Superintendent serves dinner, links funders and programs | January 31, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 31, 2014

Superintendent serves dinner, links funders and programs

Philanthropists, principals mingle to discuss needs of Ravenswood students

by Chris Kenrick

Wealthy philanthropists, school principals and nonprofit leaders mingled Wednesday in an unusual session to "map resources" for East Palo Alto's Ravenswood City School District.

This story contains 682 words.

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Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at


Posted by muttiallen, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 3, 2014 at 7:32 pm

muttiallen is a registered user.

Thanks to Palo Alto online for writing this article. There are so many good things happening in Ravenswood District, and it shows in quality of teaching and student achievement. The 61% high school graduation rate is still too low, but much better than the 25% graduation rate that used to be reported. And it will get even better in the next few years. Thanks to all those within Ravenswood District and outside groups who are supporting these great young students.

Posted by Paul Thiebaut III, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Approximately 500 children begin kindergarten every year in the Ravenswood District. My parents always told me it was rude to invite yourself to someone's party, but as the leader an early education nonprofit located in and serving East Palo Alto, I would like the Ravenswood District to invite East Palo Alto pre-k programs (e.g. 10 Books A Home and preschools) into its discussion of our students' needs.

The early experiences of Ravenswood students certainly effect the development of skills and behaviors needed to be successful students. Research shows that children who start behind usually stay behind, especially under-served students. It's also been shown that investments in early education are more cost-effective than many stopgap interventions for older students.

Just the other day, a Ravenswood kindergarten classroom volunteer told me that the teacher mentioned that one of 10 Books A Home's learners was doing better than most other students. And, this is in a classroom where at least 20% of students don't know their letters or numbers.

I think I speak for many early education professionals, pre-k teachers, parents, and philanthropists when I say that it would be wise for the Ravenswood District to include pre-k programs in its consideration of our students' needs.

Posted by Relax, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 6, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Paul, have you ever heard of a phone? Maybe you should call Gloria and tell her how you feel instead of blasting the school district for not inviting YOUR organization to the dinner. That would be the responsible thing to do. Don't take everything so personal. I highly doubt they intentionally did not invite 10 books a home...your organization is making an impact but come on let's not get nasty.

Posted by Rena Cuffy, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Paul Thiebaut, thank you for the work you do! I'm so glad you posted because I happened to attend this session and Dr. Hernandez mentioned the extreme need for programs like yours and her desire to partner. She is new but I see her making great strides to rebuild trust between the district and community. I highly recommend you reach out to the school district and let them know that you exist and your desire to do more (and don't forget to mention your positive feedback from that teacher).

Keep it up!

Posted by ryan, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 7, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Cesar Chavez Academy (and McNair) are Citizen Schools partnered Expanded Learning day schools. 100% of 6th graders stay 2.5 hours+ 5 days a week and 2/3 of 7th and 8th graders, too. Not an after school program. And not at Willow Oaks.

Good article though!!

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