Gunn Together Times 3/20/23

Principal Stratton's Newsletter

State Testing Update

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Dear Titan Families,

Gunn students and staff did an amazing job adapting their teaching and learning experiences through power outages, and spotty internet access last week. Teachers are aware that some families lost power and access to the internet. If your student was unable to complete work due to the outages, please communicate with their teachers.

This week, our juniors will participate in state testing in the areas of Math and English Language Arts (ELA). To support testing, teachers are reducing the academic load and are not giving any homework on exam days. While this is a no stress test, we do ask that students try their best, as these assessments provide a critical data point from which staff can reflect and improve.

In the Spirit of GunnTogether,

Wendy Stratton, Principal

In This Issue . . .

  • CAASPP/CAST Testing Schedules
  • "High School Musical"
  • Guidance & Wellness
  • "Clash of the Titans"
  • PTSA Grants
  • Construction Update
  • See's Candy fundraiser
  • "Breathe With Me" video
  • Summer Study Abroad
  • Construction Update
  • Alternate Schedules
  • Attendance Intervention
  • Athletics
  • Communicating
  • Upcoming Events
  • Testing Updates
  • Senior Donations
  • PTSA
  • Volunteer Opportunities


Monday, March 20

Regular Schedule

Tuesday, March 21

Zero Period (7:55-8:50)

Period 1 (9:00-9:40)

Brunch (9:40-9:55)

ELA PT/PRIME (9:55-11:55)

Lunch (11:55-12:25)

ELA CAT/PRIME (12:35-1:40)

Period 2 (1:50-2:30)

Period 3 (2:40-3:20)

Period 4 (3:30-4:10)

Period 8 (4:20-5:00)

Wednesday, March 22

Zero Period (7:55-8:50)

Period 5 (9:00-9:40)

Period 6 (9:50-10:30)

Brunch (10:30-10:45)

Math PT/PRIME/SELF (10:45-12:15)

Lunch (12:15-12:45)

Math CAT/PRIME/SELF (12:55-2:25)

Period 7 (2:35-3:15)

Thursday, March 23

Zero Period (7:55-8:50)

Period 1 (9:00-10:35)

Brunch (10:35-10:50)

PERIOD 2 (10:50-12:20)

Lunch (12:20-1:00)

Period 3 (1:00-2:30)

Period 4 (2:40-4:10)

Period 8 (4:20-5:55)

Friday, March 24

Period 5 (9:00-10:30)

Brunch (10:30-10:45)

Period 6 (10:45-12:15)

Lunch (12:15-12:55)

Elections Assembly (12:55-1:55)

Period 7 (2:05-3:30)

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Gunn Service Day

On March 8, many students volunteered at different sites as part of Gunn's annual Service Day, sponsored by Youth Community Service (YCS). Volunteering sites included Gamble Garden, Nixon Elementary School and the Ohlone School Farm. (Photo courtesy of The Oracle)

Gunn Staff Accolade

Choir Director, Bill Liberatore, was honored with a Tall Tree Award, recognizing his outstanding contributions and service to the community.
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"High School Musical"

Come join Gunn Performing Arts for our production of Disney’s High School Musical! When the new girl at East High School, Gabriella, accidentally auditions for the Winter Musical and makes enemies with the Drama Club diva, Sharpay, the whole student body starts to examine the cliques to which they belong. Throw in a love story, a historic basketball game, and an academic decathlon, and you have a compelling and heartwarming story appropriate for all ages,

SHOW TIMES (get tix at

Wednesday, March 22nd at 4pm

Thursday, March 23rd at 7pm (this is our understudy show and they are fabulous!)

Friday, March 24th at 7pm

Saturday, March 25th at 7pm.

(The show is about 2 hours including the intermission.)

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Gunn Musicians

Our Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble perform at their Sonoma State Band and Orchestra Festival in early March.

Guidance & Wellness News

Here is this week's Titan Talk. with information about Gunn's Counseling Department and Wellness Center.

