Paly Community Update

Friday, October 15, 2021

Hello Viking Families!

It was a busy week! We look forward to sharing pictures and updates from spirit week at a later date. For now, please see our updates below.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

Paly Admin & Guidance Teams

Advanced Placement (AP) Test Registration

A reminder that AP payment registration through Total Registration is now up and running. The deadline to pay is November 5th.

Here is the link to the AP flyer:

Quarter Grades

Starting on the afternoon of Friday, October 15, students and families will be able to check Infinite Campus to view their Reports for our First Quarter grades. To check your child’s grades, please log in to the Infinite Campus Parent Portal and select your child’s name. If you have any questions regarding the academic progress, please contact your child’s teacher directly.

Bike Safety

For those of you who have students who ride their bikes to school:

In a random “audit” on Tuesday, we counted 41 unlocked bikes throughout campus. Please remind your student to lock their bike. Additionally, students should not leave their bikes overnight and are encouraged to use a U-lock, for increased security.

PRIME (Personal, Reteaching, Intervention, Mentoring, Enrichment)

PRIME (Personal, Reteaching, Intervention, Mentoring, Enrichment) is a weekly opportunity for students to meet with teachers to get assistance in their classes, dive deeper into a specific topic or work in study groups with classmates. Students can also choose to independently study in the library or make up a test.

Each week, students have an opportunity to sign up for PRIME or their teachers can select to add them to their PRIME section. If students do not sign up for a PRIME class, they will be randomly assigned to one of their teachers.

Attendance for PRIME each week is mandatory.

District Attendance Notice

As attendance and mental health and wellbeing are a major priority for the district this year, we wanted to remind students and families of the importance of attending school when healthy enough to do so. 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 site administrator (elementary) or grade level counselor (MS and HS). 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.

Seal of Civic Engagement

The Seal of Civic Engagement was created by the state in September of 2020 to encourage students to be active participants in their community. Our board policy was updated in June 2021 to include the Seal of Civic Engagement. Since the criteria support developing an awareness of the larger community and finding opportunities to contribute, the Seal of Civic Engagement aligns perfectly with our Service to Others priority goal. The California Department of Education has five criteria for the Seal. Based on these criteria, PAUSD worked with teachers, counselors, leadership, and steering committees to determine local criteria. Our goal is to award the Seal of Civic Engagement to graduating seniors. Please refer to the linked video for more detail.


COVID testing will continue to occur each week on Wednesdays at Paly. Parents and guardians may pre-register for on-site COVID testing by completing the link or use the QR code below. Please note, these links are school site specific, so if you have children at more than one site you’ll need to use the individual code specifically for your child’s school. Registration is only required prior to the first test. After the initial registration, students can simply go to the testing site anytime on Wednesdays without registering.

Once you have registered, the individual being tested will only need to walk up to the testing clinic and they will be able to search for them by name. The lab staff will be able to immediately connect the barcode for the test sample to the online registration information, shortening turn around times for notifications. You will receive your test results through an email or text message from “Patient Connect,” which is Predicine Labs new data system.

The district positivity rate remains low and despite the challenges, we are proud to offer a COVID testing program to our students and staff. We thank you for your patience and for your commitment to safety. Thriving through the pandemic requires an effort by all of us, working together to keep our school community safe.

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Guidance Updates

Introducing our new Paly Wellness Coordinator - Eva Martinez

Hello! I am coming to Paly after almost 5 years with CASSY. Three of those were as a school-based therapist at Paly and most recently as a supervisor for therapists throughout PAUSD. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 10 years of experience working with children, teens and families. I love working with teenagers and the energy of being on a school campus. I am so excited to return to Paly! In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my daughter and cooking. I also can't wait to get my morning coffee again at Peet’s in Town and Country. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone and supporting the students and staff.

Wellness Center Survey

The Paly Wellness Center, together with support from Advisory, the School Counseling Department, and our School Psychologists, will be conducting a general mental health and wellness survey starting next Friday, October 22nd.

The purpose of this survey is to gather baseline information for how students are doing mentally and emotionally after returning to school this fall. It will also give us more insight into any additional support students may need, and allow them to share any suggestions or information with our staff.

This survey is completely optional. You or your student may choose to opt out by simply not submitting any survey responses when the link is presented in Advisory. You can review the survey questions HERE.

Depending on individual student’s responses, there will potentially be follow up with your student directly, either via Schoology or call slip for an in-person check in. Safety is our first priority. Should any student report a safety concern through the survey, you will be notified as soon as possible to ensure safety of the student as well as to provide additional resources, as needed. This survey is NOT intended to be used for mental health emergencies and if you have a student who is experiencing immediate safety concerns, please call 911 and ask for a welfare check.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Genavae Pierre Dixon, Mental Health and Wellness Specialist, at and put “Survey Question/Concern'' in the subject line.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration,

Genavae Pierre Dixon, LMFT #102988

Mental Health and Wellness Specialist

Palo Alto Unified School District


Advisory Update

There was no Advisory this week due to the special schedules for the PSAT and Spirit Week.

Last week’s 9th-grade lesson was their introduction to all the fun and games to be had during this spirited week on campus. While there wasn’t anything new for several of the grade levels, there was one exception, the Juniors had a new lesson.

11th Grade - Career Readiness. As I mentioned previously, students have expressed interest in having more guest speakers who can share insights related to Advisory lesson themes. Last week we did just that! Our guest was Palo Alto Councilmember Greg Tanaka. Mr. Tanaka shared his story - from growing up in a tough Southern California neighborhood, finding his way into public service by originally getting involved with his HOA board, to his educational background and career experiences. We hope that by listening to others, students will be inspired to think about career possibilities and start on a path of self-discovery. If interested, here are the slides used for that Advisory.

Our grade-level Parent Nights have concluded for this semester. Thank you to all who attended! For those unable to join us, click below to view each of the slide presentations:

College & Career Center updates

FAFSA and Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened Oct. 1. The FAFSA must be filed by the deadline set by each college in order to be considered for need-based aid. For a brief overview of financial aid and scholarships, read here. In addition, consider reviewing p. 79 - 86 of the Viking Guide.

For more information about financial aid and how to file the FAFSA, attend the “What You Need to Know About Financial Aid” webinar for high school parents and students. Staff from Stanford’s Financial Aid Office will discuss the financial aid application process to any college or university for current high school seniors and their parents. Juniors, sophomores and their parents are welcome as well. They will share tips about submitting the FAFSA and understanding the financial aid process. Registration is required. Event Details:

Work Permits & Career Month

Work Permits: Congrats to the students who attended the Job Fair - it was a great experience for meeting local hiring managers and practicing our interviewing skills. If interested in learning more, follow this link. If your child is under 18 and has recently been hired (paid position), they need a work permit. Follow the Work Permit link and processing information here. Work permit FAQs.

Career Month will launch in March 2022! Seeking students for the committee that will help to develop our programs: choose speakers, creating promotional material, and engage with professionals. Follow this link to directly sign-up (students) or contact Rachael Kaci (

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