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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Simplify the back-to-school experience


Courtesy of Ana Homayoun
Streamlining supplies while back-to-school shopping and developing strategies for success are key to heading off potential problems in the classroom.

Every fall, usually in October, parents call my office because their children are struggling with organization, time management or specific school subjects.

These children often start the school year off with grand plans, shiny pencils and multiple Trapper Keepers (they’re back!), but somewhere within the first six weeks of school, the best-laid plans go awry. It could start off with a missing homework assignment or a forgotten test or quiz, and suddenly, people start to panic – and by people, I mean both parents and children.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Following are some simple strategies for back-to-school shopping and preparation that can contribute to a successful school year.

• Streamline supplies. Many students buy too many school supplies without really thinking about how they will be used on a day-to-day basis. Ideally, students should keep all of the needed supplies for each class in one place. We find the most success with simple hardback binders, five tab dividers and reinforced binder paper. Accordion folders offer too much opportunity for things to get lost by being placed in the wrong compartment, and bulky multiple subject binders promote co-mingling, with the English homework ending up in the History section, causing unnecessary scrambling.

• Tracking all activities is essential. How is your child going to keep track of homework, tests, long-term assignments, sports practice, music lessons and family commitments? Figuring out a way to keep track of everything reduces stress and increases productivity. We’ve found that many of the online apps and options for managing homework aren’t effective in helping students remember all of their different activities and assignments. Typically we suggest written planners, even for students who attend schools that have tablet or laptop programs.

• Develop a routine and track progress on a regular basis. Taking even 30 minutes as a family to think through daily routines around homework, socializing and chores once school starts can be a helpful way for everyone to listen to one another’s goals, hopes and plans. Every week, devote a few minutes to helping children look at what worked well over the past week and what they would like to do differently in the upcoming week. Tracking progress on a weekly basis allows enough room for growth and improvement without too much time passing by if a problem needs addressing.

• Create space for success. Where is your child doing his or her homework? For many students, it is helpful to get out of their bedrooms and do the work in a public living space. This is particularly true for students who primarily use a tablet or computer – they can also be their biggest distraction.

• Focus on wellness. It is easy for children to become overscheduled, but they are still growing and need time to rest, relax, be bored and chill out. Sleep and food choices affect every aspect of their school experience, and they must be prioritized in back-to-school planning. What will lunches look like? What is the sleep routine?

• Seek support if needed. If your child needs outside support to find and achieve his or her own version of success, don’t let too much time pass before identifying potential resources.

Ana Homayoun is founder of Green Ivy Educational Consulting, 302 Main St., Suite 201, Los Altos. For more information, visit greenivyed.com or anahomayoun.com.

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