(from Don Austin, PAUSD Supertinendent):

The Pressures of High School: Supporting our Students' Mental Health

High School can be a difficult time for students. As they continue to develop their identity, they can be confronted with various pressures. The pressures range from grades to testing to the transition from high school. They do all of this as their peers become more and more prominent in their lives. All of this impacts their mental health. So, how can you best support your high school student during these years?

Join us for a PAUSD Parent Ed session where we will hear from CHC's Catherine T. Harvey Center for Clinical Services expert Dr. Melina Foden, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist, about how as a parent you can support your high school students as they navigate these challenging times.

Date and Time: Monday, March 27th, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Location: Zoom (provided through CHC Eventbrite registration)


Student well-being is at the heart of what we do in PAUSD. The District has partnered with the Santa Clara County Office of Education to secure Naloxone (Narcan) kits for each of our school sites. Narcan is a lifesaving, emergency medication used to reverse an opioid overdose. Beginning in mid-March, Narcan emergency kits will be stored in all school health offices, automated external defibrillator (AED) storage boxes, and high school athletics offices. Narcan will be administered by trained staff members during a suspected opioid overdose.

PAUSD encourages parents and guardians to have open conversations with their high school students about the dangers of Fentanyl and other opioids. For more information on the Fentanyl Awareness and PAUSD’s Naloxone program, please visit our website (Fentanyl Awareness).

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"Clash of the Titans"

On March 15, students and staff gathered in Titan Gym for the annual "Clash of the Titans," a basketball game of students vs. staff. Staff won this year 34-31. (photo courtesy of The Oracle)

PTSA Grants

Gunn PTSA has awarded over $4,000 to the following student groups for projects this year. Thank you to all the people that gave donations during the Back-to-School fundraising drive. Your generosity helps bring these student-led school projects to life.

· Gunn Helios Magazine Club for printing costs

· Gunn eSports Club for upcoming tournaments

· Food for Gunn United Computations hackathon event

· Prizes for Gunn Math Competition

· CPR training materials for Gunn Red Cross Club

· Art Supplies for murals at Gunn by the National Art Honor Society Club

· Books for Gunn STEM Ethics Bowl Club

· Funds for Gunn Cartoons Club community events

· Gunn Tea Club to purchase food for pre-finals week stress relief

· Bike Club for bike stands and repair materials

· Computer Science Capstone class for Phone Jail materials

· Garden Club for seedlings for the school garden

For questions, contact

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New Construction Update

Currently, underground plumbing and electrical utilities are being installed for both Building A and B (Main Office/Cafeteria Building). Demolition around the site is complete, and grading for the new additions has started. Once grading is complete and the building pad is certified, work will begin on foundations. Check out the image above to view what the final product will look like!

Alternate Schedules


Attendance continues to be one of PAUSD's goals for the 2022 - 2023 school year. Healthy attendance is the key to student success as well as graduation, and even college and career readiness.

At Gunn High School this school year, and throughout PAUSD, we will continue our intervention in order to support each student's healthy attendance. At the 6th - 12th grade level, 1 truancy event will represent 4 unexcused period absences (the equivalent of 1 full day, when classes are averaged throughout the week). Intervention responses will look like:

  • 3 Truancy Events (12 unexcused period absences or the equivalent of 3 full days) = A call home from your student's counselor or case manager, as well as a formal notification of truancy via mail (Truancy Letter #1)
  • 6 Truancy Events (24 unexcused period absences or the equivalent of 6 full days) = An in-person meeting with your student's counselor, case manager (if applicable) and Assistant Principal Carlomagno, as well as a formal notification of truancy via mail (Truancy Letter #2)
  • 9 Truancy Events (36 unexcused period absences or the equivalent of 9 full days) = Referral to the District Office's SARB (School Attendance Review Board), as well as a formal notification of truancy via mail (Truancy Letter #3)

In addition to these formal intervention processes, parents and guardians may also receive timely outreach from our Attendance Clerks regarding any absences that are occurring in the middle of the day.

