Panther Tracks
January 14, 2019
JLS News
Important Dates:
January 14 - Site Council Meeting
January 15 - Sixth Grade and Group Photos | PTA General Meeting
January 16 - Connections Coffee
January 21 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No School
January 25 - Sixth Grade Parent Network Coffee | Student Store Open
PTA General Meeting
Tuesday, January 15, 8:30 am, Room 40
Please join us for some coffee at the General PTA meeting. We will update you on budget expenditures and vote in the Nominating committee. All are welcome!
JLS Student Directory
Printed Directories have arrived! Please drop by the JLS office to get your copy.
Commuters' Corner
With more wet weather in our immediate forecast, we all need to do our part to keep our students safe. Here are some rainy day safety tips:
  • Plan for extra commute time so you don’t feel rushed.
  • Cut down on the increased congestion by planning a rainy day carpool in advance or have your student walk to school.
  • Slow down and use extra caution when driving in school zones and along commute routes including the library and park parking lots.
  • Biking in the rain can be a lot of fun -- especially when you pass the long line of cars waiting to get to campus! Bicyclists should make themselves visible with lights and reflective clothing. Click here for tips for staying dry, visible, and safe while biking in the rain.
Stanford is putting on a Safe and Confident Winter Biking class on Thursday, February 7th, which is appropriate for experienced adult, middle- and high-school bicyclists. You can find a course description and register for the class by searching for “winter biking” on the Stanford Health Improvement Program website.
Each Friday! Superintendent's Weekly Board Update
Read Dr. Don Austin's Weekly Board Update, published new each Friday on the District website.
Let's Talk - Easy Click to Send Your Comments  
PAUSD has announced a new online feature to allow parents, teachers, neighbors, and anyone to give direct feedback to our Superintendent, Don Austin. In case you missed it from the Superintendent Weekly Friday Communication, here is the link again.
Adolescent Vaping: From Theory to Data to Prevention
Tuesday, January 22, 7:00-8:30 pm, Hay Market Theater at Palo Alto High School
Novel tobacco/nicotine products, such as vapes and pod-based products such as Juuls, have entered our local market, and our adolescents are now using these products more often than combustible cigarettes.  
In this talk, organized by the Palo Alto PTA Council, Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher will provide detailed information on the new tobacco/nicotine products available, including e-cigarettes/vapes and Juuls and other pod-based systems, as well as the e-juices that accompany these products. She will discuss recent research on reasons for adolescent use of these products, including flavors, appeal, marketing, perceived reduced harm, ease/place of use, stress, anxiety, and depression, and misperceptions. She will also present advocacy efforts occurring in the US to reduce vaping use. Please join in this conversation with your family! Learn about what our community can do to change the course. Get equipped with evidence-based resources and intervention ideas that can be used to help prevent and reduce youth use of these novel products. Questions/ comments:
PTA Council Call for Action: Stanford G.U.P.
Parents, Staff, Teachers, and Neighbors. The PTA Council is urging you to write to our elected officials at the County Board of Supervisors, Joe Simitian, Cindy Chavez, Mike Wasserman, Dave Cortese, and Susan Ellenberg. You need to write to them and tell them how the Stanford G.U.P. will negatively impact your daily life and your children’s education in Palo Alto elementary, middle, and high schools. Now is the critical time.

Here are some suggested topics
  • Please support the PAUSD Board of Ed Resolution (adopted 11/14)
  • Stanford needs to pay annual payments to PAUSD for every students coming from Stanford tax exempt housing because our school funding comes from property taxes (Community Funded).
  • Stanford to provide a 4-acre parcel of land to build an elementary school in the neighborhood of new housing development (Sand Hill/Quarry Road environs).
  • Stanford needs to pay developer fees (sometimes called impact fees) for the mitigate the cost of building a new school. 
Please support the PTA Council Asks (adopted 11/14):
  • Stanford to contribute to Safe Routes To School (SRTS) Program by providing for safe intersections manned by crossing guards, safe bike paths, safe rail crossings at Churchill Ave., East Meadow, and Charleston Road.
  • Stanford to contribute to oversubscribed after school childcare on PAUSD school sites, particular at Nixon Elementary, Escondido Elementary, and new elementary school (to-be built).
  • Housing for PAUSD Teachers and Staff.
  • Schedule future G.U.P. meetings when school is in session for the meaningful school community engagement. 
Please support this “call to action” with just a tap on your phone:
  • Download the FREE Click My Cause app from the App Store 
  • Create your account, selecting "Palo Alto PTA Council" as your organization.
  • Tap “allow” to allow notifications. We will send you a mobile alert every time we need your voice.
  • In the app, tap the red “act now” button to message the board of supervisors.  
