Thursday, October 11, 2012

Last chance to order for Gunn's Gizdich Ranch Pie Sale

Submitted by Ruta Puranik

LAST CHANCE -- OCTOBER 22 IS THE LAST DAY TO ORDER for Gunn’s annual Gizdich Ranch Pie Sale !!  Get your order in now!! All proceeds benefit Class of 2013 Graduation Activities. Forms available in the Main office or SAC office OR download forms at (  Consider making a donation if you don’t like pies. Pie distribution on November 9 -- many parents bring these pies to the Turkey Feast (Nov 15 this year). Delicious Pies are made fresh in the farm kitchen of Gizdich Ranch of Watsonville (choices: pumpkin, apple,  olallieberry,  raspberry).  Send questions to Debbie Brown at

Music as a Vehicle for Vulnerability

Submitted by Roni Gillenson

Music as a Vehicle for Vulnerability
by Staff, Site Director, On Campus Counseling Program

Think of a teenager listening to music and the likely image that comes to mind is a solitary figure with
earphones. Most adults appreciate the earphone part—after all, music that appeals to teenagers usually
carries far less appeal to those who are older.

But think back to the role that music played in your life when you were younger. Think back to the
song you listened to during your first date, or the prom, or when you felt sad or angry at the world.
Even decades later, thinking about these songs from our adolescent years evokes a wave of emotional
memories. That’s because music is intensely connected to emotions during the teenage period.
Adolescents form an intense and meaningful connection with music.

Now if we put music aside for a moment and ask most parents about their teenagers, they’d likely say
that they wish their son or daughter would be more emotionally open, more vulnerable. Although
they can text and talk with their friends for hours, teenagers switch to a telegraphic mode when
communicating with parents. It’s amazing how even the most complex of questions can be answered by
monosyllabic words: “How do you really feel about everything that’s been going on this year?” “Fine.”

But what if, as adults, we step up and meet teenagers where they’re at? If normal verbal conversation
doesn’t take us very far, maybe music is a better vehicle to get to the core stuff. There’s no easier way to
surprise a teenager and catch them off guard than by displaying genuine interest in their music. “What’s
your favorite song?” “What artist do you like the most?” Once your teen is convinced that this is not
some sort of a trap intended to disparage today’s music, you’ll be amazed at how open he or she will
get. Remember that lyrics are poetry, and analyzing and reflecting on them can lead to interesting
conversations, especially when it comes to songs about love, angst, political issues, loneliness, or any
other emotionally sensitive issue.

Don’t be afraid to compliment a song, or a lyric. And if you find something that you find powerful and
share your thoughts and feelings around it, your teenager will often step up as well.

Adolescent Counseling Services is a community non-profit, which provides vital counseling services on eight
secondary campuses at no charge to students and their families. To learn more about our services please visit the ACS website at or call Sabrina Geshay, LMFT, Site Director at Gunn at (650) 849-7919. ACS relies on the generosity of community 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!

PACA Concert - Inspirations

Submitted by Kim Nguyen

Concert #1: Inspirations
            Saturday, October 27, 2012
            Kati Kyme, conductor
            William Skeen, cello soloist

            Mozart: Overture to Thamos
            C.P.E. Bach:  Cello Concerto in A major
            Bartok: Divertimento for Strings           

Featuring the PACO debuts of conductor Kati Kyme and cellist William Skeen, this program will end with one of Bela Bartok’s neo-classical masterpieces, his great 1939 Divertimento, inspired equally by Mozart and the expressive folk music of his native Hungary. 

