News Digest | October 12, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - October 12, 2012

News Digest

Schools report improved scores

Better test scores among disadvantaged and underrepresented minority students contributed to a bump in the Academic Performance Index (API) score of Palo Alto public schools, which was publicly released Thursday by the California Department of Education.

District-wide, Palo Alto's score jumped from 926 to 934, placing it in the top six K-12 districts in California.

The five K-12 districts coming in ahead of Palo Alto were San Marino, at 954; La Canada at 950; Piedmont at 938; Manhattan Beach at 937 and Sunol Glen at 936.

Palo Alto logged API growth "across all numerically significant subgroups, with the greatest API gains across students who are socio-economically disadvantaged, Hispanic and English learners," the district said in a press release.

Fourteen of the district's 17 individual campuses — all but Addison, Hoover and Nixon elementary schools — saw API gains.

Although Hoover's score remained unchanged from last year, it was still good enough to make it the fifth highest-scoring elementary school in California.

Palo Alto's three middle schools are among the top 55 highest-scoring in California, and Gunn and Palo Alto high schools respectively were the 27th and 49th highest-scoring on the API.

The API score reflects school-wide and district-wide performance on California's Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program and on the California High School Exit Exam.

Prowler eludes police in Duveneck manhunt

A prowler in the backyard of a home on Tulip Lane eluded Palo Alto police on Tuesday, Oct. 9, after a homeowner spotted him hopping a fence in her backyard, police said. But while police hunted for the man, another resident flagged down an officer to report that his home on nearby Wildwood Lane had been burglarized.

The Tulip Lane resident saw the man jump the fence into the rear of the yard at about 1:30 p.m. and called police immediately. Officers set up a perimeter around the neighborhood to try to catch the man but could not find him, Sgt. Kara Apple said.

The man is described as Caucasian, in his late 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 140 pounds and with a slight build. He had light-brown hair and wore a turquoise-and-white-striped shirt and light pants.

While police sought the prowler, a resident in the 600 Block of Wildwood near Channing Avenue flagged down a patrol car and reported that his home had been burglarized. Apple said the report for the theft had not yet been completed.

Residents have been concerned about the recent uptick in burglaries in their neighborhood, and many are looking into obtaining surveillance equipment and developing community crime-fighting strategies, they said.

Police release sketch of suspected burglar

Palo Alto police have released a sketch of a man wanted in connection with the burglary of a home in the 1000 block of Arrowhead Way Thursday, Oct. 4, Sgt. Kara Apple stated in a press release last weekend.

Apple said a resident "got a clear view" of the burglar as he fled the area at approximately 9 a.m. The resident said she had left her house at 8:30 a.m. "to run a quick errand." She returned home about 20 minutes later to find that it had been burglarized, Apple stated.

After returning home the resident stayed in her car in the driveway for a few minutes, according to Apple. She heard a car door slam and noticed a man get into the driver's seat of a black four-door BMW sedan that was parked nearby. The resident made eye contact with the man before getting out of her car, at which point he sped away, police stated.

The resident then noticed her front door was unlocked even though she remembered locking it when she left, according to Apple. Upon entering her home the woman realized some of her belongings had been moved and that a tablet computer and a video-game console had been stolen.

Officers found that the burglar had "entered a side yard gate, removed a screen and climbed into the home through an open bathroom window," Apple stated.

The suspected burglar was described as a white male, approximately 20 to 35 years old, with a fair complexion and a medium build. He had short blond hair, no facial hair and no earrings, according to the resident. He was last seen driving southbound on Aztec Way from Arrowhead.

Anyone with information about the burglary can call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

—Tyler Hanley


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