Fri10242014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Bill Gates visits Foothill to observe math program

Photo Courtesy Of Foothill College

Bill Gates, right, works with a Math My Way student at Foothill College April 20.

Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp. and co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, attended math class at Foothill College April 20.

The software pioneer visited the Los Altos Hills campus to do some homework on Foothill’s Math My Way program, designed to help students grasp basic math concepts, outperform their peers and advance faster to college-level math classes.

Nineteen Math My Way students were told in advance that a special guest wanted to observe instructors Nicole Gray of Sunnyvale, Rachel Mudge of Mountain View and Kathy Perino of Campbell, to gain a better understanding of how they teach developmental math. Students were surprised when Gates and members of his foundation walked into the classroom, but quickly got to work on the math problems at hand. Later, the students had an opportunity to talk with Gates about how the methods used in the class are making a difference for them.

Gates and his team are reviewing models and best practices in developmental mathematics education. They heard about Math My Way during a meeting at the Gates Foundation offices in Seattle with Foothill-De Anza Chancellor Linda Thor, who was invited to discuss her experiences with online learning programs.

Thor said having Gates visit Foothill “presented a wonderful opportunity for us to share a successful program that could be used in any high school or community college to give math-averse students a solid foundation that will carry them into college-level mathematics and science with confidence.”

The goal of Math My Way is to increase the number of science, math and engineering graduates at Foothill College and expand opportunities for students from historically underserved groups, such as Latinos and African Americans, to earn advanced degrees in such subject areas. The Math My Way program is instrumental in preparing students with poor math skills to advance into college-level mathematics, a gateway class for transfer to a four-year university.

Concerned that so many students arrived at the college unprepared and were not progressing in mathematics, Gray, Mudge and Perino teamed up three years ago to create a new approach to developmental math, which they dubbed Math My Way.

Math My Way groups cohorts of students with similar math skill levels. Through small-group interaction and one-to-one attention from math instructors, students are challenged with computer drills, paper drills and computer games that reinforce mathematical concepts. Math My Way is offered on a pass/no pass basis and often allows students to complete in one quarter what originally took two quarters.

Students must master each conceptual building block before progressing to the next level, and they can move quickly through the program to more advanced coursework. Students work at their own pace, so they can focus on the concepts that are most challenging for them. Instructors use live lectures and specialized software to help students build confidence and master essential concepts that build on each other. Math My Way comprises two courses – Math 230: Preparing for Algebra (5 units) and Math 231: Math-Specific Study Skills (2 units).

“If we are to increase the number of math, science and engineering degrees, we must improve our student success in precollegiate-level math classes,’’ said Foothill College President Judy C. Miner. “We were honored to host Mr. Gates and to introduce him to the outstanding work going on in our Math My Way program.”

Foothill instructors developed the Math My Way program in response to institutional research demonstrating relatively low rates of progression from the bottom levels of developmental math to college-level math success. Math My Way reimagines the typical one-instructor, one-classroom model as a flexible design centered on a series of self-paced, hands-on math learning modules.

The creativity and innovation by Foothill faculty to improve developmental education has been recognized nationally, with two Foothill instructors invited to participate in national projects in this area. In December 2009, the Gates Foundation awarded $3.6 million to the Global Skills for College Completion Project, a developmental math and writing project, for which Perino and English instructor Rosemary Arca of Los Altos were selected to participate.

For more information, visit www.foothill.edu/transfer/Math_My_Way.pdf.

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