Gunn Together Times 4/13/2023

Principal Stratton's Newsletter

A Message From Principal Stratton

Along with the warmer spring weather, we have much to celebrate, here at Gunn High School.
  • A huge shout out goes to the Class of 2024 (the 11th Grade) for their engagement and participation on the CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress). At this juncture, we are only one percentage point away from reaching the required 95% participation rate. In the next couple of weeks, staff will track down students to complete any missed sections of the test. We are grateful for the work of the CAASPP Participation Committee, parents, staff and students for their efforts to educate our community about the importance of this assessment. The achievement of this district and site goal is a testament to the power of community engagement and student leadership. We are grateful for the creative and critical contributions from junior leaders, Maya Perkash, and Nathan Levy!
  • Earlier this week, 20 Gunn computer science students were selected to receive an NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award. In addition Computer Science teacher, Takeshi Kaneko was recognized with an Educator Award.
  • Technological advances in the form or new screens, and updated computer labs have been completed at Gunn. Over the summer, we look forward to having our new sound system integrated into the classrooms as well.

Small Business Fair- Photo below

Student small-business owners displayed their wares at the inaugural March 28 Small Business Fair (photo courtesy of The Oracle)

Big picture

Upcoming Events

April 13
  • Site Council's Data Night: 5:30-7:30 pm in the Gunn Library
April 15
  • CMEA Orchestra Festival

April 19

  • PTSA Annual Meeting: 8:30 am in the Gunn Library
  • Earthquake Drill during PRIME
April 21
  • Warning Notice Period Ends

April 22

  • Spring Bike Repair and Bike Donation Drive: 11-2:00 pm

April 10th-21st

  • Prom Closet: Free Dresses, shoes, jewelry & suits (Students may make a reservation to shop via the main office with Ms. Wong) Donations may be delivered to main office.

April 22

  • Prom Night

April 24-28

  • Global Cultures Week
  • International Film Fest takes place Wednesday, the 26th
  • Global Tastings during lunch on Thursday, the 27th

April 26

  • Junior Parent Night with a Senior Parent Panel with College and Career Center (Gunn Library at 6 pm)

April 28

  • Class of 2023 Panorama Picture during Study Hall

In This Issue . . .

  • AP Testing Update
  • Last Chance Data Night Invite
  • Recognizing Cultural and Religious Traditions
  • Construction Update
  • Tutoring Opportunities
  • Guidance & Wellness
  • PTSA Grants
  • Alternate Schedules
  • Attendance Intervention
  • Athletics
  • Communicating
  • Upcoming Events
  • Testing Updates
  • Senior Donations
  • PTSA
  • Volunteer Opportunities

AP Testing Updates/Call for Volunteers to Proctor

When: 5/1/23 - 5/12/23, exception testing 5/17/23 - 5/19/23

Where: Gunn Campus-Titan Gym, Library, and designated classroom spaces

For updates/questions about AP testing visit the Gunn Testing Webpage.

Please HELP: We need more volunteers, especially for our larger testing environments. Volunteers can sign up here.

It's Data Night (Thursday, April 13th)

This Thursday, the Site Council will be hosting our second annual "Data Night" in the library from 5:30-7:30 pm. All are welcome!

What you'll get:

  • An opportunity to talk with students, parents, administrators and other staff about the big picture issues here at Gunn using real data to inform your conversations;
  • A channel for offering suggestions for our site goals moving forward;
  • A burrito! (Please fill in this form to specify your Chipotle order; this also serves as your RSVP!)
During Data Night we talk about the big stuff—what the real issues are, and how we can make our school work better for all kids. This event really isn't just for those in leadership positions—everyone has something to contribute, and the more perspectives we can bring to the conversation, the better.

Reach out to Tara Firenzi (Data Night Facilitator) with questions!

Passover Recognition

April 5th marked the start of Passover, an important holiday on the Jewish calendar. During Passover, families gather and celebrate freedom and justice. As an inclusive community, it is important that we acknowledge and recognize the significance of the diverse cultural and religious traditions that enrich our community. Passover extends through April 13th.

Ramadan Awareness

Throughout April, Muslim students may be celebrating Ramadan, a tradition that renews their focus on their spiritual life. It includes fasting, which means no eating or drinking from 5:59 am until 7:21 pm.

Here are some resources, shared with us by a Gunn parent:

Big picture

Construction Update

Big picture

1. Progress Made:

  • Underground utilities (plumbing and electrical) installation is complete.
  • Work on site utilities started in mid-March and will continue through April. Thus far trenching and excavation have begun and a portion of the utilities have been installed.
  • Existing concrete columns and grade beams are in the process of being demolished. The shoring work to support the roof trusses that these columns are holding has started.
  • The demolition of the roof sheathing and framing will start after the demolition of the columns. Then, new sheathing will be put in place.
  • The fire hydrant that was outside the temporary admin building was relocated during the break.
2. Fence Relocation: The construction fence was relocated per the map below.

