Walter Hays Weekly
September 13, 2020
Upcoming Calendar [Full School Calendar]
Monday, September 14:
        Principal Mary's Livestream
        Begins at 8:30 a.m.
        Zoom link to follow

Saturday, September 19:
        OCF Donation Deadline
In This Issue
Dear Walter Hays Families,
We hope you and your families are staying safe from the wildfires, unhealthy air quality and the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. As we do our best to navigate ourselves and our families through increasingly uncharted territory, we echo Principal Mary's thoughts and sentiments. Our children need not much more than to feel safe, reassured and loved in order to be the best versions of themselves. As we take our time with our children, please also remember to take a moment to meditate on a job well done for yourselves while we continue to hold down more forts than we now have hands to count!
With that said, September and October are typically reserved for the launch of our much anticipated and highly popular fundraising events. Due to current health and safety restrictions, we are doubling down our efforts on hosting virtual events. Fundraising events have always benefited from immense volunteer support from the Walter Hays community. We hope that this year is no exception. Our current top priority is to build a team of volunteers that can help organize and host virtual events (more information provided in the "Walter Hays News" section).
You can sign-up and volunteer in one of two ways:
  1. Help organize virtual events by working directly with a partner vendor we've already established.
  2. Get creative by developing and hosting your own virtual event. Love cooking? Host a cooking class. Love cocktails? Bring your talents to your own cocktail making party.
Lastly, please join us in advocating Measure "O" to our greater community. We can all help drive awareness by posting on your respective social media channels and groups, and reaching out to your neighbors and friends! A "Yes" vote means our school district will continue to receive the much needed $15 million per year in funding that sustains many of the programs and teachers we love. Thank you for your continued support!

In this issue of the eNews, we will cover:
  • Donate to Support Walter Hays
  • Vote Yes on Measure O
  • UptoUs is Now Live!
  • Fundraiser Committee - Volunteers Needed
  • September 21st - Parent Ed Virtual Event
  • Walter Hays Elementary Library New
  • September Core Value
Walter Hays News
Support the Walter Hays Community

Our hope is that every Walter Hays family will participate in this important initiative to raise money for our school. The funds raised through this effort cover the full cost of school and art supplies, Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo classes, new paper books, an expanded e-book library, staff development, and more. These funds create a richer learning experience for every student and these resources are needed more than ever as we try to re-create the in-person learning experience at home. Thank you to all the families who have participated in our School Fund drive. We made a big jump to 34% since last week. Can we get to 100%? We are extending our deadline by one more week. Please contribute to our School Fund if you have not already done so here!
Vote Yes on Measure O

Our Palo Alto schools are among the best in the state and nation, thanks to dedicated teachers, high-quality academics, and rich and varied programs to support and enrich our children’s growth. For almost 20 years, our local parcel tax has generated over $15 million in locally-controlled funding to keep our schools strong.

This essential local funding is set to expire. If we don’t renew our local parcel tax, our budget would be cut and our teachers, staff and programs could face devastating losses that will impact every school in the District. Vote YES on Measure O, a parcel tax renewal measure that has been placed on the November 2020 ballot to ensure our schools continue receiving this critical funding. The PTA Council Executive Board supports Yes On O! For more info. visit the website or email
UptoUs is Now Live!

We will be using UpToUs this year as a parent directory and for communication, volunteering and scheduling. All the school information has now been updated for the 2020/21 school year and is ready for use! You should have received an email this week directing you to If you did not, please reach out to
The Fundraising Committee is Looking for Volunteers

Do you like to organize or host parties? Do you see yourself supporting your child’s school and want to make new friendships in your community? Then come join the Walter Hays Fundraising Team, as either a committee member or a volunteer! This year due to COVID-19 we will be organizing VIRTUAL only fundraising events. We have found vendors to partner with and are looking for parent volunteers to help organize the following:
  • Virtual Barre/Pilates Class
  • Virtual Kid’s Ballet Class 
  • Virtual Wine Tasting Party
  • Virtual Family Baking or Cooking Class
  • Restaurant Kick-Back Programs
If you have any additional ideas, have questions, or are ready to help out your community, please email Kelly Chang (VP of Fundraising) at
September 21st - First Parent Education Webinar

We will be co-hosting a Parent Ed webinar with Duveneck. The webinar is in conjunction with Challenge Success and is focused on supporting families as they navigate distance learning. The goal will be to provide practical tips and guidelines for parents as they support their child's well-being and engagement with learning at home. After the presentation, there will be 15 minutes of Q&A where real-time questions sent by parents can be addressed by a panel of school staff as well as the Challenge Success representative. Our hope is to include both principals from Duveneck and Walter Hays, the Duveneck Psychologist, and the Walter Hays Family Engagement Specialist. We will also provide Mandarin and Spanish translators.

