GunnTogether Times (Sep. 17, 2021)
Principal Stratton's Newsletter
Dear Titan Families,
Gunn has truly come back to life this fall. With over 100 club offerings for students to join in the coming weeks and homecoming around the bend, spirits are high. Our student newspaper (The Oracle) just produced its first all-in-person publication of the year. Here is the link: https://issuu.com/gunnoracle/docs/oraclesept2021
The photos above showcase one of the many exciting lunchtime activities happening at Gunn each week. Hundreds of students and many staff members filled the stands of our stadium to witness the first annual Friendship Bowl! It was a sensational event in which our football team partnered with our Future's Program.
While staff and students continue to express exhaustion at the end of each week, it is the good kind of fatigue that comes from sustained focus and increased levels of engagement in teaching and learning.
It is a great time to be a Titan! Thank you for your continued support of the students and staff of Gunn High!
In the Spirit of GunnTogether,
Progress Reports Available Now
- Sophomore Parent Network meeting (8 am, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 9th & 10th Grade Counseling Parent Information Night
- 9th Grade 6-6:45 https://pausd.zoom.us/j/94597131370
- 10th Grade 7-7:45 https://pausd.zoom.us/j/94597131370
- On-site Covid testing (date changed because there is no school on Friday)
- No School: Staff Development Day
- Homecoming Week! Look for event details on our Website Calendar and in your Schoology/I.C. messages. Email email@example.com with questions.
Safe Routes to School
SAFE ROUTES UPDATE
Not sure which routes to take to Gunn High School? The Safe Routes to School Team recommends various routes as outlined in the Walk n’ Roll map. And, did you know that about 50% of Gunn students bike to school? Great job, Titans! Please note that Gunn students should avoid cutting through Juana Briones Elementary School after 8:00am as young students are trying to get to campus. After the elementary schools have started instruction for the day, older students should use alternate routes to Gunn: either the Maybell/Donald/Georgia cut-thru or Los Robles.
Gunn’s parking lot is currently under construction. This project, including a bike lane, should be completed by the first week of October.
IMPORTANT: Due to limited space, students will not be able to park on campus for the duration of the construction project. Available parking is limited to staff and visitors only.
Please plan to bike, walk or take public transportation to school until at least the end of September. Students can park their bikes at any bike stall regardless of the color of the stall. Bikes should be locked.
Once we have been given a firm completion date for the parking lot, the Student Activities Office will begin the sale of parking permits for Seniors only with a current Driver’s License (not a permit).
Reminder: All Visitors and Volunteers Need to Be Vaccinated
COVID Testing At Gunn Every Friday
COVID Testing is a critical part of our safety protocols and practices, and it is our responsibility to ensure that our vendors, our tests, and our labs meet the highest standard of care and quality performance. In the interest of transparency, this notice is to provide important information about concerns related to the PAUSD COVID testing program and steps to address them.
The demand for COVID tests in PAUSD is growing districtwide and we are committed to ensuring that tests are accessible to all students and staff. This increasing demand has caused, among other things, a delay in the turnaround time for getting results.
We expected that test results would be available within 24-48 hours, but recently, we have seen results often take 5 or more days. This challenge is not unique to Palo Alto, and we are doing what we can to mitigate it. We continue to work with the vendor to automate the process to eliminate barriers in the process to improve our COVID testing program.
Changes to Protocol
This week staff and parents/guardians may pre-register for on-site COVID Testing by clicking on the link below. This will allow participants to register online for onsite testing and eliminate paper registration. Please note, these links are school site-specific, so if you have children at more than one site you’ll need to use the individual code specifically for your child’s school.
Henry M. Gunn High
Once you have registered, the individual being tested will only need to walk up to the testing clinic and they will be able to search them by name. The lab staff will be able to immediately connect the barcode for the test sample to the online registration information, shortening turnaround times for notifications. You will receive your test results through an email or text message from “Patient Connect,” which is Predicine Lab's new data system.
The district positivity rate remains low and despite the challenges, we are proud to offer a COVID testing program to our students and staff. We thank you for your patience and for your commitment to safety. Thriving through the pandemic requires an effort by all of us, working together to keep our school community safe.
If you have questions, feel free to contact the PAUSD Health Services Office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call (650)833-4240
SELF and PRIME = Mandatory Attendance
SELF is a four-year program which cultivates students' social-emotional skills among a small community of peers and mentors. The purpose of SELF is to develop students’ empathy, resilience and other core social-emotional skills; help students build trusting relationships with their peers and mentors; and establish spaces where they feel safe and supported.
PRIME is an opportunity for students to work on a variety of skills -- academic (tutorials with peers and teachers, makeup tests, counseling appointments, etc.), wellness, and interpersonal. Students are encouraged to make teacher appointments in advance of their PRIME class through Infinite Campus (Responsive Scheduling).
During the PRIME period (Wednesdays, 2:40-3:30pm), all students will be expected to remain on campus, and:
- Check in with their assigned PRIME teacher at the start of the period (listed on your student's schedule).
- Once they check in with their assigned PRIME teacher, students will be allowed to attend appointments with teachers/counselors with whom they may need additional support.
- Students will be expected to work productively during the period, and attend appointments made with their teachers/counselors (in advance) for additional support.
- While these are "instructional minutes" and students are expected to be on campus for the duration of the period, we understand students may occasionally need to make outside appointments during this time slot to avoid missing academic classes. In these cases, students and families should follow the same protocol for calling in an excused absence as they would with any other class period. Doctor's note may be requested for repeated appointments during PRIME.
