Walter Hays Weekly
March 7, 2021
Upcoming Calendar [Full School Calendar]

Tuesday, March 9th
Consciously Making a Connection with Your Children

St. Patrick's Spirit Day
Wednesday, March 17th - Cohort A and FDL
Thursday, March 18th - Cohort B
March Core Value:


We accept and support others and acknowledge their feelings.
In This Issue
  • Get Involved with Walter Hays!
  • St.Patrick's School Spirit Day
  • New York Times Bestselling Author: Joanna Ho
  • Yearbook for Purchase - Buy Today!
  • Mindfulness Corner: Coping Skills
  • Kids' Club Enrichment Programs
  • PiE Survey is Here
  • Special Guest Speaker: Maxine Williams
  • March Core Value Reads: Empathy
Walter Hays News
Interested in Being More involved at School?

Our Nominating Committee is actively looking for parents who wish to serve on next year’s PTA Exec Board. Please reach out to Daniel Moore at if you are interested in joining the team!
St. Patrick's Day School Spirit Day

Who: Everyone 🙂 
How: Wear green or shamrock-themed attire 
  • Cohort A and FDL on Wednesday March 17
  • Cohort B on Thursday March 18
Why: Because it's fun!
New York Times Bestselling Author: Joanna Ho

Walter Hays is thrilled to welcome Bay Area resident, Joanna Ho, the New York Times bestselling author of Eyes that Kiss in the Corners! Her upcoming picture books include Playing at the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma (Fall 2021), and One Day (2023); her debut YA novel, The Silence that Binds Us will be released in 2022. She is a writer and educator with a passion for anti-bias, anti-racism and equity work. Joanna is also a mother of two, and a vice principal at a Bay Area high school.  
Joanna will be visiting with our K-2 students via Zoom on Friday, March 12 from 8:50-9:35. Distance learning and hybrid students will be participating. Teachers will share the Zoom link with families this week, as well as information regarding optional book sales.  
Mrs. Ford would like to thank the PTA for their generosity in sponsoring this wonderful event!
Yearbooks Available for Purchase at $26

The 2020-2021 “Virtually Together” Yearbook is coming together! Thank you to all who have submitted your child's Official Class Portraits. The yearbook will be filled with memorable moments throughout the school year. Not all schools get a yearbook this year!

Mindfulness Corner: Coping Skills

Helping your child develop coping skills can greatly help them manage difficult emotions or situations during school hours.

Coping skills are ways to internally problem solve and adapt to stress and difficult feelings like frustration or anger. A child can develop positive coping skills to self-soothe; children without well developed coping skills may turn to more self-destructive ways to soothe themselves, such as reaching for alcohol or drugs or even lashing out at peers.

What kind of coping skills might you encourage or practice at home to help your child while they are at school?

Here are some ideas to try with your child:

  • Five finger exercises - Trace each finger with the fingers of your other hand, breathing in and out slowly, and/or quietly saying an affirmation mantra like “I am capable and strong” or “I am safe and loved.”
  • Breathing exercises - Try some breathing exercises, such as making a figure 8 with your breath. 
  • Take a break - Encourage your child to ask for a bathroom break to get out of the stressful situation for a few minutes.
  • Let nature in - If the child sits near a window, take a moment to look outside. Name five things (i.e. count birds, window panes, trees, or cars). Look at the clouds and see what shapes you find.
  • Bring a worry stone - If the teacher allows it, a child might keep a worry stone in their pocket to hold during times of stress, reminding themselves that difficult feelings pass.

Here is some more info about coping skills to help you on your parenting journey:

Susan Lewis, CASSY therapist, and Londy Reidy, Walter Hays school psychologist
PACCC DL and Enrichment Programs for Students

Openings at: Walter Hays Kids’ Club
Each site will have stable “social pods” of up to 14 children and 2 supervising adults; children will not commingle with other pods. Kids’ Club capacities vary based on location and facilities; however, most centers will be able to serve 2 pods, and some will be able to serve 3 pods. 
Join the waitlist and our Directors will be in touch! Sign up for an open spot by filling out the waitlist form and paying the fee, which covers processing costs. If you sign up for a center with no open spots, you will be placed on the waitlist. Questions can be emailed to
The PiE Survey Is Here

Each spring, we ask for your feedback to guide our decision-making for the next year.  This year's survey is now available - please check your email inbox. It only takes a couple of minutes. We want to hear from you!
Black History Month Speaker - Maxine Williams
We are excited to announce that we have a speaker for Black History Month, Maxine Williams.  She is the Global Chief Diversity Officer at Facebook.  This is a speaking engagement for parents on race, diversity, prejudice, and bias, which are top issues of our time.  We hope to have our whole community come to the table to hear what she has to say.  Further details will be shared in upcoming communications. 
March Core Value: Empathy

We accept and support others and acknowledge their feelings.

