Board Communication Corner
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Let's Talk Education: All Grown-up – July 18
Trustee Jeff Moe attended a panel discussion featuring adults who graduated from our high schools between 5 and 15 years ago. It was sponsored by the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce, the Library Foundation, the FUHS Foundation and CEEF. The panelists shared how what they learned in high school or elsewhere them in their careers. Here are some of the panelists’ points:
- All panelists wished they had learned more life skills including basic finance, accounting, and hands-on learning like wood shop and auto shop
- Volunteer and extra-curricular activities can help develop hands-on skills
- Some wished they developed more cultural awareness and been more exposed culturally to other people
- Building networks is crucial. Don’t be afraid to use your parents’ network or your friend’s friend’s network
- Informational interviews were very helpful, and they can also help with networking
- Managing your mental health is important
- College teaches how to think and problem solving, not how to do a specific job
- Continue your learning as an adult in areas such as presentation skills, public speaking, micro learning, blended learning, on-the-job training, etc.
Personal Insight Question Presentation from UC Davis – July 22
Trustee Jeff Moe attended a webinar hosted by Melanie David from UC Davis dealing with the application process. Although Melanie is from UC Davis, her information applied to all UC’s. Here are some of her main points:
- Incoming seniors can start working on their application on August 1. Melanie recommended starting the application process early.
- Letters of recommendation are not required initially, but sometimes are requested later in the process
- In the Activities and Awards section, describe what you do outside the classroom. You can list up to 20 items, which can include things like caring for younger siblings, learning how to garden, etc.
- In the “what did you do box” indicate positions held, awards received, etc.
- Rather than comparing activities of students, admission officers evaluate at the student within the student’s environment
- There are 8 essay questions and you must respond to 4. Select the questions that are most relevant to you. Type your answer in a Word or Google document first so you can count the words; up to 350 words are allowed.
- Ask others for their input. For example, ask a teacher, parent, or friend to share their observation of how you developed a skill or talent.
- You can talk about your experience with COVID-19 within one your Personal Insight Question.
- Be specific in your essays, keep it focused, be authentic, write your story, proofread and edit.
- Additional Comments after the Education Section would be a good place to share challenges or successes during remote learning (e.g. your Remote Learning Report).
- More application tips are on the UC Admissions Instagram Page.
Here is a link to View the Recording of the session.
Summer Graduation - July 23, 2020
Trustees Roy Rocklin and Jeff Moe attended Summer Graduation. Students who participated in Summer Graduation were seniors who needed to complete a few credits in order to receive their diplomas. It may have been illness or other personal issues that delayed their graduation. These students deserve recognition because it takes extra effort and determination to finish school, especially after many of their friends were already celebrating the completion of high school.
As it has been for all graduations this year, Summer Graduation was not normal. Basically, students drove up to Fremont High School to pick up their diploma. However, because the number of summer graduates was small, they were able to have a photo opportunity. Though the “graduation ceremony” was humble, the pride and excitement of graduates and their family was as strong as any graduation.
South Bay Family Conversation - July 11
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the South Bay Family Conversation through Zoom. The purpose of the session was to learn about race and racism from a panel of education professionals and Black Student Union leaders. One of the organizers of the event was former FUHSD student board representative Samantha Millar.
There was a wide range of ideas and suggestions presented, which included:
- Everyone should be an influencer. Don’t expect to change people’s mind with a single conversation. Anti-racism is a lifetime endeavor.
- Juneteenth is not just a Black history day; it is an American history day.
UCSF State of the Pandemic, Opening the Schools – July 16
Trustee Jeff Moe attended a zoom session hosted by the UCSF College of Medicine. The session offered some of the leading thought and research regarding opening the schools in the Fall. Here are some of the main points:
- There is a limited illness burden on children. Children spread 50% of regular seasonal flu and only 3% of COVID-19. One reason for this may be that the ACE2 receptor in the genes of children have low expression relative to adults. Teenagers susceptibility to COVID-19 is greater than pre-teens, but less than adults.
- Aerosol transmission of the disease is much less common than droplet spread. This reinforces the effectiveness of physical distancing and masks to reduce transmission.
