GunnTogether Times (Dec. 10, 2021)

Principal Stratton's Newsletter

Dear Titan Families,

As the upcoming break draws closer, I've been reflecting on the extraordinary challenges of this past semester and the previous year; I've also been buoyed by the incredible work happening to educate and care for Gunn students. In these coming days, I think an important idea for us all to keep close to our hearts and minds is that of grace: grace for our students, grace for our community, and grace for ourselves.

Grace is like forgiveness, but without the culpability--it's all too possible that we might not have actually done anything wrong, but just wish we could be and do more: wish we could fix everything, wish we could get everything off the to-do list, wish we could have more patience and strength. In the face of these nagging thoughts, grace allows us to extend to ourselves and others compassion and kindness, and to relax into the understanding that we're doing our best under challenging circumstances; that we--and others--may not always get it "perfectly right"... and that that's okay.

In the coming days and over the break, I hope we can all take a moment to appreciate how much we've collectively done to support and serve Gunn. I hope we can offer ourselves and others the grace we all deserve as we navigate the challenges of our world.

In the Spirit of GunnTogether,

Principal Stratton

Student Wellness

The wellness center at Gunn is centrally located on campus and continues to support students on a daily basis. All students are welcome to drop by, sip some tea, and relax throughout finals week. As finals week can be a stressful time please check in with your Gunn student to ensure they are adequately eating, sleeping, and managing their time.


Gunn High School - Orchestra Winter Concert - Dec 7, 2021

Data Night, December 13

Please join Gunn's Site Council and administration for an evening of data analysis and reflection on Monday, December 13th, on Zoom from 6:30-8:30 PM (link here).

The following data will be included to reflect on progress toward our school goals:

  • Achievement data,
  • Equity data, and
  • Social-emotional data

All parents and students are invited to attend!

If you have any questions about Data Night, please contact Tara Firenzi at

Turkey Feast

Our annual Turkey Feast festivities continued on Nov. 18, thanks to the Herculean efforts of Gunn parents who prepared boxed lunches for all students and staff!
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Gunn Orchestra Concert

All three of Gunn's Orchestra gave a magnificent performance of a Trans-Siberian Orchestra hit at their Winter Concert Dec. 7 in Spangenberg. Watch it here!
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Staff-Student Ping-Pong Tournament

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SELF Garden

Gunn SELF students are working to restore and nourish the gardens at Barron Park. Students have already weeded and planted native plants and vegetables and are excited to engage in this outdoor learning experience. They will later see the fruits of their labor blossom. Upcoming projects include renovating signs and adding a space for students to relax and read.
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SELF (Social Emotional Learning and Functionality)


VISITORS Information (vax card and parking permit)

Thank you for visiting Gunn! Please have your covid vaccination card ready to show our secretaries on arrival. You can also register using this visitor form.

PAPD Parking Patrol has begun, so when you check-in at the Attendance Office, please print two badges -- one to wear and one for your dashboard to avoid a ticket.


A note from Ana Reyes, Coordinator of Student Supports, PAUSD:

Attendance and mental health and wellbeing are a major priority for the district this year. During this time, students may be experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety and we know that school demands can sometimes exacerbate these concerns. Please be aware that absences may be excused for both physical and mental health concerns. If your student is experiencing higher than normal anxiety or stress please contact your grade level counselor.

Parents/Guardians should notify the school when an illness prevents a student from attending school. If staff notice that either physical or mental health absences are frequent for a student missing school, you should expect to hear from an administrator or counselor on how the school can best support your child. Stay well.

COVID Testing At Gunn Every Friday

Students and Staff registered to participate in the Covid Clinic Testing Program will continue to have the opportunity to be tested every week at their school site. The testing program will use a combination of rapid antigen tests and PCR tests. All tests will be done as nasal swabs. If an individual is unable to do a nasal swab, there will be an option for a saliva test.

