will help purchase the shoes that these Children have been dreaming about.


Give a gift this Holiday Season that will be appreciated every single day!! 
Music Lessons 
What: Academic support and/or instrumental music lessons for students in grades 2-8 (specializing in supporting students with disabilities)
Who: Wiatt Grant, M.Ed., Lead teacher at Children's Health Council (previously taught music and special education at Corte Madera School)
When: Available hours 4pm-8pm Mondays-Thursday
Contact: [email protected], 650.814.1741