February 1, 2019

Education Services

HOFFMAN AWARDS

Santa Clara County School Boards Association (SCCSBA) announced that PAUSD and Palo Alto Veterans Administration’s Palo Alto Career Training (PACT) program has been selected as one of four 2019 Glenn Hoffmann Exemplary Program Award recipients. The SCCSBA letter stated:

“Congratulations for a program that puts students front and center, and embodies the best of public education.”

An awards celebration to honor recipients and showcase the award-winning programs will be held in April.

SCHOOL CHOICE PROGRAM INFORMATION AND DEADLINES

Every PAUSD school has a neighborhood boundary, and students who live within that school’s boundary are enrolled at that school. Requests to attend a non-neighborhood school for the 2019-20 school year are due to the PAUSD Registration Services office no later than February 13, 2019. (Forms and instructions)

Deadlines to apply to a PAUSD Choice Program vary by program, but all are in February. Deadline dates for each program, along with program descriptions and application instructions, can be viewed here.

SPRINGBOARD TO KINDERGARTEN

Springboard to Kindergarten began Monday, January 28, at Greendell. The mission is to give children entering PAUSD the opportunity to have a high-quality Pre-K experience before entering kindergarten. The goal is to improve kindergarten readiness and increase each child's potential for academic and social success.

SCIENCE ADOPTION MATERIAL FAIR AT SANTA CLARA COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION (SCCOE)

Elementary TOSAs attended the Science Adoption Material Fair on Tuesday, January 29, to preview new state-approved science programs. The team viewed materials for engaging curriculum, which meets the needs of our diverse student population, supports students in and out of the classroom, and offers teachers rich science resources that support three-dimensional learning within the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Next steps for the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) Inquiry Group will be to explore these various publishers' materials.

MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH TEACHERS TACKLE THE DATA STRAND OF COMPUTER SCIENCE IN STATISTICS UNITS!

Mathematics Departments at all three PAUSD middle schools will pilot mathematics and computer science data standards utilizing Google Sheets this semester. During the evaluation and reflection portion of the pilot, and in preparation for a second pilot in the 2019-20 school year, math leadership plans to finalize the data units at grade levels and then create a PAUSD professional development workshop to train each math teacher in his or her grade level statistics unit.

MIDDLE COLLEGE

Middle College recruitment will begin in February. Due to budgetary issues, Mountain View Los Altos District (MVLA) has decided against expansion of the program at this time. For additional information, please visit the MVLA website.

PALO ALTO ADULT SCHOOL

Palo Alto Adult School (PAAS) sponsored a very successful event at the Paly Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Sunday, January 17. Approximately 450 Taiko drumming students from around the Bay Area joined together to officially ring in 2019, and to share their enthusiasm for Japanese drumming! Performing groups included Drum Revolution, Sonoma County Taiko, Kohaku, Tatsumaki Taiko, and Ensohza. It was quite a grand event for the newly offered Taiko Drumming program at PAAS!

INNOVATION AND AGILITY

The Innovation and Agility Department strives to assemble flexible teams and innovative programs that support every student's individual path to success. To find out more about current work-in-action and behind-the-scenes details, please visit our new webpage.

Future work involves creating systems that support teachers’ creativity at the levels closest to our students, collecting feedback to support innovation, and rolling out effective Agile methods Districtwide.

The Innovation and Agility team recently worked with Foothill College to establish dual enrollment status for our current kinesiology courses in the Sports Medicine/Patient Care pathway. Starting in 2019-20, students in Sports Medicine will receive both high school and college credits for “KINS 16A: Prevention of Athletic Injuries” for the first semester, and “KINS 16B: Emergency Athletic Injury Care” for the second semester.

JOINT MIDDLE SCHOOL DEPARTMENT MEETINGS

History/social science teachers from the three middle schools met to continue collaboration on the implementation of the newly adopted (May 2018) Teachers’ Curriculum Institute (TCI): History Alive! California Series. One of TCI’s National Account Managers was on hand to train teachers on how to create TCI assessments within Schoology, the District’s learning management platform. Following this presentation, teachers were free to choose from a variety of sessions, including diving deeper into TCI, reflecting on the recently revised 7th grade Eugenics mini-unit, learning how to unpack complex sentences, and hearing more about a potential new social studies elective.

English teachers gathered together for a focused conversation about books. Information about a possible Middle School Literature Selection Advisory Committee was discussed, after which teachers shared questions and feedback. During the second half of the meeting, a Children’s Book Specialist from Books Inc., Palo Alto, presented on current young adult literature. A few lucky teachers won new books for their classroom libraries!

