Document Sample
THE OLD MILL CREEK (PDF) Powered By Docstoc
					                              THE OLD MILL CREEK
                                                                                                     2007-2008 Issue No. 3
Published by the Old Mill Elementary School PTA – Mill Valley, California                              November 14, 2007

                                                  OLD MILL 2007                           November 5-November 16
                                                                                           Teacher-Parent Conferences
                                                  LAPATHON IS LOTS                         1:45 Early Release
                                                  OF FUN AND A BIG                        Wednesday, November 14
                                                                                           School Board Meeting
                                                  SUCCESS – PLEASE                         7:00 p.m. District Office
                                                  DON’T FORGET                            Thursday, November 15
                                                                                           Night at Lulu Blue--PTA
                                                  THOSE PLEDGES!!!                         Fundraiser –367 Miller Ave
                                                                                           6:00-8:30 p.m.
                                                                                          Wednesday, November 21-
                                                  (see inside for more Lapathon photos)   Friday, November 23
                                                                                           Thanksgiving Recess
                                                                                           No School
The 2007 Lapathon was a huge success: the weather cooperated                              Monday, November 26
beautifully, all of our volunteers worked diligently and with good                         Old Mill Site Council
cheer, and the kids got a great workout (did you know that four laps                       3:00 p.m. OM Library
equals one mile? Some of those kids walked over ten miles that day!).                     Friday, December 7
And wow, were we “green!” The band was powered by the sun, we                              PTA Exec. & General Meeting
                                                                                           8:45 a.m./9:00 a.m. Old Mill
did away with plasticky stuff like the water bottle giveaways and those
weird vinyl tablecloths, we served healthier, organic food, and                           Thursday, December 6
everyone did a fabulous job recycling. It was a great exercise in earth-                   PTA Book Passage Lunch
                                                                                           Book Passage, Corte Madera
consciousness in which many people at Old Mill played a part with
their ideas and their energy. Thank you ALL for making this annual                        Tuesday, December 11
event such a fun bonding experience for our community.                                     Old Mill 3rd & 4th Grade
                                                                                           Chorus Performance
And thank you for collecting all those pledges. Because, of course, the                    2:20 p.m. Old Mill
Lapathon is not just a party, it’s a fundraiser – and that money helps                    Wednesday, December 12
the PTA provide assemblies, technology, author’s month, art supplies,                      School Board Meeting
capital improvements and much more.                                                        7:00 p.m. District Office
                                                                                          Monday, December 24-
If you haven’t made your donation, that’s okay – it’s never really too                    Friday, January 4
late. We’ll take your money any time! So don’t be shy! Send those                          Winter Recess
pledges in if you haven’t already, and watch our school thrive!                            No School
                                                                                          Friday, January 11
                 Thanks again! The Lapathon Committee                                      PTA Exec. & General Meeting
                                                                                           8:45 a.m./9:00 a.m. Old Mill

                                           DROP DON’T STOP SCHEDULE
        WEEK OF NOVEMBER 13—ROOM 3                                     WEEK OF NOVEMBER 19—ROOM 2
        WEEK OF NOVEMBER 26—ROOM 1                                     WEEK OF DECEMBER 3—ROOM 14
        WEEK OF DECEMBER 10—ROOM 15                                    WEEK OF DECEMBER 17—DDS COMMITTEE
        WEEK OF JANUARY 7—ROOM 12                                      WEEK OF JANUARY 14—ROOM 13
Page 2                                    The Old Mill Creek                            November 14, 2007

                                                                                     PTA Executive Board
                               PTA                                                          Co-President
                                                                                             Jan Hudson
                                  By Jan Hudson
                                                                                           Leanne Hansen
                                and Leanne Hansen                          

