News

Palo Alto's seniors celebrate an unconventional graduation from their cars, but not without joy

Superintendent: 'It was a high point in a year that needed a high point'

The city of Palo Alto showed up to celebrate its high school seniors on Wednesday evening.

On the night that would have been the class of 2020's traditional graduation ceremonies, Palo Alto's sidewalks and street corners were instead full of people cheering, waving, banging pots and pans and holding congratulatory signs as seniors and their families drove in an ebullient car parade around the city.

After a citywide "shout-out" at 5:30 p.m., graduates from Palo Alto, Gunn, Castilleja and Kehillah high schools wearing their caps and gowns piled into cars decorated with giant 2020 balloons and messages such as "just graduated" and "congrats to all SIP graduates." They leaned out windows and sunroofs of honking cars and took pictures of the throngs of people cheering them on.

"The fact that Palo Alto organized all of this for seniors ... I feel really grateful and it really means a lot that they're acknowledging the loss that we've all had," Castilleja senior Bridget Sullivan said. "It definitely makes up for it that the community started coming together."

In interviews, graduates were at once excited, nostalgic and somber about the current moment. They're graduating in the midst of a global pandemic, after three months of quarantine, with their city under curfew amid unrest stemming from the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Many cars in the parade were also decorated with references to Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.

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"It's a crazy time of history to live through," Gunn graduate Tess Anderson said. "It's definitely made my senior year more memorable."

Anderson, barefoot but wearing her black cap and gown, stood in her driveway surrounded by family (including her older sister, who is graduating from college) and neighbors cheering loudly and using noisemakers. She's considering taking gap year after learning her college, the University of British Columbia, plans to offer online-only instruction in the fall.

Gunn High School graduate Tess Anderson celebrates the citywide "shout-out" in her driveway with her older sister in Palo Alto on June 3. Photo by Elena Kadvany.

She said she's still looking forward to all the typical things a newly graduated senior would: "to make some decisions about where to go in life ... to learn new things and see new places."

In one Midtown cul-de-sac, parents of graduating seniors organized a makeshift graduation ceremony before the car parade. Paly seniors Kaillee Correll, Sophie Stier and Ivory Tang walked in a loop down their block while "Pomp and Circumstance" played. Neighbors came outside to cheer and bang pots and pans, and a young girl handed them each a bouquet of flowers. At the end of the loop, they tossed their caps into the air.

Correll is planning to attend Northeastern University in Boston in the fall. She said she's going to miss seeing her friends every day at school and the journalism program, where she wrote for C Magazine, Paly's arts and culture magazine.

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With so much unrest and uncertainty, she said she's trying to "just live in the moment right now."

Tania Nanevicz's backyard was also set up for a mini commencement ceremony on Wednesday for her two daughters, one graduating from Paly and the other from The Girls' Middle School. A tent was strung with a "class of 2020" banner and tables were covered in confetti.

Nanevicz said her daughter has made the most of the unexpected ending to her senior year, reminding her mother that they're fortunate to have their health and safety. She asked her mother not to post any graduation photos to social media on Wednesday, worrying it would detract from the George Floyd protests.

"The resilience of the kids who have had so many things canceled ... so many things that they looked forward to and not having it, and still they're keeping their heads up," Nanevicz said.

For Paly graduate Kayla Stitt, the parade helped make taking the step out of high school feel more tangible and official. Neighbors formed a socially distanced get-together in front of her house in Leland Manor with a table of snacks and lawn chairs to congratulate Paly's class of 2020.

"It hasn't really hit me yet," Stitt said. "I feel older, but that's about it. Maybe more independent. My dad drove me to school when I was a freshman and now I'm driving myself."

At Paly, Stitt was captain of the lacrosse team, though due to the school closures she didn't play a single game this semester. She's headed to California Polytechnic State University in the fall and plans to live on campus regardless of whether there are in-person classes or not.

"I would love to be a teacher," she said, adding that she wants to pursue a liberal studies program and minor in Spanish as a pathway to a bilingual teaching credential.

