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Fiber coming to the home? Page 3
Simplify the Holidays Local faith leaders suggest ways to add joy, reduce stress and create meaningful celebrations PAGE 39
Eating Out 21
Short Story winner 26
N Arts Palo Alto’s got Talenthouse
N Sports Paly, SHP play for state titles
N Home An inside view of Professorville homes
Pediatric Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit
Packard Children’s Heart Center
Stanford Hospital & Clinics
Stanford School of Medicine
Packard Children’s Hospital
TOGETHER WE PERFORMED ONE OF THE WORLD’S FIRST PEDIATRIC HEART TRANSPLANTS.
In 1984, we gave 2-year-old Lizzy Craze a new heart. Twenty-ﬁve years later, she’s one of the longest surviving transplant patients - and she’s thriving. Today, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital has one of the nation’s largest pediatric heart transplant programs. Together, we continue to pioneer new treatments that reduce the need for heart biopsies, explore drug therapies that eliminate the need for transplants for many patients, and sustain patients who await transplants. Visit lpch.org to see how we work together.
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Palo Alto eyes expansion of fiber network While city waits for Google’s announcement on a citywide fiber project, staff considers less ambitious options by Gennady Sheyner here’s a chance that Palo Alto’s dream of a citywide ultra-high-speed broadband network will come true later this month, when Google announces which community will host its highly coveted Google Fiber for Communities project. But then again, with hundreds of
other cities — from Avon, Conn., to Walla Walla, Wash. — vying for the Google prize, the city isn’t holding its breath. Instead, Palo Alto officials are busily exploring other ways to extend and “light up” the city’s existing dark fiber backbone and bring high-speed Internet access to more local customers. In the next two months, the city
plans to receive the results of two different studies evaluating the potential market for a municipal fiber system and ways to attract private investment dollars to the project. The city’s Utilities Advisory Commission discussed the effort at its Wednesday night meeting and lauded staff’s effort to explore an expansion of the fiber network.
The major question staff is wrestling with now is just how big of an expansion the city can handle. The existing 41-mile fiber network, which has 59 customers and 154 licensed connections, has been an economic bonanza, bringing the city about $3 million in annual fees and roughly $2 million in profits. At the Wednesday meeting, Commis-
sion Chair Asher Waldfogel called the fiber ring a “phenomenal asset for the city.” But while staff is enthusiastic about upgrading the system and expanding it to other major commercial and industrial customers, the road to a citywide broadband (continued on page 10)
Teaching: ‘kid by kid’ In annual review, elementary school heads discuss trends, goals by Chris Kenrick
Palo Alto High School ninth-grader Kimberly Sanchez, left, works on homework with DreamCatchers’ on-site director, Adeva Cha, at Paly Monday.
Catching hold of their dreams Nonprofit tutoring program for Palo Alto students teaches more than academics by Jocelyn Dong
utor Annie Osborn was negotiating with Jordan Middle School seventh-grader Eunice Navarro earlier this week over Eunice’s daily homework
schedule. They’d already sketched out an hour for homework in the afternoon and were now eyeing the after-dinner slot. “Homework twice?” Eunice
asked, her eyes widening. “How long does homework take each day?” Osborne asked. Eunice figured it took two hours. She looked at the schedule again, with homework planned for 7-7:45 p.m. “That’s enough!” Eunice said, hopeful of convincing Osborne. “Why don’t you give it that time, just in case,” Osborne said, smiling. “And if you’re done early, you have free time.” At DreamCatchers, a weekly tu-
toring program held in Palo Alto, about 30 students not only get help with math, reading, social studies and other subjects — they are schooled in how to become better lifelong learners. On Monday, they discussed homework schedules and how to make their study areas distraction-free. In past sessions, they’ve talked about how to set and achieve reasonable goals, concentrate instead of get distracted, take initiative, (continued on page 8)
Palo Alto school principal has suggested that teachers “explode” the traditional parentteacher conference in an effort to achieve more candid conversations with parents about how their children are really doing. The comments, by Hoover Elementary School Principal Susanne Scott, came in a Tuesday gathering in which Palo Alto’s 12 elementary school principals updated the Board of Education on trends at their schools. The principals gave formal presentations about their use of data to customize math and literacy instruction for each child and discussed how the district’s increased attention to student social-emotional health has affected their schools. Scott’s impassioned comments came toward the end of the threehour discussion, in response to a parent’s questioning of whether schools are keeping parents sufficiently informed when their child is in danger of failing. “I’m often really surprised at how little parents seem to appreciate whether their kids are potentially part of this (failing) group,” the parent, Sara Woodham, said. “To what extent are these assessments, and what you are doing, fed back to parents so they understand what they need to do now, what the school is doing, how they feed into it and what the potential impacts are going forward?” Woodham said that even if some of the parents themselves did not achieve high levels of education, “their level of education doesn’t have to be what their children (continued on page 9)
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