Panther Tracks
May 27, 2019
JLS News
Important Dates:
May 27 - Memorial Day - No School
May 29 - 8th Grade Great America Trip
May 31 - Last Day of School | Minimum Day | 8th Grade Promotion
8th Grade Promotion Ceremony / Party
Friday, May 31
The 8th grade promotion ceremony will begin promptly at 5:30 m with the promotion dance/party beginning 15 minutes after the ceremony ends and concluding at 10:30 p.m. Students should arrive by 4:45 pm and they will line up on the driveway between JLS and Fairmeadow. The promotion ceremony will take place on the JLS field adjacent to Mitchell Park. All family members are welcome to attend the ceremony. No tickets will be issued. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis.

Previous years’ experiences indicate that parking is problematic. We encourage you to utilize the parking lot at Mitchell Park and Hoover Elementary, in addition to parking at JLS and Fairmeadow Elementary. 

A professional photographer will take a picture of each student as they receive a promotion certificate. We ask that parents not block aisles or the front of the stage area to take photos.

Dress for Promotion Evening: Promotion is a very special time in your child’s life, and we ask you to help us monitor your child’s evening attire so that their clothing is appropriate for the ceremony. Recommended attire:
  • Students should be prepared for cooler evening weather – a sweater or jacket is recommended.
  • Students may wear slacks or suit trousers with a collared shirt. Ties are encouraged.
  • No hats, T-shirts, or jeans.
  • Skirts or dresses should be no shorter than mid-thigh.
  • Dresses with spaghetti straps are permitted.
  • Strapless, backless, and/or low-cut dresses that are not age-appropriate are not allowed.
  • Select shoes that will be appropriate for walking across the grass field and stage. 
For students who are interested, there will be an opportunity to change into more comfortable clothes and shoes for the dance. Students may not go barefoot at the party. 
2019-20 JLS Site Council Seeks New Parent Representatives
JLS is looking for additional parents to volunteer for the Site Council. The Site Council is a representative body made up of parents, staff, and students. It is responsible for developing and monitoring the Single Plan for Student Achievement, allocating resources to meet the goals identified in the plan, and providing broad-based input on school effectiveness. Membership on the Council consists of four parents, four students, and eight staff members. Parent membership consists of three elected positions and one position appointed by the PTA. Elected parent members of the Site Council hold office for two years, provided that they continue to be a parent at JLS; otherwise the term of office is one year. If you have questions about the Site Council and/or are interested in serving, please contact Judy Lukensmeyer, Site Council Coordinator.
8th Grade Promotion Party
Friday, May 31
The Promotion Party, after the Promotion Ceremony, is an 8th grade tradition at JLS. Typically, 6th and 7th grade parents sign-up to help since 8th grade parents are at the ceremony. When your child is in 8th grade, the 6th and 7th grade parents will return the favor. It's also your chance to preview what's in store for your child at the end of 8th grade. 8th grade parents are welcome to volunteer if they like. Volunteers are needed to help this event run smoothly. Short on time but want to help? You can also sign-up to bring strawberries, marshmallows, etc. for the chocolate fountains, for example. Please sign-up here.

This year's theme is Willy Wonka. To help bring the Willy Wonka theme to life, go to Amazon to purchase candy complimenting the Willa Wonka theme. Drop off candy at JLS before the event. Please label "2019 8th Grade Promo Party Donation." Questions? Contact the promotion party team, Mayma Raphael & Kyle Edwards, at
Middle Schools Bicycle Skills Classes
Would you like to help your student join the huge numbers (over 50%!) of middle schoolers who bike to school? To ensure students acquire the bike handling skills needed to safely navigate the roadways, Wheel Kids Bicycle Club, Inc. has teamed up with the City of Palo Alto’s Safe Routes to School Program to offer a Middle School Bike Skills Class. Among other topics, students (and accompanying parents) will learn: basic traffic laws, how to navigate busy intersections, the most common types of bike crashes and how to avoid them, and how to position yourself on the road. This half-day class is offered in June, July and August. Registration is open; click here for details. Space is limited. Sign up today!
Back to School Helpers Needed
July-August 2019
It’s the strong community of volunteers that helps make JLS a great place for our children to feel safe, happy and welcome, and for the staff to feel appreciated. A new school year is right around the corner, so we need many hands to get the ball rolling! JLS is looking for parent volunteers to help with back to school (BTS) events, such as form sorting, Jump Start Day, etc. If you'd like to join the team, please let us know by signing-up. Once the BTS event coordinators have the event sign-ups ready, they will reach out to you so you can select specific shifts. Thanks for helping us plan ahead!
Help Wanted: JLS eNews Co-Editor and Webmaster for 2019-2020
JLS PTA is looking for a volunteer familiar with Constant Contact who is willing to share editor responsibilities of the weekly JLS PTA eNews for next year. If you are interested, please contact VP Communications, Anjani Sarma. JLS PTA is also looking for a new webmaster to implement various updates to the JLS PTA website throughout the year. If you are interested, please send an email to
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.
Commuters' Corner
If your student isn't currently walking or biking to school, summer is a great time to try out the best route to give active commuting a try. Walking or bicycling to school gives children a sense of responsibility and independence, as well as time for physical activity which is associated with improved academic performance. The JLS Walk and Roll Map has the best suggested routes, shows crossing guard locations, and estimates the time it takes to get to JLS from various locations.

