Paly Community Update

Thursday December 22, 2022

Dear Viking Families

Today, we celebrate the end of our first semester for the 2022-2023 school year. I know that our students are also cheering the end of finals, which are a stressful time for many of our students. I hope that our students will now focus on relaxing, playing and spending time with family and friends during this upcoming winter break.

I would like to thank our Paly families for their continued support and involvement throughout this school year. I wish all of you a happy holiday season and I hope that you will also find time for rest and relaxation. I will be encouraging the Paly staff to use this break as an opportunity to rejuvenate and unplug so that they come back to the second half of this school year with new energy and enthusiasm. We look forward to seeing our students back in classes starting at 9:00 am on January 10, 2023.

With Gratitude,

Brent Kline, Principal

Winter Break

All Paly staff and students will be on Winter break from the afternoon of 12/22/22 to 1/09/23. Just as we wish students a work-free break, the same expectation is held for staff. Staff will not be checking or responding to emails until we are back from break.

Paly Athletics Updates

We would like to thank our fall coaches, athletes, families and all those involved with making our fall season such a success! Below are some of the fall sport successes that we would like to share with the community. Sko Vikes & Happy Holidays!


The 2022 Sideline Cheer Team showed sportsmanship, discipline, hard work, team work, physical fitness, mental strength, confidence and self-esteem, leadership and perseverance over the course of the season. It is very clear that these athletes have defied all odds and continue to do so as we overlap our Traditional Competitive Season (TCC) with Sideline. Athletes have and continue to work together to set short-term and long-term goals and build strategies to accomplish them. Cannot wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for these incredible individuals!


The Cross Country team had a good season overall for both boys & girls. The boys started out well, but had trouble down the stretch of the season with injuries affecting their team performances. The girls began a little slow with some injuries throughout the season, but came on-line down the stretch. Palo Alto had 5 athletes named to the All-CCS Teams — most by any other team competing in CCS this season.


Varsity and F/S boys placed 1st in all regular season meets, with Varsity placing 5th overall in CCS Finals and one of those runners qualifying for the State Meet. That same runner competed in the Western Regional, which qualified him for the National Championship Race where he placed 18th overall.


Varsity girls placed 2nd overall in SCVAL finals with 4 runners in the top 10, and JV placed 2nd overall with 4 runners also in the top 10. Girls placed 2nd overall in the CCS finals with the team qualifying for the state meet, and having 3 runners placing in the top 10. This is the highest finish for a Palo Alto Girls team at the state level.

Head Coach Michael Davidson


“The 2022 Field Hockey team moved up to DeAnza this season (for the first time in the program’s 5 year history). The team dedicated hard work, humility, and resilience through the season. It is notable that the team fostered a positive environment for all players of inclusivity and teamwork! Looking forward to next season!”

Head Coach Jenny Crane


“After a challenging start, the 2022 Palo Alto Football team qualified for the division 5 CCS playoffs as the number 2 seed. We ran off 3 straight victories winning CCS with a 27-24 victory over Monterey. The season ended on our home field with a close game vs. Santa Teresa in the NorCal Division 6AA Championship.

The JV team enjoyed a 3rd place finish at 6-4 in a difficult DeAnza Division narrowly losing to 2nd place Los Gatos 9-0. What a great season for both teams.”

Head Coach Dave DeGeronimo


“After our last three players from our 2019 state tournament championship team graduated last year, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year. I’m happy to say this year’s team stepped up. We took 2nd in our league and 5th at CCS. I was so proud of the girls. They were committed to doing well and came to each practice ready to keep improving. A coach couldn’t have asked for more.”

Head Coach Doyle Knight


“This season’s success was not defined by our win/loss record, not even close to our best. However, we made it to the CCS championships and won our first round decisively. Our second round match we lost, but improved on the score having played them earlier in the season. It was an up and down time, but success in its own way, and the girls had fun.

We are in the toughest league in NorCal and maybe even all of California. So, that being said, we can only hope for the players having fun, making friends, and performing to their best.”

Head Coach Andy Harader


“The girls volleyball team got off to a 13-3 start before their season got derailed by injuries. The team reached the finals of one of their tournaments, and posted three wins over teams that advanced into the NorCal playoffs. The Vikings capped the regular season with a thrilling win on Senior Night, coming back from being down two sets to none, right after the JV team played their best match of the year. Additionally, the Freshman team went 10-0 to sit atop the SCVAL standings.”

Head Coach Chris Crader


The boys water polo program had another successful season. Varsity won the SCVAL Varsity Championship title for the second straight year — CCS Open Qualifier. Our record was 21-7.

  • Our Varsity team had the All SCVAL Varsity Water Polo MVP, 4 players voted to the All-League Team, and 4 players voted to the All-CCS Water Polo Team

The F/S team finished 3rd in the SCVAL. Their overall record was 14-6.

  • Our Frosh/Soph Team had 3 players voted to the All SCVAL Team

  • SCVAL Water Polo Coach of the Year — Bob Greene

Head Coach Bob Greene


The Varsity team went 7-7 in league and made the semi-finals for CCS. They also beat Castielleja for the first time in 13 years.

