Paly Community Update

Thursday, March 9, 2023

HI Viking Families!

Here are our latest updates. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.


Paly Admin and Guidance Teams

March 27, Virtual Parent Education: 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)

Challenge Day

We will be hosting Challenge day this month on March 21st from 8:30-2:45pm. We are inviting 100 students from 9th/10th grade to participate. Since we only have 100 slots, we are accepting permission slips on a first come, first serve basis. Challenge day is a transformational day of fun, leadership and power that can change the way people view each other forever. There will be a different schedule that day due to CAASP testing for Juniors, and students who participate in Challenge Day will be excused from classes that day and lunch will be provided. Please sign this permission slip and return it to Wellness or email it to or by Wednesday, March 15th.

Guidance Updates

Course Selection

The Course Selection window is now closed. Thank you for helping your student(s) get their course selection sheets signed and in on time. Please note that the Master Schedule is reflective of these requests - classes are created and staffing confirmed to meet these needs.

There will not be room for adding and/or dropping classes at the start of the school year when your students receive their schedules with the exception of:

  • Duplicate classes appear on the schedule

  • Missing graduation requirements

  • Successful completion of a class in summer school

  • Wrong level class

Advisory Update

9th Grade -One of the goals of 9th Grade Advisory is to share tools for success and help students learn to be advocates for themselves when needed. With the end of 3rd quarter coming on March 17th and progress notes posting in late February, it was time for some reflection. Frosh were given an assignment to complete an Academic Progress Reflection. While they worked on their reflections, TAs dropped by to chat individually with students.

10th Grade - Another tool for success is learning how to balance work and life. Since stress is inevitable, finding ways to handle it is an important life skill. In Advisory on Monday, the Sophs learned about some of the proven ways to manage stress and shared some of their own positive habits. Take a look Here at the lesson.

11th Grade - The Juniors are continuing their discussions about Post-Paly planning. Last week, they

learned about resumes - how to highlight skills, how to organize the information, and what should be left off. It’s a great lesson with valuable information for everyone that will need a resume at some point in their lives. If you’d like to take a look at the lesson, click Here.

12th Grade - The seniors had a check-in Advisory this week. While the TAs made themselves available to any student with individual questions, the rest of the group explored their “2 Conflicting Selves”. This activity was designed by a psychiatrist to help adolescents explore their future selves by thinking not only of their safe, well-mapped out, grounded side, but also the side that wishes and dreams for adventure. Here’s a link to the lesson: Click here.

Reminder: Junior Parent/TA/College Advisor evening is on March 15th. We will start at 6:30pm with a presentation by our College Advisors in the Performing Arts Center (PAC). Next, parents will head to classrooms to meet with their student’s TA. The evening is designed to introduce families to the college application steps their students are learning about in Advisory.

College & Career Center updates

Upcoming Events

College Fairs

NACAC Virtual College Fair - Sun., Mar. 19; 10-3 pm PT; registration required
Meet with college representatives who can answer questions; attend workshops to learn about choosing a major, financial aid, scholarship info and more; attend a workshop. A list of participating colleges is typically available after you register.

WACAC College Fair - Tues., Apr. 4; 6-8 pm at West Valley College; registration required

Meet one-on-one with college representatives who can answer questions.

Print your personal barcode for your favorite colleges to scan--freeing up your time to visit more college reps (rather than completing interest cards).

Community College Events

College of San Mateo Disability Resource Center - Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

For graduating seniors transitioning to the College of San Mateo and the Disability Resource Center. Students who participate will receive priority registration for fall 2023, complete orientation, learn about the CSM campus and programs offered, and obtain an appointment with our DRC counselors for education planning. Register:

West Valley College: Transition Your 504/IEP to College event - Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Considering joining West Valley College next year, but not sure what that means for your IEP/504 Plan?
Join to:

  • Gain an understanding of the types of services available at West Valley College

  • Learn what documentation you need to provide and how to provide it

  • Connect with the DESP staff who will be working with you for the next few years

  • Learn how to register for our orientations and meet with a counselor

For more info and Zoom URL:

College Admission Decisions

While some seniors are hanging in there still waiting to learn of admission decisions, others are faced with some choices about their college options. Congratulations to students who were admitted! As they prepare to make a final college choice, we recommend students wait until they receive all offers of admission (no later than April 1) and then consider which college best meets their academic, social, and financial needs. If your student applied for need-based aid, remember to compare financial aid award offers--especially the amount of loans in the award packages. Sometimes financial aid awards aren't mailed but rather are posted on students’ online webportal accounts at the college. If students don't receive their financial aid award from the colleges to which they were admitted by April 1, contact each of those college's financial aid offices to inquire as to when your student will get this important information.

Students have until May 1 to notify the college whose offer they’ll accept and submit their Intent to Enroll (often requires a deposit). In some cases, multiple actions must be taken to accept an offer. Read information--including the conditions of the offer of admission (which includes satisfactory completion of senior year)--very carefully. More information about waitlists will be discussed in the next senior Advisory.

While it may seem that the news from colleges--whether it be good, bad, or somewhere in between--is the most important event in the world, it truly isn't. Through high school students learn time management, study skills, and perspective. Through college admissions essays, students hope to convey what they have learned and how they have grown. They grew enormously no matter what post high school path they will pursue. They have reflected and thought about themselves seriously over the last few months. That in itself is invaluable. Realize the value in this process, and celebrate it with your students.

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