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 26, 2016
Dear Parents and Families,

Has it been a little quieter around the house this week? I hope so! Now that the new school year is five days old, I can assure you that our schools are happy and humming with the joyful noise of busy students.

I've spent much of this first week visiting both schools, dropping in on classes, and talking with students, teachers, and parents. In my 37 years as a teacher, principal, and superintendent, I've not seen a smoother opening of the school year. 

With so much happening, I'm sending out this newsletter with several timely updates about activities in our district.

-- Eric
PVSD Test Scores Released
California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) 2015-16 results are in.  Portola Valley achievement remains very high with 84% of students again meeting or exceeding proficiency standards in ELA and Mathematics, compared to 49% and 37%, respectively statewide in grades 3-8. Some other significant results overall are:
  • Hispanic students in PVSD (approximately 10% of student body) demonstrated a significant increase in English Language Arts achievement over the previous year. This subgroup increased their proficiency rate by 19 percentage points, going from 49% meeting standard in 2014-15 to 68% meeting standard in 2015-16.
  • Research and Inquiry, the most critical thinking-based English Language-Arts Claim (a cluster of standards) is the strongest overall in the district with approximately 66% of 3-8 graders exceeding the standard. The district's emphasis on project-based learning and authentic research seems to have paid off.
  • The Reading, Writing and Listening Claim resulted in half or more of the students exceeding standard.  As the district continues its investment and coaching in the Readers and Writers workshop program and in stronger middle school Core alignment, we anticipate these numbers to continue increasing in the years to come.
  • All 3 math Claims - Concepts and Procedures, Problem Solving & Modeling, and Communicating Reasoning - had over 60% of students exceeding standard. Albeit we have a strong math program already, with the adoption of new Common Core Math curricula and a variety of supplemental online programs the district is excited for the future of math achievement in PVSD.
Learn more about how PVSD measures achievement here.

To learn more about how to interpret your individual student's scores, please come to our parent meeting on Friday, September 2, at 8:30 in the morning in the "Annex" at Corte Madera School Topics covered will include: 
  • Overview/recap of the CAASPP program and how to read scores
  • Overview/recap of student performance by grade in PVSD
  • Overview/recap of computer-assisted tests and the PVSD preparation for testing 
  • How we will use the data in PVSD to guide our work 
New Procedures for TB Testing for Volunteers and Staff
A new state law went into effect January 1, 2015, replacing universal TB testing for employees and volunteers with a TB risk assessment questionnaire.

School employees and District personnel now are required to complete the TB risk assessment questionnaire. The TB examination that used to be required every four years is no longer necessary unless the risk assessment indicates a need for further testing.

Volunteers will need to complete the risk assessment only in case of frequent and prolonged contact with student(s). In the rare instance that this is applicable, we will contact you with details.

This change is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Thoracic Society (ATS), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the California Conference of Local Health Officers and California Tuberculosis Controllers Association (CTCA).
Hot Lunch News
Beginning 2016-17, the District will no longer offer "emergency lunches." Parents wishing to order meals must do so online at www.choicelunch.com by 9:00 a.m. the day before the meal is served. If you do not order by the deadline, please be sure to send a lunch from home with your child.
The STEM Corner
Mr. Shapland Conducts MakerSpace Experiment: Anybody for an Omlet?
The Makery Club
Do your students at CMS want to join the  Makery Club ? Design, engineer, and tinker after school allows students to explore their inventive side. Students will build projects and develop a mindset for innovation and design processes.  Complete the permission slip  and turn in to Room 701 on or before  August 31st . The Makery meets on Mondays from  3:00 4:30  and on  Wednesdays  from  2:00-4:00 .  

Where Science Meets the MakerSpace
How do you design a safe product that can hold something fragile and withstand  20 foot drop? That is the question that student explored the first week in Mr. Shapland's and Dr. Dougherty's science classes. By using recycled materials and designing a prototype in the MakerSpace, students got to test their product by seeing if an egg would break in it!