MVLA Magazine

October 2020

MVLA Community,


We have now completed our first quarter and have seen our students finish their coursework with distance learning. While it has been a viable solution to the problem of meeting the educational and safety needs of our students during the pandemic, we miss the sound of the bells, student laughter, and look forward to a safe physical return. I continue to be impressed with the creativity, resilience, and collaboration of our students, staff, and parents as we adjust and improve our distance learning techniques. We expect some of these new practices will continue and have benefits we are still discovering.


The MVLA Board has already established goals for equity in academic achievement. These goals encompass areas such as hiring and staff recruitment, teaching practices, institutional systems, and learning materials and resources. I thank all of the staff, students, and community members who have been part of our focus. Their ongoing work will continue to lead us toward academic excellence and ensuring a successful equitable experience for all students.


Another constant in the fall season is the process of applying to colleges and universities. We have outstanding counseling teams with extensive knowledge, experience, and resources to guide students and their families through the application process. I encourage you to contact counseling staff at both Mountain View High School and Los Altos High School, or schedule a virtual visit with our College and Career Center for assistance.


Thank you, again, to our students, staff, and community for your continued support as we work through this evolving environment.


Sincerely,


Nellie Meyer

Superintendent

BOARD UPDATE

At its October 5 meeting, the Board of Education recognized and honored all of our MVLA administrators with a Recognition of Administrators resolution as part of this week's observance of the Week of the School Administrator. We are proud to support the important work that our administrators do each day, and acknowledge and thank them for how they have responded to the needs of the community, their staff, and their students during the pandemic.


Trustees also held a discussion and presentation, related to the District's equity policy, and some proposed changes to the policy to include regular and ongoing training for staff. The presentation may be viewed starting at 2:46:27 in the recorded meeting. Final recommendations will be brought forward at a future meeting. Additionally, a Distance Learning Update was presented. You can view it here.


All meeting agendas, recordings, and minutes are available online. The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for October 26, via Zoom, starting at 7 p.m.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

MVLA Spotlight: Mountain View High School Conversation Club

The Board of Education is pleased to honor the Mountain View High School Conversation Club with an MVLA Spotlight. This is a relatively new club whose vision is to be a platform to hold and facilitate conversations on various, timely, and sometimes dfficult topics with and for various stakeholders.


The club members hold a non-biased stance on topics that they are facilitating, and allow guests to feel safe, ask questions, share experiences, learn from one another, and, in the end, build a stronger, well-informed, and more understanding community. Previously-held discussions and webinars have included preparations for Distance Learning, Mental Health and Wellness, Immigration, Reopening for Fall 2020, the 2020 Presidential Nominees, School Resource Officers, Wealth and Equality, and Equity.


The club's leaders include:

  • Co-presidents Avi Gerber and Ethan Huang
  • Vice President Indu Danturi
  • Treasurer Enola Talbert
  • Secretary Lauren Ko
  • Public Relations Officer Arushi Singh


District administrators who nominated the club describe the students as extremely thoughtful in their approach, respectful, inclusive, diligent, and interested in feedback. The students are also recognized for their exemplary leadership and facilitation skills. The presentation begins at 04:11 in the board meeting recording. Read a write-up on the Conversation Club in the MVHS Oracle student-run newspaper here. Learn more about previous Spotlight honorees here.

DISTANCE LEARNING UPDATE

Staff and student feedback, patience, and flexibility have been valuable as we strengthen our Distance Learning program to better serve our community. We continue to analyze and work toward continuous improvement of our distance education and organization.


In a survey conducted a couple of weeks ago, questions were asked about the Weekly Slate. Students reported that the Weekly Slates were helpful to them, with most students telling us they use the slates as a reference throughout the week; many others use it to organize and/or plan upcoming school days, and/or to get the synchronous class links.


Students also told us that the posting of the Slate on Wednesdays was confusing, and interrupted the week's rhythm. To address this concern, we have made the following changes to the Slate effective this week:

  1. All Slates will be posted on Canvas on Fridays by 5 p.m.
  2. They will cover a timeframe to start on the following Monday and end on Friday.
  3. To help students with organization and navigation, all teachers use the Slate Template.
  4. Teachers are encouraged weekly to take a moment in class to review the week's slate in detail with the class.


