Superintendent's Update - October 6, 2023
From the Office of the Superintendent:
BOARD AGENDA CALENDAR
I hope this message finds you well as we journey through another school year together. It's been a privilege to engage with many of you over the past months, whether in groups or one-on-one conversations. These dialogues have been a valuable listening experience, allowing me to hear your thoughts, suggestions, concerns, and the things you appreciate about our educational community. Each interaction has been unique, yet common themes have started to emerge.
One significant reason for these discussions is our commitment to starting the budget development process early for the 2024-25 academic year. Planning ahead is crucial, as it allows us the time needed to make informed decisions and adequately prepare for the future. While our dedicated teachers are currently in the midst of delivering their best to our students, we, as an organization, need to keep one eye on what lies ahead. This foresight is one of the benefits of organizational stability, which enables us to function smoothly and be less reactive to unforeseen challenges.
However, it's essential to acknowledge that while we value your input, there are limits to what we can realistically incorporate into our plans for the future. To maintain transparency, we will be sharing a list of some of the proposals in upcoming Board of Education meetings, beginning next Tuesday, October 10. Please understand that not everything on this list will come to fruition. The pivotal moment for concrete decisions will be during the "Budget Assumptions" phase. This is when we transition from considering a "wish list" to assuming certain items will become part of the budget for implementation.
The budget will take its final shape in April and May, with approval coming over two meetings in June. I want to emphasize that anyone from our community may submit recommendations for budget considerations through Let's Talk, on our website. This process operates independently from our negotiations with professional associations. Contractual negotiations follow specific rules and regulations, addressing matters such as working conditions, health benefits, salaries, class sizes, hours, and caseloads.
In closing, I want to express my appreciation for your active engagement and commitment to our educational community. Your feedback and insights play a vital role in shaping the future of PAUSD. Let's continue working together to ensure that our schools remain vibrant, innovative, and responsive to the needs of our students and the broader community.
AD HOC COMMITTEE UPDATE
Ad hoc committees for the 2023-24 school year began meeting in September. Meeting notes are posted on the PAUSD website:
While all committees have District oversight for alignment and systemization, site-specific committees were added this year to help amplify student voice and participation based on stakeholder feedback. Each secondary site worked closely with the District to identify a topic of need. Please review the Ad Hoc Committee Structure. We appreciate ad hoc committee members for sharing their diverse views on these important topics. Their participation is key to the ad hoc committee process.
VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS (VAPA)
VAPA proudly presents a triad of music and arts events in October - Joint Choral Festival Concert, Instrumental Kaleidoscope Concert, and Arts in Unusual Places (AIUP).
OCTOBER 11 (Wed.) @ 7:00pm
CHORAL FESTIVAL - Spangenberg Theatre / Gunn HIgh School
Join us at the upcoming All-PAUSD Choral Festival Concert, featuring the five secondary schools. Our team of choir directors collaborated to bring together the choir students at Gunn, Paly, JLS, Greene, and Fletcher, for this amazing performance!
OCTOBER 13 (Fri.), 7:30pm
INSTRUMENTAL KALEIDOSCOPE CONCERT - Spangenberg Theatre / Gunn High School
Gunn High School Instrumental Music Department presents its first concert of the year in a unique, kaleidoscopic format! With creative staging and lighting, you will be treated to a continuous hour of music in a variety of styles and genres. This unique concert will showcase the diverse musical offerings found within Gunn's award-winning Instrumental Department, in addition to performances by Fletcher Middle School students.
ADMISSION: $10 for adults (at the door only); FREE for Booster Club members, students, & seniors 65+.
OCTOBER 21 (Sat.), 11:00am - 1:00pm
ARTS IN UNUSUAL PLACES (AIUP) - Stanford Shopping Center
Let's bring the arts out of the classroom and into the community of Palo Alto! Enjoy pop-up performances and artwork on display, showcasing high school VAPA programs, with representation from Band, Orchestra, Theatre, Choir, and Jazz Band; plus 2D and 3D Visual Art!
(Special thanks to the Gunn High School graphic design student who designed the 2023 AIUP flyer.)
What is Linktree?
Linktree is your new quick link to the Palo Alto Unified School District. Take a look here.