Thursday, March 26, 2015

Not In Our Schools Week - Gunn Presents The Mask You Live In

The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, the protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.
Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media also weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it. The Mask You Live In ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.
Join us for this screening April 16th at 6PM, which will be followed by a moderated discussion by Dr. Jerrold Shapiro.  This film is not rated and contains sensitive topics; we recommend the attendance to be upperclassmen and adults only. (View the trailer here)
Admission is free, though we encourage attendees to bring a donation of canned food that will benefit a local food bank. Reserve your tickets on eventbrite.

Special Needs that May Come with Adoption

How pre-adoption issues (e.g., post traumatic stress, attachment disorders) may impact a child, what special issues a child who has been adopted may face in a school setting and how to best handle these, and what special issues these children face in adolescence and beyond.
Our speakers will be Nancy Ng, a nationally known family counselor and parent of 12 children, nine who were adopted and have various emotional and physical disabilities and Dr. Judy Rothenberg, a psychologist experienced in the schools as well as private practice, who is also an adoptive parent. 
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Hospitality 6:45pm
Meeting – 7 to 9 pm
Covington School Multipurpose Room
205 Covington Road, Los Altos  94024

This parent education event is sponsored by the SELPA 1 CAC ( an all-volunteer group of parents of children with special needs.  Our service area includes all public school districts in Los Altos, Mountain View, and Palo Alto.  All of our events are free and open to anyone who feels they might benefit.  No registration is necessary.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Winter Sports Update

The winter sports season is officially over, and here is a recap of the incredible year our teams had:
Boys Basketball: The team started the year off strong, with a preseason championship in the Prospect tournament. The momentum carried into the regular season as the Titans finished 11-1 in league play. Led by by league MVP Alex Gil and all-league first team selection Chris Russell, the team finished the regular season with a record of 18-3, clinching Gunn’s first CCS playoff berth in years. The boys won their first two games in the playoff, with big contributions from the Lee-Heidenreich brothers. Senior David Lee-Heidenreich returned from an injury-plagued season to win a first team all-league selection, and sophomore brother Jeffrey started his Gunn career strong, earning a second team all-league selection. The boys eventually fell in the CCS quarterfinals to number one seed Bellarmine. The Titans finished the season 20-4, and look to come back even stronger next year, with many returning players including junior guard Jonathan Davis, also an all-league second team selection.
Girls Basketball: The girls team had an up and down season, but finished the year with a 7-12 record, and 4-8 in league. The season marks the end of amazing careers for seniors Paige Ogawa, Meghan Mahoney and Olivia Tapia, all 4-year varsity basketball players. However, the future for the girls looks bright as the team has many young players returning.
Boys Soccer: The Titans, led by senior Sean MacPherson, had an amazing season. They finished the regular season with a record of 14-4-2, also clinching a CCS berth for the first time in years. They advanced to the semifinals, but lost a close one to Leland High School on penalty kicks. The team ended with a 15-5-2 record.
Girls Soccer: The team had a great year, with a record of 11-7-1, and yet another CCS berth for the Titans. The team suffered a tough defeat to Santa Teresa, losing 3-0 in their first CCS game. Senior Natalie Perreault led the team, earning league outstanding senior and first team all-league awards. Freshman Natalie Hill and sophomore Ingur Smuts also played well for the Titans.

Wrestling: As a whole, the team went through a rebuilding year, but the season was highlighted by historic individual success. Senior Ian Cramer was fantastic, with a record of 35-4 with 26 victories coming with pins. Both the wins and pins are Gunn records. He went on to win the 138-pound division at CCS, just the fifth Gunn male to win a CCS title. Cramer then finished 8th at the state meet, becoming Gunn’s first CCS champion to win a medal at state in 42 years. The team also had good representation at CCS, with 8 qualifiers. Kirill Demyanenko was the Titans’ second best finisher, placing 9th in the 285-pound division.