  • Our Varsity team had 2 players voted to the SCVAL First Team All-League and one player voted to the SCVAL Honorable Mention

The JV team went 12-0 and were the League Champs in the De Anza Division. Their overall record of 23-1 was the best in the CCS section.

  • Our JV team had one player voted as the SCVAL All League MVP, 3 players voted to the SCVAL First Team All League, and 1 player voted to the SCVAL Honorable Mention

Head Coach Deke Rowell

Semester 1 Grades

The last day of semester 1 is Thursday 12/22/22. Teachers are able to complete and submit grades after we return from break. Grades will be accessible in Infinite Campus sometime between Friday 1/13/23 and Friday 1/20/23. Please note that students will be unable to view Infinite Campus to view grades until all are final grades are submitted.

After several discussions about the inequitable distribution of F and NM grades in previous semesters at both schools, Paly's Educational Council and Gunn's Instructional Council have decided to endorse the use of a “NM” and “NC.” Teachers can choose to use these marks in lieu of using the “F” letter grade. For clarity to our community, a NM (no mark) can be issued when a student has not completed enough work for the teacher to determine a course grade. A NC (no credit) can be issued when student work does not meet standard (equivalent to a grade of an F). Both the NM and NC are considered permanent grades. Teachers also have the discretion to assign an incomplete grade (I), in which a contract is created identifying work to be completed with a specified due date. Incomplete grades are used only in special circumstances.

Updates from Guidance

From the Registrar - for Seniors: Transcript Ordering Reminders for Non-Common App Colleges

Students should not wait to hear back from their EA, REA, ED applications before ordering transcripts for their regular applications which require them (remember: the CSUs and UCs do not). Transcripts for non-Common App colleges need to be ordered on Parchment by the Paly deadline to ensure they arrive by the college's due date. There is still human interaction in the process and many students have similar deadlines-- Paly will be closed over Winter break (i.e. no transcript requests will be processed during that time).

Can students order a mid-year transcript rather than a current transcript for January deadlines since our semester ends before Winter break? No; don’t “hold for grades” but “send now”. Second semester grades won't get posted to transcripts until the 3rd week of January at the earliest, so for colleges with a Jan. 1 or Jan. 15 deadline, order an initial transcript by the respective Paly deadline to ensure it arrives on time to meet the application deadline. Another mid-year (a.k.a. 7th-semester) transcript will need to be ordered in January for most regular-decision applications; more information about that to come in a future advisory.


By the time you read this, your 9th grader’s first semester of high school will be completed. For those with seniors, it’s on to their final semester at Paly and high school!

Looking toward 2nd semester and what’s ahead for your students, transcripts will have newly posted 1st semester grades during the third week of January.

12th Grade - Seniors will learn how to send their mid-year transcripts (also known as a 7th semester transcript) to their colleges requiring them in the first Advisory back after break. It’s the next step in their application process and one that needs to be handled in a timely manner.

9th and 10th Grades will start the new year off reviewing and updating their 4 Year Plans in preparation for Course Selection month in February.

11th Grade - The beginning of 2nd semester brings the kick-off for post Paly planning in earnest. That first week back, the Jrs will attend the important Orientation to the College & Career Center.

More information about all these Advisories will be posted as they occur after break.

Parents - remember to mark your calendars to attend the Fresh/Soph Parent/Guardian Night

on January 18th at 6:30pm in Paly’s Performing Arts Center (PAC)

The Guidance Team will talk about:

  • The 4 Year Academic Plan

  • Course Selection

  • Typical Schedules

  • Off-Campus Courses

  • Support for All Students

  • Post High School Options

  • CSU/UC minimum eligibility requirements

  • AP classes and more

We hope you and yours have a wonderful break doing whatever brings joy to your families. If you are traveling, safe travels! If you are staying home, have fun, stay warm, and unwind!

And cheers to 2023!

College and Career Center

Admitted Early Decision (ED)? Withdraw Your Other Apps! A Reminder from the Last Advisory...

If you were admitted to college Early Decision, congratulations! According to the terms of the ED agreement students signed (as well as their parents and TA), students must contact other campuses to which they have also applied (e.g. each UC) to withdraw pending applications. If you applied for financial aid (i.e. filed the FAFSA), first review your need-based award; not receiving enough aid is the only condition under which you can break the ED agreement--by forfeiting your admission to that ED college, to continue to pursue pending college decisions from Early Action (EA)/regular applications. If you have questions, please contact your College Advisor.

Paly Community Scholarship Applications - due Jan. 12

Last week in Advisory seniors were introduced to the Paly Community Scholarship program. The sponsors of various community scholarships ask Paly's Scholarship Committee to nominate and/or select students to be considered for/receive awards. To participate in this scholarship program, students must complete the Paly Community Scholarship Application and submit this assignment in Schoology (C&CC Class of 2023 course) by January 12th.

