Thursday, November 29, 2012

Site Council December 2012

December 3, 2012 Ÿ  3:55pm Ÿ Staff Lounge

CALL TO ORDER                                                                                   Grace Park

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


Approval of November 5, 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)
Constituency Representatives’ Reports
§  Principal’s Report                                                                       Katya Villalobos
   Feedback on current calendar
             Facilities and Guidance                                                              Katya Villalobos
                  Update Facilities
                  Update on Guidance Advisory Committee  
         Effects on Gunn of Passing of Prop 30 (at 4:30)                         Yancy Hawkins
§  Board of Education                                                                     Katya Villalobos    
§  PTSA                                                                                             Becky Thomas
§  Parent Report                                                                               Linda Lingg
§  SEC                                                                                               Kathleen DeCoste
§  Site Council                                                                                  Rene' Hart
                    Revised Budget Overview/Carryover (handout)
                    Evaluation handouts
             Next meeting January 7 at 3:55pm  
              Round Robin - questions or concerns

Light refreshments provided by Linda Lingg and Becky Thomas at 3:45

Friday, November 9, 2012

Host an AFS Exchange Student/ Study Abroad with AFS

Submitted by Pam Wong

Invite Adventure – Host an AFS Exchange Student
Adventure brings personal challenges and the excitement of exploring the unknown. A really good adventure can reveal new insights into the familiar.  It’s possible to invite adventure right into your home.
AFS host families open their homes to students from all over the world. Taking in a student from another culture for a semester or academic year invites the challenge of building lifetime relationships with someone who can be your guide to a new culture.  And your own neighborhood seen through the eyes of that new son or daughter can look like an amazing and novel place.
For more information please visit

Taking a look at your world by leaving – Study abroad with AFS
The world is a big place, even if it’s easy to find a picture of a house on the other side of the planet on Google Earth. AFS sends American students to 90 countries worldwide to immerse themselves in a new culture and learn a new language. Traveling to a new place as a visitor is fun, but the journey of a high school student on an international exchange living with a local family is more than a trip to a foreign country. It’s an inner journey
Here at Gunn our student Maya recently returned from Spain.  If you’d like to consider a year or semester abroad, AFS can answer your questions at an information night/at Ask an AFSer etc.
For more information please visit

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Parent Ed event Advocating for your Child

Submitted by Karen Mueller
The IEP Process and Best Practices for Advocating for Your Child What are effective
ways to advocate for your child’s education? Patty Hurley, a child advocate, and Hilarey Davis,
a retired MVLA director of special education, will discuss how to prepare for the IEP, the
importance of collaborative parent involvement, and how to prioritize your efforts to obtain
services and accommodations for your child. They will also focus on the time surrounding
the diagnosis or the time parents first become aware of their child’s developmental/academic

Wednesday, Nov 14, 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.

P4P event

Submitted by Kathryn Latour

Thursday, October 18th we had a great P4P event and a solid biking turnout among our Gunn students
with a total of 624 bikes counted in all the bike racks. We say this is a great biking count since it is well
over 1/3 of the student body, and it exceeds the number of bikers to Paly both by absolute number
and per capita. However, normally these numbers are even higher when there are no special events
like Homecoming that made it more difficult for some students to bike. Congratulations, Titans! Special
thanks also goes to volunteers Lawrence Baker (who flew in just for this event), Steve Hubbell (illustrious
past P4P co-chair), Penny Ellson (PTA Traffic Safety Rep), and Iris Latour (former-Gunn-student-now-
college-graduate) for greeting each biker and thanking them with a Rice Krispy Treat.

On a more sober note, we have two areas of concern. Principal Villalobos related that there are still a
great many bikes left unlocked in the morning as proven by those who discovered their bikes gone at
the end of the day and reclaimed them in the office. If students forget to bring their bike lock to school,
there are extras in the office; securing a bike is the surest way to avoid bike theft. The second concern is
that there seems to be many more students biking without their helmets. The law states that all bikers
under the age of 18 must wear a helmet. This law was enacted for your protection since head injuries
from biking accidents can be severe, even fatal.

For November, look for announcements about the Palo Alto-sponsored bike survey and the November
1st Walk About where students can give input about biking concerns. Thanks, Gunn students, for doing
your part to help the environment, congestion, and traffic safety!

