Mendenhall Principal's Newsletter

April 2018

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Happy Spring!

And with spring comes annual testing. We begin standardized testing next month. We are scheduling the testing differently from previous years, spreading it out over the entire month to avoid students being over-tested and exhausted. Please ensure that your child comes to school ready to do his/her best on the tests. They do matter, particularly with the State Accountability system.
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Thank you to Former Parent Jean Opipari and . . .

the members of the Pathways to a Bright Future committee -- Dawn Allen, counselor, and Ana Way, Jen Wilde, Rachel Clark, and Thanh Ansavananda, parents -- for putting on another successful event. The panel presentations by teachers, former students, the FIT teachers from Granada, the GHS IB coordinator, students in the fire technology and EMT programs at Las Positas, to name some of the offerings, were informative and thoughtful. And a special thanks to Jean Opipari, who has no children at Mendenhall any longer but believes strongly in the program and continues to produce an amazing event.

Parent Resources for those unable to attend our recent parent presentations

Thanks to Ariel Fuchs from Axis Community Health, we have had a number of excellent opportunities for parent and/or student health education. In January Ariel gave a presentation on vaping and drug trends to parents, and last month Axis in conjunction with Teen Esteem gave a presentation on using social media responsibly. Also last month Axis provided an assembly on mental wellness from Hakeem Rahim, nationally recognized speaker on mental health. For your info, Teen Esteem has a number of helpful resources for parents: Below is a card that Hakeem Rahim passed out. We provided it to teachers to post on their boards as an important reference. I hope you find it helpful.
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Growing pains with BYOD

As we approach the end of our first year with BYOD, we are learning a lot about best practices. Students have been playing video games, sometimes under their teachers' auspices and often at lunch. We are finding increasingly that students have difficulty self-regulating their video game use. Going forward, we will not allow students to play video games at school. Their devices are intended for educational use only while at school. In addition, students have been employing their own hot spots, most likely with the intention of bypassing an occasionally unresponsive wifi system. However, we need to reinforce with students that they may not do so. You send your child to school with the expectation that there will be appropriate filters on their wifi access, but if they are using hot spots, we cannot guarantee their safety. According to our network guidelines,

"LVJUSD offers filtered and managed wireless access. This means that LVJUSD is compliant with federal regulations requiring districts to restrict student access to websites or other Internet resources that are not appropriate for minors based on content or commercial interests requiring students to divulge personal information. Students in grades K-12 who bring a personal computing device to school must agree to the District’s filtering and security policies. Uses of devices in the classroom are for educational purposes only, and are subject to individual teacher approval."

Students may not bypass or attempt to bypass District filters or security. Continued abuse of the LVJUSD computer use guidelines will result in progressive discipline which could mean loss of computer privileges altogether.

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National History Day County Results

Congratulations to everyone who attended Alameda County History Day on Saturday, Mar. 17! Mendenhall did very well. Ashanti Chauhan and Charlotte Foulk earned a Bay Area History Award for their project on the 1906 Earthquake. Katie Fogerson and Cara Razma are advancing to State with their performances. Adam Sahn and Zainab Abbas are moving forward with individual documentaries. Allie Lagodzinski and Reese Chy are advancing with a group documentary. Hailey Miller and Sydney Gutierrez qualified for State with individual websites, and Madeline Seburn is the runner-up. Sairag Maram and Ian Quindipan and Gia Oscherwitz and Palak Guleria are moving on with group websites. Ciara Terry and Katie Levine are going to State with individual exhibits, and Kelsey Hertz is the runner-up. Christianna Yano and Allison Gould are moving on with a group exhibit. In the Historical Papers category, Julia Leigh, Katherine Meezan, and Brianna Yen will represent Alameda County. Best wishes to all our competitors!

8th Grade Parents: Teens for Life Program

Parents were notified a few days ago about the Teens for Life program. It is scheduled for one period either Monday or Tuesday, April 16 or 17, in core class. If you wish to opt your child out of this suicide prevention presentation, please download this letter (which contains more information about the program), fill out the required information and return it to the office. Thank you.

And finally . . .

Thank you as always for your support. It is a pleasure to work in this community, with such devoted parents and parent volunteers.

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