Paly Community Update

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

A Joint Message from Paly and Gunn Principals to PAUSD Student Athletics and Families

We are sharing a message to all of you that has been shared with the SCVAL leadership, requesting to reconvene and continue dialogue with regard to recent decisions made by the Board of Managers.

After further consideration and reviewing additional information, the Palo Alto Unified School District Superintendent of Schools and two high school principals, Wendy Stratton (Gunn HS) and Brent Kline (Paly HS) are requesting a meeting to revisit recent decisions with a properly agendized vote. I would strongly suggest revisiting the following this week:

  • Reinstating playoffs for eligible teams

  • Awarding League Champions for each season

  • We believe the league should vote as a group and not allow the league to be fractured with site-by-site decisions

Welcome New Paly Assistant Principals

We are pleased to introduce two assistant principals for the 21-22 school year at Paly pending board approval at tonight's board meeting, LaDonna Butler and Erik Olah.

Tom Keating, current Paly Assistant Principal, has been announced as the new Adult School Principal. We wish him the best in his new position and luckily for us, he will still have his office on the Paly campus.

LaDonna Butler is currently a high school Assistant Principal in the San Jose Unified School District and has served in an administrative role since 2015. Prior to that, she was a high school teacher for 13 years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from National University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from San Jose State University.

Erik Olah is currently a teacher at Palo Alto High School, the Science Instructional Lead, and the WASC Teacher on Special Assignment. He has worked for PAUSD since 2008. He holds a Master’s in Education and Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

2021 Graduation Information

We are gathering momentum on our plans for the 2021 Paly Graduation Ceremony on June 2, 2021, beginning at 5:30 pm at Viking Stadium. Doors will open at 4:30 pm. This year’s graduation will also be livestreamed online and on local television for those who are unable to attend. Additional livestreaming information will be shared as we get closer to graduation.

We currently have over 400 graduations who have indicated they will be attending the ceremony. For this year’s graduation ceremony, RSVPs are required for the graduates and family members attending the ceremony. For those still needing to complete the RSVP, please use the following link prior to this Friday, May 14th.

Graduates can have up to four attendees. All attendees must be California residents from the same household. If the attendees are from separate households, and were not initially accounted for, please email Assistant Principal Margaret Reynolds at

Once the RSVP has been submitted, family members will be assigned seats and a confirmation email with a ticket for graduation will be sent to you via ParentSquare by May 27, 2021. This ticket will have a QR code that you will scan for touchless entry for all members of your party at the entrance of Viking Stadium the day of graduation. You can also print your ticket and bring it the day of the ceremony. If there are changes to your party, please email Margaret Reynolds.

On the day of the ceremony, all graduates and attendees will be required to fill out a Health Screening Questionnaire the day of graduation to ensure that everyone in your party is healthy and able to attend. An Affidavit for attendance can be found here . A Separate affidavits can be arranged for those who are in different households.

  • Things to note:

    • Graduation will be no more than 2 hours from start to finish.

    • You are required to remain in your assigned seats, wear a mask, and maintain a 6ft distance from other parties at all times.

    • There will be no shade; please plan accordingly. Umbrellas are not permitted, but hats are acceptable. You may also bring your own water bottle.

    • Comfortable shoes are encouraged, especially of seated on the field.

    • At the end of the ceremony, attendees will be dismissed by section to exit the stadium to meet their graduates.

COVID Vaccination Appointments Students--a message from PAUSD Health Services

Great news! We will be having COVID Vaccination appointments for our students 12 years old and older needing a 1st dose. All the clinics will be located at the Perry Family Center at Palo Alto High School (map attached). We will have 1st dose clinics on May 16th and May 23rd. 2nd dose appointments will be 3 weeks later.

Those eligible and interested may sign up through the links below:

Safeway is still updating their system to reflect the younger age approval of 12. To make an appointment for a 12-15 year old, please change the birth year to 2005 in order to make an appointment. Safeway will update the birth date at the vaccination appointment. All people getting vaccinated will need to show proof of being 12 or older.

Anyone registered to receive their COVID vaccine will need to bring the following items to the COVID Vaccination Clinic:

Proof of Birthdate: Driver’s License/ID Card/Passport/Birth Certificate

Insurance Card

Completed Informed Consent Form (attached)

A parent or guardian present, unless over 18

If you need to cancel or change your appointment, you will need to do so directly with Safeway. You’ll be able to contact them through your confirmation email.

Take Home COVID-19 Kits

On Thursday, May 13, Paly students and staff can once again pick up a Predicine Take Home COVID-19 Test Kit from the Health Office in the Tower Building. Attached are instructions on how to complete both the test and to register and activate their kit.

On Friday, May 14, completed test kits must be dropped off in the Drop Off box outside of the Health Office. Please be sure to fill out the Requisition Form (also attached here), affix the barcode in the upper right corner, and then put the form inside the test kit baggie along with the barcoded specimen test tube.

Predicine says that your results will be ready in 24-48 hours. Paly's next Take Home Test date will be Tuesday, May 25. Thanks to everyone for continuing to get tested!


Last spring, we offered a hugely successful webinar series hosted by Collegewise. More than a thousand PAUSD families took part and the feedback was resoundingly positive. Now that we’ve been through a full cycle of COVID-influenced admissions, we have invited Collegewise to run a second series.

What is being offered? Collegewise will be offering 3 webinars between now and May 25 on the following topics:

  • STEMs Many Branches: College Planning for Students Considering Majors in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

  • Rediscovering Your College Path: State of College Admissions From Highly Competitive to Fantastic Colleges that Love California Students

  • Character Counts: How Character Plays a Powerful Role in Selective College Admissions

Who may attend? Any Palo Alto HS parent or student from grades 9-11.

How much does it cost? It’s free - but you do have to register in order to participate.

How do I register? Just use this link and sign up for as many of the webinars as you wish:

As always, we hope that you find these sessions to be both instructive and useful.

Announcing PAUSD Annual Data Update

All current PAUSD families should have received an email notifying them of the need to complete the Annual Data Update process by May 21. It is important for parents to verify student information annually through this process, and ensure that your child receives their class schedule in August. Thank you for working with PAUSD to get this process completed as quickly as possible!

Finals Schedule

Finals will occur the final three days of the school year for grades 9 - 11. Seniors will have finals the week of May 24, during their regular class periods. Below is a copy of the finals schedule.

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