Titan Talk

Henry M Gunn High School

September 7, 2020: Vol 4 Issue 3

The Wellness Center:

Gunn Wellness Center

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and this upcoming week the wellness center will be prioritizing raising awareness around suicide prevention. We hope to focus on normalizing conversations about suicide and provide practical information that will allow us to engage in prevention efforts to be more proactive and less reactionary when it comes to issues around suicide. We hope by having these discussions and sharing information about suicide prevention we all understand we are not alone in the search for hope.

Click here to learn more about national suicide prevention efforts.

Click here for a small list of resources you or your student may find helpful in seeking help for mental wellness.

Coming Soon

Join Youth Community Service (YCS) in a weekly morning meditation and mindfulness exercise on Fridays at 8:00 am! Each week, participants will be guided through a meditation and mindfulness exercise, which will draw inspiration from The Developmental Relationships Framework. Sign up here

The YCI Parent Program will offer Family Service Opportunities, for families to serve the community together. This month, the Family Service Opportunity is to support foster children in Silicon Valley, by joining the YCI Cheer Squad! We are inviting families to cheer on runners and walkers participating in the Foster 5K virtual run, in support of foster children and Child Advocates of Silicon Valley. We are asking families to make signs, make pom poms, and to express support in any creative way! For more information, and sign up: YCI Cheer Squad

Mindful Minute

Click here to take 5 minutes to read an amazing article from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention about promoting mental wellness in our students. Starting out in distance learning this semester has brought so many unique challenges for our students. As important as it is to focus on our children's academic success, it is just as imperative that we prioritize their mental wellbeing as well considering we are living in such uncertain and unprecedented times. Hopefully, you find this article and the rest of the site helpful in supporting your teen throughout the unique journey that is navigating life and school in a global pandemic.

SELF (Social Emotional Learning and Functionality)

After a largely successful initial implementation of our new buddy class system last week, SELF students will return this week to their cohorts to discuss a variety of topics that correspond to the unit themes established through a collaborative process with students and staff in the first year of the SELF program. To establish relevance, 10th, 11th and 12th grades will all be watching and discussing a short film made by a teenager documenting her experience of distance learning during COVID, followed by an opportunity to discuss connections between the film and different aspects of their own experiences over the past few months. 10th grade cohorts will then shift to focusing on the changing nature of relationships during social distancing, 11th graders will investigate the impact of social distancing on extroverts, introverts and ambiverts, and 12th graders will be looking at the science of happiness and what the research can teach us about happiness in times of stress and change especially. 9th graders, who are still new to the SELF program, will be learning a little more about SEL and, in particular, how the SELF program is meant to specifically help students at Gunn. 9th graders will also have an opportunity to give their input about what they'd like to learn in the program over the course of their high school career.

Also check out this post from the Governor's wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, about the work of the #AdvanceSELinCA project, and the expanded definition of SEL that they've developed. It speaks to a lot of what we're trying to do here at Gunn; for further information, please check out our website.

Big picture

Gunn Counseling


If you haven't yet, please be sure to take 17 minutes within the next few days to watch the senior assembly information. It has tons of important information in it to get your student started on preparing for their individual senior conference with their counselor. Here's the direct link to the video:


You can also find the video under the "Seniors" tab on the counseling page. Under that tab, there is also information and quick links to the "Senior Checklist." Please click below to go to the Counseling Page:


Senior Conferences:

Senior Conferences have officially begun. During this meeting, each senior has an opportunity to meet one-on-one with their counselor to talk about this school year, plans beyond high school, and much more! In order to prepare and schedule your conference, you will need to complete a Senior Checklist. Once you have completed your checklist, your counselor will reach out to you to schedule your conference.

For those of you planning on applying to 4-year colleges and universities, please keep in mind the following deadline dates:

October 15--31 CHECKLIST DUE TO COUNSELOR BY: September 15

November 1—14 CHECKLIST DUE TO COUNSELOR BY: September 29

November 15--December 1 CHECKLIST DUE TO COUNSELOR BY: October 13

December 2--January 14 CHECKLIST DUE TO COUNSELOR BY: October 27

January 15--February 15 CHECKLIST DUE TO COUNSELOR BY November 17

Schedule Changes:

As of Monday, August 31, any schedule change requests should go through filling out this form: 20-21 Gunn Schedule Correction Request Form

Community Sevice Hours:

All completed hours must be logged on the Gunn Community Service Form and emailed to Assistant Principal, Michalis Gordon (mgordon@pausd.org) by Friday, September 11th if you wish for it to appear on your transcripts.

Community service hours are completely optional and are not a requirement for graduation.

Upcoming Dates:

September 11: First warning progress/warning notice period ends.

September 18: Last day for lane changes. Check the catalog for each department's policy.

- Gunn’s Counseling Department

In case you missed it at Back to School Night, check out the Administrator's Video: On The Move

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 (Reach Out, Care, Know) This week, September 7-11, 2020 is Suicide Prevention Week. ROCK (Reach Out Care Know) has compiled a list of warning signs, hotlines and resources that can be used to help those struggling with their mental health.

