Monday Message

March 22, 2021

Principal's Message

Dear Mt. Everest Families and Staff,

I saw that UCSD Artpower is offering a free “listen while walking” experience soon that is all about the idea of “home.” The description shares that, “in gently questioning what home is, the piece reflects on all things that make our home - family, friends, environments and possessions.”

How do we find home? What makes us feel “at home”? What gives us that sense of place where we belong? It can be the natural environment and surroundings, but most often, the most significant factor is the connections we make with other people. Do you care about me and do I care about you?

We want Mt. Everest to feel like home for all of our students and their families. We want everyone to feel welcome and safe and free to be themselves, even though we are an independent study school, even though we only see you a limited time each week. We are such a small school with 281 students in grades K-12, yet we have such a diverse student body with differing views, ideas, and passions to share.

I am thrilled that we are opening campus to both staff and students in the coming weeks, even though in a limited capacity, as we want to welcome everyone home. Although it will feel VERY different from the usual laissez faire atmosphere at MEA and we will have many strict protocols to follow, we will be able to re-connect face to face, which is something we are all missing.

Over 50% of our families have said they would like to remain fully online for the remainder of the year. As a result of the surveys and due to the nature of our program, all grade level and content area courses will remain online for studygroup meetings and the current online studygroup schedule will not change. Additionally, we will be offering opportunities for students in all grades to come to campus to see peers and teachers. These opportunities are outlined below as well as the general expectations for these on-campus visits with more details to follow. It is important to note that following April 12, we only have 4-6 studygroup meetings remaining in the school year, depending on the grade level and content area, due to state testing, AP testing, and courses that do not meet during turn-in weeks.

I cannot express how excited we are to see staff and students on campus, even this late in the year. So, to everyone, welcome home!

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at


Courtney Browne

Covid-19 Safety Expectations for On-Campus Learning Opportunities

Some of the expectations for on campus attendance are as follows:

✔ Students' temperature must be taken before coming to school. (Thermometers will be provided the week of April 5 for any families needing one for home.)

✔ Students will arrive at the assigned gate entrance on time at the beginning of the session. Students may not enter gates after this time. Pick up on time afterward is also strictly enforced (if students do not drive themselves.)

✔ Students must arrive with a completed form (which can be done on paper or online) verifying they do not have an abnormal temperature or any signs of illness.

✔ Parents/other adults are not allowed on campus past the gates.

✔ Masks must be worn at all times by everyone on campus.

✔ Everyone will remain socially distanced at all times

✔ Playground play will be allowed during K-5 allotted time.

✔ Eating will not be allowed on campus (no snacks).

✔ Extra air filtration devices will be in each classroom.

✔ Windows and doors will remain open. We will also schedule some of the activities to be outdoors.

✔ If you or your child have any signs of illness, please stay home. Any students showing signs of illness at school will be isolated in another location until they can be picked up.

On-Campus Opportunities - Beginning the week of April 12

K-5 "Unplugged"

All elementary students will have the opportunity to come to campus for in-person learning. Classes may include outdoor play, art, science, and other hands-on activities that DO NOT include the use of computers. Our elementary teachers along with Mrs. Sink will be leading these classes. Elementary teachers are working to finalize the schedule based on parent feedback from the survey they sent out last week. Please check your emails for updates!

6-12 "Study Zone"

One of the things families and students have said they miss the most about being on campus are the impromptu conversations they have with others in the MEA community. We will try to re-create this in the Study Zone, where students in grades 6-8 and 9-12 will have opportunities to study with their peers and meet with available teachers. The auditorium and lunch court will be open during specific times for middle school and high school, following protocols outlined above. We may offer additional opportunities based on student input. ASB members, clubs, gardening, and the Coop Group may possibly also have meetings within the Study Zone timeframe. Students must sign up ahead of time to attend and sign ups will go out soon. Each student can sign up for up to two sessions per week, although three are offered. Please see schedule below.

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Finalizing enrollment at MEA for 2021-2022

To guarantee your enrollment for next year you must fill out this Enrollment Plans 2021-22 form

If you have any questions, please contact Maria Ramos in our office at


"Love Our Library" activities

Check out the "Love Our Library" website with upcoming activities for all ages!

