Monday Message

MAY 10, 2021

Big picture

See staff appreciation photo gallery

Dear MEA parents and students,

Thank you for making us feel so appreciated last week with the amazing array of gifts, personal notes and inspiring chalk art messages on the walkways. This is such a great community to be a part of, with incredible kids and supportive families. To everyone involved, WOW!!!


MEA Staff

Message to Secret Helpers

Thank you to all the parents and students who helped put together a wonderful staff appreciation week! We are so happy to have shown our teachers and staff our gratitude.

~ MEA Foundation

Big picture

* * * * * *


The district will NOT be administering the CAASPP assessments this year. Instead, we will be administering shorter Math and English exams to grades 3-11 as well as a very short SEL Survey to grades 4-12. Students will receive more information from their teachers. Some grade levels and subject areas have already completed the required assessments. Others will be completing them in the coming weeks.

By taking these exams, we ensure that Mt. Everest students are meeting all expectations and it validates the existence of our unique program. We encourage all students to participate! (High school students earn volunteer hours for participating as we see this as a service to our community.)

Big picture

* * * * * *

Covid-19 Safety Expectations for On-Campus Learning Opportunities

If your student is attending one of our on-site learning opportunities, please be sure:

1) You have discussed Covid-19 safety procedures with them.

2) Your student arrives with a signed copy of the Parent acknowledgement of student on-site learning form. (This only needs to be brought on the first day.)

3) Your student brings the Daily Student Symptoms Checklist that is filled out at home before coming to school, or you can complete the daily symptom checklist online at the ClearPass web portal using your child’s district ID and pw. Then a screenshot on your phone can be shown at check-in that this has been completed. (Grades 6-12 can do this on their own phones.)

Some of the expectations for on campus attendance:

✔ Parents must take their child's temperature before coming to school. (Thermometers will be provided for any families needing one for home.)

✔ Students must arrive at the appropriate gate entrance on time at the beginning of the session. Students may not enter gates after this time. Pick up on time afterward is also strictly enforced.

✔ At the entrance, parents must arrive with a completed form (which can be done on paper or online) verifying their child does not have a temperature or any signs of illness.

✔ Parents/other adults are not allowed on campus past the gates.

✔ Masks must be worn at all times.

✔ Everyone will remain socially distanced at all times

✔ Playground/outdoor play will be allowed during each grade's allotted time.

✔ Eating will not be allowed on campus (no snacks).

✔ Extra air filtration devices will be in each classroom.

✔ Windows and doors will remain open. We will also schedule some of the activities to be outdoors.

✔ If you or your child have any signs of illness, please stay home. Any students showing signs of illness at school will be isolated in another location until parents can pick them up.

On-Campus Opportunities

K-5 "Unplugged"

If your student is signed up to attend our "Unplugged" sessions, you should have received a detailed message with procedures and expectations. Part of the elementary parking lot will be coned off for students/families to line up by grade level. Please park and line up with your child in their grade level line.

  • Students must be checked in between 12:00 and 12:15
  • Students must be picked up at 2pm. (Please wait in your grade level line until your student is released to you.)

6-12 "Study Zone"

One of the things families and students have said they miss the most about being on campus are the impromptu conversations they have with others in the MEA community. We will try to re-create this in the Study Zone, where students in grades 6-8 and 9-12 will have opportunities to study with their peers and meet with available teachers. The auditorium and lunch court will be open during specific times for middle school and high school, following protocols outlined above. We may offer additional opportunities based on student input. ASB members, clubs, gardening, and the Coop Group may possibly also have meetings within the Study Zone timeframe. Students must sign up ahead of time to attend and sign ups will occur weekly. Please sign up here. Each student can sign up for up to two sessions per week, although three are offered. Please see schedule below. Students may be in Study Zone while attending a studygroup online.

Students attending Study Zone must check-in at the front entrance of school by the office.

Big picture



Day: Thursday, May 13

Time: 1:00pm


We will learn about complimentary colors and create a piece of Op Art (optical illusion) using those color combinations and shading techniques.

Supplies you will need are listed on the Elementary Art webpage.

Grades K-5 are welcome, but this is more geared to grades 2-5; grades K and 1 may need help.

“Love Our Library” Activities

Check out the "Love Our Library" website with upcoming activities for all ages!

For all activities:

One Book, One MEA

Thursdays in May: 5/13, 5/20, 5/27 at 2:30 pm

Reading "The Search for WandLa" by Tony DiTerlizzi

Library Zoom for grades K-2

Fridays in May: 5/14, 5/21 at 10:30 am

Please join in the library zoom which is now open to anyone, not just accounts. For the month of May, K-2 Fridays will have Library Zoom time from 10:30 a.m. for all four weeks.

