Mt. Everest Academy Updates

Do School Differently

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Message from the Principal - Week of Aug. 31

Dear MEA Students and Families,

There is a lot of important information in this "Sunday Message" so please read carefully and completely.

I want to take a moment to say thank you to the entire MEA staff who have worked tirelessly, mostly unpaid, to prepare for this unique school year. Although we are an independent study program, we have never been an "online" program as many websites falsely advertise.

Our teachers have spent countless hours creating and transforming curriculum to be ready for the 2020-2021 school year. They have attended hundreds of hours of training and professional development to bring you the highest quality instruction they can at this time.

We are dedicated to two things:

1) Providing a learning space (online or in-person) where your student feels safe, heard, and happy.

2) Providing a rigorous curriculum that is challenging and relevant.

We know that there are going to be times over the next few weeks where you and/or your student feel frustrated, confused, or overwhelmed. Please know that we are in this together. We are all learning and trying new things and we are all going to make mistakes and struggle.

Please assume that everyone is trying their best at this time. Most teachers have children in their own homes they are also supervising. (I have four in my house between grades 5 and 10). If you need help with anything, just reach out. Content teachers, supervising teachers, Mr. Zappala, Ms. Ramos, and I are here to support you.

Here's to a great, although unusual, school year!

Best regards,

Courtney Browne

Technology Tools and Student Email

All Mt. Everest Academy students have an Active Directory (AD) username and password from SDUSD. This login information does not change throughout their enrollment in the district, regardless of school. This allows access to an abundance of online tools some of which are listed here. It also provides access to Powerschool to view schedules and grades.

  • This year, all students have a district email account. With district email, students can only contact teachers and not other students. They also cannot send or receive messages outside of the district domain. Students in grades 6-12 MUST check their emails regularly. This will be reviewed in their classes.

Student email addresses (linked to Google Drive) are

  • This year, SDUSD is utilizing a portal called Clever from which students can access most online tools listed above from a single sign on. This is a personalized "one stop shop" for each student to access online resources. Many teachers have also included links to their websites and Zoom class links in Clever.

To access Clever for SDUSD, please go here. For a district created video on how students login to Clever with their AD username and password, please go here.

Students can still login to Drive, Office 365, Pearson, etc. from the direct links, but Clever makes it easier, especially for those in the younger grades. If you are not sure where to go to access a resource, start with Clever!

  • When not using Clever, to login to Google Drive or Office 365, the username is Password is the same.

  • For all other tools and to login to district computers, the username is the Student ID# and the password is the same.

Some student login information may not be activated until Aug. 31, the first day of school.

If you need technical assistance please fill out a MEA IT Help Desk ticket at the link here. (This is the absolute fastest way to get issues resolved as we route the issue to the person who can solve the problem.)

Need a textbook or school computer?

If, after attending orientations with teachers, you realize you are missing textbooks or curriculum, please contact our librarian

Textbooks, novels, calculators, and computers, will be available for pick up in front of the cafeteria (no appt. needed) the following days and times this week:

  • Wed. 9/2 from 10-12
  • Thursday 9/3 from 12-2
  • Friday 9/4 from 10-12

Please follow proper safety guidelines.

  • Wear a mask
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from others

K-5 Information and Orientations

Parents are expected to begin at-home instruction during the week of August 31st. More explanation of what this may look like will be shared during the orientations. (If you are new, feel free to start with something you are most comfortable with.)

The week of August 31st, teachers will be presenting grade level orientations to parents, as well as receiving professional development training to help prepare them for Virtual Learning and the new TK-4 Benchmark Language Arts curriculum. K-5 studygroup sessions will begin the week of 9/8.

Elementary Orientations (Links to online meetings were sent by teachers)

These are designed to be "parent only" as teachers will be guiding you through pacing guides, curriculum supports, and accessing resources online. (When we do these at school, there are no children present so parents can stay focused on the abundance of information.) All parents and other adults supporting the teaching in your home at the elementary level should be present.

Monday, August 31st

  • 9 a.m. - 3rd Grade
  • 11 a.m. - Kindergarten
  • 1:30 p.m. - 1st grade

Tuesday, Sept. 1st

  • 9 a.m. - 4th Grade Orientation
  • 11 a.m. - 2nd Grade Orientation

Wednesday, Sept. 2nd

  • 9 a.m. - 5th Grade Orientation

A schoolwide schedule for the first week of school can be found here.