Homecoming 2012

Submitted by Lisa Hall 
Homecoming 2012 Info:  It’s October, and that means students and staff are gearing up for Homecoming 2012: “California Dreamin’”!  Homecoming is a weeklong spirit week that runs from October 15th to October 20th. Competitions between the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes will be held daily at brunch and lunch.  In addition, students and staff will dress up in different costumes every day.   Check out the Homecoming webpage on the Student Activities Website for detailed information on each day:

Night Rally:  Thursday, October 18th, is the climax of the week, with float stuffing (2-7:00pm), a PTSA-sponsored BBQ (4-6pm), and the fantastic Night Rally at 8 pm in the gym, with doors opening at 7:30pm.  Tickets for Gunn Students Only are on sale in the SAC starting October 9th until October 15th. Starting Oct. 16th, students may buy a maximum of two tickets for guests until 4 pm on Oct. 18th, or until sold out. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door to the general public. Cost is $3 for Gunn students and $5 for non-Gunn students and adults.
Questions?  Contact Lisa Hall, Student Activities Director at

Tasting Week in Palo Alto

          Submitted by Rebecca Scholl 
Get your taste buds ready, Tasting Week is Coming to Palo Alto 
Here is a sneak preview of tasting activities going on in our community and at our school:
*   October 12: Launch of Bay Area Tasting Week in San Francisco at
the Metreon from 7PM to 12AM.  Click
*    October 22: A to Z salad bars and Cooking Demonstrations will be served at Gunn in the staff room at lunchtime. It is available to everyone who purchases hot lunch so remember to give your student money or put money in their hot lunch account by going to the website
* October 23 Chef Jean-Yves Charron, executive chef at Galaxy Desserts (the makers of the famous "lava cake") will visit our school for tasting workshops in several of our classrooms. In addition 400 Rumbles whole grain baked crisp bags will be donated by Revolution Foods in the Student Activity Center in the afternoon.  Many thanks to Revolution Foods for their donation. At 3PM, Pinkberry will visit our campus to sell their famous frozen yogurt.
October 25: Pinkberry will visit our campus again.
*   November 11: Tasting Week opens up its doors to the public with a grand event for families from 10AM to 3PM at  the Presidio in San Francisco . Sign up here Many opportunities for Community Services hours if you like food and kids. Contact us for details.
Tasting Week is an association that invites chefs to schools to meet children and together discover, enjoy and share new tastes and food.
Tasting Week was created by a group of parents from Palo Alto who believe that educating children about taste is the best way to get them to love food and at the same time fight obesity. You can contribute to Tasting Week by donating here
More information on the Tasting Week website or contact

Thursday, October 4, 2012

College and Career Awareness Day

Submitted by Trinity Klein
College and Career Awareness Day: planning for and celebrating your future

On Wednesday, October 17, Gunn High School will devote the entire day to career exploration and college
admittance test preparation for freshman, sophomores and juniors. Seniors will be able to choose from a
variety of college- and career-related workshops.

About Attendance: Roll will be taken for all grade levels. Students who are absent must have a parent call in
for them if it is a legitimate absence. Students who are not participating in the PSAT for any reason, will join
the seniors in Spangenberg Theater.

12th grade
8:30am-11:00am: EXPLORE
8:30: Assemble in Spangenberg
11:00am-12:00pm Titan 101: How is Gunn going for
8:45: Keynote Speaker #1
9:20-10:20: Session 1 (all college and career panel
sessions run)
10th grade
9:00am-12:00pm: PLAN (SAC, AC & library open @ 8:30am) 10:35-11:35 Session 2 (all college and career panel
sessions run)
11th grade
11:40-12pm: Closing Assembly in Spangenberg
8:30-12:00pm: PSAT
Afternoon schedule for EVERYONE:
12:00: lunch
12:30: Homecoming games
1:30: float-building

These are the first 2 assessments of ACT’s Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS). Each
exam consists of 4 academic achievement tests: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Additionally, these
assessments contain an interest inventory and a needs assessment based on the student’s perceived
needs. The content of both tests closely mirrors the ACT and scores correlate with established college/post-
secondary readiness benchmarks.

You, your student, and your child’s guidance counselor will get a wealth of information including focused
interventions, course planning information and a breakdown of how our 9th and 10th graders are doing
overall. Very importantly, the results link to college readiness benchmarks. Results help our freshmen and
sophomores to focus on their interests and explore possible careers. These tests link students with relevant
college and scholarship information. We are excited to be able to bring these test preparation exams to Gunn!

