Committee: Elementary enrollment in Palo Alto is stable, not growing | News | Palo Alto Online |


Committee: Elementary enrollment in Palo Alto is stable, not growing

Enrollment committee presents draft proposals to school board, community

The chair of a school district subcommittee on elementary enrollment urged the school board and community members at a board study session Monday night to consider changing the narrative around enrollment in Palo Alto from one of urgent, continuous growth to flat, and even declining, enrollment.

This is a marked shift for a community that for years has eyed the opening of a 13th elementary school as a necessary next step, albeit one that has never happened despite a previous district committee recommending it.

The opening of a new elementary school also emerged as a top topic during the 2014 school board campaign, with the board's two newest members, Ken Dauber and Terry Godfrey, expressing support for doing so.

"Our proposal is that we really need to change our narrative," Todd Collins, a district parent and member of the superintendent's Enrollment Management Advisory Committee (EMAC), told the board Monday. "We're no longer the district that always grows. Continuous growth is not the mantra or the framework for thinking about enrollment in Palo Alto. It's really, at least for the time being, flat or declining growth."

In a 61-slide presentation, Collins presented the work that the EMAC's elementary subcommittee has completed during the past few months, including a look at the district's historical enrollment dips and rises, research on ideal school size, their own survey of district parents, the most pressing enrollment-related issues in the district and the top three factors that drive enrollment growth in Palo Alto (birth count, housing developments and the economy).

The overall enrollment management committee first convened in April with the charge to evaluate Palo Alto's enrollment and come up with creative recommendations for how to manage it, both in the short and long terms.

Part of its charge was to specifically work to depart from a historically limited scope that some board members and the superintendent have said prevented the district from taking action on the issue in the past.

Monday's study session was a preliminary update to the board and community on the elementary subcommittee's work and draft proposals. The proposals are not final and the board took no action on Monday night.

The elementary subcommittee has sought to answer many challenging questions, from "How many elementary students should the district expect in the coming years?" to "What is the ideal school size?" and "Do we need a new elementary school now?"

Preliminarily, the subcommittee – with two members who disagree – is not recommending that the district open a new elementary school. Collins pointed to the fact that K-5 enrollment in Palo Alto has been down for the past three years, primarily because of a new state law requiring that children entering kindergarten must be 5 years old by Sept. 1 instead of Dec. 2, meaning for the past three years, instead of enrolling 12 months of kindergarteners, the district enrolled 11 months. Kindergarten enrollment was lower this year than in every year since 2010, according to the subcommittee.

And though overall district growth has been consistent during the past 25 years – the district has actually grown every year except one since 1989 – Collins cautioned that there have been "major discontinuities" in past enrollment before, and questioned if more could be on the horizon.

"Is this a blip and temporary slowdown in enrollment ... or is this a new trend and something that will be with us for awhile and that we have to adjust to?" Collins asked. "This is probably the most fundamental question to answer as we think about the question that has really dogged the community for the past few years," which is whether or not to open a 13th elementary school.

Collins offered as a cautionary tale five new classrooms the district recently built at Duveneck Elementary School in anticipation of continued growth and overcrowded. These five classrooms, Collins said, are now used as "spare" rather than established classrooms. The district spent $9 million to build them, he noted.

"That's what's at risk," Collins said. "If we don't think clearly about how student growth is going to happen, where it might happen, whether it's going to happen, we run the risk of building capacity in places where we may or may not need it and we may end up sinking money into the ground in a way that doesn't contribute to the education of students in Palo Alto."

Collins also noted that birth rates are down across the state (2013 was the lowest since 1933), there are fewer housing projects coming down the pipeline in Palo Alto and the economy has rebounded, meaning "it seems likely that our K-5 student counts will continue to shrink, at least for the next several years," the subcommittee's presentation reads. "Our narrative needs to change – continuous growth is no longer the driver of our enrollment strategy."

Through research, survey results and comparison to other school districts, the subcommittee also determined that 300 to 500 students are a "reasonable target size" for an elementary school in Palo Alto.

