Gunn Together Times

Principal Stratton's Update, 4/18/21

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Dear Titan Families,

With 6 weeks remaining and increasing numbers of our community becoming vaccinated spirits are high. As we anticipate more opportunities to engage in in-person events, let's remember to prioritize our safety. I am so proud of the Gunn community for all that we have come through together this year. I celebrate our students, staff, and families for our discipline and perseverance. Thank you for your support of our teachers and staff members.

We have some important events coming up next week, including but not limited to our accreditation visit. See the content below to learn more.

In the Spirit of Gunn Together,

Principal Stratton

Senior Events and Grad Prep

Upcoming Senior and Grad Prep Events;

  • Senior Hoodie Distribution: Did you order a senior hoodie? We will be handing them out in the SAC. The SAC will be open from Tuesday - Friday, 11:40 am - 3:30 pm.

  • Cap & Gown Pick Up Day - May 18, 2021, 3-5 pm: Jostens will be on-site to distribute purchased caps and gowns on 5/18. Important Details: Drive up to Gunn and pick up your Cap & Gown and Graduation Products on Tuesday, May 18th. In order to ensure we have a safe and smooth delivery event, you must adhere to the instructions below:

    1. Show up in your car at your assigned time (Alpha by last name):
      • 3 - 4pm: A - K
      • 4 - 5pm: L - Z
    2. Have an 8x11 piece of paper with their first and last name on their dashboard (large lettering),
    3. Stop where directed, pop your trunk, or lower your window, and the Jostens staff will deliver your Caps & Gowns and other graduation orders to your trunk/ window
    4. IMPORTANT: No one can get out of a car or hang out at the school - just drive through only. Also, for everyone’s safety, there are NO WALK-UPS OR BIKE-UPS

Graduation Plans for the Class of 2021:

Confirmed details:

  • Senior Showcase Video Event: Friday, May 28th. Time TBD
  • Graduation rehearsal will be 6/1 (TIme TBA) on the Football Field

  • Graduation will be on 6/2 at 5 pm on the Football Field

Details still being finalized:

  • Spectators - it is our hope that all graduates will be able to have some family spectators at the ceremony. Families should plan for limited numbers of in-person tickets for the event. Live streaming of the ceremony is being arranged so all family members can view the ceremony.

Other Activities:

  • Car Parade - due to the popularity of the City-Wide car parade last year, both Paly and Gunn are discussing holding this event once again. The tentative date is June 1st in the early evening. More details to follow.

  • Senior Speech and Musical Performance Tryouts: If you would like to be considered to present a speech or perform a musical selection in our Virtual Senior Showcase (formerly Baccalaureate/ Senior Awards night) or a speech at Graduation, please read through the instructions and complete the linked form with video submission by Friday, May 14th. If you have questions, please email Mrs. Hall. Link to Senior Showcase/ Graduation Tryouts:

As always, plans may fluctuate based on COVID safety protocols from the school and District. We will do our best to give you updated information as soon as it is available.

Vetting Requests for Events

We are currently prioritizing in-person learning opportunities and an in-person graduation ceremony over all other requests. More communication regarding requests for banquets, Movie Night, other senior events/rituals outside of graduation, Food-related Drive-thrus, Awards ceremonies, and all other requests will be delivered at the end of this week.

While I understand the desire to provide our seniors with all of the rituals they deserve, we are honing in on graduation at this time. Again, more information will be provided at the end of the week with regard to all other requests. Decisions regarding events will align between Paly and Gunn. Both communities will be informed at the same time with regard to what activities the schools will or will not offer.

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WASC Visit Next Week!

The Western Accreditation of Colleges and Schools ("WASC") visit begins on Sunday, April 18th, and runs through Wednesday, April 21st.

Our site WASC coordinator, Tara Firenzi, created a one-pager out of our school's 274-page report:

Full report: (

Our WASC report is the culmination of our self-study which involved multiple sessions with representatives from all stakeholder groups. Following a thorough review of our student programs and their impact on student learning (in alignment with WASC criteria), we developed a schoolwide action plan to ensure continuous improvement. The WASC visiting committee will essentially validate our plan and make recommendations based on their observations from the report and their visit.

What does WASC do?