3. Noise concerns: Demolition of concrete columns and grade beams will continue through the end of April.

Big picture

Free Tutoring!

Gunn students can take advantage of free after-school tutoring in all levels of Chem, Bio, and Math. Tutoring takes place Monday through Thursday in the Private Rooms in the Library. The Gunn Academic Center is recruiting second-semester tutors now for all subjects. Community Service hours will be awarded. Please come to D-2 or click here:

Free Summer Camp Programs

PAUSD partnered with InPlay to ensure that parents were aware of free and affordable after-school and summer camp programs when school is not in session. Explore the website at

Attachment: Summer 2023 InPlay Flyers

Guidance & Wellness News

Here is this week's Titan Talk with information about Guidance Counselors and Wellness.


Student well-being is at the heart of what we do in PAUSD. The District has partnered with the Santa Clara County Office of Education to secure Naloxone (Narcan) kits for each of our school sites. Narcan is a lifesaving, emergency medication used to reverse an opioid overdose. Beginning in mid-March, Narcan emergency kits will be stored in all school health offices, automated external defibrillator (AED) storage boxes, and high school athletics offices.

Narcan will be administered by trained staff members during a suspected opioid overdose.

PAUSD encourages parents and guardians to have open conversations with their high school students about the dangers of Fentanyl and other opioids.

For more information on the Fentanyl Awareness and PAUSD’s Naloxone program, please visit our website (Fentanyl Awareness).

PTSA Grants

Gunn PTSA has awarded over $4,000 to the following student groups for projects this year. Thank you to all the people that gave donations during the Back-to-School fundraising drive. Your generosity helps bring these student-led school projects to life.

· Gunn Helios Magazine Club for printing costs

· Gunn eSports Club for upcoming tournaments

· Food for Gunn United Computations hackathon event

· Prizes for Gunn Math Competition

· CPR training materials for Gunn Red Cross Club

· Art Supplies for murals at Gunn by the National Art Honor Society Club

· Books for Gunn STEM Ethics Bowl Club

· Funds for Gunn Cartoons Club community events

· Gunn Tea Club to purchase food for pre-finals week stress relief

· Bike Club for bike stands and repair materials

· Computer Science Capstone class for Phone Jail materials

· Garden Club for seedlings for the school garden

For questions, contact

Alternate Schedules


Attendance continues to be one of PAUSD's goals for the 2022 - 2023 school year. Healthy attendance is the key to student success as well as graduation, and even college and career readiness.

At Gunn High School this school year, and throughout PAUSD, we will continue our intervention in order to support each student's healthy attendance. At the 6th - 12th grade level, 1 truancy event will represent 4 unexcused period absences (the equivalent of 1 full day, when classes are averaged throughout the week). Intervention responses will look like:

  • 3 Truancy Events (12 unexcused period absences or the equivalent of 3 full days) = A call home from your student's counselor or case manager, as well as a formal notification of truancy via mail (Truancy Letter #1)
  • 6 Truancy Events (24 unexcused period absences or the equivalent of 6 full days) = An in-person meeting with your student's counselor, case manager (if applicable) and Assistant Principal Carlomagno, as well as a formal notification of truancy via mail (Truancy Letter #2)
  • 9 Truancy Events (36 unexcused period absences or the equivalent of 9 full days) = Referral to the District Office's SARB (School Attendance Review Board), as well as a formal notification of truancy via mail (Truancy Letter #3)

In addition to these formal intervention processes, parents and guardians may also receive timely outreach from our Attendance Clerks regarding any absences that are occurring in the middle of the day.

Updated Attendance Processes (Previously shared on ParentSquare)

Please note: Beginning September 1, 2022 the attendance office will be enforcing the 72 hour rule.

  1. Parents/guardians have 72 hours to excuse a previous absence. (After 72 hours, documentation is required)
  2. Prior Approval Forms for upcoming/scheduled absences must be turned in 72 hours prior to the absence. Prior Approval Forms can be used for court appearances, consulate appointments, outside sporting competitions and other special circumstances. Additionally they must be completed for the 5 college visitation days allotted to seniors and second semester juniors. Family vacations or other similar personal absences do not fall into this category.

Approval is to the administrator’s discretion. The form does not need to be filled out for health appointments or illnesses.


Gunn Athletics Website

Click here for details on upcoming Titan games and all things Gunn Athletic!


Communications Platforms at Gunn:

Communications from Gunn PTSA

How does Gunn PTSA communicate (electronically) with families?


