MVLA Magazine

February 2021

MVLA Community,


I hope you were able to enjoy last week's Winter Break with your families and had some time to rest and recharge. It has been a busy month, and March promises to be the same. The good news is the County's adjusted case rate is below seven cases per 100,000 people and is expected to remain so next week, meaning we will be able to move from the Purple Tier to the less-restrictive Red Tier and begin reopening our campuses under our new Stable Learning Group Hub model. You'll read more below.


This month's issue also includes information about some important (and well-deserved) recognition of our students' academic and artistic excellence. We also have news about athletics and what the Red Tier change can mean for our student-athletes (and family spectators).


Thank you again for partnering with us as we continue to navigate the ongoing pandemic. We've had a wonderful response from the community in our effort to hire substitute employees to help bring our students back to campus. We look forward to seeing you soon!


Stay well!


Sincerely,


Nellie Meyer

Superintendent

BOARD UPDATE

The Board of Trustees held a special Study Session on February 8, which included an extensive update on the planning for the return of students. This included presentations on pandemic staffing planning, work on phased-in stable learning groups, and results from a student survey on returning. The video recording of the meeting is available here. The first of the three presentations begins at approximately 02:01.


The Board held a regular meeting on February 8 as well. The video recording of the meeting is available here. The meeting included a report on the District's partnership with the Mountain View Police Department (at approximately 01:48), the approval of a funding plan to support the return of stable learning groups (at approximately 1:28:56), and an update on the District's Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS) Plan (at approximately 2:57:43).


All meeting agendas, recordings, and minutes are available online. The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for March 8, via Zoom, starting at 7 p.m.

REOPENING PLANNING

As mentioned above, a funding plan to support proposed staffing requirements was approved, putting into motion the steps necessary to bring students back to campuses in the Stable Learning Group Hub format, expanding on the number of student cohorts currently on our campuses. You may view a video about the model here. An informational flyer is available here. A set of frequently asked questions is here. Our goal is to provide a learning environment for students to comfortably and safely participate in their classes (via Zoom) while supporting students with social interactions during lunchtime and breaks. If you and your child would like to opt into MVLA's Stable Groups, please complete this form, Stable Group Learning Hub Sign-Up.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

MVLA STUDENTS ADVANCE IN U.S. PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLARS AND NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS

High school seniors from the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District (MVLA) have been nominated for the prestigious United States Presidential Scholars Program and have advanced to finalist standing for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation's (NMSC) National Merit Scholarship 2021 competition.

  • U.S. Presidential Scholars Program - The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations, and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.
  • National Merit Scholarship Program - Twenty-three MVLA students were qualified as finalists from a pool of more than approximately 16,000 semifinalists. They have an opportunity to compete for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million.

Read more!

MVLA STUDENT ARTISTS FEATURED IN NEW MUSEUM LOS GATOS JURIED EXHIBIT

Fourteen student artists from the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District (MVLA) will have their works on exhibit at the New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU) as part of the highly-selective ArtNow 2021 juried exhibit. ArtNow is an annual Santa Clara County high school art exhibition and educational program presented by NUMU, supporting programs and offering opportunities for high school student artists from Palo Alto to Gilroy to gain real-world experience in participating in a juried museum exhibition.


Each year, a new theme is chosen for the exhibition. This year’s theme was “Good Trouble,” in tribute to the late congressman, John Lewis, for his decades-long legislative work on the Voting Rights Act. Students were asked to render and submit interpretations of Lewis’s call to “make some noise and get in good trouble.” The opening reception will be held on March 19. Read more about the student artists here, and view their artwork here.

MOUNTAIN VIEW'S SCIENCE OLYMPIAD TEAM DOMINATES ON THE NATIONAL STAGE

Last month, Mountain View High School's Black, Gold, and White Science Olympiad teams competed against hundreds of schools across the nation at four Science Olympiad tournaments: Mira Loma Invitational, Aggie Invitational, MIT Invitational, and the SCC Invitational. All three teams performed exceptionally well, indicating that they are on the right track for succeeding at important upcoming competitions, including Regionals, States, and Nationals. Read the highlights here. Learn more about the MVHS Science Olympiad teams here.

DISTRICT NEWS

HIRING SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEES

We encourage parents, guardians, and other adults to apply to become substitute employees and help bring back small groups of students for in-person learning support.

  • Work in a supervisory capacity with groups of 14 students in a classroom to monitor students to ensure they are safe and engaged in online classes/Distance Learning
  • No direct teaching is required
  • Schedules may vary by campus regarding the number of days per week and hours per day
  • Extensive safety measures in place to ensure students and staff safety
  • The compensation rate is $225 per six-hour day, pro-rated

Learn more about requirements and the application process here.

UPDATE ON ATHLETICS

Our student-athletes (and coaches) have - if nothing else - demonstrated tremendous resiliency and flexibility during the ongoing pandemic and its impacts on athletics, practices, and competitions. Changes to schedules continue, but here is the latest:


We are still in the modified Santa Clara Valley Athletic League's (SCVAL) three-season sports schedule, without playoffs.

