Titan Talk

Henry M Gunn High School

May 3, 2020: Vol 3 Issue 32

PAUSD Webinar series: Backstage with the Superintendent.

Beginning Monday, April 20, PAUSD will begin a live webinar series for anyone interested in hearing more detail about numerous aspects of the closure and submitting questions and/or comments. The webinars, called Backstage with the Superintendent, will run live each Monday during the closure at 5:30 p.m.

Please visit the district's School Closure Resource Page for answers to questions you may have regarding the closure. This page addresses questions regarding meals for students, technology needs, special education and 504 plans, EL support, and mental health support among other things during the closure of our schools.

Please read PAUSD Superintendent of Schools, Don Austin's Letter on Credit/No Credit.

Schoology Resources

Here are some resources created to help with using Schoology in the PAUSD Schoology Backpack. Check out the Parent Guide in Additional Support with Schoology folder.

Community Resources for helping Families in Need.

Gunn PTSA has partnered with a variety of community organizations to provide help and information for families during this crisis. Please check out these resources on how you can provide or receive help.

One page guide for resources for all types of community needs.

Any PAUSD family in need from COVID-19 can get a grocery/gift card. Families can contact their counselor for referral. They can also email sheryl@rise-nonprofit.org (a former Gunn parent and alum!) and Spanish speakers can call/text Blanca at 650-823-9957.

You can also donate to the Palo Alto Community Fund's COVID-19 Relief Fund to help our community families as well.

SELF (Social Emotional Learning and Functionality)

SELF mentors continue to offer opportunities for their students to connect, including fun participating in fun questionnaires, trivia game nights, and even poetry reading. Students should always feel free to reach out to their SELF mentors if they want to check-in.

In addition, May is Mental Health Month, and the Wellness Center is offering a variety of programming, including the "I Wish You Knew.." campaign in coordination with SEC. We encourage all students to participate!

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The Wellness Center:

Gunn Wellness Center

Its May, which means that it is Mental Health Month! The Wellness Center will be observing this month by offering resources, tools, and fun activities to raise awareness about issues of mental health and normalize the daily management and prevention done around these issues. To kick it off, our wellness team put together a quick video to say hello to our students. Check it out HERE!

Coming Soon

Parents Place:

  1. Online Workshop: Building Resiliency during COVID-19: Self-care for you and Your Preschool/Elementary Age Child
    1. This is a challenging and stressful time for families. Learn tips for responding to the anxiety felt by you and your preschool/elementary school child and learn strategies to support emotional well-being for you and your family. With Heidi Emberling, EdD. Fee: $30.
  2. Drop-in Support Group: Disappointment, Loss, and Grief: Helping our High Schoolers and Ourselves Cope During the Current Pandemic (Middle/High)
    1. Join this drop-in support group to discuss the significant changes our teens are facing during this COVID-19 crisis. Learn strategies to help them cope with disappointment and worries about the future, in a safe environment where you can continue to develop your own self-care strategies

Children's Health Council:

  1. May 5, 2020, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm Webinar: Sadness and Loss During Shelter in Place
    1. Are you or your kids experiencing loss as a result of our current situation? You are not alone. Loss can produce feelings of anxiety and sadness. Sign up for this webinar to hear about how the stages of grief apply to our experiences today and how loss is showing up in unique ways for all of us right now. We’ll also discuss strategies that you can use to cope with these feelings of grief and loss
  2. May 7, 2020, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm Webinar: Top 5 Strategies All Parents Need to Know to Foster Mental Health
    1. It is estimated that 1 in 5 children experience mental health challenges. What can you as a parent do to support your child’s mental health? Especially during the uncertain times in which we are now living. Attend this session to hear about 5 simple strategies that you can incorporate into your family life to encourage mental wellness in your child.

Mindful Minute

Take a couple minutes to take a look at this amazing tool that the Counseling and Supportive Services for Youth (CASSY) put together for parents. In it, you can find some helpful tips, tools, resources, and webinars to continue learning how to manage strong emotions and behaviors for yourselves and your children during these uncertain times. Check it out HERE!

Gunn Counseling

Gunn Counseling's Virtual College Workshop.

In this week’s Virtual College Workshop, Gunn counseling explores the topic of personal statements and college essays. College admissions essays have always been an important way for colleges to get to know students. Now more than ever, they present an opportunity for students to differentiate themselves and share the traits, experiences, and perspectives that make them unique and well-prepared for what awaits in a college environment. In this video, we discuss the purpose of college admission essays, how to select the best prompts for you, ways to brainstorm writing topics, and ways to authentically impress the reader.

Here are the latest Newsletters for Seniors and Juniors for the 4th Quarter. Sophomores and Freshmen Newsletters to follow soon.

Senior 4th Quarter Newsletter.

