Paly Community Update

Friday, December 17, 2021

A message from the Principal

It is hard to believe that we are at the end of the first semester of the school year. It has been a year of challenges, opportunities and renewal, yet it has also been one of the most exciting years I have had as a high school principal. It is my hope that you and your student(s) have had a positive experience so far this year and with the new year we will all find ourselves continuing to grow and learn in ways we have not imagined.


This year I have continued to build my capacity, much like our students, as a learner. The necessity to renew our practice of teaching and learning has never been as important as it is today as we navigate the ever-changing world. Much of our learning as a staff this year has focused on examining our beliefs and practices as they relate to our goal of providing an equitable learning environment for all students. I am excited to continue our learning next semester, regarding equity, as we begin to narrow our focus on developing agreed-upon practices in the classroom, including how we assess and report student learning.


I would like to thank our Paly families for their continued support and involvement throughout this school year. I wish all of you a happy holiday season and I hope that you will also find time for rest and relaxation. I will be encouraging the Paly staff to use this break as an opportunity to rejuvenate and unplug so that they come back to the second half of this school year with new energy and enthusiasm. We look forward to seeing our students back in classes starting at 9:00 am on January 5, 2022.


With Gratitude,


Brent Kline, Principal


Student Schedules for Semester 2

Student schedules for semester 2 will be viewable again starting Friday 12/17 at 3pm. Please have your student double-check their schedule before returning on 1/5/22. Some student schedules change from one semester to another.


Please note that School Counselors and Teacher Advisors are on winter break and will not be checking emails. If there is a concern about a schedule, students can discuss with their Teacher Advisors the week we return (starting 1/5).

Schedule for January 5 - 7, 2022

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Semester 1 Grades

The final day of semester 1 is 12/17/21. Teachers will finish submitting semester 1 grades when we return from winter break. Semester grades will be posted in mid-January. Please note that Infinite Campus will be turned off for winter break and grades in Schoology may be hidden during the break as well. Students’ view of grades in IC will be turned back on when we return from break.


Seniors will receive instructions in January on how to request mid-year transcripts for colleges requesting these grade reports.


Paly Athletic Program

The Paly Athletics Program is going cashless. Please visit palyathletics.com to purchase tickets for admission into all Basketball and Wrestling competitions. Thank you for your continued support.

Seeking AVID Tutor Volunteers

AVID's mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. Paly currently has four AVID sections - one for each grade level (9, 10, 11, 12). We are currently seeking AVID tutors who will assist the classroom teacher to facilitate and coach small groups of students with the academic curriculum and problem-solving. Key functions and skills include:


  • Desire to be a role model and mentor for students
  • Desire to work with groups of students, supporting them through academic conversations and problem-solving related to their academic curriuclum.
  • Expertise of subject matter is not required or expected.
  • Time: Period 2 (10:50-12:20), Period 4 (2:40-4:10) on Tuesday & Thursday. Consistent time commitment desired (whether it is one period/day a week or more)


All volunteers on campus need to show proof of vaccination and formally register through the following form.


If you are interested in helping out, please contact Crystal Laguna (claguna@pausd.org) and/or Michelle Steingart (msteingart@pausd.org).

Guidance Updates

Advisory Update

By the time you read this, your 9th grader’s first semester of high school will be completed. For those with seniors, it’s on to their final semester at Paly and high school!


Looking toward 2nd semester and what’s ahead for your students, transcripts will have newly posted 1st-semester grades during the second week of January.


12th Grade - Seniors will learn how to send their mid-year transcripts (also known as a 7th semester transcript) to their colleges requiring them in the first Advisory back after break. It’s the next step in their application process and one that needs to be handled in a timely manner.


9th and 10th Grades will start the new year off reviewing and updating their 4 Year Plans in preparation for Course Selection month in February.


11th grade - The beginning of 2nd semester brings the kick-off for post-Paly planning in earnest. That first week back, the Jrs will attend the important Orientation to the College & Career Center.


More information about all these Advisories will be posted as they occur after break.


And speaking of break ...we hope you and yours have a wonderful break doing whatever brings joy to your families. If you are traveling, safe travels! If you are staying local, have fun and unwind! And cheers to 2022!


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 – 8:00 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

SENIORS

Admitted Early Decision (ED)? Withdraw Your Other Apps! A Reminder from the Last Advisory...

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.