Math teachers participated in a specialized workshop on DreamBox, an intervention tool they are piloting this semester. Teachers were exposed to the program and had a chance to experiment in the system with the support of a DreamBox representative. They discussed ways in which this tool can support struggling learners to fill gaps from prior and/or current years.

Piloting and non-piloting science teachers met to finalize data collection tools for students, parents, and teachers involved in the TCI and McGraw Hill science pilots.  They also shared tips and experiences using the online interface and teacher resource materials.

Strategic Initiatives and Operations

SANTA CLARA COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL CONFERENCE

Twenty-six students from Greene, Fletcher, and JLS Middle Schools and staff volunteers participated in the 3rd Annual Middle School Conference on Thursday, January 31, from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the SCCOE. The event was hosted by the SCCOE’S Safe & Healthy School Department’s Tobacco Use Prevention Education Program (TUPE). The theme of this year’s conference was “Turning Dreams Into Reality,” with the overall goal being to plant the seed so youth believe in themselves and strive for their dreams. The middle school students participated in various workshops focused on their health and well-being, navigating middle school, preparing for high school, developing leadership, self-advocacy skills, and healthy decision-making. Students were able to choose from 15 different workshops that included topics such as:

  • Restoring our Community through Leadership & Advocacy
  • Supporting LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning) Identities
  • Different is Normal
  • Stereotypes – Accepting and Embracing Diversity

Students were treated to breakfast and lunch, and enjoyed the talk by Keynote Speaker, Mr. Derick Spaulding, from the New York City (NYC) Leadership Academy. Mr. Spaulding shared his life journey, which emphasized how his middle school experiences and overcoming adversity shaped his path personally and professionally.

PROFESSIONAL LEARNING: SUPPORTING LGBTQ+ STUDENTS

Thirty-seven staff members and three community members attended Gender Identity and LGBTQ+ 101 on Monday, January 28. This introductory workshop focused on PAUSD policies and practices for supporting LGBTQ+ and transgender students; PAUSD data; utilizing gender neutral vocabulary and practices; and creating inclusive spaces with sexual orientation, gender expression, and identity in mind. The second workshop in this series, Gender Identity and LGBTQ+ 102, will be offered Monday, February 25, from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the District Office. It will build upon participant knowledge and skills by exploring recent research from the Family Acceptance Project in understanding factors that impact LGBTQ+ youth, and describe skills for identifying and responding to harassment. The workshops are open to all staff and are part of our New Hire Equity Workshop Series. Registration and additional information are available at My Learning Plan.

ADULT TRANSITIONS

The department continues to be in a reflective and refining phase, as this week our focus has been on our Adult Transition Program. We have been working to review Project Search and our Adult Transition Classes/Program to determine the needs of students who will be transitioning into the program over the next five years. Our team will be looking to expand the services delivery model to meet the needs of all students eligible for access.

COFFEE CART

Our middle school Futures Programs continue to grow in supporting job training, as JLS, in its 2nd year has recently opened a coffee cart. Students are working on the soft and hard skills needed to gain independence and continue to be active, productive members of their school community. The students had a successful “soft” launch on January 28 and the staff are eagerly awaiting the grand opening on February 11.

Business Services

RECALL OF TYSON FOODS, INC. CHICKEN NUGGET PRODUCTS

On Wednesday, January 30, Tyson Foods, Inc. issued a voluntary recall of potentially contaminated chicken nugget products. PAUSD does not use any of the chicken items listed in the voluntary recall. For further information on this recall, please visit the USDA Tyson Foods News Release webpage.

MEASURE A AND MEASURE Z CITIZENS’ OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE MEETING

The Measure A and Measure Z Citizens’ Oversight Committee meets on a quarterly basis to review expenditures and upcoming projects related to the two bond measures. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, at Gunn High School. The full agenda is available here.

Technology Department

PARENT/GUARDIAN TECHNOLOGY SERIES

The 2018-19 Parent and Guardian Technology Series continues this semester with monthly events through May. These sessions allow educators and families to work together to support children with the skills they need to develop a healthy, safe, and responsible relationship with technology. As digital learning is now an integral part of our instructional practices, these events provide participants with an opportunity to learn more about supporting learning through technology at home.

LOOKING FOR PARENT VOLUNTEERS – SINGLE SIGN-ON

In partnership with Yubico, we are in the process of unifying the login experience for parents through the id.pausd.org portal currently in use daily by all students and staff. We are soliciting parent volunteers to assist us with the testing. If you would like to participate or know someone who does, please contact Ignacio Padilla via email.