• February 5:
Incoming 9th grade families visit Paly tolearn about its opportunities.
• February 15-18:
In honor of President’s Day, students andstaff enjoy three-day weekend.
• February 19:
Students get a day off from school whileteachers meet for staff development day.
• February 29:
Girls ask their “Perfect Match” to theupcoming Sadie Hawkin’s Dance.
A2 • January 28, 2008
Students donate thousands of pounds of food for needy families ACS receives grant from Yahoo! toimprove on-campus teen counseling
Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) received a $25,000grant from Yahoo! Employee Foundation (YEF) through ACS’ssuccessful on-campus program in November 2007, according toDevelopment & Marketing Director of ACS Lynn Peralta.“I feel that the ACS is a well-established and well-respectedorganization that deserves this grant,” Peralta said.Peralta applied for the grant in January 2007 through con-nections with people in the YEF. The ACS on-campus programwas presented to a panel that reviews the applicants and waswell-received all around.“ACS’s on-campus program is very successful; we have coun-seling programs at both Paly and Gunn, and at the three middleschools JLS, Jordan and Terman in Palo Alto,” Peralta said.This grant will help fund the on-campus counseling programs.These counseling programs include adolescent counseling, rela-tionship issues, substance abuse and such.
“ACS is denitely doing a great job providing counseling
services to teens, “ Peralta said. “Other cities, such as RedwoodCity, have incorporated ACS, which is a testament that ACS isdoing great.” —Auster Chen
Palo Alto High School’s Youth Community Service club(YCS) has determined the results of the YCS food drive which began Nov. 13 and ended Jan. 11. The food collected during thedrive was be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank’s HolidayFood & Fund Drive.“YCS provides students at Paly with the opportunity to getinvolved in the community that has played an immense role in
inuencing them,” YCS President Aditi Bellary said.The YCS food drive at Paly earned a signicant prot this
year. The totals for the top classes are as follows: InFocus took
rst with 1575 lbs., Duffy followed with 1347 lbs., third wasFoug with 495 lbs. and fourth was Edwards with 306 lbs. Wix
som, Wilner, Paugh, Bungarden, Sabbag and Yonkers followedin fth through tenth places respectively.
The YCS food drive is very important to the community and
Palo Alto High’s contribution is of much more signicance than
simply a class competition, although it makes for an entertaining
and educational experience.“Although many people perceive this community to be ex
tremely afuent, it is important to realize that a huge number of local residents are not nancially well-off and that the costof food is quite high, “ Bellary said. “We want to contribute in
any way we possibly can to help these people get the nourish-ment they need.” —Pauline Slakey
Scratch-off multiple choice tests, or “scratcher tests,” have been used this year as an alternative testing method in theSocial Sciences and History Departmentand the Math Department.A scratcher test is similar to amultiple choice test. However, instead
of lling in bubbles or circling the rightanswer, students scratch-off boxes for
their chosen answer.
Board considers language program
Although elementary school students may soon have the option of taking foreign language classes, manyobstacles like the extra cost and the lengthened school schedule still block the program’s implementation.
“Scratcher” tests give students instant feedback
In each correct answer box, there is a
star to represent that the chosen answer iscorrect; if a student chooses the incorrect
answer, the box will be blank.
However, if the student misses thequestion, he or she can try again andobtain partial credit, depending on the
teacher’s specic grading policy.
This year, Suzanne Antink issueda scratcher test for her Geometry class
Though scratcher tests have been
used earlier this year for other subjects,this is the rst time in school history
that a scratcher test will being used ina math class.Antink feels that because studentscan get more than one chance at a prob-
lem, it will benet them more than regular
multiple choice questions would.“I think that by allowing students asecond chance, they are more motivatedto go through the problem and try again,”Antink said.Antink’s motivation behind admin-istering a scratcher test for her geometry
class nal is that the scratcher test teaches
students as well as tests them.
“A normal nal is not a learningexperience,” Antink said. “It is a summa
-tive test to see how much a student haslearned. By including the scratch portionof the test, hopefully students will do the
problems, learn more and make the nalinto a true learning experience.”
In addition to helping the studentslearn more and become more motivatedto do well on the test, Antink said that thescratcher test method would help raisesome of the test grades.
