Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Call for Site Council Parent Reps

Submitted by Rene Hart

2012-2014 Gunn Site Council

Site Council needs two (2) parent representatives to serve a two-year term, starting next September. Are you interested? Here are the FAQS:

1. WHO CAN SERVE: Any Gunn parent who wants to work on policy development and financial decision-making in a cooperative setting with 4 faculty, 3 staff, 3 other parents and 4 students. Each representative serves a 2-year term. A maximum of 4 consecutive years (2 terms in a row) is allowed, according to the bylaws. Thus, two of the four parents on Site Council are up for re-election or replacement each year. (YOUR CHILD MUST BE A SOPHOMORE, FRESHMAN OR 8TH GRADER THIS YEAR IN ORDER FOR YOU TO SERVE.)
WHAT DOES SITE COUNCIL DO: Around $45,000 in funds from state and district grants are given to Site Council to spend on departmental projects which are "new and innovative" and/or significantly benefit our students and staff...everything from "pilot classes" such as the Algebra Restart class and Multi-cultural Literature to curriculum development to updating classroom technology to iclickers for Social Studies and English and a Broadcasting Teleprompter for CTE. Each spring, we issue a call for proposals from every department on campus for the following year. Each project is evaluated to determine its effectiveness in meeting its projected goals. We additionally work on the School Plan, and work on WASC, as well as issues that crop up through the year.
WHEN DO WE MEET? You must be willing to devote 2.0 hours a month for 1 or 2 monthly meetings on Monday afternoons at 3:55 here at Gunn in the Staff Lounge.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS ARE NEEDED? You must have a child enrolled at Gunn High School, possess some financial and/or policy decision-making abilities, and be able to attend meetings at least once a month. No, you do not need to be a CPA or CEO - just genuinely interested in taking the time to learn how Gunn operates and a desire to improve life and learning here for our students and staff.
HOW DO YOU APPLY? Complete the form below to the Site Council office NO LATER THAN MON., FEBRUARY 24. The slate of candidates will be published posted for two weeks on GunnConnection - one vote per household is allowed. The paper and/or e-ballots will be tabulated with the results posted in April or May.
Questions? Please call the Site Council desk in the Main Office at 849-7932 or email to rhart@pausd.org. Otherwise, complete the application below. Either fax it to 493-7801, mail it to Gunn at 780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306, or email the needed info to rhart@pausd.org
Your Name ____________________________________________________
Your Gunn student(s)’s name(s) and grade(s) _________________________
Your Address __________________________________________________ Phone ________________________ Fax ___________________________
Background statement (Previous experience on Site Council? Special expertise? Work and/or life experiences that are valuable in group decision-making situations?) (LIMIT TO ONE SHORT PARAGRAPH PLEASE)

ACS Program - Spring Sounds 2012

Submitted by Roni Gillenson

Adolescent Counseling Services invites you to a night in the Mediterranean! Bask in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Mediterranean at Spring Sounds 2012! Wander through our bazaar, enjoy delectable cuisine, learn how to belly dance, and bring along your band of nomads for an entertaining evening in support of Adolescent Counseling Services. Funds raised will benefit ACS' three community programs and the 7,000 teens and family members served each year. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit our website at www.springsoundsevent.org.

Saturday, March 24, 2012, 6:30pm to 11:30pm
Club Illusions 260 S. California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306

ACS Event - Helping Teens as They Look into the Future

Submitted by Roni Gillenson

Helping Teens as They Look into the Future by Martha Chan, M.A., LMFT, Site Director for Terman Middle School and parent of Gunn High School graduates, class of '99 and class of '03

I want to carry forward some of the resilience concepts that my colleague, Chris Chiochios, wrote about in the December PTA newsletter: accepting our children for who they are and helping them to set realistic expectations and goals; and helping our children experience success by identifying and reinforcing their "islands of competence".

