Gunn Together Times

Principal Stratton's Update, 4/22/21

Gunn/Paly Update

As we navigate the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we have observed the guidelines and protocols that continue to be released. At this time, we remain committed to providing our students with positive educational experiences outside of the regular school day in alignment with current safety protocols.

With improving conditions, we are excited to be able to open up opportunities that have not been available since the start of the pandemic. As we plan for the end-of-year activities, it is important to remember the priority of student, family, and community health and safety. Many of the activities and events that contribute to the high school experience fall under the category of extra-curricular, and benefit various groups of students. At this point, we want to ensure that the Class of 2021 is able to experience the one event that celebrates all of our graduating seniors and their entire educational experience--graduation.

We are pleased to convey that some small-scale events and activities that align to safety state and county safety protocols will be supported by our school. As conditions shift, we anticipate there may be changes in the parameters or guidelines that must be followed for any school-supported event. When activities are approved, we will provide the most current guidelines that will need to be followed. Some of the types of events that we are approving include grab-and-go type events, lunch-time wellness activities, and small award type celebrations (without food) with limited numbers of participants.

As has previously been communicated, an in-person graduation ceremony remains our biggest priority, in hopes that the senior class of 2021 can enjoy this important tradition. We will not be entertaining a prom or modified prom event this year to ensure our students remain healthy and are able to participate in their graduation ceremony.

You will hear from the PTSA for both Gunn and Paly regarding any events they choose to sponsor.


Wendy Stratton, Gunn Principal


Brent Kline, Paly Principal

Starting Next Week . . .

Starting Tuesday, April 27, all students may return Tuesday-Friday for in-person instruction. Students will no longer be alphabetically grouped and may attend any day of the week excluding Mondays. If your student has not yet attended in person, remember to fill out the Parent Square Health Screener every day they attend. While students may select days they wish to attend, they must attend school for the entire school day.

WASC Recommendations for Gunn High: Stay the Course!

Huge congratulations to everyone (all stakeholders) for wrapping up an incredibly successful 2021 WASC Self-Study!

Our wonderfully responsive and observant team of visitors concluded their visit. In our staff-wide debriefing meeting after school on Wednesday, they found that the target actions we had identified in our report closely matched their recommendations, pretty much, across the board. They generally celebrated the aspects of Gunn that we had identified as our strengths, and encouraged us several times to "stay the course" in continuing to focus on our self-identified areas of growth.

While we don't want to say the work is finished, this stage of it is, and we’re extremely grateful to absolutely everyone for their help and cooperation throughout this process, and for all that every single one of you does to make Gunn such a wonderful place for students to learn and grow. Here's to getting even better!

2021-2023 Site Council Parent Representatives Wanted

Friday, May 7 candidate statement deadline

The Gunn Site Council is seeking two (2) elected parent representatives to serve for two-year terms from August 2021 to June 2023. If you are interested, please submit a short candidate statement for the ballot by Friday, May 7, 2021.

Since our returning parents will have 10th and 11th-grade students, we would especially appreciate some candidates representing the 9th and 12th grades as well as parents who are passionate about and/or can share valuable insights that will benefit all Gunn students, including but not limited to, closing the achievement gap, improving connectedness and a sense of belonging for students in underrepresented groups, expanding support for college and career readiness, and deepening social-emotional learning.

Are you interested? Here are some FAQS and here is a link to submit your candidate statement.

Newly elected Gunn Site Council members are invited to join for the last meeting of the year on Monday, May 24, 2021. Save the date!

Take-Home COVID Test Kits

We are very excited to announce the launch of our take-home COVID-19 test kits with Predicine that will be offered to Gunn students attending in-person classes.

Students will be able to take home kits every other week beginning the week of April 29th. Every other week will rotate between Tuesday/Wednesday cohorts with Thursday/Friday cohorts. Students will take home their kits on a Tuesday or Thursday and will be asked to return the kit to the school site the next day. The take-home schedule for the COVID-19 kits can be found here.

