09202017Wed
Last updateTue, 19 Sep 2017 5pm

Politics as sport: Fight night, every night

I’m not a boxing fan by any stretch of the i...

MVLA discusses homework limits

MVLA discusses homework limits


Town Crier File Photo
Mountain View Los Altos Un...
Physicist illuminates deep concepts for TheatreWorks production

Physicist illuminates deep concepts for TheatreWorks production


Partridge

Richard Partridge is a physicist by...

LA History Museum hosts Smithsonian exhibition on Asian immigrants, laborers

LA History Museum hosts Smithsonian exhibition on Asian immigrants, laborers


Courtesy of U.S. Library of Congress
Japanese-Am...
Annual Silicon Valley Tour de Coop cycles into town Saturday

Annual Silicon Valley Tour de Coop cycles into town Saturday


Town Crier File Photo
Participants in last year’...

LA Stage Company's 'Crucible' continues at Bus Barn Theater

The Los Altos Stage Company’s production of “The C...

Los Altos resident realizes childhood dream of reaching 100

Los Altos resident realizes childhood dream of reaching 100

Ever since Muriel Perkins was 3 years old, she has...

MV Spartans take tourney

MV Spartans take tourney


Courtesy of Dave Winn
Members of the Mountain Vi...

News

"Green" office project clears latest hurdle

The color green made a triumphant return to the Los Altos council chambers Thursday as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission voted to recommend the approval of the First Street Green’s commercial design review application to the Planning and...

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Schools

Mentor Tutor Connection welcomes new hires

Los Altos moms Ann Wolff and Christy Flahavan have dedicated much of their time to helping students. Now they are furthering their involvement with the educational system by working for Mentor Tutor Connection, a local nonprofit organization that sup...

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Community

Community Briefs

Pancreatic cancer walk set for Saturday

The second Silicon Valley Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk is scheduled Saturday at Shoreline Park in Mountain View.

Registration is slated to begin at 8 a.m. and the walk at 9 a.m. just beyond the park gates....

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Sports

Sports on the Side

LA native Bishop takes 4th in aquathlon

Los Altos resident Kevin Bishop placed fourth in the U23 division of the Aquathlon World Championships last month in Penticton, British Columbia. The graduate of Monta Vista High and Stanford University came ...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

First Street Green offers ‘sensible growth’

Having had the experience of serving on the Los Altos City Council for approximately 12 years, I have reviewed many requests for approval of major projects. However, I have never witnessed the ...

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Special Sections

Survivor shares Japanese internment experience

Survivor shares Japanese internment experience

The creative writing assignment was two-fold: Personalize a story the teacher had read to the class about a bank robbery and then write something about herself that might be of interest to others. For the latter, Jeanette S. Arakawa wrote about her t...

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Business

What to do about the Equifax breach

Nearly half of all Americans have had their most sensitive personal data stolen from Equifax, one of the country’s three credit-reporting bureaus.

The hack represents the largest single data breach in U.S. history, and we should all be very co...

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People

Wedding: Abby Damm and Kevin Conner

 

Abby Damm and Kevin Conner were married June 3 at Holbrook-Palmer Park in Atherton.

The bride is the daughter of Barbara Althoff and Jack Damm of Los Altos Hills. She graduated from Mountain View High School and earned bachelor’s and mas...

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News

"Green" office project clears latest hurdle

The color green made a triumphant return to the Los Altos council chambers Thursday as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission voted to recommend the approval of the First Street Green’s commercial design review application to the Planning and Transportation Commission.

Representatives of Lo...

Readmore

Business

What to do about the Equifax breach

Nearly half of all Americans have had their most sensitive personal data stolen from Equifax, one of the country’s three credit-reporting bureaus.

The hack represents the largest single data breach in U.S. history, and we should all be very concerned about the ramifications.

Readmore

Sports

Sports on the Side

LA native Bishop takes 4th in aquathlon

Los Altos resident Kevin Bishop placed fourth in the U23 division of the Aquathlon World Championships last month in Penticton, British Columbia. The graduate of Monta Vista High and Stanford University came in just 11 seconds behind the bronze medalist in t...

