Mon10202014

News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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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

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

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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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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