Paly Link

A PTSA publication

Sunday, August 23, 2015
tower building drawing

The Paly Link is distributed on Sundays, except during school breaks and holidays.  Changes will be highlighted as New/Updated/Corrected.  To submit an article, see Submissions Guidelines.

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Aug. 27
Sophomores Parent Network Mtg, 8:30am, SSRC (PTSA
ThursdaySept. 3Back to School Night, 6:30-9:00, Quad and Classrooms
FridaySept. 4Paly-Only Minimum Day, 12:30pm dismissal
SaturdaySept. 4Last Day for PiE Challenge Grant Donations (PiENew
MondaySept. 7Labor Day Holiday, no school
TuesdaySept. 8Friends of Paly Choirs Meeting, 7:30pm, Library (PalyNew
ThursdaySept. 10Paly Fiery Booster Arts Meeting, 6-7pm, Art room 105 (Paly
TuesdaySept. 22Yearbook Senior Portrait Free Sessions (PalyNew
Sept 29Yearbook Senior Portrait Free Sessions (Paly) New
Thurs-FriSept 25-263rd Annual Fiery Arts Fall Glass Sale, in front of Tower Bldg (Paly)

PiE logo
Join us! Together we strengthen our schools. New
PiE is launching its 2015-2016 fundraising campaign for PAUSD schools, and we need the support of our whole community. PiE funds over 250 caring adults at all PAUSD schools - including elementary, middle and high schools. From classroom aides, to elective class teachers, to caring counselors and mentors, PiE funded staff make a difference for our kids everyday.

Right now, we have a Back-To-School Challenge Grant of $500,000. Every dollar donated to PiE between now and September 5 will be matched (up to $500K). Please donate today!
Click here to donate online!
Principal's Message 
Dear Parents,

We hope you (and your Vikings) have settled in nicely as we ease back into the swing of things.  In my nine years at Paly, this was by far the smoothest school opening I've ever experienced,  and I hope you noticed an improvement too.  Special thanks to all of the student and parent volunteers who made our Welcome Back to Paly dinner and Link Crew Freshman Orientation such a huge success!  Walking around campus, the vibe was super positive, and we noticed many students smiling, laughing, and happy to be back with their friends and teachers.  We were treated to a number of recent alumni back on campus throughout the week saying their goodbyes before heading off to college too.  Finally, we wrapped up the week with a fun spirit rally on the quad on Friday led by our super ASB spirit commissioners.  I know I speak for the entire staff when I say we feel it is so great to have our students back with us.  

A few items looking ahead.  First, it's not too late to turn in your Back-to-School packet to the main office.  If you misplaced your packet or didn't receive the mailing, forms are available online or you can pick up a hard copy in the main office.  We thank you for your generosity and support!

Thursday, August 27th, the PTSA will be hosting their first general meeting of the new school year in the MAC atrium at 7pm and all are invited.  I'll be presenting our school goals for the year and giving an update on our construction plans.  At the end, we'll open it up to Q&A, so this is a great time to learn a little more about Paly and ask questions!  Hope you can join us.     

Finally, you hopefully noticed that we're trying to improve the tutorial experience for our students.   I often describe tutorial as the "gift of time" and another opportunity for students to connect with an adult on campus.  We're calling this next iteration "Tutorial 2.0" and hope to be making some improvements regarding how we structure this instructional period for all.  Thanks for your patience and support on this one.  And stay tuned for more details.   

Having successfully launched my own first grader last week to a new school, I know how emotionally exhausting parenting can be, especially this time of year.  I hope you and your family are able to rest or have some downtime together this weekend as we enter into week 2.  Thanks again for all your support of our school.  Go Vikings!   