Covid Clinic will also be setting up a community site at Cubberley that will be open to students, staff, families, and the community. Specific information on testing days and hours will be forthcoming.

How to Register for the New COVID Testing Program

  • Our provider requires a first-time registration process.
  • Please look for an email from Covid Clinic with a link and steps to register.
  • We are confident that this partnership will provide the resources our district needs to keep students learning in a safe and healthy environment. Thank you for keeping our community safe.


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PTAC Student Reps Needed

If your student is interested in legislation and advocacy, encourage them to consider being a student member on the Palo Alto PTA Council (PTAC). We're looking for student voices on our executive board. Email for more details.

PTSA Student-Led Grants

$4,000 Awarded By Gunn PTSA for Student-Led Projects

Thank you to all the parents that gave donations to the PTSA. Your generosity helped make it possible to fund nine diverse proposals from wonderful Gunn students. We look forward to sharing the photos and updates we receive on the projects. The next round of Student-led grant applications is due January 28th. The recipients are:

  • Best Buddies Club for community building
  • Chariot Magazine for printing costs
  • eSports Club for prizes
  • Math Club Competition for prizes
  • Helios Magazine for printing the inaugural issue
  • Gunn Hacks 8.0 for food for the event
  • Jr & Frosh Classes to purchase a screen and projector for movie nights. Other classes and groups may ask to borrow the equipment.
  • Garden Club for seeds, gloves, and soil for the school garden
  • Bike Club for tools and parts to repair student bikes

Tutoring Help Available

Math tutoring is available every day after school: Chem H on Monday and Tuesday, Biology A and H on Monday and Tuesday, World History on Tuesday and Wednesday. If you don't have a tutor and want one, come to the Gunn AC in D2 today.

December De-Stress Fest

The weeks before Finals can be challenging, and the Wellness Center is here to help! Dec. 6-17 Wellness activities include:

  • Dec. 6 "Tea It Yourself"
  • Dec. 7 Coco with Counseling and Wellness
  • Dec. 8 Cookie Decorating
  • December 9 DIY Sensory Bottles
  • Dec. 10 Titan Care Package Distribution
Find more information on Wellness activities here.

Senior Update

Senior Portraits Are Due the Week of January 3, 2022

Please contact Now and Forever Studio via phone at (408) 354-8660 to arrange your appointment. They will have a limited number of Campus sessions and will have a tiered sign-up system. More details will be available soon. Contact Olympian adviser Kristy BlackburnIs your Senior visiting colleges during school time?

All 12th-grade students can miss up to 5 total days (excused) for college visits. Please use the form linked here to submit a request for approval. Requests should be submitted to the Attendance Office 72 hours in advance. If you have any questions, please reach out to Assistant Principal Courtney Carlomagno at

Senior Cap and Gown/ Graduation Announcement Ordering

Use these FORMS to get started with your senior recognition ad. FORM 1 FORM 2

A quarter-page senior recognition ad at $75. As always, we have tried to determine pricing that will be affordable to all parents. All proceeds go toward yearbook printing and production. Thanks for supporting The Olympian! Any questions? For technical questions, call Jostens at 1-800-358-0800.

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Yearbook and Oracle Newspaper

Yearbook Ordering

  • Check out the new Olympian website for all your yearbook information.
  • Pre-order your 2022 yearbook through the Titan Webstore.
  • Senior parents: Thank you to all the senior parents who have supported the yearbook program by purchasing senior ads.
  • Seniors: Get your senior portrait done by 1/7/22. Check the Olympian website for more information.
  • Yearbook questions? Contact Adviser Kristy Blackburn at


Dec. 9, 10 & 13, 14

  • Review Days (no new material)
Dec. 10
  • Jazz Guest Artist, 7:30 pm in Spangenberg

Dec. 13

  • Site Council Data Night, 6:30 pm (see article above)

Dec. 14

  • Parent Education (zoom), "Guiding Teens to Safe Choices, Connected Relationships, and a Love of Learning," 7-8:30 pm


  • Date TBD Wellness Town Hall with the Gunn Administration, Counselors, and Wellness Director

January 5-7 (see alternate schedule on website calendar)

  • Start of Semester Two


Girls and Boys Water Polo Teams Win Regional State Championship!

