Monday, September 30, 2013

Reflections Submissions Due Friday October 25

Reflections Program 2013-2014

"Believe, Dream, Inspire"            


 This year we have exciting news for students that participate in the program. For every submission, you will receive a membership to LACMA's NextGen program. Membership includes one free child admission and one free adult. 

Please include your child's Date of Birth on entry form if you would like to receive the membership.

Reflections Program – Introduction

The Reflections Arts Recognition Program is a national arts recognition and achievement program for students. Since 1969, over 10 million students across the nation have taken part in this popular PTA program.
The excitement and enthusiasm that the program generates for students, parents, schools and communities is unmatched with the majority of California PTAs participating in the program at all PTA levels.
That's why the Reflections Program provides an excellent opportunity for students of all ages to:

  • Unleash their creative talents and be inspired
  • Express themselves imaginatively in their artwork
  • Experience the joy and fun of making art
  • Tap into critical thinking skills to create art inspired by the annual theme
  • Receive positive recognition for their original works of art
As an added bonus, in showcasing and celebrating student talent, the Reflections Program increases community awareness of the importance of the arts in education.
We are preparing for the program at our school and will be sending out more information with dates and events. Please review the information below to learn more until then. 
Student Entry Form: (please include child's date of birth on form to receive LACMA membership)
Please contact Jennifer Farrell at for more information.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Character Counts Pillar: CARING

The Pillar of Caring

The Character Counts Coalition uses the color red to symbolize the pillar of Caring. 

 There are two main ideas that apply to the pillar of caring.
  • Concern for others: Show compassion and empathy. Be kind, loving and considerate in your actions. Be grateful for the things people do for you. Forgive the shortcomings of others. Don’t be mean or cruel to others. Be sensitive the feelings of others.
  • Compassion: Children can learn that people should be considerate and caring. Instead of ignoring hurt, confusion, anger and sadness they can learn that people should reach out to one another. As Plato quoted “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle!” we can never tell what difficulties another person is facing, and your kind word or action might make all the difference.
Most trouble between people begins when someone puts down another and hurt feelings lead to bad behavior. Caring people act different; they let the little acts of kindness lift people up instead of putting them down. To resolve conflicts children need to learn that people should seek reconciliation and try to understand each other’s perspective, there are always 2 sides to the story. It is also important to learn the ability to forgive when trying to resolve conflicts. Forgiveness is an act of caring in and of itself.
  • Empathy: Empathy is the ability to sense and understand the feelings of another person. It is not the same thing as feeling sorry for someone, because sometimes when we do that we are looking down on that person. It is important to work on our empathy skills. Nothing makes another person feel better than to know someone understands them.
  • Charity: Be giving. Give your time, money, support and comfort to make someone’s life better. Do this without thinking of what you will get in return. Help people in need.
  • Giving: Children can learn that one of life’s greatest satisfactions comes from giving to others and that each person’s talents and skills should be shared through service to others. Rather than waiting to be asked, children can look for opportunities to respond positively to the needs of other’s without the expectation of reward.
  • Be thankful: It is easy to complain or long for things that we don’t have. Instead, try to be grateful for the many gifts and blessings that we do have. Be willing to share them with others. True happiness can only be found when we are truly content with what we do have. When we are thankful we feel a sense of peace with ourselves and others will want to be around us more.


“Values are like finger prints, nobody’s are exactly the same, but you leave them all over everything you do.” - Elvis Presley
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” - Aesop
“Everyone can be great because we can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You only need to have a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Kindness And Caring Grows In A Loving Environment

  1. Show your love, smile often and give plenty of hugs. This helps them learn how to show warmth to others.
  2. Praise them for showing caring. Be specific with examples.
  3. Listen carefully. Pay attention to what they are saying, don’t rush or interrupt them. This helps them become good listeners.
  4. Give responsibilities. Having responsibility can help them feel valuable and learn to be part of a team.
  5. Be careful with criticism. Make clear expectations for behavior, but don’t overreact if they are unkind. Gently explain what was wrong and how they could behave differently.
The way we treat our children influences the way they treat others!