  • Season 1- Cross Country, Girls Golf, Girls Tennis, Swimming and Diving. These teams have already begun competition, scheduled to end March 26.
  • Season 2 – Soccer, Football, and Field Hockey. These teams start on Monday, March 1. Our indoor sports, Badminton and Girls Volleyball, were initially included in Season 2. The SCVAL’s Board of Managers meets on March 4 and is expected to move these sports to Season 3.
  • Season 3 - Lacrosse, Water Polo, Track, Gymnastics, Boys Volleyball, Boys Golf, Boys Baseball, Girls Softball, Boys Tennis. these teams start April 5.

Read more here.

JOIN MVLA'S SPRING BROWN BAG SESSIONS

We are excited to continue our Brown Bag sessions in 2021! Our Brown Bag webinars are a BYOL (bring your own lunch) mid-day information session on a variety of topics related to the reopening of MVLA schools. Sessions include:

If you missed any of the sessions in our Winter Series, no problem! They're available here for on-demand viewing.

FREE COVID-19 TESTING FOR MVLA STAFF AND STUDENTS

El Camino Health’s Mountain View Hospital continues to offer COVID-19 testing funded by the El Camino Healthcare District for those who live, work, or go to school within the District (including most of Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, a large part of Sunnyvale, and sections of Cupertino, Santa Clara and Palo Alto). The next testing opportunities will be March 2 and 25. Read more.


VACCINE INFORMATION

California has expanded the group of people eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine to include workers in the education sector, childcare, food and agriculture, and emergency services. This means all MVLA employees are now eligible to receive the vaccine, although they must schedule the vaccination in their county of residence. For MVLA employees, these include:

SCHOOL NEWS

LOS ALTOS HIGH SCHOOL MARKS 36TH ANNUAL WRITERS WEEK

An award-winning lineup of writers, poets, and journalists will participate in Los Altos High School’s 36th annual Writers Week, taking place March 1 - 5, 2021. The week-long event provides opportunities for writers to come to LAHS English classes to speak about their individual works as well as the life and craft of a writer.


This year’s Community Read, which will be held virtually, will feature New York Times best-selling author Julie Lythcott-Haims, speaking with an LAHS student panel about her latest book Your Turn: How to Be an Adult,” a follow-up to her bestseller “How to Raise An Adult.” The free event will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. Read more.

BARRIER-BREAKING SPECIAL OLYMPICS TRIATHLETE CHRIS NIKIC VISITS MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH SCHOOL

Last November, Special Olympics athlete Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon, a grueling event that includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon run.


In a Zoom visit today with Life Skills Program students in Seamus Quillinan's class, he shared some of the obstacles he's had to face, including open-heart surgery, and how he has pushed past these challenges to compete at such a high level. Chris also spoke about the "1% Better Challenge" he and his father, Nik, developed to stay motivated during training. The idea is to promote Down syndrome awareness while achieving 1% improvement every day.


Chris's visit was sponsored by Mountain View's PTSA, which provides funding support for educational speakers, teacher and learning grants, and other enrichment resources.

MVLA HIGH SCHOOL FOUNDATION

DID YOU KNOW?

The MVLA Foundation recognizes the importance of wellness in schools. Your donations fund a licensed Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC) therapist at both Los Altos and Mountain View High Schools to supplement the district-funded therapists. This year students are meeting with therapists through telehealth technology. Students can ask for support or refer someone they think needs support confidentially via the links below.

English: bit.ly/mvlasupport

Spanish: bit.ly/mvlaayuda

SPEAKER SERIES

Next up in the MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series, we are pleased to have Dr. William Stixrud and Ned Johnson return to share a sneak preview from their soon-to-be-released book, "What Do You Say?," the much-anticipated follow-up to "The Self-Driven Child." This online event will be held Tuesday, March 2, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Register here.


We are also fortunate that our previous speaker, Nicole Lee, has graciously allowed us to share her "Raising Antiracist Kids" presentation recording with parents, teachers, and other caretakers within our community. The recording will be available for four weeks. Access the presentation here. If you are interested in exploring Black History Month through books, films, and family activities, check out these resources curated by Ms. Lee. Parent Resource Guide from Inclusive Life - Black History Month 2021

FACILITY NEWS

We continue to make good progress on the construction of our new classroom buildings at both the Los Altos and Mountain View campuses. These facilities are made possible through Measure E, approved by voters in 2018. We thank our local voters and taxpayers for making these important investments in our school facilities.

DATEBOOK

March 8, 2021

Regular Meeting - Board of Education


March 15, 2021

No School - Recess Day


March 22, 2021

Regular Meeting - Board of Education


April 12 - 16, 2021

No School - Spring Break


Please also check our 2020-2021 School Year calendar!