February 22, 2019

Superintendent's Office


The following items will appear on the upcoming Board agenda and may be of special interests to the Board and / or community:

Closed Session
Stanford University General Use Permit (GUP) Environmental Impact Report

Legislative Update and Analysis: Former California Secretary of Education, Jack O’Connell, and Capitol Advisors CEO, Kevin Gordon, will provide legislative updates to the Board. They will entertain questions and provide insights.

Escondido and Barron Park Student Achievement: A report about the academic preparation and progress will outline efforts initiated this year at two of our elementary schools.

Stanford University GUP: A general update will provide an opportunity for comments about the Stanford GUP progress.

Action Items
Cubberley: The Board will be asked to confirm their desire to further explore the following three uses of the Cubberley property that have been discussed over the past several months. Formal affirmation by the Board is recommended.

  • A sufficient area to accommodate construction, if needed in the future, of a full high school or middle school
  • A sufficient area to accommodate construction of staff housing
  • A sufficient area to accommodate the construction of a PAUSD Central Office for PAUSD staff to replace the functions of the present site at 25 Churchill Avenue

Discussion Items
Second Interim Budget Report: Dr. Novak will present the Second Interim financial report.

Expanded Transitional Kindergarten: The Board will hear a recommendation to expand the ages of eligible students for the Transitional Kindergarten program.

PAUSD Promise: The Board will focus attention on the High-Quality Teaching & Learning and Moving the Needle sections of the PAUSD Promise. The draft document can be found online at promise.pausd.org

Education Services


On Thursday, February 14, over 500 PAUSD elementary teachers, education specialists, special education aides, and principals participated in choice-based Professional Learning. The feedback from the day was overwhelmingly positive, with most attendees stating they appreciated the range of professional development opportunities. Topics offered ranged from Teacher Self-Care, Responsive Classroom, Coding in the Classroom, 3-D Science Instruction with a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) focus, and Differentiating Math from the Silicon Valley Mathematics Institute. The presenters also shared how much they appreciated the teachers' positive attitudes and engagement during the three-hour learning sessions.


Last week, Professional Learning Day activities were site-based with each administrative team providing growth opportunities focused around site goals. Paly and Gunn hosted colleague-led sessions for their teachers followed by time to collaborate on how best to incorporate these shared ideas into instruction. Greene spent the day focusing on learning targets, assessments, and grading practices with presenter Ken Mattingly; Fletcher took a deep dive into academic discourse with presenter Kate Kinsella; and JLS started the day off with speaker Milton Reynolds and then proceeded to work in teams to develop action plans for struggling students. Every school had a purposeful and productive day of professional learning and community building.


Students at JLS Middle School have completed the Common Writing Assessment (CWA), an annual in-house essay assessment that students take during Winter Quarter. Teachers are joined by their colleagues from other grade levels, subject areas, and even other schools to score the assessments. The release days reinforce the idea that literacy is a shared responsibility, and present a valuable opportunity for teachers to calibrate their scoring and reflect on their writing instruction.


The subset of teachers who are piloting new curriculum this spring are wrapping up the first instructional materials pilot using TCI, and completed a full day of training with Inspire Science from McGraw Hill. They will be switching to the second set of materials in the next two weeks. Students, parents, and teachers working directly with the materials, will complete surveys at the end of each trial period. Community members and students not participating in the pilot are encouraged to review materials on display (at the sites and the district office) and fill out comment forms for the Middle School Science Textbook Selection Advisory Committee.


The newly released California Department of Education’s Computer Science Standards have been cross-referenced with the California Common Core Math Standards (as well as other core subject standards) to make the integration of computer science into Common Core curriculum attainable (see list below). The enhanced units are likely to be piloted this semester. As a result, integration of middle school computer science data units into math courses is in development. In PAUSD, a middle school math teacher and a high school math teacher, both with technology backgrounds, are collaborating to integrate current successful math data units into CS/math data units.

