March 2, 2018

Hello to the PAUSD Community,

Happy Read Across America Day!

Dr. Seuss Quote

In celebration of reading and the birthday of famous children's author, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), PAUSD celebrated national Read Across America Day today. Elementary classrooms across the District opened their doors to special guest readers, welcoming many parents, community members, and  District leaders including School Board Members Melissa Caswell, Todd Collins, and Jennifer DiBrienza.

Thank you to all guest readers for participating: teachers, principals, and librarians who organized special events (such as pajama day at Escondido), and teachers who created activities to celebrate reading. It's not too late to spend time reading with your child this weekend!

For additional resources to support the joy of reading, you may wish to visit Read Across America’s partner, Reading is Fundamental, to access great resources.  

Emily Garrison Reading to Students

Elementary SPSAs

This week, the PAUSD Board reviewed the 2016-17 Elementary Education Executive Summaries from the Single Plans for Student Achievement (SPSAs) which reflects a year in review. The Single Plan for Student Achievement 2017-18 reports were presented by site principals of the 12 elementary schools and Greendell programs.

From the California Department of Education:

“The purpose of the SPSA is to coordinate all educational services at the school. The SPSA shall, at a minimum, address how funds provided to the school through any of the sources identified in EC Section 64000 will be used to improve the academic performance of all pupils. School goals shall be based upon an analysis of verifiable state data… The SPSA must integrate the purposes and requirements of all state and federal categorical programs in which the school participates.

The SPSA serves as the organizer for an individual school’s improvement process. The plan should be developed with a deep understanding of root causes of student academic challenges and identify and implement research-based instructional strategies to raise the achievement of students who are not yet proficient by state standards. A well-developed SPSA can ensure that students are better equipped to meet the Common Core State Standards in English and math. It is critical that each school’s SPSA:

·       Builds on a premise that students are capable of learning with effective instruction.

·       Includes school goals aligned with activities and goals included in the LEA Plan to maximize school reform efforts.

·       Is based on verifiable data analysis.

·       Focuses on student achievement and academic interventions.

·       Implements high leverage school improvement actions.

·       Directs resources where they will most directly improve student academic achievement.

·       Ensures that all resources are aligned to serve identified students’ needs.

·       Uses research-based strategies.

·       Implements strategic coordination of resources.

To set school goals, the SSC should carefully review district priorities as stated in the LEA Plan, and assess both state and local quantitative and qualitative student achievement data to evaluate the effectiveness of the instructional program.”

Please take a moment to visit the Board meeting page for access to all Executive Summaries, and learn about the amazing things happening at our PK-5 schools to address our goals of High Quality Teaching and Learning; Equity and Access; and Wellness and Safety.

Upcoming Events

PAUSD Equity Lecture Series

Our series continues on Tuesday, March 6, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Child care will be provided at no cost, and. participants do not need to RSVP. The presentation format will be different from the first in the series, with opportunities for every person to engage in the discussion as thought-partners.

Please see attached flyer for more information. A Spanish version of the flyer has also been provided. 

RISE Task Force Meeting

Our next RISE Task Force meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday, March 5, from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.  This meeting will be held in the Aspen Conference Room at the District Office, and is open to the public.

Great Things Happening in PAUSD

The 14th Annual Sweetheart Awards were presented on Wednesday night, February 28, by the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for Special Education.

This wonderful event was designed to celebrate the special people in our community that go the extra mile to make a positive difference in the lives of children with special needs and learning differences.

Many individuals were honored last night including; bus drivers, friends, teachers, neighbors, aides, crossing guards, fellow students, speech pathologists, student board members, school psychologists, and relatives.

This event celebrated those amazing people in our community who have made a positive difference in the lives of children with special needs.  

Counselor and Student at Awards Event        14th Annual Sweetheart Awards


The Young Athletes Day at Greendell School on February 28 was a huge success! This second annual event that the Special Olympics organization has organized introduces Greendell School students of all abilities basic sports skills and help children without disability to better understand and accept others. With the assistance of staff and parent volunteers, students from all 11 classes showcased their athletic abilities in 12 different stations that included sports like basketball, soccer, softball, bowling, and yoga.

The field day started with an opening ceremony highlighted with a parade of torch bearers and the recitation of the Special Olympics motto:

"Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

Immediately after, each class went on to their assigned station where they were given specific instructions by a parent volunteer. In several stations, the activity was done all together as a class like balancing a bean bag on their heads, doing yoga poses, and lifting up a colorful parachute as their friends go under it. In other stations, the students had to practice taking turns hitting a ball off a tee with a bat, shooting a soccer ball into a goal, rolling a bowling ball to knock down pins, and shooting a ball into a basket. In all the stations, each student received plenty of opportunities to succeed.

After the closing ceremony, the exhausted athletes exited through an archway of arms held up high made by proud cheering parents. Plenty of positive feedback from both parents and staff at Greendell School came streaming in immediately after the conclusion of this memorable and fun event.


Read Across the World Day: Hoover celebrated Read Across America Day on Friday, with a variety of guest readers including Jennifer DiBrienza, one of our esteemed School Board members! Hoover’s librarian, Ms. Howell, took the celebration one step further to celebrate Read Across the World Day, by inviting Hoover parents to come and read Dr. Seuss books aloud to students in their native languages! Fun was had by all and we learned many new words in Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Hindi, and Russian!

Cultural Kaleidoscope: On February 28, 3rd grade students in room 11 hosted their second-grade buddies from Costano School in East Palo Alto where they decorated framed pictures of themselves taken when Hoover students visited them at their school. Art and engineering activities filled the morning before they shared lunch and playtime together. These powerful experiences were made possible by the Cultural Kaleidoscope art program offered through the Palo Alto Art Center.

Farm to Table Event: Hoover students were treated to a bounty of red leaf lettuce grown in the gardens behind the SRC, with thanks to The Living Classroom, in collaboration with PAUSD Food Services, and Hoover’s Kids Club. Hoover Kids' Club (HKC) students harvested the lettuce that was then prepared with a simple dressing and eaten up by Hoover Students last Friday. Students then participated in a tasting survey. It was interesting to learn that many students had not tasted red leaf lettuce before and many more came back for seconds, thirds, and fourths! Thank you HKC students, Living Classroom, and PAUSD Food Services Department!

Palo Verde

Palo Verde celebrated Read Across America Day the entire week with a Dr. Seuss theme for each day. Students celebrated by wearing mismatched socks, wacky outfits, and donned green from head to toe. Our classrooms and the library had various fun activities as well. On Friday, the community spent extra time celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday - by READING. Guests from the district office visited classrooms to read aloud and celebrate with our students.

Palo Alto High School

We wanted to share the press release from Mathematical Association of America (MAA) on the results from last week's internal math competition in Bucharest, Romania.

Mihir Singhal took the 1st place individually, sharing with two other kids from Korea and Ukraine. The US Team took 1st place as well.

My best to you as the weekend begins,

Karen Hendricks