Mistral Essentials - May 6, 2020
A Note from the Principal
I know that being away from school has left us with mixed feelings. Parents are struggling to work while directing the educational activities and scheduling of their young ones. Students have fun when they “see” their peers and teachers but they miss the in-person contact and play. Teachers are mastering new skills and maintaining a busy schedule. I am leading our school through Distance Learning while trying to process a worldwide event that even my 87-year-old grandmother has never seen the likes of in her lifetime. I will say, though, that our young people have taught us some valuable lessons for how to adapt to change.
While there is still uncertainty about next year, I know we will see incredibly positive outcomes due to the grade-level changes and implementation of Personalized Learning techniques we are already working on! Through their dedication to students and families, Mistral’s staff will exceed my expectations with your support and mine.
It is important to understand that data from the past 3-4 years indicate a consistent loss of reading skills in English and Spanish in 2nd and 3rd grades. Students typically end 1st grade with strong reading skills but then we see declines in 2nd and 3rd. In 4th and 5th grades, students tend to increase their performance significantly. When we look at subgroup data for ELs, Hispanic students, and socio-economically disadvantaged students, the picture is even starker. Let me be clear: the data show that all students, regardless of background or native language, could be performing better. While we have made significant gains recently, there is so much more we can do.
If we, as educators, and you, as families, see an opportunity to close learning and opportunity gaps, while helping our students develop crucial academic and socio-emotional skills, we should move forward with all our energy and never put off what we can do right now to help students. In fact, this past week, teachers engaged in professional development with their 2020-21 teams. They will continue this highly structured work each week until school ends. This type of preparation helped us implement the Balanced Language Approach and Eureka curriculum successfully. We always continue our learning throughout the year as well.
Under our new grade-level structure, some teachers will loop up with teachers while others stay in their grade level. Both situations provide unique opportunities to address learning gaps and socio-emotional growth when school resumes. Teachers who loop up will already know their students well and can jump right into instruction, saving precious time. They can be a source of consistency and comfort for those students who need the continuity in this time of change. Teachers who stay on grade level can lead highly effective instruction of standards. In their work over the next weeks, teachers are also examining standards on a continuum in order to be able to effectively address learning gaps and individual student needs. They will be exploring Personalized Learning techniques that allow for maximum differentiation and truly individualized learning when students come to them with varied skills due to time out of school.
In my 14 years as a teacher, coach, and principal, I have experienced much change and I know Mistral has what it takes! Even if we do not know what our return to school will look like, Mistral will have a strong plan for reopening and a resilient community that will adapt and thrive.
I hope my weekly updates are informative and keep us connected. To connect even more, please join me for our first virtual principal coffee Friday, May 8 at 2:00. I will be sharing news about Distance Learning updates, promotion and reclassification celebrations, Math placement, equity and technology, staffing, and planning for reopening. Information about how to join the meeting will be coming soon.
Looking forward to seeing you then!
Upcoming Events/Important deadlines
- Friday., May 8th: Last day to select 6th Gr electives for 2021-21
- Friday, May 8th: Virtual principal coffee 2:00pm - 3:00pm
- Friday, May 8th: online check-in with Dr. Ayindé Rudolph 3:30pm
- Tuesday, May 12th: Virtual SSC Meeting -2:00pm
- Monday, May 25th: NO SCHOOL (Memorial day)
- Friday, June 5th: Last day of School
District Reopening Task Force
Please fill out this form to be considered.
Students of the week
- Violet: Maestra Iris says" she has been very committed in doing her class work since school closed. She sends me her completed work and always is ready for more!" Click here to hear a story from Violet
- Matthew:This week, we are celebrating Matthew R! Matthew likes the color orange, playing with legos (he can even add ghosts) and riding his bicycle. I am so proud of Matthew!
- Daniel M.: Daniel is a very curious student who not only wants to learn many new things but also wants to share his knowledge with others. He is also very comical, entertaining and an excellent reader. I am proud of all his accomplishments this year and know he will be ready as a First Grader in the Fall!
- Pia: Pia Is a very talented student who has a great collection of “animal” hair bands. During this distant learning period she has been completing all the Seesaw and Classroom assignments. Pia, with her mom’s help, has been presenting the most elaborate and interesting projects. I really miss her “Buenos días maestra”.