“This nal isn’t that hard of a test,”
Antink said. “Most students get As, Bsor Cs, but hopefully with the addition of the new scratcher tests, the students canraise their grades a little higher. Plus, byknowing the answer right away, the testgives students a little more courage andhelp them score higher.”In addition to the Math Depart-ment, the History and Social SciencesDepartment have also used scratcher tests in recent years in classes such asAP U.S. History and AP Psychology.AP U.S. History teacher Jack Bungar-den issued a scratcher test earlier in theschool year, while each of the Economicsclasses took a scratcher test as well as a
“I liked doing the scratcher tests,”Bungarden said. “I like how studentscan know whether or not they got thequestion right immediately. But before I
administer another one, I’d need to gureout the logistics rst.”
Although many of the teachers are infavor of the scratcher tests, concerns have been raised about cheating, as studentsknow what the correct answer is imme-
diately after nishing the problem.
To compensate, Antink made 12different versions of the test, whichshe hopes will prevent students fromcheating.“I’m not too worried about the
cheating aspect for this nal,” Antink said. “With the 12 different versions of
the test, there is only a slim chance thatstudents will know each other’s answers.
We could even have 25 versions if we
wanted to.”Although Antink has high hopesfor the scratcher test, she does not knowwhether or not she will continue to usethe scratcher tests in years to come.“This is a trial period,” Antink said.
“We’re going to test it a lot before we
decide if we want to keep it.”
The answers to scratcher tests are hidden under scratch-off choices.Students know immediately if they are correct by discovering a star.
Elementary school students may receive foreign language class options
ASB considers off-campus locationfor traditional Sadie Hawkins Dance
“I was completely and utterly dismayed,” Keller-
man said. “We ended up spent four hours cleaning
up.”McEvoy and Berk-son said the school will be pressing charges uponlearning the identities of the culprits.
“We are absolutely
planning to press charges,” McEvoy said. “Regardless
of the extent of the damage, [the students responsible]
are going to have to face the school system and the penal system.”Berkson said he feels sure the culprits will befound, though they “were smart enough not to doanything stupid.”“There were some mistakes that were made,
which we are condent will [help implicate thoseresponsible],” Berkson said.
In response to the library break-in, the adminis-tration and Kellerman hope to increase the level of security surrounding the library in order to preventfuture vandalism.The fact that it did noteven require a forced entry iscause for more concern.“I would like to havea better security system,”Kellerman said. “Everyone
wants it. It’s just a matter of
getting it done.”
Currently, though, the administration has no de
-nite plans for security upgrades. Any money spent onincreased security would come out of general fund.“It would basically mean less money for students,”Berkson added.
Though PAPD ofcers went out to the library
upon receiving Kellerman’s call, the police departmentis currently responding to the incident as a simple prank, Sergeant Sandra Brown said. Unless the Paly
administration nds anything new, the police will have
only minimal involvement in the investigation.
Paly students expressed anger over the incident.
“I’m appalled, especially about the computers because it hits students more than the administration,”
senior Max Lloyd said.But others said vandalism was to be expected.“It was a long weekend,” junior Courtney Hancock
said, “so I’m not surprised.”Regardless, it seems that at the heart of both inci-dents was a lack of respect for the facilities, studentsand administration.
“The sad irony is that it was just Martin Luther King’s birthday,” Kellerman said. “What are we sup
posed to be doing? Good for the world. What were stu
-dents doing? Taking a public good and trashing it.”
Disclaimer: The photos and details of the vandalismreported in this article were obtained from an anony-mous source in contact with those responsible but not a participant.
Continued from A1
Vandalism strikes Paly library over long weekend after nals
The School Board’s Foreign Lan-guage in Elementary School (FLES)committee presented a report detailingan implementation plan for a possible program to offer foreign language stud-ies in elementary schools at the Jan.
15 Palo Alto Unied School District
School Board meeting. The report will be taken into consideration during theStrategic Planning Process, a methodfor the School Board to determine the
district’s short term goals for the next
three to four years and will take placein the coming months. FLES will be alarge piece of the conversations that willtake place.The School Board created theFLES committee in September 2007to conduct research on other effectiveFLES programs and possible foreignlanguage alternatives to FLES. Thecommittee reported back on the imple-mentation requirements and budget for a possible, effective FLES program inthe PAUSD.
