Titan Talk

Henry M Gunn High School

May 17, 2020: Vol 3 Issue 34

PAUSD Webinar series: Backstage with the Superintendent.

The PAUSD webinar series, “Backstage with the Superintendent” will be hosted by thoughtexchange on Monday, May 18, at 5:30 p.m. to gather your thoughts about reopening schools in the future. The live version will allow viewers to see the data flow in real-time. The webinar will be immediately posted to YouTube at the same address and thoughtexchange data collection will continue through May 22. The webinar can be accessed at https://go.pausd.org/backstage-webinar. If successful, PAUSD has plans to use thoughtexchange for several closure / reopening dialogues in the near future.

Please visit the district's School Closure Resource Page for answers to questions you may have regarding the closure. This page addresses questions regarding meals for students, technology needs, special education, and 504 plans, EL support, and mental health support among other things during the closure of our schools.

Please read PAUSD Superintendent of Schools, Don Austin's Letter on Credit/No Credit.

Schoology Resources

Here are some resources created to help with using Schoology in the PAUSD Schoology Backpack. Check out the Parent Guide in Additional Support with Schoology folder.

Community Resources for helping Families in Need.

Gunn PTSA has partnered with a variety of community organizations to provide help and information for families during this crisis. Please check out these resources on how you can provide or receive help.

One page guide for resources for all types of community needs.

You can also donate to the Palo Alto Community Fund's COVID-19 Relief Fund to help our community families as well.

SELF (Social Emotional Learning and Functionality)

SELF mentors have been continuing to offer different types of discussions, games and check-ins for students this week, and they have also been brainstorming about how to best support students through the program as we look towards the 2020-2021 school year. Students will also be offered the opportunity to help determine the priorities for the program in the era of social distancing through a survey that mentors are sending out this week. We welcome input from families as well--please contact the program coordinators, Courtney Carlomagno (ccarlomagno@pausd.org) and Tara Firenzi (tfirenzi@pausd.org) if you have any suggestions or insights.

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Gunn Counseling

Gunn Counseling's Virtual College Workshop.

In this installment of our Virtual College Workshop series, Gunn Counseling explores the many uses and resources of Naviance. Available to all Gunn students, Naviance is a powerful tool that provides students with a variety of features, including college research and matching tools, career assessment and personality tests, complimentary SAT and ACT test prep, and surveys to help students connect what they are doing in school to what they would like to do once they complete their education.​

Click HERE to view the presentation.

Seniors: Check out the Senior Assembly Video on closing out the year for graduation.

Here are the latest Newsletters for Seniors and Juniors for the 4th Quarter.

Senior 4th Quarter Newsletter.

Junior 4th Quarter Newsletter

Families in need of support: If you are aware of, or are in need of financial assistance during this crisis, please reach out to your counselor. Here are some community resources that can be of help also:

As the transition to Phase III of remote online learning continues, Gunn Counseling would like to offer the following strategies to help you and your student(s) adjust to learning at home. Remote Learning – Tips & Strategies

Grades: The district has moved to credit/no credit grading for the spring quarter of 2020. All coursework for 2nd semester will be reported as Credit/No Credit on all PAUSD transcripts. Please contact your teachers on the standards for receiving credit in your particular classes.

Off-campus course update:

  • District policy remains as follows: 1) Graduation requirement courses must be taken on campus. 2) Students may take a maximum of 40 credits of elective courses off-campus throughout their high school careers. 3) Students may earn a maximum of 80 credits per year, including from courses taken on- and off-campus.

  • For spring 2020, no courses taken off-campus will be put onto the PAUSD transcript. This includes all courses taken off-campus that have received prior approval from the site counselor and administrator. If you complete an off-campus course in spring 2020, you must provide colleges with a separate transcript for the course(s).

  • Courses taken in summer 2020 will appear on the PAUSD transcript with the letter grade earned and applied to the 80 maximum credits per year to be taken in the 2020-21 school year.

AP Testing. College board has moved to online testing for AP's this year. Please see the following link on information and resources.

Counselors and teachers will be available through email to answer questions and concerns during normal school hours. Please contact your counselor or teacher through Schoology or direct email. Counselors will not be checking phone messages regularly.

SJSU's Academic Preparation Department Hosts a Series of Workshops for Juniors, Seniors, and Parents interested in CSU admission.

In light of many recent COVID-19 updates, SJSU's Academic Preparation Department will hold a series of workshops over the next four weeks for high school juniors, seniors (admitted CSU students), parents, and educators. During these sessions, we will unpack many important updates with multiple audiences, including yesterday's announcement from the Chancellor's Office that the CSU plans to move a majority of its instruction for the Fall online.

All the following presentations can be accessed through the following Zoom Link. Also linked on each date.

