Titan Talk

Henry M Gunn High School

September 13, 2020: Vol 4 Issue 4

Gunn Counseling

Gunn Counseling Parent Nights

Our annual parent nights are approaching! Keep an eye out for more details and instructions on how to access these virtual events in the coming week.

9th Grade Parent Night – 9/23, 6:15-7:15 pm

10th Grade Parent Night – 9/23, 7:30-8:30 pm

11th Grade Parent Night – 9/30, 6:15-7:15 pm

12th Grade Parent Night – 9/30, 7:30-8:30 pm

Support for Gunn Families

If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, please let your Gunn student's counselor know. If you are struggling to pay for college application fees or other college-related costs, please contact Linda Kirsch at lkirsch@pausd.org and Leighton Lang at llang@pausd.org. This is a very challenging time for some Gunn families, and the PTSA would like you to know that our community is here for you! We are all in this together and together we will make it through.

Upcoming Dates:

September 18: Last day for lane changes. Check the catalog for each department's policy.

- Gunn’s Counseling Department

The Wellness Center:

Gunn Wellness Center

This week the Wellness Center has been observing National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. While prevention efforts are focused on year-round, September is a national effort from all advocates and professionals who provide education, tools, and resources to call us all to action in preventing death by suicide. This week the wellness center has been publishing messages to all students about language to know, risk factors, warning signs, and action steps we call can learn about and take to help each other and bring hope to those in despair. To learn more, click here!

Coming Soon

Save the date for Virtual Wellness Week October 5th-9th. We will be showcasing various community and student organizations from the PAUSD community that promotes mental health and well-being. More details to come soon!

Mindful Minute

Learning from home requires a lot of things to be successful. One amongst them is the space that your student utilizes to engage in schoolwork. There are a lot of different aspects of the environment that can impact your student's ability to focus on their work. Read through this article and take a quick quiz to figure out the most ideal work from home set up for you and your children.

SELF (Social Emotional Learning and Functionality)

For the next two weeks, students in their SELF classes will be checking in with their mentors, either one-on-one or in small groups. The SELF program invests heavily in these opportunities for students and their mentors to discuss what's happening both in their classes and more broadly in their lives; relationships are the foundation of the program, and these kinds of conversations are one of the most effective ways to foster these relationships. We encourage parents and teachers to always reach out to mentors as well if there's information that might be helpful for a mentor to know or something that it might be helpful to talk to the student about. When they aren't checking-in directly with their mentors, 9th-grade students will be engaged in activities hosted by their Titan Ambassadors, and 10th-12th grade students will be working on other activities or watching videos related to SEL or SELF unit themes.

Sources of Strength

Sources of Strength is a strength-based comprehensive wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention but impacts other issues such as substance abuse and violence. The program is based on a relational connections model that uses teams of peer leaders mentored by adult advisors to change peer social norms about help seeking and encourages students to individually assess and develop strengths in their life.

ROCK (Reach Out Care Know)

ROCK has compiled a list of warning signs, hotlines, and resources that can be used to help those struggling with their mental health.

· Not interested in the same things as they were before

· Having little energy

· Sleeping too much or too little

· Difficulty concentrating

· Moving or speaking slowly or being overly restless

· Expressing hopelessness, helplessness, sadness, or emptiness

· Significant changes in appetite or weight (too much or too little)

· Uncontrollable emotions (mood swings)

· Expressing feelings of guilt or worthlessness

· Talking about death

· Saying goodbye and/or giving their stuff away

The Wellness Center is currently open for students to receive virtual help. You can direct your students to receive help from the Wellness Center by going to the Gunn website or by clicking on this link here. There are many resources available for you and your child.

Hotlines and Support:

· Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741

· Youth and Teen Suicide and Crisis Hotline: 888-247-7717

· National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8256

· National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 800-950-6264

· Santa Clara County Suicide and Crisis Hotline: 855-278-4204

· Star Vista Crisis Intervention: 650-579-0350

· RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE

· Uplift Mobile Crisis Intervention and Safety Planning: 408-379-9085

· Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQQ+: 866-488-7386 or text START 678-678

· Children's Health Council (CHC) affordable therapy for teens 650-688-3625 or www.chconline.org

· Family Children Services Silicon Valley counseling and substance abuse treatment 650-326-6576 or www.fcservices.org

· Adolescent Counseling Services support for LGBTQQ+ 650-424-0852 or www.acs-teens.org

You are not alone. Help is here. Reach Out.

e-mail: rockatgunn@gmail.com

web: rockatgunn.com

Instagram: @rockatgunn

Especially in times that feel isolating, let’s promote healthy connectedness.

College and Career

Leighton Lang will be posting all college info on Naviance as before…go to Naviance, College tab, then Visits and events that are in seat or virtual will be there. The contacts have been made by colleges already and Naviance will make it clear if it is virtual. Links to sign up for virtual college fairs will also be possible as many colleges are running fairs already and they use WEBEX or YouTUBE and if you miss the event because you are in class they will have available for viewing later. Gunn will NOT be doing an in-person fair in October….we may run it in March if public health says it is safe.