Junior 4th Quarter Newsletter

Families in need of support: If you are aware of, or are in need of financial assistance during this crisis, please reach out to your counselor. Here are some community resources that can be of help also:

As the transition to Phase III of remote online learning continues, Gunn Counseling would like to offer the following strategies to help you and your student(s) adjust to learning at home. Remote Learning – Tips & Strategies

Grades: The district has moved to credit/no credit grading for the spring quarter of 2020. All coursework for 2nd semester will be reported as Credit/No Credit on all PAUSD transcripts. Please contact your teachers on the standards for receiving credit in your particular classes.

Off-campus course update:

  • District policy remains as follows: 1) Graduation requirement courses must be taken on campus. 2) Students may take a maximum of 40 credits of elective courses off-campus throughout their high school careers. 3) Students may earn a maximum of 80 credits per year, including from courses taken on- and off-campus.

  • For spring 2020, no courses taken off-campus will be put onto the PAUSD transcript. This includes all courses taken off-campus that have received prior approval from the site counselor and administrator. If you complete an off-campus course in spring 2020, you must provide colleges with a separate transcript for the course(s).

  • Courses taken in summer 2020 will appear on the PAUSD transcript with the letter grade earned and applied to the 80 maximum credits per year to be taken in the 2020-21 school year.

AP Testing. College board has moved to online testing for AP's this year. Please see the following link on information and resources.

Counselors and teachers will be available through email to answer questions and concerns during normal school hours. Please contact your counselor or teacher through Schoology or direct email. Counselors will not be checking phone messages regularly.

Sources of Strength

Share your story! Fill out the attached form (or something creative) saying what helps you in times of difficulty, and we will share on our instagram @gunnsourcesofstrength and link it nationally to #WhatHelpsUS

Stay present. Stay well.

Gunn Sources of Strength

ROCK (Reach Out Care Know)

Check out ROCK's recognition of first responders and essential workers below!

We know this is a tough time for anyone. If you need to talk, please email rockatgunn@gmail.com or message @rockatgunn on Instagram. Learn more on our website.

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College and Career

The Guidance Team is here to help—reach out and expect a reply in a timely manner.

SENIORS: About to choose a college, if you want help sorting through options, just send Mrs Kirsch and e-mail and we will talk about the options.

Wait List: let them know you are interested still. This is highly likely to be used heavily this year so be prepared to ask questions if you do come off a list.

—cost, any possibility for discounts? (If you don’t ask they don’t tell)

—housing, any issues you should be aware of?

— start date will it shift?

— classes: will they be on line? will there be any changes?

Letters: Feel free to ask for what you want this year. If you do find they will not open till January, ask if it is OK to do some of the gen ed classes at FC and transfer them in as that may save you time.

GAP: They know this may pop up more and even places like public colleges may allow it this year. Find out what the rules are for this GAP.

JUNIORS: Look for interesting volunteer activity this summer. Hopefully we will be allowed more movement and if so, the adults who have been providing service may have gone back to work and there may be great need to fill those slots with teens. Caring for you community is a good way to find out more about your self and may help you shape your use of college differently.

SAT/ACT are cancelled through May and as a result, some colleges may go test optional for the fall. New info from College Board has been released regarding SAT. Whereas SAT is clearly not administering a test in June or July and will try to have one in Aug and add to Sept, ACT is not saying that it cancelled June and July yet. They do say they are working on a way to do online with remote proctoring in August. Please visit the sites of either SAT or ACT for the most up to date information.

Seniors: I have reached out to all seniors and Mr Lang too so as the time draws near to decide on where you will go…do not hesitate to make contact with me or him. We are here and you should get a reply within a day during the normal week. Key points that are slowly emerging:

Colleges are in consultation right now about how they will open in September. What does this mean? Some are going completely virtual teaching, some may have to find a way to keep the distancing and that will be problematic. You could be offered a later start time. There will be cuts to services that impact you, professors, amenities to so expect to hear something from your college in July. Not much info is leaking out as they try to ensure they actually fill all the seats needed to meet fiscal demands. Life will not be the same as crowds will be curtailed so you may not get the joy of some of the sport or entertainment in the ways it was delivered in prior years. Science majors…research in non essential areas may be sharply curtailed as money flows in for topics related to covid.

Please fill out the senior survey… juniors will want the info you are sharing. If you come off a wait list at any time, and I mean any time, just send me an e-mail with that info.

Do not forget to fill out the extra box that asks where you will ATTEND. Once you get to college, please share your stories with us to help us get out the word to the juniors who will be wondering how well you were cared for that year.

NAVIANCE: Some students may have heard back from all or some of their colleges. Please enter the results in the Naviance site where colleges are listed and students have applied. if you know where your student is going, have them look for the box that asks what college they chose and enter the name there. Be sure they hear back from all locations. Some colleges are still using the decide and deposit on May 1 and some are moving this out to June.