· Not interested in the same things as they were before

· Having little energy

· Sleeping too much or too little

· Difficulty concentrating

· Moving or speaking slowly or being overly restless

· Expressing hopelessness, helplessness, sadness, or emptiness

· Significant changes in appetite or weight (too much or too little)

· Uncontrollable emotions (mood swings)

· Expressing feelings of guilt or worthlessness

· Talking about death

· Saying goodbye and/or giving their stuff away

The Wellness Center is currently open for students to receive virtual help. You can direct your students to receive help from the Wellness Center by going to the Gunn website or by clicking on this link here. There are many resources available for you and your child.

Hotlines and Support:

· Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741

· Youth and Teen Suicide and Crisis Hotline: 888-247-7717

· National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8256

· National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 800-950-6264

· Santa Clara County Suicide and Crisis Hotline: 855-278-4204

· Star Vista Crisis Intervention: 650-579-0350

· RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE

· Uplift Mobile Crisis Intervention and Safety Planning: 408-379-9085

· Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQQ+: 866-488-7386 or text START 678-678

· Children's Health Council (CHC) affordable therapy for teens 650-688-3625 or www.chconline.org

· Family Children Services Silicon Valley counseling and substance abuse treatment 650-326-6576 or www.fcservices.org

· Adolescent Counseling Services support for LGBTQQ+ 650-424-0852 or www.acs-teens.org

You are not alone. Help is here. Reach Out.

e-mail: rockatgunn@gmail.com

web: rockatgunn.com

Instagram: @rockatgunn

Especially in times that feel isolating, let’s promote healthy connectedness.

College and Career

Leighton Lang will be posting all college info on Naviance as before…go to Naviance, College tab, then Visits and events that are in seat or virtual will be there. The contacts have been made by colleges already and Naviance will make it clear if it is virtual. Links to sign up for virtual college fairs will also be possible as many colleges are running fairs already and they use WEBEX or YouTUBE and if you miss the event because you are in class they will have available for viewing later. Gunn will NOT be doing an in-person fair in October….we may run it in March if public health says it is safe.

FAFSA: will be updated this year to reflect what is going on in the financial climate more recently…this is long overdue for a refresh, so if you have any questions, contact Mr. Lang.

Seniors: I have begun setting appointments for those of you who want a check-in re: your lists, or what is happening in the CV19 environment. I have been listening and reading all summer to provide you with up to date info for your questions. Just send me your NAME, and a good time for a meeting then I will set a date and connect with you by Zoom or phone…your choice. With the pandemic in play, we do not want you missing classes…colleges will look closely at sem one grades, so I am ultra-flexible on the times for these meetings. You have priority during the first five weeks of school. I will put out updates on college via Naviance and parent network etc...

Juniors: Please make contact at any time that works for you. This is a good way to catch the lay of the land in thinking college so making appointments early in the year is just fine. I like to be sure all kids, and I do mean military, CC should take the time for this discussion, I have gathered all sort of info over this summer to share on those not doing 4 yr college so just connect and let me know when you are free. DO not miss class for a meetup…I am doing late in the day to help with this. We will be watching what happens this year closely so advisement can adjust as we hear how acceptance went, What colleges are coping post-Covid and which are not.

Frosh/Soph: You may have a parent network event that introduces me but it won’t be semester one.

College Rep Visits

College Rep visits are considered a privilege for students whose work in your class is satisfactory and up to date. Seniors can only attend 10 College Rep Visits per semester, and junior can only attend 5 five. Missing class for the meeting must be approved and in advance by your teacher. Students will not be able to attend College Rep Visits if the student doesn't sign-up through Naviance Student.

This year confirm all college rep visits or interviews, which will have to be virtual due to the COVID 19 pandemic. We have adopted a new schedule, so college rep visits time will be half the class period through the end. The college rep visit are 40 minutes long so that students can make it to their class for the 1st half of the block period. Please be on time for college reps due to the virtual login.

NOTE TO STUDENTS: The college rep visit process will take at least 3 days of advanced planning by students. Please ask your teacher to attend the college rep visit (please don’t attend college rep visit if you have a test, quiz, or presentation) first for permission to attend a college rep visit, during their class. If your teacher indicates you have been granted the permission to attend the college rep visit, then sign-up in Naviance Student. College Rep Visit can be found under the "College" tab, then scroll down to "College Visits" to view the list and sign-up click on “Show more”. The college rep visit will be 40 minutes long at the end of each class period. Students will have to attend their classes before the college rep visit.

If you need help with logging into your Naviance Student account please send me, Mr. Lang, an email at llang@pausd.org.

College Rep Visits are for students only.

Student Activities

Photo Days: Canceled

Photo Days scheduled for this week have been postponed and will be rescheduled for another date and location if needed. Thank you for your patience. We will be working with the same photographers if you have already submitted an order.

Find the latest news and events on the SAC website: https://www.gunnsec.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.