Monday Message

February 7, 2022

Happy School Counseling Week to Mr. Rubin

February 7 - February 11

Mr. Rubin has had a seamless transition to Mt. Everest Academy and has already shown his dedication to students and families. Starting from the initial tour and enrollment, to following up with students on their progress, to helping plan the next year’s classes, and then guiding them on the path to college – Mr. Rubin takes care of our students!

MR. RUBIN - We appreciate you and thank you for all you do!

This week feel free to drop by his office, stop him on campus, or email your words of gratitude to

The Garden Unveiling Art Show

Date: Thursday, Feb. 10

Time: 12:00-2:00

Location: Garden (by the chickens)

At 12:15 pm (drum roll please!)...

Mr. Ron Zappala will “unveil” the Serenity Garden that he has donated and designed for our MEA community.

Everyone is invited to attend this memorable event to view student art and welcome our new garden! A variety of art mediums by all grades, K-12, will be on display: mandalas, paintings, drawings, ceramics, photographs, digital art, and movies.

As well as art and the new garden, other highlights of this event include:

  • MUSIC by MEA students: Leena Iwamoto, Nicole Lee, Petunia Rizo, and Yosif Shaheen.

  • FRUIT CUPS provided by Miss Shannon and Chef Nancy via a Sprouts gift card through Sage Garden Project.

    Coop Group students will be offering a pouch, each with three seed packets (crops ready to be sown now!). $5 donation to benefit chickens and gardens. High quality seeds!

MEA families, we look forward to seeing you at this special occasion! Please sign in at the front gate, and parents must accompany students in grades K-5.

Serenity Garden Construction

When Mr. Zappala retired as head counselor from MEA last year, he didn't retire from caring about our students and school! He wanted to donate and create a peaceful garden space where students could relax and feel uplifted by nature. His vision turned into designing, planning, and then "digging in."

Mr. Zappala and his crew have spent many days over the last several months working away, and he is now ready to officially dedicate the Serenity Garden to the MEA community.

Take a closer look at the construction process in this photo gallery.

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Tuesday, Feb. 8 / 12:00-12:30 / Blacktop

Ally Action is organizing a "Speed-Friending" event this Tuesday, February 8th, during lunch. Students will have the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with people they haven't met before, similar to a speed-dating event. Look for us out on the blacktop!

Book Swap & Donate

From 12:00-12:30 on:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 8
  • Wednesday, Feb. 9
  • Thursday, Feb. 10
(Elementary parents may want to drop off books before 12:00 to prepare books for swapping)


  • At the elementary gate for grades K-5

  • Tables on campus for secondary students

Heights magazine will be hosting a book swap & donate event during lunch on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of February. Students can bring old and new books that they no longer want or read to trade with their friends. Whatever books are not traded will be donated to the Monarch School so homeless children can have access to good, quality reading material.

Heart Origami Workshop

Thursday, Feb. 10 / 12:00-1:15 / Outside by the Art Show

ELEMENTARY STUDENTS, we’ve got a creative project for you! Come make some fun, easy, origami hearts with Miss Ellie!

This workshop is limited to 8 students, please sign up here.

We look forward to having this “heARTFUL” time together!

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“Chicken Coop Cooperative” for Elementary Students

First meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 16 / 12:30-1:30

Miss Shannon is excited to announce the opening of the chicken coop on the first and third Wednesday of every month, from 12:30 until 1:30.

We are calling this the “Chicken Coop Cooperative,” or C3:

  • This hour is designed for the K through 5 students to spend some time getting to know the chickens, and hanging out with other students.
  • We will occasionally harvest greens growing from the gardens to offer them as well.
  • We will be mindful of washing hands after interacting with the chickens: food for kids first (if eating on campus), then food for chickens.

Please sign in at the front office and the students can be sent directly to the chicken coop. If a student is already on campus, please indicate on the check in sheet on Wednesdays that they will be attending a C3 session.

Students will be walked back to the front office at 1:30.

First C3 is Wednesday, Feb 16.

  • Then March 2 and 16
  • April 6 and 20
  • May 4 and 18

Mark your calendars!

