The Barron Park Association

Apr 202013

from Greta Gize Olbrich

Smita Kolhatkar is the Educational Technology Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) at Barron Park Elementary School in Palo Alto. She uses Scratch and Tynker in her school’s lunchtime programming club, which sparked similar programs at other schools in the Bay Area.

Read more about Smita and how Barron Park School successfully runs this club:
Tynkering at Lunchtime

” Tynker is a platform that can be flexibly integrated into a classroom or school. While some schools use it in their formal computer programming curriculums, other schools use it to enhance learning in classes like math, science, art and so forth. Still others have used it in extracurricular coding clubs, like this Lunchtime Club. Kids from across grades get together in a room, and experiment – there is no formal structure or curriculum, just a gentle direction, and the rest is up to the kids’ imagination.”

See also the previous post about Barron Park School: Barron Park School has IT


Mar 102013

from Greta Gize Olbrich

IT …as in Information Technology.

Barron Park School is the only school in PAUSD, and one in just a handful in the Bay Area that teaches coding in the classroom in a program supported by , a non-profit foundation dedicated to growing computer programming education.

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, among the supporters of this initiative, both believe that “every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn how to code.”  Barron Park School has taken the initiative and is providing this opportunity to its students. See Barron Park on the list of schools who are participating in this program :

Barron Park’s Educational Technology Teacher Specialist, Smita Kolhatkar, holds a very unique staffing position at the school. She is a full-time teacher, but splits her instructional time at all grade levels and all classrooms.  And what’s more, Barron is the only elementary school in PAUSD to host a full-time Educational Technology Specialist. Smita helps augment the ways in which technology is used to enhance teaching and learning. There is a lot of excitement on the campus with this additional resource to invest in supporting our teachers to use the digital tools that are constantly evolving. She’s introduced Tynker, LEGOMindstorm, SCRATCH, and SCRATCH 2.0 to the students during class time. There’s also a very popular SCRATCH/Tynker club at noontime.

Feb 022013

The 17th Annual Juana Run will take place Saturday, March 2, 2013. Race through our beautiful Barron Park neighborhood in a competitive 8K race or enter the 1-mile family fun run.

There are other races for children, from pre-K to the 5th grade, and a Challenge Race for children with special needs.

The 8K starts at 8:30AM. The kids races starting times are varied, beginning at 10 AM. The 1-mile family run starts at 11 AM.

Proceeds benefit Terman and Gunn Sports Boosters and the Barron Park School PTA.

Bring the whole family, participate in the races and enjoy a Pancake breakfast, and other free food and drink.

Register at

If you don’t wanna run, but still wanna have fun, come volunteer at the race:

  •  for pre-race help, click here
  • for monitoring the race click here
  • for race day help to help monitor: click here