MVLA Magazine

March 2021

MVLA Community,


It has been a welcome and exciting change for us to have students back for in-person learning and activities. As we continue our planned return, our athletic competitions are beginning and our performing arts are making plans for their Spring events. The sounds and sights of our campuses are progressing as we move back to normalcy.


Seeing our freshmen has been rewarding as it has been the first time they have been on campus, after building community and relationships from a virtual domain. Having our Class of 2021 on campus has been heartwarming as well. Our seniors have made history - being the first graduating class to live through a full year of a pandemic. Our students have been eager to return, and we couldn't be happier to have them back. I appreciate their respect for the many safety guidelines we have in place - making it possible to be on campus safely. I also appreciate the trust our parents have placed in us - knowing we have gone to every step possible to provide a safe, secure campus environment.


This month's newsletter includes information about our community survey, commitments to a learning model for the remainder of this year, and initial planning for the 2021-2022 school year.


Sincerely,


Nellie Meyer

Superintendent

RETURN TO CAMPUS

With the collaboration between MVLA and the District Teachers Association (DTA), our schedule for returning to campus is now approved.


SCHEDULE

Starting the week of April 19 - as we return from Spring Break - students and staff will be back on campus for in-person learning. Students will attend school for half-days on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for that first week back. This half-day transition will ease students in, help make sure they understand and follow protocols, and adapt to simultaneous instruction, new technology, and construction activities on campus.


During the week of April 26, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is administered on Tuesday, April 27, so students will return on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for full days. Beginning the week of May 3, students will continue with four full-days, but will attend classes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for the rest of the school year.


COMMITMENT FORM

Families will need to complete this Commitment Form on or before Wednesday, March 31, to indicate their choice of in-person instruction (Option 1) or fully virtual remote instruction (Option 2). View our FAQs for more information about the two options. View the planned schedule here.


We will provide the community an update on the return to in-person instruction as we finalize the numbers of families choosing each option. We will also provide an update on the return to five full days for the 2021-2022 school year.

PARENT SURVEY

We invite MVLA families to complete this Parent Community Survey to tell us about their student's education and social-emotional experiences this school year. Your feedback will be valuable in helping with our planning for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, summer school, and the next academic year, coupled with the academic assessments our teachers regularly conduct with our students.


MVLA is moving forward to provide in-person instruction five days per week for the 2021-2022 school year. The health and safety of students and staff will remain a top priority. All of our plans will comply with all current public health guidelines at all times. We also plan to provide 100% distance learning or virtual option for those who may not wish to return to in-person learning in fall 2021.

SUMMER SCHOOL

Summer school enrollment is open and available for students who received Ds or Fs in academic coursework this year or received a "No Credit" mark in spring 2020 and need to retake the class(es) to meet graduation requirements. Except for Health, there are not class options for advancement via summer school. (View the summer school catalog here.) There will be a total of five sessions this summer.


In-Seat Summer School

  • Friday, June 11 - Thursday, June 24 - 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Friday, June 25 - Friday, July 9 - 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (July 5 is a holiday.)
  • Special Education coursework will follow half-day schedules.


Online Summer School

  • Monday, June 14 - Friday, June 25
  • Monday, June 28 - Monday, July 12 (July 5 is a holiday)
  • Tuesday, July 13 - Monday, July 26


Applications are due Friday, April 23, 2021. (Application instructions are here.) Students will need to register to complete their applications. All current MVLA high school students can sign up for Health without a counselor's approval. Students should contact their school counselor for recommendations and approval for an online course other than Health. Learn more here.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

LOS ALTOS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2021 - SERENA GAYLORD

Serena has not let the pandemic deter her from being actively involved in campus activities and events. As a member of the Student Community Leaders Class (SCL) on campus since her freshman year, she serves as the Fundraising Coordinator, helping to craft decisions about the class's funds, events, and activities.


