01242017Tue
Last updateTue, 24 Jan 2017 4pm

News

New LA council agrees to discuss proposed park

More than six hours after the Los Altos City Council welcomed its newest member, councilmembers voted narrowly in favor of entering an exclusive negotiating agreement with Los Altos Community Investments to discuss the possibility of a park and under...

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Schools

Covington hosts Abilities Awareness Week

Covington hosts Abilities Awareness Week


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Covington School sixth graders learn about fine motor school difficulties some students might have by trying to button up a coat with socks on their hands.

Covington School students gained an understanding of the struggles o...

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Community

Chaperone facilitates parent carpools to ease traffic at school drop-off times

Chaperone facilitates parent carpools to ease traffic at school drop-off times


Photo Courtesy of Shrikant Nasikkar
Los Altos resident Shrikant Nasikkar developed the Chaperone app to facilitate the process of establishing carpool rides to and from school. He said carpools are not only environmentally beneficial, but they als...

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Sports

MV boys use speed, top Mustangs 54-40

MV boys use speed, top Mustangs 54-40


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Tommy Resnick led the Mountain View High boys in scoring Friday night.

Friday against Homestead, the Mountain View High boys showed off the versatility that makes them such a dangerous basketball team.

Although the h...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Rest in peace, Dr. Hardy Jones

We lost a true Los Altos icon and a man of great warmth, artistic talent, intelligence, love and, definitely (beyond a shadow of a doubt), a positive attitude that was unmatched. Dr. Hardy Jones passed away Dec. 28 wi...

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Special Sections

Health care on demand from Mountain View service

Health care on demand from Mountain View service


Courtesy of Direct Urgent Care
Dr. Ceasar Djavaherian is the president of Direct Urgent Care.

For most doctors in Silicon Valley, melding technology and medicine means cutting-edge machines performing high-powered work backed by Sand Hill Road ventu...

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Business

New business promises spa service, without the spa

New business promises spa service, without the spa


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View resident Brooke Rankins receives an in-home pedicure from Lily Ly. Ly has a contract with Wilo Spa, a new company which offers spa services in customers’ homes. Wilo Spa opened in November and allows ...

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People

News

New LA council agrees to discuss proposed park

More than six hours after the Los Altos City Council welcomed its newest member, councilmembers voted narrowly in favor of entering an exclusive negotiating agreement with Los Altos Community Investments to discuss the possibility of a park and underground parking on First Street.

The agreement pas...

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Business

New business promises spa service, without the spa

New business promises spa service, without the spa

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View resident Brooke Rankins receives an in-home pedicure from Lily Ly. Ly has a contract with Wilo Spa, a new company which offers spa services in customers’ homes. Wilo Spa opened in November and allows customers to arrange appointments by text. About 8...

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Sports

MV boys use speed, top Mustangs 54-40

MV boys use speed, top Mustangs 54-40

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Tommy Resnick led the Mountain View High boys in scoring Friday night.

Friday against Homestead, the Mountain View High boys showed off the versatility that makes them such a dangerous basketball team.

Although the host Spartans couldn’t match the Mustangs’ size, th...

Readmore

Community

Chaperone facilitates parent carpools to ease traffic at school drop-off times

Chaperone facilitates parent carpools to ease traffic at school drop-off times

Photo Courtesy of Shrikant Nasikkar
Los Altos resident Shrikant Nasikkar developed the Chaperone app to facilitate the process of establishing carpool rides to and from school. He said carpools are not only environmentally beneficial, but they also facilitate friendships by bringing people togeth...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Rest in peace, Dr. Hardy Jones

We lost a true Los Altos icon and a man of great warmth, artistic talent, intelligence, love and, definitely (beyond a shadow of a doubt), a positive attitude that was unmatched. Dr. Hardy Jones passed away Dec. 28 with, according to his wife, Jane, a smile on his fa...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Los Altos church parishioners mourn drowning deaths of mother, child

Los Altos church parishioners mourn drowning deaths of mother, child

Courtesy of Fritz Schneider
The Claassen family

Christ Episcopal Church and Ventana School in Los Altos are mourning the loss of Polly and Trent Claassen, a mother and son who died Jan. 6 after drowning in a pond while on a trip to Kansas.

Polly Claassen was the church’s friendly, outgoing y...

