Panther Tracks
March 4, 2019
JLS News
Important Dates:
March 4 - Parent Visitation Day
March 5 - PTA Executive Board Meeting
March 7 - Latte Cart
March 8 - Student Store Open | End of Third Quarter
March 11 - No School
March 12 - Spring Sports Parent Meeting
March 13 - 6th Grade Band Concert
March 14 - Connections Coffee | Orchestra Concert
Parent Visitation Day
Monday, March 4
Parents are welcome to visit classrooms and see all aspects of the school. We ask that you follow these guidelines:
  • First come to the office to sign in, get a name tag, map, bell schedule and teaching schedule.
  • Please do not let your visit interrupt the teaching and learning process.
  • Please do not talk to the teacher, students, or other parents in the classroom (unless the teacher invites you to do so).
  • When you have finished your visit, please return to the office to sign out.
Author Visit
Soman Chainani is coming to JLS! The author of The School for Good and Evil will visit Monday, March 18th. If you are interested in purchasing the newest book in the series, A Crystal of Time, or one of the earlier volumes, fill out this form and bring it to the library as soon as possible. Or order it online from Books Inc. Soman Chainani joins Books Inc. and JLS Middle School in celebration of the fifth installment in his New York Times-bestselling School for Good and Evil series, A Crystal of Time. (Ages 8+)
Important Advocacy Information
JLS Families, please note important information from the Palo Alto Council of PTA’s (PTAC) regarding the Stanford General Use Permit (GUP). More information can be found in this flyer.
Scroll down to the “PTAC News" section for information on the March 14th Protect Our Schools Rally & Town Hall Meeting. More information about the rally can be found in this flyer.
Read, learn, advocate.
JLS Science Fair
Tuesday, March 19, 7:00 pm, JLS Cafetorium
Join the JLS community for a fun-filled evening of science, with students proudly showing off their work in poster sessions and some fun science and technology-related demonstrations. All JLS students are invited to participate.  Register by Thursday, March 14.

The Science Fair is a great way for students to develop and apply an interest in science and the scientific method. Participants exercise their curiosity, approach real world problems in a systematic and scientific way, and apply creativity towards questions that interest them. Students should have heard more details about the fair from their science teachers, and be thinking about their projects. Once research is complete, students will present their work in poster format (poster boards generously donated by Synopsys). Each participant will be interviewed by a JLS parent or other member of our community, and participate in peer reviews. All student presenters will be able to exchange their peer reviews for a participation prize, and will be entered into a prize drawing for a number of terrific items (books, museum passes, food, etc).

The Science Fair cannot happen without lots of parent (and other community) volunteers, especially interviewers who are willing to listen to students sharing their projects and provide constructive positive feedback during a brief non-competitive, informal interview. Want to help?  Sign up online. In addition to Synopsys, the Science Fair is sponsored by the JLS PTA, and also supported by donations from a number of local businesses. Questions? Contact Maria Derrick, Science Fair Chair.
JLS Student Store Open This Friday 
Is your teen interested in buying a JLS hoodie, t-shirt or sweatpants against cost, or does he/she needs a pen, pencil, eraser or any other useful school supplies? The JLS Student Store has it all. The JLS Student Store is a small store on the JLS campus and is a joint cooperative effort by the Student Council, Students, Parent volunteers and the JLS administration. The JLS Student Store sells at cost. The JLS Student Store on campus will be open  this Friday during lunchtime Cash or checks only. The store is run by JLS students as a club, if your student is interested in participating have them contact  Tom Jacoubowsky. If you are interested to volunteer at the store email the  JLS Student Store Folks. Opening dates: March 8 & 22, April 12 & 26, May 10.
