Paly Community Update

Friday December 4, 2020

Seeking Parent Input

With the reality of staying with distance learning for second semester we continue to brainstorm ideas for creating on-campus opportunities for students that we can implement once we are able to bring small cohorts of students on campus. Paly staff members will participate in a brainstorming sessions beginning next week to develop ideas and programs that we can design that fit both the current student need and are aligned with the current restrictions. We will also be holding similar brainstorming sessions with students in the upcoming weeks. We would also like to hear from parents regarding ideas and activities that you feel would benefit your student. There is also an opportunity to submit your thoughts and ideas on our current Monday schedule. We have created a quick questionnaire for parents, if you would like to share your thoughts: Paly Parent Input

Holiday Travel Advisory

The new order contained information about how to slow the transmission of COVID-19. Specifically, we would like everyone to review the order regarding travel:

Leisure and non-essential travel are strongly discouraged, and a new Mandatory Directive on Travel will require people to quarantine for 14 days upon return to the County from travel of more than 150 miles. Healthcare workers traveling into the county to provide care or patients traveling into the county to obtain treatment will be exempted from this requirement.

Our SCCPHD clarified that the order is effective November 30. Travel of 150 miles beyond Santa Clara County occurring after November 29 will require a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. More information regarding staff travel and quarantine will be provided later this week.

PSAT & SAT Update

Due to the constantly changing health order restrictions, administration of the PSAT at Paly will not be occurring this school year. For those students that anticipated using this assessment to enter the National Merit scholarship Competition (NMSC), we have learned of alternatives for students wanting to enter the NMSC.

In the past, NMSC required that the school send a letter for the student to enter. Instead of sending a letter, students may now submit their SAT scores for exams taken between August 2020 to June 2021 in lieu of the PSAT. For additional information, please review the following document: Alternate Entry to the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program

With the announcement of this new opportunity for students to use their SAT scores for the NMSC, we are looking forward to hosting the SAT for all Paly Juniors on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. We are hopeful that by this time of the school year, we will have less restrictions and be able to host our Juniors on campus for this assessment. I will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available over the next few months.

Athletics Upate


  • No Paly athletic programs are currently conditioning (until possibly 12/21 pending County orders).
  • All contact sports have been shut down until further notice (water polo, volleyball, and football).
  • Our gyms and weight rooms are currently shut down.
  • All programs are currently closed (per a directive from the central office).
  • We are awaiting communication from the California Interscholastic Federation and the Central Coast Section regarding possible start dates for all sports.

Affective Factors that Impact Learning

The PAUSD website, Supporting Learning at Home, includes resources that explore the connections between emotions and readiness to learn. Parents and teachers intrinsically know the importance of addressing emotions in order to set the stage for learning. When students feel known and appreciated, they can learn more effectively. This module explores this connection and suggests ways of addressing distance and hybrid learning challenges such as using conversation starters and parent-teacher partnerships. Check out the “Affective Factors that Impact Learning” to learn more.

Registration for the 2021-2022 school year opens on January 4, 2021

Families with children who are not currently enrolled with PAUSD, and want to enroll a child to attend a PAUSD school starting in August 2021, must follow all the instructions at the PAUSD Enrollment web site starting on January 4: If you have any questions about if you should enroll your child, please send an email to


We will be resuming the PTSA sponsored TGIF sessions, this Friday, December 11, 2020. The purpose of Paly's TGIF sessions is for Principal Kline to provide school updates and information. Parents also have the opportunity to submit questions which will be addressed during the TGIF session. Next week's TGIF will be from 8:30am-9:30 am. Below are the links:

Zoom link:

Youtube live stream link:

Paly Guidance


It’s never too early for students to plan how they’ll approach finals. This week both the 9th and 10th Grade Advisories focused the attention on preparing for those finals and how having and using a plan will let them produce their best work. First, they discussed some common studying mistakes. Next, they were shown some scientifically researched strategies they could incorporate into their personal study plan. Finally, they were given a digital worksheet to help them list the type of test or assessment expected in each class. It also has a space to Iist any missing work or assignments to remind them of tasks they need to complete.

Utilizing these strategies and tools will not only help students prepare for finals, but relieve some test anxiety

knowing that by using their plan, they have a greater chance for success. If you’d like to see more, here are the lessons: 9th Grade Lesson and 10th Grade Lesson

College and Career Center

Early Application Results

Some of the seniors who applied early to college via Early Action and Early Decision admission programs are receiving application results starting this week and continuing the next few weeks, depending on the college. Teacher Advisors will be discussing this topic next week in Advisory, including tips for how to proceed if students were deferred or denied admission as well as reminders about early decision commitments. If students didn’t receive the news they were hoping for, encourage them not to dwell too long on disappointment but turn their attention to their college list to ensure a range of selectivity; then, put energy into completing remaining college applications while trying to keep an open mind about other colleges. If you’re interested in reading a few articles about this topic, you can find them here.

Also, please remind students to share early application news. Paly will formally collect application results from seniors in May, but TAs, teachers, and College Advisors are interested even now (and want to celebrate/help) since most colleges do not inform Paly of our students' application results.

Enrichment Opportunities
While it might seem early to be thinking of an interesting or fun activity this spring for summer, some programs have January deadlines even if they will take place virtually. Of course, there are many informal hobbies students can pursue as activities, too. This article is helpful to get an overview of things to consider when choosing what to do. This advice from CollegeWise helps put fall activities during COVID-19 in perspective. And, their list of ideas for how to get creative thinking about activities has good options, too.

There is also a robust and searchable database in Naviance as well as a couple of websites to check out: TeenLife and PBWorks CollegeWiki. To search the database of summer enrichment opportunities in Naviance click the "Colleges" tab and then select the "Enrichment Opportunities" hyperlink under the "College Research" section. Click on a hyperlink to learn more information about program dates and costs (if available), any requirements, and the sponsor's website for more information and the application.

A Note About Summer Programs
The main reasons to consider summer programs are to gain insight into who you are, where your interests lay, and what your unique talents and skills are. Those insights can be invaluable in helping you sort out which colleges might be the best match for you. While some summer programs are expensive, they might offer scholarships so be sure to inquire. And, you don't have to spend a lot of money to have an enriching summer experience; other summer activities such as community service, working, job-shadowing, career exploration in Naviance (i.e. Career Clusters, Career Interest Profiler, Personality Type, Roadtrip Nation) are valuable and aid in self-discovery. And, informal hobbies are activities worth pursuing and valued by colleges, too!

* Paly does not endorse any of these companies or programs but provides this information as a service to our community. Please check with the program sponsors for endorsements and perhaps a local contact with whom you can inquire about a review/recommendation.
** Attending a summer program at a particular college or university does not usually provide a boost in admissions chances when it comes time for the student to apply to college.