Visit Highlights New Teacher Project

Posted on February 27, 2014 by  
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LASD VisitorsTwo representatives from the Singapore Ministry of Education visited the Los Altos School District recently to observe the district’s New Teacher Project.

The Singapore Ministry of Education, which is scheduled to adopt the district’s two-year mentor program for new teachers, assigned the representatives to visit local schools and shadow new-teacher mentors to experience the program firsthand.

The New Teacher Project is part of a larger consortium of Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz groups that support and assess the advancement of skills and knowledge in a continuous flow from preservice through the first years of teaching and beyond.

The program model assists participating teachers as they enter the teaching profession through two years of induction. The focus is to improve classroom practice, ensure student academic success and develop reflective teachers who are responsive to the diverse cultural, social, academic and linguistic backgrounds of all students.

Twenty-seven teachers in the Los Altos School District currently take part in the program. For more information, visit newteachercenter.org/node/1356.

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Construction update: First Street

Posted on February 21, 2014 by  
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First Stree ConstructionFollowing are brief updates on the individual projects.

100 First St. condominiums

With the roof finished and exterior and interior work progressing, Randy Lamb’s 48-unit condominium complex at 100 First St. is nearing the homestretch.

Although residential units won’t be ready for occupancy until late summer if the project remains on schedule, sales manager David Dacus noted that interest from potential residents is growing. He said pricing would be released to individuals with reservations in March. Sales contracts could follow shortly thereafter.

First Street Safeway

Construction has progressed smoothly at the future 45,000-square-foot Safeway at 160 First St., according to Bill Carrozzella, Safeway’s Northern California Division real estate manager. Interior work on the new store is expected to begin in early March, when the structure is fully enclosed.

If construction continues apace, the new Safeway will open its doors to shoppers at the end of June.

First & Main streets mixed-use project

Cars and pedestrians heading west on Main Street can now spot the rust-red steel frame of the 32,000-square-foot mixed-use project that bows out to fill the corner of First and Main streets.

Property manager Ron Labetich said the retail and office project at 400 First St. is on schedule for completion in the fourth quarter. Potential tenants are expressing interest in the project, according to Labetich, especially restaurant owners who want to be near the corner courtyard that will bring light into the building.

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Private Home With Spectacular Views

Posted on February 20, 2014 by  
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Mora Glen Drive

23150 Mora Glen Drive, Los Altos, CA 94022
Listed at $2,395,000 / Sold at $2,500,000
4 Bed / 3 Baths / Home: 3,355 sqft / Lot Size: 59,677 sqft +/-
Single Family Detached
Represented: Seller

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Los Altos High Hosts Writers Week

Posted on February 19, 2014 by  
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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour BookstoreLos Altos High School is scheduled to host a diverse lineup of writers, poets and journalists for its annual Writers Week March 4-7.

New writers this year bring variety in themes and genres. Along with many returning participants, the writers will offer insights as they participate in Los Altos High’s 29-year tradition of engaging English students with noted writers who chronicle all walks of life. The writers of fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, short stories, scripts, songs and blogs will meet with English classes and share their stories, their paths to becoming writers and the personal details of their writing processes.

Each Writers Week includes a Community Read event to which local residents are invited. This year’s featured speaker is Robin Sloan, author of the best-selling “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012).

Sloan grew up near Detroit and attended Michigan State University, where he studied economics and co-founded the literary magazine Oats. He has worked at Poynter, Current TV and Twitter, where his jobs often involved figuring out the future of media. “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” is his first novel.

Sloan’s Community Read appearance is scheduled 7 p.m. March 5 in Los Altos High’s Eagle Theater, 201 Almond Ave.

Writers Week is the only high school program in the country that annually brings in more than 30 writers to speak in every English class. Los Altos High works with two Stanford University writing programs and each year hosts both Stegner Fellows (poetry and prose) and Knight Fellows (journalism). The Tracey Cullinan Memorial Fund helped establish Writers Week in 1985. Los Altos High parents now fund Writers Week.

Past visiting authors have included Gail Tsukiyama, Daniel Handler, Khaled Hosseini, Daniel Alarcon, Wallace Stegner and Amy Tan.

“Generations of Los Altos students have benefited from the experience and wisdom of world-famous writers describing their work in the intimate setting of the classroom,” said Galen Rosenberg, assistant principal and Writers Week Committee member. “Even in our rapidly changing world of digital media, skill in written expression remains one Los Altos High School’s core goals. Writers Week is an important co-curricular program supporting that goal.”

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Chinese New Year meets Bollywood

Posted on February 12, 2014 by  
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Gardner BullisGardner Bullis School families enjoyed food, music and performances that highlighted more than 20 countries at its first Multicultural Fair Jan. 31.

