Thursday, February 27, 2014


March 3, 2014 - 3:55pm - Staff Lounge
  • Grace Park

  • Members of the public may address the Council on non-agenda items.  (LIMIT of FIVE MINUTES per person.)

  • Approval of February 3, 2014 Meeting Minutes (five minutes)
  • Update on Action Items

Evaluation Presentations   
  • #2 Using Webassign to Increase Engagement and Academic Honesty When Completing Homework Assignments in AP Chem and APES - J.Paley/E. Zizmor

Guidance Update - Tom Jacoubowsky
Constituency Representatives’ Reports
Principal’s Report - Katya Villalobos
  • Accolades
  • WASC and SPSA Update
  • Facilities Update

Call for Principal’s Cup Committee - Katya Villalobos (1 staff, 1parent, 1 student)
Board of Education - Katya Villalobos
PTSA - Becky Thomas
Parent Report - Becky Thomas    
SEC - Somin Kim
Site Council - Rene' Hart
  • Parent Elections underway (Becky and Geoff terms end this year)
  • Call for Proposals 2014-15 this month
  • Next month Proposals1st Reading
  • Call for 2014-16 Faculty/Staff Reps this month (Judy and Meg eligible for re-election.  Rachel ends her two terms of service.  Josh cannot complete term.)
  • One other unfilled spot-faculty.

Next meeting April 7 at 3:55pm  (Judy and Meg will bring refreshments) 
Round Robin

Light Refreshments provided by Rachel Congress and Kathleen DeCoste

Student Health and Wellness

Are you interested in collaborating with a dedicated group of individuals from our schools and community to assure the physical and emotional health of our students? If so, we welcome you to attend a Palo Alto Unified School District Health Council meeting.  The Health Council is comprised of school and community advocates engaged in a common focus of promoting learners who are emotionally and physically healthy. To learn more about the Health Council please visit

For questions, please contact Brenda Carrillo, Student Services Coordinator at or (650) 329-3769.  
Given the Health Council’s focus on promoting health, please enjoy the following article, which the nursing staff has written for parents and staff:
Allergies and Anaphylaxis Awareness
What are Allergies?
Allergies occur when the immune system produces antibodies against substances in the environment called allergens that are usually harmless. Once an allergy has developed, exposure to the particular allergen can result in symptoms that vary from mild to life threatening.
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a severe, rapidly progressive allergic reaction that is potentially life threatening. Although allergic reactions in children are common, severe life-threatening reactions are uncommon and deaths are rare.
What are the Main Causes?
Food allergies are the most common triggers for an anaphylactic reaction, but there are other triggers as well.  
Common Food Triggers:  Peanuts, Tree nuts, Eggs, Cow’s Milk, Wheat, Soybean, Fish and Shellfish
Other Triggers:  Insect stings, particularly bee stings, Medications, Latex
Signs and Symptoms of Allergic Reaction:
Severe Allergic Reaction (Anaphylaxis)
  • LUNG: Short of breath, wheezing, repetitive cough
  • HEART: Pale, blue, faint, weak pulse, dizzy
  • THROAT: Tight, hoarse, trouble breathing/swallowing
  • MOUTH: Significant swelling of the tongue and/or lips
  • SKIN:   Many hives over body, widespread redness
  • GUT:   Repetitive vomiting or severe diarrhea
  • COMBO:   Combination of mild or severe symptoms from different body areas
Mild to Moderate Allergic Reaction:
  • NOSE: Itchy/runny, sneezing
  • MOUTH: Itchy mouth
  • SKIN:   A few hives, mild itch
  • GUT:   Mild nausea/discomfort

How is Anaphylaxis Treated?
Adrenaline given as an injection into the muscle of the outer mid-thigh is the most effective first aid treatment. Children at risk are advised by their doctor to carry adrenaline in an auto-injector like the EpiPen, for administration in an emergency. Parents should provide schools with 2 EpiPens and a doctor signed Allergy Action Plan, which are kept in an accessible, unlocked location. If a student is treated with EpiPen for anaphylaxis, an ambulance must be called to take the student to a hospital immediately. If mild symptoms occur, a student can be treated with antihistamines, if ordered by their doctor.  Such a student must be watched closely for any changes and if symptoms worsen, adrenaline (EpiPen) may need to be administered.  
How can Anaphylaxis be prevented at School? 
Knowledge of those students at risk, awareness of triggers (allergens) and prevention of exposure to triggers can help prevent anaphylaxis at school. The most important aspect of care is to avoid any known triggers.  Schools can work with parents and students to ensure that certain foods or items are kept away from the student to prevent exposure to known triggers.  Solutions such as “nut free” lunch tables should be considered. 
  1. School staff must be informed of the diagnosis and its cause
  2. Parents must provide a copy of the Allergy Action Plan signed by the doctor
  3. Parents must provide 2 EpiPens – check expiration date
  4. Parents must provide Antihistamine medications, if prescribed

Our nursing staff will work with parents and teachers to provide for the safety of our students.  Please visit the PAUSD Health and Wellness page for forms and more information:

For questions, please contact District Nurse Linda Lenoir, R.N. MSN, at or (650) 329-3766

Upcoming PACO Events

A Private Film Screening
Friday, February 28th - 6PM
The Albert & Janet Schultz Cultural Arts Hall & Freidenrich Conference Center
The Jewish Community Center
3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto

It started as a small project. A short film directed by Emmy-award winning storyteller Ty Kim. To convey what we do and what makes PACO special. The short film was funded through a successful campaign on and the generosity of past, present and future PACO supporters. You can watch the short film here.
It grew into a feature length documentary. Virtuoso cellist Matt Haimovitz returns to his musical roots-touring Italy with PACO as students and teachers alike reconnect with the very meaning of music: cooperation, teamwork and how to play well with others. The film crew from Los Angeles follows Matt Haimovitz and this critically-acclaimed chamber orchestra led by music director and conductor, Benjamin Simon, as they visit the birthplace of modern classical music and instrument making.
And, you're invited to see the documentary film, "Playing Well With Others" which is in circulation among some of the major US film festivals. Please join us! Tickets are going fast. Tickets are available through the PACO office ( The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for those under 18. 
The event will be emceed by Maestro Ben Simon, All five of PACO's orchestras will perform! A screening of the film! A raffle! And, the fun and joy in music that PACO is known for! See you there!
Auditions for the 2014-15 season are now open.  Interested in joining PACO?  Click here to learn more.
Debut Ensemble - March 2nd, 3PM - Cubberley Theatre
PACO - March 8th, 7:30PM - Cubberley Theatre
For a complete list of performances, please visit our website.

(650) 856-3848

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Call for Site Council Parent Reps

2014-2016 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:
WHO CAN SERVE: Any Gunn parent who wants to work on policy development and financial decision-making in a cooperative setting with 5 faculty, 2 other personel, 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 $23,000 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 The College Pathways Project in Guidance to Creating Instructional Videos for Students and The Common Ground and Slow Food Project in World Language, to updating classroom technology to Expanding the Reading Collection in the Library. 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 monthly meeting on Monday afternoons at 3:55 and 1 meeting in November at 7:00 pm 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 and return to the Site Council office NO LATER THAN MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24. The slate of candidates will be published and 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 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

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)


Adolescent Counseling Services:  Is your Kid Too Mature? 

by Rom Brafman PhD., Site Director at La Entrada Middle School & Ali Rodriguez, MFT Trainee 
With so many demands placed on kids these days, school gets more and more competitive every year. Parents feel compelled to help out their kids by getting them prepared for the years of education that lie ahead. But in the process something gets lost. Kids lose themselves in the world of high achievement and scholastic aptitude.
What about in addition to teaching your kids how to be successful academically, also teach them how to have fun and be silly? What would it mean if we encouraged kids to act their age? It seems like the biggest compliment a parent gets is when they are told that their teen behaves beyond their years, is mature, and is very focused. This is indeed a compliment, but what if your teen's teacher also remarked on your child's ability to have fun, be spontaneous, and hold on to that innocent spark that defines childhood?
Here are some things you can do with your kid to help them act their age:
  1. If you catch them being silly or immature, even if they're extremely annoying, let them know that you're happy that they don't take themselves too seriously. Remember that what's annoying to you is an essential aspect of being a healthy teenager to them. 
  2. Model behavior for them. Play with your kids. Start a spontaneous water balloon fight. Chase them around for no reason. Use humor generously.
  3. Remind them that you're proud of them regardless of their achievement. Tell them that they're great.
  4. Help them manage their time. If they're studying too much, help them set boundaries and have fun times together. 
  5. Support your kids in pursuing whatever their heart desires, even if it won't help them get into college. 

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 Pamela Garfield, 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!

Special Education Parent Night at Gunn High School

Come and learn about the Special Education Program at Gunn and have your questions answered.
Tuesday, March 11th
6:00 to 7:30pm
Library at Gunn High School

Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra 

Sinfonia Concert - Sunday, February 16 - 3 pm
Cubberley Theatre @ Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto
Free Admission
Michel Taddei, conductor

Works by Mozart, Beethoven, Corelli, Schulhoff, and Mendelssohn.

Everything ADHD

Does your ADHD child drive you to distraction? Come hear Martin Cortez discuss strategies for raising an accomplished and happy child with ADHD. He will discuss some of the difficulties children with ADHD face and evidence based strategies that help children through the end of high school. Proposed topics include: sleep apnea can look like ADHD, meds, supplements, school interface (IEP or 504), managing homework, effective discipline (behavior mod, teaching that sticks), effective reminders to do or complete things, the importance of teaching teaching resiliency (the 5 parts), and the importance of exercise.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Hospitality begins at 6:45pm
Meeting is 7 to 9 pm
Covington Elementary School Library, 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.

Youth Startup

Youth Startup is an organization dedicated to fostering teen internship and learning through entrepreneurship.   SAT/ACT Prep (AM) and/or Teen Startup (PM) Classes are week-long and are held at Gunn during Spring break 3/31-4/4 and summer 6/9-13 (M-F, AM, PM or both). 
Contact us to learn more about classes, internships, contests, as well as school fundraiser opportunities.,  408-256-0050
Program Overview
SAT/ACT Prep: Learn both SAT and ACT strategies in an effective format using real test practice questions. 
Teen Startup: Business & Leadership -  Develop a pitch into a business plan. Execute the project, learn leadership, enhance your college application, explore career options and more. Enter Young Visionary contest to win $1000 offered at participating incubators.
Youth Startup day Camps are affordable ($249/week for 1 session $399/week for both). Youth Startup also enables school fundraising by donating a large percentage of the class fee to the school PTA, boosters, student’s entrepreneurial clubs as well as children’s charities (2014: MAP & Child Foundation). We have and are building partnerships with business and investor community to reward students’ innovation, plans and execution through Young Visionary Contest program.
Young Visionary Contest:  Awards for Best Business Idea & Best Business Presentation given for grades 9-12.  Winning entries are selected by team of advisers including Stanford professors, business leaders and educators.   Award ceremony is held at Bay Area incubator partners.  Registration is not required for contest participation!