It's that time of year when middle and high school students are choosing classes for the following academic year, in most cases with some consultation and input from parents. I want to suggest that a parent’s role in this process is to help our children identify their interests and their areas of strength, and to help them decrease whatever fears and stressful thoughts they are experiencing about their future. This can be challenging, for several reasons. One is that we tend to project onto our children our own interests and skills, or at least we often hope that they will follow in our footsteps. This is only human --- we want them to enjoy the work that we have enjoyed as adults, and to care about the things that we care about. Another challenge is what I think of as "the Palo Alto myth" that only certain courses lead to a college education, that only certain colleges will insure our children's' future success, and that success is only achieved via certain careers. This myth seems to sustain itself year after year, in spite of evidence to the contrary. It's even passed along from older students to younger ones, who take as truth the message that one must take X number of AP classes and achieve Y grades in order to avoid the dreaded fate of "flipping burgers" in adulthood.

As you go through this process of course selection and considering the future with your child, please ask yourself these questions:
What are my child's interests?
What are my child's skills and strengths, academically and otherwise?
What kind of future does my child envision for her/himself, in terms of life after high school, work, and family?

Our children may need our help to expand this vision, given their youth and relative lack of experience in the world. For example, there are many role models in this community of doctors, lawyers, college professors, engineers and successful entrepreneurs. At the same time, the world also needs teachers, nurses, accountants, people who can build and repair our homes and our cars, sell us groceries, cook our food and maintain our gardens and parks. In receiving a Golden Globe award for her role in the movie "The Help", Octavia Spencer quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said, "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance." We can model this belief to our children in the way that we treat with respect and dignity the adults who perform this wide variety of work with us and for us, and in the way we talk with them about their plans for the future.

I believe that one of the most important gifts we can give to our children in this stage of their lives is to have faith that their lives will be good. This generation of parents is besieged by information about our children needing more education than we did, entering the job market at a time of recession, not being able to afford to live in the community in which they grew up. Whether we say it directly to them or not, they can be encouraged by our belief that they will find their way in life, not without mistakes and maybe not on the first try. It has become a source of both humor and reassurance for our now-adult daughters, that they can depend on us as parents to tell them, in moments of doubt or crisis, "it's going to be okay . . . we just don't know when, or what okay will look like". They know that we believe they can do whatever they need to do to get through the moment, and that we'll help if we can.

Adolescent Counseling Services is a community non-profit, which provides vital counseling services on nine secondary campuses at no charge to students and their families. To learn more about our services please visit the ACS website at acs-teens.org or call Robyn Alagona LMFT, Site Director at Gunn (650) 849-7919. ACS relies on the generosity of com-munity members to continue offering individual, family, and group counseling to over 1,500 individuals annually. ACS provides critical interventions and mental health services, building a better future for tomorrow. If you are interested in helping to support our efforts, do not hesitate to call to make a donation. It goes a long way in helping teenagers find their way!

The 16th Annual Juana Run

Submitted by Anne Lum

Juana Run
Sat, March 10, Juana Briones School

The 16th annual Juana Run is a community event, with running races for all ages and abilities. 100% of the proceeds from the Juana Run are donated. Primary beneficiaries are the Gunn Sports Boosters and Terman PTA and with additional donations to participating schools, teams, organizations and clubs. The certified 8K race starts at 8:30 AM and runs through the streets of Barron Park, the kids races by elementary school grade start at various times and a family friendly 1 mile race starts at 11:00 AM.

Register at www.juanarun.org . Register early for best prices. Registration will also be available race morning starting at 7 AM. Parking is available at Gunn High School. Questions: juanarun@aol.com or the race hotline 650-599-3434.

Volunteers are needed to help with 3 different aspects of the race. Please sign up via Jooners links to help (high school students can also help with this fun event).
For race day helpers:
For course monitors:
For pre-race day help:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mindfulness for Stress Reduction

Submitted by Karen Johnston

The clenched stomach, the racing heart, the aching head, all those nagging physical manifestations that sometimes manifest themselves after a stressful event, whether an argument with your child or a misadventure at work. Yes, how you feel and what you think does affect your physical body. Come learn about "Mindfulness", a psychological discipline designed to change your relationship to stress, by listening to your body and your mind and living in the here and now.