For our soon-to-be high schoolers, the Gunn and Paly websites have lots of information about walking and rolling to school, as well as VTA transit and shuttle services. Our school commutes are quite congested, and getting any single occupancy vehicle off the road makes a difference. Active commuting, transit, and carpooling are great solutions to congestion and pollution. For commuting safety tips, including lots of new information, please visit the Safe Routes to School Educational Resources page.
Each Friday! Superintendent's Weekly Board Update
Read Dr. Don Austin's Weekly Board Update, published new each Friday on the District website.
PAUSD Annual Update/Registration
All parents were sent instructions on doing their annual update and registration. These were sent via Infinite Campus to the email you have on file with the district. If you have not completed your update, please look in your email inbox/junk/spam for an email with the subject line "Single sign-on, Annual Data Update, & CAASPP Score delivery" dated Monday May 6 from Derek Moore. Parents/caregivers must complete this process by June 30, 2019. If you need assistance with this, please submit a request via Let’s Talk on our website or leave a message at 650-665-5320, or contact Derek Moore.
PAUSD Climate Survey
All parents were sent an email encouraging them to participate in the2019 PAUSD Family Climate Survey. This email was sent through by Don Austin (via Qualtrics) to the email address you have on file with the district. This survey is different from surveys in the past, and we ask that you take the time to fill out the survey; it should take about 10-15 minutes. The survey can be taken in Spanish and Mandarin as well. Follow this link to the take the Survey.
Critically Important Meeting to Advocate for our Schools - Full Mitigation Stanford GUP
Thursday, May 30, 6 pm, County Planning Commission Hearing, Palo Alto City Hall
Call to action: Turn out is critical at the May 30 County Planning Commission hearing on the proposed Stanford GUP mitigations. This is the only Commission hearing scheduled in Palo Alto on the proposed GUP mitigations. Our PAUSD/PTA ask of Stanford is simple: fully mitigate the impacts of the Stanford GUP on our PAUSD schools. To achieve full mitigation for our students and our schools, we need a BIG show of support. We will have signs.  Click here to see the County proposed mitigations. If you are interested in joining our PTAC GUP 2 advocacy committee, please email
PTAC - Final General Association Meeting of the Year - Job Well Done & Thank You
On May 22 we had our final General Association Meeting of the year where we had a packed house. We wrapped up items from our very productive year, and extend a special shout out to the PTAC Executive Board and Collaborative Committees for all their hard work. We also want to thank all our 17 member school PTAs/PTSAs for their work and support of community this year. Your work has indeed made a difference with our students, teachers, administrators and our school families. Well done!
PTAC - Spring Training - Welcome To Join! Calling All Volunteers Now ...
Immediately following the General Association meeting on Wednesday, May 22, was the annual Spring Training. We met and greeted many new people (and they met each other) and noted many elementary school parents stepping up. Amazing! Thank you. Next year promises to be an exciting year. We are an entirely volunteer run organization. So please, if you would like to serve in any capacity at your school PTA, please visit your school PTA webpage and connect. Some committees will meet over the summer. Connect with us or email us at:
PTAC Wishes You and Your Family A Great Summer
All of our school PTAs are busy planning for next year and preparing the back to school packets, PTA budgets, and calendar of events. From all of us at PTAC, thank you everyone for your volunteering in the 2018-2019 school year. We cherish your hearts of gold in what you do for all our kids! Have a great summer. Our first eNews issue for the 2019-2020 school year will be mid-August. In the meantime, kindly visit the PTAC Facebook page and PTAC website for summer updates at
Tap Twice on your iPhones for Special Education
