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November 7, 2008


Dear Family and Friends of PDMSS,

On the way home from work on Monday, I went to Ava's preschool to pay her tuition.  Fairly simple task I thought, but I left feeling a little inadequate as a mother.  As I handed the Director my check, she said, "Thanks so much.  And will you be joining us for a parent teacher conference?"

"Of course, when is it?"


"Tomorrow?  When were sign ups?"

"During Back to School Night."  (Which, by the way, I was 30 minutes late trying to get Isla to sleep - Guilty point #1). "You seem to be the only one who hasn't signed up."  (Guilty point #2)

"Oh, I see.  What times are available, tomorrow?"

"I don't have the schedule with me, but I can email you the time."

"That sounds great, thanks."

On Tuesday, I got as much advice as I could garner from key staff members at PDMSS.  It was my first parent teacher conference as a parent.  I couldn't mess this one up! Or could I . . .

I arrived at the conference eager to hear about Ava's first preschool experience. I gave myself a little pep talk and walked into the office. The teacher and I sat down. She handed me Ava's progress report, and then she was silent. Yes, silent. I felt myself getting edgy and uncomfortable. What did she want to say to me but couldn't? I opened up the report. It had three sections and each item was marked as Emergent, Developing or Established. I didn't notice the 15 "established" marks, only the two that were marked "emergent" and "developing". (Guilty point #3) I don't know why I did it, but I did. "What can I do to improve these two things? Is she playing with other kids?  Is she the only one that needs help with this? Should I worry . . . " You name it, and I said everything that I was coached not to say. It was my working mom guilt that made me do it! Would Ava be able to handle the rigors of school when she she still had skills that were "emerging and developing?" I was a wreck.

I wish she hadn't handed me the paper before she spoke. Luckily for me, her teacher was calm and reassuring. "No, she had a great week, and we are working on getting her to be more independent with her work choices. Ava tends to choose tasks that require a teacher's support (Guilty point #4 - spoiled first child?). She has only been with us for a short time, and I see her growing each day. Not to worry, she will be just fine. (Fine? Not brilliant? Guilty point #5). I think that if she had some play dates with some of her classmates that would help." (I don't know if you saw our girls during the Halloween Parade, but I think that it is pretty clear that they don't get out much. Guilty point #6).

In March, during our next conference, I already made a mental note NOT to open the progress report first, so that I can hear with an open mind and heart. And yes, I already signed up for my conference four months in advance! I know that you will avoid my rookie moves: over-reaction to my first parent teacher conference. I also know that our teachers do an excellent job during conferences. Enjoy the time hearing about your child's strengths and successes and most importantly, relish the journey of those skills "emerging".

Warmest regards,

Chi Kim, Principal

Nov. 11
No School, Veteran's Day
Nov. 14
E-Cycle Day, Collection at the School’s Parking Lot All Day

Parent Enrichment 8:30AM "Raising Grateful Kids in an Over Indulgent World"

Family Movie Night 5:30pm
Nov. 18
PTA Association Meeting, 3:00 p.m., Cafetorium
Nov. 19
Nov. 20
Malibu Labor Exchange Food Drive (2nd Grade is this Month’s Sponsor)

LEAP Afterschool Classes
Nov. 20-26 12:25 Dismissal, All Grades, Parent-Teacher Conferences
Nov. 24-26 LEAP Afterschool Classes, 12:30-3pm
Dec. 8-12 Book Fair

November Lunch Menu

Menu with Carb Counts

More information

Last night Robyn Ross, PDMSS PTA President, and the Community Service Commission for Pennies for Peace presented at the SMMUSD School Board Meeting.  It was a great night that highlighted one of the many things that make PDMSS a special school.

"A key component to our Caring Community at Point Dume is our parent volunteers.  On any given day on campus, you will see volunteers working in classrooms, helping in the office, library, science lab, opening car doors for students, being extra eyes and ears on the playground, and being extra hands for our teachers.  Last year, our volunteers logged over 40,000 hours.  This year, we are on track to do at least that for this school year.

Tonight, we will share with you one specific example of extraordinary commitment to our kids by parent volunteers.  Janet Ettenger and Ali Thonson, along with faculty advisor, Kris Jennings, have provided unwavering guidance and support to our students.  They have enabled our students to realize that they have the power to positively impact the lives of other children around the globe. Because of Janet, Ali and Kris, our students have not only learned the value of setting high goals, but the work it takes to achieve those goals, and the satisfaction and empowerment attained once those goals are reached.  Our students surprised us though, because even after they reached their goal, they've decided to do more.  Here to tell you about their ongoing journey, the PDMSS Student Council Pennies for Peace Commission." (Stay tuned for our first official PDMSS News podcast featuring these students!)

Thank you to our Pennies for Peace writers and presenters at last night's meeting.  Our students were wonderful!

Kelsey H.
Masha C.
Misha M.
Grayson C.

Logan S.
Eden E.
Dylan R.
Arielle R.

