Walter Hays Weekly
March 21, 2021
Upcoming Calendar [Full School Calendar]

Thursday, March 25th
Author Visit for 3rd-5th graders

Tuesday, March 30th
Parent Education Fireside Chat: Diversity and Inclusion
Zoom Link to Follow

Wednesday, March 31st
Dine and Donate at Gotts to Support 5th Graders

April 5th-9th
Spring Break - No School

April 18th-24th
Walter Hays Move-a-thon

March Core Value:


We accept and support others and acknowledge their feelings.
In This Issue
  • Virtual Author Visit: Jennifer Nielsen
  • Gott's Roadside: Dine & Donate for 5th Graders
  • PTA Parent Education Fireside Chat: Diversity & Inclusion
  • Yearbooks for Purchase!
  • Walter Hays Move-a-Thon
  • Mindfulness Corner: Importance of Sleep
  • Yearbook Donations Needed!
  • 2021 Peninsula Photo Contest
  • PTA Volunteers Needed!
  • March Core Value Reads: Empathy
Walter Hays News
Virtual Author Visit with Jennifer Nielsen
3rd – 5th Graders
Thursday, March 25th, 2021 at 8:30am

New York Times Bestselling author, Jennifer Nielsen, will virtually visit Walter Hays and talk with our 3rd – 5th graders on March 25th, 2021. She was born and raised in northern Utah, where she still lives today with her family, a dog that won’t play fetch, and a cat that hallucinates. She is the author of The Ascendance series, beginning with THE FALSE PRINCE, the TRAITOR’S GAME series, the historical novels, RESISTANCE, A NIGHT DIVIDED and WORDS ON FIRE, and several other titles. She loves chocolate, old books, and lazy days in the mountains.
Walter Hays Dine & Donate Fundraiser to Support 5th Graders @ Gott's Roadside
Hungry for a good cause? Need a midweek break from cooking? Come and enjoy a delicious meal at Gott's in Town & Country and dine for a good cause: our 5th graders!! Funds will help support our 5th graders' activities & promotion!
Whether you dine in, take out, order delivery* or purchase a gift card** (good at ANY Gott's), Gott's will donate 10% of sales ALL DAY (11am-8pm)!
So come hungry, enjoy Gott's & support our 5th graders!!
When: Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 11am-8pm
Where: Gott's Roadside (Town & Country)
*delivery via www., NOT through delivery service e.g. DoorDash, UberEats, etc.
**gift cards can be purchased at
If you have any questions, please contact Esther Yoo at
PTA Parent Education Fireside Chat:
Diversity and Inclusion
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 7:00pm -8:00pm
As a capstone to our Black Heritage Month activities, we invite you to join us for a timely and informative parent education event on some of the pressing issues in our society: race, equity, bias, discrimination, diversity, and inclusion.  
About the Event
We will kick off the webinar with a 25-minute pre-recorded fireside chat between our guest speaker Maxine Williams, Chief Diversity Officer at Facebook, and our moderator Yolanda Conaway, PAUSD Superintendent on Equity and Student Affairs. Their conversation will be focused on the top 5 race, diversity, and inclusion questions that were pre-selected. After the video, Yolanda Conaway, will lead the discussion and live Q&A.
About Maxine Williams
Maxine Williams is the Chief Diversity Officer at Facebook. Her mandate spans people, product and policy spheres reporting directly to the COO and serving as a member of Facebook’s most senior executive leadership body under the CEO. Maxine’s team works towards increasing the cognitive diversity—different ways of thinking based on different backgrounds, experiences and information—of all Facebook teams and integrating diverse perspectives into policy and product development. 
Prior to joining Facebook, Maxine served as the Director of Diversity for a global law firm. She has worked as an attorney in criminal, civil and industrial courts in her native Trinidad and Tobago, and in the United Kingdom at the Privy Council. Maxine has also worked with multiple international organizations on development and human rights issues and has had a career as a broadcast journalist, actress and on-air presenter. Maxine is an independent director on the board of the publicly traded Massy Group of Companies. She graduated from Yale University before receiving her law degree with first class honors from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.
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!