Your voice is needed now! The California legislature is voting NOW on a bill AB 428 to increase CA K-12 special education funding.  growth in special education funding does not match the growth in enrollment of special education pupils. Sign up for PTAC mobile alerts to advance this bill with two taps on your iPhones (Tap 1: Open alert; Tap 2: Message Sacramento). Download the Click My Cause iPhone app, select “Palo Alto PTA Council”, tap “allow” notifications, and tap on your red “act now” buttons in the app. Every time the bill needs your voice, there will be a red badge on the app. Android users: email your support for AB 428 to Asm. Berman and Sen. Hill.
Mondays at Tacolicious
Didn't get enough Tacolicious earlier in the year? Monday nights in May benefit Greene Middle School and PTAC. PTAC (which includes all the schools, so please go eat!) and Greene Middle School get a percentage of cash totals from customers who eat out on Monday nights at Tacolicious Palo Alto (632 Emerson Street). Help support our schools and local businesses -- it's now so easy to get a quick Monday meal (eat in or take out). Thank you to Audrey Gold and Kory Cogdill and the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce (Iris Chen) for putting this together.
Community News
Help Kids in Grades K-5 with Reading, Writing, Math Next Year
Sign up to volunteer in September to work with K-5 students attending school in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park. Just an hour a week, and you can make a real difference in a student’s life. You’ll go to the same classroom for an hour every week during the school year to help with reading or math. Studies show that you will make real change in a community where over 80% of students are performing below grade level. We provide training and coordination. Info and sign up, visit or email Director Keri Tully.
Cantabile Youth Singers Registration and Auditions Open Now Through August
Community youth chorus with levels for girls and boys ages 4-18. Students experience: The joy of singing with artistry and mastery; fun, friends and community that last a lifetime; comprehensive music program nurturing personal growth, creativity, leadership and health; world-class faculty; national and international touring and competing; collaborations with professional artists. Singers in grades 3-12: call today to arrange an audition. Singers in grades K-2: register for a class now by visiting website below. To audition or to learn more, please contact us: or 650.424.1410. Classes located in Los Altos |
2019 Palo Alto Speech and Debate Camp
Program Dates: Session 1: June 3–June 7, 2019; Session 2: June 10–June 14, 2019
Registration for the fifteenth annual 2019 Palo Alto Speech and Debate Camp is now open! Year after year, students leave Palo Alto Speech and Debate Camp with improved public speaking, research skills, critical thinking abilities, and self-confidence. Taught by Palo Alto’s nationally ranked high school Speech and Debate team, our unmatchable 4:1 student-to-counselor ratio provides students with individualized attention and support. Whether a student is a first-time camper with a fear of public speaking or a seasoned competitor, PASDC offers customized curriculum for campers of all experience levels with our basic and advanced tracts. This year, look forward to a new-and-improved curriculum which blends quality instruction with fun camp activities. We have revamped our Advanced Speech and Debate content to better engage returning campers and help them move beyond foundational skills to prepare for competing at the high school level. Students come away with not only with a newfound confidence in their own abilities but also with public speaking and research skills that will equip them for success in high school and beyond. We also make sure that our counselors engage the campers and encourage them to make friends and enjoy their time at camp through camp-wide games in the afternoon that allow campers to build bonds with one another in a fun environment.  Visit our website to see full course offerings and other program details. Please contact with any questions you may have.
Palo Alto Art Center Offers Art Camps for All School-Aged Children K-12th
Unleash the creativity in your child by signing up for one of our week-long summer camps. We offer camps in painting, printmaking, mixed media, photography, and sculpture, starting June 10.  Camps are held Monday through Friday from 9-11:30 am and 12:30-3 pm at the Art Center (1313 Newell Road) and the Mitchell Park Community Center (3700 Middlefield Road). Please review the Enjoy! Summer Camp catalog for camp schedule and information. Questions? Please contact Rebecca Passarello (650-617-3509). 
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.