- Due to school closings the Spring, students experienced:
- Loss of education rigor
- Further deepened disparities for students in low income families
- Increased anxiety and depression for students and adults
- Increased abuse and domestic violence
Several trustees also attended the July 17 webinar, “The Science Behind the School Opening Guidance," hosted by the Santa Clara Office of Educations, which provided similar data.
Middle College Car Parade and Virtual Graduation Ceremony - June 25
Trustee Jeff Moe, Roy Rocklin, Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto and Rosa Kim, alongside district office staff, greeted and cheered for the Middle College Class of 2020 at the District Office.
The 46 seniors graduating from the Middle College program came to the district office campus to pick up their diplomas and have their picture taken at the end of the parade. Parents and families came together with the seniors to celebrate their graduation.
After the parade, seniors headed home to watch the virtual graduation ceremony, including speeches from graduates Aria Badra & Samantha De La Fuente, who shared about their experiences at De Anza College over the past two years. Middle College teachers Dena Zlotziver and Sean Morrison congratulated the graduates on all their accomplishments.
Webinar, Creative Summer Planning & Creating an Impact When You Can’t Go Outside - June 17
Trustee Rosa Kim attended one of the four webinars the district hosted for community members with Collegewise, one of the nation's largest college admissions counseling organizations. This webinar series was created to support district students and families during the school closures. The webinar covered the many ways COVID-19 has impacted college admissions and answered community questions on the admissions process.
Cupertino High School Graduation Car Parade and Virtual graduation – June 4
Trustee Jeff Moe had the privilege of participating in the CHS graduation car parade, by congratulating graduates and their families as they drove through the student drop-off area. The joy that radiated from the cars was heartwarming. And it wasn’t always the graduating student who was most joyful person in the car. Often the most joyful was the graduate’s mom or dad, or grandma or grandpa, or younger brother or sister, or all the above at the same time.
Although this was not the graduation ceremony that was originally expected, everyone who participated truly enjoyed themselves. This ceremony demonstrated how strong and resilient our community is.
The graduation car parade lasted one hour, providing enough time for all participants to return home and view the graduation video, which included wonderful musical performances, speeches and a tribute to all the graduates.
Stronger Together-Recovery and Reopening Schools in Santa Clara County Forum – June 4
Trustee Jeff Moe and members of the FUHSD staff attended this forum on the subject of reopening schools in the Fall, hosted by the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE). The SCCOE has been working hard to coordinate reopening efforts of the school districts across the county. Here are some of the main points:
- The SCCOE listed the four priorities:
- Maintain health and safety of students, staff & the community
- Maximize student learning and thriving
- Support teachers and staff to adapt to the new reality
- Ensure a strong operational and financial future
- Acknowledged that the county health department current guideline of a maximum of 12 (at a camp) is not a big enough number to reopen the school. That number will have to be bigger or the number may be school size based
- 40% of educators in the county thought that enforcing face covering and physical distancing in the schools was not viable
- A large majority of the educators said that Fall plans had to be decided by early to mid-July
- The SCCOE encouraged the district offices to “overcommunicate” with the community about reopening plans
- Taking temperatures may be a viable approach to quick detection. One possibility is to have each first period teacher take student temperatures
- Schools need to have a plan for re-closing schools if necessary
- When considering partial reopening’s, school districts should also consider reopening for targeted groups (e.g. special education) or targeted levels (e.g. Freshman) or a combination
- SCCOE provided a worksheet to help school districts with planning the reopening of schools
CA-17 Educator Meeting – May 15
Local Educators from the congressional district CA-17, including Trustee Jeff Moe, as well as teachers and staff members from FUHSD, had a Zoom meeting with representative Ro Khanna and shared their concerns in light of COVID-19. Here are some of the main points:
- Schools will need additional funding to cover the additional costs of distance learning
- Questions arose about funding for meal service in the summer
- The CARES Act does not cover very much of the lost funding. For example, for the Fremont Unified School District (Fremont CA), CARES will provide $1.8M in support while their total budget loss is $20M
- Participants asked for federal funding of special education at the level that congress committed
- Families are moving out of the area due to the financial crises caused by COVID-19, which is putting more pressure on school funding
- There are so many unknowns about the future, making it difficult to plan for the upcoming school year
- Our school districts are interdependent and need to coordinate activities because staff members live throughout the region and many have childcare needs
Discovery Education Equity Talk on Zoom - May 14
Since in-person public events have been cancelled due to COVID-19, Trustee Jeff Moe attended a Zoom panel on the topic of achieving equity in education. Three Superintendents shared their ideas:
- Dr Susan Enfield from Highline Public Schools in WA
- Dr. Shaun Nelms from East High School in Rochester, NY
- Dr. Candace Singh from Fallbrook Elementary School District in CA
Here are some of the main points from the panel:
- Cannot have a highly effective school without a highly effective values-driven principal.