Teach Your Child To Think Of Others

  1. Identify feelings and encourage them to talk about their feelings and to think about how others might feel in different situations.
  2. Ask them to think about things that make other people feel good and what might make them feel bad.
  3. Try to help them understand how it would feel to be in another persons shoes.

Show Your Child The Joy Of Sharing

  1. Talk about people that are less fortunate. Discuss the difference between wants and needs.
  2. Give thanks. Help them understand and appreciate all the gifts and blessings that they have.
  3. Show happiness for another’s good fortune. Help them encourage and be happy for others without being jealous that they might not have had the same experience.
  4. Comfort others in times of need. Help them show support to others in bad times. Help them think of examples of how they could cheer someone up.
  5. Help them get along with others. Help build their social skills by taking turns, cooperating with others and not always thinking “me first”.

Activities To Do At Home

  1. Never underestimate the power of a smile. Even if you don’t know someone, it doesn’t hurt to smile, and it can brighten someone’s day. Smiles can be very contagious too! 
  2. Encourage and model the art of sending thank you cards when someone has given something or done something nice for you. Thank you notes are always appreciated.
  3. Continually review appropriate manners for different situations with your children. When they forget or don’t use the appropriate manners discuss and model for them. The more we teach and show them now the more likely they will become a permanent habit or way of life for them later. Encourage them to be polite even when the other person is not. This can be very hard to do, but a caring person does not want to lower themselves to the level of the rude person. Sometimes our polite behavior can help raise the behavior of the rude person.
  4. Help them to be aware of good deeds that can be done without having to be asked. If you notice something needs to be done, take the initiative and do it. These acts of kindness will be greatly appreciated.
  5. As a family, make a list of all the things and gifts that you have to be thankful for. When you wish for something that you don’t have or would like, follow it up with thanks for what you do have.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Superintendent Update 9/26/13

September 26, 2013

District Goals for 2013-2014
The Board of Education has approved the following goals for the 2013-14 school year.
  • Goal # 1 - Support the academic achievement of all students through a rigorous and balanced curriculum, as we transition to the K-12 implementation of the Common Core State Standards while continuing to foster critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills.
  • Goal # 2 - Establish and implement multi-year plans in order to ensure the fiscal stability of the District and to support a high quality instructional program.
  • Goal # 3 - Enhance communication and collaboration between and among District staff, students, parents, Board of Education, and community.

Budget Update (Goal #2)

For the first time since becoming Superintendent in 2006, I feel comfortable saying the State/District budget situation is actually better when compared to prior years.  The District has been deficit spending three out of the last four years.  For example, when the 2012-13 books closed this summer, our expenditures were $1.4 million more than the total income we received.  Outside auditors are in the process of confirming these numbers and will make a report to the Board of Education in December.
PVPUSD has been deficit spending despite the fact significant budget reductions were made over the past few years, including furlough days, fewer teachers, larger classes,  less classified staff to support the district infrastructure, extra-curricular activities, technology support, and classroom materials.
We are now operating under a new State funding system called the “Local Control Funding Formula” (LCFF).   Not all the regulations for LCFF are known at this time; especially clear direction on how to develop accurate multi-year projections using the new funding system.  State leaders claim the details will be made available in March.

In 2013-14, we are projecting a balanced budget.  The first step in that process was to eliminate the $1.4 million gap that existed from last year.   The District is also using new income to restore some teaching positions in order to lower class sizes and comply with the new LCFF guidelines which require a 24:1 class size average at each school site for grades TK through 3.    Since August 12th, the Board has approved approximately $750,000 in new costs related to restoring counselors and teaching positions.
We have also offered proposed settlements to our bargaining units that include the restoration of work/instructional days and/or restoration of staff, increased District contribution for medical benefits, a two-year District calendar, clarification on length of work day, evaluation procedures, and professional development guidelines.

