Paly Community Update

Friday, April 14, 2023

Greetings Viking Families!

PAUSD High School Updates

Off Campus Courses and updated AR's

Administrative Regulations

The following administrative regulations have been updated to help provide clarity with the procedures for taking courses outside the district towards graduation and challenging courses by examination. These administrative regulations will be effective June 5, 2023:

For more information pertaining to off-campus courses, please read our updated FAQ's.

Guidance Updates

Course Selection

The Course Selection window is now closed. Thank you for helping your student(s) get their course selection sheets signed and in on time. Please note that the Master Schedule is reflective of these requests - classes are created and staffing confirmed to meet these needs.

There will not be room for adding and/or dropping classes at the start of the school year when your students receive their schedules with the exception of:

  • Duplicate classes appear on the schedule

  • Missing graduation requirements

  • Successful completion of a class in summer school

  • Wrong level class

Advisory Update

One of the goals of Advisory is to help students prepare for their post-Paly and career plans. After a successful Career Speaker Series last month, we continued that preparation in several ways - depending on the grade level - this week it is the 10th and 11th graders’ turn.

10th Grade - Sophomores will be learning about Taking Care of Business in Advisory. The main message is there are 6 weeks left of the school year - enough time to make a difference! Understanding where they stand by checking each class on Schoology is key. Students should check to see if they are missing any assignments and communicate with their teachers about what they can make up or improve, and see if any tests might be available for retaking, if needed.

At the end of Advisory, Sophomores will be taking a short survey that we will use for TA placement and Advisory cohort creation for next year.

9th Grade - Next week, Frosh will also hear the Taking Care of Business message. Many proactive tips are shared to make sure students are staying on top of their class work so they can finish strong.

The balance of the Advisory builds on the career theme with an introduction to RoadTrip Nation. This career exploration tool on Naviance is meant to ignite curiosity about possible career choices based on a student’s strengths and interests. Students can listen to short video interviews (8513 are available!) broken into 48 themes and 29 interests with professionals from many different careers.

11th Grade - Juniors are in the middle of a series of Advisories that prepare them for the transition to their post-Paly life. The journey started with a lesson about exploring The Viking Guide a College & Career Planning tool in March, to this week’s lesson about Letters of Recommendation. I know this is a topic of interest to parents, so feel free to read through the lesson slides by clicking here: Letters of Rec Lesson.

Juniors will learn about the College Essay during their next Advisory.

12th Grade - Many seniors are in limbo right now. Most college application outcomes are in, but some students are waitlisted or still waiting to hear back from a few colleges. It can be a difficult time for many (students and parents) who might not have received the results for which they hoped. Jay Mathews, a Washington Post Columnist, wrote a great article titled “So you're bummed because your favorite college said no”. The message is perfectly timed, the article can be read HERE.

College & Career Center updates


College Decisions

Senior families may want to review Ms. Cernobori’s April 12 update in the C&CC Class of 2023 Schoology course for advice and practical tips about how to choose among admission offers and select a college. In addition, this blog offers great advice:

If your student is rethinking his/her post high school plans, there are some colleges still accepting freshmen applications for Fall 2023. You can do a search on the Common App ( or look at out-of-state public colleges with rolling admission. And NACAC will publish the College Openings list of colleges still accepting Fall 2023 freshmen applications (updated weekly):

Accepting Admission & Financial Aid

Seniors will submit their intention to enroll (SIR) and any deposit to ONLY ONE college or university by May 1 (typically, the national date is May 1. Be aware that some colleges require multiple actions in order to accept admission (e.g. make a deposit, sign up for orientation, complete housing contracts).

If students are on a wait-list and are later admitted to that institution, they may then accept the offer of admission off the waitlist and send a deposit to that school. However, they must immediately notify the college they previously accepted to indicate they will not be enrolling; it is unlikely the original deposit will be refunded.

Don't forget to help your student accept or deny need-based financial aid awards, too, if applicable.

Colleges will assume students are rejecting an offer of admission if they don't indicate their intent to enroll by the deadline. However, if students are certain of where they will matriculate and want to be courteous to friends on the waitlist, they can let the other colleges know that they do not intend to attend. If there isn't an online mechanism for doing so, sending a short email to the admissions office is sufficient.

Thank You’s
Please encourage your student to update and thank those who helped them during the application process--especially the teachers/TAs who wrote letters on their behalf. Seniors will be asked to formally report their application results in an upcoming Advisory.

Scholarship Program Update

The scholarship committee and/or scholarship sponsors are still reviewing/finalizing the Paly Community Scholarship applications submitted back in January. Selected recipients will be invited (via U.S. Mail) to attend Senior Awards Night on Thursday, May 25.


While the advice Brennan Barnard's Forbes article "The College Admission Paradox: Opportunity and Choice" is intended to help seniors choose among their college options, it also features excellent advice about how to approach the college search juniors are actively engaged in, including the "paradox of having too many options." The article highlights the framework for decision making from the last chapter in Barry Schwartz's The Paradox of Choice. You are encouraged to read and discuss this article with your student.

Upcoming College Info Sessions & Fairs

Junior families may want to attend college information sessions or college fairs. Check the college visit calendar on for off-campus events (also listed in Naviance) as well as the college fairs listed as events in the C&CC Class of 2024 Schoology course. For tips on how to prepare for a college fair, see the resources in the College Fair folder in Schoology.

Community Service

Students who submitted for a Spring President’s Volunteer Service Awards, have arrived! Please stop by the CCC to pick up your award.

Work Permits and Career Planning

Summer is a great time to gain work experience & career awareness - check out this slidedeck as many new, free events have been added such as an Aviation Day & a two PAUSD internship programs: Teacher in Training led by Danae Reynolds & Student Safety Team led by Mike Jacobs. Remember: although a student may not begin their career today, they are always actively exploring what things they like & don't like to develop their career awareness because you don't want to get stuck in a job you dislike. Students are encouraged to sign-up for PRIME with me next week: Rachael Kaci, the Work Experience Teacher, to discuss anything career related such as how to get a job, do you need a resume, etc.. And shout-out to the 2 students who started working at Crumbl Cookies in Mountain View - I did a job site visit this week & in addition to getting 6 free cookies from the manager, Randi, I thanked her for already prepping the students on job site safety practices (those bakery mixing machines are huge and we don’t want a student getting injured). Stop by to thank her, too! Thanks, Rachael Kaci

Big picture