Monday Message

MAY 24, 2021


For secondary students:

If you have yet to take the DEMI Assessment, please PICK A TIME that works for you on either Wednesday, 5/26 or Thursday, 5/27.

We encourage all students to participate! (High school students earn volunteer hours for participating as we see this as a service to our community.)

The District Essential Mathematics Assessment (DEMI) is an asset-based, standards-aligned assessment that is designed to capture a window into students’ developing multi-dimensional math understandings.

Big picture

For your convenience this year, the returning of library materials and re-enrollment for 2021-22 are being done at the same time. The schedule to come to campus has been set up by grade level and by last names. Please note:

  • K-5th - May 24-26
  • 6th-12th - June 1-4
  • Please see this detailed schedule by last name.
  • 2021-22 enrollment forms will be available for you to sign. If your address has changed, please bring a new proof of residence.
  • Please come to the ELEMENTARY GATE (enter through the Wiggin Annex parking lot)
  • If you have students in various grades, please come during the designated time for the highest grade level and we will accommodate for all of your students.
  • Master agreements will still be signed in August when textbooks are picked up

Know what you owe! To view your library account, go to our MEA Destiny Home page

  • Follow the login instructions (student ID and password).
  • After logging in you can find “Know What You Owe” under “How to…” in the top left column.

Please note, there are no more material checkouts in the auditorium.

Covid-19 Safety Expectations for On-Campus Learning Opportunities

If your student is attending one of our on-site learning opportunities, please be sure:

1) You have discussed Covid-19 safety procedures with them.

2) Your student arrives with a signed copy of the Parent acknowledgement of student on-site learning form. (This only needs to be brought on the first day.)

3) Your student brings the Daily Student Symptoms Checklist that is filled out at home before coming to school, or you can complete the daily symptom checklist online at the ClearPass web portal using your child’s district ID and pw. Then a screenshot on your phone can be shown at check-in that this has been completed. (Grades 6-12 can do this on their own phones.)

Some of the expectations for on campus attendance:

✔ Parents must take their child's temperature before coming to school. (Thermometers will be provided for any families needing one for home.)

✔ Students must arrive at the appropriate 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.

✔ At the entrance, parents must arrive with a completed form (which can be done on paper or online) verifying their child does not have a temperature or any signs of illness.

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

✔ Masks must be worn at all times.

✔ Everyone will remain socially distanced at all times

✔ Playground/outdoor play will be allowed during each grade's 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 parents can pick them up.

On-Campus Opportunities

K-5 "Unplugged"

If your student is signed up to attend our "Unplugged" sessions, you should have received a detailed message with procedures and expectations. Part of the elementary parking lot will be coned off for students/families to line up by grade level. Please park and line up with your child in their grade level line.

  • Students must be checked in between 12:00 and 12:15
  • Students must be picked up at 2pm. (Please wait in your grade level line until your student is released to you.)

6-12 "Study Zone"

No need to sign up anymore! Just make sure you bring your forms!

Students attending Study Zone must check-in at the front entrance of school by the office.

Big picture

* * SENIORS * *


Letter with important dates for Seniors


Tuesday, June 1 - Thursday, June 3


Thursday, June 3


Friday, June 4 / 10:00-12:00 / MEA Campus

  • Can also turn textbooks in on Tuesday, June 1, 10-12:00 or 1-2:30


Friday, June 4 / 12:30-3:30 / MEA Campus

  • Required for all seniors


Thursday, June 10 / 12:30-1:30 / Mt. Helix Park Outdoor Amphitheater


Friday, June 11 / 5:00-6:30 / Mt. Helix Park Outdoor Amphitheater

"Senior Shelf" Legacy Project

Dear Seniors-

What is your favorite novel? Why do you love it? Would you like to share this beloved story with the greater, and future, MEA community? Please consider donating a copy of your favorite book to our MEA library. We hope that this will be the start of a multi-year project, in which the class of 2021 would be the first to participate!

Your selection will be included on the "Senior Shelf" as another legacy project that you can visit when you return to visit your alma mater (which we hope you will do- a lot!). You will also be able to add a few personal comments on a bookplate that will be placed on the inside cover.

Guidelines: Please make sure the book's content is school-appropriate (high school and below). We will support anyone who needs help acquiring or purchasing the book. Funds are limited, so it would be first come, first serve. Please feel free to contact me by email, and include the title and author of the book (and particular edition, if that is important). It is also perfectly fine for you to donate a gently used, pre-read copy that you already own and are willing to share with your fellow MEA Wolves!

