Fairmeadow Elementary School eNews

Where Learning is a Team Sport!
December 12 , 2016
Fairmeadow News
Principal's Message
Season's Greetings Fairmeadow Community,
As you know, this week marks the final school week of 2016 as we transition into our Winter Break from school on Friday. Please mark your calendars for an early dismissal day this Friday, December 16th, with Kindergarten through 5th grade classes dismissing students at 1:40 p.m.
For many, this time of year provides an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, and special time for celebration. It's also a great opportunity to reflect on all that our children have accomplished in 2016. With about one half of the school year behind us, it's also a time to refresh goals for the new calendar year, and head in to 2017 with purpose and ambition.
Last week our school community honored our students' diverse interests, abilities, passions, and experiences through our celebration of Inclusive Schools Week at Fairmeadow. Children generated thoughtful statements about their individuality and uniqueness as a way to celebrate the diversity of experience among our students and staff. We engaged in classroom discussions and role-play scenarios to strengthen our inclusive school community, and to emphasize the expectation of inclusive ideas and behaviors across our school. Thank you to the engaged group of parents who attended our Principal's Coffee on Inclusion last Tuesday. The lively discussion among our parents emphasized many important themes, and a recurring topic included the importance of modeling among all adults in our community, the inclusive and supportive behavior we expect to see among our children, and to purposefully include these themes in regular discourse at home. Thank you for your partnership in this important area.

180 countries across the world participated in Computer Science Education week last week by engaging children in an Hour of Code, and many students at Fairmeadow participated as well! Lauded as one of the largest education events in history, millions of students spent time at school last week learning the basic process of coding. With both digital and non-digital options, many Fairmeadow children practiced sequential problem solving and outside-the-box thinking while engaging in coding fundamentals. In a special partnership with our neighboring school, J.L. Stanford Middle School, three upper grade Fairmeadow classes joined 7th and 8th graders in Computer Science Class, and together they created 10,447 lines of code! If you would like more information about Computer Science Education week or for coding activities you can explore with your child at home, please visit code.org.

Our Fairmeadow Student Council is hard at work supporting our first service project of the year, collecting cans to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara County. With participation from the local community, the Second Harvest Food Bank provides food to more than one quarter of a million people every month, driven by their mission of a hunger-free community. This vision inspired our student leaders to set a goal for our school community to collect 1,500 cans of food to contribute. Please ask you child about this service project, and help our efforts by sending canned goods to school by this Wednesday, December 14th.

Fairmeadow is incredibly fortunate to partner with Claudia Quiroga, our school's Site Parent Liaison, who serves as an additional link between our school, our parents, and our community. The Site Parent Liaison program in PAUSD works to provide an additional avenue for communication with the school, to develop and foster community collaborations, and to refer parents to community resources. Claudia works at Fairmeadow every Wednesday morning from 8 am to 12 noon, and can be reached at cquirogacortez@pausd.org. Please email her with any questions you may have, or come by Fairmeadow on Wednesdays to say hello! Claudia is fluent in English and Spanish.

I'm looking forward to launching into a new year of learning with you and your children when we return to school Tuesday, January 3rd. Have a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable Winter Break; see you all in 2017!

Grant Althouse,  Principal
Deciphering Labels and Busting Myths: Healthy Eating Made Simple - a Talk by Christopher Gardner
Jan 10, 6:30 pm, Fairmeadow MP Room
Is one of your new year's resolutions to start eating healthy? Not sure where to start or or what to feed your picky kids? We're faced with an often indecipherable barrage of health claims and warnings: low carb, low fat, high protein, omega 3 (flax or fish?), trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, glycemic index (or is it glycemic load?), gluten free, Paleo. What does it all mean and what's right for us?

Join us in the MP Room on January 10th at 6:30PM and learn from Fairmeadow dad Christopher Gardner, a PhD nutrition scientist and professor of medicine from the Stanford Prevention Research Center. Christopher is the father of Zachary (3rd grade) and Joshua (6th grade) and the husband of Melissa Michelson.  Christopher will offer solutions and insights to your dietary conundrums with an engaging blend of science and humor.