November 20 was a winning day for Gunn Girls and Boys Water Polo -- both teams won NorCal D-III Water Polo Regional State Titles! This is the first time in school history that the Water Polo Teams or a Team have won this Championship. The Boys team beat Harker School 13 to 7 at Gunn to claim the D-III NorCal Championship. The girls team beat Santa Cruz High School 10 to 6 at Soquel High School to claim the D-III NorCal Championship. We want to congratulate both teams on an outstanding job and for making Gunn High School proud!

Upcoming Home Athletic Events

Dec. 10
  • Basketball, 4, 5:30 & 7
Dec. 11
  • Basketball, 3, 5 & 6:30
Dec. 14
  • Soccer, 5 & 7
Dec. 17
  • Basketball, 6
  • Soccer, 6, 7 & 8
Dec. 18
  • Basketball, 10, 11:30, 1:00 & 2:30
Dec. 22
  • Basketball, 5:30 & 7
Jan. 3
  • Basketball, 5 & 7
Jan. 4
  • Basketball, 6:30
Jan. 5
  • Soccer, 4 & 6


Food Containers & Fabric needed

Our Culinary Arts classes need food containers in cup, pint and quart sizes and ready-made take-home boxes. Our Fiber Arts & Fashion Design classes need cotton fabric, denim, and other usable materials for quilts, bags, etc. Please drop materials in the main office. Thank you!

Staff Appreciation Lunch & Cookie Exchange

Can you volunteer for December 16's Staff Appreciation Lunch and Cookie Exchange? We need homemade or store-bought cookies! Please sign up on Konstella.

Finals Snacks for Students

Can you help distribute snacks at brunch for Gunn students during finals? If you are available from 10:30-11:30 AM, please consider helping out by signing up on Konstella

ELL Language Tutors needed

The PAUSD English Learner Program is currently looking for adult tutors to support elementary students in languages other than English. Potential candidates must care about and enjoy children. The Palo Alto Unified School District English Learner program seeks fluent speakers and writers of Spanish, Farsi, Chinese, and Japanese.

Tutors will support beginning English Learners by helping them understand classroom teacher instruction and the core content. Tutors will be utilized to explain information and translate for the child, and the teacher in the classroom and at parent meetings. Tutors are often used to translate written English into the child’s primary language to support parents that prefer to read in languages other than English.

Tutors are important resources in the English Learner Program because they provide a means of communication between beginning English speaking students, teachers and parents.

Interested applicants should complete the EdJoin Classified application. Please refer to the EdJoin website for further information.

Help Students with Gunn Foundation Scholarships

The Gunn Foundation grants need-based college scholarships to graduating Gunn seniors every spring since 1968. Last year, 24 seniors benefited from our community's generosity.

These scholarships help bridge the gap in areas not covered by other financial aid (tuition and housing deposits, computers, books, transportation). When these costs must be paid up front, they can be the deciding factor in a student’s ability to attend the school they have worked so hard to be accepted at.

Many of last year's senior recipients experienced personal and educational challenges, especially during the pandemic, and we were thrilled to be able to help them get to the next level. Students see these scholarships and support from the Gunn community as a demonstration of our belief in their potential. While the dollar amount may be less than other financial aid, the meaning is greater.

If you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation in any amount, you can easily give online via their website ( or on their Facebook page (

Thank you for all you do to support students in our community!

Join the PTSA

PTSA Invites You to Join the Team!

How Will My $8 Membership Be Spent?

PTA membership pays for officer training, advocacy, insurance and operational costs of the Gunn HS PTSA. By becoming a member, you can join discussions and vote at PTA meetings. It’s easy to join. Go here for more details.

Parent Resources