Enrollment Update (Goal #2)
At this time, enrollment is down about 125 students compared to last year.  Most of this decline is at the elementary school level with about 50 less students in the Transitional Kindergarten (TK) / Kindergarten (K) programs as compared to last year.  Since 2005-06, PVPUSD has lost over 450 elementary school students which has led to less elementary classrooms in PVPUSD.
A District committee is being formed to evaluate the causes of declining enrollment, especially at the elementary school level, to determine if there are possible strategies for reversing this trend.

Special Education Topics (Goal #3)

A Special Education Advisory Committee has been formed consisting of parents and staff to provide input and feedback about District programs.  The committee has met two times this year.  Future meeting dates are:
  • November 18th
  • January 27th  
  • March 17th
  • May 19th

The meetings are from 6:30  - 8:00 p.m. in the MPR at Valmonte Elementary School, 3801 Via la Selva, Palos Verdes Estates.
All interested parents and community members are invited to attend.
There is a link on the District web site for information about special education related topics. Visit and click on “Parents & Students.”  Scroll down to “Special Education Information & Resources.”

Three PVPUSD teachers who were awarded grants from the Special Children’s League.
  • Stacie Motoyasa (MELA) - $1,983 for Multi-Sensory Equipment
  • Susan Falkenbach (Peninsula High) - $1,636 for Classroom Projection Instruction System
  • Betsy Fujinaga (Peninsula High) - $1,636 for Classroom Projection Instruction System

Common Core State Standards (Goal # 1)
  • New Assessment System - The State is in the process of changing the assessment system for all California students.  In fact, school districts may be asked to pilot test the new assessment system this Spring.  I am encouraging everyone to develop a better understanding of  the new assessment system by going to our web site and click on “Take the Practice Test” through Smarter Balance."

  • Funding - The State budget is providing one time funds to school districts in order to implement CCSS.  PVPUSD will receive approximately $2.3 million in restricted funds over the next two years.  These funds can only be used for professional development, technology, instructional materials, and textbooks.  A plan must be developed and presented to the Board of Education for final approval.  We will seek input from stakeholder groups and present a plan to the Board at its November meeting.

Support the PEF

  • The Peninsula Education Foundation (PEF) is vital to the success of PVPUSD.  The $3 million PEF donates to PVPUSD goes directly to school site programs and staff that benefit students.  For example, there are approximately 25 teaching positions in the District that would not exist without PEF support.
  • The Pier to Pier Friendship Walk sponsored by Skechers is scheduled for October 27th at the Manhattan Beach Pier.  Please join me at this important event. 
  • For more details about PEF and events, go to or call (310) 378-2278.

District Events/Schedule

The tentative 2013-14 school year calendar is posted on the District website at    The work year (calendar) is a subject of negotiations.  Once that process is completed, we will share any revisions to the tentative calendar.
The High School Back to School night is Thursday, September 26th.  There is a minimum day for high school students on Friday 9/27.  Please check with your school about start times and related activities.

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

The upcoming Board of Education meetings are:
  • October 10th
  • October 24th
  • November 14th
  • December 12th 
Regularly scheduled Board of Education meetings start at 6:30 pm at the Malaga Cove Administration Center located at 375 Via Almar in Palos Verdes Estates.

Our "Souper" Heroes loved it!!

 Our first teacher luncheon was a huge success! Thank you to all of our wonderful parents for bringing in such delicious goodies! The teachers absolutely loved everything and were smiling ear to ear!!