One Book, One MEA (reading "The Search for WandLa" by Tony DiTerlizzi)

  • Thursday, March 25 / 2:30 pm

View our library Series Collections (and take the series challenge!)

  • Friday, March 26 / 10:30 am

Tour the Library

  • Friday, April 9 / 1:30 pm's more than inevitable!

Library Activities Interest Form

Please fill out this Library Activities Interest Form to let us know which events you’d like to participate in and good times for scheduling.

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Below: Ayla (kinder) listening to Ms. Karen during St. Patty's day story time

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Work due for Month 7

Friday, March 26 by 3:00 pm

Mt. Everest Academy must follow strict Ed Code policy regarding independent study. We realize turn-in and work samples can be a hassle, however, they MUST be done correctly in order for our program to stay in existence. So, please carefully follow instructions for turn-in and audit. If you are not sure you are doing something correctly, ask your supervising teacher. (And DO NOT write "audit" anywhere on a work sample or subject title.)

We strongly suggest completing audit samples on Tuesday or Wednesday this week so it is not a rush to get it done on Friday!

  • Work must be submitted online to all of your content area teachers by 3:00 pm
  • Work (Audit) samples must be submitted online to your supervising teacher by 3:00 pm
  • Campus remains closed. Everything is done online!

Spring Break

School will be closed for Spring Break from March 27–April 4, and will re-open on Monday, April 5.

SSC/SGT Meeting

Date: Wednesday, April 7

Time: 2:00-3:00 pm


All parents are invited to attend the School Site Committee (SSC) meeting. The SSC is a shared decision-making body composed of parents, staff, and students. Our Council identifies needs for academic programs and sets budgets to support these programs. More information, agendas, and minutes can be found on our SSC/SGT webpage. For questions, please contact Principal Browne at

Students vs. Parents Academic League Fundraiser

Wednesday, April 7 / 6:00 pm

MEA's Academic League is hosting a Students vs Parents match on Wednesday, April 7 at 6:00 pm. Two matches will be held; one JV level for middle schoolers and new players, and one varsity level for highschoolers and experienced players. Parents may self-designate into either group dependent on preference. If you are interested, please RSVP through this form

Note: students in elementary school may attend to spectate, but the caliber of questions may be too difficult for them to play. If your child is in K-5, you as a MEA parent are still welcome to attend and participate!


Donations for this event will be accepted. We are fundraising to take MEA's Varsity Academic League team to Nationals, with an encouraged 15 dollar minimum donation (larger donations are welcome). We hope you will support our amazing team of seniors this year!

Talent Show

Friday, April 16

Mark your calendar for our upcoming virtual Talent Show.

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Art show

The virtual art show is still available for your viewing pleasure.

Artwork below by Alexis A., grade 12

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Leprechaun Traps with Mrs. Finney

The Kindergartners, 1st, and 2nd graders, put a lot of thought into the design of their Leprechaun Traps last week.

After learning about some tricks to catch a leprechaun, they sketched out a blueprint.

After bringing their creation to life, they were ready for the challenge.

Some were lucky enough to have a visit from a leprechaun, but were unable to trap one.

Although the students used reverse psychology signs (as leprechauns do not want to do as their told), with enticements of gold, colorful, inviting dwellings, and trap doors, their efforts were in vain as the little tricksters still managed to escape.

Well, there’s always next year . . .

See students present their traps on Zoom

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More of these pictures will be in the yearbook. THANK YOU PARENTS for sending these in!
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Food Day

In case you're wondering, Mrs. Battin is wearing a marshmellow necklace. And to her right is a cherry on a cupcake!
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Tourist Day

The middle tourist is in the Zoom Virtual Background Woods.

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St. Patrick's Day

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Aisha N., grade 10, covered all the Spirit Day bases with her digital renderings.
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Summer Community College Classes

Sophomores and Juniors wanting to take a community college class in the Summer should be aware that the Summer class schedule will be available on April 12th. Students need to apply to the community college district at this link if they have not done so. In addition to this, students will also need to complete and submit this online Supplemental Application. Once submitted, students will be scheduled by the community college. Summer classes begin June 7th.