Most research literature, board member Heidi Emberling noted as she has before in enrollment discussions, however, puts the ideal elementary school size at 300 to 400 students. Dauber said after Monday's meeting that research does show that "the smaller the school, the better the outcomes" – in academic achievement, social-emotional health and teacher satisfaction.

Until 2008, the district actually had a board policy that limited elementary schools to 450 students, Dauber noted. Only five of Palo Alto's elementary schools are currently below that size.

Currently, the district's largest elementary school, Ohlone, enrolls 607 students, and its smallest, Barron Park, 288 students, according to the district's 11th day enrollment report.

"Lowering school sizes would almost certainly produce better outcomes in Palo Alto," Dauber said after the meeting. "I think our elementary schools are now too large, and I hope the committee revisits this question."

In its parent survey, the subcommittee found that satisfaction with school size in Palo Alto is high. Sixty-two percent of parents with a child currently in elementary school said they are either satisfied or strongly satisfied with their school's size. Satisfaction with elementary school size was also "meaningfully higher" than that for middle or high schools, the subcommittee said.

The subcommittee tentatively recommended that the district adopt a target school size as one of three guidelines for the consideration of adding a new school in Palo Alto.

"It seems like it would be useful to have a guardrail in place that told us when we were getting close to the edge," Collins said.

The subcommittee also sought to answer the question, "How can we support both choice programs and neighborhood schools?"

Collins said that both choice programs – like Spanish and Mandarin immersion, direct instruction at Hoover and Ohlone – and neighborhood schools are established values in the community but "the way they've been implemented, they conflict with each other."

Choice programs in Palo Alto are very popular, and Ohlone, in particular, is oversubscribed with 166 students applying for 74 spots in the English-only program this year. Sixty-one percent of parents the committee surveyed also indicated they would likely send their children to a choice program if it was offered.

But "choice has a cost," Collins said – primarily absorbing neighborhood-school capacity and causing overflows, or students who cannot attend their neighborhood school because there is not room.

The top three schools for outbound overflows are Escondido, El Carmelo and Palo Verde, which either house or sit next to a choice program, Collins said.

These schools accounted for 61 percent of overflows in 2015 and 51 percent in 2014. Collins noted that other school districts use "neighborhood preference" – setting aside a certain percentage of choice program spots for neighborhood children – to control this impact.

Overflow levels did decline significantly in 2015. Only 1.2 percent of elementary students were overflowed this school year – down from 2.4 percent in 2014-15 and 2.6 percent in 2013-14, according to district staff. Out of the 64 students who were overflowed, slightly more than half were overflowed within their cluster.

Several parents who live in Los Altos Hills turned out Monday night to speak to the board about one of the subcommittee's draft recommendations in particular: to re-assign the approximately 113 elementary students who live west of Foothill Boulevard in Los Altos Hills and the Palo Alto Foothills from Nixon Elementary to Barron Park or Juana Briones to accommodate up to 150 new elementary students who will be coming to the district from new Stanford University housing currently under construction in the area.

"I ask that you hear the non-numeric considerations along with the reports of the demographer because our children are not, in fact, 'elephants moving through schools of snakes,'" said Los Altos Hills resident and Nixon parent Kimberly Eng Lee, referencing a description that Collins made earlier in his presentation about large bubbles of students moving through schools.

Dauber also said that the proposal to move the "west of Foothill Boulevard" students to Juana Briones is a "non-starter" for the traffic impact it would bring to that area.

Other board members urged the subcommittee to consider and consult with the city on the effect any potential recommendations could have on traffic in the neighborhoods around schools.

Dauber and Emberling also suggested the subcommittee separate out concerns presented Monday regarding low achievement at Barron Park Elementary as being beyond the group's scope and charge.

A series of specific questions the board asked Monday night will be answered by the committee in the coming weeks.

Both Collins and board President Melissa Baten Caswell noted that the subcommittee is still at the early stages, and no decisions have been made on their proposals. Baten Caswell suggested that more public outreach – town-hall style meetings, community forums and surveys – be done in the meantime.

"It's really, really important that we have a process that is transparent, open to community input, allows everyone to get engaged and have their say and for you guys to be able to hear it and for the community to have a conversation," Collins said. "I think everybody realizes now ... we're at the super front end of a process here.

