Mobile/Tablet Menu

Desktop Menu

Search Container

Superintendent's Update - May 7, 2021

From the Office of the Superintendent:

The Board of Education agenda calendar is tentative until officially posted. The tentative calendar can be found HERE.

PAUSD is pleased to announce leadership transitions for 2021-22 pending Board approval. The following individuals will be introduced at the May 11, 2021 Board Meeting.

Judy Jaramillo Argumedo
Judy Jaramillo Argumedo
Principal | Barron Park Elementary School

Dr. Argumedo is currently the Director of Academic Supports for PAUSD. She was a teacher for 18 years - 14 years as an elementary teacher and four years as a middle school teacher - before joining the PAUSD District Office, where she has worked for 10 years in a variety of roles. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Native American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley; a Master's Degree in Education Administration from Santa Clara University; and a Doctorate in Education Equity from the University California, Berkeley.

Aleyda Barrera-Cruz

Aleyda Barrera-Cruz
Principal | El Carmelo Elementary School

Ms. Barrera-Cruz is currently an elementary principal in the San Mateo-Foster City School District. She was also an elementary principal in the Hillsborough City School District. Ms. Barrera-Cruz is excited to return to PAUSD as she served as an elementary Assistant Principal and Teacher on Special Assignment from 2013-2016. She holds two Master's Degrees in Education from the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University, and a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies/Spanish from Chapman University.

LaDonna Butler

LaDonna Butler
Assistant Principal | Palo Alto High School

Ms. Butler is currently a high school Assistant Principal in the San Jose Unified School District and has served in an administrative role since 2015. Prior to that, she was a high school teacher for 13 years. She holds a Master's Degree in Education Administration from National University and a Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology from San Jose State University.

Courtney Carlomagno

Courtney Carlomagno
Assistant Principal | Gunn High School

Ms. Carlomagno is currently an Education Specialist and Teacher on Special Assignment at Gunn High School and has been at the school since 2013. She developed and launched the SELF program at Gunn High School and is a member of the District Equity Team. She holds a Master's Degree in Special Education from Notre Dame de Namur University and a Bachelor's Degree in Child and Adolescent Development from San Francisco State University.

Tom Keating

Tom Keating
Principal | Palo Alto Adult School

Dr. Keating is currently the Assistant Principal at Palo Alto High School and has been in this position for the past three years. Prior to being in PAUSD, Dr. Keating served as a Director of 21st Century Learning and Technology in the San Carlos School District. He holds a Doctorate Degree in Education from Stanford University, a Master's Degree in Marine Science, and a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of San Francisco.

Guillermo Lopez

Guillermo Lopez
Director of Student Success & Supports | District Office

Mr. Lopez is currently a high school principal in Selma, CA and has been in that position since 2019. Prior to that, he was an Associate Principal for eight years in Oxnard, CA. He holds a Master's Degree in School Counseling from the University of La Verne and a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Sacramento State University. He is currently working towards his Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership.

Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin
Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator | District Office

Ms. Martin is currently a Visual Arts Curriculum Specialist and art teacher for the Los Gatos Union School District and has been in that position for the past nine years. Prior to that, she was a high school art teacher for seven years. She holds a Master's Degree in Education and a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Erik Olah

Erik Olah
Assistant Principal | Palo Alto High School

Mr. Olah is currently a teacher at Palo Alto High School, Science Instructional Lead, and WASC Teacher on Special Assignment. He has worked for PAUSD since 2008. He holds a Master's Degree in Education and Bachelor's Degree in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Danae Reynolds

Danaé Reynolds
Lead Principal of Literacy Instruction | District Office

Ms. Reynolds is currently the Principal of El Carmelo Elementary. Prior to joining PAUSD in 2000, Ms. Reynolds spent four years as an elementary school teacher. Her career in the District includes seven years as a Reading Specialist and four years as a Teacher on Special Assignment and Coordinator at the District Office. Ms. Reynolds holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara; a Master's Degree in Education Administration from Santa Clara University; and a Master's Degree in Education from Fresno Pacific University.

Jacqueline Selfridge

Jacqueline Selfridge
Coordinator of Special Education | District Office

Ms. Selfridge is currently a Program Specialist of Special Education and was previously an Education Specialist at Gunn High School. She has been a teacher for PAUSD since 2015. She holds a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Santa Clara University and a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education/Elementary Education from Lewis University in Illinois.

Amy Sheward

Amy Sheward
Principal | Lucille Nixon Elementary School

Ms. Sheward has been in PAUSD for 12 years. She is currently the Assistant Principal at JLS Middle School. Prior to that position, she was a Coordinator of Special Education and Education Specialist at Palo Verde Elementary School. She holds two Master's Degrees in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and Salem State College, and a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University.

Charen Yu

Charen Yu
Director of Fiscal Services | District Office

Ms. Yu joins PAUSD as the Director of Fiscal Services. She has served as the Director of Fiscal Services in the San Mateo-Foster City School District and the Campbell Union High School District. She has been recognized as the 2021 Business Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators - Region 8. Her education includes a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce, Banking, and Finance as well as multiple school business and finance certifications.

The State Constitution requires property tax proceeds be allocated among the local agencies in the county where the revenue is collected. In Santa Clara County, property tax revenue is distributed to cities, the county, special districts, school districts, and community colleges. The county auditor allocates property tax revenue to these local agencies according to state law.