Read to the Librarian

Librarian will make appointment zoom times usually on Thursdays or Fridays for 15-minute sessions, starting with Ms. Finney's K-2 classes, then grades 3-5 will be added. Please email the librarian at for scheduling requests.

Big picture

UCSD Parent Workshop

Brought to you by MEA Foundation

Parents, join us for a UCSD Parent University course on Understanding Talent, Giftedness, Dual Exceptionality! The virtual workshop will be held on Saturday, May 22 at 11am. Meeting link will be provided prior to the event.

Senior Save-the-Dates


Monday, May 24 / 1:00-3:00

All graduating students are welcome to come to campus on Monday, May 24th, from 1-3pm for an array of activities. These activities include a student vs teachers kickball match, scavenger hunt, and mural painting. If none of these activities interest you, feel free to come and just hang out around campus! Students are also encouraged to wear their prospective college merch. Please fill out this RSVP form to attend.


Friday, June 4 / 12:30-3:30

  • Cap and gown pickup
  • Cap decoration
  • Yearbook signing
  • Mural painting (senior legacy project)
  • Textbook turn in

Sexual Health Awareness Week

Save the Dates!

Grades 8, 9 and 10

  • June 1-3
  • 10:30-12 (Zoom link will be sent out by either Mr. Tran or Ms. Pachon)

Grades 11-12

  • June 3
  • 10:30-12

For more information on Sexual Health Education in SDUSD, please see the link here.

* * * * * *

Mother's Day Gifts

Students in "Unplugged" making potted plants and self-portraits for their moms.

See gift making photo gallery
Big picture
Big picture

Ultimate Spirit Day

As a grand finale to this year’s Spirit Weeks, these ambitious students combined various themes to create their Ultimate Spirit Day outfits.

(left) Colin Gazaui dressed as a fusion of Darth Vader, an '80s concertgoer, and a tacky tourist (Star Wars Day/Decades Day/Tourist Day).

(right) Scott Ruth combined: Western / Crazy Hair / Pirate / Glasses / Stuffed Animal / Tourist / Pajamas / Beach / Fictional Character / Disney / Career(chef).

Big picture

Chicken Coop happenings

(cleaning, feeding, touching, discussing and learning)!

It was a wonderful Wednesday for the MEA chickens.

After a thorough home cleaning (Gracie + Miss Shannon) with a complete change out of their overnight nesting area paper, shavings, and Timothy hay + a raking of their home, three more middle schoolers joined in on the fun.

We talked chicken behavior (who accepts tactiles/touching from humans and who doesn’t), what chickens eat (they are omnivores), scoured the wine barrel gardens for pillbugs to feed the chickens (twice!) and the multiple reasons why we don’t have a rooster.

The students created quite the buzz with the roly poly offerings! If you want to make a chicken best friend, stop by the coop on a day with Miss Shannon and reinforce the chickens with something pillbugs (our terrestrial crustaceans) or more!

Big picture

Watch the Talent Show

The Talent Show is now available to be viewed in two ways:

Art Show

The virtual art show is still available for your viewing pleasure.

Artwork by Vasco K. (grade 2), and Marco K. (grade 3).

Big picture

Humans of MEA

In this episode, Nicole Lee interviews Colin Gazaui, grade 12. If you’re interested in being interviewed, fill out the Humans of MEA form!.

Episode #10 Video

Episode #10 Transcript



MEA Foundation is fully registered with AmazonSmile as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit! When you shop at AmazonSmile, will donate to MEA Foundation at no cost to you!

First, go to and set your charity to "Mount Everest Academy Foundation".

Then, always start your shopping at and shop as usual while supporting our school!

Level Up SD - Summer Program

More information about the summer program will be coming soon. Please visit the Level UP SD website to join the email list.

High School Students: Elect your Board Representative

San Diego Unified high school students are encouraged to cast their vote for the 2021-22 Student Board Member in an online election. Voting will be open on Tuesday, May 11, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

VOTE HERE to choose who you want to represent you!

Help Matthew & Petunia Not Fail Their Final Stats Project... Please

We (Matthew and Petunia) are working on a Stats project, and we need your help! We are collecting data on various classes here at MEA via an anonymous Google form. The form should only take about five minutes to complete, and it would mean a lot to us if you could fill it out (our grades are at stake here). There is one page asking about more general information, and then a few more pages asking about class specific info.

What are you waiting for? Go fill it out! Thanks, we really appreciate it!


Click to Purchase Your 2020-21 MEA Yearbook

  • School Passcode: 1013183679162246

This year's book gives each student 2 free pages to fill with their own photos and memories.

Did you attend the UCSD workshop on test anxiety?

If so, the presenters from UCSD are asking if you would please take a moment and rate their presentation given on April 29. Thank you!

DVDs of "A Wrinkle in Time"

We have some DVDs left from our last theatre production in March 2020: A Wrinkle in Time. They will be on sale at the discounted price of $7 each. We have a limited quantity, so it is first come first serve. For information to buy one, please call miss Maria at the main office at (619) 605-8700.

