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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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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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