- Teachers must know and respect students but must also keep the bar high – plan lessons that are worthy of their intellect, challenge and hold them to high standards. This is where principals sometimes need to have “hard conversations” with teachers.
- Schools have a bigger need for context experts than content experts.
- Students need choice and voice in what they learn as well as purpose and sense that what they are doing is relevant in their lives.
- Schools should understand their community and know the name, strength, and needs of each student.
- Each student should have a positive and caring relationship with at least one adult at school (e.g. teacher, coach, counselor or other staff member).
Applying for College in the Age of COVID-19 – April 25
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the Zoom Webinar titled, “Applying for College in the Age of COVID-19." The webinar is an ongoing series hosted by the Cupertino Library Foundation along with the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce, the Fremont Union High Schools Foundation and DeAnza College. The panel of college consultants primarily focused on finding which college is right for students, which applies both before and after COVID-19. Toward the end, the focus shifted to COVID-19. Here are some of the comments shared specific to post COVID-19:
- For the class of 2020, college classes will be different. Some schools may be online only. Others may be on campus. It is a very fluid situation.
- Right now colleges are mostly focused on the class of 2020, not future classes.
- Most high schools have gone to pass/fail. This means for future graduates, other semester GPA’s will be weighted more heavily.
- Students will not be at a disadvantage with pass/fail.
- Teacher recommendations will become more important.
National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month Virtual Celebration – April 30
Board Members Rosa Kim, Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto and Jeff Moe attended the National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month Virtual Celebration hosted by the Santa Clara County Office of Education. The purpose of the event was to celebrate students in the county who are multilingual and to encourage students and parents to embrace and pursue multiple languages. Speakers included Santa Clara County Office of Education Superintendent Mary Ann Dewan, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and State Asssemblymember Kansen Chu. Our county is language-rich with over 60 languages spoken and with 20% of students being English language learners.
One of the programs highlighted during the event was the Seal of Biliteracy. Participation in this program by students at FUHSD has been growing dramatically over the years. In 2016, 461 students participated, 951 in 2017, 1069 in 2018 and even more in 2019.
And finally, FUHSD was given special recognition for “Achieving Language and Academic Success, Grades 9-12," a program lead by Dr. Welton Kwong.
March 2 – Dr. Suess Day
Trustee Jeff Moe participated in Cupertino Rotary’s annual Dr. Suess Day. For this activity, Trustee Moe read a Dr. Suess book to a first-grade class at Garden Gate elementary school. We are not sure who enjoyed the event more, Trustee Moe or the students!
March 13 – Emergency School Board Meeting
The school board held an emergency meeting to receive an update on the school closure plans due to the evolving situation around the coronavirus. The staff presented plan details in an energetic and interactive presentation. The plan included logistics for remote learning, food distribution, special education plans and construction, as well as instructions for teachers, students, parents and other staff. Each trustee shared how impressed they were with the volume and detail of planning and how ambitious the remote learning plan was. The staff understood that they would need to remain nimble in the coming weeks to continually improve and adjust as unforeseen challenges emerged.
This was the last board meeting in which the board members were present in the board room. Since then, board meetings have been held remotely using Zoom.
February 22 – Sunnyvale Chamber Murphy Awards
All FUHSD board members attended the annual Murphy Awards, sponsored by the Sunnyvale Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Murphy Awards are presented to businesses for achievement and innovation, and to individuals for outstanding community contributions and excellence in education.
Congratulations to this year’s education awards winners, Amber Tanger, Social Studies and Resource teacher from Homestead High School, and the Fremont High School Robotics Team.
