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Principal's Update - End Of Year Information

Hello JLS Families, I hope this message finds you doing well.  With the hectic pace of many things happening at the end of the school year, I appreciate your time in reading this message.   This update contains some new information about the following topics:

  • Library Book Return - Tomorrow! May 20, 2022
  • Reminder - 8th Grade Great America Trip: Friday, May 27, 2022
  • 8th Grade Tech Return
  • COVID-19 Rapid Home Test Kits distribution: Wednesday, May 27 in PRIME
  • Project Cornerstone Reminders
  • Counselor & Admin Changes for 2022-23
  • PAUSD InPlay - Local/Affordable Summer Programs/Activities
  • PAW Prints Issue #8
  • Important Dates to Remember (Last Week Schedule)

Please Return ALL JLS Library Books! Please return all your borrowed books to the library by tomorrow, Friday, May 20 unless your child’s teachers tell you otherwise. Course textbooks will be returned directly to teachers on Tuesday, May 24th, and Wednesday, May 25, 2022.  If you have any questions, please contact Michael Ambrose, JLS Librarian ( Reminder - 8th Grade Great America Trip: Friday, May 27, 2022 We are looking forward to our 8th Grade Trip to Great America on Friday, May 27.  Our students will be traveling by bus with staff chaperones.  We expect to be at Great America from 10 AM to about 5 PM.  More details will be shared with 8th Grade families soon.  If you have any questions, please contact Joan Scherer ( 8th Grade Laptop/Chromebook Return: IF the current 8th grader needs access to the device over the summer for Learning Ally, Lexia or other online learning tools, they should keep their device and turn it in at their high school in exchange for a new Chromebook at the start of the 2022-23 school year.  Please note that students in grades 6 and 7 should keep their 1:1 devices over the summer and continue to use them next school year.  Any student leaving the district should turn in their 1:1 device.  If you have any questions, please contact Brian Casino, JLS IT Support ( COVID Test Kits (2 boxes: 4 tests) for Every JLS Student: Wednesday, May 25th during PRIME all JLS students will be receiving two boxes of IntelliSwab COVID-19 Rapid Home Test (pictured below). Each box contains two COVID Rapid Tests.  The COVID test kits are to be used as needed. Only positive test results need to be reported to our JLS Health Technician, Carol Cannon (   JLS Site Council Update - Project Cornerstone Reminders: With thanks to our Site Council, we have worked with Project Cornerstone to bring SEL Modules to all JLS families.  Please explore the following with your family!

  • Module 1, “Re-Entry Plan” includes this video (this is a previously available resource) 
  • Module 2, “Meet Your Brain” includes this video (this is a previously available resource) 
  • Module 3: “Decision-Making/Risk Assessment” includes this video and this flyer
  • Module 4: “Boundaries & Peer Pressure” includes this video and this flyer.
  • Module 5: “Leadership & Sharing Power” includes this video and this flyer
  • Module 6: “Time Management & Goal Setting” includes this video and this flyer

For more information, check out the Project Cornerstone website. Please be on the lookout for a survey (from the JLS Site Council) to collect feedback from families who have used these resources.  Thank you! Counselor & Admin Changes for 2022-23: Due to declining enrollment within the Palo Alto Unified School District, JLS will be losing our current 6th-grade counselor, Ms. Donna Hankins. Donna Hankins is, and will always be, a part of the JLS Panther family. Although we are sad to see Donna Hankins leave JLS, I am happy to announce that Ms. Carolyn Chang, a counselor from Greene Middle School, will make JLS her home for the 2022-23 school year.  Carolyn Chang has been at JLS before and is excited to return to our community and support 7th-grade students next year with Kim Lohse. As you might already know, Jeff Downing (current 7th grade Administrator) will be leaving JLS to join the Addison community as Principal of Addison Elementary School.  While we will also remember Jeff Downing as part of our Admin Team, we are excited to welcome Sarah Pierce to our group.  Sarah Pierce is looking forward to bringing her 18+ years in education as a middle school teacher, Math IL, and Summer School Principal to JLS.  She is excited to connect with a new group of students, staff, and families.   Please join me in honoring the contributions and relationships made by Donna Hankins and Jeff Downing, and welcome Carolyn Chang and Sarah Pierce to our Panther community. New Grade Level Partnerships for 2022-23: Starting August 2, 2022, the new JLS Counseling Department structure will be as follows (with the Admin Partner listed):

  • Adriana Flores Ragade, 6th Grade Counselor (with Hanisi Accetta, 6th Grade Admin)
  • Carolyn Chang, 7th Grade Counselor (with Kim Lohse, 7th Grade Admin)
  • Arvind Arya, 8th Grade Counselor (with Sarah Pierce, 8th Grade Admin)

Local & Affordable Summer Programs/Activities for Kids: With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to explore ways to keep your kids’ minds and bodies engaged! We are excited to share that Palo Alto Unified School District partners with InPlay, a nonprofit working with Santa Clara County, to help you find the perfect fit for your child and family. Hundreds of local and affordable programs, including FREE and reduced-cost opportunities, are nearby and can be found through this free, searchable site at or by going to and choosing what city you would like to search for activities in. You will be able to find both in-person and online, instructor-led activities, and you can search for activities based on whether they have pricing discounts, accommodations for kids with special needs, or instructors that speak languages other than English. Below are flyers for elementary-aged children and teens in English, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese. If you have any questions or need help using the site, contact Palo Alto Unified School District provides as a resource for parents who seek additional learning opportunities for their kids. Palo Alto Unified School District has not reviewed the programs and does not specifically endorse them. Parents should thoroughly research all activities before enrolling their children.

Looking for something to read? Check out PAW Prints Issue #8! One last thing!  PAW Prints Issue #8 is ready to enjoy!  Our student writers (“Newsies”) recently published their 8th and Final Issue of our digital newspaper with the help of Ms. Valero.  Please join me in supporting and celebrating their accomplishments! Important End Of Year Events: May 24: YCS Monthly Service Activity, 3:30-4:30 PM May 27: 8th Grade Great America Trip May 31-June 2, 2022: Special Bell Schedule!   May 30: Memorial Day Holiday, No School May 31: *NEW DATE* Special PTA General Association Meeting, 8:45 - 9:15 AM, zoom link here June 1: 6th Grade Field Day (10:15-11:40 AM, during school) June 2: Last day of school; Minimum day - 12:40 PM dismissal June 2: 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony, 6-7:30 PM, for students and families June 2: 8th Grade Promotion Party for students, following Ceremony (ends at 9:30 PM) Thank you for your interest, involvement, and continued support of our school.  If you have any questions, please reach out to any member of the JLS team.     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 (