November 3, 2017

We support all PAUSD students as they prepare themselves to thrive as global citizens in a rapidly changing world. We develop our students’ knowledge, critical thinking, and problem solving skills, and nurture their curiosity, creativity, and resilience, empowering every child to reach his or her fullest intellectual, social, and creative potential.

Hello to the PAUSD Community,

My own note to you will be relatively brief today, as we have two substantial department updates that I hope you will find to be very informative and useful. In addition, a revision to the Superintendent Search Process is provided below.  Thanks so much for making time to review District work, as well as to enjoy some of the fun shared below!

Important Information

For an update from our Business Services Office and Student Services Department, you can read their additional Weekly updates.

The Superintendent Search Process timeline has been revised slightly. 

Our next regular Board Meeting will be held on November 14, 2017.

The Board of Education Hosts Santa Clara Planning Staff at a Special Board Meeting on November 7, 2017.

Some Awesome Upcoming Events

“Heaven Can Wait” runs November 3-11 in the beautiful Palo Alto High School Performing Arts Center. Laughter and otherworldly high jinx ensue.

Great Things Are Happening in PAUSD

Elementary School students paraded in full costume to welcome in Fall and all of its glory. Schools had pumpkin displays, plays, music, and a host of student-centered fun activities. El Carmelo had a magnificent display of pumpkins to showcase.

Decorated Halloween Pumpkins

El Carmelo students have also been collecting coins and bills before school in an effort to raise funds for the (CA-PTA endorsed) North Bay Fire Relief Fund!  Students and families came each morning and donated loose change, allowance money, birthday money;  several students had lemonade stands and donated their earnings; while yet another student called up local family members and asked them to help bulk up his contribution. This effort resulted in raising $1,707.99! Nicely done, Dragons!

North Bay Fire Relief Fund

Walter Hays families, including VTP (Voluntary Transfer Program) and historically underrepresented minority families, had an evening focusing on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) on Thursday, November 2. After enjoying the provided dinner, families learned about science instruction in PAUSD and got hands-on with a few design challenges and inquiry experiences. TOSA (Teacher On Special Assignment), Joe Young, engaged families as they designed, tested, and redesigned their paper towers, paper bridges, and other creations. Families experienced an inquiry project with Skittles, used items from the AAR (Advanced Authentic Research)/Elementary Education Creativity Carts, learned about questions and prompts they can use with their children, and toured Walter Hays’ new Makerspace. The Community Conversation event was definitely a great way to connect with families, support them with STEAM education, and shared resources with them.

At Gunn

My thanks to a Gunn parent for sharing an amazing article about senior Kevin Frans!  It’s a must-read.  Way to go, Kevin!

At Paly

World Literature classes are using VR (Virtual Reality) and Google Expeditions (a teacher tool for virtual field trips) to build a presentation product to accompany a travel writing assignment – similar to a clean/school appropriate version of Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown, in order to explore global literature.  This is a light-hearted assignment, lots of fun, get-out-your-head-and-into-the-world-thing during the most intense part of the senior college application period (October 15 - December 1).

TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) classes are getting ready for our annual weeklong trip to Yosemite. This year, we are encouraging students to take a week of "Digital Detox" and either leave their cell phones at home or turn them in to a teacher for safe-keeping at the start of the trip.

Over 200 Paly students will receive the Fall President’s Award for serving over 26,000 hours of community service in 12 months.

2014 Paly Theatre Arts graduate, Henry Wilen, just earned his first Broadway credit as a Lighting Intern working with Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer, Howell Bingley (“Hamilton”), for the current production of “The Prince of Broadway” which is running in New York City. Henry is studying lighting design and is in his Senior year at the North Carolina School of the Arts.

My best to you as your weekend begins!


Karen Hendricks