WASC advances and validates quality ongoing school improvement by supporting its private and public elementary, secondary, and postsecondary member institutions to engage in rigorous and relevant self-evaluation and peer review process that focuses on student learning. This mission is built upon these beliefs: 1) a school’s goal is successful student learning; 2) each school has a clear purpose and schoolwide learner outcomes; and (3) for ongoing school improvement, each school engages in collaborative self-reflection and analysis to assess progress in achieving its mission, vision, and schoolwide learner outcomes.

Accreditation is integral to a school’s perpetual cycle of assessment, designing and planning, implementation, monitoring, and reassessment based upon student achievement. It fosters excellence in elementary, secondary, adult, and postsecondary education by encouraging school improvement through a process of continuing evaluation and to recognize, by accreditation, schools that meet an acceptable level of quality in accordance with established research-based criteria. In addition to its official title, WASC also means We Are Student-Centered.

April 17 PAUSD Parent Leadership Summit

April 17th district-wide Parent Leadership Summit. Sign-Up To Attend!

Equity for Academic Success

Saturday, April 17th 9am-1pm

Keynote: Kiran Gaind

Equity for Academic Success: Aptly named as the sessions in this day of the series revolves around the idea of truly teaching every child. The breakdown of sessions on this day will focus on supporting diverse learners, teaching the whole child, bringing culture into the classroom, breaking down cultural barriers and biases, and the pathway towards college and career success.

A special racial/ethnic affinity listening session will be hosted by PAUSD staff to get feedback from diverse groups on their experiences in PAUSD and hear what teachers, staff, students, and parents need and would like to see to build a more inclusive environment and work towards an equitable and antiracist organization. Although the affinity groups are grouped along racial lines, the experiences of LGBTQ+, students with disabilities, and other diverse groups may be addressed in all breakouts.

Opportunities for Students 16 years or Older to be Vaccinated

On Monday night, Santa Clara County opened COVID-19 vaccination appointments to anyone who is 16 years of age or older and lives or works in the county.

Take-Home COVID Testing Is HERE

PAUSD will be launching the take-home tests for middle school and high school students after Spring Break, beginning Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Secondary students will be able to take home kits every other week beginning the week of April 12th. Every other week will rotate between Tuesday/Wednesday cohorts with Thursday/Friday cohorts. Students will take home their kits on a Tuesday or Thursday and will be asked to return the kit to the school site the next day. The take-home schedule for the COVID-19 kits can be found here.

Gunn’s dates for PICK UP and DROP OFF are below:


DROP OFF APRIL 30 Before 11 am


DROP OFF MAY 12 Before 11 am

PICK UP May 27

DROP OFF May 28 Before 11 am

We are requesting for the kits to get dropped off BEFORE 11 am on the days listed above.

For families that would like their students to participate, there is a consent form attached to this email. The consent form must be signed and uploaded during registration in order to process the sample. Translated versions of the consent form will be available by the first day of testing. The consent form can be uploaded once you have your kit.

Please view this training video to learn about the process and how to administer the test at home. While the kits do come with FedEx shipping labels, students will be able to return their kits to the school site the next day to be picked up by a Predicine courier to be taken directly to the lab for processing.

You can also find a quick guide to the instructions in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.

Opportunity to Attend Four Days a Week - Complete Form

Gunn is opening up opportunities for selected students based on academic, attendance, and other circumstances to attend 4 days a week. If your students would benefit from attending 4 days on campus in person, please fill out the following form, and your student's counselor will forward their recommendations to the administrators for approval. Do not begin attending 4 days a week without approval and notification from your student's counselor.

Request for 4-day In-Person form

Athletics Update & Live Streaming Opportunity

Sports currently practicing and playing contest:

  • Football – Ends 4/17/21
  • B/G Soccer – Ends 4/23/21
  • Girls Volleyball – Ends 4/24/21
  • Badminton – Ends 4/24/21
  • Baseball – Ends 5/29/21
  • Softball – Ends 5/29/21
  • B/G Track and Field – Ends 5/29/21
  • Boys Golf – Ends 5/29/21
  • Boys Tennis – Ends 5/29/21
  • B/G Water Polo – Ends 5/29/21
  • Girls Lacrosse – Ends 5/29/21
  • B/G Basketball – Ends 5/29/21
  • B/G Wrestling – Ends 5/29/21
  • Boys Volleyball – Ends 5/29/21

All athletes must have a current physical and be signed up on We also hope that families, who are able, will donate to Gunn Athletics. The recommended amount is $250. Payments can be made at, Titan Store, and by check made out to Gunn Athletics. Donations supply 85% of the funds to run all of the sports programs.