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Schools

Covington hosts Abilities Awareness Week

Covington hosts Abilities Awareness Week

Traci Newell/Town Crier
Covington School sixth graders learn about fine motor school difficulties some students might have by trying to button up a coat with socks on their hands.

Covington School students gained an understanding of the struggles of fellow students with learning challenges Jan. 5 ...

Readmore

Special Sections

Health care on demand from Mountain View service

Health care on demand from Mountain View service

Courtesy of Direct Urgent Care
Dr. Ceasar Djavaherian is the president of Direct Urgent Care.

For most doctors in Silicon Valley, melding technology and medicine means cutting-edge machines performing high-powered work backed by Sand Hill Road venture capital. But for Caesar Djavaherian, M.D., medi...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks commits (to) 'Crimes'

TheatreWorks commits (to) 'Crimes'

Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s “Crimes of the Heart” stars, from left, Therese Plaehn, Lizzie O’Hara and Sarah Moser as sisters Lenny, Babe and Meg McGrath, respectively.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley is scheduled to perform “Crimes of the Heart” through Feb....

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Magazine

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Courtesy of Camping
Patrons of Camping, a restaurant in Buenos Aires, enjoy the warm weather during last year’s holiday season.

When I relocated from Mountain View to Buenos Aires in July, I knew I’d be stepping into winter. I packed my rain boots and heavy coat, and I set aside my longing for a p...

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Play the odds when applying to colleges

Thousands of high school juniors will visit prospective colleges during spring break.

One of the most important considerations in deciding which to visit is to make sure that the list is balanced in regard to acceptances. This means being ruthlessly realistic when comparing students’ statistics to those of the institution’s acceptance rate. Students should assign each college they are considering a designated slot based on the following categories.

• Highly Likely – or “Goodies” – schools. Assigned to schools for which the student’s statistics fall in the upper 10 percent of accepted students and the acceptance rate is above 40 percent. These are schools where the student is likely to get goodies – scholarship money, leadership opportunities and honors programs invitations. This is true for the 3.0 GPA student as well as the 4.0 student. Putting a student at the head of the class opens up many options.

Important note: A school below a 30 percent acceptance rate can never be a Highly Likely. Even if the student is in the top 10 percent, the odds are just not in his or her favor. So, if the student is a perfect 4.0 and scored a 2100 on the SAT, he or she is still not a Highly Likely for a school like UCLA, with a 22 percent acceptance rate.

• Likely schools. Assigned to schools for which the student’s statistics are in the upper 25-30 percent and the schools maintain an acceptance rate of 30 percent or higher, keeping the odds in the student’s favor.

• Possible schools. Schools in this category must meet one of two criteria: The student is in the middle 50 percent of their statistics, or the student is in the top 25-30 percent but the schools have less than a 40 percent acceptance rate. In other words, these are schools for which acceptance is highly unpredictable and could go either way for any given student.

• Reach schools. This category also has two ways schools can be assessed. The first is a school where the student’s statistics fall in the lower 50 percent of accepted students. The second is for schools with less than a 30 percent acceptance rate, even if the student is in the upper 10 percent. Again, statistically the odds are against the applicant.

• Lottery schools. Schools with under a 15 percent acceptance rate fall in this category. These schools regularly deny acceptance to students with perfect statistics. While there is a direct plan they employ in building their classes, it may seem arbitrary and like winning the lottery to any accepted student.

A balanced list should chart like a bell curve, including at least two highly likely, two likely and three possible schools. Additional selections can be located anywhere on the curve. Exactly how many total schools are on the list is the student’s choice, but I strongly recommend no more than 15. No one ever adds Highly Likely or Likely schools to their lists. And, adding more Reach and Lottery schools does not enhance the student’s chances of being admitted to any given school. In fact, I have found that the return on investment based on the time spent writing supplements and paying fees is negative beyond 15 applications.

Another way to assemble the list: Students should pretend that they are going to Las Vegas and playing the odds. Say you’re going to apply to 10 schools and you have 10 chips to play. You can only play each chip once, you can only place one chip on a school and (here’s the tough one) you must walk away with at least one winning chip.

Given these rules, would you bet all of your chips on tables having only a 30 percent payout? I would hope not. So book your tickets, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Hollis Bischoff earned a graduate certificate in College and Career Counseling from UCLA and is a college admissions adviser at Strategies 4 Admission LLC. For more information, call 209-0272 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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