SCC teacher housing plan moves forward

The Palo Alto City Council recently voted to allocate $3 million for a subsidized housing project for teachers and administrative staff, but it’s still unclear whether educators serving students from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View will benefit from it.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian has spearheaded the project, which could establish 60-120 below-market-rate housing units for local teachers. The Board of Supervisors agreed to donate 1.5 acres of county land at 231 Grant Ave. in Palo Alto, along with $6 million from an affordable housing fund for the project. Simitian hopes that the Palo Alto Unified School District, the Mountain View Whisman School District, the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District, the Los Altos School District and the Foothill-De Anza Community College District will be involved in the project.

Foothill College awards first bachelor's degrees

Courtesy of Foothill College
Program Director Phyllis Spragge, right, celebrates with the inaugural baccalaureate class June 29.

Twenty-three Foothill College graduates walked away with something new June 29: a bachelor’s degree.

The inaugural class earned dental hygiene degrees as part of a pilot initiative that allowed 15 community colleges in the state to develop baccalaureate programs for technical degrees in 2014. Four years later, the first graduates are ready to enter the workforce with a degree that will give them flexibility in their careers, according to Phyllis Spragge, program director. Graduates with an associate degree can work as dental hygienists, but they can’t move on to other related jobs.

Hunger program seeks donations

The Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto seeks donations for the coming school year.

Items needed include backpacks, school supplies, toiletries and gift cards.

Despite Supreme Court ruling, local teachers unions undeterred


After the U.S. Supreme Court’s expected but critical blow to public labor unions, local teachers unions are expected to remain strong because of high membership rates and union support.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 June 27 that employees who are not union members will no longer have to pay the union’s agency fees in states where they were previously required.

Let's combat global warming

Global warming is a big problem. Here is how it affects the Earth and people. Do you think it is a big problem?

Why is climate change happening? One of the reasons for the greenhouse effect is coal being burned. Another reason is chemical gases getting trapped in the atmosphere, heating Earth up. Also, when people burn fossil fuels to make electricity, the chemicals and heat get trapped in the atmosphere. All of the debris at once is too hard for the atmosphere to push out. It is like giving you years’ worth of homework all at once.

Teens talk mental health in 'Just a Thought'

Courtesy of Children’s Health Council
Members of the Children’s Health Council’s Teen Wellness Committee display copies of the book they compiled, “Just a Thought,” which addresses mental health challenges teens face. Pictured are, front, from left: Emily Snelling, Maya Chawla, Hazel Lam and Hamsa Jambulapati. Back: Danny Howell, Meghna Singh, Niklas Goodman, Ethan Du and Renee Remsberg.

When it comes to teenage mental health, there may not be a better authority than teens themselves. That’s why Stanford University’s Children’s Health Council reached out to Bay Area high school students to form the Teen Wellness Committee.

That was two years ago. Last month, members of the committee – which includes students from Los Altos, Mountain View, St. Francis and Gunn highs – released “Just a Thought,” a book comprising stories and anecdotes from Bay Area teens, unfiltered and candid about the struggles of mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression.

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