Mon09152014

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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LASD board votes to move forward with extended-day kindergarten


full-day kindergarten program at Gardner Bullis School enjoy playtime on the blacktop. The Los Altos School District voted to add the program at all elementary schools.Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier

The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees Oct. 28 unanimously approved offering an extended-day kindergarten program at all elementary campuses next year. The district did not eliminate the option for a half-day program, allowing parents to select either model.

Details of the program are still under design, but district officials required a decision in time for the December Kindergarten Information Nights.

The title of the program is “extended-day” as opposed to “full-day.”

“It became clear that the term ‘full-day’ is a bit misleading,” said Nancy Davis, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “We in no way want to implement a full-day experience. We want kindergartners to thrive. We are always coming back to what is most appropriate for our 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds.”

Davis explained that the majority of incoming parents prefer an extended-day program, and that is one of the reasons the district opted to move ahead with the proposal now.

After comparing data on the outcomes of in-district students who participated in the district’s full-day program versus those in the half-day program, the differences proved insignificant, Davis said. The data don’t support one method over the other.

On that basis, she recommended that the district approve an extended-day program at all schools next year.

“Programmatic details would be designed with input from teachers, administrators and parents,” Davis said. “We are really thinking about what is an exceptional kindergarten program that we could build into a successful kindergarten model.”

Public input supported such an approach to the kindergarten program.

“I think, talking with our friends, it appears this age group is wanting social interaction longer,” said Tara Bhat, a Loyola School parent. “We don’t want to cram more curriculum into it, but additional social experience would be great. I think with a little longer day, more self-directed learning can happen.”

Trustees favored allowing parents to determine whether a half-day or extended-day program was more appropriate for their children.

“Every kid needs something different,” said Trustee Pablo Luther. “Some kids are very strongly for one or the other. With this type of program (a hybrid), we can fulfill both. On the financial side, if there were any time for this to be financially appropriate, I think this is the time.”

Trustees instructed staff to move forward with developing an extended-day program. Board President Doug Smith wants the extended-day program to remain on the agenda so that trustees receive updates on the progress of the program design.

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