Gunn High School Principal Kathie Laurence waves to graduates as they drive by the campus on June 3. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Gunn Principal Kathie Laurence was stationed at a prominent corner outside the school as cars poured by, surrounded by cheering teachers and staff. She helped organize the event just in the last week or so after Santa Clara County gave the green light for car parade graduations.

"I'm just so proud of them all and the way they handled the loss and disappointment," she said of this year's seniors.

Students weren't the only ones saying goodbye to high school. Letitia Burton, who has taught living skills at Paly since 2000, stood at the corner of Embarcadero Road and El Camino Real to see her last graduation ceremony before she retires. Burton was wearing a traditional West African robe in Paly green and graduation stole made out of Kente cloth. She waved a tambourine to passing students, some of whom reached their hands out to her or shouted "thank you, Ms. Burton," as they turned the corner onto Embarcadero Road.

Burton said she always attends her students' graduations.

"Graduation is like one of the big rites of passages that we have and it's important to our kids, the community and the family," she said.

Especially in these times, Burton added, "we need to celebrate."

Superintendent Don Austin spent the parade standing outside the district office with senior administrators. He said the event made him unexpectedly emotional.

"It caught me part way through how much I've missed seeing smiling kids," he said. "To see so many smiling kids and parents and even just people lining the streets, some of whom had no current connection to school or our students — it was the community event that I had hoped could happen."

The school district is still planning to host an in-person graduation for the class of 2020 in December, but the parade felt so positive there was discussion Wednesday about whether it could become a permanent, additional tradition in years to come.

"It was a high point in a year that needed a high point," he said.

Editorial Assistant Lloyd Lee contributed to this report.

Visit graduation central, our hub of stories, photos and lists of this year's graduates from local high schools.

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Palo Alto's seniors celebrate an unconventional graduation from their cars, but not without joy

Superintendent: 'It was a high point in a year that needed a high point'

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 9:38 pm

The city of Palo Alto showed up to celebrate its high school seniors on Wednesday evening.

On the night that would have been the class of 2020's traditional graduation ceremonies, Palo Alto's sidewalks and street corners were instead full of people cheering, waving, banging pots and pans and holding congratulatory signs as seniors and their families drove in an ebullient car parade around the city.

After a citywide "shout-out" at 5:30 p.m., graduates from Palo Alto, Gunn, Castilleja and Kehillah high schools wearing their caps and gowns piled into cars decorated with giant 2020 balloons and messages such as "just graduated" and "congrats to all SIP graduates." They leaned out windows and sunroofs of honking cars and took pictures of the throngs of people cheering them on.

"The fact that Palo Alto organized all of this for seniors ... I feel really grateful and it really means a lot that they're acknowledging the loss that we've all had," Castilleja senior Bridget Sullivan said. "It definitely makes up for it that the community started coming together."

In interviews, graduates were at once excited, nostalgic and somber about the current moment. They're graduating in the midst of a global pandemic, after three months of quarantine, with their city under curfew amid unrest stemming from the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Many cars in the parade were also decorated with references to Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.

"It's a crazy time of history to live through," Gunn graduate Tess Anderson said. "It's definitely made my senior year more memorable."

Anderson, barefoot but wearing her black cap and gown, stood in her driveway surrounded by family (including her older sister, who is graduating from college) and neighbors cheering loudly and using noisemakers. She's considering taking gap year after learning her college, the University of British Columbia, plans to offer online-only instruction in the fall.

She said she's still looking forward to all the typical things a newly graduated senior would: "to make some decisions about where to go in life ... to learn new things and see new places."

In one Midtown cul-de-sac, parents of graduating seniors organized a makeshift graduation ceremony before the car parade. Paly seniors Kaillee Correll, Sophie Stier and Ivory Tang walked in a loop down their block while "Pomp and Circumstance" played. Neighbors came outside to cheer and bang pots and pans, and a young girl handed them each a bouquet of flowers. At the end of the loop, they tossed their caps into the air.