Kind regards,

Kim Diorio
PTSA and PTA AnnouncementsPTSA
Paly PTSA Needs You! Check out these open positions Updated
PTSA still has some open slots, and most important open position is that of Auditor, so we can continue to provide services to Palo Alto HS students, teachers, parents, and community.  Grab a friend and co-lead an event or job! 
Open Positions:
Auditor--audit the finances of PTSA twice a year
PTA Council Rep 2 (to join Susan Usman, PTA Council Rep 1)
Traffic Safety Co-Chair (share with Judd Volino)
Monthly Latte Cart (Latter Cart already reserved for set dates, list of volunteers available)
Staff Holiday Luncheon Coordinator --December (2 positions open)
Food for Thought-Evening Coordinator (food for students during finals study week)
Field Day Co-Chair (share with Faezeh Ghaffari)
Questions on the position, time commitment? Ask Linda van Gelder, PTSA President (, (650) 813-0135 or Chris Chang (, (650) 326-6916)

Parent Networks For Paly Parents & Guardians - Join TODAY!  
What are Parent Networks? 
Parent Networks are informal gatherings for parents and guardians from each grade level to get acquainted, share parenting ideas about high schoolers, get information on navigating Paly and the college process. These meetings occur monthly, by grade level. They are often held in parents' homes or, in some cases, at the school. We encourage all parents and guardians of current Paly students to join.
How can I get information about Parent Network meetings?
Each class creates a schedule of meetings and publicizes these dates in the Paly eNews -"PalyLink".  Make sure you sign up for this valuable source of information (  Also, make sure you sign up for your grade-specific Yahoo group.
Below is the list of Paly Parent Network Coordinators for the 2015-16 school year. Please contact the coordinators for your child's grade directly for information on how to join that grade's Parent Network YahooGroup.

Additional information on the Paly Parent Networks is available on the Paly website at  


Class Of 2018 (Sophomores) Parent Network Meeting  
Thurs, Aug. 27, 8:30-10am, Paly SSRC
Welcome parents/guardians of the Class of 2018! At our first meeting of the year, Paly Principal Kim Diorio will be the speaker and update us on what's going on at Paly and what to expect this year.
We'll meet in the SSRC (enter through the Library). Parking at Paly may be difficult due to the ongoing construction, so please consider carpooling, biking or walking. If you're the parent/guardian of a student in the Class of 2018 and you haven't already done so, we encourage you to join the Class of 2018 Parent Network YahooGroup at to stay informed about issues pertinent to this year's sophomore class. Click on the Join button to join. Please contact Julie Tomz ( or Julia Kossack ( if you have questions
Paly ItemsPaly
paly viking ship logo

Interested in serving on the 2015-2017 Paly Site Council? New
NOW IS THE TIME to  step up and submit your name! Don't delay!
The Paly Site Council is still seeking candidates for TWO parent representatives to the Paly School Site Council. The Council meets on Monday afternoons, once a month. Please see the website for details: Those elected will serve from September 2015 to June 2017.  Please consider submitting your name as a candidate!  Feel free to ask questions of former parent reps: Jonake Bose or Jill Bicknell (experienced former site council reps).

Site Council Eligibility:
All parents and guardians of Paly students are eligible, with the exception of PAUSD employees who are not eligible to serve as parent representatives at the school at which they work. Candidates must have a student at Paly throughout their term of office.  Please submit your nominations to Ms. Benfield at

Back-to-School Packet Return 
If your student did not return their signed forms on Picture Day, please have them drop their envelopes off this week in the Admin Office located in the Tower Building. Thanks!

Paly Sports Booster Passes good for all Paly home games! 
See for more information.  Purchase before September 4th to get reduced rates!  Students, $25, Single $35, Family $50; Seniors $15!

Friends of Paly Choirs Meeting New
Tues, Sept. 8, 7:30-8:30pm, Library
The Friends of Paly Choirs provides financial and volunteer support to Paly's many choirs and is open to parents of all choir members.  Join us to hear about the amazing year the choir directors have planned and learn how you can get involved.  We look forward to seeing you there! Questions? Please contact Carlene Kemmerer

Paly Fiery Arts Booster Meeting
Thur, Sept. 10, 6-7 pm, Art room 105, near Haymarket Theatre
Join us to learn about the amazing Paly Fiery Arts Glass studio and Sculpture program. Help support the upcoming Fall Sale Sept. 25-26. This is the first Booster and board meeting of the school year. Everyone is welcome.  Contact Nancy Kawakita, Booster Chair at for more information or Steve Ferrera, Art Instructor

