Paly Community Update

Friday November 20, 2020

Principal's Update



Dear Paly Community!

I would like to first thank you for your support and understanding over the past few weeks as we introduced and solicited your input on the potential return to campus plan. As mentioned in Dr. Austin’s recent communication to the entire PAUSD community, we will be postponing any return of large cohorts of students in the upcoming future.


With the move of our county to the COVID purple tier, our plan to introduce the hybrid learning model for the second semester, will not happen this school year. Both Gunn and Paly had approximately ten percent of students wanting to return with the hybrid model. Our plan moving forward will be to rebrand and expand our current PAUSD+ program and offer opportunities first to the students that selected the hybrid model, to come to campus two times per week and be supported by both certificated and classified staff members for both academic and emotional support.


We will be developing the plans of this new opportunity, in partnership with teachers and classified Paly staff, upon our return from the holiday break. Our hope is that we will be able to create this program and have it operational by the start of second semester or when the current restrictions are lifted. I will be communicating additional information once we are able to work out the details of this new student support program.


Most importantly, as we near the Thanksgiving Holiday, I would like to express how grateful I am to be part of Paly. I am encouraged by the support of our parent community and I know that when you share your concerns or questions, you are only wanting the best experience for all of our students at Paly. We have experienced a lot together in my first few months at Paly and I continue to try and step back from each moment, examine and pay attention to the surrounding opinions and observations, and move forward in a manner that honors the voices of all of the stakeholders of our Paly community.


As the saying goes “all ships rise with the tide,” I plan to continue to promote opportunity and positivity so our Viking Ship can rise above the tide of our current situation and continue to improve our learning model and look for new opportunities for our students to connect with each other and their teachers. Together, I know that we can do great things, even during such incredibly strange times. I look forward to your continued help, support, understanding and partnership as we navigate these uncharted waters.


With gratitude,


Brent Kline, Principal

Paly Guidance

Advisory

There is always a lot to cover in Advisory! Because many tasks traditionally covered by a counselor at other high schools are part of Advisory at Paly, we are always working hard to cover all the important topics to share with the students. Some topics might be of more importance to parents - like the senior Advisory on Nov 10th about Financial Aid. See more of what was covered in Advisories below and click on the links if you’re interested in seeing the actual lessons.


  • 12th Grade - Seniors were once again talking about Financial Aid & Scholarships. With many applications complete, and more being finalized, it’s time to explore possible ways to get money to help pay for it. Did you know that there are several types of financial aid? Some don’t require repayment! Learn more about it and where to look for scholarship opportunities by reviewing this lesson.

  • 11th Grade - It’s always our goal to address topics in Advisory that are timely for the students. And right now we hear from Juniors that they are already looking ahead to their college application cycle and post-Paly plans and feeling anxious. We decided to give these students a glimpse of what we have planned for them 2nd semester. It’s our way of telling them - we’ve got this! We have a plan to support you through. And for those students who are eager to get started, we’ve added some pro-active things they can be doing now. Take a look here to see the plan.

  • 9th Grade - One thing we often hear from professionals and employment specialists is people with the skills to collaborate are always in high demand. This lesson emphasizes how working together leads to success. It also teaches the basics of effective collaboration by having students create their own study groups. Take a look at the lesson.The following week we once again scheduled time for check-in. We want to make sure students have access to their TAs to ask questions, get help, or just take the time to talk.

College and Career Center

Seniors:

Checking College Application Status

After applying, many colleges will send students an email with information about how to login to their websites (i.e. portals) to track the application status. This is vitally important because any messages with requests for more information will be communicated through these websites. So, students should check email often and be sure messages don't get lost in the SPAM folder. But, please be aware that there is typically a delay in processing time for portals to be updated; during COVID, college campus staff are often working remotely which might impact updates as well. So, it’s important to check the portals but please don’t panic if it’s not up-to-date. Seniors should contact their College Advisor with any questions.


Transcript Ordering Reminders for Non-Common App Colleges

Students should not wait to hear back from their EA, REA, ED applications before ordering transcripts for their regular applications which require them (remember: the CSUs and UCs do not). Transcripts for non-Common App colleges need to be ordered on Parchment by the Paly deadline to ensure they arrive by the college due date. There is still human interaction in the process and many students who have a similar deadlines--and Paly will be closed over Winter break (i.e. no transcript requests will be processed during that time).

Can students order a mid-year transcript rather than a current transcript for January deadlines since our semester ends before Winter break? No; don’t “hold for grades” but “send now”. Second-semester grades won't get posted to transcripts until the 3rd week of January at the earliest, so for colleges with a Jan. 1 or Jan. 15 deadline, order an initial transcript by the respective Paly deadline to ensure it arrives on time to meet the application deadline. Another mid-year (a.k.a. 7th-semester) transcript will need to be ordered in January; more information about that to come in a future advisory.


CSU and UC Deadlines Approaching - Nov. 30

We recommend students submit before Thanksgiving as the application systems slow down closer to the deadlines, which can be frustrating. Consult the tips sheets for completing these application; students will find them in the relevant folder in the Paly C&CC Class of 2021 Schoology course.


Gap Year Virtual Events

Thinking about Taking a Gap Year? Check out these virtual events Nov. 30 - Dec. 4 from USA Gap Year Fairs:

  • Gap Year 101

  • How to Plan a Gap Year in 2020-2021


And more! Register at: https://bit.ly/2UBeWr3