Senior/CSU admitted student presentations:

During these senior sessions we will answer the following questions:

  • I’ve heard that the CSU will be virtual in the Fall. What does that mean for me? What will my experience look like?
  • What does CSU tuition actually pay for and what resources will I have access to in the Fall?
  • What if I was accepted to an impacted or very competitive CSU program/campus? How easy will it be if I decide not to attend but try to be readmitted to the same program later?
    What if I decide to transfer to the CSU? What are the pros and cons of that path way?
  • What about housing on the SJSU campus?

Junior Presentations:

During these sessions, we will discuss
  • Waiver of the SAT/ACT requirement
  • How different will the CSU admission process look for me?

Parent sessions:

During these sessions, we will discuss:

  • Concerns from the CSU that given the lost instruction this year, current juniors may have a more difficult time adjusting to the academic rigor of college.
  • Parents can help by encouraging their students to think beyond grades and to focus on the importance of learning the information itself.

Other important COVID-19 related updates:

Many educators have asked whether the CSU would waive ACT/SAT admissions requirements in light of the current circumstances. The short answer is yes.

The CSU will temporarily suspend the use of ACT/SAT examinations in determining admission eligibility for all CSU campuses for the 2021-2022 academic year. This temporary change applies only for fall 2021, winter 2022, and spring 2022 admission cycles.

CSU eligibility:
First-time freshmen must meet the following eligibility requirements: be a high school graduate or equivalent; complete the 15-unit comprehensive “a-g” pattern of college preparatory courses, and earn a qualifying “a-g” grade point average (GPA) as described below:

  • California residents and graduates of California high schools will be eligible for admission by earning a 2.50 or greater “a-g” GPA.
  • Non-California residents may be eligible for admission to the CSU by earning a 3.00 or greater “a-g” GPA along with other supplemental factors utilized by the individual campus, including those outlined by impacted campuses and programs.

Impacted campuses and programs:

  • Campuses and programs designated as impacted may utilize higher “a-g” GPA thresholds for applicants, as well as supplemental criteria in making admission decisions. However, in no case will standardized test scores be utilized in making admissions decisions for applicants during the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • As a fully impacted campus, SJSU has not yet made a decision on its own impaction criteria.

Students with GPAs of 2.0 - 2.49 may be admitted on the basis of supplemental information collected in Cal State Apply (additional a-g courses, extracurricular activities, work experience, participation in educational support programs such as MESA, Upward Bound, Puente, etc.). Each CSU will develop its own supplemental criteria for students in the 2.0 - 2.49 GPA range.

The Wellness Center:

Gunn Wellness Center

For Mental Health Month this week, students were asked to share their stories with us about their experiences being a student at Gunn. The goal is to collect as many narratives as we can to create a collective piece of work to shed light on the student experience and hear directly from our kids about how to support them in the challenges that being their age brings. At the end of the year we will publish a digital version of these stories to share with the Gunn community-be on the lookout for that!

Coming Soon

PAUSD’s Wellness & Support Services Department is partnering with Asian Americans for Community Involvement to offer “Creating Calm at Home During Covid-19”, a four-week series focused on supporting families. The webinar series will cover:

  • Week 1: Improving the parent-child connection in close quarters
  • Week 2: Working through generational differences in communication
  • Week 3: Helping children manage their emotions while managing your own
  • Week 4: Developing children’s coping and self-efficacy skills

To learn more and register click here!

Mindful Minute

Mental Health America has put together a landing page with a lot of resources and information that highlights the impacts of COVID-19 on one's mental health. Check out the site here. This will definitely take multiple minutes but a lot of the info here provides a lot of help in navigating the various effects that this global crisis has had on us and our families.

College and Career

Ms. Kirsch Speaks to the Sophomore Parent Network at their Virtual Coffee. See the recording of that talk in case you missed it.

Planning For College after the Pandemic- 11th Grade Parent Network Talk

Gunn Counselor Linda Kirsch talks about what will be different and the same about planning for college during and after the pandemic.

Testing: many schools have gone to test-optional so you will need factor this in. Do not rush to testing, take the PSAT, and then plan on a semester two testing, hopefully in a seat.

Keep an eye on updated info re: test requirements. Do NOT assume that if you take it and report it you will be seen a MUCH BETTER than someone who did not take or chose not to report testing. They will read fairly to all who follow the rules and what this tells you is that transcript and essays will weigh in more and for some places, you visiting the web site ( which does get tracking at many locations. Things are very fluid so do not assume old rules prevail.

MIT Survey: 25-30% of students from other countries who returned home will not come back this fall 15-10% of domestic students will not return to them this fall. Worries prevail even at high-end institutions about bringing kids back and then having to send them home again. They are asking the question: “should we increase our freshman enrollment”. Take this info and realize that ALL colleges are struggling with enrollment this fall. They want to fill seats! The impact of this year will dribble down to the next group of students, so stay optimistic.

