Monday Message

JUNE 14, 2021

Principal's Message

Dear MEA Families,

We had our final staff meeting of the year today and together we reflected on what a year it has been. There was a common thread as teachers shared about their experiences and learnings teaching online. We are all so thankful for and so impressed by the families and students who make up the Mt. Everest community. We want to thank you for trusting us to partner with you during this unique and trying time.

Although it was very different than in-person classes, teachers were glad they were able to make so many connections with students and build a community of learners virtually. Teachers tried new tools and new strategies. We all learned together (and sometimes it was what didn't work!) The best of these learnings will live on in classrooms in the future as enhancements to our program.

It was fabulous to see so many students and families in person at the Kinder, 5th, and 8th grade promotions and at our high school graduation ceremony. It made me realize how much I missed seeing everyone in person. It also made me think about how much I am looking forward to the upcoming school year.

As most of you know, for the 2021-2022 school year, we will not be offering studygroups on Zoom as we will be going back to our regular in-person class meetings. Some teachers may still hold office hours or conferences online as a convenience, however, classes will not be done virtually.

Specific district protocols for the upcoming school year have yet to be announced and we will share them with you as soon as they are published.

We hope everyone has a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing everyone for a normal"ish" school year come August.

Take care!

Courtney Browne

SDUSD High School Counselor of the Year

Mr. Ron Zappala has been chosen as the SDUSD High School Counselor of the Year!

This award isn't a surprise to anyone who has seen how Mr. Zappala supports students. His guidance and caring have improved thousands of students' (and parents'!) lives.

The MEA community has had the privilege of working with Mr. Zappala the last 8 years, and he now plans to start his retirement. We will surely miss him as he goes out into the world; he'll be brightening up other peoples' days now!

With this SDUSD High School Counselor of the Year award, Mr. Z. is ending his school career on a wonderful, well-deserved high note. CONGRATULATIONS MR. ZAPPALA!

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One last farewell to Mr. Z!

(from the yearbook)

Congratulations class of 2021!

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Photo gallery of Senior Graduation

Link to a larger view of where MEA graduates will be going to college.

Looking good in the college merch!
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College acceptances

Link to a larger view of all the colleges where MEA graduates were accepted!

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8th grade promotion

Photo gallery of 8th grade Promotion

5th grade Promotion

Photo gallery of 5th grade Promotion

Kindergarten Promotion

Photo gallery of Kinder Promotion

* * UPCOMING * *

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For families that still need to return books and re-enroll for next year, there is one more make-up time available. Please come to the ELEMENTARY GATE (enter through the Wiggin Annex parking lot).

  • Tuesday, June 15 / 9:00-12:30

Book Returns

Know what you owe! To view your library account, go to our MEA Destiny Home page

  • Follow the login instructions (student ID and password).
  • After logging in you can find “Know What You Owe” under “How to…” in the top left column.


2021-22 enrollment forms will be available for you to sign. If your address has changed, please bring a new proof of residence. Master agreements will still be signed in August when textbooks are picked up.

Pick up art from the art show

Tuesday, June 15 / 9:00-12:30

Artwork that was submitted for the Summer Art Show can be picked up from campus on Tuesday, June 15, between 9:00-12:30. Please come to the ELEMENTARY GATE for pick up. Thank you!

Summer Farmstand & Student helpers

Join us for Garden time, Chicken Care, and our Farmstand over the Summer! Students can help in the garden and with the chickens and then run a farmstand with the harvest. All proceeds will go to support the Garden and chickens. We’ll send out reminders so families can join in to help or just come to pick up fresh greens from the MEA farmstand.

9:00-10:00 - Garden and Chicken Care

10:00-11:00 - MEA Farmstand

Tuesday 6/22
Tuesday 6/29
Tuesday 7/6
Tuesday 7/13
Tuesday 8/10
Tuesday 8/17

Link to MEA Gardens webpage

Link to MEA Chickens webpage

Planning ahead for 2021-2022

For your planning purposes:

  • Look for an email in July with a link to sign up for your master agreement signing and textbook pick up time

  • Mark your calendar for mandatory grade level orientations, dates and times are listed below

  • Be sure your child’s immunizations are up-to-date. New rules dictate that they not be able to start school without this!


