Paly Community Update

Friday, January 28, 2022

End of January Updates

HI Viking Families!

Thank you for your patience and support as we worked through this first month of semester 2 while navigating Omnicron. As always, if you have any questions about the updates below, please don't hesitate to reach out.


Paly Admin & Guidance Teams

Athletics Update

Great News! The indoor spectator restriction has been lifted. Indoor events are no longer limited to immediate household family members. We look forward to your attendance at our Winter Athletic events!

Thank you for attending the Spring Sport’s Informational last night! The PRESENTATION slides are linked and there are (3) three take-aways from the presentation listed below. If you have additional questions please contact Athletic Director Nelson Gifford or visit our website at

AP TEST Update

The deadline for signing up for AP tests, with a late fee, is March 4th. Students should confirm that they are signed up through their College Board account, and have paid through their Total Registration account to confirm that they have completed registration. Due to a large number of students taking AP tests, as well as limited facilities, some students will need to take their tests during the late testing sessions. Students will be informed of their test dates at least a month prior to the tests. If you have any questions, please contact Komal Bawa at

Guidance Updates

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

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 & students and learn more about the program at our Open House:

MC Open House for Students and Parents - Mandatory Meeting!*

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

* Mask and proof of vaccination, or negative Covid test results within 72 hours of meeting, are required.

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 our upcoming Open House:

College Now! Open House for Students and Parents at Foothill*

Feb 17, 2022 6-8pm Hearthside Lounge rm 2313 @ Foothill College (map)

* Mask and proof of vaccination, or negative Covid test results within 72 hours of meeting, are required.

Advisory Update

Students have been reviewing their 1st Semester grades and updating their 4 Year Plans in preparation for Course Selection. And new this year - a Virtual Electives Fair! Students were introduced to the “fair” during Advisory. The document (see below) is full of links to information about the many electives offered at Paly.

Course Selection

February is Course Selection Month. Students will be logging in to their Infinite Campus accounts and making course requests for next year. Remember that our Master Schedule is built around the choices students make at this time. Please choose thoughtfully, there will not be a lot of room for schedule changes when the new year starts. If students have questions about which classes are appropriate as we move into Course Selection, they will have time to discuss their options with their TA. Current teachers are also a good resource for choosing an appropriate class as they know a student’s work habits and their understanding of subject material. To help guide students as they complete their course selection for next year, see the links below:

Course Catalog

Virtual Electives Fair

Course Selection Instructions

AP Contract

FAQs about different depts/classes

CTE Course Homework Guide

Important Dates for Course Selection:

9th Grade

Feb 4th - Begin Course Selection in Advisory

Feb 17th - Turn In Signed Course Selection Sheets and AP Contract (if applicable) to TA in Advisory & Individual meeting time

10th Grade

Feb 11th - Begin Course Selection in Advisory

Feb 25th - Turn In Signed Course Selection Sheets and AP Contract (if applicable) to TA in Advisory & Individual meeting time

11th Grade

Feb 4th - Begin Course Selection in Advisory

Feb 11th - Turn In Signed Course Selection Sheets and AP Contract (if applicable) to TA in Advisory & Individual meeting time

Feb 25th - Turn In Signed Course Selection Sheets and AP Contract (if applicable) to TA in Advisory & Individual meeting time

If needed for 9th & 10th grades -Advisories on March 4th can offer more time for Individual meetings

Semester 2 Parent Night - 9th and 10th grade

Thank you for taking some time to join us last Wednesday 1/20/22 via Zoom Webinar for our semester 2 Sophomore Parent Night. Here is the slide deck. Please reach out via email if you have any questions.

College & Career Center updates


Letters of Recommendation requests

We are asking Juniors to wait until April to ask their teachers for letters of recommendation for college applications. The teachers are still finishing up with the current seniors.

Junior College Advising Appointments

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. Juniors with last names starting with A-K will have the opportunity to meet with retired Paly College Advisor, Ms. Erber, February 1st - 17th ( (via Zoom) or wait to meet with Ms. Cernobori upon her return: (make appointment with Ms. Cernobori at the beginning of March.

  • 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.

Community Service

Spring submissions for the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) is TBD. There will be a notification posted in Schoology, InFocus and PalyLink when the dates are determined. In the meantime, be sure you have entered all your hours on HelperHelper and if you need log in help, email

For more information regarding the President’s Volunteer Service Award, check out our Paly Community Service page

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

Big picture