February 26 – Family Fall Festival Art Awards
Trustees Bill Wilson and Jeff Moe, along with Associate Superintendent Tom Avvakumovits, attended the Family Fall Festival Art Awards presentation at the Cupertino Rotary meeting.
Congratulations to the awardees:
- Lily Anne Lee from Monta Vista - Festival Award
- Kathy Lou from Cupertino - President's Award
- Isha Madan from Lynbrook - Mayor's Award
January 29 - Digital Reputation & Internet Safety Workshop
Trustee Rosa Kim attended a parent workshop on digital reputation and how to be safe on the internet at Homestead High School. The speaker was Angela Alvarado, Santa Clara County District Attorney, who specializes in internet safety and juvenile law.
She emphasized that the internet is for entertainment and marketing, so we should be responsible and be safe navigators of the online world. She shared the following with the parents and students at the workshop:
- If your child is not 18 years old, the parent has the responsibility to supervise his/her digital use (Students lease the device from parents).
- Remind your students that while the internet may feel anonymous and untraceable, it is not.
- We should have frequent offline discussions about our online life. Have a conversation with your children regularly about their digital use.
- Don’t be controlled by your digital devices
- Teens should use their voices for positive social change. Make a blog! Post your work!
- Make sure your friends/followers are people you know in person.
January 29 - Screening of Angst
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the Fremont Union High School Foundation’s Parent Resource Network event entitled, ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety. The documentary “Angst” was shown during the event, followed by a panel composed of Dawn Bridges, Student Advocate at Lynbrook High School; Dr. Kelly Troiano, pediatrician with Palo Alto Medical Foundation and District partner El Camino Health; and Trudy Gross, Associate Superintendent for Student and Special Services.
Some of the take-aways were:
- Trying to hide anxiety can make it worse. It’s important to talk about feelings of anxiety.
- Sometimes parents are too close to see anxiety in their children. Have another trusted adult check-in with your child.
- Teachers are a great source for parents to help identify possible symptoms of anxiety such as changes in behavior.
- To help foster communication, try to spend 20-minutes per week with each of your children where your child drives the agenda (e.g. where to go and what to discuss), not the parent.
January 23 - Board Office Hours
Trustees Roy Rocklin and Jeff Moe, along with Superintendent Polly Bove, Homestead High School Principal Greg Giglio and Coordinator of Communications Rachel Zlotziver, participated in the Board Office Hours at Homestead High School. The Board Offices Hour meetings provide an opportunity for parents and community members to ask board members and staff questions in an informal setting. The meetings are rotated to each of the schools throughout the school year. The topics discussed during this meeting included the process to get into college, college life, student stress and school campus practices. The next Board Office Hours will be at Lynbrook High School on March 19 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
January 20 - Student Mentorship Program at Cupertino High School
Trustees Rosa Kim and Jeff Moe, along with Superintendent Polly Bove and Deputy Superintendent Graham Clark, attended the Student Mentorship Program. Approximately 300 FUHSD students participated in this four-hour event where 100 volunteers from Apple provided college and career advice, conducted mock interviews, and provided help with resume writing.
The Apple volunteers also participated in panel discussions and here are some of their suggestions:
- Enjoy high school life and make sure you learn how to learn.
- Sometimes having a combination of skills is more valuable than being the best in just one skill area
- Continuing education is important, which can be done through online learning, on-the-job training, reading articles related to your field of work and working with experts in the field.
- Whether you work for a large company or a small company is not as important as doing meaningful work and working with quality people.
- ·Bring all your passions together. For example, if music is your passion, being a better musician can make you a better engineer and vice versa.
- Throughout life you will run into people who “ruffle your feathers." This could be fellow students, teachers, workmates or bosses. The suggestions for handling difficult people included trying to empathize with the person, getting to know them better and trying to identify things you have in common, utilizing your communication skill and trying to adapt. But don’t take it personally and don’t let anyone “dim your internal light."
This program was sponsored by the Fremont Union High Schools Foundation and the Foundation’s student-group BAYCO (Bay Area Youth Career Opportunities).
