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.
RETURN TO CAMPUS
With the collaboration between MVLA and the District Teachers Association (DTA), our schedule for returning to campus is now approved.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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:
- 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.
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:
- An update on Technology Networks, Upgrades, and Classroom Technology Support
- An update on the Physical Return to Campus
- Approval of Comprehensive School Site Safety Plans
- Approval of the Quarterly Investment Report as required by state legislation
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.
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.
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.
We are, hands up, happy to have these Spartans back on campus! Our Link Crew did a great job creating a welcoming atmosphere, especially for freshmen who really have not been on campus!
Homecoming fun - pandemic style! Seniors Gaurav Chakravarty and Arushi Singh were named King and Queen. Students were able to listen to the announcement on car radios at a drive-in movie night event in the parking lot.
The first time for students on campus was also a "first" for MVHS principal Mike Jimenez. Having started in July of last year, this was the first time he was able to meet many of his students in person!
Los Altos welcomed freshmen to campus for the first time this school year. It was as nice for teachers and staff as it was for students!
LAHS science teachers Jacob Russo and Kristi Schramm spent a recent rainy day distributing soil, planaria, and other materials for Biology students for at-home lab activities.
Stable Learning Groups are hard at work at LAHS. Students tell us it's great to be back in a classroom, and seeing classmates.
Having athletics back has been one of the best things this spring! Lady Spartans defeated Gunn 1-0 in a great game this week, especially with strong second-half winds.
New stadium lights spotlighted a rivalry scrimmage between MVHS and LAHS this month. Spartans won 18-6. Photo: Rohan Vaswani/Talon student newspaper.