Portola Valley School District 

News & Views
Eric Hartwig, Superintendent

In This Issue
Corte Madera Calendar
4575 Alpine Road
Portola Valley, CA  94028
(650) 851-1777
Eric Hartwig


Karyn Bechtel
Brooke Day
Jeff Klugman
Gulliver La Valle
Mike Maffia


4th grader Camille Hamel has her face painted by 8th grader Sophie Horn at CMS Kindness Fair
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Dear PVSD Families,

It's a pleasure to write you this month with details about  some important projects that are on our schedule for 2019. Please read below for more details about the Superintendent search process and provide your opinions.

Also on our agenda is launching our Measure Z building program. There are many elements to this effort, explained in detail below, and I encourage you to become involved as time and interest allow. The Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) is being formed now, and new opportunities for input and information concerning each school site will be announced shortly.

This week CMS held its 2nd annual Kindness Fair.  Students had the opportunity to sign a pledge to kindness, write inspiring messages to students and staff, and have a positive or kind picture painted on their face.  Students created a clip for kindness, made a wish on a kindness tree, and helped build a kindness chain. Student Council and the Climate Committee students helped run and supervise these activities at various locations on campus.  The fair finished on Friday with "A Cookie for Kindness." Students who wore CMS blue received a cookie at lunch to celebrate kindness.   

Superintendent Search Under Way
With the hiring of executive search firm HYA (Hazard, Young, and Attea) accomplished, the next phase of the superintendent search process consists of gathering stakeholders' input about the position to be filled. Trustee Brooke Day is coordinating the seach with HYA.

One of the ways that input is being sought is through an on-line survey. If you would like to participate in this survey, please click here.
Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee Being Formed
The Portola Valley School District is seeking qualified, interested individuals to serve on a committee which will serve as the Independent Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) for the District's Measure Z, $49.5 million, school facilities bond program that was approved by the voters on November 6, 2018.

If you wish to serve on this important committee, please review the Committee Bylaws for more information about the Committee's role and responsibilities and complete the CBOC application. Please send your completed application to the Superintendent's Office of the Portola Valley School District by 3:30 PM on February 15, 2019.  For questions, please call (650) 851-1777.

Applicants who are selected for an interview will be notified by email and should be available for an interview on March 7, 2019.
Mrs. Green Conducts the CMS Winter Concert
Transitional Kindergarten Update
During the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, the District's Board of Trustees created a study team -- comprised of administrators and school board members -- to analyze the PVSD Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Program and recommend possible program modifications for the full Board's consideration. The study team shared the results of its study with the Board at the November 14, 2018 Board Meeting.

After considerable discussion, the Board determined that, in accordance with the California Education Code, the District would continue to offer a TK Program at Ormondale School for age-eligible students (those turning 5 between September 2 and December 1). The Board further determined that whether the TK class would be stand-alone or combined with traditional kindergarten classroom(s) would be determined by administrators on an annual basis based on enrollment numbers.

Consistent with the Board's direction, and within the parameters of the Board's current TK policy (Board Policy 6170.1), the Superintendent or his/her designee may-on a case-by-case basis-recommend the enrollment of students whose fifth birthday falls outside of the age-eligible window (September 2 - December 1) based on the following factors (listed in order of priority):
  1. Recommendation of placement in TK by a special education student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team,
  2. Recommendation of placement in TK by a Student Success Team (SST),
  3. Space permitting, students who are siblings of current PVSD students, who reside within the boundaries of the Portola Valley School District,and whose birthday falls between December 3, 2019 and March 1, 2020.
Measure Z  Bond Program Recap
So much has happened since our Board of Trustees accepted the District's Facilities Master Plan last June that it is useful to provide a brief recap of work that has been carried out since then.