SSC/SGT Meeting

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 16

Time: 2:00-3:00 pm

Location: Room 1 or


All parents are invited to attend the School Site Committee (SSC) meeting. The SSC is a shared decision-making body composed of parents, staff, and students. Our Council identifies needs for academic programs and sets budgets to support these programs. The meeting agenda will be posted on the SSC/SGT webpage. For questions, please contact Principal Browne at

Winter Semi-Formal Dances

Attention Secondary Students!

The MEA ASB is organizing these Winter Semi-Formal Dances for YOU! Come enjoy music, free food, and hanging out with your friends. Each MEA student can also invite one non-MEA guest to this event.

Date: Thursday, March 3

Location: Outdoors

Middle School: 4:00-5:30

High School: 6:00-8:00

Tickets: Purchase Online for both MEA students and guests

  • Middle School tickets are $10 each; 20 tickets must be sold by February 24th to hold the dance.

  • High School tickets are $15 each; 30 tickets must be sold by February 24th to hold the dance.

  • If you purchased a ticket last time, the transaction was reversed and your money refunded; please purchase again.

Permission slips are required for all attendees

  • For MEA students, fill out permission form online when purchasing tickets.
  • For non-MEA guests, download this guest permission form. Fill it out and have it signed by the guest’s school administrator. Then bring the form to the dance and turn it in at the door.

Pick Music for the Dances!

For students in grades 6-12:

The ASB would like your song suggestions to help put together a playlist for the Winter dances on March 3rd.

Please submit your music ideas!

Hero Move-A-Thon

Please Save-The-Date for Mt. Everest Academy Foundation Fundraising Event, the HERO MOVE-A-THON to be held on TUESDAY, MARCH 8 from 1:30PM - 3:30PM.

You can be a HERO by registering to participate in an amazingly fun outdoor event supporting our Mt. Everest Academy Foundation and School. Participate in person or virtually. Enjoy multiple Obstacle Courses for our HEROES to traverse, including a giant Inflatable Course, and many fun field day events to keep you moving and fit. Come dressed as any type of Hero to add to the fun! Have fun saving the world and raise money for your school at the same time!

Daily Mindfulness and Meditation

These daily sessions will include about 10 minutes of mindfulness and meditation as well as other activities to foster health and wellness and connectedness in our community. All MEA Community members are welcome!

Zoom: Passcode: MEA!

Zoom (alternative link): Passcode: MEA!

  • When: Monday through Friday (holidays and scheduled school concerts/events excluded!)
  • Why: Optimum Health, Wellness, and Well-Being!
  • Who: The whole MEA Community
  • Time: 12-12:30 (You must login by 12:00)


Elementary Art Cancelled this week

Unfortunately, Elementary Art with Mrs. Sink this Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 12:30 has been cancelled. The class will continue next Tuesday, Feb. 15, as usual.

Instead of art this week, elementary students are welcome to attend instead:

  • PALS for Elementary Students
    Tuesday, Feb. 8 / 12:30-1:30 / Room 6

Senior Letter

Dear MEA Class of 2022 Students and Guardians:

This SENIOR LETTER contains important reminders about graduation and end-of-year information. Please read it carefully and mark your calendar with the important dates and deadlines.

For easy reference, this letter is also linked under the STUDENT tab on the MEA website.

Senior Activity Survey

Hello Class of 2022!

Would you please let us know your thoughts on having a senior activity/trip before we graduate?

Just take this quick Senior Activity Survey. Thank you!

Common Scholarship Application

Hello Seniors,

Here is a link to The San Diego Foundation Common Scholarship Application which will take you to a website with the application and more information.

What is great about this is that you can apply for several San Diego-based scholarships with one application.

Any questions? Please contact Mr. Rubin,

Ace hardware change round-up for MEA

Benefitting MEA Foundation for gardens and chickens

We are excited to announce that the Mt. Everest Academy Foundation will be the recipient of the month of February customer change round-up at Ace Hardware in Clairemont Town Square.

This is a fantastic program to support a small business and simply say “yes, I would love to round up my change” when you buy for your home or garden needs at this store.

Starting February 1 and through the month, encourage your friends and family to shop there, and round up your change!

The amount of money can range anywhere from $1200 all the way up to $3000, or more–it adds up!

Shop local, support our school!

