Welcome Back to the 2018-2019 School Year!  

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, myself, and staff, welcome to the 2017-18 school year in the Los Gatos – Saratoga Union High School District!  I hope you have enjoyed a summer with opportunity for rest, rejuvenation and a chance to reconnect with family and friends.

As a district, we are committed to a tradition of excellence – for our work and for ourselves.  We strive to ensure we provide each student the best possible educational environment; one that meets our 2016 -2019 Strategic Plan goal of “SUPPORTING ALL STUDENTS to develop the skills, passions, confidence, and resiliency to pursue college and career pathways that are right for them.  We foster academic excellence and offer a variety of courses and programs that support student needs and interests.  Academic college preparatory courses, Career Technical Education, visual and performing arts, New Tech (LGHS), MAP (SHS), and a host of extra-curricular/co-curricular programs ensure students have options.  Innovative instructional strategies fostered though ongoing, coherent professional development and supported by targeted, intentional educational technology mean our students/your children have access to the resources they need to engage in their journey towards global citizenship. 

Our Strategic Plan also includes a commitment to fostering “Student Wellness, Balance and Belonging.”  Programs and professional development that support students’ social/emotional well-being are in place across our campuses.  For example, Passageworks training and community workshops focus on engaged teaching and leadership and cultural sensitivity.  The Asset Survey, administered for the third time last year, gives us data that informs our work and planning around student connectedness and self-esteem. Students have access to counseling, through CASSY (Counseling and Support Services for Youth) and Student Centers, now at both campuses, that provide ongoing support.  The S3 committee (Student Support Services) continues to look at ways to ensure all students have the resources they need by applying a tiered intervention model. 

This year, we will be deepening our work around acceptance and cultural awareness.  We have contracted with Dr. Nancy Dome, of Epoch Education, and have been working with her over the summer, to examine our policies and practices to ensure a school culture where everyone feels welcome and safe. By the time school begins, we will be identifying staff and student leaders who will be trained by Dr. Dome and, using a Trainer of Trainers Model, will then serve as ambassadors for the work.  We are also providing funding for a District Social/Emotional Learning/Diversity task force.  Throughout the year, these teams will provide workshops, forums, assemblies and training around these topics.  And, this work will not end this year.  It will become an integral part of our curriculum, ensuring that everyone receives the message that our schools are places where ALL students, parents and staff members are valued, welcome and feel connected.  We are looking forward to the focused, productive discussions this important work will create, which will ultimately benefit our students during their school career and beyond.  Community involvement will also be key to this effort and you will hear more about those opportunities as the work progresses.

We continue the work of transforming our campuses, thanks to your support and the support of the larger community for the Measure E bond.  As you return to school, you’ll see that much has been accomplished over the summer.  At Saratoga High, the music building is open, and will provide space for 600 passionate music students, as well as relieving the previous logistical issues, caused by a program which had been scattered across campus.  The 800 Wing demolition has begun and renovations will continue through the school year.  Room 901, recently used for storage of musical instruments, has been renovated and returned to its original purpose – English department staff collaboration space. Drama renovations and many safety repairs are also complete.   At Los Gatos High, you will see two new buildings underway.  The new classroom and music wings are scheduled for completion in time for the opening of school next year.  In the meantime, I appreciate your patience with traffic and parking issues.  Ultimately, we will be able to return all parking spaces to students. Finally, the bond also supports critical technology needs.  The summer was a busy one for our I.T. team, as they continued the Audio/Visual installations at Saratoga and technology upgrades for the World Languages labs at Los Gatos High. To learn more about Measure E projects, please follow us at @LGHSMeasureE and @SHSMeasureE.

Another thank you to you and our community for renewing our $49/parcel tax.  By approving this renewal, you allow us to count on approximately $970K of revenue that we are using to maintain core academic programs and reduce class size.

Our students continue to thrive.  Academic measures, such as the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium), graduation rates, A-G completion, UC/CSU eligibility and A.P. testing scores indicate impressive results, and you are part of the partnership that makes this happen.  Thank you!   

I will continue to share highlights and important issues with you via the Superintendent’s Quarterly.   We are committed to focusing on what is best for kids; and, your support and engagement in that effort is truly appreciated.  Thank you for the opportunity to be part of this community and this work for another year.  

January 2017 - Measure E Update

At the January 17th, 2017 board meeting, staff reviewed the status of Measure E projects, including budget, change orders and project enhancements at LGHS. The presentation can be found by clicking here. A similar update regarding SHS will be presented on February 7th.