Prior to Passage of Measure Z on November 6, 2018
  • District staff consulted with numerous Superintendents and Chief Business Officials in school districts similar to ours, seeking approaches towards designing and delivering improved and new facilities.
  • District staff consulted with legal counsel to develop appropriate approaches towards identifying and selecting providers of financial, architectural, management, and construction services.
  • District staff prepared and planned for the execution of Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) that could be disseminated immediately after the passage of Measure Z.
  • The District hired, on a temporary basis, an experienced local Bond Projects Manager to help guide us through the assembly of a PVSD team to carry out a construction program.
After the Passage of Measure Z on November 6, 2018
  • November - December: RFQs published and distributed for:
    • Construction Management Firms
    • Facilities / Project Manager
    • Architectural Firms
  • December - January: Interviews held and selections made for:
    • Construction Management Firms (outside consultants)
      • Conducted by 6 member committee of PVSD staff, outside consultants, Trustee and PVSD parent
      • 8 firms applied, 5 firms interviewed, one firm selected: RGM
    • Bond Project / Facilities Manager (to be PVSD employee)
      • Conducted by 5 member committee of PVSD staff, outside consultants, Trustee and PVSD parent.
      • 9 individuals applied, 3 individuals interviewed, one individual selected: Adam Lint
    • Architectural Firms;
      • 12 firms demonstrated serious interest in PVSD's projects by participating in a mandatory campus walk-through and Q&A session.
      • 8 firms submitted formal RFQs by the deadline.
      • A multifactor matrix was used by the screening and interview committees to evaluate applications on six major criteria
      • Screening and interviews were conducted by 11 member committee consisting of PVSD staff, outside consultants, a PVSD trustee, and two PVSD parents.
        • 4 firms were invited for interviews, 4 accepted.
        • Two firms were selected to be accepted as PVSD's pool of approved architects, with CAW earning the most #1 votes and SFA/DLR Group earning the #2 position.
        • The District is now working with CAW to develop a proposal for comprehensive services; if we are unable to come to terms, the District will negotiate with the other firm in the pool.
  • January - February:
    • Aligning funding plan with optimal design and construction schedule
      • Meetings held with bond counsel and financial advisors about bond market and funding capacity and reports made to Board of Trustees.
      • Over the course of several meetings, district staff, consultants, and Board representative study several timelines for funding and construction. Key considerations are
        • Availability and timing of funding
        • Likely time needed for project development and approvals
        • Optimal timing for bidding and construction
        • Ability to proceed quickly without introducing undue risk
        • Ability to carry out remedial work as soon as practical
      • Seeking Board approval of development and construction timeline at February 6 meeting of Board of Trustees
    • Forming Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC)
  • Coming Up:
    • Constitute and train CBOC
    • Conduct stakeholder groups to refine initial scope and to develop preliminary schematics for new construction
    • Develop comprehensive list and timeline for deferred maintenance projects and begin implementation
    • Negotiate architectural contract for major projects and begin developing schematics and and design documents
The development and implementation of a complex plan such as ours requires meticulous planning, frequent participation by stakeholders, and clear communications to the public. We are finalizing our "Measure Z" webpage where upcoming as well as completed activities will be shared with the public.

ROPES Is Coming to PVSD!
The Portola Valley School District is inviting 3 rd , 5 th and 8 th grade students to participate in  the R ite O P assage E xperience (ROPES) Project. The ROPES Project is specifically designed as an optional enrichment activity as students complete a cycle of their education:  Ormondale to Corte Madera, elementary grade to middle school, middle school to high school.

The ROPES Project gives students in 3rd , 5th and 8th grade opportunities to explore and demonstrate project-based learning. The project is an opportunity for students to participate in an academic ritual by way of real-life experiences. This is not a classroom assignment and there is no grade attached to it.

ROPES participants select from the list of ROPES Challenges. Each challenge gives students a chance to demonstrate critical thinking and creativity and an opportunity to identify and explore areas of passion and curiosity  and can be thought of as a "passion project" . The project is multi-tiered and is worked on over the course of several months before being presented to a panel in April. This project is to be student driven with minimal assistance from parents. ROPES candidates who successfully meet the criteria will be awarded a special rope or cord at the ROPES Community Recognition Night in May.

ROPES packets are available in each of the school offices. Candidate forms are due by Friday, February 8. If you have questions specific to your child's participation, please contact Lynette Hovland , Principal of Ormondale School at lhovland@pvsd.net

 COLLABORATION   Working together to achieve common goals.

 INTEGRITY   Being consistently honest and trustworthy.

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