MVLA Update

November 2019

MVLA FRIENDS AND FAMILIES

It has been a privilege and an honor to become your new Superintendent, and my first few months have shown me some important characteristics about this wonderful community. Our students continue to make us proud of their work and optimistic about their future. Your partnership helps us ensure our students are ready for their bright futures.


First, I'm heartened to see, hear, and experience the commitment and care that our families, teachers, neighbors, and business partners have for our students and our schools. This is a district that is genuinely committed to the success of all students, and takes great pride in providing a strong educational foundation.


Second, I'm so happy to see the level of involvement our families have in their schools and student activities. The MVLA Foundation is easily the most dedicated and effective foundation group I've seen. We have countless parents, alumni, and community volunteers participating in booster clubs for athletics, band and drama, and countless other student programs and activities. The commitment our families have to their student's success and well-being starts at home, and the day-in, day-out activities involved with raising a teenager (getting kids to school, practice, helping with homework, having good and open conversations, etc.) is perhaps the most important indicator of future success. It is something I am sincerely grateful for, and I thank you for sharing your students with us.


I am excited about sharing news and stories about our schools, students, teachers, and other staff. As you meet them with me, you'll see why. MVLA takes pride in our ability to develop well-rounded students who will be our future leaders!


Finally, as we approach our Veterans Day holiday, I'd like to extend on behalf of the MVLA board and our employees - many of whom are veterans or are part of a military family - our appreciation to all of those in our community who have served and still serve our country.


Thank you.


Dr. Nellie Meyer

Superintendent

BOARD UPDATES

Our Board of Education recently adopted a clear definition of "equity" to be used as a guiding principle of our work, based on the excellent resources provided to us by the National Equity Project.


Equity in Education: Educational equity means that each child receives what he or she needs to develop to his or her full academic and social potential.


We will focus working towards equity in schools to involve:

  • Ensuring equally high outcomes for all participants in our educational system; removing the predictability of success or failures that currently correlates with any social or cultural factor;
  • Interrupting inequitable practices, examining biases, and creating inclusive multicultural school environments for adults and children; and
  • Discovering and cultivating the unique gifts, talents and interests that every human possesses.


Learn more about the board goals that guide our decisions and which reflect the importance of improving academic achievement of all students at all performance levels.

DISTRICT NEWS

PARENT EDUCATION SPEAKER SERIES - "THE VAPING CRISIS: WHAT IS IT DOING TO OUR KIDS?"

The MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series continues on November 14 with a very important and timely presentation - "The Vaping Crisis: What Is It Doing to Our Kids?" with Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University. Dr. Halpern-Felsher will discuss the harmful impacts vaping has on the minds and bodies of adolescents. She will also provide an overview of the current tobacco/nicotine products available, including vapes, Juuls, and other pod-based systems, which are more commonly used among teens than combustible cigarettes. This session is open to all MVLA families, educators, and students in grades 4-12. To learn more about this presentation and to register, click here.


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

MOUNTAIN VIEW CITY/SCHOOL STRATEGY

Demographic reports from the City of Mountain View reflect that MVLA will need increased space for the area's growing population in future years. The City is currently developing a City/School Strategy to look at the impacts of this growth and identify solutions for housing and school facilities, such as building new schools or expanding existing schools to accommodate future students. The Board of Education held an information report on this issue at its November 4 meeting. You can read the report here.


MVLA, along with the Mountain View Whisman School District (MVWSD) and the Los Altos School District (LASD) is meeting with the City to calibrate facility needs at schools due to the continued growth. The City is exploring some zoning changes to give certain applicants an opportunity to increase the number of units they may build in return for a certain contribution to funding for school space (made necessary by the increased and forecasted growth). We will provide you regular updates as we move forward.

MVLA FOUNDATION 2019 PHONATHON RESULTS

The MVLA High School Foundation's annual Phonathon was a huge success, with thanks to the Foundation Board, Phonathon Co-Chairs Rebecca Lowell and Natasha Keck, and an enormous team of dedicated volunteers. Over the course of the two-night event in September, there were some pretty impressive "by the numbers":

  • More than 1,680 individuals contact in 15 different languages
  • More than 1,200 follow-up mailers were processed
  • Nearly $39,000 in donations were received
  • More than $123,000 was pledge


Read more at https://mvlafoundation.org/. Thanks to all of the faculty and administrative volunteers who helped make the MVLA Foundation Phonathon such a success. Thanks as well to Dish Dash and Chef Chu's for providing delicious dinners for all the volunteers!
COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: COMMUNITY HEALTH AWARENESS COUNCIL (CHAC)

The Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC) has been a strong partner and has supported our school campuses as well as supporting our future students at our K-8 feeder school districts.


CHAC's mission is to improve lives and strengthen communities in northern Santa Clara County through access to comprehensive and culturally responsive mental health services. The Council provides interns for our schools (four each at LAHS and MVHS, and one at our Middle College), along with other nearby districts, and we are grateful for the support these interns provide our students daily. Read more in this CHAC Fall Update.