Walter Hays Move-a-thon
April 18th – April 24th, 2021

What: Let’s move and raise money for the Ecumenical Hunger Program* thru a physically-distanced event, and you choose when. You can run, walk, bike, swim, hopscotch, jump rope, play basketball, and more, as long as you are moving and being active. Count the minutes moved towards your pledge. Aim to move for 30-60 minutes a day. Get parents, friends, grandparents, neighbors to donate to your goal.  

Where: Anywhere!

When: During the week of April 18th- April 24th, count your minutes moved each day.

Who: You log your pledge goal and minutes moved on “walkstarter”. Parents, friends, grandparents, neighbors can donate on the website.

Prizes will be awarded to the most money raised by a student, greatest class participation, and greatest grade participation.

How: Participate by visiting, click on “My Walkstarter”, click “login” to create an account, click tab to “sign up”, create your account. Once your account is created you can add participants. If you add a student, you will be asked once the participant is added for their room number and grade.  

For more information visit: *Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP)
EHP’s mission is to provide compassionate, dignified and practical assistance to families and individuals experiencing economic and personal hardship. They offer material help, support services, and advocacy for our neighbors in need, in a challenging and rapidly changing environment.
EHP serves working families, seniors, people with limited incomes and those who have both emergency and on-going needs in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and surrounding communities.
Mindfulness Corner: The Importance of Sleep

Developing and practicing good sleep habits is as important as developing good eating and exercise habits. When children, and adults, do not get enough sleep, have irregular sleep schedules, frequent late bedtimes, or poor sleep quality, daytime functioning may be impacted by poor emotional regulation, unexpected behaviors, irregular mood swings, and poor academic/work performance.
Here are some suggestions for helping you and your family develop positive bedtime habits:
  • Consistent bedtimes
  • Keep bedtimes consistent across the week
  • Bedtimes across weekdays and weekends should not vary by more than an hour
  • Establish bedtime routines
  • Establish a routine that may include reading a story, bath time, or relaxation activities
  • Use beds only for sleep (allowing other activities to take place in bed creates a connection between the bed and being awake, which can make it difficult to fall asleep (Owens, 2017).
  • Eliminate technology
  • Blue light from electronics can affect hormones responsible for making you feel sleepy
  • Adjust the bedroom environment
  • gauge the need for darkness versus the need for light
  • Have a bedtime checklist to make sure children have what they need before going to bed (e.g., water bottle, stuffed animal) or allow children to earn time for a preferred activity by completing bedtime routine
  • Remind the child when bedtime is coming
  • Provide notice 30 minutes to an hour prior to beginning the bedtime routine
  • Give multiple reminders to support success
Finally, consider adding mindfulness as part of your bedtime routine:
  • Sleepy Cow Mindful Meditation (Little Renegades)
  • Lay on your bed on your back
  • Pretend you are a cow napping on the grass
  • Place your hands on your belly
  • Breathe in and out with slow deep breaths
  • Bring your attention to how your belly rises when you breathe in and falls when you exhale (5 to 10 breaths)
  • Try to stay still and enjoy the deep quiet that helps to eliminate stress and brings you to a calm that will support you drifting off to sleep.

Sweet Dreams!
Wishing you moments of peace and unexpected joy,
Londy Reidy (school psychologist), & Susan Lewis (Cassy Therapist)
Yearbook Donations Needed!

Every year, the Yearbook Team sets aside scholarship yearbooks for students who may not have the means to afford one. We believe all students should go home with a yearbook in hand at the end of the year. This year, we are looking for generous parents to donate a total of twelve more scholarship yearbooks!

To make your donation, Please select "Yes, Donate one yearbook" next to the question "Donate a yearbook to the yearbook scholarship from this purchase?"