"Just for Moms of Teens & Pre-teens: 9-week Holistic Wellness Program" 

Sponsored by Gunn's PTSA
We all share a vital need for social connection yet so often moms' needs get neglected. To support our teens' wellbeing, moms must also be supported and nurtured. This holistic wellness program weaves together community building, gentle yoga, mindfulness, and authentic sharing about the realities of raising teens who are anxious, depressed and under a great deal of pressure to succeed. As the founder of MBSM, Jaclyn Long is a counselor specializing in supporting teens and their parents in these complicated times. To register please visit Pre-registration is required.
Date:  Wednesday evenings, 6-8pm ~ March 18  thru May 20, 2015 (no class April 8th)
Cost: $270 for 9 weeks
Location:  Room K2 at Gunn HS. Room K2 is on the West end of campus, facing Foothill Expressway. Please use the parking lot past the drop-off area off of the intersection of Arastradero & Miranda.  K2 is the corner classroom behind the garden area/planter boxes.

(NOTE:  Miranda Avenue is the tiny street that runs parallel to & immediately BEFORE Foothill Expressway coming from Terman). 

Does Your Teen Have Trouble Sleeping?

The Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University is currently conducting a study to help teens go to bed earlier and wake up earlier.  The treatment involves use of a light device that is placed by the child’s bedside and flashes periodically throughout the night.
Who can participate?
Teenagers ages 14-18 who:
  • Are enrolled full-time in 9th-12th grades
  • Have difficulty falling asleep and waking up in the morning
  • Are not currently taking any medications for sleep
  • Desire to go to bed at an earlier time
  • Don’t sleep only in the prone (face-down) position

What is required?
  • Two study visits
  • Completing a sleep diary daily for one month
  • Weekly brief telephone calls to check in

Whom do I contact?
Dr. Kate Kaplan, Psychology Fellow
Meital Mashash, Study Coordinator
(650) 725-7767

For general information about participants rights, contact 1-866-680-2906.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

WASC Happening!  

After more than a year of data gathering, processing and numerous brainstorming sessions with student, staff, parent and district stakeholders, the Gunn High School accreditation visit is approaching, March 22-25th. 
Seven education leaders from throughout California will descend upon our campus, dialogue with students staff and parents, enjoy a delicious lunch made by Gunn students in our culinary program, sit-in on classes and learn what makes Gunn special.
Invitation to Students to Meet with the Visiting Committee
Any Gunn student wishing to speak individually with the Visiting Committee is invited to drop by the team's workroom in the Gunn Library study rooms during the visit. Students may also leave any comments or thoughts anonymously via the WASC Input box located in the SAC. This box will be delivered to the WASC Visiting Committee members when they arrive. The WASC committee is planning to meet with a random group of 50 students identified by the committee during their visit.  If you're interested in being a part of this ad hoc student meeting to be held in the staff lounge on Tuesday, 3/24 during lunch, please drop by the library study rooms and ask the committee for a ticket.
The committee will meet with ASB on Monday during B period.
Invitation to Parents to Meet with the Visiting Committee
All interested parents are invited to meet with our committee about the experience of a Gunn parent. The date is Sunday, March 22nd from 5:00-6:30 in Gunn Library.Please RSVP by using this form:
More Information
Please enjoy these "WASC Happening" video shorts produced by Mr. Corpuz's students. 
Episode #1- What is WASC?
Episode #2- How did we get involved in WASC?
Episode #3- Our New School Goals

Questions?  Please contact Meg Omainsky, WASC Coordinator,

Stress management for beginners - and the rest of us! 