The support of CHAC has been invaluable and appreciated, and we were pleased to recognize them at our last board meeting with our Spotlight Recognition. Thanks to Executive Director Marsha Deslauriers, along with Carol Melberg, Anita Towner, and Amrita Bassi, our intake coordinators. We appreciate your partnership in doing what's best for students and families.

PARTNERSHIP WITH SPRINT MEANS FREE WIFI FOR DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS

Most of us have the good fortune of being able to access the internet regularly and easily. Yet data show millions of students across the nation are without home internet or lack tablets or laptops to study with at home. If you know of a family who may be dealing with economic challenges and unable to afford home internet, we are pleased to be partnering with Sprint's ConnectED program to provide free home wifi. Eligible families are encourage to fill out this

online application is in Spanish and English. The ConnectED program provides eligible students 3GB per month of free internet access at home for about a four-year period. Questions? Contact MVLA IT Director Bob Fishtrom at Bob.Fishtrom@mvla.net or 650-940-4673.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

LOS ALTOS HIGH STUDENT OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2019

Congratulations to Kat Nasif, Los Altos High School’s October Student of the Month! We are honored to recognize her for her academic achievements and her involvement throughout the school. Kat is heavily involved in the school's robotics team (award-winning, as you'll read below). She joined the team sophomore year and is now one of the team captains. Last year, Kat helped the team reach the Robotics World Championships where they performed extremely well. Her favorite aspect of robotics is the ability to build things with her own hands. Kat is really looking forward to the upcoming build season and cannot wait to be involved in a similar team in college. Read more about Kat!

MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH STUDENT OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2019

Mountain View High School is proud to present Erik Zhang as October’s Student of the Month. Erik is an incredible student at Mountain View. This year he is taking a challenging course-load, of all AP and Honors classes, including AP Physics C, Multivariable Calculus H, AP Literature. AP Psychology, and AP Government and Macroeconomics. Erik is also the president and founder of the Ignition Club, a club focused on teaching students about coding and competing in events such as hackathons and cyber-security competitions. (You'll read more about that below). Read more about Erik!

LOS ALTOS HIGH STUDENT OF THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 2019

Congratulations to LAHS Student of the Month for September, Senior Christian Martinez. Christian is a member of the Student Community Leaders (SCL), and chairs the group's Mix & Mingle committee, responsible for holding new student lunches and promoting inclusion around school. Christian has also been an active member of the Latino Student Union for all four years of high school. Last year, as the vice president, Christian helped organize fundraisers and plan school events. Outside of school, he is holding down two jobs. Read more about Christian!

MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH STUDENT OF THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 2019

Senior Gage Rodriguez is the September Student of the Month for Mountain View High School. Gage is an outstanding student who is a hard worker, a leader, and an ambitious student, carrying a challenging course load in classes such as AP Statistics, AP Physics C, AP Gov/Macro, Multivariable Calculus Honors and AP Literature. Gage plays the trumpet for the marching band and is also an active member of the MVHS Speech & Debate team, and the Mock Trial. Read more about Gage!

LOS ALTOS HIGH SCHOOL WINS SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

Los Altos High was recently honored by the California Green Schools with an "Excellence in Whole School Sustainability" award plaque and certificate.


Elena Atluri and Audrey Chang lead LAHS’s Green Team, and helped show around CGS reps George Garcia and Patrick Adams around the campus to see some of their green initiatives, including the installation of water dispensers to reduce plastic disposable containers. Also there to celebrate were Galen Rosenberg, Wynne Satterwhite, Site Manager Mike Woodworth and community environmental advocate Sybil Cramer. We salute these students’ dedication to a greener future!

SCHOOL AND STUDENT NEWS

WHALE WATCHING FIRSTS FOR MVHS STUDENTS

Yesterday in Ms. Kristina Bautista's Life Skills class at Mountain View High School, she wanted to teach "what we all wish we learned in school". She took students on a whale watching trip that was the first such trip for many.


It was especially exciting as they were able to see humpback whales breaching and blowing between dives. Students learned the whales are filling up before they begin their migration to Mexico; then the gray whales will begin their trip down. Check out these video highlights from the voyage!

STUDENTS ENGINEER SOLUTION FOR TEACHER WITH SHRINKING VOCAL CORDS

Recently, the Ignition Club at Mountain View High paired with senior Ian Schneider to make a speaking aid as well as a video setup on YouTube for Statistics and Calculus BC teacher Jim McGuirk. McGuirk’s vocal cords have been slowly shrinking due to voice projection, and this microphone helps to slow down the process so that he doesn’t have to project his voice. Students got involved and started planning around November of 2018. The aid was in use starting the third week of this school year. The original idea was to get speakers, a microphone, and a transcription of the class - and evolved into a YouTube channel. Read more!

