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Principal Update - Special CAASPP Schedules and Other Info!

Hello JLS Families, I hope your family is getting back into the groove of school and looking forward to a successful 4th Quarter.  It’s hard to believe that we are already into the second half of April!  That said, we have a lot to accomplish and much to look forward to.  The most important item to celebrate is the work of our entire community to make this school year as safe, engaging, and as successful as possible.  Please read this message to be aware of the following topics:  

  • California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Testing Bell Schedules
    • CAASPP Week 1 Bell Schedule - April 19 through 22
    • CAASPP Week 2 Bell Schedule - April 26 & 27
  • PAUSD K-12 Youth Art Show - Opening Thursday, April 21, 2022
  • JLS Dance Party - Friday, April 29, 5-7:00 PM (and 7:30 PM for 8th Grade)
  • Punctual Panthers Certificates
  • Project Cornerstone Reminders

CAASPP Testing
Over the next two weeks, JLS students will take this year’s CAASPP tests. Your child will take the following tests, depending on their grade level or instructional program:

  • Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts (ELA) - April 19 & April 20 
  • California Science Test (CAST) (grades 8) - April 21 & 22
  • Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for Math - April 26 & 27

It is important for us to obtain results that are reflective of PAUSD’s student body. The assessment results allow PAUSD and JLS Middle School to evaluate our student achievement on State standards and identify the challenges and successes to better serve our students. To learn more about these tests go to the Starting Smarter webpage at, or review the Parent Guides to Understanding at If you have questions, please contact our CAASPP Site Test Coordinator, Kim Lohse (     Week of April 18 - 22 - CAASPP Testing Bell Schedule - Week 1 Week of April 25 - 29 -  CAASPP Testing Bell Schedule - Week 2 Emerging: Creative Minds Persevere - Palo Alto Unified School District’s K-12 Youth Art Show PAUSD’s art students, art teachers, and art programs have all persevered! This shows evidence that our hearts and minds are fully engaged in art-making. We have all emerged from quarantine and distance learning to embrace in-person art-making with absolute enthusiasm. The K-12 Youth Artwork that we will share in this show, reflects the creative thought, vision, skill, and commitment from a year unlike any other: the 2021-22 school year. This year, our teachers and students have worked to rebuild and grow creative dexterity and aesthetic understanding. PAUSD helped students learn new skills in a variety of media and focused on practices supporting equity within our content. The focus was also given to SEL (Social Emotional Learning) experiences, with special emphasis on providing students with ongoing opportunities to explore their personal experiences as the basis for art-making. Our students’ artistic stories are the blueprint of who they are and where they‘ve come from. A statement by the artist Ai Wei Wei speaks to our journey this year: “Life is art. Art is Life: I never separate it.” The opening is next Thursday, April 21st from 4:30-7:00.  I hope to see you all there to celebrate our student artists! Opening Night Schedule: 5:00-5:30 PM Paly Pop Acapella Groups: FolkBeats & Vikapella 5:30 PM Remarks 6:00-7:00 PM Gunn Senior Jazz Combo The show will also be open to the public on April 23-24, April 30-May 1, and May 7th from 11 AM to 5 PM, in the Cubberley Community Center "I" Building, 4000 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303. JLS Dance Party - Friday, April 29, 5-7:00 PM (and 7:30 PM for 8th Grade) Mark your calendars! Our next school dance is Friday, April 29 from 5:00-7:00 PM for 6th and 7th grade students, and 5:00-7:30 PM for 8th grade students.  Tickets were initially advertised to cost $10, but there has been a change: Tickets now cost $5 and will be on sale next week at JLS during lunch times.  The theme is “Flower Fest” (think 70’s)!  Please see JLS Events Schoology Group for more information (Access Code: QMQ6-ZWZV-CZMK5).   Punctual Panther Certificates You’ll be happy to know that we have made some school-wide improvements on our punctuality over the course of this school year.  Overall, 62% of all JLS students had "perfect punctual attendance" (meaning zero Tardies) during Quarter 1, and 64% in Quarter 2, and 68% in Quarter 3! Individual students who have zero Tardies for Quarter 2 and Quarter 3 were recognized by a Punctual Panther Certificate.  These certificates were distributed during PRIME on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Note: Quarter 2 certificates have names in Blue Ink, and Quarter 3 certificates have names in Black Ink.   If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Scherer ( in the Counseling Office.   Project Cornerstone Reminders: SEL Modules Still Available! Last month we released two modules for JLS families to use with their children to explore themes related to social-emotional wellness.  Families are invited to access these resources on their own, and use them as they see fit.  

  • Module 1, “Re-Entry Plan” includes this video and targets the topic of Self Awareness.  Please see the attached (Module 1) newsletter after watching the video and discussing the ideas presented in the video as a family. 
  • Module 2, “Meet Your Brain” includes this video and targets the topic of wellness through good habits to support a healthy brain.  Please see the attached (Module 2) newsletter after watching the video and discussing the ideas presented in the video as a family. 
  • Additional Modules will be shared next week!  Stay tuned!  

Project Cornerstone Parent Ed Zooms: Our next Parent Education event for you to add to your calendar:

  • 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM on Tuesday, April 26 - Managing Stress and Fostering Resiliency

If you have any questions, regarding any of the information above or related to other JLS/PAUSD topics, please reach out to any member of the JLS team.   Warm regards, Chris Grierson, JLS Principal ( Additional Contact Information: Donna Hankins, 6th Grade Counselor ( Kim Lohse, 6th Grade Administrator ( Arvind Arya, 7th Grade Counselor ( Jeff Downing, 7th Grade Administrator ( Adriana Flores-Ragade, 8th Grade Counselor ( Hanisi Accetta, 8th Grade Administrator ( Carol Cannon, JLS Health Tech ( Jamey Boccio, JLS Attendance Secretary (