Escondido eNews -- January 13, 2019
Sun, Jan 13 8:41pm
Escondido Elementary




1/14 -- PTA Meeting 7:45 am MP Room

1/18 - Escondido Spirit Day

1/22 -- Talent Show tickets go on sale before and after school

1/24 & 25 -- Talent Show at 4 & 7 pm in the MPR




Yearbook Volunteers Needed

No experience necessary, we will train and teach you how to use the program.  Volunteer and help us make this treasured keepsake.  Please contact if you are interested in creating the priceless pages of our yearbook.



Winter Biking: Sun Glare Safety Tips

You may have noticed that some mornings it is very difficult to see because the low sun’s glare is particularly intense. Because sun glare blindness can be dangerous during our school commute times in the winter months, drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians should take special care. For more information, please see the City’s new informational piece, Sun Glare Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Drivers. Together we can make our roads safe for everyone!


Be Safe. Be Seen. Bike lights are required by law for riding after dusk.

With shorter days, students are bike commuting after dusk when headlights and reflectors are required by California law. Visibility begins to decline at dusk, so bicyclists should turn on their lights as soon as light begins to fade.  A handlebar headlight makes a bicycle visible to others and illuminates the road so the rider can see. Higher powered lights do a better job, though they can be a little more expensive.  Tail lights and reflectors should be mounted where they won't be obscured by bags, panniers or other gear on the bike. Lights are superior to reflectors, so a red tail light is recommended for maximum visibility.

A white front headlight and a red rear reflector are required, although a red rear light is highly recommended. See our Bike Lights 101 tips.


Daylight is fading earlier and earlier each day. Please make sure your student's bike is properly lit so they can see and be seen.



PTA and PTAC News



**NEW** EACH FRIDAY! Superintendent's Weekly Board Update

Read Dr. Don Austin's Weekly Board Update, published new each Friday


LET'S TALK - Easy Click to Send Your Comments 

PAUSD has announced a new online feature to allow parents, teachers, neighbors, and anyone to give direct feedback to our Superintendent, Don Austin.  In case you missed it from the Superintendent Weekly Friday Communication, here is the link again.


**NEW**Adolescent Vaping: From Theory to Data to Prevention

Tuesday, January 22, 7:00 to 8:30pm  Hay Market Theater at Palo Alto High School

Novel tobacco/nicotine products, such as vapes and pod-based products such as Juuls, have entered our local market, and our adolescents are now using these products more often than combustible cigarettes.  

In this talk, organized by the Palo Alto PTA Council, Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher will provide detailed information on the new tobacco/nicotine products available, including e-cigarettes/ vapes and Juuls and other pod-based systems, as well as the e-juices that accompany these products.  She will discuss recent research on reasons for adolescent use of these products, including flavors, appeal, marketing, perceived reduced harm, ease/place of use, stress, anxiety, and depression, and misperceptions. She will also present advocacy efforts occurring in the US to reduce vaping use.

Please join in this conversation with your family! Learn about what our community can do to change the course.  Get equipped with evidence-based resources and intervention ideas that can be used to help prevent and reduce youth use of these novel products.  Questions/ comments:



Parents, Staff, Teachers, and Neighbors. The PTA Council is urging you to write to our elected

officials at the County Board of Supervisors, Joe Simitian, Cindy Chavez, Mike Wasserman, Dave

Cortese, and Susan Ellenberg (swearing in ceremony Jan 7). You need to write to them and tell

them how the Stanford G.U.P. will NEGATIVELY impact your daily life and your children’s

education in Palo Alto elementary, middle, and high schools. NOW is the CRITICAL TIME. 

Here are some suggested topics: 

  • Please support the PAUSD Board of Ed Resolution (adopted 11/14)
  • Stanford needs to pay annual payments to PAUSD for every students coming from Stanford tax exempt housing because our school funding comes from property taxes (Community Funded).
  • Stanford to provide a 4-acre parcel of land to build an elementary school in the neighborhood of new housing development (Sand Hill/Quarry Road environs).
  • Stanford needs to pay developer fees (sometimes called impact fees) for the mitigate the cost of building a new school. 

Please support the PTA Council Asks (adopted 11/14)

  • Stanford to contribute to Safe Routes To School (SRTS) Program by providing for safe intersections manned by crossing guards, safe bike paths, safe rail crossings at Churchill Ave., East Meadow, and Charleston Road. 
  • Stanford to contribute to oversubscribed after school childcare on PAUSD school sites, particular at Nixon Elementary, Escondido Elementary, and new elementary school (to-be built).
  • Housing for PAUSD Teachers and Staff.
  • Schedule future G.U.P. meetings when school is in session for the meaningful school community engagement. 

                    PLEASE support this “call to action” with just a tap on your phone:

  • Download the FREE Click My Cause app from the App Store 
  • Create your account, selecting "Palo Alto PTA Council" as your organization.
  • Tap “allow” to allow notifications. We will send you a mobile alert every time we need your voice.
  • In the app, tap the red “act now” button to message the board of supervisors. 

