Paly Community Update

Friday, March 25, 2022

Hello Viking Families!

After two years of not being able to attend live performances, it was certainly a gift to be able to watch our Paly VAPA students sharing their talent over this past weekend.

On Friday evening the Paly Instrumental Department, under the direction of Jeff Willner and Greg Miller, hosted a wonderful pops concert in the Peery Family Center. As a former band and orchestra director, it was such a joy to be able to hear the wonderful talents of our Paly musicians. The evening not only showcased our large ensembles, but small student ensembles were also provided an opportunity to perform their chosen pieces of music.

Also over the weekend, the Paly Theater Department showcased the wonderful talents of our drama students in their production of Peter and The Starcatcher. Under the direction of Sarah Thermond, our students provided the audience with an entertaining performance that was supported by an outstanding stage and sound crew. I was delighted to be able to see our students perform with such enthusiastic and professional demeanor.

As we near the end of the school year, there will be multiple opportunities for our Paly community to join us in student performances, athletic events and student recognition programs. Our events are listed on our website calendar, so please be sure to visit our website ( for information on upcoming events.


Brent Kline, Principal

Paly Athletics

Please visit for the latest updates about Spring Sports. Download the Paly Sports App for game day notifications.

Guidance Updates

Course Selection

The Course Selection window is now closed. Hopefully, your student has completed their selection for the 2022-2023 school year and turned in their signed request sheet to their TA. 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

March is Career Month at Paly. Along with the many opportunities to hear guest speakers talk about their career paths, students are encouraged to think about their personal interests and how that information can point them toward a career. In Advisory on March 18th, Freshman, Sophomores & Seniors had the opportunity to listen to the Career Month kick-off keynote speaker, Raphael Bob-Wakesberg, creator of the popular Netflix show BoJack Horseman and Gunn graduate.

Here’s some advice he shared with our students that he learned on his life/career journey:

  • be flexible
  • follow what you are interested in
  • surround yourself with people who you can work with creatively
  • create a process that works for you
  • start with the fun
  • consistent practice
  • just do it and learn from it
  • when you are young or new in a career take risks
  • keep your voice...ask for feedback to strengthen your voice
  • collaborate
  • write down your observations and ideas
  • challenges happen it makes you stronger and gives you time to figure things out
  • give yourself permission to pivot in life and discover other things and passions
  • let life guide your career, not career guide your life

Great tips we can all use throughout life!

11th graders had their own important Advisory preparing them for their post-Paly Plans. This lesson introduced Juniors to The Viking Guide - the important College & Career Planning tool. This guide is a collection of information about applying to college, writing a resume, how to compute your GPA...the list is really endless. This publication is the place to go for information during Junior and Senior year. It is a must read for both students and parents - you’ll find you will refer to it again and again. It is available on at:

If you’d like to see the introduction to the guide lesson that your juniors had in Advisory, take a look HERE.

And finally, we hosted our Jr Parent/TA/College Advisor Night Wednesday 3/23/22. The event was well attended this year with many parents/guardians stating this is their first time through the application cycle with their student. The evening is designed to share with parents all the information the Juniors are learning in Advisory so you can support them through the college application and post-Paly planning process. If you missed the event, a recording of the opening presentation will be emailed to you shortly. We will also post the slide presentation in English, Spanish, and Mandarin to in the next few days.

College & Career Center updates

College Admission Decisions
As students decide which college to attend among their acceptances, they should reflect back on the qualities they deemed important to them when they started their research looking for a college "fit"--academic, social, and financial. Students can research many topics, from the college website, reviews in guidebooks, speaking with current students, and even programming during Admitted Student events; but ultimately, they will need to trust their instincts and make a choice. No college is perfect. Please remind your students that success in college has less to do with which college they attend and more to do with the skills, habits, and attitude they bring to it.

In Advisory this week, in addition to discussing next steps for students’ acceptances, Teacher Advisors shared information about how to handle denials and pursue waitlists, as well as how to avoid being rescinded.

