Wed11262014

News

Los Altos Briefs

City earns bike-friendly status

The League of American Bicyclists recently recognized Los Altos as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community.

This is the second time the organization awarded Los Altos the bronze-level designation – one of fou...

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Schools

Schools Brief

Foundations seek funds on Giving Tuesday

Local educational foundations are recognizing Giving Tuesday – a national campaign scheduled Tuesday – as an opportunity to raise funds for school programs.

Giving Tuesday is a movement that prov...

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Community

Community Briefs

Downtown treelighting set for Dec. 5

The annual downtown Los Altos treelighting ceremony is scheduled 6 p.m. Dec. 5 in Community Plaza, corner of Main and State streets.

The Los Altos Village Association, First Friday organizers and the downtown gr...

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Sports

Sports on the Side

Time for Turkey Trot

Mountain View High’s fifth annual Spartan Turkey Trot is scheduled Thursday morning on the school track. Race proceeds benefit the athletics program. The 5K run is set to begin at 8:30 a.m., the 5K walk at 8:35 a.m., the k...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Foothill thanks Rotary for support for vets

The Foothill College Veterans Resource Center’s open house Oct. 30 was spectacularly successful, thanks to the spirit and dedication of the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

Foothill College cares deeply fo...

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

Business Brief


Rendering courtesy of Sares Regis Group

Exercise studio coming to Colonnade

Exercise studio barre3 is scheduled to open next year at the Colonnade development at 4750 El Camino Real in Los Altos, pictured above.

The studio – which combines b...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

RICHARD CAMPBELL WAUGH

RICHARD CAMPBELL WAUGH

Richard Campbell Waugh of Los Altos Hills, Ca. died at home October 31, 2014 surrounded by his family and caregivers.

Dick was born 1917, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He earned a BS in chemistry from University of Arkansas and a PhD in organic chemi...

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Travel

Weekday Wanderlust highlights the joys of armchair travel

Weekday Wanderlust highlights the joys of armchair travel


Dan Prothero/Special to the Town Crier
Travel writers at the October gathering of the Weekday Wanderlust group include, from left, James Nestor, Kimberley Lovato, Paul Rauber, Marcia DeSanctis and Lavinia Spalding.

Travel writing should either ̶...

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Stepping Out

'Fox on the Fairway' swings into Los Altos; Ludwig comedy runs through Dec. 14

The Los Altos Stage Company production of the Ken Ludwig comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is scheduled to run through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” takes audiences on a rom...

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Spiritual Life

Volunteers participate in LAUMC Compassion Week

Volunteers participate in LAUMC Compassion Week


Courtesy of LAUMC
Los Altos United Methodist Church’s Compassion Week volunteers collaborate on a community service project.

More than 1,000 local volunteers commemorated Compassion Week at Los Altos United Methodist Church Oct. 20-26.

During...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Ventana offers twist on traditional education


Courtesy of Ventana School
Students at Ventana School in Los Altos participate in an outdoor lesson.

Tucked away on a quiet, hilly campus in Los Altos, Ventana School is working to redefine school for the 21st century.

Ventana’s approach to education does not include new iPads or a state-of-the-art science lab. Founded in 2005 by Christ Episcopal Church, Ventana is one of the few schools in the country practicing the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education, where teachers guide children to make their own discoveries.

Marcy Barton, Ventana’s new curriculum director, brings more than 40 years of teaching experience and expertise on curriculum, which she honed via her own independent lab school, Creekside Learning Lab, and her work with Stanford University’s d.school, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, which emphasizes “design thinking.”

“What is remarkable is that our hands-on, inquiry-based program for children meshes so well with Marcy’s approach,” said Nicole Bien, Ventana’s head of school, of Barton’s experience with design thinking and her “disruptive model of curriculum integration through big ideas.”

The concepts carried out in Ventana’s classrooms are open-ended and encourage exploration. They are full of natural and art materials – there are no commercial learning kits or toys.

“The call in the 21st century is for kids who can think, solve problems, collaborate and communicate,” Barton said.

Barton will help teachers improve their skill at developing curriculum across all disciplines based on “big questions,” like “Who am I?” or “Is conflict a means to an end?”

At Creekside Learning Lab, Barton showed that without workbooks or traditional test prep, and with little direct instruction, students exceeded the standardized test scores of their peers in traditional classrooms. Students were “off the charts” in science, she said, adding that after only one year in the program, they became more independent, empathetic and articulate.

Both Barton and Bien said they take care to distinguish Ventana’s project-based approach from what many people know as “school projects.” At Ventana, they said, a project is based on a student’s own line of inquiry rather than a teacher’s assignment, and the process is more important than the product.

The school’s Third Place Speaker Series has scheduled a discussion on project work with author and educator Judy Harris Helm 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Graham Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

Ventana School is located at 1040 Border Road, Los Altos. For more information, visit ventanaschool.org.

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