October, 2016 - Measure E Update

Last week, the District undertook the issuance and sale of Series B of the Measure E General Obligation Bonds. This is the second and final issuance of bonds authorized by Measure E, bringing the total issuance to $99 million. We are excited to report that, due to the current financial market for bond sales, the cost of issuance was significantly less than originally projected, resulting in a savings of $1,600,000. These monies are now available for projects that directly benefit our students! We have been able to distribute these savings to the sites’ contingency funds - especially important in a time of increased costs in the construction market. We will continue to look for ways to manage Measure E projects and funds in a way that maximizes our ability to provide a safe, 21st Century learning environment for our students and facilities that reflect the standard of excellence our communities expect and deserve. As always, thank you for your support of our schools!

For more information, go to www.lgsuhsd and follow us on Twitter @LGHSMeasureE



Dear Students and Parents,
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year in the Los Gatos – Saratoga Union High School District. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, myself, and staff, we are excited about the opportunities the new year brings as we partner with each of you to create the best possible educational environment and experience for everyone.

This commitment to excellence goes beyond academic rigor. Building connections with students and with each other, supporting student social/emotional well-being, and offering a rich extra-curricular program are all part of what we do as we strive to create a well-rounded student and community citizen. This integrated approach was at the forefront of our recent district Strategic Planning process, during which parents, students and staff came together to identify focus areas for the coming years.

As you know, in the spring of 2015, we conducted a survey of parents, students and staff, gathering your feedback about how we’re doing. From the over 4,000 responses received, we learned that, overall, students and parents are very satisfied with our schools. And, we also learned that our work to support students, socially and emotionally, will continue to be an area of focus. The district’s new Strategic Vision* “SUPPORT ALL STUDENTS to develop the skills, passions, confidence, and resiliency to pursue college and/or career pathways that are right for them” is supported by the following Strategic Focus Areas:

· Relevant & Engaging Learning Experiences Emphasizing the 4C’s (Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, Collaboration)

· Student Wellness, Balance & Belonging

· Culture of Collaboration & Innovation

These strategic guidelines are the foundation for district Strategic Initiatives, school plans and other planning documents.

*The Strategic Plan document can be found at Information/From the Superintendent/6763394563216248020.pdf

Thanks to the hard work of the Schedule Advisory Committee (SAC), we have a new bell schedule for this year – a full rolling block at both schools, with a slightly later start time that we know, from research, supports student well-being. We have also integrated district-wide and site-based collaboration and professional development days for staff, ensuring that our teachers are positioned to bring our students quality education and a learning environment that fosters the growth of ALL students.

We continue to look for ways to communicate with you, our stakeholders. The use of Canvas, a Learning Management System (LMS), is providing a standard communication and content delivery system to support quality instruction and provide students and parents with feedback to support learning. You’ll see a new look on our site and district websites – reorganized and aligned to facilitate your access to key information. And, we are happy to report that, in the second year of administration of the new standardized assessment, SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium), our students continued to achieve impressive results.

I want to express my appreciation for the support you showed by approving the May 2016 parcel tax renewal, Measure A. This locally controlled funding will, at a cost to residents of $49/parcel, provide approximately $970K per year, through 2025 and will be used to fund science, math, technology and engineering courses, provide support for excellent core academic programs and maintain class sizes.

Of course, the big news (the visible news) is the Measure E construction going on. Thanks to you, our campuses will see $99 million in modernization and new construction. Last year, we completed various field projects at both sites. This summer and fall, we’re breaking ground at SHS on the new Music Building and modernize the Cafeteria/ Theater space and moving forward with plans for a Music Building/Classroom wing at LGHS. Throughout the coming school year, there will be some disruption to our campuses, especially in terms of traffic flow and parking. However, safety is our priority and we appreciate your patience as we safeguard students, staff and visitors during the construction and renovation. To learn more about Measure E projects, please follow us at @LGHSMeasureE and @SHSMeasureE.

Thank you for the opportunity to again be part of this district and community. Thank you for your support, involvement and input. At all times, it’s about “what’s best for our kids!”


Bob Mistele

Last Tuesday, May 3rd, our community gave the Los Gatos – Saratoga High School district a vote of confidence – approving Measure A by over 70%. At $49 per parcel, Measure A will extend, but not increase, the current district parcel tax through 2025 and will allow the district to continue to provide an outstanding education for our students. This stable, locally-controlled funding source provides approximately $900K per year to support high quality math, science, engineering and technology courses as well as other core academic programs and helps us maintain class sizes.

The education of our students is a partnership with our students, parents, staff and community and this vote of support is a reflection of the strength of bond. I thank the voters, campaign volunteers, students, staff and the LGSUHSD Board of Trustees each for their part in this result. And I would like especially to thank our campaign leaders, LezLi Logan, Laura Tillett, Denise Ramon Herrera, Randi Chen and Janet Stimson for their tireless leadership and commitment to our students, our schools and this Measure.