“We contacted schools all over with
effective FLES programs and foundthat those programs, all of them, havea number of things in common,” FLEScommittee Co-Chair Marilyn Cook saidat the Jan. 15 School Board meeting.The committee took the commonqualities from effective FLES programsand created a list of program assump-tions.These assumptions include offeringthe program for all students, holdingthe program during the regular schoolday, lengthening the school day to provide adequate time for the program,creating curriculum that would help
students develop prociency in the for
-eign language and linking the programto secondary programs present in themiddle schools.“Research shows studying another language at a young age enhances cog-nitive development and creativity inthinking,” Cook said.The report suggested spending
60-75 minutes a week with children ingrades third through fth because they
have already developed literacy skills inEnglish, which can be easily transferredto another language.
“We’d love to start at kindergarten, but not a lot of prociency would be cre
-ated from those additional three years,”Cook said. “Students in third grade haveliteracy skills so they would learn to thesame level at half the cost. In order tostay as practical as possible, third gradeis the place to start.”Creating a FLES program wouldaffect foreign language classes through-out all the schools in the district. After participating in the FLES program in
elementary school, student prociency
would be at an equivalent of level threeforeign language course upon enteringhigh school, changing the courses avail-able both in middle and high school.“The foreign language teachers have been rooting for something like this for along time,” committee member and Gunn
World Language Instructional Supervisor
Anne Jensen said at the meeting.Obstacles for the program include
adding yet another subject to the elemen
-tary school curriculum and the decisionof which language to offer. The budgetis an even larger issue to surmount. Atthe current grade level and enrollment,
the project would cost an estimated $1.1
million per year for the entire district,which would only increase with enroll-ment.Additionally, other fees such as thecost of lengthening the school day arenot included in this estimate.The cost would be a big burden for the district, in contrast to immersion programs that require no additionalcost because they are taught by onlythe normal amount of teachers as aregular class.The School Board is keeping thereport and will refer to it during the Stra-tegic Planning Process. It also considersforeign language an important, valuableskill that is worth pursuing.“I can understand in our global so-ciety why people want to learn a foreignlanguage,” Superintendent Kevin Skellysaid at the meeting. “I think we can takethis report and build from it a discussionto make a good decision.”A key issue on the mind of the SchoolBoard members is whether or not a for-eign language program needs to strive
for prociency in literacy.“Is excellent the enemy of the good?”
Townsend asked. “I’ve gained the wis-dom of knowing you don’t have to haveit all. If we can start with conversationalskills, that already is a big step and may be enough.”Other Board members also plan todiscuss alternatives or a scaled downversion of FLES.“I hate this to be a black and whiteissue,” School Board member Melissa
Caswell said at the meeting. “We need to
look at different scales while discussingthe strategic plan.”Still, the Board recognizes the reportas a success and will utilize it throughoutthe coming months.“The question answered is what kindof a quality program we can put out there,”School Board member Dana Tom saidat the meeting. “Now we need to decide
what is possible, yet benecial. This isdenitely worth further discussion.”
Having the girl ask the boy to be her date to the dance is anintegral custom that differentiates a Sadie Hawkins dance froman otherwise typical dance. Palo Alto High School’s AssociatedStudent Body (ASB) plans to bring this widely celebrated tradi-tion to Paly in late February.
“This isn’t the rst time Paly has had a Sadies, I don’t know
when or why we stopped having them, but we all decided it
should denitely be brought back,” ASB Social Commissioner
Helene Zahoudanis said.Because the concept behind the dance is having a girl ask a boy to go with her, the chosen dress theme is inspired by thisidea of a “date-dance.”“The theme is ‘perfect match’ which is intentionally broad,”Zahoudanis said. The theme of “perfect match” is to havecouples wear similar clothing or match in other ways, and hasfew limitations.ASB plans to encourage students to follow the dance’s datetradition by considering reducing the ticket price for couples.“Many details haven’t been worked out yet, but we’re tryingto make this dance nicer to encourage people to go with dates,”
Zahoudanis said. “We wanted to have the dance at a location
other than Paly, but that would involve raising ticket prices and people weren’t too happy about that.”In order to have the dance in a location outside of Paly,
ticket prices would have to increase prices to approximately$50 or $60.
The dance will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on
Friday, Feb. 29. The location has yet to be conrmed.
“We are absolutely planning to presscharges.”