We've also created a Technology Support section on the website to provide students and families with technology assistance and resources for distance learning, including general tech support and basic troubleshooting tips.

DISTRICT NEWS

FREE COVID-19 TESTING FOR MVLA STAFF AND STUDENTS

El Camino Health’s Mountain View hospital is offering COVID-19 testing funded by the El Camino Healthcare District for those who live, work or go to school within the District (including most of Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, a large portion of Sunnyvale, and small sections of Cupertino, Santa Clara and Palo Alto).


There is no cost to be tested and tests are for individuals who do not have COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., asymptomatic). A short, half-inch swab is utilized to obtain nasal samples needed for the COVID-19 tests.


The testing will be conducted on Wednesday, October 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. in the cafeteria at Mountain View High School. Parents and guardians will need to authorize the testing and register their child for the test in advance. Appointments may be scheduled online at least three days prior to the test. Appointments may also be scheduled by phone up to one day prior by calling 650-940-7022 and selecting Option #4. Please mention you are with the Mountain View Los Altos High School District when calling.

MVLA FIRESIDE CHAT: THE COLLEGE COMMUNITY AND THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

MVLA Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer and Los Altos High School College Advisor Angela Price recently sat down with admissions officers from some of the nation's top colleges and universities to talk about the impact of COVID-19 on admissions processes and current campus life. Panelists included:

  • Christina S. Lopez, Dean of Admissions, Barnard College
  • Samuel Carpenter, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions, Duke University
  • Bruce Chamberlin, Senior Associate Director of Admissions, Georgetown University
  • Mike Drish, Director of First Year Admissions, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Joy St. John, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Wellesley College

View the recorded webinar here!

OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS

SUMMER BUSINESS PROGRAM - BLACK GIRLS MEAN BUSINESS

The Black Girls Mean Business program is intended to give Black high school girls support and encouragement, experience, and resources, including mentors, to help them succeed in their future jobs.


It was founded by Rachel Holmes, a junior at Silver Creek High School in San Jose, who started the program to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award - the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve - with an overarching goal of creating lasting positive change in the community. Rachel's dream is to become a marketing or human resources executive - and she began the program after finding out that out of the existing Fortune 500 company executives, none are Black women. She started the business program in response.


Applications are currently being accepted for the Summer 2021 program, which will include a series of events and workshops for them to learn and also to be able to interact with their mentors and other black girls with common goals. The program is open is open to any Black high school girl in the Silicon Valley area. All high school grade levels are welcome.


Holmes is also looking to recruit mentors. Interested candidates are asked to fill out this form to help get matched to a student.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

COMMUNITY RESOURCES FOR FREE GROCERIES

Fight the Hate Ministries, a local youth and young adult ministry, began providing free groceries to the community during the height of the shelter-in-place orders, and continues to do so in response to ongoing need and requests, supporting the initiative through volunteering and donations. Through the month of October, the ministry is partnering with local Seventh Day Adventist churches in different communities to ensure that families experiencing food insecurity during these times will have access to free groceries. The upcoming dates, times, and locations are as follows. Information about additional food resources is available here.


October 21, 3 - 6 p.m.

Mountain View SDA Church and Sunnyvale SDA Church

1425 Spring Road 653 W. Fremont Ave.

Mountain View Sunnyvale


October 28, 3 - 6 p.m.

Mountain View Japanese SDA Church

195 Rengstorff Ave.

Mountain View

VIRTUAL STRESS MANAGEMENT FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

MVLA parents and teachers are invited to join our community health partner, the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC) for an upcoming webinar on virtual stress management during the pandemic - “How to Keep Calm and Carry On” - on Thursday, October 22nd, from 5 - 6 p.m. Click here to pre-register, or join the event on the day-of here. You can email questions in advance to njeans@chacmv.org. The event will be translated into Spanish.


The workshop will be guided by Dr. Jodi Cushman, a practicing clinical psychologist with over 20 years' experience dedicated to the interface between mental and physical health, and Dr. Angela McBride, a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise on the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression on memory and other thinking skills. The panelists will help participants understand the toll that the stress of the Coronavirus pandemic is taking, and offer strategies that may help us to cope more effectively during this time.


