MVLA Update

Dear MVLA Families and Friends,


While our world is going through unusual and difficult times, there is one thing you can still rely on, and that is MVLA being here for you and committed to our students and community.


Our inaugural efforts at distance learning have not been without their challenges, but the dedication and determination of our teachers and our students to making it work have resulted in some really incredible outcomes. And I thank our parents, guardians, and grandparents, for their support at home in helping our distance learning process and practices be as successful as possible. Together, we build on this success every day.


With the knowledge that schools are physically closed for the remainder of the year, we are focusing much of our efforts on what the re-opening of our campuses for the 2020-2021 school will look like - implementing safety requirements, continued distance learning, and supporting students and staff with academic and social emotional needs.


We are also working with our amazing ASB student leaders and others to come up with ways to have commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 and celebrate their many accomplishments. Our students are, as you would expect, extremely creative and resourceful and I look forward to sharing some more definitive plans about graduation events in the weeks ahead. We are hearing loud and clear that students want to celebrate together as much as possible given our constraints.


Over the past few weeks, I have seen and experienced things that make me even more proud to be part of this community. Our students and staff have shown themselves to be exceptionally committed to each other; finding ways to connect in a virtual community, and continue teaching and learning with restrictions we never imagined would be placed before us. I am heartened by the selfless efforts of our teenagers to raise funds for the food bank, to design and fabricate life-saving medical equipment for our frontline heroes, and to find innovative alternatives to typical group activities like exercise and the performing arts. You'll read about some of these below. Like me, I'm sure they will make you proud.


With appreciation,


Dr. Nellie Meyer

Superintendent

SCHOOL NEWS

MVHS STUDENT2STUDENT FREE ONLINE TUTORING

Student2Student is a free online tutoring service created by MVHS students for MVHS students that seeks to help peers and support teachers. Even more so, it is a collaborative modality that helps us stay connected, engaged, and feel supported by the MVHS community. MVHS tutors are ready and willing to help students in ALL subjects - from AP Biology to ELD I & II to Japanese, Mandarin, and French. Free online tutoring is available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. Spanish-speaking tutors are available, and special appointment times are also available. Parents are asked to provide consent in advance.

View flyer (English / Spanish)

DISTANCE LEARNING CAN'T QUELL THE CHOIR

The closures of Bay Area schools have meant a move to distance learning and for teachers and students to exercise creativity and flexibility when it comes to collaborating together in all areas, but perhaps especially in the performing arts.


Mountain View High School student vocalists are determined to make every voice count and to continue close collaboration, with the help of choir teacher Jill Denny. Here, the sophomore quintet (Maya Itty, Caitlin Devenney, Sophie Lyons, Sofie Duarte, and Eva Spaid) virtually perform their rendition of “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” edited together by Denny.


“The most important thing that has little to do with the process but everything to do with the why.... every voice counts,” said Denny. “This is what brings the kids to the table. That’s what motivates them. Collaboration and commitment to each other.”


"We still are working to create something beautiful together even though we are apart. We are all better together, as an ensemble, as a choir, and we will continue to find ways to strengthen our community even while stay apart,” she added. “A lot of teachers are doing these types of videos but what I think makes our students really unique is how motivated the kids are to continue striving for excellence and to be part of a collaborative project.” See the news coverage about this from NBC Bay Area!


On May 25, Jill and her students will be broadcasting a Virtual Choir Farewell concert at 4:30 p.m. We'll be sharing those details as finalized.

MVLA SCHOOLS PROVIDE DIGITAL WELLNESS RESOURCES

Our MVLA schools are working hard to make sure our staff, students, and families are practicing self-care in addition to safe, social distancing. Here are some resources to share with you for taking care of your mental health during quarantine.


The Virtual Calming Room was designed to assist students in locating different strategies and tools for managing their emotions during this time, since it can be really hard to figure out how to work through difficult times. The site provides online resources for visual relaxation, journaling, yoga & stretching, and much more.


The MVHS PTSA, Ambassadors, and others are making sure the Spartan PAUSE program is ongoing despite the closures. The PAUSE pillars are to:

  • Play - Move, talk a walk, play a game
  • Eat - Nourish yourself
  • Relax - Meditate, listen to music, rest
  • Connect - Talk to someone you trust
  • Help - Volunteer or help someone else

And be sure to watch our "Be Well, Spartans" video!

DISTRICT NEWS

DISTANCE LEARNING PLAN (DLP)

Distance learning means that students are completing and submitting assignments online and interacting with teachers and peers using the online tools recommended by the District and the California Department of Education. Learning will be designed with equity, flexibility, and innovation at the center while recognizing the limitations of the current circumstances.


Distance Learning Plan (DLP) Overview


The guiding principles of the MVLA Distance Learning Plan (DLP) include:

  • Supporting instruction in a distance learning environment by focusing coursework on new content, more in-depth projects, and/or preparation for Advanced Placement tests.
  • Providing a variety of support resources in order for instruction and material to be accessible to all students, including our special education population, students with 504 plans, English Learners, students with social-emotional support needs, and students who are in need of access to technology and essential services.
  • Leveraging technology to maintain connections within our learning communities


The DLP is based on research in best practices for distance teaching and learning, including:
  • Using technology to foster teacher-student and student-student connections.
  • Creating clear, specific learning outcomes.
  • Developing learning opportunities that provide students with choice in mode and pace. Providing multiple opportunities for student questions and ongoing feedback, including self-assessment.