Navigating Remote Learning for Families
Everyone is welcome. Mandarin and Spanish translation will be available.

Monday, September 21st from 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Co-hosted by Duveneck and Walter Hays Elementary School 

Please register for the virtual event here. In addition, to better inform the content of the webinar we would love to hear about your main concerns around distance learning. Please fill out the quick survey here.

Challenge success is a non-profit organization who partners with schools, families, and communities to embrace a broad definition of success and to implement research-based strategies that promote student well-being and engagement with learning. To learn more visit them at
Walter Hays Elementary Library News

Welcome to the new families who are joining us this year, and welcome back to all the families returning for another year! For those of you who may not know me, my name is Jennifer Ford. I am thrilled to serve your child and you as the Teacher Librarian at Walter Hays.

Library Format/Content
Students will attend Zoom library lessons once a week. The lessons will include all the classes within a grade level and will be an opportunity to connect with one another. Our Zoom lessons will last approximately 30 to 45 minutes depending on the grade level.

Zoom Format  
  • Weekly greeting or question   
  • Read Aloud and/or activity
  • Student questions
  • Reader’s Advisory: Students may raise their blue hand for book recommendations, or help.
  • Asynchronous lessons posted on Schoology Library course or SeeSaw (students have been shown how to access their courses during previous library lessons.)
  • Locating resources: The asynchronous lesson is posted in the new weekly lesson folder. Previous weeks’ lessons are archived in the Past/Old/Previous folder.

Library Print Book Distribution
Library books will go home during grade level material distribution days (please consult your child’s teacher). Please encourage your child to enjoy and take care of our library materials and return them on the next distribution day!

Requesting Books
At home, your child can access our automated library system by going to the Walter Hays Online Library Catalog. They can search for books, request books, and see what books they have checked out. Watch this video for more information. To login, your child will need his/her 950 number and their password to log on to Rapid ID first, then they will enter their 950 number again once on the OPALS page. There is no password. 

The district has purchased an ebook collection for all elementary school sites that is coming soon. More information will be coming soon on how to access these books.  

Contact Information
If you have any questions, please contact me, Jennifer Ford, at You and your child(ren) can also message me in Schoology. Office Hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-3:00 PM.
September Core Value:


We are accountable for our behavior, we honor our promises,
and we care for our earth.
Read with Your Kids about Responsibility

The Core Values Committee would like to invite parents to read books with their child(ren) about September’s Core Value, RESPONSIBILITY. The Palo Alto city libraries and Epic! have books on this theme. Your child(ren) can check them out or read them at any time. Here are five of the titles:

  • The Berenstain Bears New Pup
  • Don't Spill the Milk by Stephen Davies
  • Down the Road by Alice Schertle
  • Yasmin the Teacher by Saadia Faruqi
  • Standing in for Lincoln Green by David Mackintosh

The Core Values Committee, headed by Lise Latour (lisewhpta@gmail.comand Zeehan Selha (zrastam@hotmail.cominvite the Walter Hays parents and community to ask questions about the Committee. We welcome all ideas and suggestions.
PTA Council (PTAC) News
[NEW!] Candidates Forum

School Board Forum on Secondary Education
Thursday, Sep 24th, 7:00-8:30 PM
Use this google form to submit questions in advance.

School Board Forum Co-hosted with the League of Women Voters
Thursday, Oct 8th, 6:30-8:30 PM
Register for the League-sponsored candidate forum on our Candidate Forum web page.

School Board Candidate Forum on Educational Equity & Access: the Achievement Gap and Special Education
Saturday, Oct 17th, 3:00-5:00 PM
The event is jointly sponsored by PTA Council (PTAC), Palo Alto Community Advisory Committee for Special Education (CAC), the Latino Parent Network (LPN), and Parent Advocates for Student Success (PASS). For questions, contact or
Election Alert

Election day is Tuesday, November 3rd. Voting begins when ballots arrive. Please pay attention to your ENTIRE ballot. Vote early! Don’t miss:

  • PAUSD Parcel Tax (Vote for Measure “O”)
  • School Board & City Council Elections
  • 11 Propositions. [State PTA positions]

REGISTER and VOTE. Questions? Contact or
CENSUS For All Families and Community Stakeholders

