Color coded scribbles or typed class notes earn community service hours for dozens of students through the Palo Alto High School note-taking system, but many students are unaware of why the program was established, where the notes go, or how they can access them.
Testing Center Administrator Jennifer Ramberg organizes the system and recruits note takers from various classes.
“Not all classes have a notetaker; the need for notetakers is based on students who have accommodations requiring a notetaker,” Ramberg said. “So, students who have s or [IEP]s –s and [IEP]s are documents that the school and the county have for students who need special accommodations in order to have access to their learning.”
On Libguides, students can find an organized catalog of past and present notes for the majority of Paly core courses. According to Ramberg, students with special accommodations benefit from these notes because they are able to focus on auditory learning without worrying about note taking. The site also provides a reference for review of the material after class.
“I wish there was more education about it,” Ramberg said. “It’s on Libguides, and Libguides is on paly.net.”
Students can access the notes by going to the Paly website, then scrolling down. The left sidebar, labelled “Paly Class Notes,” redirects viewers to a website with all past submissions from participating classes.
Students can gain community service hours from note-taking.
“For every date that you submit notes for, you get a half hour of community service, so it could really add up,” Ramberg said. “If you’re a notetaker for just one class, if you are consistent, it’s gonna be between 30 and 40 hours by the end of the school year.”
According to junior notetaker Lara Nakamura, the process is a simple way to earn volunteer hours.
“I notetake for C Magazine, where we already have our computers out most of the time anyways, so jotting a summary of class is no sweat,” Nakamura said.
Junior Sarthak Pant takes notes for three of his classes and joined the program to receive community service hours.
“The note taking system has been a great experience so far,” Pant said. “The notes include announcements, the lecture notes and the homework assigned that day.”
Students can find Ramberg in the Testing Center, which is stationed in the 700s building.
“You just come in here and we look up your classes and we see if any of your classes need a notetaker,” Ramberg said.
If you would like to be a student note taker, contact [email protected]
Access past notes at http://libguides.pausd.org/palyclassnotes