Kathryn Latour
P4P Chair

Safe Routes Walkabout

Submitted by Sylvia Star-Lack 
Safe Routes Walkabout
Thursday, November 1st
2:30pm in the Staff Lounge

Join us for snacks in the Staff Lounge at 2:30pm on Thursday, November 1st.  Parents and students are invited to attend an important meeting at Gunn focused on how to make the daily school commute safer for all Gunn students. The Gunn Safe Routes Walkabout will start at 2:30pm on Thursday, November 1st.  Parents and students will begin at the Staff Lounge for a tour around the school to identify problem commute areas, with a particular focus on walking and bicycling.  We will meet back in the Staff Lounge for a discussion of what we saw.   We also will
use large-scale neighborhood maps to discuss broader school route issues.  Student voices are particularly encouraged at this event.  Snacks will be provided!

Please look for announcements about a follow-up meeting to be scheduled in January.  This meeting will be open to the broader community and will include review of a draft Walk and Roll to School map showing recommended walking and bicycling routes for students traveling to and from Gunn.

The City of Palo Alto has received a grant to strengthen Palo Alto’s Safe Routes to School program and has hired a consultant specializing in non-motorized school commute solutions to lead us through the development of the Walk and Roll to School map.  These information-gathering meetings are an opportunity for our school community to provide input on suggested walking and biking routes and areas along commute routes that need attention from the city or school district.

Please mark your calendars and RSVP to Sylvia Star-Lack to attend the November 1st meeting.  The outcome of this process will only be as good as the input from the Gunn community, so if you can’t attend the meetings, be sure your feedback is heard.  Please RSVP or send your comments to Sylvia Star-Lack at<>.

Yearbook Baby Ads

Submitted by Mark Gleason


Dear Parents of Seniors,
Every year, the yearbook staff sets aside a portion of the yearbook for Senior Baby Ads. These ads allow parents of seniors to honor their child and send them a supporting message. Graduation from high
school is a noteworthy step in every child’s life that surely makes every parent proud. As a long-standing tradition at Gunn, these Senior Baby Ads help celebrate this monumental achievement.
The 2012-13 yearbook will continue to be published in full-color, follow a journalistic style, and showcase all-digital photos. As in previous years, each ad will be designed by the yearbook’s graphic staff
and will be printed in full color.

Size and Pricing
This year we are  trying something different in the name of equity for our school community. Rather
than 3 different sizes, our standard will be a half-page ad for all participants.
Half Page Ad ($100.): 5 photo maximum, 100 word maximum, 9” x 6”

As always, we have tried to determine a pricing that will be affordable to all parents. All proceeds go
toward yearbook printing and production.

Please note that the final ad is only as good as the photos submitted. If we receive a photo quality that
we think will contribute a negative overall effect to the ad, we may choose not to use it and to compensate by making the other photos larger. Also note that although we put our very best effort into making
the design for your son or daughter’s ad aesthetically pleasing, we wish to make all the ads similar in
style and matching in theme, as to give no visible preference to any one student. We know that your
child is very important; however, under our current restraints we may not be able to make his or her
ad match your exact expectations. Please be understanding of our situation, and we hope you enjoy this
coming year’s Senior Baby Ads.

Ordering Information
In order to scan pictures and design pages for a class of some 400 students, we must have orders in
by Friday, October 5, 2013. Places in the yearbook are on a first-come, first-served basis. Any orders
after the deadline will have a 25 dollar late-fee added. Ordering is simple; just complete the order form
on the reverse, and deliver to Mark Gleason at Gunn. We would greatly appreciate it if we could get
orders as soon as possible.
Thank you so much for your cooperation. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at or contact a yearbook staff member.
Nitika Johri                                   Mark Gleason
Editor-In-Chief                              Olympian Advisor

