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Superintendent's Update - November 10, 2022

From the Office of the Superintendent: 

The November issue of the School News Roll Call can be found HERE.

The Board of Education agenda calendar can be found HERE.  

CALTRAIN ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT  

The Caltrain Electrification, scheduled to be operational by 2024, will electrify and upgrade Caltrain's commuter rail service performance, operating efficiency, capacity, safety, and reliability. 

In order to complete grounding and bonding work for the signaling system, Caltrain will temporarily close one side of the Churchill Ave., Alma St., E Meadow Dr., and Charleston Rd., and pedestrian crossings to pedestrian traffic (Monday through Friday) from November 14 through November 30. Pedestrian access will be affected (but still open) at the Churchill Ave. and Alma St. crossing. Vehicular traffic will not be affected. 

Please find more information HERE

AD HOC COMMITTEE UPDATE 

Ad hoc committees continue to meet regularly and tackle complex charges through calibrated processes and diverse viewpoints.  

The Athletic Funding Committee has completed its charge. The key takeaways and recommendations are: 

  • The District currently spends $1.89 million per year on high school athletics, which includes $50,000 for each site through discretionary funds. 
  • The committee recommends increasing the discretionary site funding amount from $50,000 to $170,000 per high school.    
  • Staff recommend increasing the site funding amount from $50,000 to $100,000 per high school and continuing with the current $1.89 million in annual program support. 

All committee meeting notes can be found HERE.  

INNOVATION CENTER UPDATE 

We are excited to launch an innovation center at Barron Park Elementary School. It is a space for elementary students to explore different career possibilities and pathways offered at the secondary school sites. Each center will host different industry sector stations, which will be supplied with materials related to the respective sector, to engage in hands-on learning. The mission of this space is to nurture our students as they build their career readiness skills in agriculture, arts, media, entertainment, culinary arts, health science, medical technology, engineering, and architecture. The Gunn High School Early Childhood Pathway class uses the innovation center to teach high school students how to use play as an instructional tool with grades TK-2. Teachers and staff can also bring classes or small groups of students to explore the center. The Barron Park principal brought a group of third graders to explore the stations and give feedback on the center. The students using the innovation centers at Briones and Barron Park have given excellent feedback and love having choices to explore. 

CERTIFICATIONS FOR CAREER PATHWAY STUDENTS 

Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) offers industry certifications through its Career Technical Education (CTE) themed pathways to help prepare students not just for college, but also for their career of choice. The California Department of Education (CDE) is recognizing certifications as an essential calculation to determine if students are prepared for post-secondary life and are exploring the inclusion of Work-Based Learning and Certifications in the College and Career Indicator in the near future. This includes certifications in workforce readiness (strategic skills), pre-apprenticeship, and/or state or federal job program completion. High school students are taking advantage of these certification opportunities, which include NAFTrack certification, 21st century skills certification, child development state permit, and more. These opportunities expose students to real-world workplace skills in a useful and practical way. 

SEAL OF CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AWARD CEREMONY 

The Santa Clara Office of Education (SCCOE) held its “Leading in Partnership by Fostering Community: The Power of Democracy” award ceremony on November 9. PAUSD was publicly celebrated for the Exemplary District Commendation Award for the implementation of the Seal of Civic Engagement (SSCE). We are excited to continue this work and expand this opportunity to other grade levels. We thank everyone that was involved with the implementation, especially teachers and counselors who went the extra mile to make this possible for our students.