National Honor Society

Congratulations to our newest members of the Mt. Everest Academy National Honor Society! These students have completed hours of voluntary community service, demonstrated leadership through a variety of roles, and earned GPAs of 3.75 or higher through their high school years. Welcome to:

  • Meredith Ausland
  • Cashlin Castle
  • Colin Gazaui
  • Chloe Moya
  • Michelle Thibaut

Ally Action Website

Ally Action Officially has a website! Here you can get information on our club, see our events, and even watch recordings of some of them. We have also linked resources to external events, petitions, and ways to reach out. The entire site was built by students. You can find the link to it here.

AP Virtual Study Hall

The ASB is planning on setting up virtual study hall sessions for students who are taking AP classes, in preparation for the upcoming AP exams online. If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form to help the ASB choose times that will work best for all students.

Humans of MEA

In this episode, Chloe Moya interviews Yusuf A. (grade 12).

Watch on our youtube channel, or read the transcript. If you're interested in being interviewed, fill out the Humans of MEA form too!

Farm Box Winner

Ms. Deb Mech was the February Farm Box Winner of the Opportunity Drawing for School Wellness Coordinators.

Last week for Book Fair

Book Fair Dates: March 15-28th

ONLINE BOOK FAIR highlights:

  • Shop from the comfort and safety of home! And you can shop using any major debit or credit card – no cash needed!
  • Direct-to-home delivery! Every purchase from our online book fair will be delivered straight to your door. You can also shop teacher wish lists and those books will be shipped directly to our school.
  • Books starting at $5! Most books in our online fair will be hardcover and first edition with library-quality binding. Well below market price, books start as low as $5—and shipping is FREE for all orders over $30.

Our library receives a percentage of every book fair purchase, and we can use these funds raised as JLG credit to add more quality books to our collection or receive funds in cash for other needs. Your support is so appreciated!

Watch for teacher wish lists to be posted and keep an eye out for any updates. We hope you will enjoy finding new books for your families and thanks very much for supporting MEA’s library!

Report Cards

We continue to follow the district procedures for COVID19 and all staff is working remotely, therefore report cards are not being mailed home. You may access students’ grades and unofficial transcripts on your PowerSchool parent portal. If you need help accessing the parent portal, please contact Maria Ramos at

What I Wish My Parents Knew

The MEA Mental Health Club is asking all students to fill out this form titled “What I Wish My Parents Knew”. This form is for students of all ages to voice their feelings, both positive and negative, to help instigate conversation between students and parents. Later this year, the club will host a panel for parents to ask questions and discuss the topic of “what I wish my parents knew". The responses from this form will be used and read aloud during the panel. Dates for the panel will be released in the coming weeks.

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Brought to you by MEA Foundation

Parent Workshops

Please fill out this short new form to indicate your availability for parent training workshops.

High School Students

For those interested in the UCSD Extension Futures courses in business and engineering/programming, please email to proceed with the next steps! These will provide pre-college credits upon completion and can be taken at your own pace and are subsidized for interested MEA high school students.

Exploring the Science of Harry Potter

Friday, April 30 3:00-4:30pm

Since there is a 20 student limit per workshop, please complete your registration for the workshop. Zoom links will be provided upon registration. Another workshop can be scheduled if more students are interested.

PIB Engineering Workshop

We are currently preparing for parent volunteers to be trained. The actual workshop will most likely be held on a Saturday from 12-3pm. Final date and more details coming soon.

Mental Health Resource Survey

Have you utilized mental health resources that Mr. Zappala has made available either through teacher websites or in Monday Messages?

Please answer ONE or TWO questions in this anonymous Mental Health Resource Survey. Thank you.

Material Checkouts

For pickups/returns/exchanges please come to the North facing door of the auditorium on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:00 and 1:00 p.m.

