01182018Thu
Last updateWed, 17 Jan 2018 2pm

Igniting challenge-based learning


Courtesy of Erik Zhang
Erik Zhang, third from left, attends his first hackathon last year with friends, from left, Anson Bridges, Jonathan Liu, Gage Rodriguez, Dean Tan and Nakul Shenoy.

Last year, as a freshman, my friends and I were in California Pizza Kitchen for a late lunch. We had just completed our first hackathon (DeveloperWeek, the biggest professional hackathon in the U.S.), an event where we worked on a project for 24 hours and competed for five finalist spots among hundreds of mostly professional developers. With minimal sleep the night before, we were exhausted, having just finished our pitch. We looked forward to returning to our beds at home.

While waiting for our pizzas, we got a call asking us to pitch as a top-five finalist. Confused, we told the caller that he had the wrong number and hung up. Minutes later, we received an email from DeveloperWeek asking us to return to the venue to pitch as a finalist.

LAHS students host parent tech workshop

TechBridgers, a Los Altos High School student club, hosted a parent technology workshop at Monta Loma Elementary School in Mountain View before the holiday break.

The high school students had previously taught coding at Monta Loma as members of another club, Computer Engineers of the Next Generation. Club members said they realized that many of the elementary school students’ parents didn’t know how to use email and were unable to keep up with school updates online. That led the students to form TechBridgers and sponsor the smartphone and communications workshop for the parents.

Schools Briefs

LASD trustees hold office hours

Los Altos School District trustees Jessica Speiser and Bryan Johnson have scheduled office hours to answer questions and listen to parents’ concerns.

Speiser’s office hours are slated 9-11 a.m. Feb. 14, March 8 and April 4 at Starbucks at Rancho Shopping Center, 654 Fremont Ave., Los Altos.

MVLA welcomes new associate superintendent, postpones Facilities Master Plan vote two weeks

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved the hiring of Leyla Benson as associate superintendent for personnel at its Jan. 8 meeting. Benson will begin in her new role Monday.

As associate superintendent, Benson will administer personnel responsibilities including the recruitment, selection, hiring and orientation of all new staff, and will ensure that the district conforms to its policies, relevant laws, contracts and agreements. She also will advise Superintendent Jeff Harding, district administrators, managers, principals and assistant principals on personnel-related matters.

Parents air concerns about 10th school site & intermediate-school English curriculum


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos School District has targeted the Old Mill/Safeway property, which includes an office building, above, for a 10th school site. The property owners aren’t willing to sell, however.

Fifteen residents and an attorney spoke at the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees meeting Jan. 8, primarily expressing their opinions on the prospect of the district invoking eminent domain to acquire property for a 10th school site.

Homestead band blossoms through Rose Parade


Photo by Jim Zumsteg/ Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High’s marching band performs at the Rose Parade Jan. 1.

The 216 members of the Homestead High School Mighty Mustang Marching Band had a 3:30 a.m. wake-up call for the Jan. 1 Rose Parade, but they were up even earlier. They had to evacuate their Pasadena hotel three times for false fire alarms the night before.

The sleep-deprived band members were too excited to feel tired as they departed at 6:15 a.m. for the staging areas of the parade, according to Connor Chow, a freshman who is part of the drum line.


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