Childcare will be provided for the elementary school-aged children of those attending. Please RSVP here by providing your name, email address and the number of children who will be with you. For any questions, please contact Tracy Ballard-Tal.
Fairmeadow Families Holiday Fund
As the holidays are upon us, please consider making a donation to the Fairmeadow Families Holiday Fund. We would would like to come together to provide assistance to families in our school community who need a little help during the holiday season. The office will be accepting donations in the form of cash or checks (please make them out to Claire Kirner). You can also contribute via PayPal (chkirner@comcast.net). Our Fairmeadow office staff will then purchase gift cards to distribute. If you'd like to participate, please do so by Tuesday, December 13th.
Feel free to contact Claire Kirner or Alicia in the front office with any questions.  Thank you!
Palo Alto CAC's 2nd Annual Holiday Tea
Mon, Dec 12, 8:30-10 am, Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Rd
Join the Palo Alto special needs community for a morning off. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, delicious holiday treats, and social time with other parents of children who face extra challenges. The guest speaker, Elizabeth Darby, a teacher in the district for over 20 years, will give us practical tools and strategies for better managing holiday stress.  Childcare will not be provided, but younger siblings are welcome.  Spanish-language translation will be available. Jointly sponsored by the Palo Alto Community Advisory Committee for Special Education and the Palo Alto Council of PTAs. Please contact  mich_higgins@hotmail.com  with questions or for more information.
El Segundo "Tea de la Estacion" del CAC de Palo Alto
Lunes, 12 de Diciembre a las 10:00am en el Centro Comunitario Lucie Stern  
Únase a la comunidad de necesidades especiales para una merecida mañana libre. Disfrute una taza de café o de té, deliciosos pasteles navideños y tiempo para socializar con otros padres de niños que enfrentan desafíos extras. Nuestro conferencista invitada, Elizabeth Darby, profesora en el distrito por más de 20 anos, nos dará a conocer herramientas practicas y estrategias para manejar mejor el estrés durante las festividades.  No se proporcionará cuidado para niños, pero los hermanos más jóvenes son bienvenidos. Estará disponible traducción para el español. El evento está auspiciado conjuntamente por el Comité Asesor para Educación Especial de la Comunidad de Palo Alto y el Consejo de PTAs de Palo Alto. Por favor entrar en contacto con mich_higgins@hotmail.com para preguntas o mayor información. 