Secondary (6-12) Orientations and first week of studygroups

If you did not receive an email from a teacher for the link to the first class meeting or orientation, please check their website, Google Classroom, or Canvas page.

A schoolwide schedule for the first week of school can be found here.

Orientations for grades 6-7

  • Will occur in first studygroup meeting for every course
  • Parent attendance required, unless specified by teacher
  • Supervising teacher and PE Orientation on 9/4 (info sent by supervising teacher)

Orientations for Grade 8

  • Will occur in first studygroup meeting of every course
  • Parent attendance required for Math 8
  • Supervising teacher and PE Orientation on 9/4 (info sent by supervising teacher)

New Student Orientation for Grades 9th-12th

  • Monday, 8/31 at 12:30
  • Invitations/link sent to parent emails on file

Meetings with supervising teachers for all students in grades 9th-12th

  • Friday 9/4 (see times here)
  • Your supervising teacher will send you an invite or see their website

High School Courses without a regular studygroup meeting (ie. Food and Nutrition, Personal Finance, Human Psych, Dance, Music, etc.)

  • Orientation meetings will occur on 9/4. See schedule linked here
  • Check your teacher's website for course information and/or Month 1 work to get started

Studygroup schedules

The secondary studygroup schedule for online meetings can be found here. Disregard the meeting rooms until we can meet in person. This is subject to change.

The elementary online studygroup schedule starting the week of 9/8 can be found here

If you have any questions please write to Principal Browne at

Digital Citizenship

As a school we have developed expectations for online learning and digital citizenship. These will be shared and reviewed in every class the first week of school. Please review with your student (s).

Need Internet Access?

If you need assistance with internet in your home, please contact the SDUSD Family Support Line at 619-260-2460 and press option 1.

MEA IT Help Desk

This was listed above, but just in case you missed it....

If you need technical assistance (ie. Issues with logging in, don't know your username and password, etc.), please fill out a MEA IT Help Desk ticket at the link here. (This is the absolute fastest way to get issues resolved as we route the issue to the person who can solve the problem.)

MEA Staff list

Some links did not transfer over when the district switched to a new website vendor. For a quick list of all teachers and staff, email addresses, teacher websites, and who teaches what, see the link here.

Music Classes with Mr. Johnson

Mr. Johnson will begin online music classes in two weeks. An informational meeting will be held next Tues. morning at 10:30am. Classes will begin on Sept. 14 following this schedule:

  • 8:00-8:40 Beg. Strings
  • 8:50-9:30 Beg. Band
  • 9:40-10:20 Choir
  • 10:30-11:10 Adv. Band.
  • 11:20-12:00 Adv. Strings
  • 12:10-12:50 AP Music Theory review (for older students)


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!

ASB (Student Government)

Are you in 8th-12th grade and interested in joining our ASB class, but it's not on your schedule yet? If yes, please contact Mr. Zappala at to have it added to your schedule. This year, ASB will be focused on building community in the online space as well as planning projects in conjunction with the Anti Defamation League's (ADL) program “No Place for Hate.”

Monday College Knowledge Webinar Series

Hello Seniors. The Monday College Knowledge Webinar Series is an opportunity to get valuable information to help you in the college application process. Please sign up for these webinars ASAP since participation is limited. Reach out to Mr. Zappala ( with any questions you have.

Women in Computer Science has created an extensive guide geared towards women in computer science. This guide discusses the gap amongst women in the computer science field, the benefits of a career in computer science, and how universities are working to gain the momentum of females in the field of CS. Most importantly, this guide offers resources that will help women begin their journey to a rewarding and successful STEM career by listing free online courses, summer camps, scholarship information, and top female-dominated computer science programs.


MATHCOUNTS Club for grades 6-8

Students enrolled in grades 6-8 that enjoy math and challenging problems are welcome to come and join the MATHCOUNTS Club. The club will conclude with the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series which will be held online, beginning of 2021 (it usually happens at the end of February).

The club will have a weekly meeting online, starting September/October, and will continue in-person when the school opens up.

More details and registration sign up sheet will follow. Please note that this club is only for students in grades 6-8.

MathCounts Competition Series Est 1983

A national middle school mathematics competition that builds problem solving skills and fosters achievement. In response to COVID-19 this year, there will be more contests and they will be held online.

For more information feel free to check out

Mt. Everest in the News!

Scroll to about 4:20 on the time bar to see MEA featured in a CBS special on education. Principal Browne and an MEA Alum were interviewed. Good stuff!
The Learning Curve special report covers education in California during the COVID-19 pandemic
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