In the past, these scholarships have been the most accessible and lucrative for our students. In previous years, over $100,000 was awarded to Paly students who completed the Community Scholarship Application. Scholarship categories include: memorial awards, community service, working students, scholarships for a particular college major (e.g. biology, engineering, business, international relations), 1st generation college students, and under-represented minorities. All students are encouraged to submit an application since both need-based and non need-based scholarships are available.

Students who want to be considered for need-based scholarships must provide family financial information on the last page of the application; in addition, these applicants are also required to upload a copy of the Student Aid Report or FAFSA confirmation page they receive after filing the FAFSA (both must include the EFC), as a separate assignment. Samples of acceptable EFC documentation can be found in the Paly Community Scholarship folder in the Naviance resources section. Your financial information is confidential. As a guideline for qualification of need, we have typically considered families with incomes of less than $125,000. Should your income exceed this amount, feel free to apply, but be sure to explain any special circumstances. It is important to turn in documents on time; don’t wait until you file your tax returns as the FAFSA uses 2021 tax data.

The Paly Community Scholarship Application is often used as a screening application; in some cases students who are selected to move forward will need to complete additional application materials to be considered. Unless contacted by the scholarship sponsors, students are notified that they’ve won an award when they are invited to Paly's Senior Award Night in May.

Please refer to Ms. Cernobori’s Oct. 12 email for information about applying for need-based financial aid using the FAFSA. Be sure to check each campus website for deadlines and other forms required in addition to FAFSA, if applicable.

There are numerous other scholarship opportunities that students can pursue on their own; look here for a list of scholarship resources.


C&CC Orientation, Post High School Planning Folder, and Meetings with College Advisors

All juniors will participate in C&CC orientation during their U.S. History classes at the beginning of second semester to kick off post-high school planning. Students not enrolled in U.S. History can attend orientation with another class, during a prep period. Students without a prep period should contact Ms. Cernobori to make other arrangements.

Juniors will receive a Post High School Planning Folder at orientation. Please ask your junior to share this folder with you.

After attending orientation, juniors may schedule individual meetings with college advisors. Students will be required to first complete the Post High School Planning survey in Naviance; after doing so, they can sign up for a one-hour appointment, directly in Calendly. Details about this process can be found in the C&CC Class of 2024 Schoology course.


Enrichment Opportunities
While it might seem early to be thinking of an interesting or fun activity this spring or summer, some programs have January deadlines even if they will take place virtually. Of course, there are many informal hobbies students can pursue as activities, too. This article is helpful to get an overview of things to consider when choosing what to do. These blogs from CollegeWise help put summer/extracurricular activities in perspective.

There is also a robust and searchable database in Naviance as well as a couple of websites to check out: TeenLife and PBWorks CollegeWiki. To search the database of summer enrichment opportunities in Naviance click the "Colleges" tab and then select the "Enrichment Opportunities" hyperlink under the "College Research" section. Click on a hyperlink to learn more information about program dates and costs (if available), any requirements, and the sponsor's website for more information and the application.

A Note About Summer Programs

The main reasons to consider summer programs are to gain insight into who you are, where your interests lay, and what your unique talents and skills are. Those insights can be invaluable in helping you sort out which colleges might be the best match for you. While some summer programs are expensive, they might offer scholarships so be sure to inquire. And, you don't have to spend a lot of money to have an enriching summer experience; other summer activities such as community service, working, job-shadowing, career exploration in Naviance (i.e. Career Clusters, Career Interest Profiler, Personality Type, Roadtrip Nation) are valuable and aid in self discovery. And, informal hobbies are activities worth pursuing and valued by colleges, too!

* Paly does not endorse any of the organizations, companies, or programs referenced above or on the websites linked herewith. We provide this information as a service to our community. Please check with the program sponsors for endorsements and perhaps a local contact with whom you can inquire about a review/recommendation.
** Attending a summer program at a particular college or university does not usually provide a boost in admissions chances when it comes time for the student to apply to college.


We made it to the end of the semester! We’d like to remind our families that although the Wellness Center will be closed, there are many resources available for support over the break. Visit our website and click “Community Resources” at the bottom of the page, or click here for 24/7 support and resources for parents. We wish you all a safe and restful winter break!

Community Service

If you missed the President’s Awards (PVSA)distribution, please stop by the CCC to pick up your award. Next PVSA submission dates will be announced in February.

Work Experience/Permits

Work Permits are NOT processed during school closures, such as the winter break, so if you child is under 18 years old and plans to get a paid job during the break, please completely fill out their Statement of Intent to Work B1-1 document prior to submission to Ms. Kaci in office 711 (near the testing center). Career Speaker Series will return to campus on March 21st & 22nd, so if you have a suggestion for a speaker with a “non-traditional” career story, please share their contact info with the Work Experience Teacher, Rachael Kaci: Students seeking jobs/internships should explore the Bulletin Board for Job Opportunities & watch this ~1 minute video about “how to” get a job. They Work Experience class meets Tuesdays during 0 period & students may enroll at any point during the school year to earn credit for their work/internship experience. More info can be found here. Have a wonderful holiday season & enjoy the winter break! ~Rachael Kaci

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Paly Bell Schedule 2022-2023

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