There's a lot going on - It's an busy time at our campuses, seeing and planning for transformations and additions that will provide improved facilities and support instruction for our students. We are excited to share the attached report.

Dear Members of the LGSUHSD Community,

Harvard University recently released an interesting report calling for a change in the admissions process for universities across the nation. The report, entitled Turning the Tide, recommends a reshaping of the college admissions process to "...elevate and embody a healthier set of values." University leaders from more than 80 other colleges have endorsed this report, including representatives from the University of California, MIT, Boston College, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Yale and Princeton.

I recommend that all LGSUHSD students and parents read the Executive Summary of the Harvard report:

The last sentence of Summary reads, "In the face of deeply troubling trends that only seem to be worsening, it is time to say "Enough." I applaud the stance taken by Harvard and the other universities that endorse this fundamental change; a change which parallels the commitment of our district to foster connectedness and shape global citizens. It is my hope that this perspective will become systemic, leading to a more engaging and healthier environment for high school students across the country.


Bob Mistele



Dear Staff, Students and Community Members,

At the January 12th meeting of the Board of Trustees, the district’s Schedule Advisory Committee (SAC), comprised of 26 staff, students and parents from across the district, presented their new bell schedule recommendation. This unanimous consensus committee recommendation is the result of countless hours of discussion, research, and exploration by the members of the committee. I want to again thank the committee members and acknowledge their dedication and tireless commitment to achieving consensus around a bell schedule recommendation that will benefit our students and be part of our ongoing efforts to reduce student stress.

The work of the SAC has been chronicled on the district website. This real-time record has been maintained throughout their process and includes meeting agendas, minutes, research articles and the final recommendation. I encourage you to visit this site if you are interested in learning more.

At this time, based on the committee’s recommendation to me and your input, both positive and negative, I am accepting the committee’s recommendation with some adjustments. As you know, the initial recommendation included aligned but not identical schedules at each school. However, based on community concerns in Saratoga about an 85 minute block, the revised schedule recommendation for SHS will include increasing instructional minutes to provide a 90 minute block. The bell schedule recommendation for LGHS will be adopted as initially presented. While the increase in instructional minutes at SHS will result in a slightly earlier start time than originally recommended it will still be 25 minutes later than the current start time and students at both schools will receive the benefit of a later start – a key component of a schedule that, according to the research, is critical to student social-emotional well-being. Furthermore, both new school schedules are still structured in a way that meets the Desired Outcomes identified by the SAC.

This is a complex issue, as validated by the work of the SAC and community responses. I will keep you apprised as we begin the important work of planning and implementation. You are also invited to participate in a variety of forums where you will have an opportunity to hear more about next steps and implementation at your site. I encourage you to watch your inbox, school newsletters and websites for more information. I thank you all for your passion for our students – our shared goal is to provide the best possible educational experience for our kids and prepare them for life beyond high school.

group pic

The Los Gatos – Saratoga Union High School District is pleased to announce the appointment of Kristina Grasty as the new Principal of Los Gatos High School. Ms. Grasty was selected after an extensive search and interview process. Members of the school and community provided input via email, surveys, input meetings and participation on the interview panel and it was clear that Kristi was “the” choice for our students and our school.

Ms. Grasty is a true Los Gatan, with long-standing ties to the school and community. She has been serving as the Interim Principal of Los Gatos High since August 2015. Since 1996, she served the students of Los Gatos High as both a teacher and, for the past six years, as an Assistant principal. She began her career teaching English learners, K-8, has coached Cross County and Speech and Debate teams, served as a District Teachers Association representative, and as a mentor teacher for teachers new to the profession. Kristi, like her three children now, attended Los Gatos schools. She holds a BA from UC Berkeley, a M.Ed. from George Washington University, and an M.A. in Educational Administration and Leadership.

Throughout her work as interim Principal and earlier work as Assistant Principal, we have seen her commitment to creating the right atmosphere for students to thrive; she is committed to cultivating a positive climate for learning and supporting excellence in instructional practice. Her references speak to her integrity, collaborative leadership, and the ability to innovate. She was at the forefront of the implementation of New Tech at LGHS; and integral to bringing CASSY to the school as part of the school’s commitment to providing social/emotional support for all students and building connectedness.

Superintendent Mistele notes “I have worked with Kristi since I joined the district in 2007. Her heart, spirit, insight and dedication to the students and staff of Los Gatos High, the community and the district as a whole are unparalleled. She’s a thinker and a doer; she sees the big picture and the individual students and their needs. I have enjoyed and am looking forward to working with her, making good things happen for kids.”