Correll is planning to attend Northeastern University in Boston in the fall. She said she's going to miss seeing her friends every day at school and the journalism program, where she wrote for C Magazine, Paly's arts and culture magazine.

With so much unrest and uncertainty, she said she's trying to "just live in the moment right now."

Tania Nanevicz's backyard was also set up for a mini commencement ceremony on Wednesday for her two daughters, one graduating from Paly and the other from The Girls' Middle School. A tent was strung with a "class of 2020" banner and tables were covered in confetti.

Nanevicz said her daughter has made the most of the unexpected ending to her senior year, reminding her mother that they're fortunate to have their health and safety. She asked her mother not to post any graduation photos to social media on Wednesday, worrying it would detract from the George Floyd protests.

"The resilience of the kids who have had so many things canceled ... so many things that they looked forward to and not having it, and still they're keeping their heads up," Nanevicz said.

For Paly graduate Kayla Stitt, the parade helped make taking the step out of high school feel more tangible and official. Neighbors formed a socially distanced get-together in front of her house in Leland Manor with a table of snacks and lawn chairs to congratulate Paly's class of 2020.

"It hasn't really hit me yet," Stitt said. "I feel older, but that's about it. Maybe more independent. My dad drove me to school when I was a freshman and now I'm driving myself."

At Paly, Stitt was captain of the lacrosse team, though due to the school closures she didn't play a single game this semester. She's headed to California Polytechnic State University in the fall and plans to live on campus regardless of whether there are in-person classes or not.

"I would love to be a teacher," she said, adding that she wants to pursue a liberal studies program and minor in Spanish as a pathway to a bilingual teaching credential.

Gunn Principal Kathie Laurence was stationed at a prominent corner outside the school as cars poured by, surrounded by cheering teachers and staff. She helped organize the event just in the last week or so after Santa Clara County gave the green light for car parade graduations.

"I'm just so proud of them all and the way they handled the loss and disappointment," she said of this year's seniors.

Students weren't the only ones saying goodbye to high school. Letitia Burton, who has taught living skills at Paly since 2000, stood at the corner of Embarcadero Road and El Camino Real to see her last graduation ceremony before she retires. Burton was wearing a traditional West African robe in Paly green and graduation stole made out of Kente cloth. She waved a tambourine to passing students, some of whom reached their hands out to her or shouted "thank you, Ms. Burton," as they turned the corner onto Embarcadero Road.

Burton said she always attends her students' graduations.

"Graduation is like one of the big rites of passages that we have and it's important to our kids, the community and the family," she said.

Especially in these times, Burton added, "we need to celebrate."

Superintendent Don Austin spent the parade standing outside the district office with senior administrators. He said the event made him unexpectedly emotional.

"It caught me part way through how much I've missed seeing smiling kids," he said. "To see so many smiling kids and parents and even just people lining the streets, some of whom had no current connection to school or our students — it was the community event that I had hoped could happen."

The school district is still planning to host an in-person graduation for the class of 2020 in December, but the parade felt so positive there was discussion Wednesday about whether it could become a permanent, additional tradition in years to come.

"It was a high point in a year that needed a high point," he said.

Editorial Assistant Lloyd Lee contributed to this report.

Visit graduation central, our hub of stories, photos and lists of this year's graduates from local high schools.

Comments

anonymous
Midtown
on Jun 3, 2020 at 11:42 pm
anonymous, Midtown
on Jun 3, 2020 at 11:42 pm
13 people like this

I would like to see photos of graduates from other high schools besides Paly and to see photos of them in cars that were spirited enough to have decorations to emphasize the parade-like celebration. There were 3 Paly photos used, cars were bland, and there were many other students from other high schools that participated and rode in very decorated cars that would have made a more celebratory and exciting image for this extremely special occasion and this unique time. No need to rush publishing an article like this.