Senior Reminders

This senior letter and graduation checklist was sent to seniors and their parents on 2/19/21.

Upcoming deadlines:

  • Community Service Hours form - 4/23
  • Two Surveys - 4/30

Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony

Day: Friday, June 11

Time: 5:00pm

Place: Mt. Helix Park Outdoor Amphitheater

Material Checkout Times

Please come to the North facing door of the auditorium.

  • Tuesdays: 10:00-12:00
  • Thursdays: 10:00-12:30

Please contact Suzie Wilson at if you have any questions on Tuesdays through Thursdays. There is no need to email in advance. However, when there are special distributions ready for check-out, they will be noted here in the Monday Message.

Book Returns

Want to return MEA books that you no longer need? There will be a drop-off box underneath the Marquee sign (sunny days only!) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-3:00.

Please send in your Good Stuff!

We know MEA students and families are involved in so many things outside of school. Do you have something fun or interesting to share? Please send your stories and images to share for "The Good Stuff" in upcoming Monday messages to Linda Ele at We want to hear from you!

Ria Rizo: Chicken Trainer!

Ria Rizo is a ninth grader who loves birds. She hatched her chickens, Lucky and Miracle, with a homemade incubator about four years ago. Ria started training her chickens to distinguish colors and peck targets when they were little. After she created an Instagram account (bantamtrickchickens) for them, she discovered other chicken trainers as well as a variety of dog tricks chickens were being taught. Ria got inspired to train Lucky and Miracle to do complex tricks. She has made many videos of her chickens performing tricks. Recently, Ria's hen, Lucky, hatched four chicks. They are almost two weeks old and have already begun trick training.

Here is a YouTube link to Ria's MEA Talent Show Video


What’s “growing” on?

One of the most reinforcing parts about planting seeds is to see them sprouting…and the teachers walking by the space are excited to see the changes every day.

Within just a few days, these mammoth sunflower seeds began to break through the soil. Believe it or not, we have 100% germination with these particular seeds, which isn’t always the case! Can you predict why some seeds will begin to grow and some won’t?

Could that be a reason why the back of the seed packet instructs you to plant more seeds than you actually have space for (and advises the thinning out process later on)?

There are many things to think about when you are creating garden spaces, planting seeds, and growing edible crops.

Stop by and view the sunflower seedlings in the front garden!

The seed packets below (and more!) have also been planted in the front garden.

Big picture

Turning a space into a (desirable) place

Miss Shannon has been “bebopping” between garden spaces, and each space is unique.

The wine barrel garden has a leak that is difficult to pinpoint, so Miss Shannon decided to take advantage of the wicking action this leak provides a growing seed and plant...and planted some seeds!

(+ there are a few “surprise” = unlabeled seeds in there)

Admittedly, Miss Shannon is terrible at labeling where she sows seeds. She doesn’t like to slow down and take the time to make labels (and ultimately, what you label you take better care of), so if you are an artistic and crafty person, Miss Shannon could use your help with plant labels in both gardens! Find something you like on the internet or in a book, and suggest it/bring it to the gardens!

For high school students, this has become a tranquil spot to study in the afternoons.

The 25 + year old mature Green Ash tree towers over the table (and four chairs) at the center of the garden, and welcomes anyone who would like to come out for some beautiful scenery and adorable chickens sounds.

Miss Shannon has open garden hours from 9-11 and 1-3 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays.

Hope to see you out there!

Big picture

Students in grades 6-12: Come help in the garden!

Miss Shannon is seeking secondary students to help in the garden this week.

To join in the fun, just sign up for up to two "Study Zone" times this week for your grade level. When you check-in, let them know you are here to help out with the garden.

If this will be your first time on campus this semester, be sure to follow the “Covid-19 Safety Expectations” and “On-Campus Opportunities” guidelines listed at the top of this Monday Message.

** Extracurricular Activities **


ASB Students sharing their work

Ally Action Website

Ally Action Officially has a website! Here you can get information on our club, see our events, and even watch recordings of some of them. We have also linked resources to external events, petitions, and ways to reach out. The entire site was built by students. You can find the link to it here.


ASB is hosting an ongoing school-wide competition, henceforth titled the Spirit Cup! Each grade level/group will compete with each other for a prize (for the sake of fairness, K - 2 and 3 - 4 are combined into groups). Students can earn Spirit Points towards their class's total in the following ways:

SPIRIT DAYS - Through TreeRing, students can submit pictures of themselves in their spirit day costume. They will receive one Spirit Point per spirit day for which they send in a picture demonstrating participation. Here are instructions for submitting photos through TreeRing (use the spirit day folder). Note that photos submitted now will not be included in the yearbook, but will count for Spirit Points!

