Titan Talk

Henry M Gunn High School

April 12, 2020: Vol 3 Issue 29

PAUSD School Closure Resources- PAUSD will continue this school year remotely.

Please visit the district's School Closure Resource Page for answers to questions you may have regarding the closure. This page addresses questions regarding meals for students, technology needs, special education and 504 plans, EL support, and mental health support among other things during the closure of our schools.

Please read PAUSD Superintendent of Schools, Don Austin's Letter on Credit/No Credit.

Schoology Resources

Here are some resources created to help with using Schoology in the PAUSD Schoology Backpack. Check out the Parent Guide in Additional Support with Schoology folder.

Community Resources for helping Families in Need.

Gunn PTSA has partnered with a variety of community organizations to provide help and information for families during this crisis. Please check out these resources on how you can provide or receive help.

One page guide for resources for all types of community needs.

Any PAUSD family in need from COVID-19 can get a grocery/gift card. Families can contact their counselor for referral. They can also email sheryl@rise-nonprofit.org (a former Gunn parent and alum!) and Spanish speakers can call/text Blanca at 650-823-9957.

You can also donate to the Palo Alto Community Fund's COVID-19 Relief Fund to help our community families as well.

Gunn Counseling

Here are the latest Newsletters for Seniors and Juniors for the 4th Quarter. Sophomores and Freshmen Newsletters to follow soon.

Senior 4th Quarter Newsletter.

Junior 4th Quarter Newsletter

Families in need of support:

  • If you are aware of, or are in need of financial assistance during this crisis, please reach out to your counselor. Here are some community resources that can be of help also.

Grades: The district has moved to credit/no credit grading for the spring quarter of 2020. All coursework for 2nd semester will be reported as Credit/No Credit on all PAUSD transcripts. Please contact your teachers on the standards for receiving credit in your particular classes.

Off-campus course update:

  • District policy remains as follows: 1) Graduation requirement courses must be taken on campus. 2) Students may take a maximum of 40 credits of elective courses off campus throughout their high school careers. 3) Students may earn a maximum of 80 credits per year, including from courses taken on- and off-campus.

  • For spring 2020, no courses taken off-campus will be put onto the PAUSD transcript. This includes all courses taken off-campus that have received prior approval from the site counselor and administrator. If you complete an off-campus course in spring 2020, you must provide colleges with a separate transcript for the course(s).

  • Courses taken in summer 2020 will appear on the PAUSD transcript with the letter grade earned and applied to the 80 maximum credits per year to be taken in the 2020-21 school year.

AP Testing. College board has moved to online testing for AP's this year. Please see the following link on information and resources.

Counselors and teachers will be available through email to answer questions and concerns during normal school hours. Please contact your counselor or teacher through Schoology, or direct email. Counselors will not be checking phone messages regularly.

The Wellness Center:

At Gunn, we have had the privilege of serving students every day at the Wellness Center and supporting them in taking healthy space away from the stress of school, providing tea and snacks for a nice pick-me-up, and delivering ongoing therapeutic services. We understand that with our schools closing, it can bring much uncertainty around the mental health services so many of our students access here at the Wellness Center every day. We will be working diligently on compiling available services to your families throughout our community. Please be on the lookout for an email to parents and caregivers regarding the mental health of our students and see how to support them outside of school during this closure. We will also be including a list of providers and organizations in the area who may be able to support our families during this closure.

The Wellness Center has taken outreach online, and will be sharing daily posts with tips, activities, resources, and a little humor to encourage students and their wellbeing. Look out for these updates on Schoology! Here is the latest sent to students through Schoology.


Keep staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy (most of the time)! Today we just wanted to share something to spread a little more joy. I dare you not to laugh or smile. Watch it here.


As important as it is to remain connected with others through this time of physical seperation, it's also imoprtant to take some time away for yourself and maintain some important boundaries for yourself. You can do this in a lot of ways like going for a walk alone while listening to a fun audiobook or journaling in a safe and quiet space in your home. Whatever it is, we highly recommend you take that time to refuel and "refill" your proverbial cup to be able to continue adapting to this really weird and confusing time.


Just a couple videos to restore faith in humanity. Watch some New Yorkers clapping at night for workers in their community who are in the front lines of fighting this pandemic. Watch here!

Check out the Child Mind Institute's Family Resources on how to how to navigate the challenges of parenting on a variety of topics including anxiety, substance abuse, depression, and more.

