Sat09202014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Alum Rock charter school broadens aspirations


Photo By: Traci newell/Town Crier
Photo Traci Newell/Town Crier

Javier Hernandez, a seventh-grade student at Downtown College Prep Alum Rock, uses Khan Academy resources during math class.

For students new to DCP Alum Rock, a charter school in San Jose, the sense of community is striking.

“Here is my family,” said seventh-grader Pedro Castillo. “It’s a second home. I spend eight hours a day here, sometimes more than I sleep. This school is different – it has a community. There are always people who will watch your back and teachers will actually help you.”

The Downtown College Prep program, which includes a high school campus near downtown San Jose, began as an alternative for students in low-income and predominantly Latino neighborhoods. Its model for education includes helping students reach their grade level and beyond in math and reading and preparing families for their student’s journey to college.

Currently in its second year, DCP Alum Rock serves slightly fewer than 300 sixth- through eighth-graders within the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District. The Downtown College Prep model prepares underachieving students to thrive at four-year universities. The school plans to expand through 12th grade eventually.

“I like DCP a lot because they help you focus and they don’t let you go off course,” said Mikilynna Taufete’e, the eighth-grade student council treasurer. “I went to a public school, and it is really different because people there only give you a textbook. Here they cover all learning styles – hearing, seeing and hands-on.”

The school uses any tools necessary to reach all students. Teachers are armed with a host of technology programs, including Khan Academy, to engage students and track individual progress in math and language arts.

Los Altos Town Crier Holiday Fund money enabled the school to acquire additional updated tools for the curriculum last year. The academic results for students have been climbing, Principal David Herrera said.

“Any way you analyze the data, our students had double-digit growth in math and language arts since last year,” Herrera said.

This year the school’s largest need is to upgrade the technology associated with the school’s college lab.

“We are developing pathways so we can start communicating with our eighth- grade families about their student’s college trajectory,” said Jennifer Andaluz, DCP founder and executive director. “Each student and family is going to have their own personalized path to college plan.”

Herrera said the school focuses on helping students achieve a 3.0 grade-point average – a “magic” number that increases the likelihood of acceptance at a California State University and increases the possibility of financial aid. DCP opens a college savings fund, the College 3.0 Scholarship Fund, for students earning a 3.0 GPA or higher. Students can use the money when they transition from high school to college.

Holiday Fund money this year will also enable the school to purchase technology that can prepare students and families for college.

“This is a real school dealing with real children and the real complicated issues that young adults and families in poverty face,” Andaluz said. “We feel this school is a vehicle for giving kids that chance so they can reconceive their future.”

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