"This is meant to get the conversation started," he said.

The entire enrollment management committee will next meet on Monday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. at the district office, 25 Churchill Ave. Its secondary subcommittee will also be scheduling a board study session for sometime this or next month, Superintendent Max McGee said. The earliest a final report would be issued is December, he said.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


5 people like this
Posted by Now I see
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 8:25 am

[Post removed.]

5 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 6, 2015 at 9:25 am

Statement was made:

"Dauber also said that the proposal to move the "west of Foothill Boulevard" students to Juana Briones is a "non-starter" for the traffic impact it would bring to that area. "

Non-Starter except for Greenacres II. All the traffic for transporting these kids will access the streets in Greenacres II. Georgia is already impacted by the Gunn traffic. Donald and Maybell are heavely impacted by Terman, JuanaBriones and the Bowman schools. Arastradero by everything.

Willmar and Hubbart will probably pick up much of the traffic overflow.

17 people like this
Posted by Insane traffic
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 10:35 am

I was at the meeting last night. Thanks to Ken Dauber for saying clearly what needs to be said: this proposal deserves to be DOA. Over a hundred cars from LAH to Juana Briones at drop-off and pickup (added to the 350 cars that Penny Ellson says are already coming at peak time). Another 150 cars to Barron Park Elem for a "choice" program. Penny Ellson (leader of Safe Routes to School) said that's going to potentially break that whole commute route for kids. Winter Dellenbach pointed out that BP is a "cul-de-sac" neighborhood.

There is no way that this proposal meets minimum standards for safety, let alone increasing congestion on Arastradero which is already gridlocked. What is this committee thinking? Is McGee exercising any control at all? I didn't see any signs of it last night, just an extremely long presentation by Todd Collins that mentioned traffic only in passing, and only to dismiss it as a concern.

13 people like this
Posted by Carol
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 10:54 am

There seems to be a lot of frantic energy in imposing "new fangled" ideas on Barron Park Schools. That this group would recommend any Immersion school for Barron Park Elementary is shocking. This committee is not equipped by training or experience to recommend such a vast change to a school without first knowing the first thing about what they are talking about. They were to figure out possible alternatives to address Palo Verde overcrowding and where students will go to school that will soon move here into the new 250 units of Stanfords housing now being built on California Ave (2 locations). Instead, this committee focused on both the Barron Park schools suggesting extreme changes without consulting the families at the school, letting the neighborhood know that will be impacted by major changes contemplated for both schools and traffic, letting our neighborhood association board know, etc.

Thank goodness that Ken Dauber as usual asked important questions along with Board Member Godfrey particularly. The committee must be reigned in and the school board must include the wider neighborhood in outreach and input.

Better yet, open another school. Remember that the Frys contract is running out in a couple of yeares - 15 acres of potential housing on all or part of it.

20 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 6, 2015 at 10:59 am

The idea that McGee allowed Todd to spend 2 hours pushing a plan to put 250 cars into Barron Park shows his mismanagement. Also Melissa Caswells mismanagement. The very idea just brings back Measure D all over again.

Why would anyone propose such a thing?

Todd Collins talked for a long time about the "low test scores" at Barron Park. For people who find that their homes are worth less than across town due to low test scores apparently no price is too high to pay. If enough such persons take over a committee (this tiny subcommittee has 2 [portion removed] individuals from Barron Park on it) then they can drive an agenda pretty far if allowed to do so.

Why did McGee and Caswell allow that?

Why would anyone even consider the extreme dislocation proposed by this committee? This small group of Barron Park [portion removed] parents proposes:

All Los Altps Hills children's will now drive to Barron Park Briones twice per day. On Arastradero. At rush hour.

All new Stanford college terrace will drive down Stanford ave to Nixon instead of walking to Escondido.

100 new cars will drive down Barron Ave for a choice program that will "coincidentally" dilute the impact of the poor minority and disabled student test scores.

This is madness. If it isn't DOA then we should recall the board.

10 people like this
Posted by Chill
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2015 at 11:18 am

The committee put a huge amount of time and effort into their study, and whether or not the first proposals out of the gate are viable, McGee and the board had a responsibility, not to mention etiquette, to hear the whole story. A strong leader does not shut down a presentation just because it has flaws.

