Paly Community Update

Friday, January 14, 2021

A message from the Principal

I am extremely grateful for the overwhelming support that our Paly parent community has shown this week by the huge number of parents who signed up to volunteer. To date, we had over 230 parents willing to help us out. This is simply incredible and I am so thankful for the support that the entire Paly community provides to our students and staff.

We have identified areas of support that include helping with the COVID clinic, supporting our cafeteria team, helping with supervision during lunches and breaks, assisting our I.T. department with computer set-up and distribution, and helping with science lab set up and organization. We will continue to work at identifying other areas of need and will communicate this information to our parent community on an ongoing basis.

We are working in partnership with our PTSA, who is assisting with the communication of these jobs, including date and time, to those parents who signed up to help. You will be contacted as these volunteer opportunities develop and we will be keeping our list of volunteers on file in the event that your assistance is not needed during this current surge.

Thank you again for your support as we continue to navigate this difficult time together.

With gratitude,

Brent Kline, Principal

Paly Athletic Program

  1. Indoor Sports Attendance – We are currently restricting attendance to all indoor events to immediate family/household members of our athletes (no student section). We will provide more updates as the environment changes.

  2. Covid Updates – As the regulations surrounding covid change regularly, you can get up-to-date information regarding our protocols here.

  3. Spring Sports Start – The spring sports season is set to begin Monday, 1/31. Please visit this link to make sure your child(ren) are ready to go on day one.

  4. Spring Sports Information Night – We are holding our Spring Sports Information Night on Thursday, 1/27 at 7pm via zoom. You can view the agenda here.

Guidance Updates

Foothill Middle College - Information Session & Open House – Sophomores MC Student Information Session at PALY

Jan 19, 2022 at 2:40pm PRIME in Rm 541 (Library classroom)

Are you a bright, curious free-thinker who is yearning for a more mature environment? Are you looking for a supportive and accepting community? Are you capable of doing college level work? Foothill Middle College is now recruiting students from Palo Alto Unified and Mountain View-Los Altos High School Districts for next school year. Middle College is an alternative program that serves bright students who may not be performing up to their full potential, or students who are dissatisfied with the traditional high school environment. The program is located on the Foothill campus and offers students the opportunity to attend both high school and college classes concurrently. Students accepted into the Middle College program leave their home school and take all of their classes on the Foothill College campus. Every Middle College student completes graduation requirements and receives a diploma from his/her home school. Come meet the teachers and learn more about the program at these events:

MC Open House for Students and Parents - Mandatory Meeting!

Feb 16, 2022 from 6-8pm at Foothill College in Appreciation Hall rm 1501 (map)

College Now! - Information Session & Open House

The MVLA High School District, Palo Alto School District, and Foothill College have collaborated on a new program - College Now! - so that qualifying juniors and seniors can start college early and graduate from high school with a year or more of transferable credits.

College Now! is ideal for students who are highly self-motivated, mature, independent, responsible, and hardworking. These students may have 'outgrown' high school and are seeking a stimulating educational environment that is different from their home high school.

Join us at one of the upcoming meetings to learn more about the program:

College Now! Student Information Session at PALY

Jan 19, 2022 at 2:40pm in Rm 541 (Library Classroom)

College Now! Open House for Students and Parents at Foothill

Feb 17, 2022 from 6-8pm at Foothill College in the Hearthside Lounge rm 2313 (map)

Advisory Update

Welcome back to 2nd semester!

Advisories are full of important information as we begin to plan for the ‘22-’23 school year. In the coming weeks students will be updating their 4-Year Plans after reviewing their grades from 1st semester.They will also reflect on their daily routines by using a Time Management tool that will help them see where they might need to make adjustments for continued success in their studies. These tasks will all culminate with Course Selection for next year.

9th Grade:

Last week, students talked about lessons learned from 1st semester: What went well first semester? Not so well? What surprised you? What did you learn about: yourself? your habits?

Using those insights, they discussed Time Management skills that will help them be successful going forward. Here’s the lesson if you’d like to see more:

Time Management Slides

10th Grade:

Sophomores will be updating their 4 year plans this week. It helps revisiting the graduation vs. college eligibility requirements before choosing classes that prepare them for their post high school goals. This is a good time for parents to refresh their knowledge of this information as well.

Take a look at the lesson to learn more: 4 Yr Plan Lesson.

11th Grade:

Juniors started 2nd semester off attending the Orientation to the College & Career Center. For a majority of our students, preparing for the college application season will be the focus of Advisory for the remainder of

the year. For those entering the workforce, Advisory will also be the place to learn about creating a meaningful resume. This week’s lesson covers so much information about demonstrating interest at a particular college, how to make an appointment with your College & Career Advisor, the resources available in the center about Test Prep, Gap Years, Vocational and Specialty schools, to name just a few. Check out these information packed slides: Follow up to the College & Career Center Orientation Lesson.

