August 9, 2019

Office of the Superintendent


Our first meeting of the year is scheduled for Friday, August 16, from 1:00 – 5:30 p.m. The annual retreat is an opportunity to go through a handful of items with no anticipated immediate action required.

Closed Session will begin at 1:00 p.m. with one anticipated item. Open Session is projected to begin at 1:15 p.m. Seating will be in a square in the Board Room with visitor seating in chairs behind our group.  There will be public comment section for guests. We expect to cover the following topics:

  • Review of 2019-20 goals, objectives, actions, metrics, and investments as identified through the PAUSD Promise.
  • Discussion regarding redevelopment of Cubberley Community Center and goals of future joint meeting with the Palo Alto City Council. Any discussion about future lease agreements will be held at a future meeting.
  • Review and revisions of 2019-20 Board of Education agenda calendar.
  • Discussion of Board of Education committees structure, function, charges, and distributive leadership opportunities.  


The PAUSD Promise is receiving full attention from our sites. Each principal used a portion of their time with staff to go through the important aspects of the document. The following note was sent to all employees with live links to the Promise:

Dear PAUSD Team,

Thank you for engaging earlier this morning and bringing your energy and enthusiasm to Spangenberg Theatre!  This will be a year to remember as we add to the rich history of the Palo Alto Unified School District. 

I wanted to point everyone to the different versions of the PAUSD Promise.  The entire plan and different representations of the work can be found at  You can also skip to the version that fits your learning style by clicking on “handout” or “binder.”

We didn’t spend time today on the Employee Core Values.  However, they are included in this document for your review.  As you will see, we are going to distribute leadership, align efforts, and provide opportunities for everyone to grow within our system.  

Students: Actions & Behaviors - Performance - Options

  • Preparation for college and career begins with attendance and appropriate behavior
  • Our students will perform at or above grade level
  • Students exit PAUSD advantaged for post-secondary opportunities
  • Demographics do not determine excellence

 Employees: Leadership - Teamwork - Development

  • Distributive leadership accelerates systemic improvements and team success
  • Alignment of efforts creates shared ownership of vision and outcomes
  • From recruitment through retirement, employees evolve, grow, and promote

 Thanks again for making this a special place.  Our students deserve our best effort each day and I know this team can do amazing things together! 


The new logo is being used sparingly until we set some expectations. A local consultant is helping us to create a brand guide to solidify a few things. We will nail down the true color, size, and orientation of the logo over the next few weeks. It will take time to replace the old logo universally. We are not in a huge rush and want to do it right.

2019-20 District Logo

Department of Equity and Student Affairs


The 2019-20 school year marks an exciting time for the PAUSD Equity work. We have created an Equity by Design Team and identified opportunities to increase student and family level support through our newly re-imaged Family Engagement Specialist (FES) Program. With the new focus at the student level, the FES Program will be renamed the Student and Family Engagement Program, coined the SaFE Program to place emphasis on optimal learning conditions that lead to positive school outcomes.

The goal of the SaFE Program is to engage and support identified students and parents who are experiencing difficulty in the school environment. SaFE Specialists will assist identified students, individually and/or in groups, regarding courses, school work, graduation, school completion, behaviors, attendance, and other academic/social/emotional challenges that may interfere with school success.

How The SaFE Program Supports Students, Families, And Schools

The program provides case management level support to students at-risk for a variety of poor school outcomes. This level of support is an early identification, early support approach designed to identify and address barriers to success.

The SaFE Program addresses the following conditions for learning outlined by the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments:

  • Safety: Learners must be, and feel, safe. Safety involves emotional as well as physical safety.
  • Support: Learners must feel connected to teachers and the learning setting, must have access to appropriate support, and must be aware of and know how to access the support.
  • Social and Emotional Learning: Learners need to learn to manage their emotions and relationships positively and be surrounded by peers who also have socially responsible behavior.
  • Engagement and Challenge: Learners need to be actively engaged in learning endeavors that are relevant to them and that enable them to develop the skills and capacities to reach positive life goals.

Anticipated Student Outcome

Historically Underrepresented (HUR) students perform at or above grade level, have a positive experience in our schools, graduate college, and are career ready.

For more information, contact Yolanda (Lana) Conaway at