I don't have a dog in this fight, and I hear the concerns about traffic. I just think everyone needs to clam down and stop criticizing people who only listened last night. I would surely not want a leader or board who weren't capable or willing to hear all of the information just because some of the proposals were flawed. It was clear no decision would be made, it's just the beginning of the conversation.

2 people like this
Posted by Reality check
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 11:27 am

The purpose of the meeting last night was for the board to give feedback to the committee about whether their preliminary recommendation seems OK or needs to be different. A committee that makes recommendations that can't be adopted is a waste of time. McGee should probably have provided more guidance up front.

Reading the article it sounds like Dauber and Emberling said to drop the BPE recommendation and Dauber said clearly that more traffic in Barron Park is not acceptable and he and Godfrey at least want alternatives that open another school. The test of the committee and McGee will be whether they listen.

1 person likes this
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 12:12 pm

@parent - there wouldn't be 100 parents driving to Barron Park from Los Altos Hills, most of the kids arrive by bus (which they pay for).

1 person likes this
Posted by PAmoderate
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 6, 2015 at 12:28 pm

PAmoderate is a registered user.

"Lowering school sizes would almost certainly produce better outcomes in Palo Alto,"

The studies have been mixed in this regard. It appears to get a true benefit, the classroom sizes have to be dramatically smaller (7-10 fewer students on average) before teachers actually change how they teach in class. Is Palo Alto ready to 2x or 3x the school budget to really see these results?

Just reducing class size by a handful of students is just window dressing and a waste of money.

What's interesting is that Barron Park has the fewest students, but the "lowest achievement." Hmm....

2 people like this
Posted by Penny Ellson--Correction
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 6, 2015 at 1:01 pm

I want to clarify what I said at last night's meeting as I was misquoted by another commenter above.

1). I encouraged the district to work with their Safe Routes to School partners at the City of Palo Alto and PTA to understand the potential traffic safety and operations issues related to any proposal under consideration early in the planning process.

2). I gave as an example the proposal to send West of Foothill students to Juana Briones. What I said was, "The fact that nearly all West of Foothill students currently drive to school is listed in the report as an argument in favor of this change, but the potential impacts of redirecting these car trips might be much worse than their present impacts at Nixon. 54% of morning peak hour trips on Maybell (a bike boulevard) are bikes. Based on the data in the report, the proposed change would add a minimum of 107 car trips to a street that currently carries about 378 trips during the morning peak hour." I pointed this out as an example of the kind of change that might impact school commute safety and should be reviewed by an city engineer.

I should add one additional piece of information. When an elementary school child is driven to school solo, four trips per day may be generated. One in/one out in the morning and one in/one out in the afternoon. Parents driving kids to school are the biggest generator of traffic on our school routes. WE are the problem, moms and dads. As the old adage goes, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." We have the power to make our school commute routes friendlier for children.

That said, some families live in locations where they cannot walk or bike to school. This is the case for the West of Foothill families. Possible impacts of these cars trips should be carefully considered in the planning process.

3).I also pointed out that the neighborhoods where the Juana Briones (JB) and Barron Park (BP) elementary schools reside have substandard width streets, no sidewalks or bike lanes, and no grid network of streets. Both JB and BP have inadequate facilities to park and carry a higher volume of autos for pick-up/drop-off. Combined conditions like these can create safety problems for youth walkers and bicyclists and neighborhood residents if auto volumes increase.

The streets in this neighborhood are part of a school route network that serves Juana Briones, Barron Park, Terman and Gunn students every school day.

My primary point was...traffic safety and operation should be a consideration at this very early stage of the planning process. I heard 4 of 5 BOE Members agree that they should learn more about this, and Board President Melissa Baten-Caswell specifically asked staff to reach out to the city.

18 people like this
Posted by AAAG Member
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 6, 2015 at 1:06 pm

As I said on various threads, I was on the AAAG, a similar idea for boundary discussions 10 years or so ago while I still had elementary students. My youngest is now in high school. We met for about a year and were educated on many and various issues pertaining to the subject of boundaries and enrollment.