By Charlotte Villemoes, LMFT Site Director, Woodside High School
Every day, all of us experience some sort of stress. Most of the teens I meet in my private and professional life will at some point talk about how stressed they are; they talk about feeling overwhelmed by school demands, worried about their family, concerned about their friendships, their failures, and their future. Not surprisingly, I hear very similar stories from adults. Life brings a lot of stress in various shapes and forms and if we don't learn to manage it in healthy ways it can take a serious toll on us. 
The mind and body are closely connected and as a result many people - teens and adults alike - will experience a combination of mental, emotional, and physical symptoms when they are stressed. Some of the more common symptoms include feeling irritable or angry, nervous or anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, or tired. Stress can make it hard to concentrate and difficult to sleep. Colds, flu, high blood pressure, infections, migraines, aches, pains, and skin problems are also linked to stress.
Research shows that we develop our stress related behaviors when we are adolescents. That means it is not too late for your teen to learn to cope in healthy ways instead of going down the more typical path of not getting enough sleep and exercise, while getting too much junk food, drugs or alcohol. Below is a list of some of the techniques that have proven to decrease stress. Since everybody has their own unique ways of reaching a relaxed state, please encourage your teen to explore various options - and consider being a wonderful role model by trying some of them yourself. 
Move your body. Physical activity is one of the most effective ways of decreasing stress because it helps release all the tension that stress will produce. Find activities you truly enjoy and build them into your weekly routine. Anything like dancing, hiking, biking, skateboarding, or walking your dog will do. The best types of physical activities are those that have a social component, like team sports or simply shooting hoops with a friend. You are more likely to have fun — and keep at it — if you are being physically active with friends. 
Decrease stress at its source. Stop for a moment to think about what is the main source of stress in your life. If relationships are causing you stress, work on setting boundaries or be more assertive. If the main source of stress is too many demands on your time, make clear priorities and give yourself permission to cut back.
Strike a balance. Avoid the trap of over-scheduling by prioritizing tasks and remembering to put free time into your schedule. When you plan your week, schedule time to get work done, but also time to have some fun. When it is time to enjoy yourself, try telling yourself not to worry about school or work. Simply focus on enjoying the moment. 
Stop procrastinating. Procrastination can add to your stress - when things are put off, you are always working under pressure, which is very stressful in itself. Managing your time effectively can significantly decrease stress. Try making a schedule and stick to it. Plan to treat yourself after completing a task. Rewards can be simple, like taking a small break, eating a healthy snack, texting a friend, or listening to your favorite song. 
Get enough sleep. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Even a few hours of missed sleep affects your mood, memory and concentration significantly. To maximize your chance of getting 
solid sleep, cut back on screen time in the late evening hours. Don’t drink caffeine late in the day and try not to do stimulating activities too close to bedtime. 
Have some fun. Laughter is a great cure for stress. Besides physical activities, find other hobbies or activities that you enjoy. That might be listening to music, going to the movies, journaling or drawing. Hobbies and creative outlets can be excellent stress relievers. Make a point to keep doing these things even when you are stressed and busy. 
Let yourself shine. Spend some time thinking about the things you are good at, and find ways to do more of those things. If you are a math ace, you might tutor a younger neighbor who is having trouble with the subject. If you are a spiritual person, you might volunteer at your church. Focusing on your strengths - and on other people - will also help you keep your own problems in perspective. 
Use relaxation techniques. There are many effective techniques to calm your mind and relax your body but just like any other skill it takes practice before you know what works best for you and before it works fully. You can try techniques like deep belly breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, and guided meditation. Many free sites online can guide you through this, like Keep trying until you find something that works for you. 
Reach out for help. If you or your teen’s stress level becomes unmanageable, it is time to reach out for help and talk it through with somebody else. Life changing events, good or bad, happen to all of us. We cannot control that. But we can learn to control how we respond to stress in healthy ways and counselors can help you or your teen do just that.

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 or call Pamela Garfield, LCSW 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!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Auditions for next season are now open.  Click here for more information.
March 7, 7:30PM
Cubberley Theatre
May 15, 7:30PM
Covenant Presbyterian

May 16, 7:30PM
Cubberley Theatre
May 29, 7:30PM
Cubberley Theatre
May 30, 7:30PM
Cubberley Theatre
May 31, 3:00PM
Cubberley Theatre
For a complete list of performances, please visit our website.
Join Our Mailing List

Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra
Michel Taddei, conductor

Saturday, March 7th - 7:30PM
Cubberley Theatre
admission free

PACO favorite Michel Taddei returns to the podium in a wide ranging program of brilliant string orchestra music, including Britten's sensuous song cycle Les Illuminations featuring soprano Maria Valdes, a San Francisco Opera Center Adler Fellow.  Czech master Antonin Dvorak's son-in-law, Josef Suk, was a talented composer as well; his sumptuous 
Serenade for Strings is a charming and virtuosic masterpiece. 

The performance will also feature members of PACO performing movements from the chamber music repertoire, including Mendelssohn's effervescent Viola Quintet, Op. 87, and the celebrated Bb-major Sextet of Johannes Brahms.

Auditions for the 2015-16 season are now open!  PACO is the Bay Area's premiere training ground for young string players.  We're seeking qualified musicians from elementary age to high school.  Please click here for more information and to sign-up.  Application materials are due March 23rd.