Superintendent's Update - October 27, 2023
From the Office of the Superintendent:
Board Agenda Calendar
Ensuring Safety: Principal's Coffee Meeting
By convening principal coffee meetings, we are establishing a platform that fosters open communication and encourages collaborative efforts. Over the course of the past month, our discussions have been dedicated to the paramount subject of campus safety. These gatherings provide a unique opportunity to actively engage parents and the wider school community, enabling us to disseminate pertinent information regarding ongoing endeavors undertaken to maintain a safe and secure educational environment. These meetings serve as a means to illuminate the behind-the-scenes initiatives that are instrumental in enhancing both present and future resilience. To schedule a principal's coffee meeting at your school to discuss school safety, please contact your principal for more information.
You can also join our School Safety and Resilience Development Program for a more active approach to school safety at your student's school. Our first meeting is scheduled for November.
8th Annual Special Olympics Soccer Tournament
On Friday, October 20, 170 students from 14 different schools in both Palo Alto and Menlo Park School Districts participated in our 8th Annual Special Olympics Soccer Tournament at Greene Middle School! Student athletes ranged from kindergarten through post-secondary grade levels. Thanks to all of our special education staff for your support, especially our organizers, Adaptive Physical Education teachers, Angel and Roxanne. Thank you to the Greene Leadership Class and Student Council who volunteered throughout the event. Finally, the refreshments provided by CAC were appreciated. Congratulations again to all our athletes for their perseverance, teamwork, courage, and joy!
Magical Bridge Playground Grand Opening
On Wednesday, October 18, El Carmelo Elementary School had their Magical Bridge Playground grand opening! El Carmelo is the second PAUSD elementary school to partner with the Magical Bridge Foundation to design and build an inclusive playground. These varied play spaces can be based on a child's interest, the need to release energy or engage socially, or his or her ability or disability, whether that disability is visible (physical) or invisible (cognitive, sensory, autism, ADHD, etc). The fun lasted well into the evening as students enjoyed this inclusive space!
Early Literacy and Equity and Excellence
Bringing diverse perspectives to students through author visits is one of the essential aspects of our library program, and part of the PAUSD Promise Goals of Early Literacy, and Equity and Excellence.
During a recent visit with 4th and 5th graders at Walter Hays Elementary School, author Jessica Kim shared the motivation for her middle grade novels, Stand Up Yumi Chung! and Make a Move, Sunny Park! Growing up in a Korean immigrant family, Ms. Kim shared how the experience shaped her childhood, allowing her to participate in American and Korean traditions, and provided inspiration for her books, which feature Korean American characters.
District Student Nutrition Services
The JLS Central Kitchen scratch cooking team is in full swing and is piloting new entrees at the secondary level that are coming soon to all grade levels where possible. Pho Fridays is rotating at the secondary school level and is a huge hit! Vegetarian chili with homemade cornbread is currently served at the secondary level and coming to the elementary level on November's menu. Hand rolled Breakfast Burritos have made their debut at the secondary level.
The JLS Central Kitchen has a new refrigeration container to help store additional fresh, local and organic produce for our programs.
It's time to vote! Election Day for adults is Tuesday, November 7 and students will have the chance to vote for their favorite entrees the entire week starting November 6. Vote and Be Heard Week gives students the chance to vote for their favorite entrees and write in entrees that they want to see added to the menu. Please encourage your students to take part and learn that voting is important and that their voice matters!
Gunn High School and Palo Alto High School Fall Plays are Here!
Gunn High School Theatre presents The Play that Goes Wrong. Called "The funniest play Broadway has ever seen" (Huffington Post)! The Cornley Drama Society is producing The Murder at Haversham Manor, an English Whodunit of 1922, where every character possesses a motive to murder the unsuspecting Charles Haversham. These thespians of The Cornley Drama Society have produced many plays before and think they are ready for something a bit more complex. Yet, nothing in this play-within-a-play can go right!
Join us for the next two weekends to experience every actor's nightmare, The Play that Goes Wrong, by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer & Henry Shields. The show is in Gunn's Little Theatre and it runs two hours including an intermission. It is appropriate for all ages. Opens this weekend on Friday October 27. Go here for more details and tickets.
Palo Alto High School Theatre Presents The Birds: A Modern Adaptation by Don Zolidis based on the play by Aristophanes
Fed up with a world full of internet spam, aggressive salespeople, and other petty problems, two outcasts decide to leave humanity and move to the kingdom of the birds, hoping to find simplicity and happiness. What they find instead is an opportunity for the ultimate get-rich-quick scheme that can turn the birds' skies into a powerful utopia! All they have to do is overcome one small problem: the wrath of the Greek gods. Don Zolidis hilariously updates Aristophanes's ancient comedy, showing that its satirical take on society, politics, and religion is just as relevant today as it was over a millennium ago! Recommended for ages 6 and up for crude humor and mild innuendo. Opens next weekend on November 4! Go here for more details and tickets.
What is Linktree?
Linktree is your new quick link to the Palo Alto Unified School District. Take a look here.