We recommended to the then Board that a 13th elementary school was needed. We were ignored.

Mega elementaries have been built instead and our concern for middle and high schools have resulted in bigger enrollments with no additional schools.

It is not classroom space that is the issue, but ideal size for schools mean space for outdoor play, for being able to have a good chance at becoming class president or getting on the basketball team. The more students in a school the less chance there is for interconnectedness. The bigger the student body, the less likely to have an assembly or even a parent evening where everybody has a chance to get a seat.

We are having to stagger lunchtimes, stagger who gets to play on play structures, have concerts during the school day instead of evening in the hopes that parents can't come, invent board game clubs, or reading clubs, to encourage some kids not to run around and play, and so many other things that can't be done in small, friendly schools. The larger the school, the more likely there will be bullying, favoritism, cheating, etc. as teachers and administrators don't get to know the students and aren't able to watch all that is going on at lunchtime or recess.

Bring back our small friendly schools.

10 people like this
Posted by Penny Ellson
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 6, 2015 at 1:19 pm

One more thing. Todd Collins said, "This is the beginning of the beginning of the process." The session was an update on data the committee has collected so far (which I have to say was very good work) and a few possible recommendations they are considering at this early stage of the process. NO decisions were made. The committee said they have more work to do, and the Board said they want to do a lot of community outreach to hear what residents think about any proposals that are being seriously considered.

While I don't agree with all of the committee's conclusions, I think they are looking at many of the right issues. I think it is way too early to get wound up, but the process is worth watching. I suggest we all read the report. Don't rely on hearsay or even newspaper articles. With all due respect to the Weekly's good summary of the meeting, the information in the report was substantive and well worth a read. If you are interested in learning more, you can find the report here .

Finally, this was a small committee and two committee members voted against the current recommendations. A minority report has been offered. This process is a very long way from concluded.

12 people like this
Posted by Now I see
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 1:54 pm

@palo alto mom.

Nope. Virtually no elementary kids take the bus to Nixon. Only about 5-6 kids take the bus. Many more take the high school and Terman bus. Parents do not want (for good reason) their elementary kids on the bus with the older kids and they don't want to get them up that early. So that is all those cars that currently go to Nixon headed to Maybell and Arastradero.

Like Dauber said, NONSTARTER.

Read Ellson's comment above. "where the Juana Briones (JB) and Barron Park (BP) elementary schools reside have substandard width streets, no sidewalks or bike lanes, and no grid network of streets. Both JB and BP have inadequate facilities to park and carry a higher volume of autos for pick-up/drop-off. Combined conditions like these can create safety problems for youth walkers and bicyclists and neighborhood residents if auto volumes increase."

6 people like this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

Elena Kadvany's rundown on the meeting is a good starting point for people who didn't see the meeting. I recommend a look at the 61-slide presentation (link in article) as background to move the discussion forward.

Barron Park reaction to various choices that would significantly increase traffic on already stressed neighborhood streets was quick, strong, and justified.

I was taken by Mr. Collins's discussion of how the state of the economy impacts PAUSD enrollment. The better the economy, the more some families feel comfortable paying twice for education, once through taxes for public schools they don't use and then through private school tuition and fees.

It's boom time now. How many of the private school attendees might come back to fill PAUSD seats if the economy softens? Enough to fill the new classrooms at Duvenek? Enough to make everyone feel the pinch in some fashion?

The district has access to funds for infrastructure now and interest rates are near historic lows. If there's a chance that large numbers of students would enter PAUSD schools if the economy slowed, that could make it more attractive to take the risk of opening a 13th elementary school. This would give more options for addressing many of the concerns raised last night (traffic, overloading, choice vs. neighborhood schools, school size, playground space per classroom).

The period of steady or slowly declining enrollment may continue, which would challenge our district's creativity to put newly expanded facilities to best educational use. But another takeaway from the presentation was how cyclical school enrollment is. PAUSD would be better prepared for the next cycle of increasing enrollment if it opened another school. The key variables are birth rate, housing starts and strength of the economy. It seems to me that the first two are less likely to produce big school enrollment surprises locally than the last.

Just wanted to add the question of potential impacts from return of private school attendees to the long list that was started in the board room last night.

