MVLA Update

February 2020

Dear MVLA Families and Friends,

Each year as spring approaches, Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District puts a special focus on a topic of shared importance for all of us - school safety. Safety has and continues to be our district’s top priority. Over the last few years we have taken many important steps to help further safeguard our schools to ensure a safe and secure environment for our students, staff, and visitors.

As our schools concentrate on the process of reviewing and updating our respective school safety plans, they identify not only prevention and response strategies, but also school-wide activities that support and enhance positive school climate and a safe campus environment. We are fortunate to have very strong partnerships with our local law enforcement. These partnerships provide our Safety Resource Officers, as well as regional community agencies and organizations which focus on the health and well-being of our students and their families. Thank you to our mental health community agencies including Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC), Children’s Health Council (CHC), El Camino Hospital, HEARD Alliance, Santa Clara County Mental Health, Santa Clara County Office of Education and Stanford University. Our continued partnership has been a benefit to our students and school community.

MVLA has been responding to a cyber security incident that forced us to take our systems offline. We continue to work with cyber security experts to investigate, and have aggressively accelerated already-in-progress plans for server and network upgrades to enhance our data security and add extra layers of password protection. This is another component to having a safe and secure campus environment that may be not particularly visible but is essential.

If you have any questions about our processes, preventive safety measures or response plans, please contact us at We welcome your input and ideas as we continue to refine our practices to ensure the safest environment possible.

Thank you!

Dr. Nellie Meyer



At its February 10 meeting, the Board approved a school year calendar for 2020-2021 and held the scoping meeting for the proposed stadium lighting project at MVHS and LAHS (see more on both of these items in District News, below). The Board also approved a resolution in support of Foothill-De Anza Community College District's Measure G and Measure H, an $898 million construction bond measure and local parcel tax measure, respectively. Both are on the March 3 ballot.

Measure G, if passed, would support essential job training and workforce preparation by upgrading classrooms, facilities, and technology and expanding access to training programs that help students learn new skills and find better paying jobs in business, technology, nursing, manufacturing, public safety (first responders) and other high-demand careers; and would fund participation in housing collaborations with other school districts, government agencies, and non-profits.

Measure H, if passed, would attract and retain a high-quality faculty; better prepare students and workers for transfer to four-year colleges and universities; maintain programs that prepare students for good-paying jobs; provide affordable programs to students facing food insecurity and hunger; provide affordable programs to students experiencing homelessness; and increase mental health services and counselors.



The calendar for the 2020-2021 school year has been approved in accordance with timelines provided by state education code, which requires school districts to establish the beginning and end of the school year, recognizing legal holidays, and provide for local holidays and other periods when school is not in session. In California, school district calendars must include a minimum of 180 required days (we have 183) and a minimum of 64,800 instructional minutes.

First day of school for 2020-2021 will be on August 12; the last day of the school year will be on June 9. We will continue to have week-long breaks during the week of Thanksgiving, the third week of February, and the second week of April, and the typical two-week break at the end of December.


As school districts throughout California begin to change bell schedules (or daily schedules) to comply with a new law requiring later start time, MVLA looked toward a study we had commissioned in 2018 that looked at how sleep impacts learning, human development, and wellness as well as different models of bell schedules. We felt it was important to understand the research prior to making any changes to the daily schedule.

In addition to this study, a group comprised of teachers, administrators, and families looked at multiple bell schedule models, surveyed a range of stakeholders, and developed a schedule template for the 2020-2021 school year to be implemented in advance of the new law's 2022 mandate.

The district's academic calendar is an item that must be agreed upon during the negotiation process with our teachers. As the calendar, the schedule and the new start times are linked so closely, the schedule has also been discussed at the negotiation table.

The proposed model includes one day where all classes meet each week and the remaining four days are block periods.

Prior to moving forward, we would like to hear your feedback on the new model and will be holding informational meetings this semester. You will receive information on venues and times in the coming weeks. We look forward to meeting with you and getting your input.