If seniors are rethinking their post high school plans, there are some colleges still accepting freshmen applications for Fall 2022. You can do a search on the Common App ( or look at out-of-state public colleges with rolling admission. And, in mid-May, NACAC will publish the "space available" list of colleges still accepting Fall 2022 freshmen applications.

Of course, if seniors are now considering a gap-year or community college, Mrs. Laguna help with those plans. For more information, see the relevant section on .

Remember, seniors can still make an appointment to meet with their College Advisor to talk through college choices and decisions. We offer drop-ins at lunch or students can schedule an appointment via Calendly.

Financial Aid Awards

If your student filed a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by the colleges’ deadlines, they should have received a Student Aid Report (SAR) via email which contains federal financial aid information. The financial aid offices at each college to which they applied will use the SAR to determine how much and which kinds of financial aid they are eligible to receive. They will try to meet your student’s financial need through a package that combines aid from both federal and state grants with loans, institutional grants and student employment. Following this review, each school will send the student an award letter that explains which types and amounts of aid they are eligible to receive. There is no standard format for these award letters, but most are made up of financial calculations which include the cost of attendance, expected family contribution (EFC) and financial need; use, this tool to help you compare aid awards. The financial awards section will specify the type of aid which is being offered to meet this need.

Students must notify the college whether they plan to accept or decline the financial aid awards. They do not have to accept all aspects of the offer, but if they decline a specific portion it is unlikely that the school will substitute another form of aid. As a rule, the financial aid office has offered as much as possible in grants and scholarships, so do not assume that these awards will be increased should you decline work-study or loans.

If your financial circumstances have changed since the FAFSA was filed, notify the financial aid office. And, if you feel there are special circumstances the college should consider (e.g. parent recently laid off; income from 2021 (or 2022) is very different from 2020 (which was reported in FAFSA), call the financial aid office to inquire; students might have the opportunity to complete a form or submit a letter of explanation for special consideration. This resource from Swift Student can help your student request a financial aid appeal:

Community College Week (STUDENTS ONLY)

Student workshops will take place March 28-April 1. Students will have the opportunity to learn more about what the Community College system has to offer, the transfer process to four year colleges and receive help on how to apply. More information can be found at this link.


Panel on Promoting Mental Health and Preventing Substance Use in Teens

Please join the County of Santa Clara Prevention Services Division, school district and community partners for panel discussions, in English and Spanish, regarding substance use and mental health in teens. Panelists will provide an overview of warning signs, prevention and intervention strategies, and communication techniques to help build resiliency in youth. These events will also provide recommendations on how parents can support their seniors leaving home for college.

Register for English Panel on Tuesday, 3/29, 6:00 - 7:30 PM

Register for Spanish Panel on Wednesday, 3/30, 6:00 - 7:30 PM

Work Permits

Another successful week of career speakers! Students were exposed to a variety of career pathways, and should continue to practice their career building skills by participating in the April Job Fair on campus (details to follow). For more info about Career Month, click here and the Spring 2022 job opportunities slidedeck includes the 40-year internship at Lockheed Martin in partnership with PAUSD (closes Monday, 3/28 @ 4:00pm), and many other summer opportunities - updated weekly.

Reminder: all minors hired in a paid position through a company require a work permit. Follow this link for more info and explore the Work Experience Student Resources or contact the Work Experience teacher: Rachael Kaci

Healthy Relationships

We are excited to share information about a collaboration between OneLove and our student Rise Task Force about bringing discussions around healthy relationships to our student body. Upperclass students, with the support of One Love Facilitators, Paly Counselors, and Paly Wellness staff will engage in conversations with 9th - 11th graders about healthy and unhealthy signs of a relationship. One Love spent time training our student facilitators, Counselors, and Wellness staff in March and students will be facilitating these conversations after spring break within class periods.

Big picture