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Palo Alto High goes back to school

Original post made on Aug 15, 2016

Paly Alto High School's campus was hectic with a mix of excitement, nerves and some dread about the year ahead on the first day of school on Monday, as new freshmen familiarized themselves with the campus, upperclassmen reunited after the summer break and teachers kicked off the new year with a range of activities.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 15, 2016, 4:31 PM

Comments (16)

Posted by A roll of the dice
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 15, 2016 at 8:14 pm

I love the Paly social justice program. It sounds great for one of my kids when she's old enough. However, you have to be in the Paly footprint to even hope to participate, or hope for a transfer, which may not even be a possibility since the schools are so crowded, transfers aren't going to be allowed every year. Then you have to hope you lottery in to this popular program. And some kids are trying to get in just because it looks good on college apps rather than having a true passion for the topic or style of learning. All in all, while this program would be a great fit for my child, it seems the odds are stacked against kids who don't live in the Paly footprint. Couldn't this program be expanded? Could it also be offered at Gunn? Could it have some type of application in addition to lottery so kids had to at least show their interest and passion rather than their entire high school experience being based on their name being pulled from a figurative hat? I applaud the creation of the program and wish all the kids and teachers a great year. Just wish participation didn't seem so random.

Posted by Life's Unfair
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2016 at 9:34 pm

@A roll of the dice: The social justice program was started by two Paly teachers. Try to convince two Gunn teachers to start it. Gunn and Paly are two very different schools even though they are both in the same school district. Even their bell schedules are different. If you are renting, you can rent in the Paly attendance area instead of screaming "unfair". Frankly, my kids would not like to be in the same classes with the same students for three years. They couldn't wait to graduate from elementary school so they could have different students in every class.

Posted by unconscionable
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2016 at 10:09 pm

I'm stunned that in this city with two high schools, the reporter opted to write about only one high school, and represent the other only as a single side note.

Elena Kadvany: What message are you sending to Gunn students?

Posted by what do you expect
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2016 at 10:21 pm


How do you expect one reporter to report on two schools on the same day? I don't think any message is attempted at being sent, just a general back-to-school journalism piece with a focus on the Social Pathway at Paly.

Posted by What about Gunn
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 15, 2016 at 10:44 pm

Did you forget Gunn students?

Posted by Question
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2016 at 8:16 am

Just an aside, what class is that and where are the boys? There's one photo with what looks like a couple of token boys and pretty much all girl students.

Posted by Elena Kadvany
education reporter of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Aug 16, 2016 at 10:24 am

Elena Kadvany is a registered user.

unconscionable and What About Gunn: Thank you for your comments. Because we focused much of last week's back-to-school preview coverage on Gunn, we decided to spend the first day of school at Paly. You can read more about what's going on at Gunn in this story from last week's paper: Web Link

Posted by outsider
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2016 at 10:38 am

Ok social justice students, dig deeper and try to figure out why this guy thinks he can call you a wise fool and why he is grandstanding.

Posted by vmshadle
a resident of Meadow Park
on Aug 16, 2016 at 11:26 am

vmshadle is a registered user.

Oh, please, outsider. The teacher, Mr. Bloom, didn't coin the term, he translated it. Translating a term known to everyone in the entire educational world for generation upon generation and explaining that term's origin is not grandstanding. It's called educating.

Posted by Ditto unconscionable
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 16, 2016 at 11:42 am

There are two high schools in this city, both start school on the same day. Why would you cover just one with the headline about school starting? @Elena Kadavny, I understand that the focus was on Gunn in the last article, but it would be nice to focus on something besides mental health at Gunn...

I grew up in Palo Alto and went to PAUSD schools k-12. My two kids are now in PAUSD. I have long felt that Gunn was the forgotten high school in Palo Alto unless there's bad news coming out of it.

More equal coverage please!!

Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2016 at 12:14 pm

I read an article about all the new paint and outdoor amenities at Gunn last week.

A reporter can only report on where she has been on one day, she may be at one of the other schools starting back today.

Stop the rivalries between parents. It's bad enough when the kids do it.

Posted by Bill of rights
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2016 at 1:23 pm

The social justice pathway program sounds like brainwashing in fascist progressive dogma. True social justice is freedom from a corrupt government that has a different set of laws for its top officials and provides a revolving door to enrich its leaders.

How about a special program on capitalism and our constitution?

Posted by Bill of rights
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2016 at 1:42 pm

I hope the social justice pathway has a class on the fairness of taking a large tax increase and redistributing it to the school district teachers and administrators as a pay raise without addressing class sizes as originally promised.

Maybe there could be a lab on spending over $60M of city funds to purchase a trailer park in order to benefit a few dozen favored families.

Another class homework assignment could be how to trade mythical "neighborhood benefits" for zoning waivers and variances in order to line to pockets of developers.

Lastly, they could include a team presentation on how to impose a myriad of unsubstantiated environmental, gender and politically correct ideology on the populace without input from its citizens, open debate or supporting data.

Now that is justice.

Posted by Happy Gunn Senior
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 16, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Happy Gunn Senior is a registered user.

My daughter is happy to be a rising senior at Gunn. She had fun dressing up --as is the tradition for Gunn seniors first day--and is looking forward to a stimulating and fun year. She and her friends had fun creating their costumes while they had chatted and watched movies together this weekend.

It was a lovely summer--a good balance of work and play for her. She's ready for her senior year. Go, Titans and Vikings! Have a GREAT year!

a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 18, 2016 at 12:09 pm

SEA_SEELAM REDDY is a registered user.

Welcome back students!

Make us all proud by being good students.

we have outstanding schools, teachers, facilities, teachers, students here.

Make best out of it.


Posted by Sally Kadifa
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 18, 2016 at 9:43 pm

Sally Kadifa is a registered user.

Great article! Makes me (almost) wish I were going back to school again! I want to correct a commonly held misconception about the Paly teacher advisor program. Students do not have a single teacher advisor for all four years. Freshmen are assigned a teacher advisor (who is one of their classroom teachers) for just the first year. As sophomores, students are then reassigned to a different teacher advisor for the next three years. The teacher advisor is not necessarily one of their classroom teachers. Students meet with their advisor and his/her other advisees in that grade during the weekly advisory period. Teacher advisors oversee three separate groups of students (sophomore, juniors and seniors), so the weekly meetings rotate among these three cohorts on a schedule set by the school. Thanks again, Elena, for the great coverage of a special time of year.

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