Whoosh! Was that October that just flew past? Thankfully, the flurry of fall            VP Communications
                                                                                          Peggy Armbruster
begins to calm as we settle into the season. We can finally slow dawn a bit and
reflect and say “thanks” to each other, our wonderful teachers, principal and
                                                                                        VP Events/Programs
volunteers for helping in so many ways.                                                    Mary Stervinou
We had a fantastic turnout at this year’s Lapathon. Thank you to the event   
chairs, Jules Campfield & Heather Young, to the incredible “Green                         VPS Fundraising
Team,” Molly de Vries & Sarah McNeil, and Food Team Merilee                                   Ali Duerr
Bordin, Dudley de St. Phalle, Tricia Satake & Ingrid Tolson. This was                       Heidi Whalen
truly a memorable day with great solar-powered music, good food, lots of   
recycling and many happy kids. Thanks to all of you for your support and                     Auditor
helping us reach our goal – we’re almost there!                                            Maeve Walsh
We’re delighted to announce that a portion of this year’s Lapathon donations
have been earmarked for a new playground in the K-2 upper yard. Our                        Parliamentarian
                                                                                              Ali Duerr
current playground has received much love, and is safe at this point, but its 
term is coming up. Additional information is in this issue of the Creek. If you
have not yet contributed to the Lapathon or would like to contribute for the               Sarah McNeil
playground, please contact Jan Hudson, Leanne Hansen or Deborah Goldman.      
The Book Fair was a favorite lunchtime hangout in October. Remaining                         Treasurer
open daily from 8-4 is no small feat! A huge thanks to our chair, Robin                   Deborah Goldman
Moses, and co-chairs Laura Diecks, Chris Hill, Crista Sumanik & Sue
Weinswig. Thanks to those of you who took a shift during the week or at the              Financial Secretary
ice cream social. Our kids and teachers are happy to have many new books!                    Laura Preger
Glad to report that the Emergency Preparedness Drill showed how                          Administrative Rep.
prepared our teachers, volunteers and students are in case of an emergency.               Jane McDonough
One word of advice – always remember to sign in and out when volunteering  
at school. Thanks Christy Allen and Nancy Puckett for helping us “Be                         Faculty Rep.
Prepared”. Check out for more information.                             Linda Tanguay
The Halloween Parade was great fun! Ghosts, goblins. and more – oh my!
                                                                                            Faculty Rep.
The kids loved parading downtown and back to the playground to model their                  Laura Shearer
costumes. Thanks to Dudley de St. Phalle for organizing the traffic patrol, 
to all the monitors, and to those who provided healthy snacks in class.                      Kiddo! Rep.
Join us at a LuLu Blue November 15, 6:00-8:30 for a fun evening of                          Kellie Kessel
shopping. Make it a Mom’s night out – or bring your significant other and
check out Lulu Blue’s great new brands for Mom’s and kids. Snacks will be                    Historian
                                                                                            Robin Moses
provided. 15% of all sales will be donated to Old Mill PTA.                 
Mark your calendar for lunch at the Book Passage on Thursday,
December 6. Owner Elaine Petrocelli, will be giving intriguing reviews on an
extensive list of books that will entice readers of all interests. Lunch is $35. A
percentage of all sales that day will be donated to Old Mill PTA.
Please contact Robin Moses for more info. Sign-up sheets are in the front hall.
We appreciate all you do for our Old Mill community and wish you and your
family a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday.
Page 3                                         The Old Mill Creek                                  November 14, 2007