- Isabella S: Isabela has been tremendously engaged in nearly every possible way with distance learning. Her favorite foods are bacon, brussel sprouts and pizza. Her favorite color is light green. She loves showing her pets to the classroom- she has a hamster (Prince), a bearded dragon (Raptor), a chameleon (Rex) and a dog (Hunter). Click here to see her pets.Thanks Isa!
- Erick: Erick has been doing all his Google Classroom assignments every week.
- Katherine: Katherine continues to do her best in completing her assignments each week, and she even reaches out to me when she needs some support. I also notice that she has been able to regularly attend our zoom meetings and I appreciate that she enjoys participating in them. I also value that she is able to express what's on her mind. Yesterday, she let me know that she misses my hugs, and she also let me know that next year she will make sure to visit me. I miss you too Katherine!
- Edwin & Kate (Room 13): Both students did a great job writing narrative stories this week. Kate wrote a story about two friends with funny names and revised her story to add dialogue. Edwin wrote a story about a little dog and a porcupine. Great work!!
- Melanie: Melanie demonstrates her commitment to learning every day. She is always happy to see her friends during our class meetings and loves to share her ideas with everyone. Melanie enjoys writing wonderful stories that are enjoyable to read. Congratulations Melanie! Click here to see Melanie's presentation.
- Lukas: Lukas has done a wonderful job of posting his work on Seesaw and turning in work on Google Classroom. He has a great number talk on Seesaw where he explains his mathematical reasoning using several strategies. His family is working as a team to help Lukas access our online learning tools and they make it fun. Click here to see his project "all about me".
- Caroline: Caroline has worked really hard during this time. She has put a lot of effort into her animal investigation project and has been attending the Zoom live class meetings for all her classes. She is very respectful, punctual, and she is always ready to learn and participate in the virtual classes. I am very proud of her!
- Jessica: "I am very proud of Jessica because she is a problem solver. She never gives up and always asks for help when she is unclear on her school work. Jessica is doing her best to complete all her work and continue improving her academic skills. She loves to dance and read." Here is a video sharing a little bit about what she likes to do.
- Anissa: Anissa always shows positive thinking, and extends her own learning based on her interests! She has been working hard and participating well in all of our class meetings and lessons! We are thankful for her constant excitement to participate in every activity and for her great attitude!
- Marc: Marc has been working hard and asking questions every day! We are so proud of his independence and dedication to learning in all subjects! Always finishing all of his work, great job being so responsible and organized!
- Joseph: I am really proud of Joseph. It is great to notice that he is becoming a more independent learner. He is responsible and takes his school work seriously. He always participates in our virtual meetings, shares his ideas and questions. He has grown so much this year, both academically and socially. Keep up the excellent work Joseph! Click here to view Joseph's "all about me."
- Harlow: Harlow is a student who has worked very hard at succeeding academically during our Distance Learning. She has demonstrated an exceptional sense of responsibility and she constantly contributes to our class discussions with great ideas and executing tasks and projects with the greatest enthusiasm. She is a true inspiration to other students. Click here to learn more about Harlow.
STEAM Kinder-2nd Grade
- David: "Scientist of the week" (1st Gr RM18). David suggests that to protect our planet, the earth, we must recycle the metals. David made a drawing of the recycle symbol and colored it green. What a good idea David!
STEAM 3RD-5TH Grade
- Aeon: "Scientist of the Week" (4th grade). Aeon has been working hard to complete all of his STEAM assignments, and he always shares his results on Google Classroom. Look at this amazing mechanical hand he made! I'm proud of him for persevering during this challenging time. Keep up the great work!
Distance Learning tips of the week
Here are a few tips that might help you and your student with Distance Learning. Do you have any tried and true methods of helping your students’ school days be more efficient and your family’s life a little easier? Share them here. http://mvw.sd/37PbG
Giving choice and voice: When looking at the assignments given for the day, have your child choose which ones he or she would like to do first, second, etc. Giving choice and voice to your child will give him/her independence as well as confidence to do the work.