Please note that the following events may have been canceled, Please contact organizers to see if events are rescheduled or happening.

Attention Junior Parents: We have been telling you that many colleges are going TEST OPTIONAL and they mean it. Go to FairTest.org for the full array. I have met with almost all juniors prior to school closing. Thank you Grace for scheduling more in semester one! There are about 10 of you who have not had this contact…not to worry. I have your contact information and will be setting up a way to do this interview. I have my needed materials here at home. Remember this post high school planning is to talk about all kinds of options…that is why I have not tagged it with the word College. I have had folks who planned on CC think we do not need this meeting but there is so much going on at Community College it is worth the time

Any junior parent who wants additional time, even if we have met…I have all my notes from our meeting and I am available to do more discussion so just send me an e-mail and we will set at time. If you need Mandarin translation Denise is most helpful in assisting — we have done some conference calls.

New way to log into Naviance through Rapid ID:

There is a new mapping to log into Naviance through your Rapid Id using PAUSD

Single Sign-on. Students who had accounts created in the past can log in using their

Naviance ID and through PAUSD Single Sign-on. There have already been a handful

of students who have logged in through Single Sign-on from Gunn since the integration

was completed. If you are having issues logging into Naviance, please try it this way.

Please contact Mr. Lang if yu are having difficulty. llang@pausd.org

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Student Activities

Still Time to Buy a Yearbook! Only $95 (or $88 with ASB Card/ Lightning Pass). All purchases must go through the web store due to the school closure. Link to the Titan Web-store: https://tinyurl.com/TitanWebStore

  • NOTE - Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer browsers will work with our web-store - please use those browsers to make your purchases.
  • Not sure if you have already bought one? Check this list: https://tinyurl.com/t3t23l7

For Seniors:

Senior Showcase Submissions: If you would like to be considered to present a speech or perform a musical selection in our Video Senior Showcase, please read through the instructions and complete the linked form by Friday, May 15th. If you have questions, please email Mrs. Hall. Link to Senior Showcase Signups: https://goo.gl/mRtcZF

Cap & Gown DRIVE-THRU Delivery Event on May 26! You will be able to drive up to Gunn and pick Up your Cap & Gown and Graduation Products on Tuesday, May 26th. (details and times to follow closer to date). ONLY drive up - no bike in or walk in pick ups.

    • STILL, NEED A CAP & GOWN? Jostens has extended their website order window until Friday, May 22nd. If you order online by that date, it will be delivered to Gunn and we will have it waiting for you to pick it up on Tuesday. Jostens will NOT be selling any items on the pick-up day. You MUST purchase in advance. All orders for cap & tassel only (no gown) must be placed by calling 1-800-JOSTENS. Link to Jostens Website: https://tinyurl.com/

2019-20 PRINCIPAL'S CUP award Nominations.

Now's the time to submit your nomination for the 2019-20 PRINCIPAL'S CUP award (Gunn teacher of the year). Please read Principal Kathie Laurence's letter and submit your on-line nomination by May 15. Thanks!

Congratulations to these previous winners of Gunn's PRINCIPAL'S CUP award (who unfortunately can't be nominated again):

Timothy K. Farrell (1998-1999)
William C. Liberatore (1999-2000)
Hal Daner (2000-2001)
Kaye Little and Carol Kuiper (2001-2002)
John Robinson (2002-2003)
Paul Dunlap (2003-2004)
Ron Cooper (2004-2005)
James Shelby (2005-2006)
Jeanne Beck (2006-2007)
David Deggeller (2007-2008)
Tarn Wilson (2008-2009)
Todd Summers (2009-2010)
Daisy Renazco (2010-2011)
Lettie Weinmann (2011-2012)
Kristy Blackburn (2012-2013)
Cindy Peters (2013-2014)
Maria Powell (2014-2015)
Mark Hernandez (2015-16)
Bill Dunbar (2016-17)
Mike Camicia (2017-18)
Diane Ichikawa (2018-19)

Gunn Oracle Is still publishing

Even though school is closed, The Oracle is still reporting! Support student journalism and follow us on Instagram at @gunnoracle to see our social media coverage during our stay at home. We are also publishing content to our website, www.gunnoracle.com, to keep the community informed.

The Oracle #8211; The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School


Please check out the latest publications of the Oracle online.


Instagram @gunnoracle

Middle College - accepting applications thru April 30, 2020

We hope you and your families are all doing well! We know that it's been a challenging few weeks for everyone as we've transitioned to online classes. To give you more time to learn about the program and apply, we've extended our deadline to April 30, 2020. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions -- we'd be happy to set up a time to talk with you and your parents (annett.trail@mvla.net).


Here are some Frequently Asked Questions for parents on the school closures.

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

Thank you to all that have supported Partners in Education (PiE). The donations to PiE continue to support many programs at Gunn, including our