Media Literacy & FAQ

  • Welcome to the Frequently Asked Financial Question site for the Menlo Park City School District. This page serves to answer questions about how MPCSD is funded, the history of funding in our area, what MPCSD is doing to strengthen and preserve its financial accountability, and how MPCSD compares to other districts. If a question arises to which you do not find an answer, please ask at info@mpcsd.org.


    This page is presented within a framework of media literacy. In our digital age, we are exposed to more information in one day than a person a couple hundred years ago would see in an entire lifetime. And increasingly, people are getting that info through social media, which often directs users to clickbait-y, unreliable sources, and encourages us to live in a confirmation bias bubble. This page is a primary source for direct, accurate, transparent information, using the most updated resources possible.


    We have partnered with Hillview Middle School librarians Tracy Piombo and Aimee Mathenia to present background information on media literacy, the same information being taught to MPCSD students as they learn to navigate and digest the vast media outlets around them.


    When evaluating a news source, always start with the ABCs: author, bias, and currency. The Hillview Library offers these guidelines:

    1. Do not use “aggregators,” sites that rehash other news articles. Follow the links to find the original article. (Examples: BuzzFeed, HuffPost)
    2. Go to the source: if an article mentions a study, find the study to see if it the article represents it accurately.
    3. Beware of sensationalism: headlines designed to provoke a strong emotional reaction.
    4. Triangulate: verify the information from multiple reliable sources.
    5. Check the url: .co and .lo are sometimes fake. Fake sites often also use something very close to a well-known URL just to trick you!
    6. Be aware of your own confirmation bias: the tendency to believe information that fits your opinion or world-view. Be critical of information you WANT to believe.

    As our community continues to reflect on its values and what it expects for the education of its children, MPCSD will continue to provide truthful, current, and unbiased information so that it can have an honest conversation with its taxpayers and fulfill its mission of working together to inspire high academic achievement among all students, serve their needs, challenge their minds, and enrich their lives, laying a foundation for success and participation in our democratic society and as citizens of the world.