Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Affordable Health Insurance

Diane Downend, diane@edenbridgehomes.com

Looking for an affordable health insurance option for your PAUSD student? Health insurance for the current school year can be purchased through the District for a nominal fee. The purchase is optional. The form is available here: http://gunn.paloaltopta.org/docs/insuranceprogramform.pdf

Monday, August 30, 2010

Palo Alto Partners in Education Needs Your Support

submitted by Belle Griffiths,

We are so thankful to the many Gunn families who have supported Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE) in the past. It is because of your support, GUNN WILL RECEIVE OVER $347,000 from Partners in Education this school year. These funds are enhancing your child’s education in many areas:

College & Career Counseling
Additional counseling help for students which has allowed Gunn to make counselors more accessible to every student with a need, to begin the College Pathway program, and to support College MAP and PIQE for Spanish-speaking students. More counselors at Gunn allow more students to benefit, especially from the support programs that help all students’ readiness for college. PiE pays for approximately 25% of college and career counseling at Gunn.
Career Technology Education
PiE dollars have funded training, set-up and equipment funds for "Project Lead the Way," a hands-on, math and science-rich curriculum that will offer new engineering oriented classes using project based learning.
  • Intro to Engineering Design in 2010-2011
Technology Integration
Technology mentors that help all teachers at Gunn use technology more effectively in the classrooms. PiE-paid technology experts optimize the use of the technology paid for by the bond issue, and maximizes the time that teachers can spend on teaching and learning in the classroom.

Why is it important for you, parents of Gunn High School students, to make a donation, this year?

  • PiE money raised this year will be available for the 2011-12 school year. Given the current economic outlook, the expectation is that the Palo Alto Unified School District will have to make cuts totaling $3.8 million in the 2010-2011 school year even after taking $3.5 million from our undesignated reserves.
  • PiE is the only nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to raising money for all PAUSD schools. Only PiE contributions can fund additional teachers and staff. PTA funds cannot.
  • PiE dollars are allocated on a per student basis so every child throughout our school district benefits.

This year the PiE High School Fund needs to raise at least $735,000 to meet the needs at our two high schools. High school donor participation must grow to help PiE meet this dollar goal. Your support has never been more important!

What you can do!

Please show your commitment to excellent education in Palo Alto by making a donation to Palo Alto Partners in Education. By targeting your PiE donation to the PiE High School Fund you know that your dollars are supporting critical needs at Gunn. Your student will directly benefit from your support.

  • Look for the PiE letter and form in your back-to-school packet or donate online at www.papie.org
  • Online payments can be made as one time gift or on an installment plan
  • Ask if your employer offers a company matching gift program and so increase your donation.
  • Call the PiE office at 650-329-3990 for more information about how you can get involved.
  • All donations are 100% tax deductible
  • Questions? Concerns? Contact one of your three Gunn PiE Representatives:
Belle Griffiths at belle.griffiths@sbcglobal.net
Nancy Smith at nancysmith@earthlink.net
Cherrill Spencer at cherrill@slac.stanford.edu

Thank you for your support,
Belle, Nancy and Cherrill

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Changes to Arastradero and Miranda

Submitted by Arthur Keller, ptc@kellers.org

The Phase 2 Arastradero Road Trial Restriping Project between El Camino Real and Foothill Expressway began on August 9 based on the information presented at the public meeting held at Juana Briones Elementary School on August 5. Resurfacing and restriping activities temporarily will impact traffic flow and lengthen the time it takes to travel through the Arastradero corridor.

Though the long-term expectation for the Arastradero restriping is that it will not increase point-to-point travel times on the corridor, during the first month or two of the trial drivers should expect delays as construction is completed and road users get used to the new configuration. Please visit the City of Palo Alto website for project schedule information.

If possible, please use alternative means of transportation (bike, walk, carpool, VTA bus) to travel to school and allow extra travel time if driving is the only commuting option for you.

The PTSA Traffic Safety Team has updated "How to Get to Gunn" with VTA Bus and updated bike route information. Please review it as there are important changes in the fall such as the closure of the Miranda Entrance and the termination of drop-offs at the Miranda Bus Stop.

Expect to see an increased police presence on the corridor to facilitate a safe transition.

IEPs and Legal Matters

Submitted by Karen Muller, mueller4@ix.netcom.com

SELPA 1 CAC parent education event

IEPs and Legal Matters, presented by Jane Floethe-Ford and Loni Allen, from Parents Helping Parents. What should you do if you feel your IEP is not working? How do you establish a good working relationship with your IEP team? How do you establish need in order to get services? How do you evaluate IEP goals? How do you handle placement issues? What if you have a compliance complaint? How do dispute methods such as mediation and due process work? Our speakers are education specialists.

Wednesday, Sep 15, 2010
  • Hospitality begins at 8:45am.
  • Meeting is 9 to 11 am.
  • Covington Elementary School Multi, 205 Covington Rd, Los Altos.
This parent education event is sponsored by the SELPA 1 CAC (www.selpa1cac.org) All of our events are free and open to anyone who feels they might benefit. No registration is necessary.

Support the Gunn PTSA by registering with eScrip!

Submitted by Diane Downend, diane@edenbridgehomes.com

Calling all Gunn families to register your Safeway Club card with eScrip noting the Gunn High School PTSA as the beneficiary of your Safeway shopping. Our eScrip account number is 500022731. You can also register your credit, debit and other grocery loyalty cards. When you use any of those cards at participating stores, a percentage of your purchase will be donated to The Gunn High School PTSA. There is no cost to you. Please encourage your friends and family to register with eScrip and show their support for the Gunn PTSA!

Haitian fund raising efforts rewarded...

Submitted by Diane Downend, diane@edenbridgehomes.com

During International Week in February 2010 a number of efforts were undertaken on campus to raise money for Haitian earthquake relief. The World Langauge Department hosted events throughout the week and on Friday the PTSA sponsored a noon lunch on the quad featuring foods from around the world for the modest price of $2 per person. All proceeds from these events were pooled and nearly $1500 was sent to Partners In Health to assist with their emergency response in Haiti as well as their ongoing infrastructure support. Their gracious letter of acknowledgment is attached. A warm and heartfelt thank you to all that participated in this important Gunn community fund raising effort.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Claudia Winkler

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians and Gunn Community,

We received the sad news that our dear colleague, Claudia Winkler, passed away on August 2, 2010, in her beloved hometown of Milano, Italy, surrounded by her family, friends, and loved ones. This summer she was able to travel to Italy with her son, Ben, and to attend his wedding, which she was looking forward to. The services and burial were held in Italy. Claudia was a dedicated teacher first and foremost--and was always available to her students--whether for extra help or to help supervise some Gunn event, they knew they could count on her.

As a community we are shocked by this loss, but we choose to celebrate this remarkable individual through our wonderful memories of her, which including many funny stories. Not surprisingly, at Claudia's request, her family will establish the Claudia Winkler Memorial Scholarship. This is truly the best way to celebrate her life, which included her love of learning and teaching.

We realize there are many students who will be affected by the loss and we encourage all to remember that she was happy in her chosen profession: teaching. However, we would like to offer our counseling services, because loss, whether expected or unexpected, does bring up feelings and memories. Please remember that we have wonderful Counselors and the services of ACS on campus; therefore do not hesitate to contact us.

Claudia, you will be missed.

~Katya Y. Villalobos, Principal