Gunn Advisory Committee Report Now Available Schools & Kids, posted by Gunn Parent, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Mar 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm
After a school board meeting a year ago, Gunn High School was directed by the school board to improve Gunn's guidance counseling program (Here's a link to the article by Chris Kenrick: Web Link)
The Gunn Guidance Advisory Committee, formed last fall, has just published a report in response to this board action item. The Guidance department announced the report yesterday in an unhelpfully email titled "Infinite Campus is Open for Course Selections." The report will be presented to the Site Council on Monday March 4. Here is a link to the report: Web Link
I have followed this action item with interest, hoping to see significant improvement result from the hard work of the Gunn Guidance Advisory Committee. However, I must admit that I am having a very difficult time understanding this report (starting with the fact that it is very long with lots of filler). The recommendations where consensus was reached start on page 16. Many of these recommendations lack specifics in terms of how the goal will be completed or when. The Gunn GAC Non-Approved Proposals (Appendix K-1/90+ pages into the report) are more along the lines of what I was expecting.
So, I am wondering if there are other Gunn parents who have read this report? If so, what do you think? Do you see this as progress for Gunn students?
Posted by palo alto mom, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Mar 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm
This is what seems to be the main recommendations, which don't seem to be too big of a change from the status quo
Clearly define and deliver the 4-year guidance curriculum across all 3 domains. Assess the effectiveness of both the curriculum and the delivery mechanism regularly.
Define the overall structures that can best deliver this curriculum and build caring, trusting personal relationships between adults and students.
Deliver guidance curriculum in group meetings when reasonably possible (e.g., students with laptops do the Common App together), thus freeing up time for designated adults to meet with students 1:1.
Expand the Titan 101 program beyond a freshman transition program, as a vehicle for delivering guidance curriculum. Make the Titan curriculum more relevant in terms of content and timing for each grade level. Provide necessary professional development for Titan coaches and conduct regular evaluations to ensure the program is achieving its goals.
Schedule more 1:1 time with counselors during the second semester of Junior year and first semester of Senior year.
Make tutorial mandatory and incorporate guidance curriculum that is inclusive of all 3 domains as needed.
Have tutorial during the school day (not at the end) and reconsider the day of the week it is offered
Establish a reasonable student-to-adult ratio and/or a reasonable time allocation for student-to-adult interactions.
Posted by palo alto mom, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Mar 3, 2013 at 4:41 pm
Paly obviously spends significantly more of its $$ on the guidance department, TA program and College/Career Counselors (they have 3, Gunn has 1). If both schools receive the same amount of money, where does it go at Gunn?
What does Gunn fund instead of Guidance/College Counseling?
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 4, 2013 at 10:40 am
I no longer pay attention to the weekly PR from Gunn Guidance because I know that most of it is CYA. When Gunn Guidance says they've met with your child, they mean they went to a classroom with 60 students and were introduced. Guidance may have a lot on their calendars but they could at least be honest in their newsletters.
Posted by Gunn Mom, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm
Too true, anonymous.
The guidance sessions referred to, "Titan 101", are considered a waste of time by 9th graders. My child met with his counselor once at the start of the year, and when asked recently, couldn't remember her name. The sad truth is that the average kid (in other words, the majority of Gunn students) - not the ones who earn national awards and have 5.0 GPA's, or those who are so psychologically troubled that their safety is at risk - are merely "accommodated" and pushed through high school lock step. I, too, no longer bother to read the guidance updates as they are complete rubbish.
Posted by Gunn Mom2, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 3:11 pm
Here's my take on Gunn's much-heralded Guidance Advisory report. First, it asks more questions than it answers, and therefore seems incomplete. Second, the purpose is not stated. Having read the report, it's clear that there isn't one. Third, it's short; merely 19 pages, in large font and with liberal use of meaningless graphic; e.g. the center of full page ven diagram is "Student Success" . However, since information is regurgitated from previous reports, it's brevity is a plus. Finally, the report lacks firm conclusions, action items and timelines. It's no more than another committee report among many.