Please contact Suzie Wilson at if you have any questions, or reach her at 858-627-7381 on Tuesdays through Thursdays. There is no need to email in advance. However, when there are special distributions ready for check-out, they will be noted here in the Monday Message.


Want to return MEA books that you no longer need? There will be a drop-off box underneath the Marquee sign (sunny days only!) on Tuesdays and Thursday from 9:00-3:00.

Senior Reminders

This senior letter and graduation checklist was sent to seniors and their parents on 2/19/21.

Upcoming deadlines:

  • Community Service Hours form - 4/23
  • Two Surveys - 4/30

Yearbook: Senior Portraits submitted – Friday, 3/26

Yearbook: Senior Quotes & Baby Photos – Friday, 4/9

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Below: Emma H, grade 7, hiking with her family

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Senior Quotes

Calling all seniors! Please fill out this form to submit your senior quote as soon as possible. We are also asking for a baby picture for a “guess who’s who” spread in the yearbook. Due April 9.

Senior Quotes

Student Standouts Ballot

It’s time to vote for this year’s High School Student Standouts! Winners will be featured in the 2020-2021 MEA yearbook. All students in grades 9-12 are allowed to vote, and all votes must be cast by April 5.

High School Student Superlatives Ballot

General Year in Review Survey

Please take a few moments to answer these questions for inclusion in the 2020-21 MEA Yearbook. Answer the ones you want to and feel free to skip any questions that you don't have an answer for.

Yearbook Cover Contest

Contest Guidelines

All students are invited to enter their art in our yearbook cover contest! The winner will receive a free yearbook and their artwork will be displayed on the front cover! Even if your entry is not used on the cover, it may still be used in other places throughout the book.

2021 Yearbook Theme:

This year’s book doesn’t have a specific “tag line,” but the cover art should reflect the uniqueness of this year, which is unlike any other.

All Entries Due By: March 26, 2021

Last Day to submit photos: April 5

If you still have a few more pictures for the yearbook, please send them in by APRIL 5th.

Exceptions to April 5th deadline


All senior portraits will still be needed, as they will be used for other purposes as well as the yearbook.


If you're in the Talent Show, we’d love pictures of you performing your acts!


Please send in your Good Stuff!

We're bringing back the 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!

** Extracurricular Activities **


ASB Students sharing their work


ASB is hosting an ongoing school-wide competition, henceforth titled the Spirit Cup! Each grade level/group will compete with each other for a prize (for the sake of fairness, K - 2 and 3 - 4 are combined into groups). Students can earn Spirit Points towards their class's total in the following ways:

SPIRIT DAYS - Through TreeRing, students can submit pictures of themselves in their spirit day costume. They will receive one Spirit Point per spirit day for which they send in a picture demonstrating participation. Here are instructions for submitting photos through TreeRing (use the spirit day folder).

EVENTS - Students can earn three Spirit Points for participation in an event, as well as additional Spirit Points that might be awarded from the event (e.g. Extra Spirit Points might be earned from placing in the top three in a schoolwide kahoot). To earn these points, students must fill out a short form sent out during the event.

Other ways to earn Spirit Points may be revealed through the year.

The points earned by each class will be tallied up and displayed in the Monday Message at the beginning of each month. Members of whichever class has the most points at the end of month 9 will win the Spirit Cup and associated bragging rights. They will also be rewarded with certificates for 5 oz of free yogurt from YogurtLand, and the student with the most Spirit Points earned will earn a $10 Amazon gift card, which will be distributed at the beginning of month 10.

Humans of MEA

MEA Ally Action will be starting their first project for high school students! Based on "Humans of New York", they will be interviewing teachers and students to learn their story. The interviews will be shared on the Monday Message. The goal of this project is to help show that we all have our own stories!

If you are interested in participating, please fill out this Humans of MEA form.


Mr. Ron Zappala is the Head School Counselor at Mt. Everest Academy. Please reach out to him him with any counseling questions at Look for online office hours and grade level meetings in the future!

Choosing classes for 2021-22

Articulation Meetings for 2021-2022

Students in grades 5-11 have the opportunity to plan their classes for next school year.