                                                 By Jane McDonough

By the time you see this there will be just a few days till Thanksgiving, and you and your children will most likely
be thinking ahead to special dishes or special places that mean family to you. I always welcome Thanksgiving as
the best part of the holiday season. The opportunity to reflect on what we have, what we share, and to spend time
together as families and communities is worth celebrating! All of us on the staff send warm wishes for a great
family time, no matter the size, shape or configuration or your particular family. We have much to be thankful
for, not the least of which is all of you!
At the time of this writing, our student council elections are not complete, but kudos to those students who
entered the race, and who took seriously our challenge to shift the focus of the council towards community
service. Students were asked to speak to the community service they have already done- which is quite a bit!
And, students were asked to focus on what sort of efforts they might ask our student body to support that are not
focused so much on parties, etc. ( although spirit days are crucial to us all!) but on what our students can do for
others. It is inspiring to me that our moms and dads do a significant amount of modeling in that regard.. just by
the ongoing gift of their time to Old Mill each day, week and month of the school year. Parents give to our school
community in a zillion ways- many of them with only a slight thank you in return- but wear smiles when they are
here, and are excited and positive in bringing in others to join the fun. This is the message of the bigger benefit of
community service that our students get with no words or direct teaching. They understand the value of this
work because they see the whole school benefit, but they also understand that this looks like fun!
Congratulations to all the student council candidates, and to our teachers Mrs. Tanguay, Mrs. Bass and Mrs.
Shearer who all support that work. This will be a new and important year!
The District is busy with many efforts and planning activities this year, and to be an active participant with us it
is important to stay tuned to the flow of information. You can access the link to the district web site from our site, or you can go there directly through When there, you should
take advantage of signing up for district news (the signup is on the home page) if you have not done so already.
This allows the district electronic access for announcements or updates that you might not get otherwise. For
example, currently there is an update on the Community Financial Advisory commission (CFAC) , a health notice
regarding the MRSA Staph infection, 2007 Parent Survey results, a Strategic Plan update, and of course local
Board member election information. I understand the overwhelm we all have when it comes to information, but I
also hear from people from time to time that they missed out on or didn’t receive information that mattered to
them. Somehow we have to work together to make communication happen. Part of that job falls to you.
We are still trying to fill one of our instructional assistant positions. If you know of someone who might be
interested in the 5 hour a day, 5 day per week position please send them to me or to Amy Sievers at the District
office for an application. They can also see the posting on a flyer in the office or on line at the district web site.
Reminder: We (staff ) all ask that parents and family members, or those picking up the children at the end of the
day, not enter the school building until AFTER the 2:50- or 1:45 bell rings. I know that sometimes parents may be
waiting between volunteering or picking up a younger child, but we all appreciate anything you can do to help
with this; either wait outside on the benches by the lower wing, in the yard, or in your car until the bell actually
rings, as the traffic in the hallway can create a distraction at the end of the day. We want our students to be able
to take advantage of every precious minute!
Mom’s – (and Dad’s) – Head down to Lulu Blue, 367 Miller Avenue, for an evening of shopping
after hours from 6:00-8:30 p.m. Check out all that’s new, including Ed Hardy shoes and
clothing, Donald J. Pliner handbags, Saundra Messinger jewelry, Lollia, and other goodies.
Bring a friend (but please, no kids) for a fun evening of shopping and snacks. 15% of
proceeds will be donated to Old Mill PTA. Note: have your child start a wish list at Lulu
Blue before the 15th and take the guesswork out of shopping.
Page 4                                       The Old Mill Creek                               November 14, 2007

                         New Upper Yard Playground for Old Mill K-2
It is time for a new look for our K-2 playground. The current play structure is over 15 years old, and
this year’s PTA will make a gift of a new play structure and refreshed play area to Old Mill School.
We have been researching alternatives and meeting with vendors since August and we were able to
show participants at our November PTA meeting our exciting ideas and recommendations. Play
structure companies are offering exciting new elements for younger children to develop physically
and socially. In addition to the structure itself, we are investigating ways to expand sand play and
water elements into the play area. Thanks to generous donations from our school community over
the years, we have part of the money needed to pay for our new playground; however, we do need
to raise additional money to cover some elements of our new structure. To find out how you can
help, please contact Jan Hudson, Leanne Hansen or Deborah Goldman.