Gunn PTSA is using Konstella for our electronic Parent Directory, Grade level parent network, community messaging, event information and volunteer sign-ups. When registering your student this year on Infinite Campus, you indicated your communications preference to be included in emails from the PTSA or in the school Directory. PAUSD will only give us your information if you answered "YES", and you will be included in Konstella, and start receiving messages from PTSA. You can also register on Konstella - email with your preferred email address and name/grade of your student.

PAUSD is a member of Connected Schools. The Common Sense Connected School's member hub is updated weekly. The "hub" contains resources, tips, and events for educators and families to help guide students in navigating the digital age. Here is a short two-minute "how-to use the hub" video. Parents can sign up here for the Common Sense newsletter to receive ongoing, age-specific recommendations and advice on the latest movies, TV shows, books, apps, and more.

Senior Donations Request

Donations needed for Senior events scholarships

The end of senior year is a milestone for our senior students! We will have end of year events to celebrate. Parents provide end of year event ticket help to students who need it (we don't want to leave anyone out!). We are asking for fully tax deductible donations to help cover this cost. If each family purchasing a ticket were able to also donate $20, all students could celebrate together. Please donate here if you are able. Tickets will go on sale in early February. Questions?

Donate to support the senior scholarship student yearbook program

Each year, we provide a free yearbook for the senior scholarship students on campus. If you’d like to donate to this program, please visit the Titan Webstore, go to the Club Fundraisers page, and donate to The Olympian. You can donate anonymously if you prefer.

Yearbook questions? Reach out to Kristy Blackburn at

2023 Senior Picnic and Grad Night Tickets now on sale

From the PTSA: We are hoping all seniors attend this year’s Grad Night and Senior Picnic. Tickets are now on sale at . There are scholarships available through the Counseling department, just contact your counselor.

Here are Frequently Asked Questions about these events for the Class of 2023.

Early Bird tickets (Senior Picnic $85 Grad Night $165) on sale Feb. 20 - mid-March

Regular price tickets (Senior Picnic $90 Grad Night $185) will go on sale mid-March - April 18th

After April 18th we will compile a waitlist for cancellations.

Any questions please send email to


Join the PTSA!

Gunn's PTSA wants you to join the team --

Your $8 PTA membership (what a deal!) pays for officer training, advocacy, insurance and operational costs of the Gunn PTSA. By becoming a member, you can join discussions and vote at PTA meetings. It’s easy to join. Go here for more details.

PTSA Leads Needed

There are many opportunities to volunteer at Gunn. Volunteering is a great way to meet other parents, make new friends, and get more involved at the school. PTSA values your contribution and we could not do it without you! Leads and committees are needed to host several events that bring the Gunn High School community together. Please let us know if you can help by signing up here.

Gunn Foundation Needs Your Donation

The Gunn Foundation would like to call upon our community to help students who are experiencing financial hardships to attend colleges that offer them admission.


Every year, Gunn Foundation scholarships help Gunn graduates pay for expenses like tuition and housing deposits, textbooks, fees, and other items not covered by financial aid. Your support - at any amount - will help ensure a big bright future for students in our community.

Last spring, Gunn Foundation granted need-based scholarships to 24 students who are now attending schools across the US. With your help, we can do the same for the Class of 2023!

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 who 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.

Substitute Teachers needed

Do you already have a valid teaching credential or substitute permit?

Due to a combination of factors, our need for substitute teachers at Gunn is greater than ever. We are asking those of you who may already have a valid teaching credential or substitute teaching permit to join our team ASAP. Whether you can offer one day a week or five, the added support would be much appreciated! Please email Lorie Prior (

Academic Center volunteer needed

Can you help out in the Academic Center 12:00-1:00pm? Enjoy time with Gunn's delightful students and learn about our academic and extracurricular programs. Responsibilities include being the welcoming adult presence in the room, monitoring the automatic textbook check-in system, and overseeing the use of computers and printers. You can volunteer once a week or every other week, and partner with another parent if you'd like. Please email

Snack Donations

Calling Gunn Titan Community!

The main office at Gunn is in need of student snacks: bars, trail mix, fruit snacks, or any individually wrapped item. If you are able, please drop these off at the main office, in the E building, behind the fenced-in construction. Our students would greatly appreciate this generous offer!

Sports Boosters

Please volunteer and join the Gunn Sports Boosters board 2022-23. With half of our student body participating in a sport, we need your involvement to continue our work supporting these athletic programs that receive little revenue from the district. Gunn Sports Boosters is a not-for-profit organization that supports Gunn student athletes in partnership with the Gunn Athletics Department. We raise funds, awareness and school spirit to support our athletes by working with school administrators, coaches, parents, and community members. We assist with fundraising and work to fund projects that impact Gunn student athletes. We are looking for help in all capacities. Contact if you are interested.