Grades 5, 6, 7

  • Students will review articulation sheets/course options with Ms. Patterson during English class this month and parents should go over course options with their student(s) at home.

  • Students must submit the articulation sheet with parent approval to their Supervising/PE teacher through Google Classroom during Month 6.

  • Please contact your child’s supervising teacher with questions.

Articulation Sheets:

Incoming 6th graders

Incoming 7th graders

Incoming 8th graders

Grades 8, 9, 10, 11

  • All 8th -11th graders must make an appointment to meet with Mr. Zappala. Please reserve a conference time at this link to discuss courses for next year, graduation and college entrance requirements, and community college courses.

  • Incoming 9th graders and their parents can meet with Mr. Zappala for a 4-year planning conference during the time of their articulation meeting.

  • Parents are encouraged to attend along with their student. If parents cannot attend, they should review the course options with their student at home.

  • Students do not need to return an articulation sheet, but should be prepared to share their course requests with Mr. Zappala during their appointment with him.

  • For questions, please contact Mr. Zappala.

Articulation Sheets:

Incoming 9th graders

Incoming 10th graders

Incoming 11th graders

Incoming 12th graders

Find all courses being offered next year here: Master Course List 2021-2022

Link to sign up for articulation meeting with Mr. Zappala

Community College Pre-Enrollment Zoom workshop

Friday, April 16 / 12:30-2:00


Here is an opportunity for all seniors interested in attending Mesa, Miramar, or City colleges in the Fall. Attendance at the Pre-Enrollment workshop is required in order to pre-register for the Fall. Once pre-registered, seniors will automatically be scheduled to receive assistance from a college counselor on academic advising, and educational planning for their first year at community college.

If you plan on attending the workshop, please e-mail Mr. Zappala as soon as possible and no later than April 2nd. Mr. Zappala will need to let Mesa College know who will be attending in order to resolve any problems before April 16th. A Zoom link for the meeting will be sent out to you soon. Please also have your social security number available for the April 16th meeting. Mr. Zappala will also be sending out to each senior a digital copy of their transcript for the meeting. And lastly, please complete the Promise application.

JUNIORS: Poli. Sci. CCAP options for next year

Mesa has offered another CCAP option for our students. In addition to math 150 and 151, Seniors next year can take Poli. Sci. 102 and 121 to meet the Government and Economics graduation requirements. However, I have met with many of this year’s juniors for articulation before knowing this was an option, so I would like for the juniors who have already met with me to know that they can email me to change to the Poli. Sci options for next year and for those who have not met with me to be aware of this option.

- Mr. Zappala,

Jumpstart your success at Mesa College

Saturday, April 17 / 9:00am-12:00pm

Mesa College is thrilled to present Jumpstart Your Success 2021. This is a virtual event for prospective students, their families and friends. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about Mesa College and the San Diego Promise FREE Tuition Program.

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.


Student Shakespeare Festival

All grades are invited to participate in the San Diego student Shakespeare Virtual Festival. Participants are invited to prepare Monologues, Sonnets, Two-Person Scenes, or Puppet Scenes and to record their performances in a short video. Videos will be submitted, then edited together into a Full Festival Video, to be live-streamed at 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Artificial Intelligence Camp

AI Camp is offering full and partial scholarships for their AI Conceptual Series. This lecture series is the same series that was offered at Stanford University last summer and will introduce AI and careers in tech to you. No coding experience is needed. You can register for scholarships here. AI Camp is founded by Stanford Ph.Ds and advised by a Stanford Professor and CTOs in Silicon Valley. "

Public Library Virtual Hub

The San Diego Public Library Virtual Hub is a Facebook group where Library Staff and partnering organizations offer daily virtual programs for all ages including: read alouds, crafts & DIY, booktalks, and more! Access to our library buildings is very limited, but the fun never stops in our virtual club. Join and get access to our growing collection of videos and resources.

Virtual Calming Room

Welcome to the SDUSD Virtual Calming Room, created by the Counseling and Guidance Department. This has been created to be a safe space where students and families can find various tools to help with managing their emotions, feelings, and stress.

This link can also be found on the MEA home page.

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