MVLA Update

September 2020

MVLA Community,

Who would have imagined six months ago that we would be opening our campuses in a virtual mode for the 2020-2021 school year? This year has been unique on a number of levels as our teachers and students collaborate together at a distance. As we continue to develop new strategies and skills, it is likely will utilize what we have learned when we are able to return to more traditional in-person teaching and learning. I congratulate and thank all of our teachers for working so hard to create exciting and effective virtual learning environments. Kudos as well to our students who have come up with creative and innovative ways to build community, establish and maintain friendships, and continue to excel academically.

As we continue our planning, we are closely monitoring the State guidelines and local designations for COVID-19 activity within Santa Clara County. The county has shifted our designated category from Tier One/purple (widespread ) to Tier Two/red (substantial). The Santa Clara Public Health Department requires masks for our safety, social distancing, and recommends vigilant hygiene. We have procured protective equipment and are strictly adhering to their guidelines. MVLA continues with plans created in May as we begin to allow for cohorts of students to return for targeted supports.

MVLA will be thoughtful and move safely as we plan how best to bring back small cohorts of students for interventions and support. Students with the greatest academic needs, social emotional needs, those who had Spring and Fall disengagement and lack of technological connectivity will be given first priority as we create cohorts of support. For more information on our plans, please visit the Fall Reopening section on the front page of our website.


Nellie Meyer



The Board of Trustees met this past Monday, September 14. The meeting included a public hearing on the Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the expansion of Los Altos High School an update on Fall 2020 Reopening, certification of the district’s 2019-2020 Unaudited Actuals Financial Report, and a report on summer school programs, including enrollment. The Board also approved a declaration of sale or disposal of surplus property.

The Board will hold a special meeting on Friday, September 25, 2020, to open up a public hearing on our Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan. This plan is required by the California Department of Education and replaces the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) during the pandemic. We are in the process of seeking community input on our Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan and have created an email address for comments at We will also use the information gathered from our most recent Thoughtexchange.

All meeting agendas, recordings, and minutes are available online. The current meeting agenda can also be accessed on the district homepage by clicking on the Board Agenda button.



Congratulations to Barrett Wong, Los Altos High School’s September Student of the Month!

Barrett has been participating in countless extracurricular activities ranging from the Talon to many clubs on campus. He has been a staff writer and photographer for the Talon since sophomore year, with photography being a main passion of his. He says that each photo he captures is unique and different from the rest, and hopes to continue to pursue photography throughout his life. Barrett’s latest work for the Talon has been an article on NBA players advocating for equal rights for Black Lives Matter Movement. This has become one of the most important and relevant articles he has gotten to write for the Talon.

Barrett also helps out as a student worker on campus, helping administration set up for the upcoming year. This past summer, he worked over 100 hours! Barrett is also a cross country and track athlete, and says finishing each race and persevering past the mental challenges was always a moment of pride for him. Read more about Barrett!


Congratulations to Cassie James, Mountain View High School’s September Student of the Month!

Cassie is currently enrolled in a challenging course load which includes AP Literature, AP Government, Spanish III Honors, Trigonometry, Physics and Madrigals. On top of this already busy schedule, Cassie is the social media coordinator for the Gen She Club, vice president of the choir program, and is a member of the Ambassadors Club, Conversation Club, Care Club and Shakespeare Club. Cassie also represents Mountain View on the water polo team and track and field team.

Outside of school, Cassie is a strong believer in activism and shares her voice on a variety of platforms. She is in the process of starting her own company titled "Curvy Girl Collective" to promote self confidence among women and is also writing a resolution for the Santa Clara County High School Democrats of America regarding the commission to study and develop reparation proposals for the African American Act. Read more about Cassie!


Congratulations to the 24 MVLA students who were named among the approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring.

To even be be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. Over 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

Congratulations to the following seniors:

Los Altos High School

  • Audrey Chang
  • Della Feldman-Peterson
  • Isabelle Hong
  • Anthony Jin
  • Yorgos Kontoyiannis
  • Everett Lee
  • Jocelyn Lee
  • Angelina Lue
  • Daniel Ni
  • Henry Shi
  • Yelena Tao
  • Morgan Taylor-Cohen
  • Albert Yu
  • Selina Zhang

Mountain View High School

  • Indu Danturti
  • Akhand V. Dugar
  • Avi Gerber
  • Victoria Lam
  • Lance A. Mathias
  • Arjun P. Patrawala
  • Janya C. Sundar
  • Kai W. Tinkness
  • Audrey Y. Turcotte
  • Johan D. Vonk

Both of MVLA's comprehensive high schools - Los Altos High School and Mountain View High School - have been listed in the top 500 of the nation's best high schools, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report in their latest report. The rankings include data on more than 24,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 18,000 schools were ranked on six factors based on their performance and how well they prepare students for college.

Los Altos High School is ranked 54th within California, and number 418 in national rankings. The study indicated students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement (AP) coursework and exams. The AP participation rate at Los Altos ) is 69%. The total minority enrollment is 61%, and 21% of students are economically disadvantaged.

