Greetings Milpitas Parents!
Summer is right around the corner. While your children are probably looking forward to free time with friends, many teachers and parents are concerned about "summer slide" the common decline in students' academic skills over summer break. There are things that you can do as a parent to not only prevent summer learning loss, but also to give your child a head start on next year's learning.
Preventing learning loss doesn’t require a huge time commitment, it just requires consistency. A little practice each day goes a long way. In addition to visiting local museums or borrowing books from your local library, Milpitas Unified School District would like to suggest using CK12 BrainFlex. CK12 provides high quality, online education materials for students and teachers. It’s easy to use, it’s free and your child can use it anytime, anywhere. Encourage your child to do one simple thing this summer: practice every day.
Here’s all you need to do:
There is still time remaining to sign up and wait for the program to start. In the meantime, we recommend their adaptive practice to supplement your child's learning! See the topics below.
For the 17th year, the 501(c) 3 non-profit Synopsys Outreach Foundation is offering a summer series of FREE teacher training seminars---day-long, grade and subject specific, approved for 0.5 CEUs per class, and providing a donation of materials to the participant’s school (and held at Oak Grove HS).
Click here for course descriptions and click here to register for SuperSchool classes.
Got (Plants) Science? Grades K-8, July 11
Plants: Their Parts and What We Do With Them, Grades 3-8, July 13
Got (Animal) Science? Grades K-8, July 18
Waves: Light, Sound, Action! Grades 4-12 July 20
By Irene Hentschke
Milpitas High School art teacher
This year's annual Milpitas High School (MHS) art show, held May 16-18, was a feast for the eyes. It featured artwork from a program which has over 1,000 students taking Art Exploration, Drawing, Painting, Digital Art, Photography, Ceramics and AP Drawing classes.
The Glee Club performed with irresistible tunes to visiting Zanker students and ceramics teacher Jeff Albrecht demonstrated throwing on the wheel to a captured audience. Visitors kept the small gym filled with inspired crowds. Many parents came to support their artists.
In addition, this year freshly painted benches found permanent homes at MHS next at administrative offices, the library, Career Center, P.E. locker rooms and teacher classrooms. Seven painting scholarships went out to talented MHS students from this outstanding program.
We are very proud of our MHS artists who demonstrated their creativity and personal expression throughout the diverse portfolio displayed at this year's MHS Art Show.
Sixth graders from Pomeroy Elementary School concluded their Project Based Learning project "Let's Get Active" about the Body Systems with a 5K run on May 19.
That morning, every sixth grader was able to complete the run, cheered on by the entire school, according to Snemer Anand, Pomeroy science teacher and event organizer.
"The Project Based Learning brought real life connections to the students," Anand said. "By being physically challenged they were able to understand the need to study all the systems. It generated a lot of enthusiasm and a feeling of accomplishment."
Leading up to the event, sixth graders put forth arguments supported by evidence as to how the body is a system of interacting subsystems. Instead of just stating facts they came up with Thinking Maps and PowToon videos. They also trained for 12 weeks before school and during physical education for running the 5K. They documented changes in mood and energy levels, and measured heart rate before and after exercise.
By Nanci Pass and Damon James
Principals, Rose Elementary School and Thomas Russell Middle School
Milpitas Unified School District held its Every Student Succeeding Breakfast on May 12.
Officially, each elementary school nominates one student while middle schools nominate two students, the high school nominates four students, Cal Hills nominates one student, and Adult Ed nominates one student. Every school uses a different nomination criteria; it is open to any student who has shown remarkable growth and perseverance despite challenges and obstacles in their lives.
The event was created several years ago by the Milpitas Management Association and really embodies and represents the spirit of perseverance and the District’s beliefs of every student being valued, challenged, and successful. The Every Student Succeeding program honors students who exceed our expectations and the adults who support them along the way. They face life’s challenges head on and this recognition is an opportunity to highlight the young men and women who have overcome great obstacles to succeed. Their stories are remarkable and their futures are bright.
Damon James, Principal of Thomas Russell Middle School, shared the following firsthand account of his student who Nanci Pass, Principal of Rose Elementary School, said was inspirational to hear about:
Gregory Peck said, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do!” Victor is one tough young man. Every student has a unique story that helps to shape that individual’s character. For Victor, his life changed dramatically in the fourth grade. For that was they year, that his father was deported. Sometimes we all make mistakes, and unfortunately Victor’s father one that caused him to be separated from his family. The following year in fifth grade, Victor, his 8 siblings, and his mother were evicted from their apartment in East Palo Alto due to some questionable actions of his older brothers. Emotionally, he was distressed about seeing his father leave, and some of his sibling were demonstrating some out of control behavior at home.