10 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 4:17 pm

@Jerry Underdal,

Thanks for the comments. I agree with everything except one thing: Collins' reasoning, as you reported, for why the enrollment dropped now relating private school and a booming economy.

The majority of people (and their money) that I have seen leave the district, even for private school, only did so because they were unhappy with the district programs, social emotional wellness, special ed treatment, environment (physical and emotional), or just outright poor treatment by certain staff. People who move here for the schools aren't going to pay twice unless there's a good reason, mostly because of unhappiness with the schools for the above reasons. Most would return if the district straightened up, worked more in line with its own vision and goals, or worked on creating a more... honorable ... staff across the board (having an interest in ferreting out misbehavior). The reasons given related to the economy seem like so much justification. One could more easily argue that in a down economy, more people will move away.

5 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 6, 2015 at 5:44 pm

I'm with Sense here.

From my personal observation, a boom economy does *not* mean people are more inclined to send their kids to private schools--particularly at the elementary school level. Palo Altans (I kind of hate that term, but not sure what else to use) pride themselves on sending their kids to the local public school and being part of the community when their kids are young. After elementary school, yes, families will think private--it may give their kid in the college-applications game--but, if anything, parents look for ways to get their kids into the PAUSD system at the elementary-school level. MI, for example, was spearheaded by a group of families at the International School.

Max McGee is just reading the whole social status thing wrong here if he thinks the economic situation keeps kids in public schools here. What's more likely is buying a larger house in an okay, but not great district and then sending your kids to the better private school.

I'm glad Dauber, unlike earlier board members, recognizes that traffic is a concern. One that isn't fixed by building more and more buildings on a school site.

Really, what it all comes down to is that the district likes the money it makes from renting out sites and it's easier to raise money for buildings than assuming the ongoing costs of running a school, but it's time the district did what was good for kids.

At least Dauber's fighting the mega-school push--now let's do something about the mega-schools we already have.

Re-open Greendell.

2 people like this
Posted by PAmoderate
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 6, 2015 at 6:38 pm

PAmoderate is a registered user.

If streets are so bad in Barron Park, maybe it was a mistake to build elementary schools there.

If the neighborhood ossificationists want to keep their "substandard" streets, maybe it would be better to move schools to where parents can drop their kids off. And just leave this neighborhood to the old folks that complain about traffic and change all the time.

Or maybe reformat Barron Park with "better than substandard" streets.

If "everything" is up for discussion, maybe *everything* should be up for discussion.

5 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 6, 2015 at 6:45 pm


Good point. Why not create sidewalks and well-marked bike paths on the main school thoroughfares?

And then maybe the board could pay attention to what happened at City Hall and realize that, yes, long-term enrollment will go up and it's time to work on opening that 13th elementary.

9 people like this
Posted by Next
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2015 at 7:40 pm

the roads and easements are actually too narrow on Barron Ave for sidewalks. Maybe "moderate" thinks everyone should move out or not be able to send their kids to school because they live on a narrow street?

Give me a break. You can't put a magnet school in Barron Park. Todd you will have to just find some other way to raise your property values. Like actually teach the poor and brown students rather than just gerrymander them out of consequence.

Really people. This is an educational gerrymander scheme. It has about as much chance of being approved as an Feminist Studies themed pathway at Paly. There is no point in discussing it further. Next suggestion?

Like this comment
Posted by PAmoderate
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2015 at 3:49 pm

PAmoderate is a registered user.

"Maybe "moderate" thinks everyone should move out ...."

Midtown suffered through the creation of Oregon Expressway. It wouldn't be the first time.

"or not be able to send their kids to school because they live on a narrow street? "

That's what the neighborhood ossificationists want. Clearly they just want to keep everything the same way.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

Los Altos's State of Mind opening NYC-inspired pizza shop in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 16 comments | 8,479 views

Wait, wait – we’re working on it
By Diana Diamond | 19 comments | 2,641 views

My Pet Peeves
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 7 comments | 2,066 views

Premarital and Couples: Here Be Dragons!
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,422 views

Goodbye toy stores
By Cheryl Bac | 10 comments | 1,387 views


Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details