Palos Verdes PeninsulaHigh School

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
School Links » Principal's Update

Principal's Update


May 19, 2019
CAASPP testing begins on Monday. Check below for special bell schedules 
and late starts this week.
Follow the latest Pen news on Twitter

AP exam season will finish up this week with a few days of makeup exams. Thank you to our AP Coordination Team - Associate Principal Katie Clovis and volunteer Susan Breitenstein - for their months of detailed planning and preparation which enabled us to successfully administer nearly 2400 exams to 1100 Pen High students. AP exam scores will be available on the College Board website on July 5.
CAASPP testing for juniors will start  tomorrow, Monday, May 20. Juniors should check-in to their testing room by 7:55am. Room assignments are posted outside each of the offices. Headphones will be available to all students, however students are encouraged to bring their own (cannot be wireless!). Freshmen, sophomores and seniors will start classes at 10:30am (0 Period) or 11:05am (1st Period) on Monday and Tuesday this week. Please see the bell schedule below for details.  Questions regarding the test should be directed to Lea Toombs,
Our PTSA presented much-deserved awards to parents, teachers and students at the annual HSA brunch at the Red Onion last Thursday morning. Congratulations to all! 
Very Special Person Award: Lauren Kong (senior student)  
Outstanding Teacher Awards: Linda Kurt and Tim Hall
Honorary Service Award: Bruce Colin
Continuing Service Award: Leslie Scow  
Golden Oak Service Awards: Nancy Shafer and Jill Surace
Pen High chemistry students Aksh Garg and Akash Anand received awards at the local American Chemical Society Education Banquet at Mount St. Mary's College on Friday evening. Aksh was named one of the top students in the Southern California Section and also received an award as the top student from PVPHS. Akash received an award for being the top first year PVPHS chemistry student. The boys qualified for their awards by participating in the Chemistry Olympiad exam which tested their knowledge in a variety of chemistry topics. Congratulations boys!
Our CO-ED Choreo is one of the most popular performing groups on campus. If you have never seen them dance you really should come and see what the hype is all about - you will be amazed. They have two shows in the gym this Thursday and Friday, May 23 and 24. Tickets are $10 pre-sale from any of the dancers and $15 at the door.
Registration volunteer sign ups are now available. Follow the link below to sign up for your favorite registration job. Never volunteered to help with registration?? Welcome! We would love to have your help. Over 100 Panther parents volunteer each fall. Click on this link: to sign up. Make sure to include your first and last name and click SAVE AND DONE after you have chosen your spot.  Junior and senior registration times are in the morning, and sophomore and freshmen registration time is in the afternoon.  When you sign up to volunteer your child will receive a wristband to enter the Registration Day Fast Pass line!!!!  
If you are a PVPUSD employee and would like to volunteer, please email Nancy Shafer at We have spots at registration that can only be filled by district personnel and we would love your help!  
Registration Day is Wednesday, August 21 and Late Registration is Wednesday, August 28 (the first day of school).

Senior Ditch Day is tomorrow! We'll start checking in seniors onto the buses at 7:45am. Buses will leave for Disneyland at 8:15 am. Don't be late - the buses will leave without you!   Buses will return to campus at approximately 9pm. We're looking forward to a fun day celebrating this awesome Class of 2019!

Seniors who do not attend Senior Ditch Day are expected to attend school on Monday.
Each senior will be given eight (8) graduation tickets. If you need more than 8 tickets, your son or daughter must sign up for extra tickets with Mrs. Jones, the Principal's secretary, in the Main Office beginning this Wednesday, May 22. Students may sign up for up to 6 extra tickets. Only students can sign up for the extra tickets - parents, please do not call or fax in requests! All graduation tickets will be distributed to students after the mandatory graduation rehearsal on Wednesday afternoon, June 5.

Handicapped seating and parking is available for graduation on a first-come, first-served basis. Seniors or their parents may submit a request online at Check under 'Panther Picks'. The link will be available this Wednesday, May 22, 2019 beginning at 9:00 am.
Memory Lane is an exhibition of posters that each senior or parent will put together. This poster will represent the graduate's life in pictures from childhood through senior year and will be displayed at the Baccalaureate Ceremony on June 2 and throughout the students' final week of school. Please deliver your finished, laminated poster to the Student Store on campus no later than Tuesday, May 28.
Seniors should visit the Counseling Office this week to order their Final Transcript to be sent to their college. Forms are available on the office counter. Official transcripts cost $5 (cash or check) and will be sent out in mid June.

The following is another in a series of  weekly columns from guest writer, Dr. Moe Gelbart, Executive Director of the Thelma McMillen Center.
Maneuvering through the challenges of adolescence has many difficulties and stressors. Issues regarding sexual orientation and gender identity often bring a host of internal anxieties and confusion, and being seen as different in any way can lead to serious stigmatization among peers. For full disclosure, I am not an expert in LBGTQ (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Questioning) issues, but this is an essential topic and in this article my hope is to share with our community the basics. If your child or family needs professional assistance with concerns related to LBGTQ, Know that there are great resources and very qualified professionals that can provide support. 