Updated Attendance Processes (Previously shared on ParentSquare)

Please note: Beginning September 1, 2022 the attendance office will be enforcing the 72 hour rule.

  1. Parents/guardians have 72 hours to excuse a previous absence. (After 72 hours, documentation is required)
  2. Prior Approval Forms for upcoming/scheduled absences must be turned in 72 hours prior to the absence. Prior Approval Forms can be used for court appearances, consulate appointments, outside sporting competitions and other special circumstances. Additionally they must be completed for the 5 college visitation days allotted to seniors and second semester juniors. Family vacations or other similar personal absences do not fall into this category.

Approval is to the administrator’s discretion. The form does not need to be filled out for health appointments or illnesses.


Gunn Athletics Website

Click here for details on upcoming Titan games and all things Gunn Athletic!


Badminton: March 23

Baseball: March 22, 24

Golf: March 21

Lacrosse: March 23

Softball: March 17, 20, 23

Swimming & Diving: March 23, 24

Tennis: March 21

Volleyball: March 21, 23, 24

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Girls Lacrosse

Our girls’ varsity lacrosse team played their first game of the season Feb. 27. (photo courtesy of The Oracle)


Communications Platforms at Gunn:

Communications from Gunn PTSA

How does Gunn PTSA communicate (electronically) with families?


Gunn PTSA is using Konstella for our electronic Parent Directory, Grade level parent network, community messaging, event information and volunteer sign-ups. When registering your student this year on Infinite Campus, you indicated your communications preference to be included in emails from the PTSA or in the school Directory. PAUSD will only give us your information if you answered "YES", and you will be included in Konstella, and start receiving messages from PTSA. You can also register on Konstella - email with your preferred email address and name/grade of your student.

PAUSD is a member of Connected Schools. The Common Sense Connected School's member hub is updated weekly. The "hub" contains resources, tips, and events for educators and families to help guide students in navigating the digital age. Here is a short two-minute "how-to use the hub" video. Parents can sign up here for the Common Sense newsletter to receive ongoing, age-specific recommendations and advice on the latest movies, TV shows, books, apps, and more.

Upcoming Events

March 17-25

  • "High School Musical" (7pm, Spangenberg; 4pm matinee March 22)

March 21-24

  • CAASPP/CAST testing schedules

March 22

  • Fentanyl Awareness Event (6pm, Paly High)

March 22-April 21

  • Ramadan

March 27-31

  • Neurodiversity Week

March 29

  • Best Buddies Field Day (all day at Gunn)

March 31

April 3-7

  • Spring Break

Fentanyl Awareness Training

Wed. March 22, 6 pm - 7:30 pm, Palo Alto High School, Performing Arts Center

Join us to learn about the dangers of fentanyl led by the Santa Clara County Opioid Overdose Prevention Project and Supervisor Joe Simitian, in conjunction with the Palo Alto and Gunn High School PTSA's.

Hear from a panel of experts about addiction treatment and prevention, and parents who have lost a child to fentanyl poisoning. With this training you could save a life! FREE NARCAN kit distribution. Light refreshments served.

Also offered virtually

For more information on the Fentanyl Awareness and PAUSD’s Naloxone program, please visit Fentanyl Awareness.

Testing Updates

Please visit the Gunn Testing Webpage to see the latest information about testing. Gunn will update the testing page frequently as the testing dates approach. Use the Let's Talk feature on the left side of the webpage to ask any testing-related questions.

Senior Donations Request

Donations needed for Senior events scholarships

The end of senior year is a milestone for our senior students! We will have end of year events to celebrate. Parents provide end of year event ticket help to students who need it (we don't want to leave anyone out!). We are asking for fully tax deductible donations to help cover this cost. If each family purchasing a ticket were able to also donate $20, all students could celebrate together. Please donate here if you are able. Tickets will go on sale in early February. Questions?