Gunn Wellness Center
This week students engaged in various activities through wellness to promote awareness of Suicide Prevention Month. During PRIME on Wednesday, students joined the wellness team in reflecting on four prompts about how we each hold hope and the gratitude we have for life itself. On Friday, staff around campus set out tea lights to honor World Suicide Prevention Day and represent our unified commitment to raise awareness about suicide, acknowledge our collective grief, and bring hope to the Gunn community. During lunch, we hosted students in a Kahoot game about suicide prevention focusing on dispelling myths about suicide and learning the correct terminology to use.
Senior Parents Update
All 12th-grade students can miss up to 5 total days (excused) for college visits. Please use the form linked here to submit a request for approval. Requests should be submitted to the Attendance Office 72 hours in advance. If you have any questions, please reach out to Assistant Principal Courtney Carlomagno at email@example.com.
Senior Recognition Ads (also known as Senior Baby Ads) DUE DATE 10/31
A quarter-page senior recognition ad at $75. As always, we have tried to determine pricing that will be affordable to all parents. All proceeds go toward yearbook printing and production. Thanks for supporting The Olympian! Any questions? firstname.lastname@example.org. For technical questions, call Jostens at 1-800-358-0800.
Senior Portraits Are Due the Week of January 3, 2022
Please contact Now and Forever Studio via phone at (408) 354-8660 to arrange your appointment. They will have a limited number of Campus sessions and will have a tiered sign-up system. More details will be available soon. Contact Olympian adviser Kristy Blackburn
Athletics (Titan Home Games)
FOOTBALL (Frosh/Soph 4:30pm, Varsity 7:00pm)
- Oct. 1, Oct. 15, Oct. 29
- Oct. 7 (6:45pm), Oct. 13 (7:00pm), Oct. 19 (6:45pm), Oct. 26 (6:45pm)
- Sept. 17 (Varsity 3pm), Sept. 18 (Varsity 8am), Sept. 21 (Varsity 3:30pm), Sept. 28 (Varsity 3:30pm), Oct. 7 (Frosh/Soph 5:45pm, Varsity 6:45pm), Oct. 14 (F/S 5:45pm, Varsity 6:45pm), Oct. 15 (Varsity 3pm), Oct. 16 (Varsity 8am), Oct. 21 (F/S 5:45pm, Varsity 6:45pm)
Volunteer help needed
College and Career Center Needs Volunteer Help, Remotely for Now
Leighton Lang, the Director of the always busy C&CC at Gunn requests help with some tasks which can be done remotely, such as planning the College Fair and some data entry. Later, when volunteers may work on campus, he will welcome help with college rep visits and other tasks. If you can help for a couple of hours a week, please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Norma Hesterman (email@example.com), including the day or days you are available, and the name of your student and she will forward your offer to Mr. Lang.
Field Trip Drivers
Parents who drive for sports matches (and other field trips) must complete the special district required driver form and have it approved and signed by the principal BEFORE the trip. This form must be accompanied by:
- a copy of the driver's license AND,
- a copy of the declaration page of the driver's insurance policy showing AMOUNTS of coverage.
The district requires minimum coverage of $300,000 bodily injury per occurrence and $100,000 property damage per occurrence. (You must have a declaration page attached showing adequate coverage. The cost of raising your property insurance coverage is minimal.) EACH driver must complete a new form each school year, which will cover all field trips for the present school year.
New this year: For sports matches away from Gunn (or any other approved field trip) parents are allowed to drive but they must go through the vaccination verification process. All drivers who transport students other than their own must complete this process. Please upload your vaccination record HERE. Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the PTSA
Donate to PiE!
The PiE (Partners in Education) 2021-22 fundraising campaign is underway. Your support makes a huge difference to our school community. PiE funds go to every PAUSD school and help principals staff programs that deliver a well-rounded education. PiE's funding provides enrichment and support in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), the Arts, and Wellness and Support. PiE-funded staff enhances our kids' learning every day. Questions about PiE? See our FAQs Donate today!
- For information on the district’s air quality protocol, see this link. Typically, site administrators will receive notification from the district if and when outdoor activities should be held indoors, in which case, we will share that information with staff ASAP.
If you or someone you know lacks adequate housing, please fill out this confidential Local Education Agencies’ Instructions for the Housing Questionnaire or email email@example.com to receive support.
- Our Wellness Center is ready to help students and families deal with the stresses of high school life. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The VTA busses are running now: https://www.vta.org/school-trippers
- Gunn Together - the weekly e-newsletter you're now reading with general school news.
- Titan Talk -- a bi-weekly Sunday evening e-newsletter from the Guidance and College & Career Departments with information on grade-level focus, visiting college reps, etc.
- The Gunn Connection - a weekly e-newsletter published on Sundays by PTSA volunteers with events information from Gunn and the community. Subscribe here.
- Schoology - e-messages sent to students; homework assignments; current graded work
- Infinite Campus - e-messages sent to parents/guardians.
- Daily Bulletin & TBN News - daily news for students posted online and broadcast in classrooms each morning.
- Parent Networks - grade-level parent groups, organized by the PTSA, who meet at various times and locations. Email network coordinators: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Oracle - Gunn's student-run newspaper published monthly under the supervision of Kristy Blackburn (email@example.com)
- Reopening FAQs: https://www.pausd.org/return-to-campus/faq
COVID Response: https://www.pausd.org/return-to-campus/responding-to-covid
Independent Study: https://www.pausd.org/school-life/learning/ab130/faq
Grade Changes: https://www.pausd.org/school-life/learning/ab104
- We have many opportunities to volunteer at Gunn!. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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.
Gunn Foundation provides need-based scholarships to graduating seniors to help them further their education and secure their future. Please visit the Gunn Foundation website to donate.