Yearbook Senior Portrait Free Sessions New
Tues, Sept. 22 & 29, during Tutorial, TWO SESSIONS ONLY 
Seniors must use Paly approved photographer for Yearbook pictures. Flyers in the Main Office listing options. ALL Yearbook photos are DUE October 15, 2015. Questions contact
Fiery Arts Glass Workshops at Palo Alto High School 
Sat & Sun, Sept. 12-13, Oct. 10-11, Nov. 14-15, or Dec. 12-13, 9-3 pm at Paly's Glass Studio
Yes, we have a glass studio at Paly.  These workshops are open to the public, students and parents. Here's your chance to learn to blow glass at Paly. Workshops do fill up, so, do not hesitate, sign up for a date. The 2 day weekend workshop will focus on beginning glass blowing techniques. It's an incredible, fun, hands-on experience.  Repeating  students progress from their last session.  Advanced Sign up required. Class limit is 4. Teens and adults.  $375 per person. Proceeds benefit the Palo Alto High School Fiery Arts. Workshop flyer
To sign up, contact: David Camner, founder of Paly Glass, 

3rd Annual Fiery Arts Fall Glass Sale at Palo Alto High School 
Fri, Sept. 25, 3-6pm and Sat, Sept. 26, 11am-4pm, in front of the Tower Bldg. 
Come see exquisite new glass designs hand-blown by instructors, alumni and students.  Over 1000 unique glass pieces - pumpkins, pears, seashells, elephants, acorns, vases and more on sale to benefit Paly's Fiery Arts program. Come learn about the craft with live glass blowing demonstrations. Fall Sale flyer.  For more information contact or 
College & Career Center CCC
Keep up-to-date with Paly College and Career Center news and events by "liking" us on Facebook. The C&CC holds an open-house after each parent night in the Fall. There is also a wealth of information in Naviance and on the C&CC page.

College Rep Visits
Students must have their teacher's permission one day in advance if missing class. Pick up a form in the C&CC, or download it.  Bring the signed form the day of the visit to ensure the absence from class is cleared and marked as an activity rather than a truancy.  College visits scheduled for the next two weeks are listed below.  For a full list of all visits through Spring, login to Naviance using your user ID and password or login as a Guest with no password.  Click on the "Colleges" tab then click "view all upcoming college visits" within the "my colleges" section.
Due to increased student attendance and limited space in the College Center, we are no longer able to permit parents to attend college representative visits, please click to read more information about this policy.

Week of Aug. 31:
Muehlenberg Colllege     9/2/15     9:00am
Colgate University          9/2/15     2:45pm
NorCal Crew Open House - Learn to Row!
Sat, Aug. 29, 9am- 12pm, 1450 Maple Street, Redwood City
Please join us at our boathouse and learn about joining the NorCal Crew novice team - no experience required! Why row with NorCal Crew? NorCal is a competitive rowing club that creates an environment where athletes find the ultimate way to stay in shape, make new friends, learn how to achieve goals, and develop as a person both physically and mentally. Rowing in high school can lead to college recruitment opportunities. This is a great opportunity to meet current members of the NorCal Crew team and learn about crew as a sport. Please RSVP for the Open House to or visit our website for more information

Green Fest Expo by Project Enybody New
Sun, Aug. 30, 2-5 pm , Mitchell Park Community Center 
Learn from interactive activities and experts the simple ways your family can be more green in a typical day, from greener recipes to digitized carpooling to Palo Alto's water cycle and restriction. Enjoy live music, eat free ice cream and race through the scavenger hunt and relay to win amazing prizes.

Leadership Fellows New
Wed, Sept.2-Dec.2, 5:30-6:30pm, Mitchell Park Community Center
Join YCS Leadership Fellows and become leaders through service with our afterschool program for high school students. Students will lead community events, research community needs, and respond with a service project that they create together. This is a great opportunity to meet people who share a passion for community involvement, have a positive impact, and make your voice heard while having an awesome time!
Cost: $125, scholarships are available.  Contact Ashley,, or go to YCS website to sign up.

