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


Just Approved! The
New 2019-20 Academic Year Calendar

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.

Friday, December 7, 2018
Dear PVSD Families,

A lot has been happening since I last wrote you on the eve of the general election. In this edition of News & Views I will update you on the Measure Z election and subsequent facilities related activities, the adoption of an academic calendar for the next school year, progress made in the superintendent search department, Transitional Kindergarten, and activities at our school sites.

As luck would have it, after the recent rain we've experienced several more problems at Corte Madera and one in the district office. Three CMS offices (Susan Outland, Kristen Shima, and Todd Patterson) and two classrooms (Dana Fox and Rebecca Parker) have experienced water intrusion and have been temporarily relocated. Repairs should be completed in time for the resumption of school in 2019.

In the area of "...after Eric, what?" the Board of Trustees has kicked off the search process for the next Superintendent of Schools by conducting interviews with selected search consultants.  Two consultant firms presented their proposals to the Board at an open public meeting on Monday, November 26th. The Board is in the process of finalizing the choice and expect, upon selection, that the consultant will commence work immediately. The Board anticipates engagement with stakeholders, including our community, parents and school employees, to begin after the New Year.

Have a great Winter Break, and see you in 2019!


Some of the "Z Team" were honored at the November 14th
Board of Trustees meeting: Linda Kamran, Nelly Wolfson, Susan McLaughlin, Anne Fazioli-Khiari, Tricia Christensen,
A manda Smoot, Sarah Dorahy

Measure Z Passes!
This falls into the category of "old news" in that we were confident that Measure Z had passed the day after the election, but with our county's mail-in voting system it took a month for the official vote to be tallied. On December 6, the final vote count was certified, showing Measure Z passing with 62.4% of the votes being "Yes" for the $49.5 million general obligation bond to improve PVSD facilities.

We are deeply indebted to Measure Z Campaign Chair Anne Fazioli-Khiari and her crack "Z-Team" -- 
 Sarah Wernikoff, Tricia Christensen, Brook Coffee, Sarah Dorahy, Maria Geenen, Josh Harmssen, Linda Kamran, Susan McLaughlin, Josh Moser, Amanda Smoot, Nelly Wolfson, Karyn Bechtel, and Jeff Klugman.  What an impressive effort, and now ...  the real work begins.
2019 - 2020 School Calendar Adopted
The PVSD Board of Trustees adopted next year's academic calendar at its December meeting. The calendar has the first day of school (for students) on August 21, 2019 and the last day of school as June 11, 2020. These two dates are one week later than the predicted calendar for the Sequoia High School District. 

For the major breaks, we will align exactly with Sequoia for Ski-Week and Spring Break, and for Winter Break we will align for our 10 days, but SHUHD's will be 13 days long.

To see our calendar in detail, click here.

One Minute Before the Lunch Bell
Transitional Kindergarten Update
Over the past 12 months District staff and the Board of Trustees have reviewed our Transitional Kindergarten program, analyzing its impact on learning, cost to the district, role in the community, and other aspects of the program. The outcome of these deliberations is the decision to continue with the current TK program for next year. If enrollments warrant, the class will be offered as a stand-alone class, but if enrollments are low the TK students will be served within the traditional Kindergarten setting, as we have done in years past.

Orientation/registration for Kindergarten begins on January 23 and orientation/registration for TK begins on January 25.  Both orientations begin at 8:30 a.m.
Measure Z -- Next Steps
Even before election day, PVSD staff were hard at work preparing for Measure Z's passage. Many new tasks that will be required, and the District is  moving forward with planning for the actual design and construction of the projects described in Phase 1 of the Facilities Master Plan. On the immediate horizon is assembling a team that can provide the technical and managerial expertise to carry out the Bond Program efficiently and expeditiously.

The District has contracted with Eric Holm, Bond Project Manager in Las Lomitas Elementary School District, to assist with defining roles and creating a process for evaluating and selecting candidates. The District has also consulted with attorneys who specialize on bond projects and with Superintendents and CBOs who have supervised Bond Projects. PVSD  has advertised for candidates in three categories:
  1. Architect and/or Architectural firm
  2. Director of Bond Program
  3. Construction and Program Management Firm
For categories 2 and 3, at this point we are unsure whether we will be hiring an individual who will be a District employee with the title of Director of Bond Program or an outside firm that would provide a variety of technical services related to the development and implementation of a construction program. There are advantages for each model of service delivery, and the District will determine whether to adopt the 2nd or 3rd option after screening and interviewing are completed in December.

After the decision on what model to pursue and a hire is made, we will proceed with Architect interviews; this process will yield a pool of 4-6 architects which will be submitted to the Board for approval. We will then negotiate with members of the pool and select Architect(s) to develop the projects in Phase 1 of the FMP. We expect to determine our Architect pool by mid January, 2019. Then we will begin the work of refining the Facilities Master Plan and designing specific projects to implement at each campus.

To facilitate different aspects of carrying out our Bond Projects Program, we are  seeking volunteers from the district staff, the parent community, and the professional community who would be interested in assisting with screening, interviewing, and evaluating the various candidates or in serving on committees that help develop site projects or oversee the Bond Program.  Please click on this link if you would like to volunteer in some capacity.

Meanwhile, Chief Business Officer Conne Ngo is taking the steps necessary for the District to obtain funding for construction through the issuance of bonds approved by the voters in the Measure Z election. At the January 16, 2019 Board meeting, we will hear presentations from our Financial Advisor and Bond Counsel concerning the underwriting and sale of school construction bonds. The Board will also consider and adopt bylaws for the Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC). At the February 6 meeting of the Board of Trustees the certified results of the Measure Z election will be entered and accepted,  the Board will consider and adopt a resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds, and the District will start recruiting members for the CBOC.
Ormondale Update
From the Desk of Lynette Hovland, Principal

At Ormondale the life skill of the month for November and December is GRATITUDE. When students gathered in their Ormondale Families early in November they decorated bags to fill for the annual Second Harvest Food Bank Drive. All of the barrels were overflowing due to the generosity of the Ormondale community. Students have been learning about gratitude in their SEL lessons with school counselor, Mrs. Miller, and have been making "Gratitude Soup" as their SEL project with her.

The days before Thanksgiving break were filled with gratitude celebrations of friendship. The TK class had a Teddy Bear Friendship Thanksgiving Breakfast, the Kindergarten children made friendship soup and celebrated "friendsgiving" together. Each of the first grade classes had their own "friendship feast".

As the children count down the days to winter break they are looking forward to the annual Winter Celebration Concert on December 12 and the many exciting spirit days planned for Spirit Week capped off by everyone's favorite day - Pajama Day on December 21. The last day of instruction on December 21 will also be the last Ormondale Honor Celebration for 2018. Children with 5 Ormondale Honors will be treated to hot cocoa and toppings of their choice during recess in the MUR. The Ormondale Student Council is excited to assist with this fun activity.