Los Altos High Robotics Team Wins Annual CalGames Regional Competition; Builds Alliance with Mountain View

The Los Altos robotics team, Team 114 Eaglestrike, won the annual CalGames regional competition on Sunday, October 13. The team’s alliance, which included rival Mountain View High, beat seven other alliances and a total of 35 other teams to win in the finals. Each of the 36 teams came to the deep space-themed competition equipped with its own large-scale robot. In random alliances of three teams, the robots’ objective was to pick up and place as many playground balls as possible in their designated bins in two and a half minutes. In order to do so, the robots first needed to secure disks on the sides of the bins to cover holes where the balls could fall out.


At the end of the initial qualification rounds, Eaglestrike, ranked in sixth, chose Mountain View’s Spartan Robotics, ranked in eighth, to accompany them into the elimination rounds as part of a final alliance. Check out this photo gallery from the event and read more here!

SPARTAN TURKEY TROT BENEFITS MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS

The 10th annual MVHS Sports Boosters Turkey Trot is Thanksgiving morning at 8:30 a.m., starting at the MVHS track. People of all ages are encouraged to participate in the 5K Run and Walk along a great course map through the streets of Mountain View, as well as the Spartan Mile around the track. There will be 60-yard and 400-yard dash events just for kids. Prizes are given to the top finishers in each event. All proceeds benefit MVHS athletics. To learn more and register, visit https://www.spartanturkeytrot.com/.

MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH SCHOOL PRESENTS "SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS"

Mountain View High School Presents "The Servant of Two Masters" by Carlo Goldoni, adapted by Oded Gross and Tracy Young. "The Servant of Two Masters" is a piece of "commedia dell'arte", or "comedy of the profession", an Italian theatrical form dating from the 16th century, telling the story of Beatrice, a woman who travels to Venice disguised as her dead brother in order to collect a dowry. She is accompanied by a quirky (and always hungry) servant, Truffaldino. Join us in the Spartan Theatre next week. Performances will be held November 14th, 15th, and 16th at 7 p.m. Go online here to purchase tickets!

LOS ALTOS HIGH NATIONAL ART HONORS SOCIETY ART AUCTION

Mark your calendar!!! The National Art Honors Society (NAHS) at Los Altos High School is hosting their first art auction of the school year! Join us in the LAHS cafeteria today, Friday, November 8, between 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., and Saturday, November 9, from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.


All proceeds benefit activities and art projects that NAHS students are involved in to support local schools and communities, and spread the word about the benefit of arts education. Only cash and checks can be accepted.

SPOTLIGHT: ALTA VISTA HIGH FARM-TO-TABLE PROGRAM

"Beware of the Chickens" reads the thick wooden sign greeting visitors to Alta Vista's Science Living Lab - home of the school's Farm-to-Table program. Alta Vista, a California Department of Education (CDE) model continuation school for 20 years running, has a small farm tucked away behind the academic buildings, where a vibrant Farm-to-Table program is in its fifth year.


Teacher Shannon Wernette conceived of and started the program with funding from an Innovative Learning Grant from the MVLA High School Foundation as a 'living lab' of sorts for Alta Vista's Environmental Science and Health Science Careers classes. Students have built chicken coops, raised garden beds, developed a hydroponic system, are caring for chickens and lots of pygmy goats...and have harvested hundreds of tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans over the years. Read more about this innovative program and watch this video to get an insider's look!

FACILITY UPDATES

A recent groundbreaking celebration marked the start of construction of new classroom buildings at MVHS and LAHS, with project architect Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) and construction manager RGM Kramer Inc.


MVHS will see construction of 28 total new classrooms to replace existing portables. The two-story, main classroom building will feature four life-skills labs for Special Education students, expandable classrooms with movable walls, writable wall surfaces, small group break-out rooms and a staff collaboration lounge. A single-story lab building will house two computer science classrooms, an engineering lab with 3-D printing capabilities, a robotics lab, and an electronics prototyping lab. The two buildings will add 42,000 square-feet of new construction to the campus.


Construction at LAHS will bring a new auxiliary gymnasium and expand the campus with 23 new classroom spaces, also totaling 42,000 square-feet of new space. The general classroom building will include a culinary arts classroom, several flexible learning spaces and a teacher collaboration room. A new engineering lab building will allow for learning across a broad range of disciplines, including spaces for 3-D printing, laser cutting and an advanced computer lab to support 21st century fabrication technologies. The auxiliary gymnasium will include a full basketball court and multipurpose space.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

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


Right now, we're accepting applications for a new Wellness Coordinator for the District. We're also looking for new instructors for several of our Adult School programs, substitute teachers, and a math teacher. We also have some coaching vacancies and are always looking for instructional assistants to help support our students with learning or other disabilities. Ready for a career change? See what we have to offer at our Current Openings page or at https://www.edjoin.org/MVLA.

GALLERY

Click on any of the images below to enlarge them.

DATEBOOK

November 14, 2019

MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series - "The Vaping Crisis: What Is It Doing To Our Kids?"

7 p.m.

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


November 18, 2019

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

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


December 2, 2019

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

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