Our MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series continues on Tuesday, March 24, with a presentation on "Boys and Sex: Navigating Sex in Today's Hook-up Culture" with Peggy Orenstein, award-winning journalist and author, as she uncovers the complexities of young men's attitudes and beliefs toward masculinity. She'll work to help families navigate the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important realities of boys' sex lives today.

The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Eagle Theatre at Los Altos High School. All MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series events are free, thanks to the continued generosity of these sponsors:

  • Mountain View-Los Altos High School Foundation

  • Los Altos Educational Foundation

  • Mountain View Educational Foundation

  • Los Altos-Mountain View PTA Council



Congratulations to Marie Godderis, Los Altos High School’s February Student of the Month!

At school, Marie is the business manager of the Talon student newspaper, meaning she manages advertisements in the newspapers and handles subscriptions and budgeting. Marie also participates in a variety of different on-campus clubs. She is currently the vice-president of One Dollar for Life service club, and is the founder and president of Hump Day Happiness, a club that aims to promote mental health awareness and positivity around campus through wellness activities.

On the weekends, Marie volunteers with a club called Teen Tutors, where she reads one-on-one with young children at the Los Altos Library to help improve their reading skills. Outside of her school activities, Marie is a photographer and writing intern for the Los Altos Town Crier. She also is a freelance photographer and gets hired for events and photo shoots. Read more about Marie!


Mountain View High School is proud to present Abby Porter as the Student of the Month for February.

Abby is an outstanding student at Mountain View, taking Oracle, Trigonometry, AP Spanish Literature, AP US History, AP Environmental Science, and Honors American Literature. On top of this rigorous schedule, Abby is the student coordinator for Unidos Tutoring Club and works in the tutorial center helping out Mrs. Rafita, where she is working to make the ELD curriculum for the summer school Olimpico.

Abby is also on staff of the Oracle student newspaper, where she is the 'people page' editor, as well as an editor for the Oracle podcast. Abby also manages to find time to be a part of the Ambassadors Club. Outside of school, Abby, like Marie, is an intern at the Los Altos Town Crier, which speaks to her passion for writing. Read more about Abby!



Congratulations to MVHS student athletes! Fifteen of our seniors have committed to play college athletics next year - a new, single-year record! Competing and achieving at this high level is a testament to the hard work of these student athletes and our coaching staff. Photos from the signing event can be viewed here!

Congrats to the following students (and the smart universities bringing them on next year!):

Nicole Thomas - Water Polo - CSU Northridge

Reeya Vasishta - Golf - Carnegie Mellon University

Anna Fritz - Volleyball - Macalester College

Logan Winn - Volleyball - University of Puget Sound

Ethan Makishima - Volleyball - UC Santa Cruz

Elizabeth Vastano - Soccer - Sarah Lawrence College

Brandon Cramblit - Soccer - Swarthmore College

Kaishu Murakami - Soccer - University of Puget Sound

Ben Smith - Soccer - University of Puget Sound

Simran Lauwers - Softball - Chapman University

Elise Byun - Gymnastics - UC Berkeley

Paige Gambetta - Swimming - UC Santa Barbara

Lexi Rudolph - Swimming - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Karina Moy - Diving - Boston University

Anastasia Yankovskiy - Fencing - Temple University


Mountain View's Madrigals choir put lots of heart into their latest performances - singing valentine telegrams! Nearly 50 students in the music group have spent months writing the song lyrics, editing, rehearsing, putting together costumes, and prepping for a big day of spreading love and kindness through song. More than 1,000 valentines were delivered, including some to MVLA Superintendent Nellie Meyer.

Check out this performance of "Put Your Head On My Shoulder"! The singers were featured in the Mercury News and on KPIX television as well! Congrats!


Los Altos High School is slated to hold its 35th annual Writers Week event March 2-5, bringing a range of writers, poets and journalists to all English classes at the school.