Paly Community Scholarship Applications - due Jan. 7

Last week in Advisory seniors were introduced to the Paly Community Scholarship program. The sponsors of various community scholarships ask Paly's Scholarship Committee to nominate and/or select students to be considered for/receive awards. To participate in this scholarship program, students must complete the Paly Community Scholarship Application and submit this assignment in Schoology (C&CC Class of 2022 course) by January 7th.

In the past, these scholarships have been the most accessible and lucrative for our students. In previous years, over $100,000 was awarded to Paly students who completed the Community Scholarship Application. Scholarship categories include: memorial awards, community service, working students, scholarships for a particular college major (e.g. biology, engineering, business, international relations), 1st generation college students, and under-represented minorities. All students are encouraged to submit an application since both need-based and non need-based scholarships are available.

Students who want to be considered for need-based scholarships must provide family financial information on the last page of the application; in addition, these applicants are also required to upload a copy of the Student Aid Report or FAFSA confirmation page they receive after filing the FAFSA (both must include the EFC), as a separate assignment. Samples of acceptable EFC documentation can be found in the Paly Community Scholarship folder in the Naviance resources section. Your financial information is confidential. As a guideline for qualification of need, we have typically considered families with incomes of less than $125,000. Should your income exceed this amount, feel free to apply, but be sure to explain any special circumstances. It is important to turn in documents on time; don’t wait until you file your tax returns as the FAFSA using 2020 tax data.

The Paly Community Scholarship Application is often used as a screening application; in some cases students who are selected to move forward will need to complete additional application materials to be considered. Unless contacted by the scholarship sponsors, students are notified that they’ve won an award when they are invited to Paly's Senior Award Night in May.

Please refer to my Oct. 18 email for information about applying for need-based financial aid using the FAFSA. Be sure to check each campus website for deadlines and other forms required in addition to FAFSA, if applicable.

There are numerous other scholarship opportunities that students can pursue on their own; look here for a list of scholarship resources.


JUNIORS

C&CC Orientation, Post High School Planning Folder Pick-up, and Meetings with College Advisors

All juniors will participate in C&CC orientation during their U.S. History classes at the beginning of second semester to kick off post-high school planning. Students not enrolled in U.S. History can attend orientation with another class, during a prep period. Students without a prep period should contact Ms. Cernobori to make other arrangements.


Juniors will receive a Post High School Planning Folder at orientation. Please ask your junior to share this folder with you.


After attending orientation, juniors may schedule individual meetings with college and career advisors. 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.


JUNIORS, SOPHOMORES & FRESHMEN


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 article and this article from CollegeWise helps put summer/extracurricular activities in perspective. And, their list of ideas for how to get creative thinking about activities during COVID 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!


Disclaimers:
* 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.

Wellness

Last week Wellness partnered with ASB to bring students de-stress activities all week long! Students enjoyed attending the events to help them unwind and take a much-needed break, including hot cocoa, aromatherapy, crafts, and more.


As we wind down our last week of the semester, we’d like to remind our families that although Wellness will be closed, there are many resources available to help over the break. Visit our website and click “Community Resources” at the bottom of the page, or click here for 24/7 support and resources for parents. We wish you all a safe and restful winter break!


Registrar - Transcript Ordering Reminders for Non-Common App Colleges

Students should not wait to hear back from their EA, REA, ED applications before ordering transcripts for their regular applications which require them (remember: the CSUs and UCs do not). Transcripts for non-Common App colleges need to be ordered on Parchment by the Paly deadline to ensure they arrive by the college due date. There is still human interaction in the process and many students who have similar deadlines--and Paly will be closed over Winter break (i.e. no transcript requests will be processed during that time).


Can students order a mid-year transcript rather than a current transcript for January deadlines since our semester ends before Winter break?

  • No; don’t “hold for grades” but “send now”. Second semester grades won't get posted to transcripts until the 3rd week of January at the earliest, so for colleges with a Jan. 1 or Jan. 15 deadline, order an initial transcript by the respective Paly deadline to ensure it arrives on time to meet the application deadline.
  • Another mid-year (a.k.a. 7th-semester) transcript will need to be ordered in January for most regular-decision applications; more information about that to come in a future advisory.


Work Permits

Our local vendors are seeking your child to work during the holiday season, please check out the job fair slidedeck for new listings and remember that all minors hired in a paid position through a company require a work permit. However, work permits are not processed over school holidays; so please send requests in by Friday, Dec. 17th to rkaci@pausd.org or follow this link for more info. Additional inquiries may be sent to the Work Experience teacher: Rachael Kaci rkaci@pausd.org

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