Freshmen will have an opportunity to review their EXPLORE results with their guidance counselors in their
Titan 101 sessions in January and February. Sophomores will have an opportunity to review PLAN results in an assembly on February 20th and with their guidance counselors in their sophomore conferences.

Students and families will find this information helpful:

What is the PSAT?
The PSAT is a test preparation exam for the SAT, the college admissions test sponsored by College Board.
The test is designed for 11th graders. The test measures critical reading, math problem-solving, and writing
skill development. Results are mailed home, but there is an enhanced score report that allows students to
review questions, their answers and correct answers with explanations. This is a wonderful tool for students
to use in assessing what are their strengths going into the SAT and what areas to focus on in preparing for
the SAT. The PSAT also provides a start list of colleges as well as a career match component. The enhanced
score report will be distributed to juniors prior to an assembly on January 23 rd, during which students will hear
an explanation of how to interpret their results and use them to prepare for the SAT. The PSAT Bulletin was
distributed to juniors in their US History classes. Additional copies are available in the main office.
For more information and sample questions with answers, see their website: .

Those students who do well on the test are eligible to enter scholarship competitions sponsored by the
National Merit Scholarship Corporation

10th graders will not be allowed to take the PSAT on October 17th at Gunn.

All tests are free of charge to students.

College and Career Sessions for Seniors

College sessions include: Naviance, essay writing, UC application information, CSU application and interview skills. Career panel sessions include: The Arts, Athletics, Medicine, Entrepreneurialism, Travel and Adventure careers.

If you have any questions, please e-mail:
Assistant Principal Trinity Klein: (PSAT)
Assistant Principal Kim Cowell: (Plan/Explore)
Assistant Principal Tom Jacoubowsky: (senior workshops)

Site Council Agenda


October 8, 2012 ?  3:55pm ? Staff Lounge

CALL TO ORDER                                                                            Tina Nesberg

OPEN FORUM:  Members of the public may address the Council on non-agenda
                            Items.  (LIMIT of FIVE MINUTES per person.)


Approval of September 10, 2012 Meeting Minutes (five minutes)


Agenda Lightening Round - List of Critical Topics not on the Agenda
    (To add to end of agenda or for future agendas or follow up)
First Reading of Proposals (Matchett, Peters, Hogan, Espinoza, Omainsky)
       Presentations, Questions and Comments
Constituency Representatives’ Reports
§  Principal’s Report                                                                       Katya Villalobos
    Facililties and Guidance
    Update on Guidance Advisory Committee
§  Board of Education                                                                     Katya Villalobos    
§  PTSA                                                                                              Becky Thomas
§  Parent Report                                                                              Linda Lingg
§  SEC                                                                                               Kathleen DeCoste
§  Site Council                                                                                  Rene' Hart
                    Site Council Teachers/Staff with fewer than 90 units must pre-plan
                    2012 Meeting Calendar and Agenda (handout)
             Budget Overview/Carryover (handout)
             Roster Review (handout)
             Spring Proposals Funded (review)
             Next meeting November 5 at 3:55pm (Final funding decision)
 Round Robin - questions or concerns

Light refreshments provided by Katya Villalobos at 3:45

Parent Education: The Anxious, Worried Child

Submitted by Karen Mueller

The Anxious, Worried Child
What are typical worries for children and when should you be concerned that your child is worrying excessively? Anxiety can affect children at school and in all other parts of their day-to-day lives. Learn strategies to implement at home and in the classroom to help children reduce the burden of worrying and decrease their level of anxiety and its impact on their academic performance. Dr. John Brentar is a licensed psychologist whose areas of expertise include learning disabilities, ADHD, anxiety, depression, Asperger's Disorder, and other developmental disorders.

Wednesday, Oct 17, 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 ( All of our
events are free and open to anyone who feels they might benefit. No registration is necessary.