Public Notices

At Pope Valley, we appreciate our involved parents and community members and desire to keep you informed of all that’s happening in our school. On this page, we’ll chronicle school activities and student achievements and publish public announcements. So check back often; we’ll update it regularly.

Set Goals for the New Year

Setting goals and making resolutions is the typical way to start a new year. We all do it; whether we speak those goals aloud or keep them to ourselves is another story. If you’re truly looking to make a change in your life or wanting to help your child achieve his academic goals, it’s important to do it right.

When helping your child set goals, it’s important to get his buy-in first. There’s little motivation for him to achieve the goal if he didn’t have a say in setting them. Talk to him about where he’d like to be academically in a reasonable amount of time, by the end of the quarter for example. Then write the goal down.

A goal must be specific and measurable so your child knows that he’s achieved it. “Get better grades” is not specific enough. “I will raise my math and reading grades by one letter grade by the end of the quarter” is specific, easily measurable, and has a target end date. Or “I will memorize my algebra formulas for chapter five by March 15” sets a more specific goal that is bound to help improve grades. For the athletically-minded kids, goals such as “I will make eight out of 10 attempted free throws” or “I will improve my 100-meter dash by 3 seconds” also work. Most importantly, the goal must be attainable. A regular “C” student can’t expect to suddenly get straight “A”s, but he can work toward that by first bringing up his grades in key subject areas.

Once your child has set a specific goal, it’s time to break it down into smaller pieces. How will he achieve that goal? With your child, list what he needs to do to meet the goal. For academic goals, steps could include memorizing specific facts, finding a tutor, securing a quiet place and time to do homework each night, focusing on a difficult skill first, working with a parent on a regular basis, talking to the teacher, etc. Athletes should focus on practicing the specific skill they are working on, talking to the coach or a mentor player, and setting aside specific times to work on the goal.

Then it’s time to set the plan of action into motion. There will no doubt be set-backs along the way. Help your child identify where his challenges lie, revise the goal if needed, and continue adding to the list of things to do to meet the goal. At the end of the quarter or on the target date, evaluate whether or not the goal was met.  If it was, create a new goal! If the goal wasn’t met, look at why. Was there something that could have been done differently?

A goal achieved is a great boost to a child’s self-confidence and motivation to continue moving forward. Help your child with that confidence by working together throughout the process.

Activities to Beat the Winter Blues

As the short days and long nights of winter roll into February, both parents and kids start feeling bored by the old standbys for family entertainment. If you can quote the lines to all your favorite videos, and your best games don’t excite you anymore, it's time to try some new activities to chase away the doldrums and make winter your new favorite season.

Design Your Own Fun
Design your own fun with a creative art project. You probably have leftover art supplies from other school years, and now is the time to put them to good use.

  • Create self-portraits. Try the old light-and-shadow trick in which you use a lamp to cast a shadow of your child’s profile onto a sheet of paper taped to the wall (make sure that your child is between the lamp and the paper). Once you have drawn around the profile, let your child decorate the profile with paint, markers, or crayons. Yarn makes great hair that your child can either glue or staple on.
  • Make paint stamps out of erasers or cut-up chunks of potatoes. Simply dip the carved surfaces into washable acrylic paint, and stamp away onto sheets of paper!
  • Create 3D collages by pasting elbow macaroni, spaghetti, or oatmeal onto paper; after they are dried, paint them.
  • Collect all those short little pieces of crayons, peel off the paper coverings, and then put them into a muffin tin (cupcake paper is optional). Bake in a 250 degree oven for about 15-20 min., swirl with a toothpick, and then let it cool completely. You have now created some new round crayons that will change colors based on what you put in it!

Drown Out Boredom
If your child needs more action, try drowning out the boredom with bubbles or noise:

  • Bubble machine: Make your own bubbles. Since there are different approaches to this, check out pinterest.com and type “bubble solutions” in the search box for recipes to create small, large, huge, and unusual bubbles. You could be a hero with this one!
  • Percussion instruments: Save up some empty water bottles, and put in a few inches of various types of beans and rice. By adding some cornmeal, you can change the tone. Be sure that the lid is either twisted or taped down tight to prevent spillage. You have now created a percussion section!
  • Play some festive music: Use a spoon as a baton to conduct the music while encouraging the children to dance and/or use their shakers. Plan a parade route and march around to the music.
  • Make up your own songs: Make use of whatever instrumentation you might have around your home, and have your children suggest topics on anything from airplanes to ice cream. Make up silly lyrics and tunes, record them, and then enjoy the laughter when you play them back.

With a little forethought and planning, you can be ready for those days when your children need to stay inside. Let these fun activities become special memories for them in the years to come.

Helping Your Kids Eat Their Fruits and Veggies

Working with a picky eater can be trying at times, especially when you know your child is not getting the nutrition he/she needs. Sometimes you are so weary from the fight, that a bowl of mac ‘n cheese sounds like a fair compromise! Here are new ways to help your little one get interested in eating nutritious foods.

Make it an Adventure:

Take your children to the grocery store with you, and tell them they can pick any three types of apples they want. Show them all the orange fruits (oranges, peaches, cantaloupes, clementines, etc.), and tell them to choose three of those, too. The Fruit Pages is a website that lists many kinds of fruit, nutrition information, and other fun facts about fruit that may assist you in planning your shopping trip.

Break up this scouting adventure into different days, so you can keep your children interested. For older children, you may have them choose fruits or vegetables that begin with the same letter. You can also allow them to pick out three juices or three crackers as a treat. The goal is to have multiple options of similar items.

Make it a Game:

When you get home, explain that you are going to play a taste-testing game. Blindfold your children, and start with items you think they may like, such as an apple or juice. If you think there is a food they may be hesitant to try, add a dip or other incentive to entice their taste buds. For carrots, you can add peanut butter, Ranch dressing, or hummus. Grill, bake, or serve zucchini raw with different seasonings. Playing this game is a great way for your children to discover fruits and veggies they didn’t know they liked.

Exposing your children to websites that make food fun is another way to get them interested in fruits and vegetables. For example, the National Watermelon Promotion Board lists fun and creative ways to cut and serve watermelon. Recipes listed on their website can also be used for other colorful fruits.

Food Champs is a website that offers a variety of games about fruits and vegetables for children ages two to eight. By helping them learn through games, coloring pages, and activity sheets, your children will be more interested in tasting the foods they have been learning about.

Enjoy “the Fruit” of Your Labor:

Helping your children branch out into a new nutritious world is not going to happen overnight. This process may take time and work, but in the end, you will have children willing (and wanting!) to eat nutritious food. As an added benefit, you may find that your palate has expanded, as well!