Paly Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:05 am
Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:05 am
48 people like this

@anonymous: The third picture was from Gunn. I know this because I teach at Paly and I know Kathie Laurence is the principal there. I also know this because the first three words in the picture's caption are "Gunn High School." Maybe some people aren't artistic enough or have enough disposable income to decorate their cars. Also, if you need other pictures so badly, you should have taken them yourself.

@All of the graduates: Congrats! We are all so proud of you. Huge thumbs for all of the BLM and related messages.


Really
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 3:02 am
Really, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 3:02 am
26 people like this

Why couldn’t/can’t they slap together a summer graduation ceremony at the football field for social distancing and just video it live? All they would need would be Matt Hall, the principal, and students, no need for teachers. Matt Hall is going to teach at Gunn this fall with his wife, he was a funny MC. What student is going to want to return for a December graduation ceremony after having been away to college? They want to be done with high school. And December will be peak COVID time again.


Roy M
Downtown North
on Jun 4, 2020 at 7:52 am
Roy M, Downtown North
on Jun 4, 2020 at 7:52 am
20 people like this

My younger daughter really wanted to celebrate even though we don't know any graduating seniors, so we checked out the parade. I think with all the bad news going on we just needed something cheerful. Thanks to the city for doing this and I hope the graduating seniors enjoyed it.


Paly Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 9:37 am
Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 9:37 am
16 people like this

@Really: Imagine two staff members trying to supervise 500 kids under normal circumstances. Now imagine them making sure all 500 kids stay at least 6 ft apart as they celebrate the end of a tumultuous year. There's no way that would happen. Also, no other school in the Bay Area of our size is having in an-person ceremony.


winter
Barron Park
on Jun 4, 2020 at 9:37 am
winter, Barron Park
on Jun 4, 2020 at 9:37 am
21 people like this

It was a fun and sweet and community spirited event that lifted everyone up. We were with friends out on an Arastradero corner as so many cars streamed by - many grads with and without families, bursting with smiles and pride. Some grinning, some yelling. Some cars decorated to the max and some with a couple of signs with names of grads. Caps and gowns - or not. So proud of my graduate grandson. Everyone so happy, and the people lining streets cheering going nuts, making noise, jumping up and down - everyone like kids. Lots of Black Lives Matters (cause they do) signs. Our community at our best, not scared, not paying attention to any curfew, but proud and happy and bravely looking to the future together.
Yea Palo Alto! Yea Grads!


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2020 at 10:01 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2020 at 10:01 am
17 people like this

What the seniors do not realize and I trust will appreciate more as they mature, is that they have experienced a unique opportunity to celebrate in a way that no other class has done and hopefully will never have to experience in the future.

When they tell their children in years to come of how they were different, show them the pictures of how they paraded in their cars, it will be something so very different from the normal graduation pictures.

It is down to attitude. If they feel that this was a second rate way of celebrating rather than sitting in the sun for 3 hours on a day with temps in the 90s and parents not even able to identify them as they waited for their moment to hear their name said on the PA system and walk across a stage for what, 15 seconds, just like every other high school graduate before them, then they are not thinking straight. Instead they have had the opportunity to do something new, different, unique, have a picture of a car instead of a cap flying in the air.

Attitude is everything.


nice
Greenmeadow
on Jun 4, 2020 at 10:05 am
nice, Greenmeadow
on Jun 4, 2020 at 10:05 am
9 people like this

Great to see another picture of a student added from Gunn. And congrats to students from under represented Castilleja and Kehillah...


Mitchell & Jane
Green Acres
on Jun 4, 2020 at 10:32 am
Mitchell & Jane, Green Acres
on Jun 4, 2020 at 10:32 am
13 people like this

We were among the many on Arastradero Avenue who cheered the graduates as they rolled by in and on their well-decorated vehicles! While the caravan was not the same as a traditional graduation, this celebration -- unlike the usual campus graduations -- gave the graduates an opportunity to see that Palo Altans all around the city who they did not know cared about what they were going through, wished them well, wanted to celebrate with them in a small way, and recognized that their milestone was well-earned and worthy of respect. The many smiles we saw on their faces told us that they were taking in the message. Our warm good wishes for a bright future for all the graduates!