Serena is also vice president of the Student-Athlete Leadership Team, representing her teammates on the cheer team. Outside of school, Serena volunteers with Menlo Church and loves teaching bible stories to kindergartners. Read more about Serena here and listen to the Board's recognition segment here, starting at 51.42.

MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2021 - MAGGIE MAHASIN

Maggie plays a big part in campus activities and clubs. She's a member of the Desks for Students club, which helps build and collects desks for students in the Bay Area; the MeToo Club, which advocates for sexual assault awareness; and Ambassadors, where she helps create and plan mental health and wellness events.


Maggie played on the Spartan's basketball team the last two years and is on the track team this year. Her teachers describe her as a thoughtful and honest student who always works to bring out others' best. Read more about Maggie here and listen to the Board's recognition segment here, starting at 56:41.

LOS ALTOS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT OF THE MONTH - MARCH 2021 - ANIRUD AGGARWAL

Anirud - or Ani, as known to friends and teachers - has been passionate about computer science and coding for years. As a member of Los Altos' Computer Engineering for the Next Generation Club (CENG), he spends time every week teaching coding to minority groups in the Bay Area. He is interested in computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) and has an AI blog where he shares stories about his coding projects.


In his free time, Ani enjoys martial arts. Quarantining during the pandemic has given him time to practice and perfect many moves. He says a pandemic 'plus' was the gift of a punching bag, which he enjoys beating upon in his garage. Read more about Ani here and listen to the Board's recognition segment here, starting at 21:44.

MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT OF THE MONTH - MARCH 2021 - MINGKUAN YAN

Mingkuan is also passionate about computer science and coding, and appreciates their dependency on logical thinking and creativity. Mingkuan is currently ranked at the Silver level at the USA Computing Olympiad (USACO) and enjoys putting these skills into practice as a Teacher Assistant (TA) for Mountain View's computer science teacher, Mr. Nguyen.


Mingkuan is also passionate about music, and plays the French horn in the school's Wind Ensemble, the California Youth Symphony's Senior Orchestra, and California's All-State Wind Symphony. Read more about Mingkuan here and listen to the Board's recognition segment here, starting at 13:28.

DISTRICT NEWS

MVLA IS ONE OF FIVE CALIFORNIA DISTRICTS TO RECEIVE MOODY'S TOP BOND RATING

The District's careful fiscal management and stable financial position have led one of the nation’s premier benchmark bond-rating services to, once again, assign MVLA its highest possible rating.


Moody’s Investors Service assigned an Aaa rating, judged to be its highest quality rating. The agency recently revised its methodology for K-12 districts, based on the assignment of an “issuer rating” reflecting each issuer’s general ability to repay debt and debt-like obligations without consideration of any debt-specific pledge, security, or structural feature, including the repayment of general obligation unlimited tax (GOULT) bonds. Read more.

UPDATE ON ATHLETICS

We are still in the modified Santa Clara Valley Athletic League's (SCVAL) three-season sports schedule, without playoffs. Spectators for outdoor sports are still limited to four family members. There will be no spectators permitted for indoor sports. All indoor sports require weekly COVID-19 testing.

  • Season 1- Cross Country, Girls Golf, Girls Tennis, Swimming and Diving. Competitions for these teams conclude tomorrow.
  • Season 2 – Soccer, Football, Field Hockey, Badminton, and Girls Volleyball. Competitions for these teams conclude April 23.
  • Season 3 - Lacrosse, Water Polo, Track, Gymnastics, Boys Volleyball, Boys Golf, Boys Baseball, Girls Softball, Boys Tennis. These teams start April 5.

Read more here.

JOIN MVLA'S SPRING BROWN BAG SESSIONS

Join us for our next Brown Bag webinar, Equity in Education, on April 21. Brown Bag webinars are a BYOL (bring your own lunch) mid-day information session on a variety of topics related to the reopening of MVLA schools. If you missed any of our previous sessions, they're available here to view at your convenience.