Thank you to Eva Ruiz and Noelle Whitaker (Our Hospitality Co-Chairs) for hosting an excellent event!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

This Week at Soleado 9/23-9/27

We hope you had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to another successful school week. Just want to remind you of this week's events:

Don't forget to vote for our school to receive money from Target: click here 

  • 1:30 dismissal
  • TK/K can be picked up at Silver Arrow gate
  • 1-5 pick up in front, and please remember to pull all the way forward.
Tuesday: Have a wonderful day! Don't forget to visit our Shop For Soleado link by clicking here to learn all of the ways you passively raise funds for our school. ( I ordered my girls' Halloween costumes on the electronic box tops website and earned box tops by doing so. :)

Wednesday: Teacher Luncheon. Thank you for signing up to bring in goodies for our first teacher event. We received wonderful support and I will be sure to post a few pictures and feedback from our teachers on Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday: Music class for 4th/5th graders. Please remember to send your child to school with instrument if applicable. The kids were given a list of supplies at their first meeting and should also bring:
  •  Instrument and book assigned by teacher
  • A 3-Ring Binder (1/2 inch)
  • Pencils with good erasers
  • Small mirror (preferably square or rectangle to put on music stand around 5"X6" or smaller).
Friday: Flag ceremony. Set up for book fair begins. Please click here to sign up. There are still a number of opportunities to volunteer. Fridays are spirit day so wear school colors to school.

If you haven't joined our group on Member Planet you can do so by clicking here.

Booster Club Updates: 

Update on Soleado’s Direct Donation Drive:

If you have already donated, click here:

If you have not already donated, click here to find out why you should, and how to support our Soleado students:

Have a wonderful week everyone. Remember to ask your child about their "learning targets" for the day. As we transition to the Common Core model these will be helpful in relaying what our kids are learning. 


Click here for our current Sunblast

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

TNT Dunk Squad

 The TNT Dunk Squad assembly was so much fun!! The kids enjoyed watching the amazing tricks and the entertainers kept them engaged the entire hour!! :)

Does your company match your contribution to our school?

Soleado Booster Club, IRS 501(c)(3) corporation, federal tax ID # 45-5416123
27800 Longhill Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 (310) 377-6854

If your family works for these companies, they will match up to 100% of your donations to Soleado!
Some companies require on-line submissions; others require a form to be signed and turned in.
For more information, contact your Human Resources Office, or we can help.
Just think: a $100 donation would become $200!  $200 becomes $400!
But hurry, because there is usually a time limit to request the donation match.

Click on your company below for instructions on how to set up your employer match contribution. (We are working on providing all companies, not all are active links below). 

Alaska Airlines

Allianz Global Risks-US

American International Group
Ameriprise Financial


Bank of America

Bank of the West

Bel Air Investment Advisors
Blue Shield Matching Gift
Cadence Design Systems

The Capital Group

Crail-Johnson Foundation
Crane Co.



Deutsche Bank

Electronic Arts

Eli Lilly

Far West Construction

Global Impact


H. J. Heinz Co.



ITG Inc.

JP Morgan Chase

Kaplan, Inc.

Kirkland & Ellis



Northwestern Mutual
Occidental Petroleum

Office Depot Inc.

Philip Morris

Scitor Corporation

Sempra Energy

Sony Corporation of America
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sun Microsystems

Tenet Healthcare

Thomson West

Union Bank of California

Monday, September 16, 2013


There are so many ways you can support our school and continue to make Soleado shine! If you can't actively participate by volunteering an hour or two of your time, we encourage you to passively participate by raising money for our school with the following links.

You can earn money by using our very own Amazon link below:



Box Tops for Education® is one of the nation’s largest school fundraising loyalty programs and has been helping schools succeed since 1996. With over 240 participating products, it’s an easy way for schools to earn cash for the things they need.
  • Over 90,000 K-8 schools participate nationwide
  • Each Box Tops coupon is worth 10¢ and they add up fast!
  • Schools can use their Box Tops cash to buy whatever they need most, from books to field trips to playgrounds.
          • So far, America’s schools have earned over $525 million from Box  Tops…and counting.*
        Please clip the box tops and turn them in to the front office. To make things even easier, you can download one of the collection sheets and paste the box top to it and turn in.  


Target is hosting a super easy fundraiser right now and all you have to do is go to to vote for Soleado Elementary School once a week through September 21 or until Target has given away all $5 million. Please ask your friends and family to do the same.

Another way to raise money for our school by shopping is to sign up for the Red Card and use it every time you shop. Target will donate 1% of your purchase to our school and give you 5% off, and free shipping on all online orders. 