A Word from Kiddo! . . .Donations Needed – Kiddo! Annual Campaign
Kiddo!’s annual campaign for this school year is drawing to a close. With only 54% Kindergarten through 5th
grade family participation, we still have a long way to go. Follow-up phone calls will begin soon. Help us save
money and volunteer time by making your donation now. Go to or call 389-7789. Thank you
for putting the exclamation point on your child’s education! Please remember that many companies match a
portion or all of their employees’ charitable gifts. Check with your human resources department to see if yours is
one of them and you could double your donation to Kiddo! If you give your annual Kiddo! donation through a
payroll deduction or United Way, please contact the Kiddo! office at 389-7789 and let us know so we can send
you a decal. Notification from businesses and United Way can be delayed and we want to thank you for your
gift. And don’t forget that Kiddo! happily accepts stock transfers! If you would like to make a donation to
Kiddo! by a stock transfer, please contact the office at 389-7789 for more information. The Kiddo! Phonathon is
November 13, 15, 18 and 19! From 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., we will be contacting parents we haven’t heard from to let
them know their donations are still needed. Please call Robin Moses at 381-5795 or email us at if
you can join us. Pizza is included!
In January we will be printing a list of all Kiddo! donors in the PTA Newsletters. If you would like to be included,
we must receive your gift or payment arrangements by December 31. We will also be printing our stationery
that includes the names of our major donors (those who have given $2500 or above for the current school year)
soon after. Again, if you would like to be included on this list as well, we need to receive your gift or payment
arrangements by December 31. Please call the Kiddo! office at 389-7789 for more information.
Kiddo! eScrip Amnesty – If you have not yet registered with eScrip, you can sign up today on line at
www.eScrip or pick up a Shop-4-Kids form in your school’s front office and fax it to Kiddo! at (415) 389-7766. If
you are registered with eScrip, but have not yet updated your information for the 2007-2008 school year, it’s
not too late! The sooner you do, the sooner your shopping will generate dollars for the important programs that
Kiddo! supports. Go to and click on “Yes! Renew” to renew your Safeway Club Card and go to
“Sign in to my eScrip” to update your credit and debit cards. Questions??? Call Kiddo! at 389-7789, ext. 3
Attention Sales and Marketing Types – Help Us Make a Difference! – Kiddo! is seeking
fresh talent to help re-launch and rejuvenate our annual Business Campaign. Currently the campaign
generates approximately $170,000 from local businesses (about 13% of annual Kiddo! revenues). We’re
confident we can increase this share through strategic planning and careful account targeting and cultivation.
Our Business Committee is looking for volunteers with sales and marketing experience or aptitude. Each
volunteer will work independently as an account manager, but the Committee will meet approximately once a
quarter to review overall strategy and results. On average, we would not expect the work to exceed more than
several hours a month. Please consider this opportunity to tap your professional skills in a convivial setting and
support Kiddo!'s great programs for your kids. For more information, please call Deborah Dilley, Business
Committee Co-chair at 871-1122 or contact the Kiddo! office (; 389-7789).
Page 5                                            The Old Mill Creek                                     November 14, 2007

             International Walk to School Day at Old Mill a Great Success!
Our children got to feel the joy, the independence and the exhilaration of getting to school on their own two feet –
or two wheels as the case may be – on October 3RD, this year’s International Walk to School Day. At Old Mill
School, more than 200 students walked, biked or carpooled to school (30% more than last year). Only ten cars
used Drop Don’t Stop, there were more parking spots available and fewer cars driving the streets around the
school. The day was a great success for our school community.
A hearty thanks and congratulations to all the intrepid Route Leaders, Welcome Table Greeters and Teachers who
helped make International Walk to School Day at Old Mill a great success! Thank you most to Jane McDonough,
who was there with warm greetings and enthusiastic support, and to all our kids and parent community who
participated. Walking to school is good for our kids, our town, and ultimately, our world. So hats off to each and
every one of you for your willingness to come out and to bring others along with you to enjoy one of life's great
little pleasures -- walking and riding to school! Parents, always pressed for time to exercise, can benefit if they
walk or bike with their children to school. If you are interested in being a regular route leader or carpool
organizer, please contact Stephanie Moulton-Peters at (415)389-6769 or Ingrid Tolson at (415)381-2268.

 Is your daughter ready to play? The Spring 2008 softball season is just
 around the corner. Registration forms will be available soon at or you can email Marla Kravatz at Get ready to play Fastpitch Softball!