This workshop will cover the current research on the efficacy of mindfulness for stress reduction, and then will present coping skills to reduce stress and to enhance the quality of life at home and at work, including specific meditation practices to use in daily life. The workshop will be presented by Vickie Chang, PhD, who comes to us from The Parents Place. Dr. Chang is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Menlo Park and on the Clinical Faculty at Palo Alto University. She has conducted research on depression prevention at Stanford University and on mindfulness and positive emotion programs at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Her area of expertise is improving wellness and self-care using mindfulness and positive emotion interventions. Middle-school and high school students are welcome to attend. Sponsored by the PTSA. Contact Karen Johnston for more information.

This Year’s Gunn Grants' Social Entrepreneurs!

Submitted by Lauren Janov

Congratulations to these inspiring Gunn students who are turning their innovative ideas into extraordinary projects involving over 60 Gunn students, all who are determined to make our world, here in Palo Alto and half-way around it, a better place:

Leland Wei’s Gunn@Your Service micro-grant will purchase construction materials he needs to renovate a walking path in the Palo Alto Baylands.

Arjun Parikh will use his grant for a summer soccer camp that will support Right to Play, a charity that improves the lives of disadvantaged children through sport and play.

Divya Saini’s grant will pay for an education campaign preparing Palo Altans for earthquakes.

Tatiana Grossman’s micro-grant will help Gunn’s African Literacy Club ship the children’s books it is collecting for Spread the Words, a non-profit which helps establish libraries in primary schools in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sungkook Peter Kim will be using his Gunn Grant to provide sheet music and music stands to Gunn musicians performing for war veterans in Palo Alto Veterans’ Hospital.

Praniti Sinha’s grant will help Gunn’s Asha Club run a fundraiser for Asha for Education, an organization which provides computers, food and education to orphans in Bangalore, India.

Lily Tsai’s Gunn Grant will buy flutes to loan to music students in Costano Elementary School’s after-school music program in East Palo Alto.

Natasha Allen will spend her micro-grant to ship academic books to South Sudan in cooperation with Sudan-American Foundation for Education and STAND, the student-arm of the Genocide Intervention Network.

Gunn at Your Service is exceptionally proud to be supporting these outstanding projects!

Lauren Janov
President, Gunn @ Your Service

Gunn Sports Update

Submitted by Miriam Rotman

In a dominant show of strength, Gunn defeated Fremont tonight 50-18 in a De Anza Division match-up. Three Titans pinned their rivals - Ian Cramer (120), Marco Lopez-Mendoza (180) and JJ Strnad (285), and Casey Jackson (170) won by technical fall. In all, Gunn won 10 matches to Fremont's four. Photos

Gunn also honored the eight seniors that have all played a role in making this year's team one of its best. They include (in weight class order), Colton Haro (138), Derek Lai (145), Chris Jin (152), Julian Calderon (160), Casey Jackson (170), Marco Lopez-Sanchez (180), Jaxon Welsh (195) and JJ Strnad (220).

Over the weekend Gunn Sent 2 girls to the CCS wrestling meet Cadence Lee and Jessica Sun (placed 5th). Congratulations Cadence for your second consecutive win at CCS. Cadence will be representing Gunn at the California state meet - Good Luck!

103: Cadence Lee (Gunn) over Kayla Walker (Leigh), Dec 9-2.

Next week Gunn will have the last dual meet at Los Gatos (Gunn is currently in first place in the De Anza Division), followed by SCVAL championships on Saturday at Homestead High School.

On Wednesday, Paly sent all their basketball teams to face fired up Gunn athletes, keen to claim basketball supremacy. Both Gunn JV girls and boys beat the cross-town rivals as did the Varsity girls (52-42).

