Support Reinventing Engineering and Technology At Paly

  • recipient: Palo Alto High School Administration, PAUSD Administration, PAUSD School Board

RETAP (Reinventing Engineering and Technology @ Paly) is a parent group urgently advocating for bringing Paly computer science and engineering education into the 21st century - and supporting the new program as it is built out.

The Challenge:

Most jobs of the future will require an understanding of computer science concepts. Reflecting this reality, Computer Science is now the largest major at Stanford and many other elite colleges, and most peer public high schools offer a broad range of high quality, integrated classes in computer science and engineering.

Yet computer science and engineering education at Paly hasn't evolved to match either the new challenges and opportunities of our tech-driven world nor the programs offered by our peer schools.  Even as an elective program, Paly's computer science and engineering curriculum is limited, out of date, and uninviting both to students without previous CS/engineering exposure and to those entering at an advanced level. This curricular area at Paly needs to be comprehensively re-envisioned for the 21st century.


The solution

We believe that with parent and district support, Palo Alto High School can build a model 21st century high school computer science and engineering program that rivals the best in the nation – one able to introduce all interested students to a mode of thinking that will be all but indispensible for success in their adult professional lives.

  1. Paly must take computer science and engineering seriously, recognizing that they are built on modes of thinking with the same intellectual value as mathematical, literary, and scientific approaches to understanding – and impacting – our world.
  2. The PAUSD needs to appoint an expert educator with a clear mandate to make the school, belatedly, a leader in this field of high school education. This can, and should be, advertised as an exciting an opportunity to make a mark in a well supported district with a parent community willing to do everything it can to make the new program succeed. 

If you would like to get more involved with the parent advocacy group (RETAP), please contact Simon Firth at

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