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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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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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