For more info:


**NEW**Inclusive Resource Fair of Summer Camps & After-School Activities

Thu, Feb 7, 6:30 - 8:30PM, JLS Middle School Auditorium, 480 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto

Join us to meet 30+ providers of summer camps & after-school activities, who will present information about their programs and be available to talk 1:1 with parents.  All providers can accommodate some students' special needs, either in an inclusive environment or a special program, and can discuss specific accommodations. Some offer on-site enrollment. Information on financial assistance available, and many providers offer fee waivers based on need.

Organized by the Palo Alto Community Advisory Committee for Special Education, and co-sponsored by the Palo Alto Council of PTAs.  Childcare and snacks for kids will be provided. Please RSVP for childcare to  For more information, including the complete list of vendors as it is finalized, go to


Feria de Recursos de Campamentos de Verano y Actividades Después de Clases

Jueves, 7 de febrero, 6:30 - 8:30pm, En el auditorio de la Escuela Media JLS, 480 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto

Acompáñenos a conocer más de 30 provedores de campos y actividades de verano y por la tarde para después de clases, quienes estarán dando información sobre sus programas y que también estarán disponibles para hablar 1:1 con los padres.  Todos son proveedores que pueden admitir a niños con algunas necesidades especiales ya sea dentro de un ambiente incluyente o dentro de un programa especial y podrán conversar sobre ajustes especiales que su hijo/a pueda necesitar. Podrán existir opciones de inscribirse en el lugar.  Habra información sobre asistencia financiera y muchos proveedores ofrecen becas que se adaptan a sus necesidades.

Se contará con servicio de guardería y botana para niños, por favor RSVP para el cuidado de los niños a Para mayor información, incluyendo la lista de proveedores cuando está completa, ingrese a: Organizado por el Palo Alto Comité Asesor Comunitario para la Educación Especial y co-patrocinado por el Consejo de Palo Alto de PTAs.



Community News



**NEW**Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration 

Mon Jan 21, 10AM-1PM Mitchell Park Community Center 

The City of Palo Alto and Youth Community Service are celebrating diversity through an afternoon event in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  This event will give the Palo Alto and surrounding communities the opportunity to celebrate diversity through the words and inspiration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  The festivities include local organizations, guest speakers, service activities for youth & teens, music, performances, and a legacy exhibition displaying different periods of the civil rights movement.  For more information, please


**NEW**1st Annual PAUSD Family Leadership Summit

Jan 12, 8AM-4:30PM, Paly High School

PAUSD hosts its 1st Joint Family Leadership Summit for parents of children in elementary, middle and high school. PAUSD has partnered with Palo Alto Housing, the Children's Health Council, CAC, and our very own staff, to bring you high quality sessions designed to build trust, transparency, and meaningful engagement.  This year's Summit is an all-day learning experience for ALL parents - General Education and Special Education alike. Come meet Superintendent Don Austin and hear about his vision for the District. Numerous sessions are offered under each of the 5 major strands ranging from graduation and college readiness to social media and the Twice Exceptional student. RSVP Today  Come for the whole day or just part. More info here.


**NEW**Silicon Valley Boychoir Auditions

By appointment, through Tues, Jan 15, Palo Alto

Auditions for the January  semester will be held at the choir's rehearsal location near downtown Palo Alto (600 Homer Ave). Open to 2nd-5th grade boys. High school and middle school boys with choral experience may audition for upper levels. SVB provides a personalized approach to teaching singing, music theory, and sight-reading, while providing flexible scheduling for busy families. In addition to their own winter and spring concerts, SVB performs for local events including appearances with Stanford University Symphonic Chorus and Orchestra, West Bay Opera, Schola Cantorum of Mountain View, and singing the national anthem at sporting events. 

Email or visit


**NEW**Pressure-Proof Kids! A Parent Education Event at Fairmeadow Elementary School

Mon Jan 14, 7-8:30PM, Fairmeadow MP Room, 500 East Meadow Drive

Kiran Gaind, Modern Parent Coach, will share her work on Four Surprising Secrets to Raise Happy, Successful Kids in a Pressure Cooker World . Free event, open to all PAUSD families. Free babysitting provided in Fairmeadow Library—event for adults only.  Contact: with questions. 


**NEW**Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO) Winter Concerts

Enjoy a series of winter concerts (January through March) featuring PACO's talented young musicians. You'll be fascinated by the array of works ranging from Baroque, Classical, Romantic to Contemporary by well-known composers Mozart, Handel and Dvorak just to name a few. All concerts are admission FREE and for the entire family to enjoy.

Sun, Jan 27, 3PM, Palo Alto Art Center, Preparatory Orchestra

Sun, Feb 3,  12PM, Palo Alto Art Center, Superstrings Orchestra

Sun, Feb 10, 3PM, Cubberley Theatre, Sinfonia Orchestra

Sun, Mar 3, 3PM, Palo Alto Art Center, Debut Orchestra

Sat, Mar 9, 7:30PM, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Senior PACO Orchestra

For more information and the 2018-19 season calendar, please visit or email


**NEW**Art Classes at the PA Art Center or Mitchell Park Library

Unleash the creativity in your student by signing up for one of art classes at the Palo Alto Art Center or the Mitchell Park Community Center.  We offer classes Monday - Saturday in painting, drawing, ceramics, photography and jewelry and metal working for students ages preschool through high school.  Please review our brochure for class information and live links to registration.  Classes will run January – March, 2019. Questions? Please contact Rebecca Passarello ( or 650-617-3509). 