Humans of MEA

Episode 13 Iman Zermeno

In this episode, Iman Zermeno, a senior at MEA chats with Chloe Moya about roller-skating around the city, next steps after high school, digging for records with her dad, wanting to meet Dr. Jeanne Sinkford, the inequity of healthcare, and realizing passions.

Starring Iman Zermeno

Interviewed by Chloe Moya

Edited by Petunia Rizo

Transcript compiled by Colette Arrasmith, Theo Martien, and Nicole Lee

Please apply here, if YOU would like to be interviewed by Humans of MEA!

School Meals

All MEA students are able to receive school meals free of charge all year long. For the 2021-22 school year, students have access to breakfast, lunch and dinner on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Students can pick the bagged meals up from the office. Families do not need to complete a meal application this year.

Textbook returns & Pick-Ups

1) Please return all books not being used from first semester and finished book bundle boxes to rooms 4 and 5.

2) CLASS 6757/8 Please pick up Econ books and return the Gov book.

3) Textbooks for MESA class POLI SC 102 (Intro to AM GOV) ARE HERE for pickup in room 4 or 5.

Report Cards only available electronically

The District has sent out emails letting families know about the new Digital Document Delivery System. Semester 1 report cards should be sent via this new system on Friday, Feb. 4 and grades will continue to be viewable in the PowerSchool parent portal.

National Honor Society Applications

Students who are in grades 10-12 are welcome to apply for the Mt. Everest Academy Chapter of the National Honor Society. Applicants must have been enrolled for a full semester at MEA prior to the application deadline and have a current GPA of 3.5 or higher. There is no cost to apply, but students who are inducted may gain access to scholarship opportunities through the NHS.

Applications are on Dr. Rodenberg's website and are due to her by Friday, February 25.


For a few seniors that have not yet had their senior portrait taken, Chula Vista Photo has offered us one more opportunity.

Please call the studio at 619-422-9281 to book your session within this time block: FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 9:00-10:30am


Seeking Cover Art for “Heights”

Thank you to all the students that have submitted their creative work to MEA’s Literary Magazine, Heights! For the time being we are not taking any more work submissions as we finish up preparing the winter issue.

We are now seeking cover art for the “Heights” winter issue! Cover art submission form

All cover artwork is due by February 12th, the theme is home, and the issue is digital, so students should keep that in mind when submitting work. Also, the work should not exceed the size of 8.5 by 11 inches.

For any questions please email the Heights Editor-in-Chief, Jody Huege, at

Student Feedback Needed

The MEA Mental Health Club is looking for student feedback on two projects we are currently developing. Please read the description and fill out the questions located in the google form below. Feel free to contact Leena Iwamoto at with any questions or comments.

Form link:

Box Tops for Education

Shopping for groceries can be turned into easy cash for Mt. Everest Academy from hundreds of products with the Box Tops logo.

All you need is your phone! Download the Box Tops app, shop as you normally would, then use the app to scan your store receipt. The app will identify Box Tops products on your receipt and automatically credit Mt. Everest Academy’s earnings online. Find out how it works.

Yearbook Cover Contest

All students are invited to enter their art in our yearbook cover contest! The winner will receive a yearbook and their artwork will be displayed on the front cover! Even if your entry is not used on the cover, it may still be used in other places throughout the book.

Contest details and guidelines

Articulation Meetings for 2022-2023

From February 9 - March 25, students in grades 5-11 will have the opportunity to plan their classes for next school year.

Grades 5, 6, 7

  • Students will review articulation sheets/course options with Ms. Patterson during English class this month and parents should go over course options with their student(s) at home.

  • Students must submit the articulation sheet with parent approval to Ms. Patterson through Google Classroom.

  • Please contact your child’s supervising teacher with questions.

Articulation Sheets:

Incoming 6th graders

Incoming 7th graders

Incoming 8th graders

Grades 8, 9, 10, 11

  • All 8th -11th graders must make an appointment to meet with Mr. Rubin between February 9 through March 25. Please reserve a conference time at this link to discuss courses for next year, graduation and college entrance requirements, and community college courses.

  • Incoming 9th graders and their parents can meet with Mr. Rubin for a 4-year planning conference during the time of their articulation meeting.

  • Parents are encouraged to attend along with their student. If parents cannot attend, they should review the course options with their student at home.

  • Students do not need to return an articulation sheet, but should be prepared to share their course requests with Mr. Rubin during their appointment with him.