For families that would like their students to participate, there is a consent form attached to this email. The consent form must be signed and uploaded during registration in order to process the sample. Translated versions of the consent form will be available by the first day of testing.

Please view this training video to learn about the process and how to administer the test at home. While the kits do come with FedEx shipping labels, students will be able to return their kits to the school site the next day to be picked up by a Predicine courier to be taken directly to the lab for processing.

You can also find a quick guide to the instructions in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.

If you have any questions, please contact PAUSD Health Services at

Estamos muy emocionados de anunciar el comienzo de las pruebas del COVID-19 que se podrán tomar en casa por parte de Predicine (la compañía que procesa las pruebas) que se ofrecerá a los estudiantes de las escuelas secundarias que asisten a clases en persona.

Los estudiantes de secundaria podrán tomar estos kits de pruebas a casa cada dos semanas comenzando el 12 de abril. Cada dos semanas rotaran grupos de estudiantes que asisten los martes/miércoles con los jueves/viernes. Los estudiantes llevaran los kits para las pruebas del COVID-19 a sus casas un martes o jueves y se pedirán que las devuelvan a la escuela el día siguiente. Puede encontrar el horario de llevada/recolecta de los kits de pruebas del COVID-19 aquí.

Para familias que quieran que sus estudiantes participen, hay un formulario de consentimiento adjunto a este correo electrónico. El formulario de consentimiento debe ser firmado y subido electrónicamente durante la registración para poder procesar la prueba. Versiones traducidas en diferentes lenguas del formulario de consentimiento estarán disponible el primer día de pruebas.

Por favor vea este video de entrenamiento para aprender el proceso y como administrar la prueba en casa. Aunque los kits vienen con etiquetas de FedEx, los estudiantes podrán regresarlos el día siguiente en la escuela por recolectores de Predicine que las llevaran directamente al laboratorio para procesarlos.

Usted puede encontrar una simple guía de instrucciones en English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.

Si tiene preguntas, por favor comuníquese con servicios de salud de PAUSD al



对于希望学生参加测试的家庭,此电邮附有同意书。必须在注册过程中签署并上载同意书才能办理测试样本。在测试的第一天前, 将有测试同意书的翻译版提供。




Athletics Update & Live Streaming Opportunity

Sports currently practicing and playing contest:

  • Baseball – Ends 5/29/21
  • Softball – Ends 5/29/21
  • B/G Track and Field – Ends 5/29/21
  • Boys Golf – Ends 5/29/21
  • Boys Tennis – Ends 5/29/21
  • B/G Water Polo – Ends 5/29/21
  • Girls Lacrosse – Ends 5/29/21
  • B/G Basketball – Ends 5/29/21
  • B/G Wrestling – Ends 5/29/21
  • Boys Volleyball – Ends 5/29/21

All athletes must have a current physical and be signed up on We also hope that families, who are able, will donate to Gunn Athletics. The recommended amount is $250. Payments can be made at, Titan Store, and by check made out to Gunn Athletics. Donations supply 85% of the funds to run all of the sports programs.

Indoor sports have to covid test three times a week on Monday-Wednesday-Friday. This is a mandate from the State of California Health Department. At this time fans aren’t allowed at indoor contests. Outdoor contests do allow fans. Each family of an athlete will be given a SCVAL pass for entrance to an outdoor event.

So Grateful to the Gunn Sports Boosters For Bringing Us Live Streaming!

Live Streaming of B/G Soccer, Girls Lacrosse, B/G Water Polo, B/G Basketball, and B/G Volleyball is available through the NFHS Network at

Choose Gunn High School for all of the sports listing home and away. This Spring 2021 Livestream is free of charge through the generosity of the Gunn Sports Boosters.

Here is the live link:

Gunn Together and SELF

SELF and Gunn Together will continue rotating days this week.

