Board to form learning committees

The Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) Board of Education has been introduced to the plan to paint the exterior of Henry M. Gunn High School’s buildings. In December 2015, the District hired Architarian Design to evaluate the exterior color scheme of Gunn.

Based on input from surveys conducted with parents, staff and students, Architarian Design has offered two color schemes: “Golden State” and “wildflowers” to liven the school atmosphere. The “wildflower” color scheme won with a 72 percent vote and was proposed to the Board for approval.

“We felt very strongly about the power of color to improve environments… it can provide an opportunity to inspire and connect people together and to build community,” Elaine Wang, owner of Architarian Design said.

Buildings in Gunn will also be color coded to help students easily navigate around the campus. The color of specific buildings will be based on the subject that is generally taught in that structure. The overall atmosphere is intended to create a warm and welcoming feel.

Funding for this work will come from the Planned Maintenance fund and is expected to cost $1 million dollars. If the Board approves the project, repainting is scheduled to begin this summer.

“We felt very strongly about the power of color to improve environments … it can provide an opportunity to inspire and connect people together and to build community”

The board was also recommended to approve two new courses: Principles of Biomedical Science at Paly and AP Physics I at Gunn. These two courses were suggested due to input from teachers, the Site Council (representing the student body) and Educational/Instructional Councils.

Principles of Biomedical Science will be a project and problem-based learning course which teaches students how to apply their knowledge from the classroom to real-world situations. The goal of this course is to increase interest in the science field among lesser represented ethnic groups and women though its more interactive curriculum.

The AP Physics I course has a redesigned curriculum meant to “increase access to Advanced Placement for all students, especially … historically underrepresented students.” This will be in addition to the existing physics classes that are currently being offered at Gunn.

The second interim financial report, which was first discussed in the Feb. 26 meeting, was revisited once again. Revenues and expenses have seen an overall increase of $530,000 due to increased tax revenues, savings in legal costs and a decrease in personel costs. However, there was also a decrease in special education revenue and an increase in payments to school districts for inter-district transfers.

The Board was asked to consider approving the report which requests “give a positive certification to the County Superintendent that the District can meet its financial obligations through the end of the fiscal year and for the subsequent two years” and to “approve the budget revisions listed in the projected year totals.”