SELF (Social Emotional Learning and Functionality)

The SELF program is focusing right now on helping students maintain connections with each other and with their teachers and mentors during this challenging time. Mentors have been reaching out to their cohorts to connect in different ways, and we are also working with other wellness groups on campus to support and complement efforts for students to connect across the wider community. We also have come across some resources that we thought might be helpful for students and families at this time:

All 9th, 10th and 11th students have seen this TED Talk from Stanford professor Kelly McGonigal as part of the 9th grade SELF curriculum, but it's worth a re-watch, and a wonderful and important take on how to view stressful experiences in a healthy way:

How to Make Stress Your Friend

Service can also be a productive way to redirect our anxieties, and our friends at YCS (Youth Community Service) have put together this list of service activities that can be done from home:

https://youthcommunityservice.org/service-at-home/ (they would be thrilled to hear other ideas as well)

One of our mentors shared this great resource from Stanford as well about "Distant Socializing" with some great ideas for keeping connected:


Finally, we have two resources that our fantastic school psychologist passed along to the staff, which we thought also might be helpful:

Institute for Disaster Mental Health--Tips for Community Members--COVID-19: Managing Stress in this Anxious Time

Talking with Teens and Tweens about Coronavirus (NY Times)

Please reach out to us if you have any suggestions or feedback for ways that the SELF program can support your student--we can be reached at ccarlomagno@pausd.org or tfirenzi@pausd.org. We hope everyone is staying healthy and well.

ROCK (Reach Out Care Know) & SOS (Sources of Strength)

We know this is a tough time for anyone. If you need to talk, please email rockatgunn@gmail.com or message @rockatgunn on Instagram. Learn more at our website.

Gunn Oracle Is still publishing

Please check out the latest publications of the Oracle online.


Instagram @gunnoracle

College and Career

The Guidance Team is here to help—reach out and expect a reply in a timely manner.

Wait Listed? Keep connected to your college as if indeed you would go no matter what… let them know as this is a year when the holes of kids not coming or not returning could impact how a freshman class is selected. If you are willing to show up at a time other than September, feel free to let the college know. Schools have been migrating to sophomore admissions to fill gaps and this may be used more than ever and they will provide instruction on what to do with that time preceding.

The Exploring College Options scheduled for April 26th has been cancelled.

The NACAC college fair scheduled for April 25th has been cancelled…they have cancelled all spring fairs, this experience will be available in Fall of 2020 and Gunn IS hosting the fair this year!

SAT/ACT are cancelled through May and as a result, some colleges may go test optional for the fall. New info from College Board will be released on April 9 regarding SAT. Please visit the sites of either SAT or ACT before assuming the testing will happen and get fresh information on what they want done to be admitted to the next open test option.

Seniors: most locations will not have admitted senior days this year. You can do video viewing, which not be the same as a visit, but if you have questions, when you get a letter or acceptance, you are likely to have contact information, so use it. If you need to consult more on this as we move towards May 1, please see your guidance counselor, Mr Lang or Mrs Kirsch as we are here to help. I know this is a hard decision to make sight unseen but keep track of all the places that said YES to you…that could be important for future use. This is going to be a difficult year for colleges in many ways, so feel free to make contact and get questions or concerns answered

NAVIANCE: Some students may have heard back from all or some of their colleges. Please enter the results in the Naviance site where colleges are listed and students have applied. if you know where your student is going, have them look for the box that asks what college they chose and enter the name there. Be sure they hear back from all locations. Some colleges are still using the decide and deposit on May 1 and some are moving this out to June.

Please note that the following events may have been canceled, Please contact organizers to see if events are rescheduled or happening.

If you need help finding a summer internship of volunteer work, we have materials from the Summer OPS night and new postings from folks that will be available in the C&CC area, please drop by. Talk with Linda Kirsch or Leighton Lang to get help as needed.

Monday April 6 6:30 pm--- Boston U will be at the Westin in San Jose. Register bu.edu/admissions/visit-us/bu-in-your-area/

Attention Junior Parents: There are a small number of you who have not responded to outreach to set appointments for this meeting with Linda Kirsch for Post HS discussion. We will now start setting appointments to meet with the student and let you know the date and time so that if you did want to attend you may come. If you know the is a better date or time, just reply to e-mail contact and we will adjust to meet your needs. This discussion provides valuable information that is specific to your student and what s/he wants to do after HS be is college, military, job. The C&CC has valuable information for the student and there are many new laws and regulations that have changed this year that needs to be discussed. All contact can be directed to lkirsch@pausd.org to facilitate a timely appointment. Come to the main office for a parking permit first then upstairs in the new yellow building for the appointment.

Gunn High School Measure Z Bond Project- Public Community Meeting # 1

The Palo Alto Unified School District will host a Gunn High School Community Meeting to present the Schematic Design Plans for the Renovation of the Administration Building. The meeting will be conducted by HED Architects and will be held online via Zoom at https://pausd.zoom.us/j/723978306 or dial +1 669 900 6833 and enter Meeting ID: 723 978 306 then press # to join the meeting. Meeting ID: 723 978 306

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 2:00PM


Here are some Frequently Asked Questions for parents on the school closures.

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.

Palo Alto Partners in Education

Thank you to all that have supported Partners in Education (PiE). The donations to PiE continue to support many programs at Gunn, including our