Please contact if you have any questions!

Thank you for all your support!
Walter Hays Yearbook Team

The 2021 Peninsula Photo Contest is now accepting submissions, and all students who live, work or attend school in the 6-5-0 area code are eligible to enter.
Photographers (of all ages) have until March 22 to submit their photos, and winning entries will be displayed as part of a month-long exhibition at the Palo Alto Art Center.

Visit Contest Website. All questions can be directed to

The Peninsula Photo Contest Committee
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!
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

Crossing Guards & Covid Bell Schedule Transition
Palo Alto Police Department is working hard with the city’s Crossing Guard service provider to staff all guarded elementary school route intersections at the new school commute times as quickly as possible. This will take some time. PAUSD’s recent bell time changes with different bell times at different schools require a significant increase to the guard company’s working schedule, and they are doing their best to staff these extra shifts as quickly as they can. The city hopes to have complete coverage by next week, assuming recruiting/training goes well. Note that the crossing guards are stationed primarily for the elementary schools, and overlap with middle and high school bell times is only coincidental, but PAPD will try to arrange a schedule that will help accommodate MS/HS over time. As always, if you notice gaps in service at normally guarded locations on your route to school, please call 650-329-2413 to report that the guard is absent. PAPD will work with the Guard Service to fix the problem.
PTA Council News
Your Turn: "How to Be an Adult” for Educators and Parents
Thursday, Mar 25th, 5:30 - 7:00 PM

Series hosted by Wellness Together School Mental Health and the California Department of Education, equips educators, parents, and guardians to promote mental wellness for students at home and in the classroom. Presenters from across the country including Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times Bestselling Author and Former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford University addresses increasing mental health awareness, advocacy, and access to mental health services for our students. CLICK HERE to register for the webinar
2021-2022 PTA Council Seeks Volunteers

The Palo Alto PTA Council Nominating Committee is currently looking for community members who have a passion for improving the educational experience of all students. We encourage all parents/guardians with interest to apply. Experience with PTA, Site Council, or with a Community Advocacy group is a plus. Let’s talk about how you can participate on a committee for the PTA Council or step into a leadership role for the 2021-22 school year. Training and support will be provided. Help us build diverse, equitable, and inclusive PTAs in Palo Alto. 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)
Monday, 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.
Tuesday, Mar 23, 6:30 PM

Hosted by 6th District PTA. Join us for an evening with Erin Gruwell & The Freedom Writers Foundation to learn about "Creating Cultures of Acceptance, Compassion, and Integrity. They will also highlight the topics of mental illness and addiction, and suicide awareness and prevention. Register today for this virtual presentation. The first 500 will be able to join the webinar. All others will have to watch the live stream via YouTube. Learn more about the Freedom Writers Foundation. Register Here.
Your Turn: "How to Be an Adult” for Educators and Parents
Thursday, Mar 25th, 5:30 - 7:00 PM

Series hosted by Wellness Together School Mental Health and the California Department of Education, equips educators, parents, and guardians to promote mental wellness for students at home and in the classroom. Presenters from across the country including Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times Bestselling Author and Former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford University addresses increasing mental health awareness, advocacy, and access to mental health services for our students. CLICK HERE to register for the webinar.
Advocacy for Teen Health - eCig & Flavored Tobacco Products

For Parents of rising middle schooler or high schoolers: Santa Clara County has now issued its priority recommendations from our community 1) Tobacco Retail Strategies – Menthol & Flavored Tobacco Products, Tobacco Retailer Density, and Tobacco Retailer Licensing; 2) Secondhand Smoke Strategies – Smoke-free Outdoor Public Places & Smoke-free Multi-Unit Housing; and 3) Cessation & Health System Strategies – Smoke-free Health Care Campuses & Cessation Services. Funding for these efforts begin 2022 through 2025. There are addiction free hotlines and resources. For more email Jade Chao, or visit the Santa Clara County website
Community News
More community news here...
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