Divide and conquer: When working on the assignments, chunk the work into small, manageable pieces. Have your child work for 15-20 minutes and then have them do a preferred activity (coloring, legos, etc.) for 5 minutes and then back to the assignment for another 15-20 minutes. Setting a timer or cell phone reminder is a helpful auditory “cue” for you and your student to take a break and check on each other.
Use your tools: Before starting the day, talk about which tools your child will use for the day. He or she can use the courage “tool” to persevere through the assignments or the “breathing” tool when something is difficult or tough to manage.
Kids are stuck on a question? Your child’s teachers’ have office hours Monday through Thursday to answer questions from families or students. This is a great time for your child to connect with his/her teacher, and practice speaking to adults and asking for help. (Teachers are not available 11:30 am to 1:30 pm to allow you, students, and staff to take care of other matters and our own families)
- Parent Christie Watson: I'd like to give a shout out to the P.E. teachers for their live ZOOM classes! It made my day to see a huge smile spread across my daughter's face as she was greeted by name by her P.E. teacher, and participated. Although we have been going on "like 700 walks a day," according to my daughter, this kind of fun movement with her peers was what she needed, as confirmed by the talk I'd heard the night before by Kelly McGonigal, author of The Joy of Movement, who taught that moving your body in any way, especially with a community, has outstanding benefits for your focus, motivation, and mood.She'd Also like to thank our Librarian, Ms. Love: My daughter was so excited to "see" her online and listen to her reading books!
- Mistral Parent: Maestra Pilar is truly such a caring person and works hard to keep the kids in the loop. Gracias, maestra!
- Parent Adriana Montenegro would like to thank for Kinder team for the work they do every week for our children. The activities they send are very nice, the videos explaining the activities they must do and the story times. Everything is a job well done. Congratulations!
- Parent Claudia Rodarte would like to thank Maestra Rosas: All this is new for us and we'd like to thank her because she has helped us a lot with the doubts that we have, we have been delighted that she explains everything that we do not understand, thank you for being so nice to us.
MV Parent U: "Angst," raising anxiety awareness
MV Parent U presents "Angst," a 56-minute film that explores anxiety, its causes, effects and treatments on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 6:00 PM - Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 9:00 PM.
Angst features candid interviews with kids and young adults who suffer, or have suffered, from anxiety and what they’ve learned about it. The film includes discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety and its sociological effects, as well as help, resources and tools.
To reserve your free spot for this online event, please register here by May 6 at noon: https://angstfilm.eventbrite.com
Check-in with the Superintendent: Friday, May 8
Please join us for an online check-in with Dr. Ayindé Rudolph on Friday, May 8 at 3:30 p.m. He will be covering some of the topics on parents’ minds, as well as taking questions. These check-ins will be held on a regular basis on Fridays. For login information, on May 8 please click on www.mvwsd.org.
The Santa Clara County Office of Education has developed a Parent Support Webinar series just for parents who have questions on how they can support their kids with learning.
Free Parent Support Webinar series:
May 7 Episode 1: Maintaining a Healthy, Balanced Family Life
May 14 Episode 2: Reading Comprehension Support
May 21 Episode 3: Writing Development Support
May 28 Episode 4: Academic Content Support
Audience: Parents & Educators
Dates: Thursdays in May 2020
Time: 1-1:30 PM, PST
Join Live: bit.ly/sccoeparents
MVWSD is planning for reopening for the 2020-21 school year.
These plans will cover 14 dimensions: Governance, Health and Wellness, Equity, Curriculum, Human Capital, Nutrition, Facilities, Operations, Instruction, Resurgence, Enrollment, Communication, Technology, Finance. We'll define operations under each stage of reopening: Schools closed, Targeted opening, Open with Restrictions, Full opening using guidance from Santa Clara County Public Health and the Santa Clara County Office of Education.
Next steps include: Activate the Reopening Task Force (composed of teachers, classified staff and administrators); continue to adapt our Distance Learning Plan; and get feedback from our stakeholders.
The goal is to adapt our learning environment for any scenario and make it nimble enough to adjust in the event that COVID-19 resurges later in the year. We will work with all stakeholders to vet the viability of any options. This is a community public health crisis, and we need community feedback
Seeking members: School Reopening focus groups
MVWSD is seeking representative groups of parents, students, teachers, and staff members for school reopening focus groups. Four volunteers are needed per school site. The focus groups will explore desires and concerns for school reopening.