FAFSA: will be updated this year to reflect what is going on in the financial climate more recently…this is long overdue for a refresh, so if you have any questions, contact Mr. Lang.


If you want a review of your college list and up to date info on what is happening at colleges this year, contact lkirsch@pausd.org and Mrs. Kirsch will set a date and time for that event…do request a time that competes with a class and after school hours are available. This may be done with or without family….your choice.

The Gunn Profile will be updated in late September. If you need the one currently posted for whatever reason: Gunn-Pausd.org/about-us/school-reports will get you that. Mr. Lang will let us know when the new one is posted.

Many Fairs are coming online so you can gather college information:

Naviance under the college tab and then visits.

Goto CollegeFairs


NACAC college fairs (Just google this and it will pop up)

College Board Site will also have fairs listed: some are for performing arts, some are general and some are STEM.

—the YouTube site is loaded with college event info….Stivescan runs many informative segments CTCL or RACC are groups that promote themselves under a banner of we have a common theme, if you like one of us, you might like more in our group

—students to attend colleges love to run blogs on YouTube to talk about why they attend, what it good and what is bad.


If you want your appointment and we are beginning to nudge to do so, please let me know. E-mail: lkirsch@pausd.org with a few dates or times that work for you and I am ultra-flexible but do NOT want you to miss class. I can do after school hours. These take one hour and most often parents join but if you want to do it alone…just say so. this will give you an overview of how to use this year and what might happen next year.

Look at the list of college events above and feel free to start your exploration this year. Get a sense of big or small, near or far, and what they actually offer. Are they hands-on?

Is research the focus? There are many varieties out there.

It is likely that testing will be back in play at many places…the California system is heading to test blind ( they will NOT read your data if this term is used)

If we are indeed out and about, you will want to visit college sites. Meanwhile…virtual is not a bad way to visit.

ECA—extracurricular activities are relevant….more on this in your meeting.


The Common Ground Speaker series is happening and this is easy to find as I have also asked the parent network to share this info…you can Google it too….please look at the variety of speakers they have and the times of the events….not all are 7 PM. I definitely recommend Sept 22 when the head of NACAC will be on the panel talking college.

These are top-rated speakers and worth the time to listen.

Teensvolunteer. org can connect you with something to do other than video gaming perhaps?? Volunteer activity sends a good message to colleges as more and more they are sharing how much they value this in the student culture.

Naviance, College Board: Big Futures and wwwoszlist.com can help you develop college lists that match your interests and stats.

College Rep Visits

College Rep visits are considered a privilege for students whose work in your class is satisfactory and up to date. Seniors can only attend 10 College Rep Visits per semester, and junior can only attend 5 five. Missing class for the meeting must be approved and in advance by your teacher. Students will not be able to attend College Rep Visits if the student doesn't sign-up through Naviance Student.

This year confirm all college rep visits or interviews, which will have to be virtual due to the COVID 19 pandemic. We have adopted a new schedule, so college rep visits time will be half the class period through the end. The college rep visit are 40 minutes long so that students can make it to their class for the 1st half of the block period. Please be on time for college reps due to the virtual login.

NOTE TO STUDENTS: The college rep visit process will take at least 3 days of advanced planning by students. Please ask your teacher to attend the college rep visit (please don’t attend college rep visit if you have a test, quiz, or presentation) first for permission to attend a college rep visit, during their class. If your teacher indicates you have been granted the permission to attend the college rep visit, then sign-up in Naviance Student. College Rep Visit can be found under the "College" tab, then scroll down to "College Visits" to view the list and sign-up click on “show more”. The college rep visit will be 40 minutes long at the end of each class period. Students will have to attend their classes before the college rep visit.

If you need help with logging into your Naviance Student account please send me, Mr. Lang, an email at llang@pausd.org.

College Rep Visits are for students only.

Gunn Affiliated Associations

Your membership, participation, and donations to the following organizations help make Gunn High School a wonderful thriving institution. Thank you for your continued support. Together we are Gunn Together!


The Gunn PTSA supports Gunn high school in many ways such as teacher grants, student activities, fundraising, and organizing volunteers. Please visit the Gunn PTSA website for more information.

Palo Alto Partners in Education

Partners in Education (PiE): PiE raises money from parents and the community to provide all Palo Alto Unified School District students an educational experience beyond what is possible with public funding. The 2020-2021 fundraising campaign has begun. See here what PiE funds for Gunn.

Gunn Foundation

Support Gunn Students via the Gunn Foundation

Since 1968, the Gunn Foundation has been granting need-based scholarships to college-bound seniors in the Gunn community. Scholarships fund essential expenses— deposits, textbooks, fees, and college costs that are often unmet by aid packages. Especially now with the impact of COVID, Gunn Foundation scholarships can make a huge difference in the future of a Gunn student.

Look for the Gunn Foundation on Step 4 of the online back-to-school packet or visit our website (gunnfound.org) and consider making a donation to support a Gunn student. Your support, at any level, will truly make a difference.