SELF - Wednesday, April 28: Buddy Cohorts

Gunn Together - Friday, Apr 30: Mental Health Month (Wellness)

Gunn Together - Wednesday, May 5: FLEX/Safety Drill & AP testing

SELF - Friday, May 7: Anti-Bias Lesson

SELF - Wednesday, May 12: Unit Themed Lessons

Gunn Together - Friday, May 14: FLEX/Safety Drill & AP testing

Gunn Together - Wednesday, May 19: Mental Health Month (Wellness)

SELF - Friday, May 21: End of the Year Celebrations

Gunn Together - Wednesday, May 26: Alternate Schedule (the week before finals)

Big picture

Prepared Schools Update for Parents

COVID -19 Prepared Schools Update for Parents

Let's look at three scenarios as they relate to COVID-19:Scenario 1: Your child is exhibiting one or more COVID-19 symptoms.Scenario 2: Your child has been i...

2020-2021 State Testing

We will be administering the State mandated SmarterBalanced assessments across the Palo Alto district this spring. The high schools will administer the CAASPP and CAST testing on consecutive Mondays, April 26 and May 3. The testing will be a school-wide commitment, therefore, these Mondays will need to be asynchronous days.

The CAASPP tests for English Language Arts and Math will be administered to all Juniors. The CAST test for science will be administered to all Sophomores and any Seniors who did not complete the test as Sophomores.

The CAASPP and CAST tests give teachers important information on the academic progress of our students and are useful for curricular improvements. Teachers will be administering the tests during testing blocks, non-instructional periods.

In addition to providing students, parents, and teachers with valuable information on student academic progress, the CAASPP test also provides students with academic eligibility and opportunities that they will not have if they do not participate.

These include:

§ Eligibility for the State Seal of Biliteracy (along with other language criteria)

§ Eligibility for the Golden State Certificate of Merit Diploma (along with other criteria)

§ Eligibility to bypass entry course requirements for English and Math at CSUs

(depending upon score toward the College Readiness Indicator)

The CAASPP and CAST tests have been intentionally scheduled after SAT testing and before AP Testing in May. Gunn teachers have committed to being mindful of testing on scheduled days and will not load students with assignments, projects, and tests.

Gunn High School has made tremendous progress in our student participation in the SmarterBalanced assessments. We progressed from participation in the low 20% to 84% participation last year. Our intention is for all Juniors and Sophomores to participate in these upcoming tests. We hope to get closer to the 95% or above participation that our surrounding school districts, such as Mountain, Los Altos, and Menlo Park, have achieved. We need your support to do this.

More specific information on SmarterBalanced assessments will be coming. If you have questions after this information is shared, please contact our Gunn SmarterBalanced Assessments Coordinator, Pier Angeli La Place at

ParentSquare Training and Information

Please complete the health screener for your child(ren) by 8:00 AM every day that they are coming to campus. Fill out the survey honestly and keep your child(ren) at home if you answer "Yes" to any of the questions.

If you answer a question incorrectly, you will need to contact your school to clear your child to attend. You will not have another opportunity on the same day to complete the screener.

If your student will not be attending school, you do not need to fill out the screener but you will need to contact your site attendance secretary.

Additional details, instructions, and a quick video can be found on the district website. To download the PAUSD custom app for your mobile device go to the App Store (iOS devices) and the Play Store (Android devices).

Gunn Return To Campus Handbook

Please review this document to learn about procedures and protocols associated with returning to campus. This document will be updated regularly to reflect any changes made over the coming weeks.

On Campus Learning Student Checklist

A parent must complete the Parent Square health screener before students come on campus.

Packing Checklist:

  • Fully Charged Chromebook/Laptop

  • Laptop Charger

  • Gunn lanyard w/photo ID

  • Headphones

  • Filled Water Bottle

  • Lunch (BYO or have the Free Lunch, no delivery)

  • Mask(s) (ready to be put on as soon as you arrive on campus)

  • School supplies needed for your classes

  • Jacket (classroom doors and windows will be open)

Superintendent's Update: Friday, April 23rd

Board of Education calendars are tentative until formally posted the Friday before meetings. The tentative calendar can be found HERE.

