January 10, 2020

Office of the Superintendent

BOARD AGENDA

The Board of Education agenda includes the following areas of note:

  • Auditor’s Report – The 2018-19 report is complete and will be presented for information.
  • School Dashboard Report – Key aspects of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Dashboard will be shared and discussed.
  • New Courses – Four new courses are proposed for our high schools.
  • Parcel Tax – The Board will take a first look at a two-part process to determine the level of tax proposed for parcels impacting the general operating budget of PAUSD for the next six years.

SCHOOL NEWS ROLL CALL

Submissions for the next edition of the School News Roll Call address the theme of creativity from the site’s lens. As a reminder the School News Roll Call circulates over 9,000 copies of our stories to families at no charge to PAUSD. This will be the second edition this year.

SCHOOL SAFETY

Deputy Superintendent, Karen Hendricks, is spearheading our safety efforts with Mike Jacobs, Manager of Safety, Security, and Disaster Preparedness. We are making significant progress and plan to bring some proposals forward soon. Unfortunately, we have had some issues this year that required utilizing protocols with our local police department. Our relationship with Palo Alto Police Department (PAPD) is excellent and the partnership is only growing stronger through our increased vigilance and planning.

Education Services

HIGH SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS FOR ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) BIOLOGY, AP CHEMISTRY, AND AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Gunn and Palo Alto High Schools will convene three committees to recommend new materials for AP Science courses in Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science.   Consistent with Board Policy (BP) 6161.11, Supplementary Instructional Materials, and Administrative Regulation (AR) 6161.1 Selection and Evaluation of Instructional Materials, committees are comprised of science teachers, parents, students, administrators, and representatives from Special Education and English Learner programs. Committee members will evaluate sample materials, ask questions of curriculum representatives, and conduct pilots and student surveys, as necessary. Community members or students who are interested in participating on a committee should contact Laurie Pennington at Gunn High School, or Erik Olah at Palo Alto High School, no later than next Friday, January 17.

REORGANIZATION OF AP PHYSICS COURSES AT GUNN HIGH SCHOOL FOR 2020-21

Gunn High School will add a variation of calculus-based AP Physics C to its course catalog next year. AP Physics C: Mechanics will cover the same content as the first semester of the current AP Physics C, but will stretch out the instruction over the whole year, preparing students to take the AP Physics C test for Mechanics. The current calculus-based AP Physics C class prepares students for two AP tests – Mechanics and Electromagnetism. The revised course model will encourage science and engineering for more students, meeting them where they are and providing them with an appropriate opportunity to begin a study in advanced physics. Students will be given guidance as to which of the Physics courses might best meet their needs, in consideration of their fluency with calculus, other course selections, interests, and goals.

INNOVATION & AGILITY

The Innovation and Agility Department continues to work with Palo Alto High School for Engineering Pathways and Gunn High School for Business Pathways. These initiatives have passed the first Snapshot as part of Year-of-Planning (YOP) process conducted by the National Academy Foundation (NAF). Thank you to all who worked on getting these projects off the ground.

Gunn’s Career Speaker Series is scheduled during the week of January 21, during lunch, in collaboration with Gunn PTSA. Our Career Technical Education (CTE) Advisory contributed significantly to cover diverse career paths. We have a wide array of 20 industry speakers, ranging from fashion design to health care and more. The next CTE Advisory will be held on January 29. Discussion topics will focus on equity and pathway recruitment. We are very excited to continue to develop our relationships with industry experts and work in partnership with them to ensure that students are college and career ready.

VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS (VAPA)

Nine PAUSD music teachers attended the International Band and Orchestra Conference, December 18-21 in Chicago. The conference is the largest of its kind in the world, with over 90 clinics, 50 concerts, and 400 companies exhibiting music products. There were over 18,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 30 countries. The PAUSD team is assembling materials to share with colleagues at the February staff development day.

ELEMENTARY DYSLEXIA

At the last Reading Specialist meeting, the group reviewed the Elementary Dyslexia Screening and Identification Process flowchart (draft). This flowchart will guide the steps for administering the screening, assessments, and the next steps for supporting students in a consistent manner across the District. The final flowchart will be one of the updates that will be shared with the Board in March as well as the Kindergarten Shaywitz screening results which are currently being completed. 

ELEMENTARY SUMMER SCHOOL

The Elementary Summer School General Education program is currently reviewing and staffing all positions for the upcoming 2020 session. The program will be held at Duveneck and Fairmeadow Elementary Schools. This four-week program will provide enrichment and academic support for rising K-5 students who qualify for summer school.