FREE COVID-19 TESTING FOR MVLA STAFF AND STUDENTS

Local health officials say COVID-19 testing remains critical as more variants are detected locally and across the country. El Camino Health’s Mountain View Hospital offers COVID-19 testing funded by the El Camino Healthcare District for those who live, work, or go to school within the District. The next testing opportunities will be April 5 and April 26. Read more.


VACCINE INFORMATION

California's vaccine roll-out remains in Phase 1-B but also includes people with high-risk conditions. You should obtain vaccinations within your county of residence. Local and regional health departments include:

SCHOOL NEWS

VIRTUAL POPS CONCERT TOMORROW

There is a real treat in store tomorrow for instrumental music fans - a virtual pops concert performed by students in Mountain View High School's Instrumental Music program students!


The students have been working hard all semester long in preparation for this event, scheduled to go live tomorrow, Saturday, March 27, beginning at 7:00 p.m. via YouTube. The concert will include selections from:

  • Moana
  • A Star is Born
  • Back to the Future
  • Black Panther
  • Les Miserables


Here is the String Orchestra's arrangement of "Shallow" from "A Star is Born" to give you a sneak preview.


Mountain View's Instrumental Music program is led by Ricky Alegria and Anna Linde. The post-production team for this exceptional production are all Mountain View alumni. Zakriya Bashir-Hill, Andrew Daetz, Camille Siu, and David Peters edited over 200 individual video recordings for the final production.

SUPPORTING SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MVLA STUDENTS

The COVID 19 pandemic has increased inequality in our community and made the American dream of going to college, getting a good job, and creating a better life an even bigger challenge for low-income and first-generation students attending Mountain View and Los Altos high schools.


MVLA Scholars provides scholarships and mentorship to enable these local students to attend college. MVLA Scholars is a 100% volunteer-run nonprofit and primarily funded by individual donors from the local community. MVLA Scholars has launched a GoFundMe Charity campaign to fundraise for scholarships at charity.gofundme.com/mvla-scholars. Your donations are greatly appreciated.

BOARD UPDATE

The Board of Trustees held its first in-person board meeting in a year this past Monday, March 22. There were some initial audio glitches but the issues smoothed out within about 20 minutes. Members of the public were able to participate either in-person or virtually - a practice we plan to continue moving forward. The recording of the board meeting is available here.


Agenda items included:


All meeting agendas, recordings, and minutes are available online. The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for April 5, with both in-person and virtual attendance options, starting at 7 p.m.

MVLA FOUNDATION UPDATE

COUNTDOWN TO COLLEGE - REGISTRATION OPEN

Countdown to College is an annual event for students and their parents to gather information on the college application process, financial aid, and more. This year, the event will be online and include a combination of live sessions and prerecorded sessions. We will be bringing back favorites like Advice from the Senior Student Panel, How to ask for Teacher Recommendation Letters, and many more.


Your donations to the MVLA Foundation fund the College and Career Center and all the wonderful resources it provides, and we are grateful for your generous support.

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SPEAKER SERIES

Next up in the MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series, we are pleased to have Dr. Tina Payne Bryson present "The Power of Showing Up: What Kids Really Need from Adults." Dr. Bryson will explore what "showing up" means, sharing stories and simple strategies for honoring the four S's - helping kids feel secure, seen, soothed, and safe. This free online event will be held April 22, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Register here.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District is always looking for great, skilled people to join our team! Currently, we have positions open for teachers for Art, Biology, English, Math, and Social Science. We also have openings for a Senior Office Assistant and a Library Assistant. We also continue to encourage parents, guardians, and other adults to apply to become substitute employees and help support small groups of students for in-person learning support.


Ready for a career change or supplemental income opportunity? See what we have to offer on our Current Openings page or EdJoin.

GALLERY

It's been great having students return to campus as part of our Stable Learning Group Hubs!

DATEBOOK

April 5, 2021

Regular Meeting - Board of Education


April 12 - 16, 2021

No School - Spring Break


April 26, 2021

Regular Meeting - Board of Education


Please also check our 2021-2022 School Year calendar!