Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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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

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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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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Schools chief shares what it takes to get into college


Photo By: John Hammerschmidt/ Special to the Town Crier
Photo John Hammerschmidt/ Special To The Town Crier

Barry Groves, superintendent of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District, shares with a Rotary Club of Los Altos audience June 13 how much harder it is to get into college these days.

Barry Groves, superintendent of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District, shared his insight on what it takes to get into college these days at a Rotary Club of Los Altos meeting June 13.

Groves, who became schools chief in 2006, heads a district where 96 percent of graduating seniors pursue college degrees. Both Mountain View and Los Altos high schools prepare students to submit competitive college applications, he said. According to district statistics, both high schools ranked a 10 out of 10 on the California Academic Performance Index, and their average scores on Advanced Placement exams and the SAT and SAT II are among the highest in the state.

The criteria for college acceptance have changed since the last generation, said Groves, noting that perfect grades and test scores are no longer sufficient. Instead of seeking well-rounded individuals, he added, selective colleges now seek graduates from well-rounded high schools, those that provide environments where their teams win championships.

Groves outlined the current criteria for acceptance: rigor of courses, high school grades, SAT/ACT/AP/SAT II scores, socioeconomic diversity, development case, legacy/connections, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, interviews and class rank.

“Do you think you would be accepted in the college of your choice today?” he asked the audience.

After he presented criteria for acceptance today, most attendees acknowledged that they probably wouldn’t, because selective colleges are now much more difficult to get into.

Competitive students are advised to enroll in the most challenging courses offered at their high schools. Scholarships based on merit have decreased, Groves said, and are offered primarily on the basis of need today.

Stanford University is the most selective school in the U.S., according to Groves, as it accepts only 5.8 percent of applicants, while San Jose State University accepts 75 percent; Santa Clara University, 54 percent; and UC Berkeley, 20.8 percent. While most college costs are high, he said, they vary considerably, with Stanford and Santa Clara costing approximately $43,000 per year. The public universities – UC Berkeley and San Jose State – cost much less, as does Foothill College. Groves said Foothill is one of the best community colleges in the state, “an outstanding value for excellent instruction.”

For more information, visit www.mvla.net.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

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