We would like your books to be brought in no later than next Friday, June 4 at the Senior Celebration. You will be able to handwrite your thoughts on the bookplate at that time. You can also send your thoughts via email to Ms. Mullen (, and she will print them out and put them in your book selection. You can drop books off anytime before June 4th into a box in front of the office. Please put your name on the book somewhere.

Thank you for considering participating in this project. We at MEA all hope you will consider leaving a little, "literal" piece of you in the small but mighty MEA Library!


Art Mini-Gallery

Day: Wednesday, May 26

Time: 10:40am


The MEA community is welcome to attend Mrs. Battin's last Middle School Art Mini-Gallery!

Conversation with Dr. Rajmohan Gandhi

Wednesday, May 26 / 1:30-2:45

The MEA community is invited to attend a live virtual appearance by Dr. Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mohandas Gandhi, put on by the SDUSD Youth Advocacy department.

MEA students Chloe Moya and Fayyad Hassan will be co-hosts for this live event, and students from MEA Ally Action have read portions by and about Gandhi in preparation for attending.

Dr. Raj Gandhi flyer

Register for the YouTube live link:

“Love Our Library” Activities

Check out the "Love Our Library" website.

For all activities:

One Book, One MEA

Thursdays in May: 5/27 at 2:30 pm

Reading "The Search for WandLa" by Tony DiTerlizzi

Read to the Librarian

Librarian will make appointment zoom times usually on Thursdays or Fridays for 15-minute sessions, starting with Ms. Finney's K-2 classes, then grades 3-5 will be added. Please email the librarian at for scheduling requests.

Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 28 & Monday, May 31

Schools and district offices will be closed in honor of those who have died and for those who have put their lives on the line to defend the United States of America while serving in the US Armed Forces.

Sexual Health Awareness Week

Save the Dates!

Grades 8, 10

  • June 1-3
  • 10:30-12 (Zoom link will be sent out by either Mr. Tran or Ms. Pachon)

Grades 9, 11, 12

  • June 3
  • 10:30-12

For more information on Sexual Health Education in SDUSD, please see the link here.

SSC/SGT Meeting

Date: Wednesday, June 2

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


Thursday, June 3 / 1:30-2:45 / On Campus!

MEA will host a student art show LIVE on June 3rd from 1:30 to 2:45 pm. Come and enjoy seeing student artwork in person and meet some of the artists!

This will be an outdoor event and masks are required at all times. All district Covid-19 procedures will be followed, and specific guidelines will be listed in the next Monday Message.

This artwork will also be on display at the upcoming on-campus grade level promotion ceremonies.

Request for art from "Unplugged" Students

Show your art in the MEA Art Show!

If you would like to participate in our IN PERSON Art show on June 3rd, please bring your art piece(s) to Mrs Sink during the Unplugged sessions. It can be something you created on campus or at home. Please include a title of your piece and the medium you used to create it. Email Mrs Sink, for more info. We look forward to seeing your artistic creations!

Promotion Ceremonies

On Campus!

Kindergarten: Tuesday, June 8, 10:00

5th grade: Wednesday, June 9, 10:30 _ RSVP here by 5/28

8th grade: Wednesday, June 9, 1:30 _ RSVP here by 5/28

* 5th & 8th grade ceremonies will also be livestreamed on Zoom


"Lord of the Flies" activity

Mr. Spiegelberg's English students read “Lord of the Flies” which is about the "evil" that supposedly exists in all of us. In this activity students were put in teams. Team 1 came up with "evil" directions for assembling peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Team 2 had to follow the directions!

Big picture

¡Qué alivio! (What a relief!)

This is Sra. Mullen's small but mighty AP Spanish Language and Culture class one day after they took the AP exam. They worked hard on their Spanish reading, writing, listening and speaking skills for 8 months in preparation for the 4+ hour exam. Sra. Mullen has no doubt that they CRUSHED it, and is so very proud of their dedication to learning and communicating in a second language. ¡Enhorabuena!

Big picture

Mealworm parents

  • The K-2 Unplugged students became the proud adoptive parents of three mealworms each.
  • They’ve enjoyed watching their “children” as they grow and change through their life cycle.
  • They have several teenagers now (pupae), but only one adult darkling beetle has emerged so far.
  • As perhaps some parents may be able to relate to, they cannot wait for those teenagers to become adults!