The broader community is invited to a free “Community Read” 7 p.m. March 3 in the Eagle Theater. The event will feature a panel of young-adult authors, including Stacey Lee (“Under a Painted Sky”), Mitali Perkins (“You Bring the Distant Near”), James Brandon (“Ziggy, Stardust and Me”) and Nya Jade (“Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four”).


MVHS students this month have learned from experts how to become financially independent, and what a day in the life of a doctor can be like - as part of the popular hangout sessions in the Tutorial Center. This week, they'll learn about extensive career options in finance and accounting. Next month, guests will go high-tech, talking about careers as an Apple software engineer, Google computer scientist, and a systems engineer and physicist.

Thanks to the most recent guest presenters! #GoSTEM!

  • Dr. Jay Ladenhiem, MD and Bob Horowitz, MD, December 2019
  • Dr. Jane Liang, MD, January 14, 2020
  • Yolanda Alvarez, RN & Anyi Husted, RN, January 21, 2020
  • Anna Celestino, RN, January 29, 2020
  • Gina Thelen, RN, January 15 & 29, 2020
  • Dr. Malathi Balasundaram, MD, January 15 & February 11, 2020


Eight students from Los Altos High have been chosen to exhibit their works for the highly-competitive New Museum of Los Gatos Juried Art Exhibition. The exhibition will be held from March 20 through May 10 at the New Museum! Congratulations to these very talented and now published artists!!!



MVLA will be inviting staff, students, families, and other members of the community to review and provide feedback on the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) being developed for the proposed stadium lighting projects for both Los Altos and Mountain View high schools.

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires an EIR be completed for certain types of new construction, such as the stadium lights project. CEQA also requires us to hold a neighborhood and public scoping meeting (held at the February 10 Board of Education meeting) to describe the proposed project and process. You can review the scoping presentation here.

Next steps are to prepare the draft EIR and present to the community, which will have 45 days to review and provide comments. We expect to present this draft EIR in mid-April.


The improving weather has allowed us to catch up some time lost due to the rains earlier in the year. Both Los Altos and Mountain View campuses are making good (and visual) progress.


We've prepared the building "pad" for the new classroom (shown in this upper photo) in anticipation of footing and foundation excavation.


We're getting closer to pouring concrete for foundation of the new classroom building, and have started the erection of steel columns. Once those columns are in place, wood framing will begin.



MVLA's Adult School is an accredited school that has been part of the District since 1965. We serve students from San Francisco to Gilroy, and Half Moon Bay to Walnut Crrek. More than 4,500 students receive quality instruction and services each year.

In addition, the MVLA Adult School is a Pearson Vue Test Center and National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) test site for Medical Assistants, Medical Office Assistants, and Medical Insurance and Coding Specialist. Our Adult School is also a Certiport-approved test center for Microsoft Office Specialist Certification (MOS) and CompTIA-approved academic partner.

Beyond career technical education courses, we offer a wide array of parent education and adult enrichment courses from A (arts and crafts) to Z (zumba) and everything in between, including foreign languages like Finnish and French! New courses will be starting in March. Check out our course catalog!


The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District is always looking for great, skilled people to join our team.

Right now, we're looking for new instructors for our Adult School programs, as well as coaches for golf, gymnastics, and lacrosse. We are always looking for instructional assistants to help support our students with learning or other disabilities. Ready for a career change or supplemental income opportunity? See what we have to offer at our Current Openings page or at


Click on any of the images below to enlarge them.


March 9, 2020

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

1299 Bryant Ave., Mountain View, 94040 (Get Directions)

March 24, 2020

MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series - ""Boys and Sex: Navigating Sex in Today's Hook-up Culture"

7 p.m.

Los Altos High School Eagle Theater, 201 Almond Ave., Los Altos 94022 (Get Directions)

March 30, 2020

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

1299 Bryant Ave., Mountain View, 94040 (Get Directions)