New classes, Jordan donation on school board agenda

School board also to discuss a proposed $40 million bond issuance Tuesday

New course offerings for next year, the proposed issuance of a facilities bond and a $250,000 donation to Jordan Middle School are among the topics up for discussion by the Palo Alto Board of Education Tuesday, April 22.

The new courses, all proposed for Palo Alto High School, include computer science, early childhood development and a new, three-year "sports career pathway" which would encompass an introductory class called "Getting into the Game," internships, and already existing classes in kinesiology, sports literature and photojournalism.

In February, the board approved other new courses for next year: marine biology at Gunn High School, a "social justice pathway" at Paly, a nanotechnology class to be offered for both Gunn and Paly students in partnership with Foothill College and middle school classes in human geography, finance and exploratory language.

Also on the school board's docket Tuesday is a proposed $40 million bond issuance, which would be the fourth under the $378 million "Strong Schools Bond" approved by voters in 2008.

The bonds have funded major construction and modernization on the district's 17 campuses, including a new gym at Gunn, a media arts building at Paly and two-story classroom buildings at both high schools, JLS Middle School and Duveneck, Fairmeadow and Ohlone elementary schools. Other projects, including a new performing arts center at Paly, have yet to break ground.

The board will also discuss a proposed donation of $250,000 to Jordan, which would help complete several projects long sought by the school's physical education department, including a $175,500 "walk path around the fields area."

Superintendent Kevin Skelly said the donor, who may wish to remain anonymous, "has a wonderful history of being supportive of young people in myriad ways."

"We are grateful for the fact that the donor has chosen to support the school's efforts to improve this field for students and the community," Skelly said.

Following a 5 p.m. closed session in which the board will discuss personnel, legal, labor and real estate negotiation issues, board members will meet in open session at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom of school district headquarters at 25 Churchill Ave.

Chris Kenrick


Like this comment
Posted by numbers game
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 21, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Oh dear, first a $20,000,000 donation to Paly and now a $250,000 donation to Jordan. We seriously need to remove this board and teachers before they do anything else to ruin this district.

Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm

@ numbers,
You seriously think those donations or the nearly $400 million bond fund parents voted for themselves had anything to do with the board?

On the other hand, the fact that the money wasn't spent to also renovate Cubberly but the district nevertheless sent away Foothill to build their $40million campus in Sunnyvale, does.

Like this comment
Posted by village fool
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2014 at 11:36 pm

@Moderator - May I suggest, respectfully, to consider adding this thread to the Schools& Kids category? (it is around town, now).

Like this comment
Posted by Finally
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 22, 2014 at 12:26 am

"walk path around the fields area" at Jordan will be fantastic. My children are tired of stepping in dog feces. Jordan field is a huge off-leash dog toilet when no one is around on weekends and evenings.

Like this comment
Posted by numbers game
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 22, 2014 at 8:19 am

@parent, you seriously believe those donations or the nearly $400 million bond fund palo alto residents voted for the school district have nothing to do with the board?

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