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Hidden Valley Hawk Talk Newsletter, Issue #13

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Friday,  November 18, 2022
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Nov 18 -21 

Last days to order school meals for the first week of December

Nov 21 - 25

No school - Fall Break & Thanksgiving

Dec 2

Makeup Photo Day

Dec 2

K & 1st Grade Music Demonstration

Dec 6

School Tour for prospective registrants at 9:15 am

Dec 6

Winter Sing A Long Tuesday  from 1 - 1:45pm

Dec 19 - Jan 2

Winter Break - No School

Jan 3

Professional development day – No School

Jan 9

Online new student registration starts for 2023/24 school year

Jan 13

PTO Meeting at 8:20 am in the library


Hidden Valley Families,


Feeling gratitude and expressing appreciation opens our hearts and amplifies our collaborative efforts to improve community outcomes.  My deepest gratitude to YOU, Hidden Valley parents!  I am continually impressed by the care, generosity, and time you bring to all of the students at Hidden Valley. You make us better.  


Gratitude and appreciation are important in our community life and in community building, because they bring us into positive and direct relationship with ourselves and others. Science tells us and life experience shows us, we need each other. Acknowledging others and being known and appreciated for who we are (that feeling of being “seen”) increases our well-being and happiness.  Watch this Science of Gratitude short clip. Sharing your gratitude for someone increases your happiness!

Thanks to the parent volunteers who supervise at lunch, in the classrooms, driving on field trips, and in general, caring for all of our kids.  We could not do this without you. 


Thank you staff members for inspiring, caring, listening, guiding and shaping our future; for taking the time to know students and care about their growth.  


Being able to focus even momentarily on what is working and what we are thankful for lifts us into a more integrated sense of connection with the community around us.  Thank you Hidden Valley community.  I am grateful to work with you, it is an honor and a privilege.  


I challenge you to follow your children’s challenge at school,  these next few weeks before the December break. Reach out and connect with someone new, someone outside your typical social circle.  Take the time with one small action, to show someone else acknowledgement and care.  It makes a difference, your children are watching you, and will follow your lead.

In Education Together,



School Photos Are Ready!

Viewing & Ordering Photos

  1. Go to 

  2. Register or Log In ...registering is required upon the first visit to the site, using an email & password of your choice (takes under a minute!) If you have created an account before to view your own or your children's photos, you just need to log-on to that account.

  3. Enter your photo access code, found either on your proof postcard/sheet. If you do not have an access code then go into your account and request one.(You do not need to enter an access code more than once.)

  4. Click the album of the desired pictures that appears on the right under Photo Albums.

  5. Decide which picture you would like!  (NOTE: clicking an image will ENLARGE it.)

  6. Order by adding items to your cart and continuing through the process until you submit your order and receive an Order Confirmation page as well as a Confirmation email.

You'll receive your photos in approximately two weeks!


If you have any questions, just email us at

Parent Educational Opportunity

Please click here to learn about more about the Marin County Inclusion Inspiration Series.


Hey Ms. Sottile’s 2nd graders, how was the Diwali celebration? 

It was fun because….

….my dad and my mom and Priya told us a story from a different country.  I learned that the people in India wear bindis as a symbol of a third eye which holds knowledge.                                                            Arjun


….they taught us how to decorate diyas which are little clay bowls that hold candles.                                Stella 

….the story was an old myth that told about characters that some people don't know about. We wondered if the story was true.                                           


….we got to have henna tattoos and we got to put bindis on our foreheads. We got to learn about Ravana, a demon with ten heads and multiple arms! We also got to eat samosas which are little triangular food bites that are stuffed with chicken or veggies and it's a little spicy! I learned that a lot of people in different places around the world celebrate Diwali which is a holiday that celebrates the light!       



...The Diwali celebration was special and interesting because we got to design our little diyas and we got to listen to a story. I learned that Diwali is a big celebration of lights with fireworks.                               Bexley


Thank you, Ms. Sottile, for sharing your students’ words!


Thanks a bunch to Priya, Lydia, and Kamal, who made that fun happen.


Priya with Ami (5th grade) and Viv (4th grade).

What is your most beautiful memory of the Diwali celebration?

In September of 2020, my kids and I drove across the country to Boston to spend a few months in a pod with my parents, my sisters and their families.  That was the first time since having kids that I’ve celebrated Diwali with my parents and sisters. It meant everything to watch my parents’ and my kids’ joy in celebrating together.  And to hear my father retell the Ramayana - this time with his four granddaughters helping out!

Why did you decide to bring it to the classroom?

I was raised proudly Jewish (from my mother) and Hindu (from my father).  I have fond memories of my mother teaching about Chanukah and other Jewish holidays in my class when I was a kid.  So it was important to me to carry that tradition on when I had my own kids.  And I know from that experience that kids are interested in hearing diverse stories, tasting new foods and connecting with culture through crafts. How did it go? Each year, I have been blown away by the kids enthusiasm and engagement. This year, maybe because I’ve been doing this for a few years, the kids all jumped in to help me tell the Ramayana saga, which was so gratifying. The kids also asked many interesting, insightful and sometimes stumping questions!  And they all decorated beautiful diyas (ceramic lamp)! I also loved seeing the kids decked out in their bindis and mehndi tattoos, which was something new that Kamal and Lydia added this year! Is there something that surprised you? Almost every single kid ate a samosa - more than a few ate 2 or 3!  And they were a little spicy. 


