Paly Community Update

Friday, February 26, 2021

Hello Viking Families!


As reported at the Board meeting this week, our return to in person instruction for 7-12 grades is imminent, as we get closer to moving into the Red Tier in Santa Clara County.


Students will be “zooming from the room”. This means that they will come to school on assigned days (Tuesday/Wednesday or Thursday/Friday) with their charged laptop and follow their class schedules, and will access their classes in their classes using zoom. Teachers will be teaching to the students in the room with them and to the students accessing the class remotely concurrently; although not in a LiveStream model. Students may choose to attend or not attend school on the days in their grouping, but must commit to attending the full day when they come in person. All classes will remain synchronous and follow the bell schedule.


We will be sending families additional information about scheduling and expectations next week, along with a full overview of daily entrance procedures, technology requirements and expectations, and other important details of our return.


Instructions for Quarantining, Accessing Classes Remotely

I’ve received many questions from parents asking about how their students may continue to access their classes if they are required to quarantine. First, we will rely on parents to know the quarantine requirements and make appropriate arrangements, and notify the school. All classes will be available daily by zoom, students will be able to quarantine if necessary by just attending their regular course schedule via zoom instead of attending classes in person.



ParentSquare Training and Information

Parents or guardians will be expected to complete the PAUSD Health Screener each day, prior to their student’s attendance on campus for in-person learning. The how-to document and screencast for parents is posted on our PAUSD website.

https://www.pausd.org/school-life/educational-technology/parentsquare

You will also find a link to the health screener at the top of our school website for easy access. The website link will go to the ID Portal login, and when successful, redirect directly to the ParentSquare page.

Reopening Q & A

On Wednesday, March 3, 2021 there will be a Reopening Q&A with Principal Kline, hosted by PTSA President Charu Gupta. Please join us so we can help answer your questions regarding our upcoming reopening plan. The meeting will be from 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm. Here is the meeting link

Update from Santa Clara County--athletic participation

In an update to health guidelines, Santa Clara County is aligning their policies with the CDPH beginning Thursday, 2/25/21. That includes the ability for students participate in 2 athletic cohorts at the same time. Here is the link to the official update.


The district will address this change today and develop a comprehensive plan to ensure the health and wellness of our community is protected to the furthest extent possible. However, this will open up student opportunities for athletic participation moving forward.

Weekend and Holiday Travel Advisory REMINDER!

With warmer weather around the corner and the changes in surrounding county tiers, we are strongly asking all of our school community members to take the Santa Clara County Travel Advisory seriously to protect all staff, all students, and all families. Travel advisories are still in place for Santa Clara County to help 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 Mandatory Directive on Travel will require people to quarantine for 10 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.

Travel of 150 miles beyond Santa Clara County will require a mandatory 10-day self-quarantine. More information regarding staff travel and quarantine will be provided later this week.

Paly Guidance Updates

Advisory

Course Selection wraps up this week. All students should have completed the Course Selection process on Infinite Campus and submitted them to their TA. The window will close on Feb 28th and their choices will no longer be viewable. Students will get one more look at their selections when they will be given a confirmation note during Advisory in May.


The Advisories in March turn student’s attention to their futures. Juniors will be preparing for their post-high school plans. For a majority of our students that means learning about the college application process which they began when they attended the College & Career Center’s Orientation in January. Check back here in the coming weeks for links to The Viking College and Career Guide, a lesson about Letters of Recommendation, and a helpful “To Do” Calendar that breaks down tasks by month to help keep your students on track.


Speaking of college applications and the process, parents should mark their calendars for the Junior Parent/TA/College Advisor evening on March 24th. We will start at 6:30pm with a zoom presentation by our College Advisors. Next, parents will break out to zooms with their student’s TA. The evening is designed to introduce parents to the college application steps their students are learning about in Advisory. More information will be posted in the PalyLink. An email will be sent to parents a week prior to the event with the zoom links which will also be posted on our main calendar.


Planning for the future isn’t all about college, it starts with exploring interests that could lead to satisfying career choices. March is Career Month and Paly hosts a robust Career Speaker Series. This year for the first time, we will be joining a Webinar along with Gunn students to kick off the Career Speakers Series . During an All Grades Advisory on Friday, March 19th, we will hear the keynote speech from the GM of the Four Seasons Hotel Franchise. He will be talking about all the opportunities in the Hotel and Hospitality field. The following week, Freshman and Sophomores will be exploring their own interests with a lesson about Careers. Check back here in 2 weeks to review this lesson.

College & Career Center

More Information about Summer Opportunities

As a follow up to the information shared in our Dec. 4 newsletter about planning summer opportunities, the C&CC wants to let you know that TeenLife.com is hosting a TeenLife LIVE Virtual Summer Opportunities Fair on Thursday, February 25th from 6-8:45pm EST. The experience is similar to an in-person fair where students, parents, and educators can hear short presentations from 18 summer program representatives in a short period of time. To register and see the list of exhibitors click here. To make it easier, the presentations will be recorded and sent to everyone who registers. TeenLife recently published the 2021 Guide to Summer Programs featuring 60+ in-person and online opportunities.