Sign Up Now!
eScrip is proven to be a fantastic resource for fundraising where participating business partners contribute a percentage of your grocery loyalty cards, credit card, and debit/ATM card purchases to the school, group or organization of your choice. Visit our family of merchants for a complete list of participants in the program.

Here's How it Works
You register any one or all of your existing grocery loyalty, debit and credit cards for use in the program.

Participating merchants will make contributions to your chosen group, based on purchases made by you, just by using the cards you have registered.

Your purchases are tracked and available to you online, allowing you to see just how much you are earning on your child's behalf!

For complete information about the Ralphs donation program, click here.

NOTE:  You need to re-register your card after September 1st every year.  If you did not register after this current school term, please do by clicking here.

To obtain a Ralphs rewards shopping card, change your address, or replace a card, click here

Once you are registered, you can change your profile and update your “Account Summary.”  Under the heading “Community Rewards,” please select Soleado Elementary School by name, or by organization number 83614.


Sign up for a Jamba Juice card and list Soleado Booster Club as the organization you’d like to support.  Your card will arrive in the mail.  You will need to register your card before it will activate and donate a portion of your purchases back to Soleado.  To activate your card, click here

For complete program information and instructions, click here

Labels for Education a fun and easy program where families and members of the community work together to “Earn Free Stuff” for their school!
By collecting UPCs and beverage/sauce caps from over 2,500 participating products, supplementing your earnings through the eLabels for Education℠ program and with our bonus offers, your school earns points that can be redeemed for Arts, Athletics, and Academics merchandise.  Explore our online catalog to see what your school can earn!

CLICK HERE FOR OUR SCHOOL PAGE there you can register to begin earning rewards.

Register your shopping club cards and earn even more by clicking here. 


Image result for bristol farms logo

CLICK HERE  to register for e-scrip and our  school earns 4% of your purchases.

GROUP ID: 500044501

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Costume Closet

  The Costume Closet Opens This Week!

 Wednesday, September 18th is Opening Day at the Costume Closet!  The Costume Closet will be holding a volunteer training on Sept. 18, 19th & 20th form 9-11am.  There is a new invoice system, sign in system along with other great changes.   Come sign up on Supersaas and find the days and times available that work for your schedule.  We will be having extended Halloween hours and would love for volunteers to sign up ahead of time.  Through Supersaas you can sign up  for 3 months at a time.  

If you are interested in volunteering at the Costume Closet this year join us for an orientation from9-11am on Sept. 18, 19, or 20th.  Click here  for a flyer on our NEW business hours, extended Halloween hours, and how to sign up to volunteer.  

Sign up below: 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Yellow Ribbon Week 9/16-9/20

Greetings Teachers and Parents,
It’s Yellow Ribbon Week again! Join us in promoting friendship and kindness by celebrating Yellow Ribbon Week at Soleado.
Yellow Ribbon Week is observed to promote ”Loving, Caring, Sharing, & Friendship” in our children’s daily social learning environment, with an emphasis on preventing bullying in our school and community.
Through this program, we hope to encourage students to develop positive social skills and to respect their relationships with friends and classmates, which will promote healthy growth and development throughout their lives.
Yellow Ribbon Week is a national PTA program, which we are proud to celebrate at Soleado.

Yellow Ribbon Week – Activities
Monday - “Yellow Ribbon Kick Off & Pledge Day”
            Wear yellow socks or wear a yellow ribbon to celebrate the start of Yellow Ribbon Week.

Tuesday – “Friendship Day”
Make a new friend day and invite someone new to play with you at recess.

Wednesday – “Teamwork Day”
Celebrate teamwork by wearing a t-shirt or hat from your favorite sports team.

Thursday- “Peace & Love”
Dress in tie-dye, peace sign, flower, heart, or bright color clothing
to celebrate peace and positive friendships.

Friday- “Ray of Sunshine ”
            Wear your Soleado spirit gear or anything yellow to support Loving, Caring, Sharing and Friendship.