Mon09222014

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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Forum discusses Common Core standards


Kirst

The president of the California State Board of Education discussed “State Policy to Implement Common Core Standards in Education: It Changes Almost Everything” in a Morning Forum of Los Altos presentation Oct. 1.

Michael W. Kirst, Ph.D., explained why the state Department of Education decided to implement Common Core State Standards (CCSS), national educational standards that focus on deeper learning in the areas of mathematics and language arts and aim to better prepare K-12 students for post-secondary education and/or the workplace.

The goals of CCSS are to teach students how to solve concrete problems and apply core concepts to real-world tasks, transfer knowledge and skills to new situations, read and understand increasingly complex texts, communicate ideas and collaboratively solve problems, communicate effectively in multiple media across content areas and engage in research.

According to Kirst, California adopted CCSS because it standardizes education for K-12 students who move to other states and for graduates who attend colleges or seek employment in areas where educational systems vary from California’s. The program has been adopted by 45 states since 2010.

California serves more than 6 million students, including 1.6 million English language learners, Kirst said, encompassing 1,000 school districts and employing 300,000 teachers. Statistics report that of the 62 percent of California high school graduates who attend community colleges, 54 percent require remedial math and English classes, and 70 percent fail to graduate.

“These numbers pointed out the disjuncture between K-12 learning and higher education,” Kirst said.

Part of the problem is the evaluation process itself, Kirst noted, adding that current achievement tests are multiple choice and don’t present teachers a clear idea of what students are learning. New statewide testing will be implemented electronically, with software that either increases or decreases the complexity of questions, revealing students’ understanding of current curriculum.

Complex, informational texts that emphasize analysis, reflection and research skills will replace the previous textbooks, Kirst said. In mathematics, for example, students will learn to apply critical-thinking skills to model problems. Words such as “understand,” “describe,” “justify,” “prove,” “assess,” “analyze” and “compare,” should prepare students for real-world challenges, he added.

The Morning Forum of Los Altos is a members-only lecture series that meets at Los Altos United Methodist Church. For membership details and more information, visit morningforum.org.

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