Big picture

Gold Rush Day

Eureka! Students in grades 3-5 found gold! Gold Rush Day was a success during last week's Unplugged session. Students dressed up as miners then panned for gold, made gold nugget frames, and sketched a picture of a miner. Link to Photo Gallery

Big picture

Humans of MEA

In this episode, Chloe interviews Mr. Zappala.


MEA team wins the Jacobs Teen Innovation Challenge

For the second year in a row, a Mt. Everest Academy student team has won first place! And two other MEA teams were finalists! The Jacobs Teen Innovation Challenge is a worldwide challenge to develop social good solutions aligned to the UN Global Goals.

Check out their winning solutions!

  • First Place: The Space Umbrella
  • Finalist: Hydrogen Generator
  • Finalist: The Microfiber Catcher

Opportunity Scholarships for the Class of 2022

The College Board Opportunity Scholarships offer nearly $5 million each year to reward your efforts to plan and pay for college. There are 6 college planning steps to complete for 6 separate chances at $500. When you finish all 6, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $40,000 scholarship, but you can still earn money even if you don’t complete them all.

Learn how Juliana Balanzar of La Jolla High won $40,000.


This is your opportunity to get a one-of-a kind, during a pandemic shutdown, uniquely memorable yearbook. So get zooming (not the video meeting kind) and order it now!

Click to Purchase Your 2020-21 MEA Yearbook

  • School Passcode: 1013183679162246

This year's book gives each student 2 free pages to fill with their own photos and memories.

Previews of the Mt. Everest Academy 2020-21 yearbook below.

2020-21 Spirit Cup Champions

Congratulations to the 5th grade class, who are this year’s Spirit Cup Champions! It was very close, with the 12th and 7th grades right behind the winning class. Those in the 5th grade class will receive certificates for YogurtLand. And congratulations to Colin Gazui, who managed to earn the most Spirit Points, winning a 10 dollar Amazon gift card. Thank you to everyone who participated in Spirit Days and Events this year, and have a great summer!

Big picture


The district will NOT be administering the CAASPP assessments this year. Instead, we will be administering shorter Math and English exams to grades 3-11 as well as a very short SEL Survey to grades 4-12. Students will receive more information from their teachers. Some grade levels and subject areas have already completed the required assessments. Others will be completing them in the coming weeks.

By taking these exams, we ensure that Mt. Everest students are meeting all expectations and it validates the existence of our unique program. We encourage all students to participate! (High school students earn volunteer hours for participating as we see this as a service to our community.)

Student Covid-19 Testing

San Diego Unified has partnered with UC San Diego to provide FREE COVID-19 testing at every school campus for all of our students. Testing is an important part of our district’s plan to protect our community from the spread of coronavirus.

COVID-19 testing information


MEA Foundation is fully registered with AmazonSmile as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit! When you shop at AmazonSmile, will donate to MEA Foundation at no cost to you!

First, go to and set your charity to "Mount Everest Academy Foundation".

Then, always start your shopping at and shop as usual while supporting our school!

Level Up SD - Summer Program

More information about the summer program will be coming soon. Please visit the Level UP SD website to join the email list.

Learn more about the summer experience.


1) These brothers are making piles to separate worms from their “black gold” (worm poop), which is an excellent fertilizer. Next they add the black gold to the planting holes for plants they started from seed during our Earth Day event.

2) Flower “first letter of your name” craft activity.

Big picture
Big picture

New Coop Group Members

Malia and Giada love our MEA chickens and they make a great cleaning crew, too!

Big picture

* * 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!

Help Ben reach 500 subscribers

During the lockdown, senior Ben Shimabukuro started a piano and composition YouTube channel that gained over 400 subscribers and 120,000 views. His most popular video shows the sheet music for "YIP YIP YIP", an annoying song by Daniel Thrasher (a more popular YouTuber). However, most of the videos are either original compositions or performances of pieces by other composers.

You can find his channel here or search "Benjamin Shimabukuro" on YouTube.

Ice skating magic

We have a 4th grader at MEA who is quite the ice skater! Introducing Matilda Gracheva and her latest ice skating competition video. Enjoy!


Ally Action Worksheet

MEA Ally Action has created this worksheet to help people learn more about pronouns. It explains the use of different pronouns and provides practice for using them in ways you may not be used to. Knowing how to use a person's pronouns correctly is one of the best ways to be an ally to trans people, so we strongly encourage you to take the time to learn this! Feel free to share this worksheet with others as well.