The plan provides both scheduled and flexible times for students and staff to engage in varied learning activities. These activities will focus on new content with an emphasis on the essential standards a student needs to know in order to be successful in the next grade level or course. As during the typical school year, teachers will use the frameworks and standards appropriate to their discipline to guide the development and implementation of independent learning opportunities for students.

MVLA STUDENTS HAVE HEART

MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS CREATE WEBSITE FOR GROCERY-SHOPPING VOLUNTEERS

A trio of Mountain View High School students are using time while shelter-in-place restrictions are in place to help deliver groceries to the elderly and local healthcare workers.


Students Daniela Shapiro, Isabella (Izzy) Ge, and Roo Joshi have set up a website, MV Helps, where a high-risk individual or healthcare worker who is currently in need of groceries or other related services can fill out a request form and be matched with a volunteer who will go shopping, and then drop off the groceries at the person's house and be reimbursed.


Shapiro told NBC Bay Area that it's been difficult "to see our community and our neighbors suffering in ways we weren't. It kind of felt like we, as the youth, have a certain social responsibility to go out and do these things." Ge told KTVU Fox News that she has elderly neighbors who needed help running errands - something many are afraid to ask for. Joshi, says she believes teenagers have a responsibility to give back to the community. Their ultimate goal: to spend their time making a difference.


Those interested in volunteering may sign up here. #MVLAProud

ENGINEERING STUDENTS USE 3D TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE FACE SHIELDS AND EAR SAVERS FOR LOCAL HEALTHCARE WORKERS

Engineering students at Mountain View High School, concerned about the shortages of personal protective equipment at local medical facilities, wanted to do something with their 3D printers and other technology to do something to help out the healthcare community. A project to design and print face shields (like the one you see student Mira Shah assembling here) and so-called ‘ear savers’ was conceived of to make up for missed projects that would have been done in class prior to shelter-in-place restrictions. They ultimately - and within the space of a week - were able to coordinate and manage all phases of production and distribution.


So far, 200 face shields and 50 ear savers have been provided to Mountain View Healthcare – a local skilled nursing facility. Shields were also provided to food service workers from MVLA and Mountain View Whisman School District (MVWSD) who are providing daily free meals to local students. Nurses at UC San Francisco Medical Center LOVE their ear savers. Learn more here!

HANDMADE KINDNESS GRAMS PROVIDE HEARTFELT GREETINGS

When Jimmy Dessouki learned he and his classmates would not be able to come back to Los Altos High School, he was very bummed.


"We wouldn't be able to see our friends for a long time. I wanted to create something that made people feel good during such a sad and uncertain time," he said. So, he piggybacked off the idea of the school's recent Valentine's Day Grams and, with some friends, starting making and sending Quarantine Kindness Grams to fellow students.


The cards are handmade, with a handwritten message inside. "I wanted most to emphasize the hand making of the cards," he added. "Sure you can text your friends that you miss them, but if they receive a heartfelt card in the mail, they'll know you truly mean it."


Jimmy and his friends have made close to 100 cards so far for other Los Altos students. Here are a few excerpts:

  • "Joy! I miss your craziness and talking to you during lunch. :-) If you need anything or anybody to talk with or just to vent via FaceTime, I'm here. Hang in there!"
  • "Maddie! You're such a great friend, and you're always there for me, which is so awesome! Just wanted to send this to you to cheer you up!"

BOARD UPDATES

Our Board meetings are being conducted via teleconference in accordance with guidelines approved by Governor Newsom in March. Under his executive order, any or all board members may attend the meeting via teleconference.


Members of the public may observe the Board meeting by registering in advance for the webinar by copying and pasting the following link in your browser: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xde8jlLaTJGzd0KT250x_Q After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Members of the public are strongly encouraged to submit public comment in advance of the meeting to board.trustees@mvla.net. Emails received before 6:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees. All emails received will be entered into the record for the meeting. Please identify the Agenda Item number in the subject line of your email, and please include your first and last name within the body of your email.


Members of the public who would like to provide comments to the Board of Trustees and are unable to send an email may call (650) 940-4650, ext. #0011, and leave your comments in a voice mail message, also prior to 6:00 p.m. on Board meeting dates. These messages will be transcribed and forwarded to the Board of Trustees and will be entered into the record for the meeting. Please include the Agenda Item number at the beginning of your voice mail message and include (and spell) your first and last name in your message. Staff capacity to receive and process messages may be limited and we encourage reserving telephone access for those who are unable to send email comments.

FOUNDATION UPDATES

FOUNDATION RECEIVES $100,000 GOOGLE GRANT

The Mountain View-Los Altos High School Foundation received a $100,000 grant from Google to support programs in the MVLA high school district.