2019 JLS Service Day
Wednesday, March 20, 1:30-5:00 pm (adult chaperones), 1:45-5:00 pm (student volunteers)
The JLS PTA and YCS (Youth Community Service) have organized service projects for student and adult volunteers.  We have room for a few more student volunteers. Registration will close on March 6th. We are looking for 17 more parent volunteers to make this event happen. Please consider joining your student in an afternoon of service!  Parent chaperone sign-ups are here. In order to participate, your student must submit a signed PAUSD permission slip.  Permission slips are available here. Permission forms are due by March 6th. Students will be removed from their signups if they have not returned their permission forms by March 6th. Please let us know if you have any questions. For more information on JLS Service Day, click here. Questions? Email
Middle School Parent Ed Event: “Sources of Strength”
Monday, March 25, 7-8:30 pm, JLS Cafetorium
Gunn’s Sources of Strength team will be hosting an event focused on how parents, educators, and students can work together at home and in our schools to prevent the epidemics of bullying and suicide. Research has shown we can do this by creating a preventative culture in our community—one that fosters an epidemic of Hope, Help, and Strength. The evening will provide an overview of the Sources of Strength program and give attendees an opportunity to learn more about a few specific aspects of the Sources of Strength wheel. Student and staff leaders will talk about ways to spread positive messages throughout the community. Key to the success of the Sources of Strength program is developing awareness and a shared vocabulary at home and in our community so that families can support the work we are doing in our schools.
Save the Date: Tuesday, April 30th
Parent Education Event: Julie Lythcott-Haims - How to Raise and Adult
Mark your calendars for author and Palo Alto parent Julie Lythcott-Haims who will be speaking at JLS on Tuesday, April 30th at 7 pm in the cafétorium for a parent education event based on her New York Times Bestselling book How to Raise and Adult. From her website: "In How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims draws on research, on conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers, and on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean to highlight the ways in which overparenting harms children, their stressed-out parents, and society at large. While empathizing with the parental hopes and, especially, fears that lead to overhelping, Lythcott-Haims offers practical alternative strategies that underline the importance of allowing children to make their own mistakes and develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and inner determination necessary for success. Relevant to parents of toddlers as well as of twentysomethings - and of special value to parents of teens-this book is a rallying cry for those who wish to ensure that the next generation can take charge of their own lives with competence and confidence."

Hope you can join us! Julie’s message is powerful and a wonderful reminder that our children grow from multiple opportunities for small failures and independence.
Commuters' Corner
A new research brief from the University of Minnesota "sought to better understand the connections between daily travel behavior and emotional well-being." The researcher "examined how trip mode, duration, purpose and companionship impacted a person’s well-being in the United States." The first finding? "Cycling is the happiest mode of transport."

If you need tips on bike safety, helmet fitting, and much more, visit the City of Palo Alto's Safe Routes to School Education Resources page. Let's ride!
Each Friday! Superintendent's Weekly Board Update
Read Dr. Don Austin's Weekly Board Update, published new each Friday on the District website.
Parent Ed Night: Learn the Basic ABCs About LGBTQ+ Youth 
Wednesday, March 13, 7 pm, Fletcher Middle School Café
This Parent Ed event is organized by the Fletcher Middle School PTA and staff, and is open/relevant to anyone, not just Fletcher families. Our event will be about understanding gender identities, sexual orientation, how to support LGBTQ+ youth in our community, and more. Open to all families with the purpose of supporting youth so we can be an inclusive and  welcoming community. Translation (Spanish and Mandarin) available if requested 3 days in advance. Please email to request. Special guests include Miriam Stevenson (PAUSD’s Director of Student Services), Valerie Royaltey-Quandt (Greene Middle School Principal), Melissa Howell (Fletcher Middle School Principal), Diana Hernandez and Ryan Fouts (Project Outlet Education Coordinator and Program Director), Shounak Dharap (PAUSD Board of Education member), Sally G. (former PAUSD parent), and Julian G. (former PAUSD student). Also available: City and school library resource tables and great prizes! Have a question you’d like addressed?  Fill out this anonymous form by Monday, March 11th.
Protect Our Schools Rally & Town Hall Meeting 
Thursday, March 14, 5:30 on, Rally Outside Palo Alto City Hall, 250 Hamilton (parking underground); 6:30 pm, Stanford GUP Town Hall Meeting
Show your support for our schools at the “Protect our Schools” rally, before Supervisor Simitian’s Town Hall Meeting on the Stanford GUP. Stanford is adding hundreds of new students to our schools but offering no revenues to cover the cost of their education. Hundreds of new students without new revenues means - for the next 17 years - increased classroom sized, teacher and staff layoffs, and program cuts. Bring your family, your friends, and your best signs. Free pizza.  RSVP here so we know how much pizza to order.