EVENTS - Students can earn three Spirit Points for participation in an event, as well as additional Spirit Points that might be awarded from the event (e.g. Extra Spirit Points might be earned from placing in the top three in a schoolwide kahoot). To earn these points, students must fill out a short form sent out during the event.

Other ways to earn Spirit Points may be revealed through the year.

The points earned by each class will be tallied up and displayed in the Monday Message at the beginning of each month. Members of whichever class has the most points at the end of month 9 will win the Spirit Cup and associated bragging rights. They will also be rewarded with certificates for 5 oz of free yogurt from YogurtLand, and the student with the most Spirit Points earned will earn a $10 Amazon gift card, which will be distributed at the beginning of month 10.

Humans of MEA

Based on "Humans of New York", Ally Action will interview teachers and high school students to learn their story. The interviews will be shared on the Monday Message. The goal of this project is to help show that we all have our own stories!

If you are interested in participating, please fill out this Humans of MEA form.


Mr. Ron Zappala is the Head School Counselor at Mt. Everest Academy. Please reach out to him him with any counseling questions at Look for online office hours and grade level meetings in the future!

Community College information

Students taking community college classes during the Summer will need to buy their books and materials through the Mesa Bookstore or online (amazon, chegg, etc). You will not be billed through your portal for books.

High school students enrolled in 11 units or less will have their enrollment fees waived, but will be billed for the health fee (roughly $22). Enrollment fees may take 10-12 business days to clear of their balance.

High school students can now begin submitting supplemental applications to the campus where your course is offered as soon as you select your class(es) off of the summer class schedule. You will be enrolled by Admissions around open enrollment May 17, 2021. Please note: all High school students have a hold on their record and are not able to self enroll. Students must meet class requirements prior to being enrolled by Admissions. If you feel like you meet pre-requisite requirements for a class you can take a subject assessment to determine your eligibility. Please submit your supplemental applications for Fall as soon as the Fall class schedule becomes available on June 7th. Keep in mind to schedule classes at the community college that do not conflict with our MEA study group schedule.

Summer 2021 College Dates

Summer Class schedule- April 19, 2021

Open Enrollment - May 17, 2021

First day of Summer - June 7, 2021

Fall 2021 College Dates

Fall class schedule - June 7, 2021

Open Enrollment- July 19, 2021

1st day of Fall - Aug 23

Summer Community College Classes

For Sophomores and Juniors wanting to take a community college class in the Summer, please note that the Summer 2021 college class schedule release has been postponed to April 19, 2021. You can view the Summer online class schedule after April 19.

Students need to apply to the community college district if they have not done so. In addition to this, students will also need to complete and submit this online Supplemental Application. Once submitted, students will be scheduled by the community college. Summer classes begin June 7th.

Here is general Mesa College Summer information.

JUNIORS: Poli. Sci. CCAP options for next year

Mesa has offered another CCAP option for our students. In addition to math 150 and 151, Seniors next year can take Poli. Sci. 102 and 121 to meet the Government and Economics graduation requirements. However, I have met with many of this year’s juniors for articulation before knowing this was an option, so I would like for the juniors who have already met with me to know that they can email me to change to the Poli. Sci options for next year and for those who have not met with me to be aware of this option.

- Mr. Zappala,

Endless Possibilities

SDCCD Endless Possibilities

Your guide to majors and programs of interest at the San Diego Community College District. They offer endless possibilities for your career journey with a wealth of opportunities for pursuing your education. The SDCCD strives to make their students successful by dedicating their resources to quality instruction and stellar support services.

Class of 2021

Seniors, this Counseling & Guidance Resources webpage was designed with you in mind. From the page you will find helpful resources to support your senior year: understand the college application process, cope with the stressors of transitioning to college and navigate the challenges of senior year.


Vân-Ánh Võ Performer Spotlight

Poway OnStage presents award-winning composer and musician Vân-Ánh Võ who creates stunning, complex works by melding Vietnamese musical traditions with a variety of genres. Vân-Ánh Võ leads an immersive “show and tell,” of traditional Vietnamese instruments, demonstrating the sound of each unique, hand-constructed instrument, and featuring them in her compositions. Show information

There’s no need to sign up, as Mrs. Finney has already registered our school. It’s pre-recorded, and can be viewed anytime between May 7-28 through the following:


Password: worldmusic

Volunteer Opportunity as Summer Lab Assistant

The Elementary Institute of Science (EIS) is looking for high school volunteers who want to hone their communication skills, develop leadership skills, and support STEM education opportunities for communities who are most underrepresented in STEM.

Qualifications: Must be a high school student entering 11th or 12th grade for the 2021-2022 school year. Students entering 10th grade for the 2021-2022 school year may be eligible only if they have previously participated in an EIS program.

EIS Lab Assistant Program


* * * * * * * *

Big picture

* * * * * *