Gunn Parent
Barron Park
on Jun 4, 2020 at 10:44 am
Gunn Parent, Barron Park
on Jun 4, 2020 at 10:44 am
13 people like this

I really have to disagree with Paly Teacher. If we don't think we can keep 500 young adults safe and 6' apart for graduation, then how do we expect to keep thousands safe when they return to school (and college!) in the fall? I've seen other schools holding graduation, if they can do it safely, then Palo Alto should be able to as well.


Grateful parent of a 2020 Grad
College Terrace
on Jun 4, 2020 at 11:10 am
Grateful parent of a 2020 Grad, College Terrace
on Jun 4, 2020 at 11:10 am
23 people like this

As the parent of a PALY 2020 Grad, I have to comment here. Initially, when I heard about the car parade, I thought to myself, "how can driving around the city possibly come close to replacing a long-awaited, traditional graduation ceremony?" I was wrong. The car parade was a wonderful event, with so many proud grads from all of the schools basking in the cheers, praise, smiles, and noise that the PA community showed up to provide, with so much enthusiasm. Driving by the school and seeing the teachers out with masks and signs meant to much to my daughter--even a wave or an "air hug" went a long way. The feedback from her friends was that the parade was way more special than they anticipated and truly felt celebratory. In the midst of a terrifying pandemic and a long overdue heated battle over racial inequality, it is perhaps naïve to think that any of our traditions will look the same. This was definitely different, but IMO, a huge success. Thank you, Palo Alto for showing up for the class of 2020. I have never been happier to be part of this community.


Screed
Stanford
on Jun 4, 2020 at 11:13 am
Screed, Stanford
on Jun 4, 2020 at 11:13 am
12 people like this

This should be the beginning of an annual tradition. What was really moving was to see graduates of four Palo Alto high schools driving together as one parade. And the fire truck! Look next year for more organization, more tricked-out cars, more noise makers, and more people applauding our graduates!


Resident
Barron Park
on Jun 4, 2020 at 12:47 pm
Resident, Barron Park
on Jun 4, 2020 at 12:47 pm
1 person likes this

Are there any other pictures available? I would love to see some:) Huge congratulations to the Class of 2020!!


Really
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 12:58 pm
Really , Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 12:58 pm
14 people like this

@Really:
“Imagine two staff members trying to supervise 500 kids under normal circumstances. Now imagine them making sure all 500 kids stay at least 6 ft apart as they celebrate the end of a tumultuous year. There's no way that would happen.”

They are adults, not kindergarteners. And no Paly teachers would volunteer to show up and help? Teachers take their summer vacation that seriously? That’s disappointing. Parent volunteers would surely help.

”Also, no other school in the Bay Area of our size is having in an-person ceremony”

Lemmings attitude. We are in Silicon Valley, right?

They already have their caps and gowns, Paulson and Austin should reconsider. Friday, retail is reopening and the weather is warmer than December. The ceremony wouldn’t necessarily have to be 3 hours, just anything. I think in December, the attendance will be poor. I would have no interest in attending 7 months after high school ended.


Paly Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:10 pm
Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:10 pm
24 people like this

@Really:

Yeah, really. Look, everyone, including teachers, wants graduations to happen but it just won't work. Kids will be on edge forcing themselves not to hug their friends. After the ceremony, many might slip away and hangout with each other away from adult eyes. I saw some kids doing that after the parade yesterday.

Speaking of which, at least 60 of us teachers braved the beating sun to line El Camino and Embarcadero yesterday. How dare you question our loyalty to our kids? You're lucky PAO moderates these comments otherwise I'd tell you off as you deserve to be.

The ceremony doesn't have to be three hours? It would be at least a couple if we read the name of each graduate. Cut that out? Then kids would get a discounted ceremony.