Indoor sports have to covid test three times a week on Monday-Wednesday-Friday. This is a mandate from the State of California Health Department. At this time fans aren’t allowed at indoor contests. Outdoor contests do allow fans. Each family of an athlete will be given a SCVAL pass for entrance to an outdoor event.

So Grateful to the Gunn Sports Boosters For Bringing Us Live Streaming!

Live Streaming of B/G Soccer, Girls Lacrosse, B/G Water Polo, B/G Basketball, and B/G Volleyball is available through the NFHS Network at

Choose Gunn High School for all of the sports listing home and away. This Spring 2021 Livestream is free of charge through the generosity of the Gunn Sports Boosters.

Here is the live link:

Breathe with Me- Call for Volunteers!

The global art project Breathe with Me is coming to Gunn on April 22-25, and Gunn students, staff, parents, and the Barron Park community, are invited to come and paint!

  • What: We will be “painting our breath” in ultramarine blue on a 350-foot-long canvas.

  • When: Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day -- Kickoff at 8:30 AM) through Sunday, April 25, 9 AM-5 PM daily

  • Where: The fence surrounding the Gunn soccer field, near the Bol Park Bike Path

  • Why: Breathe with Me is a celebration of life, wellness, community, and the thing that unites us all -- breathing!

Breathe with Me is being hosted by Gunn World Languages Dept., YCS-I, Green Team, and Dream Volunteers. Visit the Breathe with Me website to learn more about the project.

We need lots of volunteers! Please fill out the Volunteer Signup Form to volunteer, and/or the Participant Signup Form to paint. Thank you.

SELF Update

This week, students will have SELF on Wednesday, during the normal Gunn Together time slot (Gunn Together will be on Friday). We needed to alternate Wednesdays and Fridays to allow for students whose last names begin with the first half of the alphabet to have a chance to attend SELF in person (this wasn't possible in March due to events that couldn't be moved). SELF and Gunn Together will continue to switch each week for the rest of the semester. See schedule below.

This Wednesday, students in SELF will be continuing check-ins with their mentors, either individually or in small groups. In addition, half of the 9th-grade cohorts (those who did not already have a presentation earlier in March) will have a presentation from upper-classmen about Sources of Strength. Sources of Strength is a longstanding program at Gunn, featuring trained peer leaders who help other students identify the parts of their lives that give them the most strength, and create awareness of the mental health and wellness resources that are available to all students.

For more information about the SELF program, including our mission, themes, structure, and curriculum, please visit our website.

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Prepared Schools Update for Parents

COVID -19 Prepared Schools Update for Parents

Let's look at three scenarios as they relate to COVID-19:Scenario 1: Your child is exhibiting one or more COVID-19 symptoms.Scenario 2: Your child has been i...

2020-2021 State Testing

We will be administering the State mandated SmarterBalanced assessments across the Palo Alto district this spring. The high schools will administer the CAASPP and CAST testing on consecutive Mondays, April 26 and May 3. The testing will be a school-wide commitment, therefore, these Mondays will need to be asynchronous days.

The CAASPP tests for English Language Arts and Math will be administered to all Juniors. The CAST test for science will be administered to all Sophomores and any Seniors who did not complete the test as Sophomores.

The CAASPP and CAST tests give teachers important information on the academic progress of our students and are useful for curricular improvements. Teachers will be administering the tests during testing blocks, non-instructional periods.

In addition to providing students, parents, and teachers with valuable information on student academic progress, the CAASPP test also provides students with academic eligibility and opportunities that they will not have if they do not participate.

These include:

§ Eligibility for the State Seal of Biliteracy (along with other language criteria)

§ Eligibility for the Golden State Certificate of Merit Diploma (along with other criteria)

§ Eligibility to bypass entry course requirements for English and Math at CSUs

(depending upon score toward the College Readiness Indicator)

The CAASPP and CAST tests have been intentionally scheduled after SAT testing and before AP Testing in May. Gunn teachers have committed to being mindful of testing on scheduled days and will not load students with assignments, projects, and tests.

Gunn High School has made tremendous progress in our student participation in the SmarterBalanced assessments. We progressed from participation in the low 20% to 84% participation last year. Our intention is for all Juniors and Sophomores to participate in these upcoming tests. We hope to get closer to the 95% or above participation that our surrounding school districts, such as Mountain, Los Altos, and Menlo Park, have achieved. We need your support to do this.