Department of Equity and Student Affairs

UPCOMING PARENT ENGAGEMENT – SAVE THE DATES

PAUSD continues to partner with PTAC and school PTSAs to host a variety of events and workshop series. Families are encouraged to save the date for events of interest:

  • January 21 at 6:30 p.m., Building Healthy Relationships & A Culture of Consent with Anea Bogue, Board Room, 25 Churchill
  •  January 22 at 7:00 p.m., Refugee Youth Event, Newberry Medalist Katherine Applegate, Fletcher Middle School
  •  January 23 at 8:30 a.m., Community Leaders Breakfast: Teen Vaping Epidemic & Preventing Vaping Outbreak, Palo Alto Medical Foundation
  • January 23 at 6:30 p.m., Screenagers: The Next Chapter Movie, Gunn High School 
  • January 29 at 9:00 a.m., Teen Social Media Panel Notes to My Middle School Self, Fletcher Middle School
  • February 22 at 9:00 a.m., PAUSD Family Leadership Summit, Gunn High School
  • February 24 at 7:00 p.m., Mindful Monday Parent Workshops begin, JLS Library
  • February 26 at 6:30 p.m., Screenagers: The Next Chapter Movie, Greene Middle School

MINDFUL MONDAY PARENTING WORKSHOPS

Wellness & Support Services and South Asian Parents Association (SAPA) are partnering to host Mindful Parenting Workshops on Monday evenings February 24 through April 27. 

During this seven-week workshop series, parents will learn a philosophy and practice of parenting that is based on mindfulness, connection, and empathy that is not permissive. They will explore topics such as nonviolent communication, brain development, setting limits, recognizing and managing anger, and more. The classes will be an interactive experience with presentations of mindful parenting tools and concepts, meditations, group and individual activities, and group discussions. Space is limited, please RSVP on Eventbrite.

SCHOOL LIAISON NETWORK - SANTA CLARA COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION (SCCOE)

Wellness & Support Services staff participated in the SCCOE Safe and Healthy Schools Network meeting focusing on Social Emotional Learning and McKinney Vento and Foster Youth. The morning session was a hands-on training covering Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) such as self-awareness, social-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, and building relationship skills. Trainings are based on the Casel framework. The afternoon section focused on college preparedness for Foster Youth. 

Human Resources

CAREER AND ADVANCEMENT FAIR

The Human Resources Department is excited to announce the second annual PAUSD Career and Advancement Fair, which will be held at Palo Alto High School in the Peery Family Center Gym on Saturday, March 14. Thanks in advance for supporting our efforts to recruit and retain an excellent workforce in PAUSD.

YOU’RE AMAZING! COME LEARN AND GROW WITH US

The Leadership Institute (LI) is a voluntary opportunity for all PAUSD employees who aspire to advance their careers within the District to gather on a regular basis for shared learning on important topics. LI #3 will be held on Monday, January 27, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. at JLS Middle School in Room 730. This session’s topic will be: “Understanding the PAUSD Budget.” Carolyn Chow, Chief Business Officer, will be leading the interactive conversation. Our LI has been well attended by both certificated and classified employees, and we welcome all team members to attend. 

THE CORRELATION BETWEEN CONSENT, HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, AND STUDENT PERFORMANCE

Please plan to join PAUSD staff and subject matter expert, Anea Bogue, for an important parent discussion and Q&A session on Tuesday, January 21, at 7:00 p.m. in our District Office Board Room. During the 2019-20 school year, we have moved towards deepening our work with students through an approach of smaller workshop format. Our foundational goals are focused on shared learning around building healthy relationships and creating a culture of consent, both of which are important components of an environment in which students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Growing research indicates strong correlations between healthy relationships and a person’s ability to perform at their highest potential. Consent is a key component of healthy relationships. Look for the Districtwide invitation coming through Eventbrite!

Technology Department

NOTES TO MY MIDDLE SCHOOL SELF

Invitation for all Middle School parents and guardians! Please consider attending a moderated teen panel discussion: Notes to My Middle School Self, a conversation about the good, the bad, and the realities of the social media landscape in middle and high school.

The event will be held on Wednesday, January 29, 9:00-10:30 a.m., in the Fletcher Middle School Library. This event is in partnership with Common Sense Media and other local area schools and is free for attendees. Space is limited; RSVP required! For registration and more information, please visit the Common Sense Media website.

SCHOOLOGY PARENT ACCOUNT CHANGES

All PAUSD parents and guardians will be given new parent Schoology accounts on Tuesday, January 28. These new Schoology accounts will be available through the PAUSD ID portal, along with access to the PAUSD website and Infinite Campus.

PAUSD is making this change to parent Schoology accounts in order to provide better support to PAUSD Schoology users, as well as a consistent Schoology experience throughout our school district.