Matemagos Math Tutoring in Spanish: Help Kinder-1st Graders with Math, Gain Valuable Experience Volunteering New
Thurs, Sep. 10-Nov.12, 3:30-4:30pm, Escondido Elementary, Palo Alto
Tutor Orientation Sept. 3
Matemagos provides a great opportunity to work with Kinder and First Grade Spanish Immersion students in math through fun and engaginggames. Tutors gain valuable experience through service while using their Spanish language skills and giving back to the community. Contact for details.

Community Service Opportunity: Coastal Clean Up Day New
Sat, Sept. 19, 9 am-noon, Baylands (Matadero or Adobe Creek)
The City of Palo Alto is hosting two Coastal Clean Up sites to clean up litter in the Baylands. Please go to to sign up and be sure to bring your waivers.Three hours of community service will be available.

Calling all teens!  Rock your entrepreneurial spirit and join DesignFarm! New
Wed or Thurs , Sept. 23 - Dec. 17, after school, Mitchell Park Community Center
Ever wonder how people come up with great ideas? We'll show you how using the design thinking process!  Do you have an idea but are feeling overwhelmed about how to move it forward? Connect with mentors to move your idea forward. In our program, we don't want to talk about design thinking, we do it!  Harness you natural creativity to define why and when, and our mentors will show you how and when to make it real. Whether it's a widget, a social problem, or something for your own personal development.
Join us this fall. For more information and registration visit or email

Stanford Sleep Study
We are currently conducting a study to help teens (14-18) go to bed earlier and wake up earlier.  The treatment involves use of a light device that is placed by the child's bedside and flashes periodically throughout the night. Teens also meet for four sessions with a licensed psychologist at Stanford University to learn about sleep and strategies to improve sleep. The paid study requires completing a sleep diary daily for five weeks. Please contact the Zeitzer Laboratory at teensleep@stanford.eduor (650) 725-7767.

Summing Up Europe - London & Paris during Spring Break, 2016 
Tour Leader:  Deanna Chute, Paly Math Teacher
This is a unique, mathematically-themed, international travel opportunity for high school students. We will spend three days in London, including daytrips to Bletchley Park and Hampton Court Palace.  Then, after taking the Eurostar across the channel, we sill spend three days in Paris, including an excursion to Chartres and the Loire Valley.
Students will see and appreciate mathematics beyond textbooks. Math is everywhere; it is a human endeavor shared by all cultures. Your child will step outside the classroom and engage with the mathematical world firsthand, appreciating its history, experiencing its beauty and seeing its connection to a variety of fields of study.  In addition, this incredible opportunity will help your child navigate new situations with a broader global perspective, build self-confidence and give them a life changing experience. More information at:
or send an email to: 
Innovate! Entrepreneurship Course for Teens
Interested in knowing what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur but don't want to deal with the risks and time commitment of starting your own business? Through Innovate!, you will be paired with an up-and-coming start-up and act as a market research intern. Every week, you will attend a two-hour class where you will learn about basic business concepts and give progress updates to the start-up you are assigned.  If you are interested in participating in this class, please sign up soon. There are nine spots available. The course starts August 27 and ends October 22. Meetings will be at the Mitchell Park Community Center every Thursday from 6-8pm. Sign up at
About the Paly LinkaboutPalyLink

The Paly Link is a Paly PTSA publication, emailed on Sundays, except during school breaks and holidays. Changes will be highlighted as New/Updated/Corrected.


Deadline for submittals: noon on Saturday, the day before publication. Flyers must be submitted by noon on Thursday. Items run no earlier than 3 weeks before the event.

To submit an item, send to palylink@paloaltopta.orgSee submission instructions here. Include a header or title line, then a line listing the date, time and location of the event. Follow with a brief (2-4 sentence) description of the activity, with the most important information first.  List email, contact information and web links last.  Items are published at the discretion of the editors. 

--Shuchi Grover and Carlene Kemmerer, Paly Link Editors
--Bala Aiyar, Paly Link List Manager and Gordon Craig, Paly Link Webmaster 

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