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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Updated 11:28 a.m.:

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 R...

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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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Foundation grant boosts LASD program


Photo By: Courtesy of Sheena Vaidyanathan
Photo Courtesy Of Sheena Vaidyanathan

Sixth-graders in the Los Altos School District demonstrate their skills in computer science at the district’s CSTEM (Computer Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) showcase last month. A Los Altos Educational Foundation grant targeted CSTEM education last year, and next year plans to fund dedicated STEM teachers at each elementary school.

The Los Altos Educational Foundation recently unveiled plans to raise $3.2 million for Los Altos School District programs next year, with an eye to enhancing the district’s science curriculum.

To determine the amount of the annual grant, foundation members survey parents and teachers to identify which programs are successful and to solicit opinions on those the schools’ community would like to add or prioritize.

The foundation will continue to fund the programs it underwrote in 2012-2013 school year, including physical education, library hours, project- and inquiry-based learning, differentiated learning to challenge all students, small-group language arts support for lower grades, reduced class sizes, music and art.

The foundation plans to increase its grant to boost the district’s science curriculum.

“Our parent community asked for an enhanced science program that capitalized on the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley,” said Kristine Bardman, foundation co-president. “With the support of the Los Altos Educational Foundation, the district is planning to do that, and more.”

Beginning in August, each district elementary school will be equipped with a lab room and a full-time Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teacher who will collaborate with class teachers to reinforce science lessons with lab-based experiments. Students across all grades will participate in a variety of hands-on science lessons in addition to the standard lessons.

Alyssa Gallagher, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said the district and the foundation decided to focus on STEM education because they heard from parents and teachers that students would perform better with more opportunities in those areas.

“STEM helps bridge those four directions,” Gallagher said. “It helps students use design thinking and project-based learning to apply them in a scientific study.”

District staff is developing the curriculum for the new STEM teaching positions. Gallagher said the new curriculum would not replace the one currently being taught, but is intended to enhance and extend current science learning in the classroom.

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