  • For questions, please contact Mr. Rubin.

Articulation Sheets:

Incoming 9th graders

Incoming 10th graders

Incoming 11th graders

Incoming 12th graders

Find all courses being offered next year here: Master Course List 2022-2023

Sign up for articulation meeting with Mr. Rubin.

Covid-19 Health & Safety

Please remember to do a symptom check for your student prior to sending them to school and do not send students to school if they are exhibiting any symptoms.

We have had many Covid related absences and will do everything we can to not cancel classes. Please be on the lookout for communications from your teachers through email and google classroom in case of emergencies.

Surgical-grade masks are now required for all employees. Students are still required to wear a mask and are now strongly encouraged, but not required, to wear a well-fitting, non-cloth mask of multiple layers with a nose wire.

We encourage you to sign your student up to get tested on the MEA campus, every Tuesday from 12:00-2:30. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Complete the opt-in process to allow the testers to conduct weekly testing.

  2. Register and consent in the Primary.Health Portal in order to be tested.

For the most up-to-date Covid guidelines, please see the San Diego County’s decision tree. If in doubt, please reach out to the office to answer any questions you may have.​​


MEA Foundation

MEA Foundation website

What do we do? The simple answer is, we raise funds to support MEA where funds are not available from the district and we organize volunteer efforts to bring workshops, our talent show, teacher appreciation and so much more. We fund music, art supplies, campus improvements, garden, school events, curriculum support and teacher supplements and grants. Our goal is to raise $10,000 this year for MEA.

Please consider making a donation to MEA Foundation. Check if your employer offers corporate matches to double your donation.

Volunteers are needed for the Foundation. We need help with updating the website, organizing a directory for parents, writing grants and fundraising efforts. Please email for more information.

Recording of Brave New World

On 1/10/22 the MEA Foundation in partnership with UCSD Extension offered the workshop “The Brain, Social Media and Gaming Addiction.” For parents that weren’t able to attend, a video of that workshop is now available.

Link to recording

Passcode: MtEverest1!


MEA Foundation is fully registered with AmazonSmile as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. When you shop at AmazonSmile, will donate to MEA Foundation at no cost to you!


We know MEA students and families are involved in so many things outside of school. Do you have something fun or interesting to share? Please send your stories and images to share for "The Good Stuff" in upcoming Monday messages to Linda Ele at We want to hear from you!


* * * Click box above for Elementary Extracurricular Schedule * * *

Daily Mindfulness & Meditation

Elementary Art

Music with Mr. Johnson


Covid-19 Protocols for Elementary Students

Our goal is to offer as many elementary extracurriculars as possible even though parents cannot be on campus to supervise children like usual. If dropping off for an extracurricular, please sign your child in at the front office. If students are staying past their studygroup time to attend supervised lunch and afternoon extracurricular, you will note that on the sign in sheet.

Elementary Art on Feb. 1

In elementary art with Mrs. Sink, students learned how to draw a seascape with a horizon line separating the sky from the water. Then they added a cute seal to their work!
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PALS Tutoring

Wednesdays & Thursdays / 12:30-1:45 / Room 6

Trained tutors are ready to help you get your classwork done. All students grades K-12 who would like some extra help can come to room 6 every Wednesday and Thursday during 4th period (12:30-1:45pm). All grades are welcome, as we have tutors for all grade levels. PALS is a great way to build community and academic skills!

Parents, K-5 students attending PALS must arrive with a check-in form so tutors know what to work on with your child and you receive a report on how things went. (Extra forms will be available when you drop off in case you forget or can't print one at home.)

  • K-5 students attending studygroup and PALS on the same day should be signed in when parents drop off at 9am. Parents must indicate if their student is staying for supervised lunch and PALS
  • K-5 students attending ONLY PALS on any given day should be signed in outside the front office.
  • 6-12 students can report directly to Room 6.

Music classes with Mr. Johnson

These classes are held every Tuesday. Please sign your child in at the front office and note which class(es) they will be attending.