PTA Council Annual Elections
The PTA Council Nominating Committee is currently seeking both nominations and expressions of interest from individuals in the community who would like to learn more about becoming a member of the PTA Council Executive Board and Collaborative Committees for the 2019-20 school year. We are looking for community members who have a passion for improving the educational experience of all students and preferably have experience on their school PTA or site council. Talk to us about stepping into a leadership role or how you can participate on a committee. Contact the Nominating Committee at:
PTAC - Advocate For Our Children NOW - Fully Mitigate
Stanford General Use Permit
Calls to Action:
  1. Attend March 14 Rally to Protect our Schools, Palo Alto City Hall, 5:30 pm;
  2. Message the County and Stanford to Protect our Schools;
  3. Write Letters to the Editor;
  4. School PTSA letters;
  5. Attend February 28 hearing in San Jose.
On Wednesday, February 13th, Joe Simitian spoke at the General Association Meeting. He applauded the community's response to voice our concerns for mitigation. If you haven’t done so yet, now is the time to message the County and Stanford, on the Click My Cause Two-Tap App (select Palo Alto PTA Council) or sign our online petition. He encourages us to attend the upcoming 3/14 Town Hall on the Stanford GUP and write to newspapers/media so that non-school families know about Stanford's gigantic proposed building impact. School impact may not be squarely considered by the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR), however, the Development Agreement (DA) currently being negotiated may contemplate additional conditions to mitigate impact to our schools, including per student funding, neighborhood school construction (Quarry Road), Safe Routes to School (SRTS), and after school childcare. A copy of the Final EIR is at local libraries or online. Many schools are beginning their own letter writing campaign. To learn more or volunteer, please email: For resource materials, visit the PTAC website.
PTAC - Teacher Housing Project - Supervisor Joe Simitian 
At the Wednesday, General Association Meeting, Supervisor Joe Simitian spoke on the Teacher Housing Project to help build affordable teacher housing near California Ave/Caltrain Station. Five local school districts, including PAUSD, are being asked to contribute funds to help power the project's funding. PAUSD Board of Education has held a meeting on this. County land has already been secured. Additional funding is being negotiated. Please help spread the word and send comments to PAUSD Board of Education and the County of Santa Clara if you are supportive of our schools, our children, and our teachers. We are the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and "T" for Teachers is in our middle name. Contact:
Summer Camps Info Now Available on PTAC Website
Looking for a summer camp in your neighborhood or at one of our Palo Alto Unified school sites? Now you can find it at the PTAC website. Camp providers listed on this page host activities/summer camps at PAUSD Schools, and pay rental fees to our district. These rental fees help to defray the cost of running our schools while providing local opportunities for our kids. PTA Council does not endorse one camp over another. This service is offered to give parents an easy way to find out what is being offered and where. Please contact the PTAC Webmaster to recommend updates to this information. There is no charge to providers to be listed.
Community News
Art on the Horizon: Youth Confronting Climate Change 
Submissions Due March 22
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area governments are now accepting submissions for their first art contest for youth. The contest asks the question: What can you do to stop climate change? MTC and ABAG are looking for digital art submissions that demonstrate what you, your family, friends and community can do to combat climate change. Open to Bay Area residents between the ages of 13 and 23, submissions will be judged in two categories based on age group (13-17 or 18-23). Details and submission requirements are on the MTC’s website.
Palo Alto Art Center Summer Counselor-in-Training Application Now Available
The Counselor in Training applications for the summer of 2019 are now available. Summer Camp Counselors in Training (CIT) are volunteers (12-17 years old) who assist professional art instructors in the day-to-day running of the Children’s Fine Art summer camps. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and must be returned to the Palo Alto Art Center via mail or in person drop off. Only complete applications will be considered. Spots fill up fast, get your application in as soon as possible!
Paly Journalism’s Summer Camp MAC - Registration Now Open
July 29 to August 2, Palo Alto High School’s Media Arts Center
Palo Alto High School’s Camp MAC is excited to host a week-long summer program for rising 8th and 9th graders that will allow students to gain a new perspective of the media through workshops and interactive activities. Camp MAC is directed by students of Paly's nationally renowned journalism program, who are preparing a unique summer program focused on the process of interviewing, writing and editing in addition to learning to use new digital skills. Prominent guest speakers will also be featured during the week. All proceeds go towards funding the Media Arts Boosters that support Paly’s journalism programs.  Register online. Email us or see our website for more info.
