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News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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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

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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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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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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