Heidi's PAUSD School Board Newsletter - June 2015

School may have ended for students in the first days of June, but your School Board was hard at work all month with two evening Board meetings, a two-day facilitated School Board retreat, the annual Superintendent evaluation, and an additional morning Board meeting to discuss a wide variety of policy updates.

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Heidi's PAUSD School Board Newsletter - May 2015

We did it!  Measure A, an extension and increase of Palo Alto's parcel tax, passed overwhelmingly with 77% of the vote.  Thanks to all of you for your support of our excellent public schools.  And a special thank you to those who got involved by phone banking, putting a lawn sign in your front yard, or donating to the campaign.  I am particularly grateful for the efforts of the Measure A campaign team, led by the fabulous Nana Chancellor and Sara Woodham.  I look forward to the district and Board budget conversations about implementation of Measure A funding.

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Project Safety Net Planning

On May 7th, the Project Safety Net Leadership Team and partners representing schools, health, education and communities sectors attended a Collective Impact workshop led by Dr. Jim Connell (Institute for Research and Reform in Education) and Dalene Dutton (Five Town Communities That Care). The purpose of the meeting was to guide the Project Safety Net collaborative to focus on the things that matter most in promoting youth well-being and suicide prevention, to better understand and articulate how this work is making a difference, and to help community partners re-affirm their commitment to this work under the Collective Impact model. 

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May Fete Parade 2015

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On Saturday, May 2, 2015, I had the pleasure of marching down University Avenue in the 93rd Annual May Fete Children's Parade, organized by the City of Palo Alto.  The theme this year was "No space to alienate: Be unique, be free, be YOU."  Hundreds of people came out to walk, bike, blade, and march in the parade, including Palo Alto preschools, extra-curricular activity groups, PAUSD elementary schools, and the Terman, JLS, Jordan, Gunn, and Paly marching bands.  It was a great day and I got to meet Perry, the Palo Alto donkey (pictured here with me and Rob de Geus, Director of Community Services).  

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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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Magical Bridge Playground

On April 17th, Parents Place got a sneak preview of the Grand Opening of the Magical Bridge Playground in Mitchell Park.  This is the nation's most innovative and inclusive playground, designed and built for visitors of all abilities.  The quarter-acre Magical Bridge playground provides a vibrant selection of play, discovery and imagination-inspiring components, where all children – regardless of abilities or limitations – come together to play and socialize without physical and social barriers.  For more information, click HERE.  Enjoy these photos!

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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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