2020 is an important year for all Californians. It's the once-per-decade time that every person in America is counted in the U.S. Census. The census asks questions that provide a snapshot of our community, state and the nation. The census affects Federal funding, and much more. [Learn more!]
You have the power to shape the future for the children of California. If you haven't yet been counted, please do it right away. Questions?
Community News
[NEW!] Good News for Reusable Bags!
The CDC, Cal/OSHA, and Santa Clara County Public Health Department all agree – reusable bags can be used safely. Please follow these guidelines to use your reusable bags safely:
  • Keep your reusable bags in your cart/basket.
  • Bag your own groceries. If there are problems maintaining physical distance, you may need to place your items back in your cart and bag your items elsewhere.
  • Wash your reusable bags frequently.
[NEW!] Little Jammerz Free Online Glee Club Class
Saturday September 26, 2020 at 2pm
Elementary School students (Grades K- 5) that love to sing and perform will learn pop songs with cool dance moves. We focus on pitch, breathing, and performing techniques.
The class will be taught live online using Zoom. Registration Deadline is Thursday September 24, 2020. Please register early at Little Jammerz as spaces are limited.
[NEW!] Academic Chess
Starts September 18th, 2020 from 3:15pm to 4:15pm
We are proud to present our virtual chess classes (via Zoom) where we will continue to foster patience, strategic planning and critical thinking skills. Our time will be spent on principles of the opening, tactical elements of the middle game, and basic endgame situations. Although we are unable to see the enthusiastic smiling faces of our students live, the plus is that we have enhanced our teachings through visual aids (on the computer) that would otherwise be available. Our lessons are fun/interactive, include digital versions of our exclusive workbooks, and include a School Team T-shirt.

The fee of $ 140 includes 10 weeks:
  • 1 hour virtual chess lesson /INCLUDES 30-minute bonus playtime
  • Catered to ALL levels
  • Meet new friends from our other sites
  • Play in our private club on
  • Represent your school in post lesson tournament matches
  • Session dates: 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20
  • Zoom link will be emailed to all registrants
For more information or to register, email
[NEW!] PockeTurtle: Intro to Computer Science Class for K-2 kids!
Starts Week of Monday, October 5th, $299 for 10 sessions
Hatch Learning, a Stanford-based education institute, is offering a 10-week computer science problem-solving course for K-2 students using the innovative PockeTurtle curriculum. Designed by Stanford Artificial Intelligence professor David Zhu, PockeTurtle is implemented at thousands of schools in China, Korea, and Palo Alto.

Taught by student-teachers from elite universities, the PockeTurtle Level I remote class uses a game-based web-app in which students embark on an interactive adventure with a cartoon turtle, “teaching” it to overcome obstacles by programming solutions to stimulating problems. Classes fill quickly! Register on our website.
We're bringing social interaction to Minecraft - and weaving in lots of fun and healthy competition. If your student has attended other Sparkiverse Minecraft classes, don't worry, this class features all NEW worlds and challenges. This class has no prerequisite and is perfect for new Sparkiverse students too! Sparkiverse takes your student on adventures using the educational version of Minecraft to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. We ensure that students don’t simply sit on a computer in a room full of kids. Rather, they work together with the other Minecrafters and learn teamwork, collaboration, and digital citizenship. This is a great class where students can take their love of playing games usually alone on their own computer and bring it into a classroom of fun-minded classmates.

Open Enrollment
  • Minecraft Rally (Grades 1-3) on Tuesday from 3:15-4:15 PM
  • Minecraft Adventures (Grades 3-5) - Wednesday from 3:15-4:15 PM
  • Steam Club (Grades 1-3) - Friday from 3:15-4:15 PM

Please register today! If you have any questions (regarding scheduling, class information, private classes, etc.), please email
WizAcademy - Fun, Live, Online Learning 
From the team at Wizbots, comes WizAcademy, our fun and live online learning destination. Kids ages 8-14 love working with our passionate, live instructors and our unique approach to teaching that incorporates design thinking and hands-on, collaborative learning. Our engaging and fun online courses, coding, photography, drawing, financial literacy, virtual travel, public speaking, physics, writing are meticulously designed to hone talents, develop strengths, build confidence and learn new skills. We are offering two 5-week courses during the fall. The next course runs from 10/19-12/2. The 90-minute classes meet once a week, M-F, with options offered throughout the day to fit your schedule. Learn more on our site at WizAcademy.
Looking for previous community listings?
We generally post events for only one week, and then move any ongoing listings to the PTA website.

Have an announcement?
Send your announcement before Thursday to Note that we can't include attachments.

If you have an announcement that is not specifically for Walter Hays (district wide news or community events), please send it to Check PAUSD submission guidelines here.

Need help with UpToUs?
Walter Hays PTA | 1525 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94301