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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.
Principal of Early Education Programs for PAUSD, Sharon Keplinger, remarked that she was inspired to go into the Early Education Field because her high school offered a Child Development course similar to this one. The students are eager and excited to work directly with young children, and they are learning about how children grow and develop and what it takes to teach young minds. This is a tremendous example of authentic, real-world, meaningful learning for our teens. Two years ago, I met with Sharon to brainstorm adding this course to our high schools. It was really gratifying to see it in action! Hope to see this program expand to Gunn High School soon.