Donate to support the senior scholarship student yearbook program

Each year, we provide a free yearbook for the senior scholarship students on campus. If you’d like to donate to this program, please visit the Titan Webstore, go to the Club Fundraisers page, and donate to The Olympian. You can donate anonymously if you prefer.

Yearbook questions? Reach out to Kristy Blackburn at


Join the PTSA!

Gunn's PTSA wants you to join the team --

Your $8 PTA membership (what a deal!) pays for officer training, advocacy, insurance and operational costs of the Gunn PTSA. By becoming a member, you can join discussions and vote at PTA meetings. It’s easy to join. Go here for more details.

PTSA Leads Needed

There are many opportunities to volunteer at Gunn. Volunteering is a great way to meet other parents, make new friends, and get more involved at the school. PTSA values your contribution and we could not do it without you! Leads and committees are needed to host several events that bring the Gunn High School community together. Please let us know if you can help by signing up here.

Gunn Foundation Needs Your Donation

The Gunn Foundation would like to call upon our community to help students who are experiencing financial hardships to attend colleges that offer them admission.


Every year, Gunn Foundation scholarships help Gunn graduates pay for expenses like tuition and housing deposits, textbooks, fees, and other items not covered by financial aid. Your support - at any amount - will help ensure a big bright future for students in our community.

Last spring, Gunn Foundation granted need-based scholarships to 24 students who are now attending schools across the US. With your help, we can do the same for the Class of 2023!

Snack Donations

Calling Gunn Titan Community!

The main office at Gunn is in need of student snacks: bars, trail mix, fruit snacks, or any individually wrapped item. If you are able, please drop these off at the main office, in the E building, behind the fenced-in construction. Our students would greatly appreciate this generous offer!

Substitute Teachers needed

Do you already have a valid teaching credential or substitute permit?

Due to a combination of factors, our need for substitute teachers at Gunn is greater than ever. We are asking those of you who may already have a valid teaching credential or substitute teaching permit to join our team ASAP. Whether you can offer one day a week or five, the added support would be much appreciated! Please email Lorie Prior (

Food Containers Wanted

Culinary Arts Classes need take home food containers, especially cup, pint and quart sizes. They may be dropped off at the main office for teacher Cindy Peters. Questions:

Academic Center volunteer needed

Can you help out in the Academic Center 12:00-1:00pm? Enjoy time with Gunn's delightful students and learn about our academic and extracurricular programs. Responsibilities include being the welcoming adult presence in the room, monitoring the automatic textbook check-in system, and overseeing the use of computers and printers. You can volunteer once a week or every other week, and partner with another parent if you'd like. Please email

ELL Language Tutors needed

The PAUSD English Learner Program is currently looking for adult tutors to support elementary students in languages other than English. Potential candidates must care about and enjoy children. The Palo Alto Unified School District English Learner program seeks fluent speakers and writers of Spanish, Farsi, Chinese, and Japanese.

Tutors will support beginning English Learners by helping them understand classroom teacher instruction and the core content. Tutors will be utilized to explain information and translate for the child, and the teacher in the classroom and at parent meetings. Tutors are often used to translate written English into the child’s primary language to support parents who prefer to read in languages other than English.

Tutors are important resources in the English Learner Program because they provide a means of communication between beginning English speaking students, teachers and parents.

Interested applicants should complete the EdJoin Classified application. Please refer to the EdJoin website for further information.

Sports Boosters

Please volunteer and join the Gunn Sports Boosters board 2022-23. With half of our student body participating in a sport, we need your involvement to continue our work supporting these athletic programs that receive little revenue from the district. Gunn Sports Boosters is a not-for-profit organization that supports Gunn student athletes in partnership with the Gunn Athletics Department. We raise funds, awareness and school spirit to support our athletes by working with school administrators, coaches, parents, and community members. We assist with fundraising and work to fund projects that impact Gunn student athletes. We are looking for help in all capacities. Contact if you are interested.