“It is wonderful to welcome the Year of the Horse with our diversified community,” said Andre Chang, parent of a first- and fifth-grader at Gardner Bullis. “Our kids are so fortunate to appreciate many cultures around the world in an event like this and to learn to be a global citizen when they grow up.”

School families arranged booths that displayed facts and photos of the countries that are part of their heritage, including Nepal, Botswana, Spain, New Zealand and the Philippines.

Students had opportunities to make crafts from different countries and receive “passport” stamps at all 20 booths, qualifying them to enter a raffle for prizes.

Students wore cultural costumes in a fashion show, and attendees could watch performances including an Israeli hora dance, a Russian folk dance and a Chinese/Korean ribbon dance. A group of fourth-grade girls from many different backgrounds practiced after school and on weekends to perfect a Bollywood dance routine.

“The girls brought so much energy and enthusiasm and made the fair very exciting and special,” said Divya Valmiki, who worked with students on their Bollywood dance. “They showed everyone that any culture can be fun if you are open to it.”

The fair enabled students to learn about the cultural backgrounds of their classmates – and share their own. “This event was a wonderful way to bring the Gardner community together,” Principal Katie Kinnaman said. “Watching students and families share their cultural heritages is one way to break down barriers and encourage us to all think about the unique talents and background each student brings to our school community.”

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Luxurious Home With Gourmet Kitchen

Posted on February 12, 2014 by  
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Georgetown Drive

168 Georgetown Drive, Mountain View CA 94043
Listed at $819,000 / Sold at $880,000
3 Bed / 2.5 Baths / Home: 1,372 sqft / Lot Size: 1,033 sqft +/-
Townhouse
Represented: Buyer

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Luxury Home Sales Still Rising

Posted on February 6, 2014 by  
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StonebrookSilicon Valley’s luxury housing market capped a strong year in 2013 with sales edging up 8.9 percent in December over a year ago, according to the latest luxury housing market report.

The figures are based on Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold for more than $1.5 million in December 2013 in Santa Clara County.

A total of 122 luxury homes sold in December, up from the 112 sales in December 2012. On a monthly basis, high-end December sales were below November’s 151 transactions, though a decline from November to December isn’t unusual.

The median December 2013 sale price of a luxury home in Silicon Valley was $1.9 million, nearly 1 percent higher than the previous month but down 3.6 percent from a year ago, when the median price was $2 million. The upper end of the luxury market recorded 59 sales of more than $2 million, up from 57 a year ago. The 13 sales in excess of $3 million were down from 19 a year ago.

Other key market indicators improved on an annual basis, with homes selling faster on average in December versus a year earlier and sellers receiving a higher percentage of their asking price on average.

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Los Altos High Hosts History Week

Posted on February 1, 2014 by  
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LAHS History WeekLos Altos High School students could be heard clapping and singing along to some of history’s most famous protest songs last week during the school’s second History Week.

Framed as a multimedia and music session, students took a walk through history via songs used in various protests from the 1930s through the Civil Rights Movement to today.

Professional folk singer and peace activist Betsy Rose led the discussion/sing-along, tying different songs to the historical events and highlighting their significance. Los Altos High teacher Mike Messner and student Zach Gospe joined Rose on stage during the multimedia event.

The trio accompanied an audio/visual presentation of the March on Washington and other rights-related milestones compiled by sophomore Will Thabit.

“When people were marching in the ’50s, there were a lot of scary moments, but these songs always came back,” Rose said. “The music held in it the strength of survival – that is what gives songs power.”

Los Altos High’s second History Week centered around the theme “50 Years Since the March on Washington.” The three-day program examined the progress and struggles in the pursuit of equal rights and access to jobs and education for all Americans over the past five decades.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Kennedy opened the week with a presentation focusing on events that spurred and shaped the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.

Kennedy, a Stanford University professor and founding director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford, won the Pulitzer Prize in history in 2000 for his book “Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945”.

Other highlights from History Week:

• Clayborne Carson, Ph.D., director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford, discussed King and the progress of civil rights since the 1963 March on Washington.

• The Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman (Ret.) of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, who has appeared on “60 Minutes II” and “Good Morning America,” explored changes in family law and new approaches to the handling of juvenile offenders.

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Wonderful Home & Great Location

Posted on February 1, 2014 by  
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Varsity Court

1021 Varsity Court, Mountain View CA 94040
Listed at $1,750,000 / Sold at $1,975,000
4 Bed / 3 Baths / Home: 2,215 sqft / Lot Size: 7,668 sqft +/-
Single Family Detached
Represented: Buyer

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