2013 Senior Baby Ad Order Form
1. Contact Information
Name of Parent
Name of Student
Telephone No. (     )                               email address
2. Photo Submission
Number of photos
Format (digital or hard copy)
You may send in digital/scanned photos to (hi-res only!)
•Arrange all your photos into an envelope and mail it along with your order form.
•Label all your photos with your son/daughter’s full name on the back of each picture.
•Allow ink to dry before stacking photos so as not to damage them.
•Indicate which photo you want to be dominant, or largest, in the layout (if you have a
•Include a stamped self-addressed envelope if you want the photos returned to you.
3. Text Submission
•Please email your letter or text to the yearbook at
•In the subject of the email, type “(Your Son/Daughter’s Full Name) Baby Ad.
•In the body of the email, type your letter to your child.
•Please make sure that you send your edited letter through email, as we will not
edit any of the text.  Also, please take into consideration that we will be formatting
the text to fit our Senior Baby Ads designs.  Therefore please keep your letter in
paragraph form.
4. Check and Payment
We would prefer a check payment for $100. made out to “Gunn High School Yearbook”.  If you are submitting this after Oct.5, please include the $25 late fee in the
Please mail to: c/o Mark Gleason                                    
                         Re: Gunn Senior Baby Ad
                         780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA  94402
Or place in Mr. Gleason’s box
in the main office.
Again, please mail out all of these items by Friday, October 5th.
Please be considerate of this deadline, because designing all of the individual Senior Ads
is time consuming, and we wish to make them as pleasing as possible.
The Olympian Staff

Site Council Agenda

Submitted by Rene Hart

November 5, 2012 Ÿ  3:55pm Ÿ 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 October 8, 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)
2012-13 Yearbook Guidelines                                                                 Mark Gleason
Final Decision of Proposals #7-11
Constituency Representatives’ Reports
§  Principal’s Report                                                                       Katya Villalobos
   Preliminary draft of WASC/SPSA Plan
   Homework Policy-Admin Regulations
             Facilities and Guidance                                                               Katya Villalobos
                  Update Facilities
                  Update on Guidance Advisory Committee  
§  Board of Education                                                                     Katya Villalobos    
§  PTSA                                                                                              Becky Thomas
§  Parent Report                                                                              Linda Lingg
§  SEC                                                                                               Kathleen DeCoste
§  Site Council                                                                                  Rene' Hart
                    Revised Budget Overview/Carryover (handout)
                    Evaluation sign ups (sign up at end of meeting with Rene)
             Next meeting December 3 at 3:55pm  
             Suggestions for other guest presentations/speakers    
 Round Robin - questions or concerns
Light refreshments provided by Geoff Butner and Somina Lee at 3:45

Project Cornerstone's 41 Developmental Assets

Submitted by Karen Saxena

41 Developmental Assets.

Come join us for coffee and breakfast at Fairmeadow for an
understanding of PROJECT CORNERSTONE'S 41 Developmental Assets.

VENUE: MP room at Fairmeadow (500 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto)
DATE and TIME: Nov 8th from 8.30 to 10.30am
FOR MORE INFO: Hemla Makan-Dullabh or Nirmala Patni

This event will focus on how parents can build more developmental
assets for their children, including questions such as:

What did the survey reveal about how Palo Alto kids perceive the support they
receive from their community?
How can we as parents start to affect these Developmental Assets for our
children in elementary school?

In 2010 Palo Alto Unified School District and Project Cornerstone surveyed over
4,000 students. The survey measured developmental assets, which are the
positive values, skills, relationships and experiences that help young
people grow up to be healthy, caring and responsible adults

Did you know that only 32% of elementary school students believe that they are
of service to others? This is a MEGA asset and influences the development of 31
other assets.

56% of Palo Alto middle and high school students have enough assets to provide
a great foundation for success in life. Unfortunately, 44% of this same age group
don’t have enough assets to build a solid foundation.

Only 32% of high school students believe that they have positive family
communication but 64% of elementary students reported having this. Why is it
that high school students’ feel as though they cannot communicate to their parents

Come join us on Nov 8th at Fairmeadow to learn more!

This event is hosted by Project Cornerstone, which is a project of the YMCA. Please visit their
website, to learn more.