Fortunately, his mother sought the members of her church for support, and she was able to place the children in varied homes temporarily. Victor was placed with teacher Catherine Petersen, who Victor refers to as his guardian for about one year. Shortly afterward, Victor’s aunt was able to raise the funds to have Victor’s father return. And from there, Victor and his entire family were reunited to a dwelling in Stockton. But, his older siblings continued to be an issue, affecting the entire home, so Victor’s parents placed them in group homes. Victor’s first year back with his family was OK. Victor maintained somewhat average grades, but the following year, Victor failed every class except for physical education.
Victor had the vision to know that in his current situation he would not succeed, so he asked his parents if he could return to his guardian’s home in Union City. They agreed, and because Victor’s guardian is also known as Milpitas Teacher, Ms. Petersen, Victor was able to enroll in Thomas Russell Middle School in August of 2016. Initially, school was difficult. Victor spent a lot of time trying to learn the material that he did not learn the previous year and manage a completely different style of learning at Russell. But by going straight home each day and working with his guardian until 10 or 11 p.m. each night until about February, Victor improved tremendously.
His current GPA is 3.83 and his last grading report reflected all As. What drives Victor is getting into a good high school, and he knows that performing well now will pay off later. Victor’s hopes include being a good person, getting good job, and staying out of trouble. Victor’s track coach, Mr. Dutra, said that Victor has a great attitude and always picks up his teammates. Victor we are so happy that you chose to attend Thomas Russell Middle School. Your success is a testament to your drive and motivation, and we are proud of you. Victor’s story is not known by many students or adults at Russell. He wants no special attention and nor recognition. He believes everyone should make decisions that will help them for their future. Yet again, another Russell student with wisdom beyond his years. Victor this is precisely why we think you are amazing. ¡Víctor, tú eres increíble!
Isaiah Johnson, who stars as George Washington in the cast of nationally touring musical "Hamilton," visited Rancho Milpitas Middle School staff and students on Wednesday (May 24).
The visit was the result of a contest, held April 17 through May 5 among 667 schools in the Bay Area.
The top three schools with the most Newsela articles read (there were points given for correct answers on the quiz/assessment that students took after reading an article) received a visit from a cast member of Hamilton. Rancho came in second place, with more than 22,000 articles read in the contest.
For immediate release Contact: Shannon Carr,
Board Support & Communications Specialist
(408) 635-2600, ext. 6031
Approximately 354 Milpitas High School seniors were honored for earning a combined total of more than $2 million in scholarships during Senior Awards Night on May 17.
“It is one of my favorite events during the year,” Board President Daniel Bobay said. “We get to see the achievements of our students in their senior year and it’s very nice to see the kids that are going off to college at some of the most prestigious institutes in the world from our high school. It’s very encouraging. It always refuels me at the end of the year, and it puts a big smile on my face.”
In opening the event, Principal Phil Morales talked boastingly about the accomplishments of the Class of 2017.
“This year’s senior class is truly impressive,” he said. “In the fall of next year, we will have approximately 82 students attending a UC, approximately 155 attending a CSU, 24 will be at private universities, at least 12 will be heading out of state, four will attend art schools, 254 have plans for community colleges, and eight will be moving into their military careers.”
From those, a student who will be attending Yale, two who will be heading to Stanford, three to Santa Clara University, 91 to San Jose State University, and many others who will be spending their college life in various locations across the United States.
The 2017 Valedictorian is Justin Tso who earned a 4.55 weighted grade point average (GPA) and will attend University of California at Los Angeles and the Salutatorian Kinbert Chou earned a 4.53 weighted GPA and will attend Stanford.
“Our students are the pride of our Milpitas community,” Superintendent Cheryl Jordan said. “They are who we in MUSD work for, and on nights such as the Senior Awards, I feel tremendous joy, and a strong sense of connection to all those who have touched the lives of each of these determined students. Congratulations to our seniors and their families!”
During the event, students were awarded scholarships and grants based on the qualities and characteristics that they have shown during their time at Milpitas High School.