                                     It Takes a Village, Special Education PTA, Mill Valley

Parent Coffee – Wednesday, November 14th 9:00-11:00 a.m. – 900 Ventura Way
Parents of children with learning differences face many challenges. These coffees provide a chance for parents to share
information and support each other. Please join us. If you have questions, please contact Pam Sowerby
(, 380-9680).
Holiday Appreciation Party – Wednesday, December 19th 2:30-5:00 p.m. – Masonic Center, 19 Corte Madera Ave.
The District’s special education staff is invited to be the guests of honor at a holiday appreciation party. Parents and children
are invited to attend to support our teachers. We will have lots of food and beverages. Come and enjoy!
Eastwood Park Playgroup – Thursday, November 15th 3:00-5:00p.m.
Some children with learning differences (or not!) have a hard time making friends. Our play group is a great chance for kids
to build relationships. Let Pam Sowerby know if you can make it and check weather cancellations at
or 380-9680.
Many of you have asked for notes from our speaker events. We now have minutes available. Please contact our secretary,
Jeanine Ferris (, 381-9540). If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact your
school representative, Deborah Goldman ( or 388-6066) or any member of our board.

Do you know an Old Mill fourth grader who is interested in being a reporter for The Old Mill
Creek? We are looking for parent volunteers to work with interested groups of students.
Please contact fourth grade parent Dale Rice if you can assist (
Page 6                                        The Old Mill Creek                                November 14, 2007

                                 PSYCHOLOGICALLY SPEAKING
                                              By Claudia Trinklein-Engman
Last month’s article was devoted to fostering the             refrigerator!) Your family might have unique
development of affective language in the young child. I       strategies to add to the above-suggested ones as well.
feel quite strongly that before any child (or adult, for      Listen for your child’s tales of social conflicts. If
that matter) is able to effectively solve personal social     he/she was involved, ask about how it made him/her
conflict he/she must be able to readily identify and label    feel and what did he/she decide to do about it.
the emotional stimuli surrounding the altercation.            Hopefully, the decision made was an appropriate one.
Personalized affective labeling is the first of several       If not, ask what else could have happened to have
building blocks necessary in order to make appropriate        better solved the problem. If your child reports a
strategic choices to solve social dilemmas.                   problem with another child or a sibling, make sure
Secondly, children need to be taught possible ways to         you have insisted on his/her first having tried to
resolve social conflicts. I personally spend a great deal     resolve it on his/her own. Kids are infamous in also
of time teaching different techniques of conflict             suggesting crazy, unsuitable strategies as well. E.g.
resolution to elementary school-age children. I have a        “Mom, just give my brother back to the hospital” or
wonderful poster (that I would be more than happy to          “I’m going to solve it by telling her that she can
show any parent interested) entitled: It’s Your Choice:       NEVER again come into my room.” My classic
When You have a Minor Conflict with Somebody. It              response is: “Keep Thinking! I would never give your
lists the following possibilities: Apologize, Compromise      brother away. I wouldn’t give you away either.”
or Share, Wait and Cool Off, Get Advice, Talk it Out,         Make up stories with some conflict present and
Tell Them to Stop, Walk Away or Ignore It. But if the         collectively search for strategies. Talk with your child
conflict is frightening, dangerous, or not being resolved     about how a problem could be resolved, how he/she
by other means, the poster says that it’s okay to get help    would know if it was not and how he/she would
from a trusted adult. (I always encourage any child to        know if it was.
try one of the initial ideas before turning to an adult.)
                                                              Families should also be reinforcing the use of “I
If I become involved with a conflict between children, I      Messages,” which is taught and encouraged at all of
first ask: “How did that make you feel?” I then, based        the schools. If a child feels uncomfortable for any
on the answer, ask: “And what would be a good way to          reason with another child, he/she is prompted to say:
solve this problem.” Many children need some visual           “I feel _____ when you ____ and I want you to ____.”
cueing to help them strategize at this point which is         Helping our children to have a “voice” is one of the
why the poster is so very valuable.                           most powerful strategies kids can have.
So the second building block is to be able to match the       Praise a child who uses I Messages or any appropriate
feeling with the resolution. And the third, of course, is     conflict solving measure. Reinforce it by modeling the
to carry it out.                                              same strategies with other adults, your partner, as
At home, a family could easily create a similar poster        well as you child or children. When a child combines
with several possible ideas that is available to each         their feelings with sensible conflict resolution skills,
family member as needed. (Make it, laminate it, make          he/she builds personal confidence and public respect,
pictures to accompany the strategy and attach it to the       making our communities safer for everyone.

