Tue08192014

News

Candidates finalized for schools, councils

Candidates finalized for schools, councils


Election season is officially in full swing, as eligible candidates for various city council and school district seats met Friday’s filing deadline set by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

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Schools

Local tutoring center earns kudos in parent magazine's reader poll

Local tutoring center earns kudos in parent magazine's reader poll


Courtesy of Kobad Bugwadia
Mathnasium’s fourth-grade participants, from left, Jenna Haynie, Maelle Allanic, Tanish Gupta, Hamza Raza and David Chan, join instructors to celebrate their achievements in the tutoring center’s national TriMathlon this ...

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Community

Back to School: Tips, kits and a poem

Back to School: Tips, kits and a poem

Los Altos teachers are readying their rooms this week for the coming onslaught of students, and parents are digging back out lunch boxes and pencil cases (do we still use those?) And here in the newsroom, Town Crier writers offered a slate of back-to...

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Sports

Tyler Johnson: From hills to Heat

Tyler Johnson: From hills to Heat


Courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images
Shooting guard Tyler Johnson, a St. Francis High graduate from Mountain View, signed with the Miami Heat last week.

Signed by the Miami Heat as an undrafted free agent last week, rookie Tyler Johnson faces an uphill ba...

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Comment

Really, why the, eh, consolidation?

The recent merger (consolidation?) of the newly formed Friends of Los Altos (FOLA) and the 14-year-old civic organization Los Altos Neighborhood Network (LANN) left us puzzled.

A July 28 press release, which did not state plainly that the merger fol...

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Special Sections

Globetrotting – one glass at a time

Globetrotting – one glass at a time


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Take a tour of the world from your own picnic table with a selection of regional wines, above. Argentina’s white wines, left, pair well with a choriza pizza (see recipe on page 35).

I’m taking a...

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Business

Torrey Pines Bank names regional president

Torrey Pines Bank names regional president


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Torrey Pines Bank recently named Fred Voss its regional president for the Bay Area. The bank has branches at 20 First St. in Los Altos, above, and in Oakland and Southern California.

Torrey Pines Bank last week appointed ...

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Books

People

SHERRY DYCE BARBA

SHERRY DYCE BARBA

Sherry Dyce Barba, dear wife of Peter Barba, and a longtime resident of Los Altos, passed away peacefully on July 27, 2014, at The Forum, in Cupertino. She was surrounded by loving family members and visited continuously in her last weeks by a legi...

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Travel

Bergama bound: A visit to newest World Heritage site

Bergama bound: A visit to newest World Heritage site


Photo Eren GÖknar/ Special to the Town Crier
The amphitheater in Turkey’s ancient city of Pergamon, now known as Bergama, overlooks the Bakirçay River valley, left. The city’s ruins also include the Temple of Trajan.

It was 90 F during t...

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Stepping Out

No ‘Water’ shortage in Mtn. View


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Elliot (Miles Gaston Villanueva) struggles to understand Odessa’s (Zilah Mendoza) online activity in TheatreWorks’ regional premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Water by the Spoonful....

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Briefs

Meditation group meets at Foothills Congregational

A Weekly Meditation Practice group meets 7-8:15 a.m. Tuesdays at Foothills Congregational Church, 461 Orange Ave., Los Altos.

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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