Measure A News

10644193_10152744350817075_4065332047362819470_oParcel Tax: Phone Bank Volunteers Needed Immediately              (The next Paly phone bank date is Thursday, April 23 at 6:00pm at Keller Williams offices – 505 Hamilton Ave., but volunteer any evenings)

 RSVP/Volunteer here:                                            About Measure A:                                 Endorse Measure A here:

What’s At Stake: In 2004, PAUSD’s parcel tax renewal measure was defeated by less than 1% of the vote. Continue reading Measure A News

Youth Speaks Out, Building Mental Health, and Teen Forum Events

Three events families may be interested in attending in the next couple weeks ar”e Youth Speaks Out 2015″, “Building Mental Health within the Asian-American Community”,  and “In This Together”.

Youth Speaks Out: “A Call to Art”  is an art exhibit by Palo Alto and Gunn High Schools with painting, music, photography, sculpture, poetry, and creative writing that share heartfelt life experiences of our students.

The grand opening and reception: Friday, March 20 from 5-8pm — Palo Alto Art Center. On exhibit through April 14.

Screenshot 2015-03-20 14.20.34


Building Mental Health Support Within The Asian-American Community:  Panel & question and answer session
Sponsored by the PAUSD & Community Partnering Organizations
Monday, March 23  7:00 -9:00 p.m. — Haymarket Theater, Palo Alto High School – 50 Embarcardero Road

Please join us for an important community event, supporting Asian-American families, although all are welcome. The panel will include members of the Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Sciences, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), Palo Alto University, other affiliated agencies, and the local community to answer questions about student mental health, cultural issues, improving family communication, and supporting our families in time of crisis.

What are the stresses faced by Asian-American families in our area?  How can we increase communication within and among our families?  A panel of mental health professionals and parents will reflect with participants about these issues and share some strategies that can help. The event will be in English and translated into Mandarin through an interpreter.


In This Together: A place to share, support, and heal is a teen forum where youth will have the opportunity to participate in a series of teen discussion circles led by teen-selected adult facilitators and will address topics that teens have identified as critical to their well-being. During these discussions, adults are invited to join an adult support workshop.

Friday, March 27 5:30 -9:00pm  — Mitchell Park Community Center El Palo Alto Room

Teen Forum

Upcoming Events Sponsored by Paly PTSA

 Sweets on the Quad

Monday, March 16, 12:05-12:45

Parents, come show support for our students and staff with treats during lunch. We are collecting hand-held treats for dessert on Monday – including fruit and gluten free options (no nuts, please). This will give parents a chance to connect with students and staff, give them treats, and pass on some kindness and caring to begin the final quarter of the year. Thank you to Mego Tracy and Jonake Bose for organizing!

Sign up to bring treats.

Parent Coffee and Conversation

Monday, March 16 at 6:30pm, MAC Atrium

We welcome you to Paly and hope you can join us for this informal gathering.  Dr. Max McGee will also be available to talk with parents, provide information and answer questions.  We have invited mental health professionals, grief counselors and Paly staff to be on-hand for additional support and/or provide referral information, if needed.

If you would like to help provide coffee and light snacks, please contact: Linda van Gelder –

PTSA Executive Board Slate for 2015-2016

The 2015-2016 Paly PTSA Executive Board Proposed Slate                       Approved at General Meeting on Thursday, March 26, 2015

President – Linda van Gelder

Executive Vice-President – Jill Gold

1st VP Programs/Parent Ed. – Dawn Billman

1st Co-VP Programs/Parent Ed. – Lori Buecheler

2nd VP Fundraising – Victoria Liu

2nd co-VP Fundraising – Stacy Mason

3rd VP Hospitality – Cindy Roberts

4th VP Community Service – Chitra Sharma

4th co-VP Community Service – Olenka Villareal

5th VP Communications – Calisa Cole-Gouyet

5th co-VP Communications – Neinke Ruinard

6th VP Health & Welfare – Vianne Newell

6th co-VP Health & Welfare – Cari Anderson

7th VP Outreach & Diversity – Carmen Munoz

7th co-VP Outreach & Diversity – Mudita Jain

8th VP Legislative Advocacy – Mei Chiao

Recording secretary – Rebecca Passarello

Corresponding Secretary – Pat Markevitch

Treasurer – Judy Huang

Financial Secretary – Carol Mullin

Historian – Kimberly Lin

Parliamentarian (Appointed) – Christine Chang


A huge thank you to the Nominating committee for doing a great job:

Rebecca Fox (chair)
Jane Smith
Kimberly Lin
Olenka Villareal
Dawn Billman
Chitra Sharma (alternate)
Lin Sun-Hoffman (alternate)


The WASC Report: A Little Light Reading

For the past 18 months, a group of teachers, administrators, students, and parents have been working together to learn all about Palo Alto High School as a part of the WASC self-study process.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), a 501(c)(3) organization, is recognized as one of six regional associations that accredit public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the United States.

The self-study process gives the school a chance to learn more about the progress the school community has made since the previous WASC cycle and, after a close look at where we are today, determine our goals for the next few years. This involves a large amount of data, discussion, and hard work. As a parent, I have to say, we probably had the easiest jobs (except for the data crunchers who helped the staff data specialists, Susan Bailey and Karen French Neuman). Emily Garrison has led the process with a smile as our WASC Self-Study Coordinator, getting teachers and administrators through all the work they needed to do. As a result, the “Palo Alto High School WASC Self-Study 2014-2015″ is officially finished.  I encourage you to look through the report to learn more about Paly.

WASC Self-Study Report 2014-15

In case you don’t have time for the full 516 pages, the goals are:

#1: Systems alignment for greater consistency around learning outcomes to reduce undue stress.                                                                               – Strategy #1: Aligning Student Learning Outcomes                                        – Strategy #2: Data:  Creating and Leading Cultures of Inquiry

#2: Research-based intructional practices that increase student engagement for ALL students                                                                                        – Strategy #1: Ongoing Professional Learning (PL) “Paly as a Learning System”

#3: Innovative school culture promoting global competencies, creativity and empathy                                                                                                      – Strategy #1: A Shared Vision of Our Future                                                       – Strategy #2: Global Competencies and Increasing Student “Choice and Voice”

You can find more details about the goals and school action plan at the following links:

Summary of WASC Goals

Three Year Action Plan

Six Year Action Plan

The next step is the visit from the WASC team. They will arrive on Sunday, March 1 and, beginning with a reception from 3:30-4:15, they will spend four days immersing themselves in all things Paly. They have a full agenda of meetings with different groups and a lot of pages to get through in four days! On Wednesday, March 4th from 3:30 to 4:00, they will present their findings in the MAC atrium.

Thank you to the entire WASC team for your hard work and dedication to keeping Paly moving forward for ALL students.

– Linda van Gelder, Paly PTSA President