Readmore

Community

Community Briefs

Pancreatic cancer walk set for Saturday

The second Silicon Valley Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk is scheduled Saturday at Shoreline Park in Mountain View.

Registration is slated to begin at 8 a.m. and the walk at 9 a.m. just beyond the park gates. The 5K route is accessible to strollers and those...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

First Street Green offers ‘sensible growth’

Having had the experience of serving on the Los Altos City Council for approximately 12 years, I have reviewed many requests for approval of major projects. However, I have never witnessed the review of a project with as many community benefit...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

LAUMC performs with Viva la Musica

Musicians from Los Altos United Methodist Church and the Viva la Musica choir and chamber orchestra are scheduled to perform a “Baltic Tour Farewell Concert” 2 p.m. Oct. 1 at the church, 655 Magdalena Ave.

The musicians will join forces under the baton of Shulami...

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People

Wedding: Abby Damm and Kevin Conner

 

Abby Damm and Kevin Conner were married June 3 at Holbrook-Palmer Park in Atherton.

The bride is the daughter of Barbara Althoff and Jack Damm of Los Altos Hills. She graduated from Mountain View High School and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University. She is...

Readmore

Schools

Mentor Tutor Connection welcomes new hires

Los Altos moms Ann Wolff and Christy Flahavan have dedicated much of their time to helping students. Now they are furthering their involvement with the educational system by working for Mentor Tutor Connection, a local nonprofit organization that supports area schools.

Readmore

Special Sections

Survivor shares Japanese internment experience

Survivor shares Japanese internment experience

The creative writing assignment was two-fold: Personalize a story the teacher had read to the class about a bank robbery and then write something about herself that might be of interest to others. For the latter, Jeanette S. Arakawa wrote about her time in Rohwer internment camp in Arkansas.

 ...

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Stepping Out

Pops performs Sunday at Flint Center

Pops performs Sunday at Flint Center

Courtesy of California Pops Orchestra
California Pops Orchestra and the Black Tie Jazz Band reunite Sunday for “Tribute to the Big Bands.”

California Pops Orchestra, the country’s only all-request pops orchestra, joins forces with the Black Tie Jazz Band for its season opener, ...

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Obituaries

ROBERT (BOB) NEWELL WORCESTER

ROBERT (BOB) NEWELL WORCESTER

IN MEMORIUM

(1-Year Anniversary)

June 18, 1922 - September 13, 2016

Cupertino, CA.

Bob leaves behind many family members and so many friends, all of whom greatly miss him on this 1 year anniversary of his passing... September 13, 2016.

“Milkshake Bob” was one of his favorite nicknames (from h...

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Magazine

Senior team targets keys for a satisfying life: Socializing, exercising mind & body top goals

Senior team targets keys for a satisfying life: Socializing, exercising mind & body top goals

Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
Seniors sing carols at the Grant Park holiday party. The Senior Commission aims to expand such programming.

 

Gary Anderson is a former member of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills Senior Commission. Following is his update on local senior services a...

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Montecito: optimizing early-childhood learning


Photo By: Photo courtesy of Montecito
Photo Photo Courtesy Of Montecito Children engage in indoor and outdoor play as well as hands-on learning at Montecito School in Los Altos. The preschool has contracted with early-childhood specialists to refine its curriculum.

Montecito School, a Los Altos preschool, has teamed up with early education experts to enhance the school’s quality through an in-depth examination and assessment of its teaching practices.

Montecito, in operation since 1960, boasts a play-based philosophy that aims to bridge children’s toddler years to a successful future in elementary and secondary education.

After reviewing new national and regional guidelines for best practices in early childhood learning, Montecito officials contracted with local early-childhood specialists Gayle Mayekawa of Foothill College and Dionne Clabaugh of De Anza College to optimize Montecito’s curriculum at the preschool level.