Art Classes for Middle School Students at the Palo Alto Art Center
Unleash the creativity in your student by signing up them for an art class at the Palo Alto Art Center or Mitchell Park Community Center. We offer classes that focus on painting, drawing, illustration, ceramics, photography and jewelry making.  Online registration opens on March 7 for Palo Alto Residents.  
Questions? Please visit our website or contact Rebecca Passarello (650-617-3509).
Brand New Spring Break Camp: Sample Five Different Camp Experiences in One Action-Packed Week 
Monday-Friday, April 1-5, 9 am - 3pm, City of Palo Alto Centers
The City of Palo Alto is excited to offer a brand new Arts, Science and Recreation Spring Break Camp. Sample five different camp experiences in this action-packed week. Campers (ages 8-13) will spend each day immersed in a different activity. Locations include the Palo Alto Art Center, Skyhawks and the Junior Museum at Cubberley Community Center, Palo Alto Children's Theatre, and Robotics at Mitchell Park Community Center.  Registration is open now (Course #13713) and the fee is $550 for residents and $632 for non-residents.
4-hour Kidpower Safety and Self Defense Workshop for 6-12 Year-Olds with Their Adults 
Saturday, March 25, 9 am - 1 pm, PACCC Ventura Activity Center, 3990 Ventura Ct
Families practice personal safety skills together for handling every day emotional and physical safety problems and self-defense skills for stopping emergencies. Visit the registration page or call (800) 467-6997 ext. 0# or email for information. Classes fill up quickly, so let us know right away if you're interested! 
Scout Troop 50 Open House
Monday, March 25, 7:30-9:00 pm, The Scout Fire Circle, Lucie Stern Community Center
Palo Alto Scout Troop 50 is having an open house in order to give kids (grades 5-10) and their parents a chance to get to know Troop 50 to see if it is the right troop for them. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the troop and about scouting. For more information about Troop 50, please see the website.
Golden State Youth Orchestra Auditions for New Members 
Palo Alto-based Golden State Youth Orchestra (formerly El Camino Youth Symphony) invites musicians ages 6-18 at all levels of experience to audition for the 2019-20 Season. Advanced players are challenged with professional-level repertoire, receive support from experienced coaches and internationally-renowned faculty, and perform in concerts throughout the Bay Area. Intermediate players hone their skills and develop advanced technique, while young musicians learn to play together, follow a conductor. Auditions are heard in March and April as faculty schedules permit.  Apply online. Call GSYO at 650-665-9046 for more information.
Mindful Moms Group with Krassi Harwell
Free Intro Class Tuesday, March 12, Remaining Classes: Tuesdays, March 19 - May 28, 12-1:30 pm, 67 Encina Ave
Navigate the journey of raising kids into adults. We’ll practice yoga, meditate, and tap into the healing power of togetherness. For moms who have kids of all ages!  Registration is required for this group offered in partnership with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Scholarships available upon request. More info on the website.
Spring Women’s Wellness Group with Jalene Salus
Free Intro Class Friday, March 22, Remaining Classes: Fridays, March 29 - May 24, 10 am - 12 pm, St. Mark’s, 600 Colorado Ave
In this nourishing group, Jalene Salus will share the wisdom of Integrative Nutrition as she introduces ways to nourish your mind, body and spirit. Each week, you will discuss foods to support your unique body – and your family’s health, and align your self-care with the rhythm of the season.  Registration is required as space is limited! Scholarships available upon request. More info on the website.
Summer Camp and Activity Fair  
Wednesday, March 6, 5:30-7:00 pm, Ohlone Elementary School MP Room
Come try fun hands-on activities and discover amazing summer camps hosted by the Ohlone PTA. Free! Kids are welcome, free pizza for the first 100 people, and enter to win giveaways, prizes, and a free week of summer camp! Register early for a chance to win a week of free camp!  RSVP online.
Quick Links
eNews Publication Guidelines
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.