Community  News
Afternoon Adventure: Winter Craftertoons
Wed, Dec 21, 3:30-5 pm, Mitchell Park Library, 3700 Middlefield Rd
Teen Join us for an afternoon of crafts, snacks, and winter themed cartoons. Please register for this event on the library website.
Harry Potter Yule Ball
Fri, Dec 30, 6:30-8:30 pm, Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Rd
Ring in the New Year with a Harry Potter-style Yule Ball! DJ Kevin will be spinning great tunes all evening. Formal attire is encouraged but not required. Please register for this event on the library website.
Gunn Chamber Singers Holiday Concert
Sun, Dec 18, 5:30 pm, Paly Performing Arts Center, 50 Embarcadero Rd 
Kick off your winter break with a festive evening of holiday singing with the Gunn High School Chamber Singers! All proceeds go to the scholarship fund for the Gunn Choir tour to Ireland next June. Tickets are $10 general admission and will be available at the door. See you there! 
Ongoing Brain Study on Executive Function Skills
Looking for children ages 7-11 with a diagnosis of ADHD or with no diagnoses to participate in a study exploring changes in brain function in response to a novel neurofeedback training. Participation involves 6 sessions of neurofeedback training and 2 sessions of behavioral assessments. Email Lindsay Chromik or call 650-724-2939 for more information or to enroll. For general information regarding participant rights, contact 1- 866-680-2906.
Strengthening Families Program (SFP)
Weekly, Jan 11, 2017 - Mar 22, 2017
SFP is an evidence-based parent, youth, and family skills-building curriculum that helps prevent teen substance abuse and other problem behaviors while improving parent/child relationships. Advent Group Ministries is offering this free program designed for parents and their children ages 6 to 11 or 12 to 17. This is a non-religious based program. After a complimentary family meal, parents and youth meet in separate groups for one hour then come back together to practice the skills they've learned. Sessions are highly interactive and include role-playing, discussions, learning games, and family projects. Sponsored by Santa Clara County, Santa Clara County Substance Use Prevention Services (SUPS). Click here to see the flyer or register here.
Kids and Teens Writing Contest
Entries accepted Dec 1, 2016 - Jan 8, 2017
Kids and teens grades 3-12 are invited to enter the library's annual writing contest! In 500 words or less, essays should answer the question "what would you do with a billion dollars?" Entries should be submitted online here.
Visit the Art Center Over the Holidays!
This year, the Art Center will be open the week between Christmas and New Years. Visit Tuesday, December 26 through Friday, December 30, 10 am - 5 pm. Check out our current exhibition The Butterfly Effect: Art in 1970s California and create your own 1970s poster in our nook! For details, visit the websiteemail us or call 650.329.2366.
It's a Wonderful Nutcracker
Dec 16-18, Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, 555 Middlefield Rd, Atherton
Menlowe Ballet, the premier professional ballet company on the peninsula based in Menlo Park, presents its encore presentation of the full-length story ballet, It's a Wonderful Nutcracker. Conceived by Artistic Director Michael Lowe, It's a Wonderful Nutcracker is set to the original beloved Tchaikovsky score and updated with inspiration from the 1940's Frank Capra film, "It's a Wonderful Life," bringing the two most heralded holiday classics together on one stage. With all the magic of a traditional Nutcracker, this heartwarming contemporary version is packed full of surprises you won't want to miss! Palo Alto students will be performing! Tickets are available here.
Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO) Holiday Extravaganza (Senior Orchestra)
Sun, Dec 18, 3 pm, Cubberley Theatre, 4000 Middlefield
An annual holiday treat! Guests include Pacific Ballet Academy, noted contralto Karen R. Clark, Cantabile Youth Singers and 3 PACO orchestras. Handel, Bach, Tchaikovsky and much more. $10 admission for adults; free for those 18 and under!  More info and compete line-up of concerts on the  2016-17 season brochure  or visit  pacomusic.org .
Ragazzi Boys Chorus Free SingFest Minicamp
Sat, Jan 14, 2017, 9:30 am - 1 pm, Redwood City
Registration Open: Let your 7-10 year old boy test-drive this 'best choir of the Peninsula' for himself at a free half-day SingFest minicamp. Low-key, no-obligation auditions are integrated into the morning; no previous singing experience needed. Boys offered Ragazzi membership start rehearsing in January, 2017. Beginning groups meet once a week for choral singing and theory instruction. Ragazzi's proven, award-winning program is sequential and performance-based. Ragazzi performs its own concert series, sings the National Anthem at a spring SF Giants game, tours domestically and internationally, and collaborates with other prestigious Bay Area arts organizations. Minicamp is free, but advance registration is required. Can't make it to SingFest but want to audition? Click here.
Ragazzi Boys Chorus's Music and Movement Classes Open
Mondays, 3:15 and 4:15 sessions, Jan. 30 - May 8, 178 Clinton St, Redwood City
Register Now: Ragazzi Boys Chorus's engaging classes for active young boys are now open. It's a great option for boys not quite old enough for Ragazzi's main program. This class is tailored for boys ages 5-7 with little or no previous musical experience. A child-developmental approach fosters boys' creativity and curiosity. Students explore rhythm games, channel their energy through music learning, and learn concepts they can apply in any musical setting. $260 for 13 weeks; early-bird and sibling discounts. Email or call 650-342-8785. Register and more info here.
Family Holiday Volunteering
If you're looking for a way to get your family into the holiday spirit by helping others, check out Family Holiday Helpers, a non-profit website created by a mom of two PAUSD students to help families find local volunteering opportunities during the holiday season. There are a variety of local opportunities for families, such as prepping/serving food for Thanksgiving, working a shift at a food bank or holiday warehouse, or donating food or gifts for those in need. Happy volunteering!

Archives and Publication Guidelines
Fairmeadow eNews is a publication of the Fairmeadow PTA. Previous editions of eNews can be found at the  eNews archive  page.  Please see the PTA website for the eNews Publication Guidelines If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact  Christy Moision , Fairmeadow's eNews editor.
In This Issue
Important Dates
Dec 16 Minimum Day Dismissal for Winter Break
Jan 3 Return from Winter Break
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