School districts and cities are both recipients of local property tax revenue. However, there are some key differences in how funds are allocated between these two agencies. One example of this difference in property tax revenue allocation is the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF). State law enacted in the 1990's shifts some of the property tax revenue in Santa Clara County from schools to other local agencies, such as cities. This shift is referred to as "excess ERAF." Cities in Santa Clara County receive revenue from ERAF and school districts do not.

While school districts do not receive ERAF, they do have the funding protection of the state's "minimum guarantee" established by Proposition 98 in 1988. Prop 98 sets a minimum funding requirement for all school districts and acts to backfill the shift of ERAF revenue from schools to cities. Schools are essentially made whole from any negative ERAF, while cities receive excess ERAF which fluctuates from year to year. Because ERAF revenue is a more volatile source of revenue, a school district and a city serving the same area may have differing allocations of property tax revenue in their respective budgets.

PAUSD is on schedule to finalize 2021-22 bell schedules in the next couple weeks. The committee is comprised of over 30 members, including students, teachers, parents, counselors, site and district administrators, and both union presidents. Middle schools will begin around 8:30 a.m. and high schools will begin at 9:00 a.m. The Board of Education does not approve bell schedules. Once settled, the schedules will go through an instructional minute audit. As a reminder, California had a large reduction of instructional minutes this year. Instructional minutes revert to pre-pandemic levels in the fall.

In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week, PAUSD would like to thank our teachers and certificated staff members. This past school year has been exceptionally challenging and the efforts teachers have put forth for our students and families are greatly appreciated. Please join PAUSD in thanking and recognizing teachers and certificated staff members.

On Tuesday, April 27, PAUSD honored school bus drivers by recognizing "California School Bus Driver's Day". The California Department of Education, Office of School Transportation, and the California Association of School Transportation Officials offered congratulations to all school bus drivers who provide exceptional service to the children of California. PAUSD echoed similar sentiments thanking the hard work and dedication of our Transportation Department including school bus drivers, dispatch, the driver trainer, mechanics, and the department secretary. PAUSD hosted a catered luncheon and drivers received a PAUSD backpack in appreciation of their support to PAUSD students. We are thankful to all staff for all they do to provide safe and reliable transportation services to the students of Palo Alto.

This year, Lunch Hero Day takes place today, May 7. This is our chance to let our frontline Food Service staff know how appreciated they are and that their daily jobs make a big difference in many young people's lives. School Lunch Hero Day is the time to lift up those that feed so many. If there was ever a year for multiple acknowledgements for our lunch crews, this is without a doubt the year. The first time Lunch Hero Day was celebrated was May 4, 2012, and every year, this National Holiday has grown to lift up and give a big thanks. The day can be acknowledged by giving a "thank you" card, a flower, or providing "thank you" card templates for students to write, giving small gifts, creating "thank you" posters, and posting on the school district websites and social media.

The District will be purchasing furniture for the secondary schools. District staff is currently evaluating new single-student desks that are mobile and allow students to work from a standing position. Additionally, these single-student desks allow for greater flexibility in physical distance spacing between student and staff. This item is on the on the agenda for the May 11, 2021 Board Meeting.

Assembly Bill (AB) 86, signed by Governor Newsom on March 5, 2021, provides funding for Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Grants for California school districts. The designated funding is intended to support districts in implementing a learning recovery program that provides supplemental instruction and support for social-emotional well-being to specified student groups, who have faced adverse learning and social-emotional circumstances.

The funds received through the ELO Grant must be utilized for programs and opportunities that serve at least the students included in one or more of the following groups:

  • Low-income students
  • English Learners
  • Foster youth
  • Homeless students
  • Students with disabilities
  • Students who perform below grade-level

Additional requirements include expending funds using the seven identified supplemental instructional support strategies and adherence to specified fiscal requirements. District plans must be created and approved by their local school boards on or before June 1, 2021.

In PAUSD, these monies are proposed to be used for expanded summer school opportunities (Summer 2021), increased intervention for struggling students, a universal screener to identify social-emotional needs, credit recovery opportunities, and parent education to reframe learning loss. A draft plan is attached. Changes will be made based upon input, and the final plan will be presented for adoption at the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting on May 25, 2021.

The classroom technology refresh project includes replacing existing short throw projectors and audio equipment with flat panel displays and enhanced voice lift and audio amplification systems in the approximately 550 classrooms across the District. Most of the existing systems were installed during the 2010-11 school year.

In September 2019, a group of 13 teachers volunteered in piloting and trying out various combinations of displays, interactivity, and classroom setups. The pilot equipment was installed during January and February of 2020. While it was not much time to evaluate equipment before school closures in March 2020, the last year has also brought with it additional needs and clarity to the project. The following themes emerged:

  • Need for consistent, high-quality, easy to maintain classroom audio systems. This is especially important with current and predicted masking requirements for the return to campuses.
  • Touch screen/interactive displays in our elementary classrooms.
  • Larger format (86-inch) non-touch displays in our secondary classrooms.
  • Wireless casting technology available for both teachers and students.
  • Reliable, modular A/V platforms that have a consistent interface regardless of the room size/setup.

This project will be completed in several phases to address concerns about contractors and COVID-19 protocols as well as equipment availability, so classroom instruction is not disrupted. Each contract that will be executed will be brought back for review and approval by the Board. It is likely the procurement of equipment will be a separate contract from the contract for the installation of the equipment.