Application Status Reminders & Admissions Decisions for Seniors

While many seniors might not receive admission results until April, others will learn of acceptances earlier (often online through the application status portals). Some seniors have already heard good news as a few of the CSU campuses have started releasing admissions decisions; congratulations! Be aware that there are deadlines to meet even after students are admitted.


Some colleges host events for admitted students to help them gain more information to make matriculation decisions. While many of these events will be hosted virtually, students are entitled to miss 5 days of school senior year to visit colleges, providing they complete and submit the approval form to the Attendance office, in advance. While teachers are supportive of students missing class to visit colleges, missing class during Spring can be challenging. Students need to demonstrate responsibility by planning ahead with their schoolwork and turning it in/planning to take quizzes/tests in advance and use Tutorial to meet with teachers--ahead of college visits--to create agreement.


If students want to live on campus, it is suggested they visit the campuses' housing websites to sign up--even before they learn an admission decision--as requests to live in residence halls will fill up fast at large, public colleges like the CSUs and UCs. A deposit might be required so research deadlines and cancellation policies.


Watch for deadlines for next steps: (a) intent to enroll, (b) signing up for required summer bridge programs (like the Early Start Program at the CSU)--if applicable, and (c) signing up for orientation. It is fair to wait until April 1--by which students should learn their application decisions (and financial aid packages--again, often online through the application status portals) from all campuses--before deciding where to accept admission. Typically the deadline for these important tasks is May 1--but orientation dates fill up quickly. At orientation, an advisor will help students register for classes, so attending an early orientation session gives students a better shot at signing up for the classes they want. In addition, many colleges and universities will require up-to-date immunizations before students matriculate to campus; if needed, schedule these in advance of orientation.


Wellness

Join us for My Digital Tat2 Presentation: Raising Digitally Resilient Teens in a Post-Pandemic World

THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 7:00PM-8:15PM

Today's kids have grown up in a world of online access and ever expanding media choices. During this past year of the pandemic, they have engaged more than ever through distance learning, connecting with friends and family, playing video games, and posting on social media. Not only are they consuming content, they are creating their own on platforms such as TikTok and YouTube. Do you wonder how to teach your child responsibility and ethics online, how to ensure they are aware of their actions, and how to best mentor them in the digital age?


Join My Digital TAT2 for a highly engaging and informative live webinar. Topics include:

  • responding to challenging issues such as digital perfection,

  • media distraction, and overuse;

  • social-emotional and psychological responses to tech and social media;

  • the link between resiliency and school success;

  • maintaining physical and mental health while sitting in front of a screen all day;

  • helping your child have a positive online presence and reputation.


You will come away with strategies that support the whole family. For more information about My Digital TAT2, please visit: www.mydigitaltat2.org.

Community Service

Community Service Spring Reporting, President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) submission

PVSA submission deadline: February 12 - March 1, 2021


Follow these instructions to report community service hours and request a PVSA:

Step 1: Record your hours on HelperHelper

Step 2: Fill out the following Google form per your class:


Class of 2021

Class of 2022

Class of 2023

Class of 2024


For more information visit The Paly Community Service page.

Summer School Update

All updates will be on the following PAUSD website and will be updated the week of February 22nd: https://www.pausd.org/student-supports/summer-school



Living Skills

The district is planning to offer a variety of in-person courses for all students at all levels ​this summer if that is feasible in Santa Clara County. ​We have an obligation to use the summer primarily ​for our credit recovery students, of which we have many after an extended period of ​distance learning online. We care for every student we serve, ​and we want to make sure every student is on track for graduation.


We are limited by staff who want to teach this summer due to the pandemic ​which is further compounded by the need for, staff who are properly trained to teach Living Skills. The Living Skills course has a huge component that is dedicated to developing trust, relationships and having a space to decompress. The summer is not designed to foster this kind of dynamic ​and students benefit more from the course when it is taken during the regular school year.

We appreciate your flexibility during this challenging time and hope you understand that we are doing our best to make choices about the summer that benefit all of our students.


  1. Perhaps make Living Skills distance learning only for the summer so that the number of seats is not limited by county and state COVID-related requirements. PAUSD does plan to have Living Skills Distance learning to increase seats.
  2. Consider increasing class size to the maximum allowable We are doing this as well. Last year and this year we will go to 35-40 students per teacher.
  3. Consider increasing class size beyond the maximum allowable and adding a co-teacher (without the required Living Skills certification) to help with the workload. Adding a co-teacher does not help PAUSD increase beyond maximum allowable.
  4. Anything else that can be done to make Living Skills available to as many students as possible!



There are limited teachers who can teach Living Skills and we want to make sure PAUSD accommodates all seniors. As other teachers sign up for summer school PAUSD wants to cover credit recovery classes as a first priority to ensure students can meet graduation requirements. Last year PAUSD was able to open up many Living Skills courses as credit recovery courses were given by a third-party vendor and PAUSD had a lot of “extra” teachers. As the district plans to run credit recovery by PAUSD teachers, the district will not have as many “extra” teachers