KEEP US INFORMED: Seniors, going out the door, please let any of us in counseling know how things on your campus are going. We will need lots of feedback from you. Are you happy where you went, did things change in semester two, did you leave and go elsewhere… just send a quick e-mail and let us know. The class behind you will be forever grateful.

QUESTIONS: are always welcome!

Exclusive Collegewise Webinar Series for Gunn Families

Hello Gunn Parents and Students:

As part of our comprehensive approach to taking care of our families during a time when we don’t get to see our students at our high school campuses, we have contracted with Collegewise to provide a series of online seminars to our Gunn HS community about many of the impacts all of this is having on college admissions.

What is being offered? Collegewise will be offering 5 webinars between now and June 11. 3 of the five webinars are exclusively for our Gunn families and the remaining two will be offered districtwide. The 3 exclusive webinars are:

  • State of the Admissions Nation due to COVID
  • Highly Selective Admissions
  • Changes to the UC/CSU Admissions Policies

The other two district-wide webinars are STEM’s Many Branches: College Planning for Students Considering Majors in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and Character Counts: How Character Plays a Powerful Role in Selective College Admissions.

As you can see, we’ve tried to cover a lot of relevant ground, and we are highly confident in the skills and knowledge base of the various presenters.

Who may attend? Any Gunn HS parent or student from grades 9-11.

How much does it cost? It’s free - but you do have to register in order to participate.

How do I register? Just use this link and sign up for as many of the webinars as you wish:


We’re very excited about this as we are one of only 9 high schools in the state who get to offer this program. We hope you choose to take advantage of it.

Student Activities

Cap & Gown DRIVE-THRU Delivery Event on Tuesday, May 26! You will be able to drive up to Gunn and pick Up your Cap & Gown and Graduation Products on Tuesday, May 26th. The details:

  1. Show up in your car at your assigned time (Alpha by last name):
    • 1pm - 2pm: A - H
    • 2pm - 3pm: I - P
    • 3pm - 4pm: Q - Z

2. Have an 8x11 piece of paper with their first and last name on their dashboard (large lettering),

3. Stop where directed, pop your trunk, or lower your window, and the Jostens staff will deliver their Caps & Gowns to your trunk/ window

IMPORTANT - No one can get out of the car or hang out at the school - just drive through only. Also, for everyone’s safety, there are NO WALK-UPS OR BIKE-UPS

  • IF YOU STILL NEED A CAP & GOWN, Jostens has extended their website order window until Friday, May 22nd. If you order online by that date, it will be delivered to Gunn and we will have it waiting for you to pick it up on Tuesday. Jostens will NOT be selling any items on the pick-up day. You MUST purchase in advance.
  • All orders for cap & tassel only (no gown) must be placed by calling 1-800-JOSTENS.
  • Link to Jostens Website: https://tinyurl.com/yb4aq2ua

Refunds for Prom/ Club Field Trips: The SAO has started processing refunds for proms and field trips that were through clubs.

  1. If you purchased a ticket for Prom, we have already processed your refund and you should receive it in about two weeks.
  2. If you need a refund for a club trip/ event fill out this form: https://tinyurl.com/y8q99djc
  3. If you have moved and your address has changed, email Mrs. Hall at lhall@pausd.org.

Congratulations to the 2020 Gunn Foundation Scholars

The Gunn Foundation is pleased to announce the grant of $92,000

in scholarships to 23 amazing students from the Gunn Class of 2020. We are in awe of their stories, their resilience, and their triumphs. We are proud of them and are rooting for them as they head into their bright futures. Congratulations to the students!

We thank all Gunn Foundation donors for supporting the Class of 2020! These scholarships are only possible because of you.

Below are our 2020 Gunn Foundation Scholars:

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Sources of Strength

Share your story! Fill out the attached form (or something creative) saying what helps you in times of difficulty, and we will share on our instagram @gunnsourcesofstrength and link it nationally to #WhatHelpsUS

Stay present. Stay well.

Gunn Sources of Strength

ROCK (Reach Out Care Know)

Check out ROCK's recognition of first responders and essential workers below!

We know this is a tough time for anyone. If you need to talk, please email rockatgunn@gmail.com or message @rockatgunn on Instagram. Learn more on our website.

Gunn Oracle Is still publishing

Even though school is closed, The Oracle is still reporting! Support student journalism and follow us on Instagram at @gunnoracle to see our social media coverage during our stay at home. We are also publishing content to our website, www.gunnoracle.com, to keep the community informed.

The Oracle #8211; The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School


Please check out the latest publications of the Oracle online.


Instagram @gunnoracle


Here are some Frequently Asked Questions for parents on the school closures.

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

Thank you to all that have supported Partners in Education (PiE). The donations to PiE continue to support many programs at Gunn, including our