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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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BCS shares program with international community


Emily Nelson/SPecial to the Town Crier
Singapore Ministry of Education officials observe Bullis Charter School fifth-graders working in the school’s FabLab.

Bullis Charter School officials last week hosted 19 representatives from the Singapore Ministry of Education at the Bullis Center for Innovation on the Blach Intermediate School campus.

The ministry officials visited the Bay Area to learn about emerging innovations in education technology and to view best practices in implementing them.

The visiting delegation received a tour of ongoing activities at the campus, including the school’s FabLab and MakerSpace.

The FabLab, geared toward upper-grade students, houses technologies that teachers integrate into students’ project-based learning units. The visitors watched fifth-graders use 3-D printed materials to construct and design a prosthetic hand.

The MakerSpace, aimed at students in the lower grades, promotes design and assists students in designing prototypes for solutions to real-world problems. Fourth-graders used the space to create prototype solutions to protect the leatherback turtle at different life stages.

The Singapore ministry officials observed Bullis Charter School teachers as they integrated all aspects of the curriculum into student projects. Fifth-grade teacher Jessica Morgan explained how students are currently learning about the human body and its functions.

While studying the human body, students learn geometry via scales and measurements of the prosthetic hand project; technology via the 3-D design program and printer used to develop parts of the prosthetic hand; art via sculpting a clay structure with wires that imitate muscle action in the body; and physical education as they learn to tone different muscle groups and explore how the muscles work together.

The guests viewed an eighth-grade class creating a school of the future during an Intersession, a three-week intensive unit outside of the regular day-to-day curriculum, a major part of the junior-high program at Bullis Charter School.

The school of the future project was part of a national competition for which students had to meet a number of criteria, including enhancing the school’s green efforts and making it an engaging place to learn. As part of the Intersession, professional architects and interior designers discussed the requirements with students, and the class visited a green home. The students used SketchUp, 3-D modeling software, a laser cutter and a 3-D printer to assemble their schools of the future.

Tweaking the Blach campus

Because the Los Altos School District is asking Bullis Charter School to adhere to the rules outlined in its Facilities Use Agreement, the charter school has had to tweak how its uses space on the Blach campus.

Alison Schwartzbaum, the Bullis Charter School assistant principal who oversees the Bullis Center for Innovation, said the center’s program originally was designed to house students for three-week periods. The school split the upper and lower grades so that older students could use the FabLab while the younger students used the MakerSpace for their various project-based learning units.

The charter school’s communications director, Emily Nelson, said the rotations on the Blach campus were assigned after the school community determined that the design of the K-8 integrated program was non-negotiable. She added that parents and teachers wanted to make the Blach campus a site everyone could experience, not a permanent separation from the main charter school campus at Egan Junior High.

The district’s Facilities Use Agreement prescribes that kindergarten through third-grade students should not use the Blach facilities and places enrollment caps on both campuses.

In an effort to comply with the agreement but still maintain the charter school’s original vision for the program this year, Schwartzbaum said the MakerSpace site would relocate to the charter school’s space at Egan. It will not have a designated classroom there but will move from room to room as upper grades rotate onto the Blach campus.

“It’s rough trying to do MakerSpace on a cart,” Schwartzbaum said. “So it’s a bummer, but we are making it work.”

Because lower grades will no longer be using the Blach campus, fourth- through eighth-graders will have more time there than originally scheduled.

Schwarzbaum said the schedule, still under development, is “difficult,” especially given the enrollment caps.

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