The standards being linked are listed below:

Middle School Data Analysis Standards for Computer Science

  • 6-8.DA.7 Represent data in multiple ways
  • 6-8.DA.8 Collect data using computational tools and transform the data to make it more useful
  • 6-8.DA.9 Test and analyze the effects of changing variables while using computational models

Associated Middle School Statistics & Probability Common Core Standards for Math

  • 6.SP.4 Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots
  • 6.SP.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context
  • 7.SP.3 Informally assess the degree of visual overlap of two numerical data distributions with similar variabilities
  • 7.SP.4 Use measures of center and measures of variability for numerical data from random samples to draw informal comparative inferences about two populations
  • 7.SP.7 Develop a probability model and use it to find probabilities of events
  • 8.SP.1 Construct and interpret scatter plots for bivariate measurement data to investigate patterns of association between two quantities
  • 8.SP.4 Understand that patterns of association can also be seen in bivariate categorical data by displaying frequencies and relative frequencies in a two-way table

Strategic Initiatives and Operations


Paly’s College and Career Counselors hosted a Naviance Demonstration Night for students and parents on February 20. Attendees learned about some of the college and career exploration and preparation tools and resources available including: college maps, Paly application Scattergrams, the resume builder, the document library, scholarship options, and summer enrichment opportunities. School counselors and college and career advisors use the Naviance platform to help students and families consider and plan for career and college choices.


Gunn counselors held a High School Planning and Course Selection Workshop for the incoming freshman class and their families on February 13. One hundred families attended and received a one-on-one meeting with a school counselor to help plan for the transition to high school. School counselors and families discussed Gunn’s program options, course selection, and time planning to support their well-being, personal, and academic commitments.


PAUSD’s Lead District Nurse participated in the annual California School Nurse Organization conference from February 14-17. The theme of this year’s conference was “Building a Healthy Community: One Student, One Family at a Time,” which focused on providing school nurses with necessary tools, supplies, and resources that will assist them in delivering optimal health services to students to ensure that health is not a barrier to education. Nurses participated in sessions that identified current research and evidence-based approaches relevant to their professional school nursing practice and discussed collaborative practices, prevention policies, programs, and multidisciplinary strategies that address student health and well-being.

Topics included:

  • Bleeding Control
  • Updates in Pediatric Cardiovascular Health
  • Ensuring Quality Care for Our Students Through the Use of Technology
  • Nurses and Suicide Prevention
  • Updates on School Health Legislation
  • Concussion Management
  • Management of Acute Onset Diseases
  • Immunization Updates
  • A School Physician’s Perspectives on Special Need Students
  • Children with Chronic Conditions


This week, much of the focus continues to be on transitions. As we know, change is hard, but the transitions to make the change are so much more challenging. Our middle schools and high schools are approximately halfway through the Transition Meetings for the 2019-20 school year. Our Instructional Leaders from Gunn and Paly have been meeting with students and their families to discuss freshman year and help answer questions regarding programs, schedules, and services. We are ready to welcome 81 freshmen to our high schools and support them on their journey.

Many times we are asked, "How can I prepare my student for high school? What classes can they take over the summer to be ready?" Our answer continues to be: let them find enjoyment in summer, let them find downtime, let them find, develop, or hone their passions. The journey seems short to us as adults, but these four years are the beginning of their discovery into who they are and who they want to become, and our role is to help them find joy in the journey. As a department, we want to honor the desire to be prepared, but we want to assure you the best preparation is being who you are, and we are ready to walk with you on the high school journey.


This week, the District Office Special Education Coordinator led the El Carmelo Special Education team in a two-hour workshop on the importance of collecting baseline data and collecting data on a continuous basis to determine student progress. The workshop addressed:

  • Collection of data prior to the intervention or teaching starting
  • Collecting data through various measures, including: percent accuracy, frequency, duration, rate, and intervals
  • The importance of considering how intervention or instructional data will be collected to ensure consistency
  • A review of data collection tools
  • Writing IEP goals related to baseline data

Technology Department


The network infrastructure team recently hosted a visit from the municipality of Landskrona, Sweden. The guests support the K-12 infrastructure in their municipality, and were interested in hearing about how PAUSD has been managing IoT devices, digital citizenship, network security, wireless access, and future growth plans. The visit was productive, and it was refreshing to hear that schools around the world are experiencing similar issues to those within our schools.


On Thursday, February 21, over 80 PAUSD parents and guardians attended the session "Parenting in a Digital World" with guest speaker Dr. Karin Forssell. During the session, participants were able to hear ideas and discuss best practices regarding building healthy boundaries for technology use in the home. Some of the ideas included keeping devices out of bedrooms, using device settings to limit apps for younger children, removing devices from dinnertime, and putting away devices and looking up while walking. Thank you to all participants and Dr. Forssell for such an engaging and important learning opportunity.