The Slice – Spring 2018

This year’s campaign represents a tremendous effort, involving 137 volunteers, thousands of volunteer hours, and over 4,000 donors—truly a community endeavor. As a result, PiE was able to give Palo Alto schools $5.75 million for next school year. As we look forward to next year, it is important to take a moment to reflect on the ways our students have benefitted from last year’s campaign.

Here are just a few of the highlights from the 2017-18 school year, made possible by your PiE donations.

140 Classroom Aides in Elementary Schools

Personalized attention and another trusted adult to provide support: From Young 5s through 5th grade, aides in the classroom allow teachers to spend more time instructing kids, while making sure that students have the individual attention they need.

“Classroom aides make all the difference in each student’s academic and social emotional growth. Classroom aides enable differentiation of curriculum to best meet individual’s needs. They also are critical in facilitating small group conflict resolutions, so that all may be heard and respected.”
– Piper Joseph, Ohlone Elementary K-1 Teacher and PAUSD Parent


Over 25 Electives in Middle and High Schools

Your PiE donations helped fund over 25 electives this year (in addition to district-funded options). Supporting an expanded offering of electives at the middle and high school levels serves two important functions. Greater choice allows opportunities for Palo Alto students to find and develop their individual passions. A greater number of electives also allows for reduced class size and more personal attention in the classroom across all electives. Dozens of options are on offer, from industrial tech and choir at the middle schools, to jazz band at Gunn and graphic design at Paly.

At the middle schools, PiE donations support:
Creative writing, music sectionals and specialists, choir, math enrichment, biotechnology, ceramics and sculpture, video production and broadcast journalism, architectural drawing, Money Matters, marine biology, public speaking, instructional technology, and drama.

At the high schools, PiE continued support for electives and staffing in:
Biotechnology, computer science, biomedical science, graphic arts, engineering, industrial design, music, and lab science.

150+ College Rep Visits Organized by the Career and College Centers

Paly’s Career Center

Individual counseling with designated advisors ensures that our high school students have the support they need when planning for their next steps. Over 150 college admissions representatives visit our high schools each fall. Having experts on hand to help navigate options is essential during this stressful and tumultuous time.

14 Innovation Grants for Teachers and Staff

Each year, PiE funds a selection of grants to foster curriculum innovation and equity efforts. This year, 14 separate grants allowed for innovation across the district, at all levels.

Thanks from Walter Hays

A grant was awarded to Walter Hays Elementary to implement Phono-Graphix, a research-based instructional program, aimed at helping K-5 students become stronger readers and writers.

“It has made a big difference. Usually I would get stuck on a word, and I would not know the main sound in it. Now I can usually tell what the sound is, and I know what letters to try for the sound. I ‘sound it out’ and then I get it. It helps me be a better reader and writer. I feel proud of myself. It’s fun!”
– 4th Grader, Walter Hays

Other 2017/18 highlights include:
Science Energy/Cause and Effect/System Models (Palo Verde)
Hands on STEM with first graders with Squishy Circuits and Gear Sets.

Robotics Unit (Terman)
Five ArcBotic Sparki Robots and fifteen OSEPP Robotics 101 Kits in support of CS and STEM learning.

Tiltbrush Virtual Reality Painting (Paly)
VR system with Google program for students to create paintings while integrating the arts and science.

Family Reading Club (Addison)
Partner with PA Housing for socio-economically disadvantaged students and families.

The complete list of grants for the 2017-18 school year:

  • PiE & AAR “The Creativity Project” – Joe Young (Elementary)
  • Science: Energy/Cause and Effect/System Models – Lynn Lin (Palo Verde)
  • Family Reading Club – Carolyn Jones (Addison)
  • LEGO Education Kits – Melissa Hinkle (Fairmeadow)
  • Phono-Graphix: Teaching All Students to Read and Spell – Diana Largent (Walter Hays)
  • Using SWIVL Technology to Enhance Coaching Conversations and Illuminate Student Discourse – Tamara Juarez (Middle Schools)
  • Robotics Unit – David Rosenblatt (Terman)
  • Marine Biology Remotely Operated Vehicle Project – Navneet Schworetzky (Gunn)
  • AP Computer Science (CS) Principles – Jessica Hexsel (Gunn)
  • Project 21st Century Media Center – Daljeet Gill (Gunn)
  • Tiltbrush Virtual Reality Painting – Sue La Fetra (Paly)
  • Project Lead The Way – Michelle Steingart (Paly)
  • Cooking up a storm! – Jennifer Dorwin, Special Ed (district-wide)
  • Kimochis toolkit and therapist training – Megan Brubaker, Special Ed (district-wide)


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