For more info:
Inclusive Resource Fair of Summer Camps & After-School Activities
Thursday, February 7, 6:30-8:30 pm, JLS Middle School Auditorium, 480 East Meadow Dr
Join us to meet 30+ providers of summer camps and after-school activities, who will present information about their programs and be available to talk 1:1 with parents. All providers can accommodate some students' special needs, either in an inclusive environment or a special program, and can discuss specific accommodations. Some offer on-site enrollment. Information on financial assistance available, and many providers offer fee waivers based on need. Organized by the Palo Alto Community Advisory Committee for Special Education, and co-sponsored by the Palo Alto Council of PTAs. Childcare and snacks for kids will be provided. Please RSVP for childcare to For more information, including the complete list of vendors as it is finalized, go to

Feria de Recursos de Campamentos de Verano y Actividades Después de Clases
Jueves, 7 de febrero, 6:30 - 8:30pm, En el auditorio de la Escuela Media JLS, 480 East Meadow Dr
Acompáñenos a conocer más de 30 provedores de campos y actividades de verano y por la tarde para después de clases, quienes estarán dando información sobre sus programas y que también estarán disponibles para hablar 1:1 con los padres. Todos son proveedores que pueden admitir a niños con algunas necesidades especiales ya sea dentro de un ambiente incluyente o dentro de un programa especial y podrán conversar sobre ajustes especiales que su hijo/a pueda necesitar. Podrán existir opciones de inscribirse en el lugar. Habra información sobre asistencia financiera y muchos proveedores ofrecen becas que se adaptan a sus necesidades. Se contará con servicio de guardería y botana para niños, por favor RSVP para el cuidado de los niños a Para mayor información, incluyendo la lista de proveedores cuando está completa, ingrese a: Organizado por el Palo Alto Comité Asesor Comunitario para la Educación Especial y co-patrocinado por el Consejo de Palo Alto de PTAs.
Community News
Pressure-Proof Kids! A Parent Education Event
Monday, January 14, 7-8:30 pm, Fairmeadow Elementary MP Room, 500 East Meadow Dr
Kiran Gaind, Modern Parent Coach, will share her work on Four Surprising Secrets to Raise Happy, Successful Kids in a Pressure Cooker World . Free event, open to all PAUSD families. Free babysitting provided in Fairmeadow Library — event for adults only. Contact: Kristen Podulka with questions. More information on  The Connected Family website.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration
Monday, January 21, 10 am - 1 pm, Mitchell Park Community Center 
The City of Palo Alto and Youth Community Service are celebrating diversity through an afternoon event in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This event will give the Palo Alto and surrounding communities the opportunity to celebrate diversity through the words and inspiration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The festivities include local organizations, guest speakers, service activities for youth & teens, music, performances, and a legacy exhibition displaying different periods of the civil rights movement. For more information, please visit the Youth Community Service website.
Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO) Winter Concerts
Enjoy a series of winter concerts (January through March) featuring PACO's talented young musicians. You'll be fascinated by the array of works ranging from Baroque, Classical, Romantic to Contemporary by well-known composers Mozart, Handel and Dvorak just to name a few. All concerts are admission-free and for the entire family to enjoy.
  • Sunday, January 27, 3 pm, Palo Alto Art Center, Preparatory Orchestra
  • Sunday, February 3, 12 pm, Palo Alto Art Center, Superstrings Orchestra
  • Sunday, February 10, 3 pm, Cubberley Theatre, Sinfonia Orchestra
  • Sunday, March 3, 3 pm, Palo Alto Art Center, Debut Orchestra
  • Saturday, March 9, 7:30 pm, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Senior PACO Orchestra
For more information and the 2018-19 season calendar, please visit or email
Paly Robotics Summer Camp 2019 
July 22-26 and July 29 - August 2, 9 am - 3 pm, Palo Alto High School Robotics Lab
Sessions: Robot Design & Hardware, Programming, Entrepreneurship & Website Design, Animation & Graphic Design. This year, Paly Robotics will be offering two weeks of our annual summer camp for middle school students (incoming 6th - 9th graders). Paly Robotics hopes to spark interest and start future high school students on a path in science, technology, engineering, art or mathematics (STEAM). Registration is open. Campers can sign up for one of four sessions per week. To sign up or to get more information, go to If you have any further questions, please email
Art Classes at the PA Art Center or Mitchell Park Library
Unleash the creativity in your student by signing up for one of art classes at the Palo Alto Art Center or the Mitchell Park Community Center. We offer classes Monday-Saturday in painting, drawing, ceramics, photography and jewelry and metal working for students ages preschool through high school. Please review our brochure for class information and live links to registration. Classes will run January-March. Questions? Please contact Rebecca Passarello (650-617-3509). 
Service Learning & Community Service Opportunities
Wednesday, January 16, 8:30-9:30 am, Greene Middle School, Multipurpose Room
The Greene Parent Networks invite you to a presentation by Youth Community Service (YCS) on how to get students involved in meaningful Service Learning projects where students learn the nuances of a community issue, address that issue with a service project and then reflect on the process. Students learn how to examine real life issues and implement solutions gaining self-confidence from feeling that they made a difference in the community. Opportunities at the Palo Alto Humane Society and other organizations will be presented.
Navigating School District Services for Children with Special Needs (All Ages)
Tuesday, January 15-22, 7-9 pm, Parents Place, 200 Channing Ave
This workshop is intended for parents who have children with any type of special needs or suspected special needs. Come and learn about how and when a child would qualify for special education services in the public school system. Tips on how to develop a collaborative relationship with the school district will be discussed, as well as what recourse parents have when parents and school district personnel don't agree about the assessment process. With Diana Blank, LCSW. Fee: $90. Register here.
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JLS eNews is a publication of the JLS PTA. Previous editions and Publication Guidelines can be found at the JLS PTA website. If you have any questions or would like to make a submission, please contact Christy Moision, JLS's eNews editor.