Disclaimer: We are providing this worksheet in accordance with the Fair Education Act (SB48).


Mr. Ron Zappala is the Head School Counselor at Mt. Everest Academy. Please reach out to him him with any counseling questions at

“Why is sleep important for students?”

Wednesday, May 26 / 5:00pm

Dr. Rakesh Bhattacharjee is an incredible speaker and will offer an informative presentation filled with a blend of information, science, and action steps to improve sleep in youth. He is the director of pediatric sleep medicine at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and an associate professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego.

Please register in advance for this webinar.

How to read a transcript

Here’s a short video on how to read a transcript, created by SDUSD.

It’s important that high school students understand transcripts for:

  • Graduation status
  • Four year planning
  • Post secondary planning

Free Community Assessment Team (CAT) Services

CAT Services flyer

The CAT program is a resource program under SAY San Diego. Say, San Diego is a long standing, local Non-profit program that has worked with San Diego Unified families for years, specifically offering free counseling, case management and basic needs assistance for school aged youth from 6-18 years of age. This is basically a one stop help with academic, behavioral or general issues that can arise especially during this time of distance Learning. Their services do not require health insurance, if that is a families preference or situation.

Community College information

Students taking community college classes during the Summer will need to buy their books and materials through the Mesa Bookstore or online (amazon, chegg, etc). You will not be billed through your portal for books.

High school students enrolled in 11 units or less will have their enrollment fees waived, but will be billed for the health fee (roughly $22). Enrollment fees may take 10-12 business days to clear of their balance.

High school students can now begin submitting supplemental applications to the campus where your course is offered as soon as you select your class(es) off of the summer class schedule. You will be enrolled by Admissions around open enrollment May 17, 2021. Please note: all High school students have a hold on their record and are not able to self enroll. Students must meet class requirements prior to being enrolled by Admissions. If you feel like you meet pre-requisite requirements for a class you can take a subject assessment to determine your eligibility. Please submit your supplemental applications for Fall as soon as the Fall class schedule becomes available on June 7th. Keep in mind to schedule classes at the community college that do not conflict with our MEA study group schedule.

Summer 2021 College Dates

Summer Class schedule- April 19, 2021

Open Enrollment - May 17, 2021

First day of Summer - June 7, 2021

Fall 2021 College Dates

Fall class schedule - June 7, 2021

Open Enrollment- July 19, 2021

1st day of Fall - Aug 23, 2021

Summer Community College Classes

For Sophomores and Juniors wanting to take a community college class in the Summer, please note that the Summer 2021 college class schedule release has been postponed to April 19, 2021. You can view the Summer online class schedule after April 19.

Students need to apply to the community college district 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.

Here is general Mesa College Summer information.

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,

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.


Y4C Summer Camp

Youth 4 Climate is a program under San Diego 350 with the goal of empowering youth to find their voice for an equitable and resilient future. We are putting on our second virtual Y4C Summer Camp for high school students in San Diego to help youth learn about and take action for climate justice.

The theme of our first session is “Discover Your Passion, Make It Your Power!” and it will run for three weeks, from June 21st-July 9th. Youth will spend 3.5-5.5 hours per week:

  • learning about climate change,

  • connecting with like minded peers,

  • hearing from climate experts, and

  • developing projects to tackle climate change!

Participants are also eligible to receive a certificate of completion and community service hours.

Session I of the summer camp costs $60, but nobody will be turned away from lack of funds. If you’re interested, please fill out this interest form to receive a registration link. People who register before June 14th and attend the camp will be entered into a raffle!

Please email Megan Phelps (she/her), the Y4C Intern, with any questions or comments:

Vân-Ánh Võ Performer Spotlight

Poway OnStage presents award-winning composer and musician Vân-Ánh Võ who creates stunning, complex works by melding Vietnamese musical traditions with a variety of genres. Vân-Ánh Võ leads an immersive “show and tell,” of traditional Vietnamese instruments, demonstrating the sound of each unique, hand-constructed instrument, and featuring them in her compositions. Show information

There’s no need to sign up, as Mrs. Finney has already registered our school. It’s pre-recorded, and can be viewed anytime between May 7-28 through the following:


Password: worldmusic

* * * * * * * *

Big picture

* * * * * *