Mountain View High School is ranked 64th within California, and is number 499 in the national rankings. The report noted that Spartans, as well, have the opportunity to take AP coursework and exams. The AP participation rate at Mountain View High is 74%. The total minority enrollment is 58%, and 17% of students are economically disadvantaged.



MVLA will continue to operate a seamless meals program through December 30 of this year. This is an extension of the program we were able to offer during summer - where any child 18 years or younger may receive free meals. They will not have to qualify for the federal free and reduced price meal program.

The meal pick-up days will be Mondays and Wednesdays. On Monday, we will provide a to-go breakfast and lunch for Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, we will provide to-go breakfast and lunch for Wednesday through Friday. Meals will be distributed at both Mountain View and Los Altos High School from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. to avoid conflicting with scheduled classes. The meals include vegetarian options, organic foods, and, for now, pre-prepared 'sandwich' type meals such as a breakfast bagel or turkey dog. As more students participate, our Food Services staff will make fresh meals, including pizza, from scratch.

Beginning in January, we will have to return to serving only those students eligible for the program, unless an extension of the seamless meal program is made available. Students will need to present their ID card or provide a permanent ID number when picking up the meals. Returning students have until September 30 to submit a new application.

The A La Carte food truck is back! They will be stationed in front of the MVLA district office on Wednesday between 3:00-4:15 p.m. Note: Please refrigerate all food immediately, consume or freeze food within the next few days and reheat food to 165F before consuming.


MVLA is very excited to announce that we have partnered with the HAERT™ Program for the 2020-21 school year. HAERT teaches foundational social emotional learning skills and strategies to help students cope with the challenges of life and to strengthen our mental wellness. The HAERT™ Program expands upon the SEL foundation that we introduced to our students and staff in August, and the curriculum for this year will focus on Self-Awareness and Self-Management.

Here some additional information about the program from their website. "HAERT™ uses evidence-based and clinically proven mental wellness education and exercises to teach students how their emotions operate on a biological and chemical level. Students learn they can change their emotional states through recognizing their thoughts and changing their behavior. Research has shown that new habits for mental wellness take a combination of learning and guided practice for participants to achieve the improved well-being they desire. Individuals who use these skills report dramatically improved emotional management, confidence and reduced self doubt, as well as hope for the future."

The program consists of short videos, activities, and reflections that our students will complete on Wednesdays starting September 30th. Teachers will also have access to the platform and content which can be integrated into existing curriculum.

We are eager to share the HAERT program’s preventative mental health skills with our students, and we wish you all wellness!


Announcing our MVLA Foundation Matching Grant

All NEW and INCREASED donations made before October 3rd will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $150,000 by a group of Leadership Circle families. Help us turn $150,000 into $300,000!

The MVLA Foundation Phonathon is coming up -- we need your support!

The MVLA Foundation is governed by parent volunteers who work hard to raise supplemental funding to ensure that our children have an exceptional learning environment. Please pitch in to help us meet our goal of raising $2.091 million -- these are challenging times and we will need every family's participation to get to our goal.

How can you help?

  • Donate Now or Pledge to Donate Later before September 20 to save our volunteers a call.
  • Volunteer to make calls on Tuesday, September 22, and Wednesday, September 23, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. This year we are hosting small, socially-distanced groups of callers in the yards/gardens of the MVLA Foundation Board members.

Questions? Email us or visit our website


The MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series is excited to announce our speaker line-up for the 2020 -2021 school year. Nationally and internationally recognized experts will join us to discuss important topics in child and adolescent well-being.

Our first event will be Thursday, October 1, 2020, with Jeff Selingo, author and award-winning journalist specializing in higher education, on "Who Gets In and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions." Jeff will take us inside the decision-making process at three college admission offices and guide students on how to honestly assess their strengths and find a good college match that will best serve their own unique interests and needs.

We have worked with our speakers to offer events online via Zoom on scheduled dates, if we are not able to meet in person.

The MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series is made possible thanks to the continued generosity of our sponsors, including the Mountain View Los Altos High School Foundation, the Los Altos Educational Foundation, the Mountain View Educational Foundation, and the Los Altos-Mountain View PTA Council. Learn more!


Construction is moving along well for the new classroom buildings at both Los Altos and Mountain View campuses with exterior framing, steel erection, and concrete pours among the construction activities. Our thanks again to voters and taxpayers for supporting the bond making these projects possible!



The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District is always looking for great, skilled people to join our team!

We are currently recruiting for positions as a long term Social Science substitute teacher, and School Psychologist. We are always looking for great substitute teachers, and have numerous positions for our Adult School program, including as an orchestra instructor, certified nursing assistant instructor, and teachers for independent study programs in English, Math, and Science.

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


September 25, 2020

Special Meeting - Board of Education

(Via Teleconference)

October 5, 2020

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

(Via Teleconference)

October 12 - 13, 2020

Recess Days - NO SCHOOL

October 26, 2020

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

(Via Teleconference)

Please also check our 2020-2021 School Year calendar!