Paly Community Market Puzzles & Games, Flowers and Espresso To Benefit Paly Music Program 

Sat Jan 12, 9A-2P Paly Flea Market at Palo Alto High School (parking lot on corner of El Camino and Embarcadero)

Come experience the new Community Market booths bringing the community together once a month!  Drop off gently used board games and puzzles and get some new ones at the Community Market Puzzles & Games table.  Shop for fresh flower arrangements, vintage clothes, and much more.  Stop by the barista for espresso and enjoy tasty food prepared by Paly music students.  Like the Facebook page "Palo Alto High School Flea Market" for details.  All funds raised through the Paly flea market will benefit the Paly music program.  Questions? Contact Colleen Nielsen, 


ONLINE Workshop—Babies, Bodies, and Boundaries (Preschool/Elementary)

Tuesday, Jan 15, 1PM to 2PM – Online workshop

Learn effective ways to provide your kids with age-appropriate answers to those uncomfortable questions about our bodies and sex.  We will discuss when to have the talk, how to prepare for it, and why this kind of open communication is beneficial. With Torrey Freeman, MS. Fee: $25

Register here:


Navigating School District Services for Children with Special Needs (All Ages)

Tue Jan 15-22, 7 to 9PM, Parents Place- 200 Channing Ave Palo Alto 94301- Plenty of free parking

This workshop is intended for parents who have children with any type of special needs or suspected special needs.  Come and learn about how and when a child would qualify for special education services in the public school system. Tips on how to develop a collaborative relationship with the school district will be discussed, as well as what recourse parents have when parents and school district personnel don't agree about the assessment process.  With Diana Blank, LCSW. Fee: $90

Register here:


Parents Place Summer Camp Fair  – Preschool/Elementary- High School Families

Sun, Jan. 27, 10AM - 12PM, Parents Place- 200 Channing Ave Palo Alto 94301- Plenty of free parking

It’s already time to start planning a great summer for your kids!  The Parents Place Summer Camp Fair is a unique opportunity to engage with more than 20 summer camps, located on the Peninsula and beyond.  This is the only event in the area that connects you with multiple regional and independent summer camps, including sleepaway camps and special needs camps, in one convenient location. Make a personal connection with camp staff, explore the variety of flexible options, and discover how to maximize your child’s summer camp experience.  Fee $5 per family.

Summer Camp Panel Discussion before the Fair is from 9:00am - 10:00am.  Moderated by Parents Place Director Karen Friedland-Brown, camp directors will discuss "Solving the Summer Camp Dilemma: How to schedule your child's summer and find the best fit for your family."  Fee: FREE

Register here:


City of Palo Alto Enjoy Catalog for local after school activities...from Art Classes to Beginning Pickleball!

Sign-up for January classes/activities register go to: Palo Alto Residents enjoy discounted fees.


Dream Volunteers Summer 2019 Family Service Trip to Latin America 

Trip takes place June 24, 2019 – July 1, 2019.  Deadline for sign-up is January 13, 2019.

Dream Volunteers, a local non-profit, has been organizing service trips abroad for schools and families since 2007.  A service trip with Dream Volunteers is an incredible way to immerse your family in a beautiful culture, while make a difference in the lives of people striving to lift up their communities. Sign-ups for next summer's Guatemala Family Volunteer Trip are happening now online.  This trip is appropriate for families with kids between pre-school and high-school age.  Click here for trip info .  Link to recorded informational webinar

You can also reach out directly to Dream Volunteers with questions at


**NEW**Paly Robotics Summer Camp 2019

Jul 22 - Jul 26 and Jul 29 - Aug 2, 9am-3pm at the Palo Alto High School Robotics Lab

Sessions: Robot Design & Hardware, Programming, Entrepreneurship & Website Design, Animation & Graphic Design. This year, Paly Robotics will be offering two weeks of our annual summer camp for middle school students (incoming 6th - 9th graders). Paly Robotics hopes to spark interest and start future high school students on a path in science, technology, engineering, art or mathematics (STEAM). Registration will open on January 12 at 12PM. Campers will be able to sign up for one of four sessions per week. To sign up or to get more information, go to If you have any further questions, please email


**NEW**Service Learning & Community Service Opportunities

Wed, Jan 16, 8:30-9:30AM, Greene Middle School, Multipurpose Room.

The Greene Parent Networks invite you to a presentation by Youth Community Service (YCS) on how to get students involved in meaningful Service Learning projects where students learn the nuances of a community issue, address that issue with a service project and then reflect on the process.  Students learn how to examine real life issues and implement solutions gaining self-confidence from feeling that they made a difference in the community. Opportunities at the Palo Alto Humane Society and other organizations will be presented.