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    Heidi's PAUSD School Board Newsletter - April 2015

    EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT: One of the great benefits of being a PAUSD School Board Member is going to individual schools and talking with students.  This month, I was lucky enough to go to Greendell, home of our early education programs, and talk with Paly students from the Early Childhood Development class, a semester-long course created this year.  About 25 students come twice a week to Greendell to work with children and teachers in the preschool, Young Fives, Springboard to Kindergarten, and Transitional Kinder programs.  Here, they can put theory into practice, as they learn from both their teacher, Hilary McDaniel, and all the Early Childhood Education (ECE) professionals on our Greendell site.  Students shared their excitement with me about this hands-on, authentic, meaningful learning experience.  To read more about my visit and see photos of the students in action, click on my blog HERE.  The Board also approved a year-long version of the Early Childhood Development course at our last meeting. 

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    Earth Day at Gunn High School

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    On April 23, 2015, I was excited to participate in Gunn High School's Earth Day celebration, organized by the Gunn PTSA Traffic Safety Team, the Gunn student Green Team, and the fabulous Penny Ellson and the Safe Routes to Schools team.  Students walked and rolled to school, earning a chance to win terrific prizes.  It was a beautiful, warm day on the quad, and I enjoyed being the emcee, giving out Peet's gift cards and Movie tix, while promoting volunteer opportunities for students at one of several eco-friendly organizations that came to the Earth Day event.  Canopy, Acterra, and others talked with students about protecting our vital environmental resources, while students used pedal-power to blend delicious fruit smoothies.  It was a very fun day!

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    Measure A

    By now, you have received your Measure A ballot.  This is a special mail-in ONLY election and our school district needs 2/3s voter approval (a super-majority) to pass.  That means TWO "YES" votes for every "no" vote.  Please take five minutes and fill out the ballot with your support right now.  Just pop it in the mailbox this week and you are done.  Every ballot counts.  YOU can make a substantial difference for our schools.  Please VOTE.  Please also encourage 10 friends to vote "YES" by forwarding this message or crafting one of your own.

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    Paly Students at Greendell

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    (Click on "continue reading/read more" below to see more photos!) 

    On April 16, 2015, I was invited to observe the Palo Alto High School Child Development class as they visited district Early Education programs at Greendell.  About 25 students visit the preschool classes, Young Fives, Springboard to Kindergarten, and Transitional Kinder programs twice a week, in addition to doing one class period at Paly.  As the students learn about Child Development theory, they simultaneously experience early childhood environments in practice, learning from both their teacher, Hilary McDaniel, as well as the Early Childhood Professionals at Greendell. 

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    Heidi's PAUSD School Board Newsletter - March 2015

    March was a month of self-reflection in our district and around our community.  There were teen forums, parent and community forums, a gathering of Project Safety Net organizations and agencies, evening workshops, articles, and many, many individual and group conversations at schools, among teachers and students, and within families--all focused on student social-emotional health and well-being. 

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    Heidi's PAUSD School Board Newsletter - February 2015

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    School Board Members gathered with the Measure A - Parcel Tax Campaign Committee to launch the effort to renew our current parcel tax for the next six years, with a $120 increase and continued two percent escalation, senior exemptions, and an independent oversight committee with annual audits.  The parcel tax represents about 7% of our budget, an estimated $12.4 million in 2014-15, and is a local source of funding for schools that cannot be taken away by the state.  The proposed increase of $2.3 million in revenue will allow the district to preserve core programs, keep class sizes small, support school libraries, and address new priorities including: equitable opportunities for all, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) initiatives, and health and wellness supports for students at all grade levels.  Make a donation, volunteer, and endorse Measure A on the website: www.SupportPaloAltoSchools.org.  Thank you for your continued support of our excellent schools!

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    Hays Visit - Chinese New Year Luncheon

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    I was invited to join the Walter Hays Elementary School teachers for a Chinese New Year luncheon, provided by some of the dedicated Chinese parents at the school.  Hays is one of my Liaison Schools this year and it was nice to catch up with the teachers and meet new parents.  The meal was homemade and delicious and the teachers appreciated a warm meal in the middle of their work day.  I was glad to meet some of the hardworking Special Education Aides at Hays and hear about a successful classified staff professional development opportunity around inclusion.  Principal Mary Bussmann thanked the parents for making it a truly special way to celebrate the Year of the Sheep!   

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    Los Altos Hills Town Council

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    This year, I will be the Liaison to the Los Altos Hills Town Council.  Superintendent Max McGee and I attended our first Council meeting on Monday, February 9th, 2015 and it was certainly an auspicious beginning.  After introducing ourselves, and after Dr. McGee outlined our District Vision and goals for the year, Councilmember John Radford warned us that the citizens of Los Altos Hills have been "bled to death" by the Palo Alto Unified School District and "receive little or nothing" in return for their property taxes.  Dr. McGee suggested that the Los Altos Hills students who attend PAUSD schools may have a different perspective to share.  Mayor Courtenay Corrigan ended the conversation a brief moment later by thanking Dr. McGee for providing a well-balanced and safe educational environment for "our most important asset: our youth."  Looking forward with some trepidation to my next visit to the Town Council.  (See the interaction live at: http://losaltoshills.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=266 just before the one-hour mark.)     

     

     

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