Paly Community Update

Friday, May 12, 2023

Paly Meets 95% CAASPP Testing Goal

In our previous Paly Community Update, we announced that our CAASPP participation rate increased significantly compared to the previous year’s participation. We are pleased to announce that our preliminary data shows that Paly’s participation rate for both the English Language Arts and Mathematics CAASPP is now slightly above 95%, which is the target participation rate that is expected of all high schools in California. We would like to thank all of our junior students and their families for understanding the importance of taking this assessment and showcasing Paly’s high academic standards.

Paly's Child Development Pathway Recognition

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Hilary McDaniel, Child Development Teacher with students Alden Backstrand and Meredith Glasson
On May 10, 2023 the Santa Clara County School Boards Association held the annual Glenn W. Hoffman Exemplary Program Awards Ceremony. The wonderful event honored innovative programs from five school districts in Santa Clara County, including our very own Child Development Pathway at Paly. We were excited to learn at this event that the Child Development Pathway, led by Paly teacher Hilary McDaniel tied for first place! We would like to congratulate Hilary McDaniel and her students in this program for their outstanding dedication and hard work.

PAUSD High School Updates

For students, who have Medication(s) stored in the Health Office

Medication cannot be stored at school during the summer break. We must dispose of all medication not picked up by the last day of school.

Please pick up your child’s medication prior to or on June 1st, 2023.

Medication will only be sent home with your child if the doctor has documented that your student may carry medication.

Medication permits are required to be completed by parents and physicians for each school year. New forms required for the following school year will be sent to you. The forms are also available at

Sophomores: 2023 PSAT/NMSQT

The 2023 PSAT/NMSQT and 2024 SATs are going digital. Students will take the exam on their personal tablet, laptop or school issued Chromebook next year. All students can begin practicing for the digital PSAT by downloading the College Board Blue Book Application.

Many of the commonly requested accommodations will be embedded into the College Board Blue Book Application or device. For instance, all students will have access to a calculator, color contrast and zoom capabilities. Click HERE for more information about the new digital PSAT/SAT.

Guidance Updates

Advisory Update

During these last weeks of school, students spend much of their time testing, finishing projects, papers and finals. In Advisory, we start preparing for the year ahead. We welcome student speakers to share their thoughts with the students a grade below. As mentioned in a previous S’More, our Student Advisory Committee students hosted and taped panel discussions about their experiences this year. We have embedded the video in the weekly Advisory lesson. The lesson itself has other important information as well.

If you’d like to hear what the students have to say, check out these lessons and the videos within:

Junior Advisory -

Sophomore Advisory -

Frosh Advisory -

College & Career Center updates


If your senior daughter will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) next fall, please ask her to email me immediately--before Wed., May 17. There is a scholarship opportunity to act on ASAP.


College Essay Guy College Application Virtual Workshops
Thanks to the generosity of Paly’s PTSA, we're excited to be partnering with College Essay Guy again this year to offer juniors a number of *free* and useful college application resources and virtual workshops this summer. Your student’s participation is optional.

Even if your student can’t make the live course dates, if they register, they’ll have access to the courses through the end of the year, and recordings of the sessions.

  • One-Week Personal Statement Boot Camps

    • June 12th-16th

    • July 31st-August 4th

  • One-Week Supplemental Essays Boot Camp

    • August 7th-11th

  • One-Week University of California Personal Insight Questions Boot Camp

    • July 10th-14th

If your student(s) would like to participate in any of the sessions, they need to register via this URL: . Please ensure they mark these event dates and times on their calendar. The College Essay Guy team will reach back out to them via email with more information as we draw closer to each event date.



Uniting for Mental Health Awareness

MAY is Mental Health Month!

Kickoff- event:

Mind Matters 5k

Saturday May 13: 9-11 am on Paly Quad & Viking Loop. Fun for the whole family, including a Quad Fair! Register Here

Wellness Activities:

De-stress week: May 15-19

Keep an eye out on Schoology for more details on upcoming events during the month of May!

Culminating Event: Author Talk with Joanna Ho, Paly Grad on Wednesday, May 24 during PRIME. Request a copy of her book, The Silence that Binds Us here.

Please note the novel The Silence that Binds Us deals with the topic of suicide.

Work Permits

Summer is a great time for students to start exploring their career skills, so begin by attending the job fair next Friday, May 19th after school on the quad in collaboration with the CTE Open House followed by the ECDP Showcase. In addition, there are opportunities in this slidedeck: Bulletin Board for Job/Volunteer & Summer Opportunities - updated regularly - with upcoming career related events & include two new PAUSD internships: Teacher in Training & School Safety Teams.

Work Permits: Congrats to the class of 2023! Once a student earns their high school diploma, they no longer require a work permit (even if not yet 18 years old). For all student seeking a work permit, please bring a completed Statement of Intent to Work B1-1 document to office hours (Tues & Friday during brunch in office 711). All students earning $$ and under the age of 18 are required to have a workers permit prior to starting their job unless they have earned their high school diploma. For more info contact the Work Experience teacher, Rachael Kaci:

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