Digital Escape Room

Created by MEA students

MEA students Ajay K, Allison F., Miles G., George S., Mar'Jay B., and Cassidy M. have worked together to create a Virtual Escape room activity that is available for everyone to try their hand at solving! You can access the page here:

All the information on the page is a potential clue. One lock (answer) can be solved from information on the main page but if you click on things (images/links) they will take you to other pages with other clues.

We recommend using a district account at this time so all the clues are available but hope to have public access by the end of the school year. Good luck!

FALL Community COllege Classes

Students entering 11th grade as of this Summer and wanting to take a college class this Fall can complete a Supplemental Application.

The Fall schedule is expected to be out on 6/7/21, but keep checking the website for the posting if it is not on the site as of that date.

Students need to apply to the community college district if they have not done so.


This is your opportunity to get a one-of-a kind, during a pandemic shutdown, uniquely memorable yearbook. So get zooming (not the video meeting kind) and order it now!

Click to Purchase Your 2020-21 MEA Yearbook

  • School Passcode: 1013183679162246

This year's book gives each student 2 free pages to fill with their own photos and memories.

Previews of the Mt. Everest Academy 2020-21 yearbook below.

Level Up SD - Summer Program

Registration is now open!!


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!

First, go to and set your charity to "Mount Everest Academy Foundation".

Then, always start your shopping at and shop as usual while supporting our school!

* * CHICKENS * *

Ophelia’s (slow) return to good health

We are a few weeks past Ophelia’s (brown Ameraucana chicken) vet visit, home stay, and antibiotics completion and we are seeing some changes in the flock’s pecking order.

Currently, Chris (white Leghorn chicken) has decided to repeatedly aggress on Ophelia, especially in the presence of people. Miss Shannon has had to intervene a few times, and makes sure to reinforce the chickens for getting along (rather than feeding the dominant chicken first).

As they work out their differences and the hierarchy, we will (hopefully) see less and less aggression and more “total flock calm” return.

Ophelia has not laid an egg (beautiful greenish color) in over a month. As her health continues to improve, we anticipate the return of finding these stunning eggs!

Chicken social dynamics are fascinating and purposeful!

Read more about the purpose of the pecking order.

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Coop Group

Recently 6 middle school students gathered on the MEA campus to tackle a thorough cleaning of all things chicken coop—the entire home was raked, the overnight sleeping area stripped clean and re-papered/shavings and fresh Timothy hay added, the food and water dispensers were scrubbed clean…

and the 5 chickens were given some love and attention (+ some melon treats).

Everyone worked together as an efficient cleaning team.

There may only be 6 students in this Coop Group gathering, but we worked like 16.
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We capped off the 1.5 hour session with a 15 minute game of tag on the playground—with several students saying “that was so much fun!” at the end.
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* * GOOD STUFF * *

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!

I'm Done!

And ready for summer!
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Ally Action Worksheet

MEA Ally Action has created this worksheet to help people learn more about pronouns. It explains the use of different pronouns and provides practice for using them in ways you may not be used to. Knowing how to use a person's pronouns correctly is one of the best ways to be an ally to trans people, so we strongly encourage you to take the time to learn this! Feel free to share this worksheet with others as well.

Disclaimer: We are providing this worksheet in accordance with the Fair Education Act (SB48).


Mr. Ron Zappala is the Head School Counselor at Mt. Everest Academy. Please reach out to him him with any counseling questions at

Opportunity Scholarships for the Class of 2022

The College Board Opportunity Scholarships offer nearly $5 million each year to reward your efforts to plan and pay for college. There are 6 college planning steps to complete for 6 separate chances at $500. When you finish all 6, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $40,000 scholarship, but you can still earn money even if you don’t complete them all.

Learn how Juliana Balanzar of La Jolla High won $40,000.

How to read a transcript

Here’s a short video on how to read a transcript, created by SDUSD.

It’s important that high school students understand transcripts for:

  • Graduation status
  • Four year planning
  • Post secondary planning

Free Community Assessment Team (CAT) Services

CAT Services flyer

The CAT program is a resource program under SAY San Diego. Say, San Diego is a long standing, local Non-profit program that has worked with San Diego Unified families for years, specifically offering free counseling, case management and basic needs assistance for school aged youth from 6-18 years of age. This is basically a one stop help with academic, behavioral or general issues that can arise especially during this time of distance Learning. Their services do not require health insurance, if that is a families preference or situation.