Gunn Sports Update

Submitted by Miriam Rotman 
Gunn sports update
Girls Tennis – Gunn Girl’s tennis team played very well and beat Homestead 4-2 in the El Camino Division SCVAL Playoff for CCS automatic qualifier and the right to move up to the De Anza Division next year.
Congratulations to Alice Li, SCVAL Singles Champion. Shout out also to Antoinette Nguyen/Anjali Hereka, SCVAL Doubles 3rd Place winners and Deviany Bhadkamar/Ebba Nord, SVCAL 4th Place winners.  
Girls golf – Gunn sophomore Anna Zhou finished in first place at the girls' Central Coast Section Golf Championships held this Tuesday in Carmel Valley. Zhou fired a 4-under-par 68 including a stretch of two birdies and an eagle in her final seven holes. The 68 was Zhou's best 18-hole score. Her previous best was 69. Zhou shot 70 to finish tied for second at the 2011 CCS finals. In the first year of competing, the Titans finished second overall in the team race behind Valley Christian qualifying for next week's NorCal Championships held in Stockton.
Gunn junior Jayshree Sarathy shot 74 and freshman teammate Tiffany Yang added a 79. Lianna McFarlane-Connelly shot 89 and Somina Lee carded a season-best 93 to round out the Titans' historic effort. Gunn was the only public school to finish among the top five teams.
"Our team score of 403 was good enough to win the CCS team competition in any other year (but this one)," said Gunn coach Chris Redfield."
Girls Volleyball - The Gunn girls' volleyball team tuned up for its final regular-season match by downing host Monta Vista, 26-24, 20-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-11, in SCVAL De Anza Division action Tuesday night. The Titans (4-9, 16-15) were led by Lena Latour's 15 kills. Gunn hosted rival Palo Alto on Thursday.
Cross country – at the SCVAL El Camino championships Gunn boys placed 5th. Leading the charge - Dillon Hu 17:29; 26 Thomas Rasmussen 17:30; 27, Antonio Puglisi 17:30; 36, Ian Malone 17:42
Football - Gunn win against Cupertino sets up SCVAL showdown.
Homecoming is always one of the big highlights at Gunn High School and on Friday evening the Gunn Football team put on a spectacular show as they dominated Los Altos 42-0 in front of a packed home crowd. Led by Sean Lydster’s three touchdown runs and Andre Guzman two touchdown passes to Tyrus Whitehead, the Titans scored early and often (like voting) as they improved to 3-0 in El Camino Division play and 5-2 overall. “We played good football,” said Gunn Head Coach Dan Navarro. “Our offensive line blocked well and we ran very well tonight.” Throughout the night the Titans got strong line play from Aryeh Furman and solid defense from Forrest Larson and Dietrich Sweat.
The Gunn Titans followed that great performance with a defining win against Cupertino last Friday. The game was close at half time (14-6) but Sean Lydster rushed for 3 touchdowns and Marcus Moreno-Ramos also scored on a 2-yard rush in the 3rd quarter to break the game wide open. This Friday Gunn will play Monta Vista and the winner will be the frontrunner to represent the El Camino division at the CCS playoffs. Go Gunn!

ACS-Teens and Boundaries

Submitted by Roni Gillenson
Teens & Boundaries by Katie Luce, LMFT Site Director at Redwood High School

Family rules and boundaries can provide a sense of stability to teenagers who are struggling to decipherrelationships, roles, and even their own personalities. Although they may protest loudly against structure and boundaries, when they have a hand in what is being asked of them, and when those boundaries are firm but fair, teenagers will feel empowered.

Setting boundaries with teenagers is difficult, but it is critical if teens are to learn that their behavior has
consequences. Some of the challenges of enforcing rules can be eliminated by engaging children in the process of setting the rules and assigning consequences before the rules are broken.

When parents include teenagers in establishing clear rules about appropriate behavior and consequences, the
arguments over rules and possible consequences are lessened. Teens can no longer claim that consequences or expectations are unfair, and parents can take on the role of calmly enforcing the communicated consequences instead of having to impress upon the child the seriousness of the problem and scramble to find an appropriate consequence. The temptation to react emotionally when children break rules is alleviated because it is no longer perceived as an assault on parental authority, since it was decided upon by the family (teen AND parents), not solely on the authority of the parents, that the rules were established. Helping to set the rules and communicate boundaries and consequences clearly may not keep teenagers from breaking them, but it can help parents to avoid power struggles.

Positive or negative consequences given to your teen prove to be more effective if you follow some basic

•Consequences must be important to your teen, or there will be little effect on behavior.

•Consequences must be delivered immediately to make a clear connection and understanding between the
behavior and the consequence.

•Consequences must be appropriate and based on the behavior. Do not burden your teen with excessive
negative consequences for the small stuff. Neither should you ignore or under-reward your child for
making the best choices.

•Consequences must be consistent. Make sure your teen understands that "if you do this, then this

•Consequences must be manageable. If they are too difficult or punishing on you, you may not follow
through. At the same time, we all realize that parenting is sometimes tough, and being inconvenienced
now rather than taking the easy way out will make your job much easier in the long run.

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 (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!