Dear Students and Parents,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, myself, and staff, welcome to the 2015-2016 school year in the Los Gatos – Saratoga Union High School District! We are looking forward to the chance to meet new students and families and reconnect with familiar faces.

In the spring of 2015, we conducted a survey of parents, students and staff, gathering your feedback about how we’re doing. We received an impressive 4,086 responses, including 1,217 from parents and 2,659 from students. We learned that, overall, students and parents are very satisfied with our schools and the quality of academics and instruction, including the availability of AP/Honors courses and teacher support. You reported that counseling services are extensively utilized to address academic and personal problems and technology is used effectively to enhance instruction. However, while 95% of students feel safe on campus, approximately 35% indicate that intolerance and harassment is a concern – renewing our commitment to further expand our efforts and look for more ways to support students, socially and emotionally. An overview of the data is available on the district website at Strategic Plan Your input is helping us identify areas of strength and focus areas for future work and will be used as part of our process to revise and update the district’s Strategic Plan.

In 2014-2015, we introduced Canvas, a Learning Management System (LMS) designed to create a standard communication and content delivery system to support quality instruction. Throughout the year, professional development provided teachers and staff with the skills and knowledge to transition to this system and more effectively communicate with students, parents and each other. The strategic plan, developed by the DLLC (Digital Leadership Learning Committee) to ensure students meet the digital learning goals aligned with the ISTE Standards for Students, is available at District Technology Plan.

In 2015-2016, we look forward to building our ability to meet the identified needs in the district. Canvas professional development will continue, enhancing digital learning in the district and facilitating student and parent feedback and communication. CASSY (Counseling and Support Services for Youth) and S3 (Student Support Services) will support student and family social/emotional well-being and provide targeted interventions. Common Core provides the frame for professional development as we work to ensure our students are mastering standards and preparing for further education and the employment landscape. The district Strategic Planning process, involving representatives from all stakeholder groups, will begin and result in a district wide plan for 2016-2019, providing focus areas for district resources. Measure E spending is expected to reach $20,000,000, including the completion of the first phase of Technology Infrastructure on both campuses, artificial turf sports fields on both campuses, and the groundbreaking on the music complexes and additional classroom space on both campuses. The 2014-2015 initial administration of the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) was successful and has afforded us an opportunity to smoothly transition this new accountability measure in the coming years.

In 2011, voters in our community approved the district’s Parcel Tax, Measure A, supporting top-quality education in our district. It has continued to support core academic programs, retain and attract highly qualified teachers, prepare our students for success in college and careers beyond high school and reduce class sizes. Since Measure A is due to expire in the 2016-2017 school year, the Board may consider renewing the measure in an upcoming election.

The fiscal news continues to be positive. The Board adopted a balanced budget for 2015-2016 which included adding teaching positions to address increased enrollment and a corresponding increase in property tax revenue of 3.5%. The Governor’s Budget includes reimbursing districts for previously incurred mandated costs at a rate of $585/student, $100,000 of which we will set aside for future replacement of the artificial turf projects funded by Measure E. We are also able to increase our flexible site budget allocations by 10% per student.

Our students shine! They are school and community citizens and leaders and are positioned to succeed in the global, 21st century arena. They excel in the classroom, on the field and in the arts. Programs such as SCVTE (Silicon Valley Career Technical Education), Post –Secondary, Nova, Middle College, New Tech, MAP and Project Lead the Way continue to provide options for students and the tiered intervention program developed by the S3 Committee provide targeted support and strategies for all students.

Thank you for the opportunity to again be part of this district and community. Thank you for your support, involvement and input. At all times, it’s about “what’s best for our kids!”


Bob Mistele

While it may be the lazy days of summer, Measure E projects continue to move along on our campuses – getting as much done as possible to minimize disruption once school resumes. The district has been working with the Division of State Architects (DSA), the agency responsible for reviewing and approving all construction work on school campuses, throughout the summer to ensure that projects are moving along. We will update you as we get news and will work with our project management and construction teams to make up for any lost time, whenever feasible.

At LGHS, work on the football field and track is progressing and we anticipate completion by September 15, 2015 – yes, football season at LGHS will be played on the new field. The work on the baseball and multiuse field is about eight days behind, due to unforeseen utility issues and a shortage of acceptable soil. Project completion is now scheduled for October 8, 2015.

HMC Architects has completed a schematic design for the new classroom and music buildings, to be located in the former Maintenance yard and parking area. The Maintenance relocation project is in design and will be submitted to DSA for approval before the end of August. Temporary portable classrooms, to re