Mayekawa, an education consultant for child development programs, specializes in leadership coaching, curriculum planning and program design.

Clabaugh, Montecito’s new curriculum coordinator, focuses on early-education instructional design, teacher mentoring and program assessment.

For the tools to measure best practices, Montecito looked to the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s “Early Learning Master Plan,” developed by a team of approximately 100 education professionals, civic leaders and child-development advocates in 2010. The plan envisions a teaching model that takes a developmental approach to learning and aligns preschool curriculum with the K-3 curriculum.

“Historically, Montecito has sought to provide a quality program. We now aim to increase this quality by building a program around early education best practices,” Clabaugh said. “All classes and activities will support each child’s development in an environment of teacher-facilitated and child-initiated activities that are both developmentally and culturally appropriate.”

Traditionally, Montecito provided a preschool curriculum designed around a play-based philosophy where children learned basic academic skills through hands-on experiences. With Clabaugh and Mayekawa’s efforts toward creating a program based on early-learning best practices, the school plans to continue and strengthen the tradition of play-based curriculum as initiated 50 years ago.

Montecito’s mission isn’t limited to its school – it’s intended for the community as a whole. The preschool educators want to provide a model for the local educational community for how to best provide early-childhood learning.

“We understand that a high-quality learning environment requires strategic planning of activities, assessment of room arrangement and high-quality instructional practices that demonstrate respect for each child,” said Erin Mobley, Montecito School director. “Our commitment is to be a ‘Model of Excellence’ for the community of Los Altos.”

 

What to look for

in a preschool

Mayekawa shared tips on what local parents should look for in a preschool program. No. 1 is how teachers interact with the children.

For example, parents might observe a child play with blocks, dump them and walk away, line them up, stack them or use them to represent an experience.

“Given how children use the blocks, the teacher will make comments about what the child is doing so that children are exposed to concepts of math, science and language,” she said.

A teacher could support problem-solving by challenging the student to make the same type of structure with blocks of different shapes, and then discuss the changes.

At Montecito, teaching professionals now have an early-childhood education expert in their classrooms to observe and coach their interactions with students.

Continuous professional development is important to keep educators informed and up to speed with best practices, Mayekawa said.

Mayekawa and Clabaugh are collaborating with Montecito teachers this year to empower them with specific classroom strategies and to coach them on how to design activities that best support child development.

 

Indoor and outdoor play

“When parents look at a school, they should look for indoor and outdoor learning environments which are safe, accessible and inviting to young children while also being developmentally (age) and culturally appropriate,” Mayekawa said.

The outdoors in early-childhood learning is “one of the most valuable areas for children to develop skills that will serve them throughout their lives,” Mayekawa said.

On an ordinary day at Montecito, children could be riding bikes, pulling wagons, playing on a tree swing, walking a balance beam or looking for insects on the 2-acre campus.

But indoor education is important as well, and Montecito features six different indoor learning centers: blocks, dramatic play, science, listening/writing, music and story/quiet corner.

The learning centers are furnished with age-appropriate materials accessible to promote exploration, a skill that supports language acquisition and cognitive development.

“Children develop at different rates, so materials in each learning center reflect varying degrees of challenge and are rotated to provide new opportunities to support children’s intellectual growth,” Mayekawa said.

Mayekawa and Clabaugh said they are confident that, given the commitment of Montecito’s staff, the preschool can become a model school to serve not only its member families, but also the community. School officials hope the program becomes a training environment for early-childhood education students working to become teachers.

“Montecito has chosen the path of educational excellence, and seeks to refine the philosophy and teaching practices to model each area of quality in the Santa Clara County Master Plan,” Mayekawa said. “This level of education should be accessible to all children and to all families in our community.”

Montecito School is located at 1468 Grant Road in Los Altos. For more information, visit www.montecitopreschool.com.

Reader Comments

The Town Crier presents:
The 129th Rescue Wing Aids in Hurricane Harvey Rescue

Read the full story about the rescue here.
 

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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.

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