Community College information

Students taking community college classes during the Summer will need to buy their books and materials through the Mesa Bookstore or online (amazon, chegg, etc). You will not be billed through your portal for books.

High school students enrolled in 11 units or less will have their enrollment fees waived, but will be billed for the health fee (roughly $22). Enrollment fees may take 10-12 business days to clear of their balance.

High school students can now begin submitting supplemental applications to the campus where your course is offered as soon as you select your class(es) off of the summer class schedule. You will be enrolled by Admissions around open enrollment May 17, 2021. Please note: all High school students have a hold on their record and are not able to self enroll. Students must meet class requirements prior to being enrolled by Admissions. If you feel like you meet pre-requisite requirements for a class you can take a subject assessment to determine your eligibility. Please submit your supplemental applications for Fall as soon as the Fall class schedule becomes available on June 7th. Keep in mind to schedule classes at the community college that do not conflict with our MEA study group schedule.

Summer 2021 College Dates

Summer Class schedule- April 19, 2021

Open Enrollment - May 17, 2021

First day of Summer - June 7, 2021

Fall 2021 College Dates

Fall class schedule - June 7, 2021

Open Enrollment- July 19, 2021

1st day of Fall - Aug 23, 2021

Endless Possibilities

SDCCD Endless Possibilities

Your guide to majors and programs of interest at the San Diego Community College District. They offer endless possibilities for your career journey with a wealth of opportunities for pursuing your education. The SDCCD strives to make their students successful by dedicating their resources to quality instruction and stellar support services.

Class of 2021

Seniors, this Counseling & Guidance Resources webpage was designed with you in mind. From the page you will find helpful resources to support your senior year: understand the college application process, cope with the stressors of transitioning to college and navigate the challenges of senior year.


Everest Chess Camp

June 21-June 25 / 1:00-4:00pm

Everest Chess Camp webpage

  • Amazing Free Opportunity to Learn from a Chess Master - June 21 - 25 (1-4 PM)
  • Chess is a fun game that can raise your IQ and creativity!
  • As we learn openings, middle game and endgame strategies, your memory and critical thinking skills will be improved.
  • Prepare for local chess tournaments, State Championships and National Championships (tournaments are not required but encouraged)
  • Chess is also a great way to meet new friends.

MEA rising Senior Ajay Krishnan is a nationally-ranked chess player and a Candidate Master. He has represented the US Chess Team in International Chess Tournaments in Brazil and is a US Scholastic National Champion-runner up.

The Camp offers:

  • Live lessons via Zoom with engaging and fun coaches who are Masters!
  • Sessions meet daily at 1 pm PT (we will use Zoom Breakout Sessions for pairwise chess games)
  • All Camp Round Up daily at 4 pm PT
  • Comparable chess camps charge $500+
  • Donations to a non-profit organization welcome (but not required)

Grades: Camp open to students entering 1st – 12th grade in the fall

Click here if you would like to register for this amazing camp!

Camp BookIt! Summer Reading

Parents can enroll in Pizza Hut's Camp BOOK IT! to reward kids for reading during June, July and August. When kids meet their monthly reading goal, they'll receive a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza® from Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut will also share fun activities and book recommendations each week throughout the summer.

Y4C Summer Camp

Youth 4 Climate is a program under San Diego 350 with the goal of empowering youth to find their voice for an equitable and resilient future. We are putting on our second virtual Y4C Summer Camp for high school students in San Diego to help youth learn about and take action for climate justice.

The theme of our first session is “Discover Your Passion, Make It Your Power!” and it will run for three weeks, from June 21st-July 9th. Youth will spend 3.5-5.5 hours per week:

  • learning about climate change,

  • connecting with like minded peers,

  • hearing from climate experts, and

  • developing projects to tackle climate change!

Participants are also eligible to receive a certificate of completion and community service hours.

Session I of the summer camp costs $60, but nobody will be turned away from lack of funds. If you’re interested, please fill out this interest form to receive a registration link. People who register before June 14th and attend the camp will be entered into a raffle!

Please email Megan Phelps (she/her), the Y4C Intern, with any questions or comments:

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