12th Grade:

Seniors had Advisory last week. The main focus was on Mid-Year Transcripts-- which need to be ordered by the student, and which will automatically be uploaded by the TA (for Common App colleges). Parents please remind your students that they must fill out the Mid-Year Transcript Request Form by Jan. 21st. If you‘d like to see more detailed information, click here. Time was allocated for any student wanting to talk to their TA and individual check-ins.

Semester 2 Parent Night - 9th and 10th grade

Mark your calendars: We will be hosting a combined Virtual 9th and 10th grade Parent Night on Wednesday, January 19th, 6:30 pm via Zoom.

An email will be sent the week before the event with webinar login information

Topics that will be included:

  • The 4 Year Academic Plan

  • Course Selection

  • Typical 10th and 11th-grade schedules

  • Off-Campus Courses

  • Post High School Options

  • CSU/UC minimum eligibility requirements

College & Career Center updates


Some CSUs Still Accepting Applications

For more information, see:

Checking College Application Status

After applying, many colleges will send students an email with information about how to login to their websites (i.e. portals) to track the application status. This is vitally important because any messages with requests for more information will be communicated through these websites. So, students should check email often and be sure messages don't get lost in the SPAM folder. But, please be aware that there is typically a delay in processing time for portals to be updated; during COVID, college campus staff are often working remotely which might impact updates as well. So, it’s important to check the portals but please don’t panic if it’s not up-to-date. Seniors should contact their College Advisor with any questions.

Admitted Early Decision (ED)? Withdraw Your Other Apps!

If you were admitted to college Early Decision, congratulations! According to the terms of the ED agreement students signed (as well as their parents and TA), students must contact other campuses to which they have also applied (e.g. each UC) to withdraw pending applications. If you applied for financial aid (i.e. filed the FAFSA), first review your need-based award; not receiving enough aid is the only condition under which you can break the ED agreement--by forfeiting your admission to that ED college, to continue to pursue pending college decisions from Early Action (EA)/regular applications. If you have questions, please contact your College Advisor.


We enjoyed meeting with juniors during their US History classes for orientation last week; a recording of the presentation has been uploaded to the C&CC Class of 2023 Schoology course.

Students, please share the contents of the Post High School Planning folder you picked up at Paly prior to orientation with your parents; the packet includes the following and more:

  • Community College information (application process, certificate and degree programs, transfer agreements)

  • California State University eligibility index, impacted program matrix, and admission averages info for impacted campuses

  • University of California packet with eligibility criteria, admissions review processes and admission statistics

  • Tips for planning a college campus visits

  • SAT and ACT test registration brochures

  • NCAA Eligibility information

  • Naviance highlights of functions and features

  • Colleges' Net Price and financial aid information

For those students who didn’t receive their Post High School Planning folders last week, you can pick one up at the College and Career Center. To view electronic versions of the folder and its documents:

  • The cover of the folder is here

  • The folder contents can be accessed here

Juniors may now schedule an appointment to meet with a College Advisor. Students will be required to first complete the Post High School Planning survey in Naviance; after doing so, they can sign up for a one-hour appointment, directly in Calendly. Details about this process can be found in the C&CC Class of 2023. Schoology course. Students can meet with college advisors during their prep period or after school. Juniors with quick questions can stop by to see an advisor during brunch and lunch or any non-Junior Advisory.

  • Students with last names starting with A-K will meet with Ms. Cernobori - Ms. Cernobori will be out on medical leave until March. Students with last names starting with A-K will have the opportunity to meet with retired Paly College Advisor, Ms. Erber, in February (via Zoom) or wait to meet with Ms. Cernobori upon her return: or - these URLs are not live now. Check back in Feb. for Ms. Erber and March for Ms. Cernobori.

  • Students with last names L-Z will meet with Ms. Cochrane -

  • Students interested in community college (for career/vocational training, Associates degrees, or preparation for transfer), the military, or gap years will meet with Mrs. Laguna -

During the first meeting with a college advisor, we meet with just the student (parents can attend subsequent meetings).

Students using an email provider that offers a calendar feature (like Yahoo or Google) should verify the calendar is set to the Pacific time zone, rather than another default time zone, so the emailed appointment from Calendly indicates the correct time. In addition, they should add Calendly email address (<>), as well as their College Advisor's, in their email contact list so email doesn't get filtered to their email provider's SPAM folder.


Can you believe we’re almost halfway through January? While we are so excited to be back, we also recognize that with a new year comes new challenges. These past few weeks have been a little crazy and might continue to be as we navigate the new year together. Wellness will continue working on creative ways to remind students to prioritize their mental health and wellbeing . Transitioning back to school and getting motivated can be challenging, especially during times where many of us are experiencing isolation and stress. It’s with this in mind that Wellness will be focusing on activities and tips to foster a resilient mindset, starting with a vision board activity for students to get creative in setting goals for themselves and will hopefully inspire some motivation for the spring semester. :)

Work Permits

Many local job sites continue to be interested in hiring your child, please check out the updated Spring 2022 job opportunities slidedeck for listings and remember that all minors hired in a paid position through a company require a work permit. Follow this link for more info and explore the Work Experience Student Resources or contact the Work Experience teacher: Rachael Kaci

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