Read with your kids about March’s Core Value: Empathy

We would like to invite parents to read books with their child(ren) about March’s Core Value, EMPATHY. The Palo Alto library and Walter Hays library carry these books and we hope you will check them out. Here are five of these titles:
  1. You, Me and Empathy By Jayneen Sanders
  2. The English Roses By Madonna
  3. The Name Jar By Yangsook Choi
  4. Last Stop on Market Street By Matt de la Peña
  5. The Other Side By Jacqueline Woodson

The Core Values Committee, headed by Lise Latour ( and Zeehan Selha ( invites all members of the Walter Hays community to ask questions about the committee. We welcome all ideas and suggestions you may have about our Core Values Program.
Shop & Benefit Walter Hays

A parenting support series offered by Palo Alto Unified School District Wellness & Support Services and AACI
Beginning March 2nd

Register Here. Parenting can be very challenging during the pandemic for a lot of parents. Please join us for a free, 1.5-hour webinar every week starting from 3/2/2020 for ten weeks. You do not have to attend every single session but pick the topics that you are interested in. The workshop series will cover a wide range of parenting topics, addressing important questions such as internet overuse, build and connect with teens, teen’s mental health, cross-cultural conflicts, de-escalate children’s emotions. By the end of the series, you will be equipped with better understanding, presence, calmness, and the skills needed to be able to communicate with your children. Hope to see you in one of the sessions!
PTA Council News
PTA Parent Series: Parenting in a Pandemic
Wed & Thur starting now and running through March 2021
Free online webinars for parenting in a pandemic, organized by 6th District PTA. Please CLICK HERE to register for any of the talks below:

Next workshops:

Tackling Technology 
Wed March 10 6:00 PM

Well-Balanced Student 
Thu March 18 7:00 PM
PTA Council Seeks Volunteers

The PTA Council Nominating Committee is currently seeking expressions of interest from individuals in the community who would like to learn more about becoming a member of the PTA Council Executive Board for the 2021-22 school year. We are looking for community members who have a passion for improving the educational experience of all students and preferably have experience on their school PTA or site council. Talk to us about stepping into a leadership role or how you can participate on a committee.

Contact the Nominating Committee at:
2e Self Advocacy Panel—Help Your Student Understand Their Brain, and Help Their Teachers Understand It, Too! (For parents of K-12 students)
Mon Mar 29, 7-8:30pm Zoom info sent the day before the event

Panel Featuring: Dr. Keri Berquist, Psychologist, Nancy Kong, Educational Therapist,Toni Ratzburg, Clinical Director, MFT, RSVP here.
Twice-exceptional, or 2e, students have exceptional talents and experience learning challenges such as autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety, and more.Knowing how your brain learns is touted as one of the most important skills 2e students should develop. Explore the prerequisites to self-advocacy, discover how to help students understand what their brain needs to succeed at school, learn specific developmentally-appropriate techniques to try with your 2e learners, and gain skills to help you and your child communicate with educators about your child’s needs. Sponsored by Palo Alto CAC (CAC Palo Alto), Palo Alto Council of PTAs, and REEL.
6th District Scholarships for Seniors

High school seniors are encouraged to consider applying for the Barbara Emerich Scholarship through Sixth District PTA. Two scholarships of $750.00 each are available to support students who are planning to attend a 2- or 4-year college.  Applicants must be current high school seniors, members of their high school PTA/PTSA, and should have a strong record of community service: volunteering in education, counseling, mentoring, tutoring/preschool or with special needs children. Applications are due electronically by Friday, May 7, 2021 at midnight. If you are unable to send your application in electronically please reach out to Information and link to application: 
PTAC Environmental Action Committee

Green Tip! Zero Waste Lunches. Refill and Reuse to cut down waste! Pack lunches in reusable containers suchs as: beeswax wrap, thermoses, silicon storage bags, bento and lunch boxes. Use refillable containers for smaller portions of yogurt, fruit, juice, chips and crackers. Bring your own stainless or bamboo cutlery, cloth napkins and reusable water bottles.
Community News
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