Why samosas?  

I do think that fried snacks, like the samosa, are emblematic of Diwali because they hark back to the oil lamps that marked the celebratory journey home for Rama and Sita.

Lydia and Kamal, with Arjun (2nd grade)  and Meenu (4th grade)


What is your most beautiful memory of the Diwali celebration?

My memories of the Diwali celebration growing up in India are all about: firecrackers, colors & lights and lots of treats - both sweet and savory.


Why did you decide to bring it to the classroom? Lydia and I are always on the look-out for celebrations of any kind.  Since Priya (Ami and Viv’s Mom) mentioned about organizing a Diwali event in the school, Lydia and I were fully onboard with it.  It’s a good way to remind our kids to celebrate the known and yet to be known.  Celebration is like hydration for our wellbeing, sometimes you have to remind yourself to do so.


How did it go?

Kids were way more excited and curious than I expected.  Priya narrated an abridged version of Ramanayana.  Kids were very receptive on listening to the story and asked for more details & reasons on all the possible plot holes. They were all very creative and had great fun doing the arts and crafts.  I want to say a big “Thank you!” to all the teachers for accommodating our elaborate event.


Is there something that surprised you?

We shared Samosas (Savory dish) with the kids that I didn’t expect them to appreciate as much as they did.  Also, they did fire-up their creative sides to make good use of Bindhi and Mehendi Tattoo.

Please find the full-version of Priya, Lydia and Kamal’s interview here.

If you observe a tradition or celebration you'd like to share with the class, please contact your child's teacher. We love learning!


Family Art Night was a huge success! It was so wonderful to see children and parents/guardians creating art together. A special thank you to the art teachers that created the amazing lessons and the YES board members and parents that helped run this!

It’s the Family Giving Matching Challenge!


Say YES to the Arts!

Announcing our Challenge Gift! If we reach our goal of $500K by December 16, we will win a $50K challenge gift!  This is the largest winter challenge gift we have ever launched!  23 RVSD families contributed to make this gift possible.  We are all in this together.  Every contribution helps to keep our art education programs alive.

Thank you RVSD community! We have increased our fundraising goal by 10% since the start of the campaign. Only $100,000 more to go to reach our December 16th goal of $500,000 and receive a $50,000 matching gift! Thank you for Saying YES to the Arts.  


We are still at only 20% participation throughout the RVSD.  Please consider donating today.  There are many ways to give to YES. Take a look at our tiered level giving and find a gift that feels good to you and your family.

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Music Demonstration Classes for all TK-1st Grade Families

Family members of Kindergarteners and 1st graders are invited to attend a music demonstration class during your child's regular music time. The demonstration class will be held in the music room. This will not be a formal concert, but rather a demonstration of how RVSD music classes operate, and a chance to see some of the songs, skills and activities the students have been working on this year during music time with Mr. Santucci. 


Tickets are available for the White Hill production of The 12 Huntsmen, directed by Jenny Boynton. Four productions will run from Friday, December 2 - Sunday, December 4th. Come see the amazing show the White Hill students have been working on!


Tickets Sold Here


Yearbook is looking for pictures (kids only please) to be used for HV yearbook. If you have any pictures that you would like to share with the yearbook team please email to


Thank you Hidden Valley Community!

By the end of the Cub Scouts food drive, the Hidden Valley community had donated more than 400 pounds of canned food to the Marin Food Bank. Thank you, everyone!

Garden Work Party

THANK YOU everyone who contributed seeds, soil, starts, snacks and sweat at our GARDEN WORK PARTY last Friday! What a huge success! We look forward to watching the plants grow and we thank the RAIN for coming at just the right time!


Eyes Up, Marin!


Let’s Make our Streets Safer for Everyone!

From mid-October through the end of November, you’ll see bright and colorful banners and lawn signs popping up all over Marin asking people to keep their “Eyes Up” and be alert.  These signs will be asking drivers to slow down, watch when turning and look for pedestrians in the crosswalk; bicyclists to yield to pedestrians and to follow the rules of the road; and those walking to pay attention when crossing the street.


These messages will also show up in your social media feeds, and you can find them at Please share with your friends, family and co-workers!

The Eyes Up, Marin campaign is part of the Street Smarts Program and Safe Routes to Schools, locally funded programs of the Transportation Authority of Marin. This traffic safety campaign educates drivers, pedestrians and cyclists about safety issues, including distracted driving. The goal is to encourage people to adopt and practice attitudes and behaviors that will reduce the number of traffic-related accidents and make our streets safer for everyone.

The program focuses on placing outdoor messaging at “hotspots” throughout Marin County – bold reminders at the locations where traffic problems occur most frequently. The message placement was determined based on findings from the 2018 Marin County Travel Safety Plan  as well as analysis of 2016 -2020 countywide collision data from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System.

Over 125 countywide partners including school districts, jurisdictions, emergency service providers, and community organizations will be sharing the new campaign images and safety messages widely.  Please join this important effort to make our streets safer for all!

Hidden Valley PTO
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