Focus groups will meet twice (once in May and again in June) and each group will focus on a stage: Schools closed, Targeted opening, Open with Restrictions, Full opening. To apply to be a focus group member, please complete an application found here by May 16 or contact your school principal.
With extended time sheltering-in-place, InPlay, MVWSD's partner for out-of-school learning, has created a list of home-based, instructor-led programs offered by your favorite local providers to keep your students active and engaged! Please check it out. https://www.inplay.org/r/mountain-view/discover
17TH ANNUAL MVWSD INTERSCHOLASTIC CHESS TOURNAMENT17AMICT is forging ahead and will be held this year despite COVID-19! The tournament will be online this year and will be held Sunday, May 31, 2020, from 11:30 to 5:00. Full instructions and registration are at tinyurl.com/mvwsdchess. The registration deadline is May 29. Come take part in one of the few events this school year going on as scheduled. Contact Mark Ruzon, Tournament Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Google grants $200,000 for MVWSD students
MVEF is grateful for Google’s longtime commitment to public education and partnership with our District and foundation. Google recently donated $200,000 during COVID-19 school closure to ensure MVWSD students stay on track with their learning.
As MVWSD assessed the technological needs in our community made even more clear by the COVID-19 school closure, it’s clear the digital divide still exists. Even after the District distributed 900 Chromebooks this year, almost 10% (615) of our students still need a device, and 5% (247) students still need internet access. Google immediately stepped up with a $100,000 grant to provide technology for students, primarily internet hotspots and laptops, to enable our students to access assignments and online conferences with their teachers during distance learning.
Additionally, MVEF was awarded an additional $100,000 grant from Google to fund STEM initiatives next year at MVWSD’s schools, ensuring MVEF can continue to help fund essential Next Generation Science Standards, hands-on science programming at every school.
Superintendent Dr. Ayindé Rudolph shared his gratitude. “We are in uncharted waters in which our daily methods of instruction look very different. Our students and parents continue to look for a sense of normalcy during remote learning and sheltering in place. Despite all of the uncertainty, I am grateful that we can continue to count on MVEF and Google as great community advocates and corporate sponsors. They not only answered our call to reduce the digital divide in our community, but also demonstrated that our path forward through these trying times is together. On behalf of all of our students, I want to thank MVEF for their continued advocacy, and Google for their continued commitment to our students and community,” he said.
MVEF and MVWSD express its deep appreciation for Google, and for the company’s willingness to help provide an excellent education to all of our children in Mountain View.
Free, low cost internet for students
We think that it’s important that each of our students has one Internet-ready device (laptop, iPad, etc) in their house for distance learning schoolwork. There are several ways you can access free/or low cost internet to connect students' Chromebooks. Please see the attached flyer or click on www.mvwsd.org/technology.
Incoming middle school parents: Prepare to select electives for 2020-21
Use your PowerSchool Parent Portal Access to select Electives for 2020-21
Beginning April 29, 2020, incoming middle school parents will be able to log on to the PowerSchool Parent Portal to select their fifth- to seventh-graders’ elective choices for 2020-21. You will receive an email when the course catalogs are posted on April 24.
Please make sure you have access to the PowerSchool Parent Portal now by logging on to https://ps.mvwsd.org/public/. You will use the PowerSchool Parent Portal for elective selection, grades, assignments and attendance monitoring, and for downloading state test results.
If you have difficulty signing in, please contact your school office.
2020 Census Paper Questionnaires are on their way to Californians!
If you’re among the 70+ million households who have already responded to the 2020 Census, thank you! If you haven’t completed it yet, paper questionnaires are in the mail headed your way. Households receiving the paper questionnaire can still respond online or by phone, or they can return it by mail in the enclosed envelope. When you respond online, use the Census ID from the letter or provide your address. To respond now, go to https://go.usa.gov/xdKjk.
Please encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to complete it too. It’s something everyone can do while practicing social distancing at home to make a difference today, tomorrow and the next 10 years.