Bookmark Design Winners now on view at the Library! The votes have been counted and the winning designs
are on display. These beautiful bookmarks will be available later this month. Congratulations to our winners and
thanks to all the amazing artists who submitted designs and to everyone who voted for their favorites.
Live Homework Help is gaining popularity in leaps and bounds. Each month more kids in grades 4-12 are trying
it out and recommending it to their friends. Online chats with a qualified tutor can help kids better understand
concepts. For more information, please visit
Do you want to make your own holiday gifts and decorations? Join us for festive after-school fun on
Wednesday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. on December 5, 12, and 19. For program details, visit the MVPL Children’s
Room or call 415-389-4292 x106 – advance sign-up begins on November 13.
Page 7                        The Old Mill Creek                          November 14, 2007

Mary Anderson                                                    Adam & Ann Noble
Peggy Armbruster                                                 Leslie Owen
Suzanne Austin                                                   Allen & Lisa Preger
Joan Baranow                                                     Nancy Puckett
Chris Bell                                                       Nishie Ranasinghe
Michelle Bell                                                    David Reich
Nancy Belza                                                      Dale Rice Johnson
Jeane Bolte                                                      Jill Robach
Mike Bordin                                                      Ray & Selene Rose
Maureen Bunney                                                   Linda Ross
Abby Burton                                                      Donna Rutter
Jeff & Julie Calder                                              Diane Rylander
Peter Campfield                                                  Den Satake
Lisa Capretta                                                    Tracy Shields
Gisella Cardamone                                                Mette Shirley
Rena Chezkian                                                    Dawn Smith
Madeleine Churchill                     Andrew Lowry             Larry Smith
Catherine Cohen                         Jamie Lunder             Daryn Sperling
Andrea Concannen                        Marie Maass              David Spiegelman
Heidi & Steve Connelly                  Elana Maggal             Natalie Stingley
Laura Cross                             Sara Maurer              Celeste Tang
Willem de Vries                         Jane McDonough           Linda Tanguay
Brian Diecks                            Iain McNeil              Christa Tarantino
Duncan & Margie Dreschel                Sarah Mead               Ingrid Tolson
Bill Dubord                             Karen Meezan             Julie Urban
Ali Duerr                               Andrew Mercy             Mary Van Kriedt
Tracy Ferm                              Annika Miller            Christine Waldron
Cindi Frame                             Don Moses                Mary Washburn
Alan Frankel                            Neveo Mosser             David Weinfeld
Matt Galland                            Tristan Navamore         Steve Weinswig
Bryce Goeking                           Betsey & Terry Nelson    Heidi Whalen
Janice Hackett                          Wendy Nichols            Nikki Wood
Sally Hagstrom                          Caroline & Thomas        Tim Woodward
Leanne Hansen                           Nilsson                  Tina Zachariou
Ildi Hayman                                                      Amy Zimpfer
Chris Hill
Greg Holmes                                                Old Mill Creek Deadlines
Jan Hudson                                         Please submit any Creek articles by email to
Pam Jolliffe                              by the
Justin Jones                                       deadlines below (no pdf files please):
Kelly Jones                                           Deadline              Published
Chris Kearney                                       December 2, 2007      December 12, 2007
Pam Kerwin                                          January 6, 2008       January 16, 2008
Elizabeth Kivimae
                                                    February 3, 2008      February 13, 2008
Diane Krantz
                                                    March 2, 2008         March 12, 2008
Oksana Kudelya
Katy Kuhn                                           March 23, 2008        April 2, 2008
Laura & Scott Landress                              May 4, 2008           May 14, 2008
Juliann Langley                                     May 25, 2008          June 4, 2008
Jen Larson                                                      Dale Rice, Editor
Paul Leake
Phyllis Lee
Page 8                  The Old Mill Creek             November 14, 2007

                                 These Kids Have Lots of Green