More specific information on SmarterBalanced assessments will be coming. If you have questions after this information is shared, please contact our Gunn SmarterBalanced Assessments Coordinator, Pier Angeli La Place at

ParentSquare Training and Information

Please complete the health screener for your child(ren) by 8:00 AM every day that they are coming to campus. Fill out the survey honestly and keep your child(ren) at home if you answer "Yes" to any of the questions.

If you answer a question incorrectly, you will need to contact your school to clear your child to attend. You will not have another opportunity on the same day to complete the screener.

If your student will not be attending school, you do not need to fill out the screener but you will need to contact your site attendance secretary.

Additional details, instructions, and a quick video can be found on the district website. To download the PAUSD custom app for your mobile device go to the App Store (iOS devices) and the Play Store (Android devices).

Gunn Return To Campus Handbook

Please review this document to learn about procedures and protocols associated with returning to campus. This document will be updated regularly to reflect any changes made over the coming weeks.

Superintendent's Update, 4/16/21

From the Office of the Superintendent:


The Board of Education calendar can be found HERE.


Secondary students who have struggled academically have been invited back to school for four days per week at the secondary level. All five secondary schools are working on plans to expand in-person instruction for students by the end of the month. Please expect direct communication from each site principal.


Our Board of Education agenda includes the purchase of 2,000 desks for our elementary schools in preparation for a full return to in-person instruction in the fall. Similar orders will be created for our secondary schools very soon. Individual desks will help us to space students in the fall if restrictions are in place.


Graduation and promotion activities are being planned at the site level in coordination with District personnel. Guidance around gatherings is evolving. We are hopeful that the positive trend continues and that we can find creative ways to host events. We will have in-person graduations at both high schools. Details will come out soon.


As the transition back to school continues, PAUSD will continue promoting physically distanced, active, and shared transportation options to support healthy, safe, and efficient student transportation to and from school. Last fall and this spring, all students in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 will have received a 30-minute bike and/or pedestrian safety virtual presentation taught by a Safe Routes to School instructor. Thanks to PAUSD teachers and the City of Palo Alto for accommodating these in-class lessons.

Please use PAUSD Walk and Roll Suggested Route Maps to identify preferred local routes. Road safety concerns should be reported to Palo Alto 311.

Additional real-world bike commuting practice is available through supplementary summer bike safety classes, including a Third Grade Socially Distanced Bike Rodeo Summer Series and Wheelkids Middle School Bike Skills Camp. More educational resources about safe walking and biking are available at

On Campus Learning Student Checklist

A parent must complete the Parent Square health screener before students come on campus.

Packing Checklist:

  • Fully Charged Chromebook/Laptop

  • Laptop Charger

  • Gunn lanyard w/photo ID

  • Headphones

  • Filled Water Bottle

  • Lunch (BYO or have the Free Lunch, no delivery)

  • Mask(s) (ready to be put on as soon as you arrive on campus)

  • School supplies needed for your classes

  • Jacket (classroom doors and windows will be open)

Quick Links

Quick Links

Gunn High School Website

Gunn PTSA Website

Gunn Student Activities

Gunn Oracle Current Edition


Parent Networks

| 12th Grade Class |

Nisha Datta, Julie Dubrouillet & Laura Wingard

| 11th Grade Class |

Claire Kirner, Leena Gill, & Gunjan Gupta

| 10th Grade Class |

Annie Bedichek, Lili Nova-Roessig, & Mana Uchino

| 9th grade Class |

Elizabeth Lam, Naomi Wang, & Michelle Chen

| Special Ed/Inclusion Rep |

Momo Yanagihara & Yael Uziyel Navel

Palo Alto Partners in Education

Partners in Education (PiE): PiE raises money from parents and the community to provide all Palo Alto Unified School District students an educational experience beyond what is possible with public funding. The 2020-2021 fundraising campaign has begun. See here what PiE funds for Gunn.


The Gunn PTSA supports Gunn high school in many ways such as teacher grants, student activities, fundraising, and organizing volunteers. Please visit the Gunn PTSA website for more information.

Support for Gunn Families

If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, please let your Gunn student's counselor know. If you are struggling to pay for college application fees or other college-related costs, please contact Linda Kirsch at and Leighton Lang at This is a very challenging time for some Gunn families, and the PTSA would like you to know that our community is here for you! We are all in this together and together we will make it through.