Really, lemmings attitude? And invoking Silicon Valley? Give me a break. Show me one school that had an in-person ceremony for 500+ kids in Silicon Valley. If you think you can make a ceremony happen, put some more thought into it. Your shortsighted ideas are laughable at best. Go create a delivery-ready vaccine by next week, too, while you're at it. This is Silicon Valley, right?

Again, the entire Paly staff feels for our kids and wish we could hold a graduation for them but it just can't happen. Several parents and students have told me personally that they thought the parade would be a bust but after participating were happy they did. I hope the same will be true for a December graduation.


Wow
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:20 pm
Wow, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:20 pm
6 people like this

[Post removed.]


Caroline
Southgate
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:31 pm
Caroline, Southgate
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:31 pm
17 people like this

Palo Alto showed up! I was so impressed to see so many people lining the streets to celebrate our graduates. It was very emotional and much needed support during this tough time. The city-wide parade was amazing--my senior loved it! I really hope it becomes a party of the senior tradition in Palo Alto. Thank you to everyone who made it possible.


Evelyn Aguon - Gunn alumni
Charleston Meadows
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:32 pm
Evelyn Aguon - Gunn alumni, Charleston Meadows
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:32 pm
5 people like this

Congrats to all 2020 graduates!


Paly Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:49 pm
Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:49 pm
29 people like this

@Wow: Not sure where you're hearing the yelling from.

You point out that I won't post my name, yet your name is Wow? Wow.

As for posting negative comments on what should be a happy thread, I did so to rebut other negative posts that were put up first to set the record straight. I don't see you calling them out on it.

One issue teachers deal with all the time is some members of the community expect us to be punching bags. They throw mostly unwarranted criticism at us incessantly, but when we try to stand up for ourselves, suddenly we're committing verbal assault.

Don't dish it out if you can't take it.


We loved it
Midtown
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:51 pm
We loved it , Midtown
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:51 pm
12 people like this

We made a sign and stood with our kids and cheered! It really felt like the whole community came together in an unexpectedly moving way.


Wow
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2020 at 2:40 pm
Wow, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2020 at 2:40 pm
7 people like this

@Paly Teacher

[Portion removed.] There are good teachers at Paly no doubt, but many are disorganized like it's their first time to the rodeo, it stresses out the students. It's the same issue with law enforcement and the death of Floyd, now everyone is painting the police with a broad brush. I've had three children graduate from Paly so we have experienced many teachers. Deadlines which are too soon or incorrect test review sheets, it's all stressful. Even 9pm Schoology postings for something due the next day or quiz announcements late at night. Why would a teacher post so late at night an assume everyone reads it? It seems the AP classes are more difficult than Foothill classes because the Foothill instructors are more organized. Do you think that two years to tenure is enough? And what about the English teachers not assigning papers because they claim they don't have time to correct them? Corrected papers is the only way to teach proper writing skills. My first two had more papers assigned, but my last had almost no papers to write, consequently, his writing is deficient. I attended Paly in the 80s and the PAUSD English department taught us how to write every day in class from 7th grade to 12th and we wrote 1-page papers quite often. Now, most of the English teachers only teach analysis and don't return papers or no comments or worst, peer editing. Surely teachers in my day were correcting papers in the evenings without pay. Why do English teachers now demand pay for correcting papers? It's part of the job of being a good teacher. Are our teachers in this for the 6 figure salary? The teachers back in the day stayed after school, at lunchtime to teach; now, they leave right after school. Now, many of the teachers don't even stay for Tutorial, a dedicated time for students to seek help from teachers. Enlighten us since I have your ear. If our teachers are being paid over 100K, they should teach like they are.


Wow
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2020 at 3:03 pm
Wow, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2020 at 3:03 pm
9 people like this

PAO editors deleted my real name. Oh, well.

My children said that their professors are much more organized and structured than their Paly teachers were, a lot less stress.


