Portola Valley School District
News & Views
Eric Hartwig, Interim Superintendent
In This Issue
4575 Alpine Road
Portola Valley, CA  94028
(650) 851-1777
Eric Hartwig
Interim Superintendent


Caitha Ambler   Trustee

Gulliver La Valle  Trustee

Tim McAdam  Clerk

Karen Tate  President

Jennifer Youstra  Trustee





Portola Valley

Working together to achieve common goals.

Being consistently honest and trustworthy.

Having regard and concern for yourself and others while accepting individual differences and the right of others to hold divergent views.

PV Town Center Master Plan
Your Input Requested!
The Town of Portola Valley invites you to join and participate in its Town Center master planning process. For the details,  click here . You can also visit the official site for providing input by  clicking here .

Friday, August 19, 2016
Dear Parents and Families,

Where does summer go? Just yesterday (it seems) we were saying goodbye to our 8th graders, and on Monday we will be welcoming new kinders and 600+ returning students to our schools. 

We had a lot going on in our district over the break: almost all of our teaching staff engaged in a week-long symposium coordinated by Director of Learning and Innovation Jason Borgen, additional teachers were trained in Readers'/Writers' Workshop, and many staff were trained in the use of our data analysis tool, Illuminate. We also began the search for a new principal at Ormondale (see story below).

As for infrastructure, we conducted the annual cleaning and maintenance of our campuses, the two playing fields were restored, and we replaced flooring in many of our classrooms. An architect has been selected to guide us through the Facilities Master Planning process, an enterprise you'll be hearing more about in the months to come.

Now we are ready to launch a new year of growth and achievement -- for our students and for ourselves. Our 4th and 5th grade students will now receive their instruction from a science teacher assigned to that role, and our K-6th grade students will be taught mathematics using a new curriculum ( Math Expressions). This year are teaming up with Stanford's Challenge Success program to help staff and parents better understand the realities of adolescent life in our high performance environment.

I invite all of you to join us in tackling the challenges that we've given ourselves. Keep your eyes open for invitations from the schools and from me to become involved.

And about summer flying by so quickly? Well, there's always Labor Day!

-- Eric
Update on Ormondale Principal Search
By now, Ormondale families are aware that Kevin Keegan left our district in July to become Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources, in the Santa Clara Unified School District. This represents a sort of return home for Kevin, and we will miss him, but life goes on and we've begun the search.

At this point, we are hoping to have a candidate indentifed and recommended for hire at the September 28th meeting of the Board of Trustees. We have retianed a consultant from the education search firm Leadership Associates who has posted the position widely and will now be meeting with us to refine our search. Here is the timeline that we are following:
  • July:  Approve consultant services (done)
  • July:  Consultant meets with 14-member district focus group (done)
  • July - August 15:  Consultant advertises and recruits candidates (done)
  • Aug. 16 - Sept. 6:  Consultant completes reference and background checks (in progress)
  • Sept. 6 - 9: Consultant, Supt., and 2 stakeholders paper screen
  • Sept. 12 - 14: Panel interviews
  • Sept. 15 - 16: Finalist interviews
  • Sept. 19 - 21: Supt., Leadership Team member, Board member make site visit to finalist's site
  • Sept. 28 Supt. makes recommendation to Board
  • Oct. 1 or thereafter: New Ormondale Principal begins
Important Information About PVSD's
Testing for Lead in Water
This year's water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, has caused agencies nationwide to review their practices with regards to lead in drinking water. In light of that, our District is partnering with several other agencies to be proactive about water safety.  Along with other school districts in San Mateo County, PVSD will be conducting water quality testing this fall. While we have no reason to believe the water available on our campuses will exceed thresholds set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we want to be absolutely sure. For a copy of my letter to the community, click here.
Meet Our New Staff Members
We are opening the school year with a number of new faces...or old faces in new positions! Be sure to give them a warm Portola Valley welcome when you see them!
Jennifer Dougherty CMS Science
Sarrie Paguirigan
Maker Space Coach
Ashlie Contos Promoted to CMS School Secretary
Emily McDonald
Literacy and ELD

Susan Outland
Promoted to CMS Office Manager
Azadeh Malek
CMS Mathematics
Judy Nelson
CMS Music
Michael Hua
CMS Mathematics
Teresa Richard
CMS Science
Nicole Wright 
CMS Special Education