Among adolescents ages 18-19, just under eight percent of females and just under three percent of males identify as homosexual or bisexual (source:, and 0.7 percent of the population ages 13 to 17. (While many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adolescents are happy and thrive during their teenage years, however, many feel isolated, ashamed, and afraid of being discovered that they are different. As a result, they may face significant psychological and social issues. While in most issues of conflict, children have support and understanding of their parents, many LBGTQ youth may feel they have to keep their feelings hidden from their families, and when they are known, often do not feel or get any support. This complicates and intensifies the psychological issues. As a result, LBGTQ teens have higher rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and are often the recipients of severe bullying. 
Some of the facts include:
  • 77% of LBGTQ teens have admitted to depression
  • 95% have trouble sleeping
  • 70% have experienced feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
  • 26% say they don't feel safe in schools, and only 5% feel supported by school staff and teachers.
  • 67% have heard negative comments from their own families
  • 73% have experienced verbal threats, and have experienced bullying because of their sexual orientation.
Knowing how to be available, present, and loving to your child when they have the courage to let you know about their sexual orientation or non-conforming gender identity is essential. For many, "coming out" and breaking the news to their parents is extremely frightening, yet at the same time acceptance and support are the most helpful things a parent can do. For many parents, this area is more confusing than most, and parents often feel helpless and uninformed, but letting your child know that you love them, you will support them regardless of your own fears and confusion, are often monumental for the child. 
Should your child express themselves to you, some suggestions are:
  • Educate yourself, and learn the facts. There are excellent LBGTQ centers in Los Angeles that have resources, reading materials, and parental workshops. Acceptance and love of your child is first and foremost, and if your own feelings are interfering, make sure you get support for what you may be going through, and professional help if needed. Do not project your fears and difficulties onto your child. As difficult as this is for you, it is more difficult for them, and they need your help, and need to know you are there for them.
  • Embrace your child. This is not just a phase that will pass, nor something that needs to be "cured".
  • Stay aware for signs of depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts. These may be expressed directly, or may be subtle, with symptoms like isolation, sense of hopelessness, fear of engaging in social activities, decline in grades, use of drugs or alcohol to self-medicate.
  • Look for incidents of bullying, either directly or through social media. Be an advocate for your child if you see signs, and help stand up for them with school personnel, or with other parents.
  • Consider advocating for your child's rights and feelings, and get involved with other parents doing the same thing. Our community has great resources of parents helping each other to make sure they have the tools to help their children. Do not stand quietly while friends joke or judge about LBGTQ issues, and let others know you will not tolerate that.
  • Help them learn about healthy relationships, even if they are not going down the road you have envisioned for them. Letting them know about respect, healthy dating, and self-protection is important.
While this could be a difficult time for your child, and your family. It is your duty to provide love, caring, education, and support. Know that you are not alone. Our community has many great resources, and outstanding experts available to provide guidance and care. . A good place to start is, which has articles, parental blogs, and resources. They also have a page for parents of LGBTQ+
Remember, if you have issues you would like to see addressed, please email me at . Your inquiries will always remain anonymous. 

Moe Gelbart, PhD
Executive Director, Thelma McMillen Center
Contact Associate Principal Toombs
If a student would like to make a change to his/her 2019-2020 course requests, a handwritten note signed by a parent/guardian must be given to their counselor no later than May 31, 2019. No changes will be made without a parent/guardian signature. 
Any course request for which the student was not recommended and does not meet the course prerequisites for must be accompanied by a Request for Placement Form

If you are planning on taking a summer school course other than at Palos Verdes Peninsula Summer School (, you must get approval from your Counselor by completing the Out-of-District Course Application form prior to enrolling. This ensures that the course will be accepted onto your PVPHS transcript. Forms are available at the front counter in the Counseling Office. The deadline to turn in the form is Friday, May 31.
If you are planning to play NCAA D1 or D2 sports in college, you will need to register with the NCAA through Once you have registered, college coaches are then free to contact you for recruiting purposes. It is recommended that you send a transcript to the NCAA this summer, after your second semester grades have posted. The Counseling Office is open during the summer to process this request. If you want to verify that your PVPHS coursework will meet NCAA requirements, please notify your counselor.
Contact Mrs. Arico
Visit the CCC Website
A representative from El Camino College will be in the CCC this Friday, May 24th, at noon to assist students with the registration process. Stop by if you have any questions or need assistance.
A representative from Santa Monica City College will be in the CCC this Wednesday, May 22 at 9am to assist students with the registration process. Stop by if you have any questions or need assistance.
The PV Peninsula High Boys' Golf team took 2nd place at the CIF Central Team Divisional on Monday, May 13, at the Lakewood Country Club. 
After winning the CIF Southern Section Division 3 title last weekend, our Boys' Volleyball team competed in the CIF State Southern Region Division 2 playoffs this week. After winning the first two rounds on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, the team fell to the Oak Park Eagles 3 sets to 1 last night in the finals. Congratulations to all the boys who played so hard all week and thank you to all of the students and parents that came out in huge numbers to each game to cheer the team on. 
Save the Date! 2019 Athlete of the Year banquet is this Wednesday, May 22, at the Los Verdes Golf Club and is hosted by the Athletic Booster Club (ABC)
Please join us at our next Athletic Booster Club (ABC) Meeting, Wednesday, May 29 at 6:30 pm in the Community Room, S22. Come hear what is going on in the world of Peninsula Athletics, hear from our student athletes, plus more!
It's easy to join - visit
Remember the Titans!
The Class of 1969 
The Class of 1979
are having  reunions!

For more info 
CAASPP Testing Schedules
Grade 11 students will report to assigned rooms 
by 7:55 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday.
 Room assignments are posted on office windows.
View CAASPP schedule details  HERE
Support our Choir this Monday from 5pm - 9pm

 Follow Pen High on the following official sites 







Have a great week Panthers! 
Brent Kuykendall