Focused efforts are in motion for the 2021-22 school year. Top on the list, are efforts to prepare all students to read at or above grade level before entering 4th grade. A Districtwide commitment to early literacy will include revisions to reading instruction, universal training for staff, and clear metrics to monitor achievement. Detailed information will be provided to all families prior to the end of the school year.

Our high school principals and activities directors met on Thursday, April 21, to discuss proposed activities for the end of the school year. School sites will communicate with their stakeholders about the status of each proposed event. We appreciate the time and thought that went into making decisions that align with our Public Health Department. Future questions regarding specific activities should be directed to the school sites.

At the April 19 Santa Clara County Superintendents Meeting, we were told that there is no pending legislation to extend relaxed rules regarding distance learning, independent study, or instructional minutes. As we all understand by now, things can change. At this point, the 10% cap for independent study will remain in place. We will plan to return to previous (pre-pandemic) instructional minute requirements. Following the governor’s recent comments, we will also continue planning for five days per week in-person instruction at all levels. We will provide updates as available.


PAUSD has been selected as one of the first districts in the country to pilot a new school lunch menu addition: plant-based dishes made with Impossible Foods. On Friday, April 30, students at JLS Middle School will be able to try Taco Salads with Impossible™ Meat Made from Plants as part of the school lunch program.

Some history on the Impossible Burger...
The Impossible Burger debuted in 2016 at celebrity chef David Chang's restaurant Momofuku in New York, and since then the plant-based burgers and Impossible™ Sausage Made from Plants have been added to menus across the country from Burger King (sold as the Impossible™ Whopper®) to Starbucks (sold as the Impossible™ Breakfast Sandwich), and Impossible Burgers can now also be found in grocery stores including Safeway, Costco, Trader Jose, and Walmart. Named the “Preferred Plant-Based Burger” of Walt Disney World, the burger was also named top plant-based burger by the New York Times and received the Food and Beverage (FABI) Award from the National Restaurant Association.

Ingredients and health...
Created to mimic the taste, nutrition, and experience of meat from animals, plant-based meats from Impossible Foods are packed with nutrients and have a fraction of the environmental impact. Impossible Burger has as much bioavailable iron and protein as a comparable serving of 80/20 ground beef from cows and includes macronutrients like fiber and micronutrients like folate, B12, thiamin, and iron. The quarter-pound patty has 0 mg cholesterol, 14 grams of total fat, and 8 grams of saturated fat. Full ingredients can be found here.

Packed with Nutrients for our kids...
Mixing up the menu throughout the week by choosing a variety of plant-based proteins and including Impossible Foods products as part of the rotation, is a great way to get a variety of protein-rich foods into kids' diets. Impossible Burger is nutrient-dense, with essential vitamins and minerals, protein, and fiber. Serving Impossible products in schools also makes plant-based foods accessible to kids regardless of socioeconomic status, ensuring kids are able to access nutrient-dense foods needed for a healthy dietary pattern early in life.

Burgers can save the planet?
There are clear environmental benefits to replacing conventional ground beef with Impossible Burger. Compared to conventional ground beef, the Impossible Burger uses 87% less water, 96% less land, generates 89% less GHG emissions, making it a much better choice for those concerned about climate change and protecting natural resources. In 2020, the United Nations awarded Impossible Foods a Global Climate Action Award in the “Planetary Health” Category as a company providing one of the most practical, effective examples to combat climate change at a global scale.

Quick Links

Quick Links

Gunn High School Website

Gunn PTSA Website

Gunn Student Activities

Gunn Oracle Current Edition


Parent Networks

| 12th Grade Class |

Nisha Datta, Julie Dubrouillet & Laura Wingard

| 11th Grade Class |

Claire Kirner, Leena Gill, & Gunjan Gupta

| 10th Grade Class |

Annie Bedichek, Lili Nova-Roessig, & Mana Uchino

| 9th grade Class |

Elizabeth Lam, Naomi Wang, & Michelle Chen

| Special Ed/Inclusion Rep |

Momo Yanagihara & Yael Uziyel Navel

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.


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.

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 and Leighton Lang at 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.