Titan Talk

Henry M Gunn High School

September 20, 2020: Vol 4 Issue 5

Events This Week:

Gunn Together: Period 3: Clubs Presentations- Students will report to their Period 3 class for Gunn Together on Wednesday at 11:05. Virtual Club Day will follow.

Backstage with the Superintendent webinar is back this Monday night at 5:30 PM.

Follow this link to the event and no registration is necessary. The Superintendent will discuss the rationale behind staggered starts at the elementary school level and the semester return of secondary students.

Gunn Counseling

Gunn Counseling Parent Nights

Our annual parent nights are approaching! Keep an eye out for more details and instructions on how to access these virtual events in the coming week.

See Website and Newsletters for Zoom IDs.

9th Grade Parent Night – 9/23, 6:15-7:15 pm

10th Grade Parent Night – 9/23, 7:30-8:30 pm

11th Grade Parent Night – 9/30, 6:15-7:15 pm

12th Grade Parent Night – 9/30, 7:30-8:30 pm

Counseling Quarterly Newsletters

Newsletters were sent out this past week. If you missed them, here are the links for each grade level.





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 lkirsch@pausd.org and Leighton Lang at llang@pausd.org. 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.

CSU Application Workshop October 8 @ 11:40 am. Hosted by an Admissions rep from San Jose State University.

- Gunn’s Counseling Department

SELF (Social Emotional Learning and Functionality)

This week, students in their SELF classes will continue their check-ins with mentors, either one-on-one or in small groups. The SELF program invests heavily in these opportunities for students and their mentors to discuss what's happening both in their classes and more broadly in their lives; relationships are the foundation of the program, and these kinds of conversations are one of the most effective ways to foster these relationships. We encourage parents and teachers to always reach out to mentors as well if there's information that it might be helpful for a mentor to know, or something that it might be helpful to talk to the student about. When they aren't checking in directly with their mentors, 9th grade students will be engaged in activities hosted by their Titan Ambassadors, and 10th-12th grade students will be working on other activities or watching videos related to SEL or SELF unit themes.

The Wellness Center:

Gunn Wellness Center

This week please check out our new Wellness Website! Our team has been working hard on reorganizing the site and adding more information that is easily accessible. Click here to be taken to the new site and take a look around. Maybe meet our team this year, get some more info about our partners on campus, or look up links to necessary crisis and mental health resources.

Coming Soon

September 28 7:00 p.m. Caring Presence- Supporting Our Children in Their Grief

Caring Presence- Supporting Our Children in Their Grief

While Gunn teachers, staff, and students have been heroically working to make remote learning a success, students are also mourning the school experience they expected to have. In this educational talk, Jaymie Byron of KARA will help parents look at grief in the social context, understand how to recognize symptoms of grief, and develop a compassionate presence to sit with our student's grief and tools to support them. The conversation will be about an hour with 15 minutes for questions afterward.

Jaymie Byron is the Director of Community Outreach and Crisis Response for KARA. As a nonprofit organization serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1976. KARA provides comprehensive grief support, crisis intervention, and education to individuals and communities facing the difficult realities of grief and loss.

This event is being co-hosted by Gunn Parent Education, the Gunn Wellness Center, and the Palo Alto Chinese Parents Club. Interpretation in Mandarin and Spanish will be available. For questions, contact parented@gunnpta.org.

Join us for this amazing event by clicking here on September 28th at 7 pm

Mindful Minute

Take 10 minutes to read this informative article on confronting grief in the age of Covid and practical ways to address it for yourself and your family.

Sources of Strength

Sources of Strength is a strength-based comprehensive wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention but impacts other issues such as substance abuse and violence. The program is based on a relational connections model that uses teams of peer leaders mentored by adult advisors to change peer social norms about help seeking and encourages students to individually assess and develop strengths in their life.

ROCK (Reach Out Care Know)

ROCK has a few exciting projects in the works.

- socially distanced yoga

- painting rocks

- social media campaigns

- SELF class presentations

- thank you campaign

Look out for these and more which will hopefully be coming soon.

e-mail: rockatgunn@gmail.com

web: rockatgunn.com

Instagram: @rockatgunn

Student Activities

Virtual Fall Club Fair is this Wednesday, 9/23: Watch promo videos of all the clubs during Gunn Together, and then meet the club officers for Q & A during lunch! The full list of promo video links and Q & A meeting links will be posted in Schoology this Tuesday. Check out all of this year’s club offerings at the following link: https://www.gunnsec.org/club-list-20-21.html

College and Career

Seniors: I am about to shift focus to Juniors if you still have questions or need an appointment...I will reply and you can still ask for zoom but the schedule is now quite tight. DO CHECK NAVIANCE for virtual college visits. DO make contact with colleges you are interested in if they are offering oral interviews. UC I, B, SC are definitely test BLIND this year. The other UCs want to push back at the lawsuit that insisted to not do so was to be problematic with equity.

Juniors: Expect testing to happen more in the second semester and have more dates when they can do so safely. Yes, it is likely you will be doing testing if you apply to private and out of state colleges.

NAVIANCE: Get to know this tool, have your e-mail in that database or you may be missing out on announcements. Mr. Lang can help with any questions.

VISITS: virtual till we hear otherwise and you will know when things change. Be hopeful that Spring break may be a possible time to really look.

GRADES: will be looked at closely as this semester one shows how well you transitioned back to graded classes.

GENERAL INFO: Sept 22, 7 PM. Common Ground will have “Pandemic Impact” with major folks from college on a panel discussion. There is a fee. I do hope to attend and take notes (awaiting them to send me a code to do so.).


As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure PAUSD families have multiple points of access to timely information, Collegewise has provided a free series of college planning programs and resources, called “Runway.” This series provides carefully structured resources to give students and parents the tips, tools, and timelines they need to reach their college goals in 2020. Program offerings are specific to high school grade levels.

When students sign up for “Runway,” they will have access to content and videos designed for you and your family that cover topics including:

  • College list building
  • Finding good value colleges
  • Overview of types of colleges
  • Personal statement brainstorming and writing
  • Effective Common App completion
  • Financial aid applications
  • Fee waivers overview
  • UC application guidance

Students in grades 9-11: You’ll have access to an on-demand video library, access to a monthly newsletter, and a variety of guides covering everything from STEM programs to understanding the demands of The Common App. Sign up for the program here.

“Runway” provides a valuable supplement to the more specific information available from counselors and college advisors at each high school. Here are the links to the resources available at Gunn. For more information, please review the counseling/guidance web pages, under Campus Life, on the schools’ websites: https://gunn.pausd.org/.

Gunn Affiliated Associations

Your membership, participation, and donations to the following organizations help make Gunn High School a wonderful thriving institution. Thank you for your continued support. Together we are Gunn Together!


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

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.

Gunn Foundation

Support Gunn Students via the Gunn Foundation

Since 1968, the Gunn Foundation has been granting need-based scholarships to college-bound seniors in the Gunn community. Scholarships fund essential expenses— deposits, textbooks, fees, and college costs that are often unmet by aid packages. Especially now with the impact of COVID, Gunn Foundation scholarships can make a huge difference in the future of a Gunn student.

Look for the Gunn Foundation on Step 4 of the online back-to-school packet or visit our website (gunnfound.org) and consider making a donation to support a Gunn student. Your support, at any level, will truly make a difference.