Brave?
College Terrace
on Jun 4, 2020 at 3:28 pm
Brave?, College Terrace
on Jun 4, 2020 at 3:28 pm
7 people like this

@Paly Teacher
A quick count of PAHS staff shows approximately 150 Paly teachers, principals and guidance counselors. This doesn't include classroom aides, custodians and most of the classified workers. Of those 150, you say there were 60 of you on the street in front of the school who "braved the beating sun" to cheer on students.

Yesterday at 6pm it was 82 degrees.

Had there been a real ceremony, you also would have been in the sun, but you'd have had a black gown on.

An attendance of 60 teachers out of more than 150, is a rate of about 40%. Thanks for coming out, but what about the other 60%?

News flash, kids are getting together on a regular basis. It will be interesting to see PAUSD's schooling plan for this fall.


Paly Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 5:54 pm
Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 5:54 pm
23 people like this

@Wow

I'm going to withhold my name. There are probably more people in PA with your name than there are teachers at Paly.

Your comment addresses a lot of topics so I'll just talk about a couple. Yes, it's very frustrating when teachers assign something due in 24 hours. Incorrect answers on keys are also frustrating but I think it's understandable if it's rare. It happens in college classes, too. Teachers not holding tutorial upsets those who do.

@Brave?

Actually, the Tower Building provides a lot of shade for teachers, graduates, and the stage, so we wouldn't have been in the sun. As for yesterday, someone did suffer heat exhaustion and had to be cared for by an RN.

Do I wish more teachers had shown up? For sure. But maybe they were heeding the heat advisory. Maybe they were worried about the pandemic. Maybe start asking questions with an open mind instead of an accusatory one.

Everyone is waiting with bated breath for the district's plan to reopen school. I hope you will receive it with an open mind and provide constructive feedback.

To all readers: I recognize you have your grievances against some teachers, some schools, and/or the district. I guess this is a forum for you to vent your frustrations, but I implore you do so with facts, not speculation, with questions that seek answers, not assume negative ones.


Another District Teacher
Barron Park
on Jun 4, 2020 at 6:22 pm
Another District Teacher, Barron Park
on Jun 4, 2020 at 6:22 pm
9 people like this

@Paly Teacher
You must be a millennial teacher to be so full of spit and vinegar. I have two words for you: Glad-handling and appeasing. Practice both and you will have a long career. If you haven't already done so have a child and try to perceive things through a parent's eye. Then realize we are public officials and when we come off like unionized divas we poop on everybody else.Now go practice your blended learning pedagogy- you're going to need it.
Sincerely,
"You're right parent, what the f#;* was I thinking?".


Another Paly Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 5, 2020 at 1:31 am
Another Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 5, 2020 at 1:31 am
14 people like this

Congratulations, Class of 2020! And thank you to my colleagues who could make the event, and especially those of you who organized it! I couldn't attend and make it back home in time for my city's curfew hours.


Karen H
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 5, 2020 at 12:23 pm
Karen H, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 5, 2020 at 12:23 pm
7 people like this

OK - someone asked for photos. My kids and I were at Greene MS with a huge group of supporters. We were taking photos of all kids (all schools) - both sides of the street. My kids have finished their photos. I'm desperately trying to finish mine. You can access the three websites from here: bit.ly/paloaltograd

There will be about 1500 photos (about 600+ to finish). If car windows were up, then we couldn't see the people inside and did our best. If some are blurry - we are sorry. There were so many kids. It was a JOY to be out there and see so many faces with smiles and tears. Congrats grads!


THANK YOU PALO ALTO!
Professorville
on Jun 5, 2020 at 1:50 pm
THANK YOU PALO ALTO!, Professorville
on Jun 5, 2020 at 1:50 pm
5 people like this

I was so touched while seeing so many members of our community come out to cheer the graduates on. I rode in my son's car and saw first hand the cheering, dancing, guitar playing, water squirting, music blaring, hiking, popsicle tossing, and much more. Thank you all. If this becomes a tradition, I will be sure to go out in future years to cheer for your children.


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