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Superintendent's Update - September 9, 2022

From the Office of the Superintendent:



The agenda calendar can be found HERE.  


We would like to thank the numerous volunteers that helped us get through a hot week. Our parents lined up to help once again. PTA mobilized to hand out ice, drinks, and other things to help make students more comfortable. Your volunteerism is appreciated!  


Early literacy is one of the Palo Alto Unified School District’s (PAUSD) five priority goals. The District set goals last year to improve reading levels, with a focus on student populations who have traditionally struggled. We used the 2018-19 results (post pandemic) as a baseline. The results below give us reasons for optimism. Despite coming off closures and piloting three new curriculums in some classes, students made significant growth. In some cases, the growth was unprecedented. Thank you to our educators for focusing intensely on the goal of early literacy. The days ahead are bright for our students!  


On May 25, 2021, staff presented the Every Student Reads Initiative (ESRI) plan with two proposed progress indicators (PI), PI 1 and PI 2. The Board requested a PI 3 to be added, showing Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and English Language Arts (ELA) results, with yearly progress composite scores as a PI. 

On June 8, 2021, the three PIs were shared with and approved by the Board, including the suggested changes: SBAC and ELA as a PI, and adding the students with disabilities group, to each PI.  


Beginning with the 2021-22 SBAC administration, PAUSD’s grade 3 socioeconomically disadvantaged (SED), historically underrepresented (HUR), English Learners (EL), and the students with disabilities groups will show a 3% increase in the percentage of students scoring “Near or Above Standard” in reading at the end of 2021-22, a 4% increase at the end of 2022-23, and a 5% increase at the end of 2023-24.   


Beginning with the 2021-22 SBAC administration, PAUSD’s grade 3 SED, HUR, EL, and students with disabilities group will show a 3% increase in the percentage of students scoring “At or Above Standard” in ELA at the end of 2021-22, a 4% increase at the end of 2022-23, and a 5% increase at the end of 2023-24. 


Beginning with the 2021-22 Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) administration, K-5th grade Hispanic, African American, Pacific Islander and students with disabilities groups will show a 5% increase in students meeting or exceeding end-of-year benchmarks in reading each year for the next three years. 

On June 21, 2022, staff presented BAS results and the PI 3 update to the Board for the 2021-22 school year. 

This is a celebration of the ESRI’s accomplishments during the first year of implementation and the results of PI 1 and PI 2. 



All student groups met PI 1, an increase of 3% of grade 3 students who performed “Near or Above Standard.” A new student group, SED Hispanic or Latino, has been included. 

Three student groups exceeded PI 2, an increase of 3% of grade 3 students who performed at “Met or Exceeded Standard.” A new student group, SED Hispanic or Latino, has been included. 

Reading growth for English learners and students with disabilities is anticipated by implementing the iReady diagnostic reading assessment and classroom teacher instruction in Benchmark Advance/Adelante. English Learner Specialists and Education Specialists have Benchmark Advance programs that align with grade level reading lessons creating a seamless instructional model to address the unique needs of these student groups. 


Given the hot week, we wanted to remind our staff and community of our plan to add air-conditioning across the district. All portable classrooms have air-conditioning units. The report below details the rest of our spaces.  

After a comprehensive Board Bond Advisory Committee review and recommendation, the Board provided directions in December 2020 to add air conditioning (AC) to all classrooms. Staff immediately began adding the AC scope to projects under design and began assessing and scheduling future stand-alone AC projects. District wide, this will be a multi-year series of projects that often require utility upgrades to a site before the AC can be added. Currently the high school sites have AC across most of the campuses, middle school sites have AC in their libraries and some auxiliary spaces, and two elementary school sites currently have AC in parts of the campus. All individual building projects currently in construction have AC as part of the scope and include power infrastructure upgrades to facilitate the remaining campus wide installation upon completion of the current projects. Here is the currently planned schedule District-wide: 


  • Paly School Tower 

  • Gunn Buildings A, B, K 

  • Fletcher New Career Tech Classroom Building 

  • JLS Admin/ Library 

  • Greene Wings A, B, K, F 

  • El Carmelo MP and Flex classrooms 

  • Escondido MP/ Admin and Flex Classrooms 

  • Palo Verde campus 

  • Cubberley Wings A and B (complete)   

PHASE 2 - SUMMER 2023 AND SUMMER 2024:  

  • Greene New Library/ CTE building 

  • JLS Campus (summer 2023-25) 

  • Fletcher Campus

  • Escondido Campus 

  • Hoover Campus 

  • El Carmelo Campus

  • Fairmeadow Campus (summer 2024-25)

PHASE 3 - SUMMER 2025 

  • Greene Wings C, G, L, M, N 

  • Barron Park Campus 

  • Briones Campus 

  • Addison Campus

  • Duveneck Campus

  • Walter Hays Campus

PHASE 4 - SUMMER 2026 

  • Nixon Campus 
  • Ohlone Campus 

  • Remaining locations or unique buildings 


It has been several years since we have had a football event between Paly and Gunn High School. Tonight’s community event exemplifies PAUSD’s commitment to building up our entire community through positive interactions. Let us continue this effort together by displaying good sportsmanship!  

  • Treat others how you would want to be treated.  

  • Respect the game and everyone participating, including student-athletes, coaches, officials, and spectators. 

Education-based athletics is more than winning, it is about academic development, equity, and character. Be responsible, be respectful, be a builder!