CHAC's last Town Hall - "Supporting Families' Mental Health During COVID" - is available online. View presentation | panelist Q&A | audio file only.

COMMUNITY INFORMATION

THERE'S STILL TIME TO REGISTER TO VOTE

California offers voter registration online, by mail, and in person now through election day. Online voter registration is available at RegisterToVote.ca.gov and through the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters website. Here are some of the key dates and deadlines:


Registration deadlines

Online: October 19

By mail: Postmarked by October 19

In person: November 3

Registration forms are available in person at public libraries, city and county offices, the Department of Motor Vehicles offices, and at U.S. Post Offices. Additional information about voter registration forms is available here. Voters can check whether they are registered or the address where they are registered here.


Absentee ballot deadlines

Request: October 27

Return by mail: Postmarked by November 3

Return in person: November 3 by 8:00 p.m.

Additional information about voting by mail is available here.

Early voting

There are a number of vote centers throughout the County where you can vote in person early, return a voted ballot, or request a replacement ballot. View drop box/vote center locations here.


Additional information
Eligible voters who miss the registration deadline can use the conditional voter registration process from the day after the deadline all the way through Election Day. These ballots will be processed once the county elections office has completed the voter registration verification process.


Volunteer opportunities

High school students ages 16 and older can volunteer as a member of the Student Election Program to assist in a Vote Center if they meet these qualifications. Additional volunteer opportunities are available for other adults here.

MVLA HIGH SCHOOL FOUNDATION

A PHABULOUS PHONATHON

MVLA Foundation hosted a successful socially-distanced Phonathon in small pods at board members' houses in September. We are $1,342,180 closer to our goal of $2,091,000.These donations will help fund our College and Career Centers, Innovative Learning Grants, and other grants supporting virtual learning and innovation, student support, and college and career readiness. Thank you to everyone who participated and if you would like to make a donation please visit our website.


Dozens of companies in the Silicon Valley and Bay Area will match employees donations to the Foundation. Check this list to see if your employer is among them.

2020-2021 SPEAKER SERIES

Next up in the MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series is Marc Brackett, professor in Yale University’s Child Study Center and founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and his presentation "Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves and Our Society Thrive", exploring the value of understanding our emotions and how to more effectively communicate them; and shares practical, evidence-based skills that enable us to better manage emotions to enhance our well-being.


The presentation, held via Zoom, is scheduled for Thursday, October 29, at 7:00 p.m. Attendees may register here. 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!

FACILITIES UPDATE

Construction is moving along well for the new classroom buildings at both Los Altos and Mountain View campuses with rebar work, weatherproofing, and exterior siding installation taking place. The work includes seismic strengthening and a restroom modernization project at MVHS, with tile installation in progress as shown here. Our thanks again to voters and taxpayers for supporting the bond making these projects possible!


We are also working to complete installation of new stadium lights at both MVHS and LAHS.

GALLERY

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

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 numerous positions for our Adult School program, including for instructors for our Nursing Assistant, Orchestra, Independent Studies, and General Educational Development (GED) programs. We are also looking for a Speech/Language Pathologist (SLP) and we are always looking for great substitute teachers.


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

IN THE NEWS

Los Altos Town Crier - October 14, 2020

"MVHS student collaborates with famed artist on project"


Los Altos Town Crier - October 14, 2020

"Sports on the Side for October 14"


Los Altos Town Crier - October 14, 2020

"Editorial: Thumbs-up on recent events" (stadium lights)


Mountain View Voice - October 9, 2020

"Three candidates seek to fill two seats on Mountain View-Los Altos High School board"


Los Altos Town Crier - October 7, 2020

Editorial: Dave, Faillace (or Teksler) for MVLA board


Los Altos Town Crier - October 2, 2020

"MVLA decides to remain remote through first semester"

DATEBOOK

October 26, 2020

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

(Via Teleconference)


November 9, 2020

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

(Via Teleconference)


November 11, 2020

Veterans Day Holiday - NO SCHOOL


November 23 - 25, 2020

Recess - NO SCHOOL


November 26 - 27, 2020

Thanksgiving Holiday - NO SCHOOL


Please also check our 2020-2021 School Year calendar!