These funds will go towards the purchase of new laptops for the 2020-21 school year. The Foundation has supported the district in providing laptops to all students who need one since 2014 when the district began its Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program.


In addition to providing funding for laptops, the Foundation works with the district to ensure students have access to the internet. “We have a strong partnership with Google and are appreciative of this generous grant which allows us to continue our commitment to provide a device to any student who wants one,” said Margaret Gong, Co-Executive Director of the MVLA Foundation.


“Our investment in laptops has never been more important than today when 100% of our students are working remotely and need not only a computer but also an internet connection to complete their schoolwork. Families are already in a stressful situation due to the COVID-19 crisis, so we are thankful that they do not have the additional worry about how their students will be able to access their schoolwork.”

HONOR THAT SPECIAL TEACHER

No one could have predicted that our students would be sheltering in place as the year comes to a close. Traditions are being broken and new ways to celebrate are being discussed. One thing remains the same, we are appreciative of the teachers who helped our students along the way.


Typically this time of year the Foundation asks families if they would like to honor a special teacher or administrator who has made a difference during their high school years. We would like to continue this tradition.

Please consider honoring a special MVLA faculty or staff member with a one-time $100 Tribute Gift to the MVLA Foundation by June 30, 2020, and you and the designated honoree will be listed in the MVLA High School Foundation's Annual Report. In addition, we will notify the honoree with a special note and certificate.

FACILITY UPDATES

CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES FOR NEW CLASSROOM BUILDINGS

MVLA's campus construction projects, considered among the essential public works projects in California, continue with solid progress. We were able to have - prior to the shelter-in-place restrictions - groundbreaking ceremonies at both LAHS and MVHS for the new buildings. We're making excellent progress on both. Thank you voters!

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Despite the school closures, the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District is always looking for great, skilled people to join our team.


Right now, we're looking for teachers for Math, Biology & Environmental Science, English, Social Science, Mandarin, and Science, along with substitute teachers. We are also looking for a full-time Speech Language Pathologist, and we are always looking for instructors for our acclaimed Adult Education Program.


Ready for a career change or supplemental income opportunity? See what we have to offer at our Current Openings page or at https://www.edjoin.org/MVLA.

IN THE NEWS

April 30, 2020 - NBC Bay Area

Mountain View High School Students Create Website for Grocery Shopping Volunteers


April 30, 2020 - Fox 2 KTVU

High school students build website to offer at-risk populations assistance


April 30, 2020 - Los Altos Town Crier

Remote revamp: summer school transitions to online instruction


April 30, 2020 - Patch.com

South Bay Teen Takes Coronavirus PPE Fundraiser National


April 29, 2020 - KRON-4

Mountain View high school students start website to help people in need of help grocery shopping


April 29, 2020 - NBC Bay Area

Mountain View High School Vocalists Make Beautiful Music Remotely


April 29, 2020 - Los Altos Town Crier

A player of many talents


April 27, 2020 - Mountain View Voice

Mountain View High students aid community in quests for masks, grocery deliveries


April 23, 2020 - KRON 4

High school students send positive, uplifting handwritten letters to Bay Area seniors


April 23, 2020 - Palo Alto Online

To grade or not to grade? For some local schools, that's been a divisive question


April 22, 2020 - Los Altos Town Crier

MVLA plans next phase of construction


April 22, 2020 - Los Altos Town Crier

LAHS pianist makes finals of Beethoven competition


April 21, 2020 - Silicon Valley Business Journal

How Silicon Valley's high schools rank across state, U.S.


April 18, 2020 - Mountain View Voice

Guest Opinion: Credit/no credit grading system is about reality, not charity


April 16, 2020 - Los Altos Town Crier

Los Altos High students sew, deliver free masks to seniors


April 16, 2020 - Los Altos Town Crier

LAHS student launches app to promote positivity


April 14, 2020 - KCBS Radio

Los Altos High School Students Helping Local Food Bank


April 14, 2020 - NBC Bay Area

Los Altos High School Students Donate to Healthcare Workers


April 14, 2020 - Los Altos Town Crier

School construction prompts health-order questions


April 11, 2020 - Mountain View Voice

Guest Opinion: Why I voted in favor of implementing a credit-no credit grading system in MVLA schools this semester


April 11, 2020 - Mountain View Voice

Guest Opinion: Let's not allow COVID-19 to harm any student's grades


April 9, 2020 - Mountain View Voice

Students in Mountain View, Los Altos high schools to forgo letter grades this semester


April 8, 2020 - Los Altos Town Crier

MVLA drops letter grades, moves to credit/no-credit for this semester


April 8, 2020 - Los Altos Town Crier

School construction continues amid pandemic


April 8, 2020 - Los Altos Town Crier

Student Voices: A view from the trenches of online learning


Be sure to read some of the latest articles and commentary from our student-run newspapers:

The Talon - Los Altos High School

Oracle - Mountain View High School

DATEBOOK

May 4, 2020

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

(Via Teleconference)


May 18, 2020

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

1299 Bryant Ave., Mountain View, 94040 (Get Directions)