MVLA Update

December 2019


Dear MVLA Families and Friends,

The holidays are nearly upon us, and it's been wonderful to see students and staff throw themselves wholeheartedly into holiday activities. These include concerts, special holiday productions, and amazing fundraisers benefiting school programs. Our community celebrates the season by volunteering to assist those in need and participating in a variety of meaningful activities. Our students are gearing up for the end of their first semester and we are looking forward to spending the winter break with our friends and family.

I'm pleased this month introduce you to the District's new Wellness Coordinator, William Blair. William has been with MVLA for many years, most recently as an Assistant Principal at Mountain View High School, and, as you'll read below, considers this new position to be his "dream job." William will begin his new duties next month, and we're very excited to have his help coordinating health and wellness initiatives and activities as a district priority. In this MVLA Update, we'll begin a monthly practice of including a Wellness Matters tip, and welcome your ideas for wellness strategies you've tried at home and at work to share with our community.

As we end 2019, I wish you and yours the happiest of holidays and look forward to seeing you in 2020! As always, I thank you for your partnership with us and doing what's best for our students and community.

Thank you.

Dr. Nellie Meyer




For veteran educator William Blair, being hired on as the first-ever Wellness Coordinator for the Mountain View Los Altos High School District (MVLA) is a dream job. “As a teacher and administrator, I have always valued connections, listening, and building community,” said Blair, a 15-year veteran of MVLA, having first been hired as a teacher at Mountain View High School in 2004 and serving as the school’s assistant principal since 2013.

“I have enjoyed helping students understand how essential each individual is in our community.”

The District Wellness Coordinator position, approved by the MVLA Board of Education this fall, is designed to champion district wide support and direct services that promote wellness and social/emotional well-being for students and staff, working closely with school leaders, parents, community agencies, and partner districts. Blair will formally start as the Wellness Coordinator in January. Learn more!


The MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series continues on January 28, 2020, with a presentation on "The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives," based on the book by William Stixrud, an assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine, and Ned Johnson, founder of Prep Matters and a self-described "tutor-geek."

The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Spartan Theatre at Mountain View High School. All MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series events are FREE, thanks to the continued generosity of these sponsors:

  • Mountain View-Los Altos High School Foundation

  • Los Altos Educational Foundation

  • Mountain View Educational Foundation

  • Los Altos-Mountain View PTA Council



Congratulations to Pedro Ruiz, Los Altos High School’s October Student of the Month!

Pedro is part of the Latino Student Union (LSU) and the AVID Program and has helped organize events like the Latino Awards, the Dia de los Muertos Celebration, and the Cinco de Mayo celebration. He is currently the co-president of the Jumpstart Committee for the Student Community Leaders group on campus. Pedro has been responsible for preparing mentors for freshman orientation, while also organizing social events throughout the school year. Read more about Pedro!


Mountain View High School is proud to present Erin Alexander as November’s Student of the Month.

Erin loves a challenge and is currently taking advanced placement courses in Literature, Spanish Literature, Calculus, Psychology, and Government & Macroeconomics. She plays trumpet in wind ensemble and has been on the TEDx team for four years, helping run the student speaker series on campus, this year serving as Executive Producer. She hopes that this year's event, “Breaking Barriers”, will broaden the perspectives of our student body and connect them with the community. Read more about Erin!


Wellness Week at Los Altos High School

Our Eagles are doing a great job of emphasizing and practicing self-care as part of campus-wide Wellness Week activities this week, following the overall theme of "Destination Relaxation"! All this week, Student Community Leaders developed a daily theme, offering suggestions for what to wear to go along with the theme, and providing activities at brunch and lunch.

As an example, Wednesday's daily theme was "Staycation." Students were encouraged to wear pajamas to school to stay in a relaxing-at-home vibe. The special brunch was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before school, hosted by the LAHS Associated Student Body (ASB). At lunch, students visit with therapy animals in the quad, provided by Jasper Ridge Farms, an organization which helps provide people facing physical and emotional challenges some therapeutic interaction with gentle farm animals.

Kudos to LAHS students for thinking of such smart activities to help reduce stress, build community, and increase the fun factor on campus!


More than 50 students from Alta Vista High were treated to a special production of Hamilton at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco recently. The trip was organized by Social Studies teacher Marciano Gutierrez and was made possible by a grant from the Gilder Lehrman Hamilton Education Program.

To prepare students for the play, teachers implemented a weeklong Hamilton-related curriculum, which culminated in the creation of unique student performance pieces about the Founding Era. One student, Ryn Kenny, was chosen to perform his original poem, "Tea Party Punks" on stage at the Orpheum theater before the start of the main production. Here's to our amazing student artists, performers, and writers!