Madeleine W.
Emma A.
Kate Z.
Olivia T.

Brent M.
Ally M.
Natalie A.
Mady S.  

Our school will be participating in an earthquake drill on Thursday, November 13th at 10:00 a.m. This drill is called “The Great Southern California ShakeOut” and involves every school in our district as well as most of the schools in Southern California. City agencies, community organizations, and local businesses will also participate. It is an opportunity for us to practice what we would do during and after a real earthquake. You can also participate in the ShakeOut by discussing earthquake preparedness at home and planning your own drill for November 13th. More information is at www.ShakeOut.org. As always, thank you for your continued support in helping us provide a safe educational environment for your child. 

Caring Community Direct Donation Update

58% of PDMSS Families Committed to the 2008-2009 Direct Donation Campaign

Get Involved! Your help is needed!
All donations are welcome!

Goal:  100% Participation = All Families Committed to Making a Difference!

Thank you to the following 111 families for their donations:

Altagen (Herz) Family, Anawalt Family, Annis Family, Appel Family, Barish Family, Barton Family, Beltrami Family, Bode Family, Boland Family, Brosnan Family, Brown Family, Stephen & Debra Buckley Family, William & Jeannie Buckley Family, Burger Family, Carrola-Landry Family, Carson Family, Chaisson Family, Chernitskaya Family, Churchill Family, Cloete Family, Cohen Family, Colby Family, Cook Family, Cullen-Winsick (Hollander) Family, Day Family, Denker Family, DeStefano Family,  deVarennes Family, Diamond Family, Duane Family, Dion Family, Ekman Family, Errico Family, Ettenger Family, Evers Family, Faherty Family, Farrer Family, Fein Family, Ficeto Family, Fox Family, Friedman Family, Gerber-Crawford Family, Gonzalez Family, Goudzwaard Family, Grieco-Sissons Family, Griffin Family, Hamilton Family, Harrer Family, Hernandez Family, Brian & Lisa Holmes Family, Henry & Lori Holmes Family, Kevin & Samantha Hughes Family, Kathleen Hughes Family, Humphreys Family, Jenkins Family, Kelly Family, Kester Family, King Family, Lamont Family, Lanier Family, Larkin Family, Laubender Family, Lee Family, Lescher Family, Lewis Family, Loftus Family, Longo Family, Malmoux Family, Mankoff Family, Mark Family, Cindy Martin Family, Martinez Family, Mazzarella Family, McNulty Family, Ken & Janice Miller Family, Eddie & Lisa Miller Family, Nanula Family, Nathan Family, O’Brien Family, Peeples Family, Peterson Family, Picard Family, Pinkett Family, Putterman Family, Ray Family, Rosen Family, Rick & Robyn Ross Family, Roth Family, Rubenstein Family, Schaar Family, Schapiro Family, Schetter Family, Sheridan Family, Shevick Family, Simonian Family, Sittig Family,  Norton & Kim Smith Family, Stuart & Noriko Smith Family, Soloway Family, Spiner Family, Stack Family, Strickland Family, Swindal Family, Tarlow Family, Thonson Family, Thrall Family, Ward Family, Wilder Family, Wolfsdorf Family, Zicklin Family, Zuckerman Family

Donation forms are available in the office or to download,

This Week in Attendance

Absences and Tardies for the week of 10/20/08 – 10/24/08:

Students Tardy - 47 Students Absent - 63
If your child is absent, you must call 310-457-9370 or email, kim@smmusd.org or reinhard@smmusd.org
to report an absence.  Thank you for your help!

Parent Enrichment Event: “Raising Grateful Kids in an Over-Indulgent World”

Friday, November 14th, 8:30 a.m. in the Library 

The speaker will be Bette Alkazian and she will be covering issues such as:

    • What is over-indulgence?
    • Teaching values to our kids,
    • Teaching coping skills,
    • Teaching responsibility,
    • Teaching gratitude…and lots more
If you need any additional information, please contact Jeanne McBreen,mcbreenster@gmail.com.



Tip #3:  Make sure you have a working hose attached to every faucet outside your home.  If there's a fire, you don't want to waste precious time looking for a hose and hooking it up.

Tip #4:  Keep a utility wrench near your gas meter, and make sure everyone in the house knows how to shut off the gas.  (This is important for earthquakes, too.)

Tip #5:  Check that your gutters are clear of leaves and debris. While the metal gutters themselves may not burn, any debris in them sure will - and they're right next to your roof.

(Tips from MW Fire Safety Council)

Community Announcements and Links

 Why Sacramento Matters: How It Impacts Our Schools 

A Forum with the Honorable Julia Brownley, Incoming Chair, Assembly Education Committee
Wednesday, November 12, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
SMMUSD Board Room, 1651  16th Street, 2nd Floor, Santa Monica

For more information

 City of Malibu Winter Break Sports Camps 

Register online at www.ci.malibu.ca.us or by going to Malibu Bluffs Park, 24250 Pacific Coast Highway.

For more information

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