“We tried to calculate the combined amount that these students have earned in scholarships and grants, but know that not all awards have been given out yet,” Morales said. “At this point, we proudly say that these students being honored here tonight have earned nearly $2.4 million dollars given by extremely generous donors.”
More than 250 students received the Gold Chord for earning a 3.25 unweighted Grade Point Average (GPA) or 3.5 weighted GPA; 144 students received a Maroon Chord for completing 150 hours or more of Community Service; 100 students received a President’s Education Award for maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.5 or higher from 10th grade to 12th grade, taking five AP/Honors classes with a B or better in each and scoring “Advanced” on four of four Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exams; 226 students received a Golden State Seal for receiving a B+ or higher in an English, Math, and science course in ninth, 10th, or 11th grade and receiving a B or higher in U.S. History and a grade of B or higher in two other courses for ninth, 10th, or 11th grade; and five students are a National Merit Scholarship Finalist for placing in the top 1% nationally based on their performance on the PSAT taken in their junior year. Finalists are eligible for multiple scholarships.
“I want you to look around and see all the people in the room celebrating with you,” Morales said, in opening the program. “From the people in our community to make Milpitas a safe city to live in, the school board and district office people who make sure that you have the opportunity for a quality education, your administration, counselors, school staffing, and teachers, who give to you and encourage you each day. Then look at the faces of the loved ones who are here to celebrate. Take a moment to acknowledge their support in helping you to be here tonight. This is a celebration for all of us, and that means thank you parents.”
Marissa Canez, Milpitas High School’s College and Career Technician and coordinator of Senior Awards Night, shared her pride in the ceremony.
“My favorite part of the event was seeing all the students dressed so nice with big smiles on their faces,” she said. “It made me so proud of all their hard work and to be recognized personally in front of their families and special guests.”
For immediate release Contact: Shannon Carr,
Board Support & Communications Specialist
(408) 635-2600, ext. 6031
Yesterday, local leaders joined young children and their families at the Josephine Guerrero Family Resource Center for an open house celebration featuring food trucks, resource tables, Potter the Otter, and free games and activities.
The resource center, which held its ribbon cutting in November 2016, provides free resources for children under age six and their families, including developmental screenings, parent and caregiver workshops, referrals to affordable children’s health insurance programs, and fun and educational family engagement activities. The Family Resource Center is a partnership between the Milpitas Unified School District, the Health Trust, and FIRST 5 Santa Clara County.
“Young children and families are at the heart of the Josephine Guerrero Family Resource Center,” said Jolene Smith, Chief Executive Officer of FIRST 5 Santa Clara County. “FIRST 5 is dedicated to working with local families and the Milpitas Unified School District to strengthen and support the healthy development of our youngest children and support parents and caregivers in their role as their child’s first and most important teacher.”
The resource center was dedicated in memory of Josephine Guerrero (November 18, 1919 - September 8, 2016), who was committed to serving her community and an advocate for families. Guerrero was the first woman to serve on the Milpitas Planning Commission in 1954, and was Woman of the Year for the City of Milpitas. She also served as an assistant postmaster and President of the Milpitas Chamber of Commerce.
“Today, we dedicate the Family Resource Center in memory of a woman who lived her life to support her family and community in times of peace and in times of war,” Milpitas Unified School District Board President Daniel Bobay said. “It is a fitting way to honor this woman who was a diamond with so many facets.”
The center joins a network of Family Resource Centers across the county, the second in Milpitas, as part of FIRST 5’s Family Resource Center Initiative. The initiative uses a place-based approach to increase access to services and provide opportunities for parents to become more engaged in their children’s healthy development, school readiness, and other collaborative efforts to improve their lives and the communities in which they live.
"Partnering with FIRST 5 on the Family Resource Center Initiative allows us to ensure that children ages 0-5 acquire the skills needed to be ready to succeed in kindergarten, from literacy to proper nutrition and physical activity,” said Charles C. Bullock, Ph.D., Interim CEO of The Health Trust. “We believe that these skills also serve as the foundation for living a healthy and fruitful life."
The Josephine Guerrero Family Resource Center is located on the campus of Randall Elementary School at 1300 Edsel Drive, Portable #1, Milpitas, CA 95035. For more information on hours and regularly scheduled classes, please call (408) 635-2662, extension 1638 or visit www.first5kids.org/frc.