Another awesome arts-related field trip - this time for students from Los Altos High School. Faculty in the Arts Department took 40 students to the San Jose Museum of Art to observe, interact with, and discuss reactions to the various exhibits. Students were particularly engaged with the "With Drawn Arms" installation - a collaborative work between Olympic runner (and San Jose State University alum) Tommie Smith and conceptual artist Glenn Kaino bringing attention to the struggle for human rights in the United States.

The trip was partially funded by our partners at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) through an ArtsEdConnect grant.


If you're in the market for a fresh tree, wreath, or holiday ornaments, students from MVHS and LAHS can help you out! Both have tree lots supporting school programs and booster groups.

The Spartans Tree Lot supports MVHS Athletics and Performing Arts programs, managed by the Mountain View High School Sports Boosters, a 501 (c)(3) organization. Last year, more than $37,500 was raised and distributed to numerous programs. The lot offers premium, top-quality Noble, Nordman, and Douglas fir trees (see descriptions below), ranging in size from 3-12+ feet, along with stands, and holiday decorations and supplies. Local delivery is offered to the following cities: Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale. For hours and additional information, visit or email

The Los Altos High School Tree Lot also offers these same premium trees (all replacement guaranteed), wreaths and holiday décor as well (like the cute reindeer in the photo), and promise exemplary customer service! All proceeds support Los Altos High School Sports programs.The LAHS Christmas Tree lot started in 2005. Over the years it has raised over $250,000 for high school sports. For dates and hours, view this flyer!


Prioritize Family Time

Playtime. Downtime. Family Time. According to Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of education, these three factors - or PDF as she calls them - protect kids against a host of negative outcomes, strengthen resilience, and bolster students' mental wellness and academic engagement.

In an interview with KQED's Forum, Pope encourages daily check-in conversations with kids of every age. “We need to look them in the eye and ask about their day. It’s much harder to fall through the cracks when you are getting that face-to-face attention multiple times a week, and that’s why family time is considered a protective factor.”

Start by making mealtime a tech-free environment for kids and adults, says Pope. “We are all glued to our phones way too much, and what we are finding is there is not enough face-to-face conversation happening, particularly at home.”

How else are you prioritizing wellness? Share your stories at and we'll share some in a future issue!


The first interim budget report and budget revisions for 2019-2020 were presented at the MVLA Board of Education December 2. As per state education code, the first interim certification is required to be completed by December 15 of each year, based on financial data available through October 31. Trustees must certify the report as positive, qualified, or negative. The report shows that the District will be able to meet is financial obligations for the current fiscal year, as well as the two subsequent years and maintain the State-mandated reserve requirement of 3%.

As part of the business items for the December 16 meeting, the Board will hold the annual reviews for Los Altos High School and Mountain View High School, detailing the progress the schools are making toward goals for their accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). As always, these meetings are open to the public and community members are encouraged and welcome to attend.


The MVLA High School Foundation's #GivingTuesday fundraiser was a huge success, raising more than $63,822 thanks to generous donors and a matching grant from LinkedIn.

Your donations to the MVLA High School Foundation help sustain the programs and services that empower all our students to thrive and succeed. Your participation matters and we are grateful to all of our donors. Learn more at


Coming soon to a campus near you - Measure E project signs! These signs will be going up next month, and will provide the community information about the under-construction projects, along with renderings and other details.

There is significant progress being made on the new classroom buildings at both MVHS and LAHS. Foundations have been poured for the Classroom Buildings A, B, and C; curb forms are now being installed. Rebar is being placed for Classroom Building D to prepare it for the pouring of the foundation. At LAHS, crews have installed underground electrical conduits designed to deliver power to the future buildings, including the new classroom and gym project under construction.


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 new instructors for several of our Adult School programs, substitute teachers, and coaches for golf, lacrosse, and gymnastics. We are always looking for instructional assistants to help support our students with learning or other disabilities. Ready for a career change? See what we have to offer at our Current Openings page or at


Click on any of the images below to enlarge them.


December 16, 2019

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

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

December 20, 2019

Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC)*

Open Mic Poetry Slam, Improv, and Singing Night

590 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View,

6:00 - 9:00 p.m. (free pizza for students)

*CHAC is an MVLA Partner in Education

December 23, 2019 - January 6, 2020

Holiday Recess - NO SCHOOL

Students Return January 7, 2020

January 13, 2019

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

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

January 20, 2019

Martin Luther King Jr. Day - NO SCHOOL

January 27, 2019

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

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

January 28,, 2019

MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series - "The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives"

7 p.m.

Mountain View High School Spartan Theater, 3535 Truman Ave., Mountain View 94040 (Get Directions)