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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Updated 11:28 a.m.:

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill R...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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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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