Tue09162014

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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Foothill-De Anza district selected to lead Brown's statewide Online Education Initiative

The Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges recently awarded the partnership of the Foothill-De Anza and Butte-Glenn community college districts a $16.9 million competitive grant to launch Gov. Jerry Brown’s Online Education Initiative in California.

Building on the existing California Virtual Campus, the launch team will develop a one-stop statewide online education portal where California community college students can apply, register and take online courses from participating colleges.

The initiative’s goal is to increase the number of California students who earn associate degrees and transfer to four-year universities by dramatically boosting the number of online classes available and providing online students with support services to help them succeed.

Rather than requiring each college independently to define separate courses and degree programs, the Online Education Initiative will provide funding, support and best practices for all California community colleges to offer courses and programs via a statewide portal and common course management system, backed with an array of student support services.

An Online Education Initiative Advisory Committee representing all community college constituency groups will provide oversight for developing the initiative, with the faculty playing a primary leadership role.

“This is a cutting-edge vision for California,’” said Foothill-De Anza Chancellor Linda M. Thor. “I believe it will transform online learning for millions of community college students.”

Participation in the consortium of colleges delivering courses through the statewide portal will be voluntary, according to the launch team’s executive dean, Joseph Moreau, Foothill-De Anza’s vice chancellor of technology.

“California community colleges have always led the state in online education,” Moreau said. “By bringing together the talent and expertise within our own system and building on the technological innovation in Silicon Valley, we believe we can create an online education environment that will exceed anything any of us could accomplish alone.”

Moreau added that a statewide system has the potential to decrease operational costs by reducing overlap and taking advantage of economies of scale.

Scheduled to begin the project next week, the grant partners have recruited a launch team of community college veterans and will assemble a permanent staff. Moreau is slated to meet with technology companies to inform them about the project and exchange thoughts and ideas for implementation. In addition, Foothill-De Anza has been examining issues related to student retention and success online with the Stanford Graduate School of Education and intends to expand that partnership as part of the initiative.

Demand for online courses is on the rise. In 2011-2012, 27 percent of California community college students were enrolled in distance education courses – a 14.5 percent increase over the previous six years. That same year, more than 50 percent of California community colleges offered at least one degree or certificate through distance education.

Foothill-De Anza has been an early leader in distance education and was the first community college district in California to offer courses online. It has expanded its catalog of online courses to meet student demand and currently offers 20 fully online degrees. Additionally, the district is experienced in online course development and open source learning management systems. The Online Education Initiative grant is the largest in Foothill-De Anza’s history.

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