The Lady Titans were fired up to avenge their early season loss against the cross town rival PALY and showed up for the game on Wednesday night with previously unmatched toughness and determination.

The Lady Titans took a 20-16 lead at half time and after Palo Alto's Lindsay Black hit a three pointer to cut the lead to one, Gunn's Zoe Zwerling nailed two three pointers in a row to push the Gunn lead up to seven and swing momentum back in Gunn's favor. Every time it appeared that Paly would make a run, Gunn would convert a key basket to squelch the threat. Gunn was helped tremendously by the all-out play of Julia Maggioncalda, who created havoc for Palo Alto. Leading 33-27 to start the third, Gunn scored two baskets to build a commanding lead. Towards the end, Palo Alto chose to foul hoping that Gunn would miss free throws, but it wasn't to be as Perez, Claire Klausner, Zwerling and Maggioncalda converted seven free throws in a row to ice the game. "I'm happy with all aspects of our game tonight," said Coach Stapp. "We were aggressive, made key free throws and played as a team. This is something we have do from here on out as there are no easy games in the De Anza."

The Lady Titans were led by Zwerling's 14 points, followed by nine from Perez, eight from Klausner, six from Redfield and Maggioncalda, five from Tapia and four from Meghan Mahoney.

The win was the second strong win in five days as they beat previously unbeaten Wilcox 43-37 last Friday night. On Friday night the Lady Titans played a tough Los Gatos squad and showed no let down as they won 44-28. 3 pt field goals - Zwerling, Shevick (3). Gunn out-rebounded Los Gatos 31-16.The lady Titans moved into a tie with Wilcox and Paly for 1st place in
the division.

Boys - In probably their best half of the season the Gunn Titans held Paly to a 3 point lead after leading most of the half. Unfortunately BJ Boyd proved difficult to contain for the whole game and the boys lost the game. Maybe this game proved to the boys that they can beat any team as they followed up with a great win at Los Gatos 58-56.

Boys - Also faced Paly this week winning a tough and close game 1-0. The goal was scored in the first half by Cameron McElfresh, assisted by Kevin Macario. The boys played tough throughout the game with great defense. This Wednesday - Milpitas at Gunn 3:30 PM.

Girls - Lost to Paly 3-1. Sarah Robinson scored for Gunn. Friday 2/10 Monta Vista at Gunn 6:00 PM.

How much happier could you be?

submitted by Karen Mueller

Use the science of happiness to get more joy and less stress. Dr. Delizonna will talk about how to help you and your kids find happiness. Big changes can result from simple practices. This talk will inspire you and provide you with research-based tools to increase your sustainable happiness and build an extraordinary life.

Laura Delizonna, PhD, teaches popular happiness and emotional intelligence courses at Stanford University. She also is the author of “The Six Habits of Happiness” which will be on sale at this coffee. www.ChoosingHappiness.com

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 – meeting is 7 to 9 pm. Hospitality begins at 6:45pm. Covington Elementary School Multi, 205 Covington, Los Altos 94024.

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.

Palo Alto area Host Families Sought for Austrian High School Students

Submitted by Anne Lum

Program dates: March 13 - 26
Share your American culture with an Austrian high school student as you learn about life in Austria! Two teachers from a high school in Vienna are bringing their English classes to Palo Alto on an English Language Immersion program for two weeks in March. While they are here, the students will be staying with host families to practice their English and immerse themselves in our culture. We are looking for Palo Alto area families to host one of these students--especially families interested in hosting a boy! Program Details: The students are 15-17, all speak English and bring their own spending money. Working parents are fine -- students participate in planned group activities each weekday. Austrian students will shadow their American host brother or sister at school on two days. Families provide a shared or private room, meals, and transportation to and from the weekday activities in Palo Alto. Carpooling is available. Please contact Keila, 925-381-5459 for more information or to sign up.