  • 8:05- 8:55 - Beginning Band
  • 9:05- 9:55 - Choir
  • 10:05- 10:55 - Advanced Band
  • 11:05 - 11:55 - Music theory (for upper grades)
  • 12:30- 1:20 - Advanced Strings (open to secondary)
  • 1:35- 2:25 - Beginning Strings

* * * Click box above for Secondary Extracurricular Schedule * * *

Academic League • Ally Action • Anime • Chess • Coop Group • Daily Mindfulness & Meditation • Gaming • German • GSA • Literary Magazine • MathCounts • Mental Health • Music with Mr. Johnson • PALS • Rubik's Cube • Sherpa’s Jam Band • Spanish Conversation • Sports Club • Young Investors Club

Spanish Conversation Club

Tuesday, Feb. 8 / 12:00-12:30

Outside of Room 1

¡Vengan a conversar! ¡Participen en la tertulia de español!

MEA students studying all levels of Spanish who want to practice speaking are invited to join a <<tertulia>>, or small gathering, on Tuesdays at lunch. We will meet twice a month on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the work month! Month 6's meetings are February 8th and 22nd in the garden outside room 1. ¡Vamos a divertirnos! Let's have fun!


Color Wheeling

Students mix 3 colors to create a 12 color wheel of primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Students did this using just yellow, blue, and red.

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Hügelkultur completed!

World’s first ADA accessible (and ballerina ready) Hügelkultur bed!
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School Spirit Store

Parents are now able to use SchoolCash Online to buy and pay for items using Visa/Visa Debit and Mastercard/Mastercard Debit. We are currently selling school spirit wear and other fundraising items like lanyards, water bottles and DVDs. Simply order online and then come pick up your purchase in the MEA front office.

Please create an account to access our online catalog.

Meet with School Counselor

For students and parents that would like to meet with Mr. Rubin, our school counselor, please sign up for an appointment.

SDUSD Covid Testing Acknowledgement Form

This is a reminder that all families are required to make a choice on Covid testing at the start of the new school year. Every family must complete the form (access link below) and submit their response online at this time for each student. Free Covid testing in school not only helps prevent the spread of the virus, but it also helps more students stay in school and continue their education.

Covid-19 Testing Acknowledgement Form

(Note: A PowerSchool Username and Password will be required to complete the form. If you do not have the Access ID and Password for your student, please contact Ms. Ramos in the front office.)


Help Refugee Children


My name is Ridwan Galib, an 11th-grade student at MEA. I am working with a volunteer organization, Kind Hearts, which is helping new refugees in San Diego. I am leading an effort to support refugee children by providing toys and school supplies.

Donations Flyer

We are asking for donations from the MEA community. If you have contributions for Kind Hearts, would you please bring them to a donations bin in the MEA office?

Thank you for your support, and please let me know if you have any questions. Email:

MEA Native Garden

Wild San Diego ( is an organization founded by Ria Rizo (10th grader at MEA). As one of the organization’s projects, she is creating a native plant garden at the MEA campus.

The Mt. Everest Academy Native Garden will be a natural, outdoor area on the K-12 school campus. It will provide habitat for local wildlife and plants while connecting students to nature. The garden will be sustainable and water wise, only requiring watering for the first 2 years until the plants are established. Once established, the plants will attract a variety of local and migratory wildlife including Monarch butterflies, Towhees, flycatchers, and possibly the threatened Coastal California Gnatcatchers. Students will be able to connect with nature and develop a lifelong appreciation for nature. Spending time in nature also improves mental health and provides many other health benefits. Visitors will also develop a better understanding of the local ecosystems in San Diego.

For more information, visit our website, which includes the full master plan for the project.

Donate to support our project

If you would like to support our project, please consider donating.All donations will go to the MEA Native Garden and will be used to purchase plants, mulch, and any other necessary materials. Send any amount to our Venmo account @WildSanDiego. If asked to confirm, our phone number's last 4 digits is 1884.


Week of February 28

Celebrate the collaboration between the March of Dimes and the Salk Institute with the 32nd annual March of Dimes High School Science event. They are not able to host the event in person this year, but will offer it in a virtual setting.

Heithoff-Brody High School Summers Scholars program

The Salk Institute is proud to present the Heithoff-Brody High School Summers Scholars program this summer. The program is offered as part of a partnership with the Biocom Institute Life Science Young Leaders High School Internship program. The eight-week paid internship is an opportunity for high school students to gain real-life experience performing scientific research while developing skill sets needed for careers in STEM.

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