Dec. 11 - Homestead and Cupertino 2019 WInter Orchestra Concert
The Winter Pops Orchestra Concert took place at Homestead High School on December 11. It was the second annual joint Winter Pops concert featuring the orchestra programs from both Cupertino and Homestead High schools. Trustee Rosa Kim attended the concert and shared that the student performers were very talented and all the music they performed was amazing. The event was possible due to the passion and contribution of the director of the orchestras, John Burn, who was previously selected as one of 25 finalists for the 2019 Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs. The combined orchestras performed music from movies such as Mulan, The Avengers, Lion King and West Side Story, from composers such as Marianna Martines, Astor Piazzolla and Mikhail Glinka, along with some holiday music. A short video clip from the concert can be found at the following link: https://youtu.be/T_tkY_363Mg.
November 12 - Mock Interview Workshop hosted by Bayco
Trustee Kim attended the Mock Interview Workshop put on by Bayco (Bay Area Youth Career Opportunity) at Cupertino High School on November 12. The students that participated divided into small groups and did a mock interview with volunteer professionals. They discussed interview skills with practical tips and practiced interviews. Bayco is a sponsored by Fremont Union High Schools Foundation and run by seven student officers in the district to create several college & career readiness programs like job/internship fairs, resume building workshop, & mock interview workshops. They receive support from a career coach and Bayco’s advisor Sanusi Tandun. The resources on resume writing, questions to practice college interview/job interview can be checked via their website.
November 13 – Women’s Choral Exchange Concert
Trustees Roy Rocklin and Jeff Moe attended the annual Women’s Choral Exchange concert at Homestead High School, sponsored by the FUHS Foundation. Students from each of the five high schools participated. They were instructed by guest conductor Dr. Corie Brown from the San Jose State University School of Music and Dance. This was a great opportunity for the students to learn from each other and from a distinguished college professor, and to become more engaged in their choir programs. Dr. Brown had high praise for the high school choir teachers, their programs and the students. Another party to benefit from this event was the audience whom had that pleasure of listening to excellent singing.
November 16 – Cupertino and Beyond
The Cupertino Chamber of Commerce along with the Library Foundation, the FUHS Foundation and CEEF, sponsored the “Cupertino and Beyond” event as part of the “Let’s Talk Education” series, which was attended by Trustee Jeff Moe. The speaker was Rue Song, a Senior UX Designer at Google. Rue’s passion for art began as a student at Lynbrook High School and continued through college where she majored in art. Her art training helped develop her creativity which is a critical skill needed for her work at Google. Here are some of her comments from her talk:
- Creativity is being comfortable with the unknown;
- Learning how to receive feedback on your work without taking it personally is very important;
- To be able to visually communicate your idea is more important than being a good artist;
- UX (User Experience) design is now critical because the user experience bar is high;
- The intersection of art and technology is now a rich area for jobs;
- The Design discipline (field) is still developing, so as a designer you need to be able to convince and advocate for your ideas; and
- Design work requires cooperation and empathy because you design for others.
November 18 – Clue at Cupertino High School
Trustee Moe attended the Cupertino High School play, Clue. In the play, six suspects attended a dinner party at a mysterious manor. Without warning, the host of the party turned up dead and the guests were forced to work together seeking out who the murderer was with the underlying knowledge that it was someone in the group. There were lots of twists and humor. Great job by the cast and crew and teacher Arcadia Conrad.
October 31 – Hsinchu Sister City Visit
On Halloween, members of the Cupertino-Hsinchu Sister City Association and the delegates from Hsinchu City, Taiwan visited Lynbrook High School. Principal Maria Jackson gave a presentation on school life at Lynbrook which initiated an active discussion, revealing similarities between FUHSD and the schools of Hsinchu City. Following the presentation, the group toured classrooms and exchanged gifts. Trustees Rosa Kim, Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, Jeff Moe and Roy Rocklin were in attendance along with Associate Superintendent Trudy Gross.
October 29 - "boba with berman"
Board President Roy Rocklin attended “Boba with Berman," a town hall event for youth held in the Fremont High School cafeteria on Tuesday, Oct 29. California Assemblymember Marc Berman spoke about issues of concern to youth and answered questions from the audience. Students asked many questions about what state government was doing to address important issues including climate change and green energy, PG&E and the recent fires, environmental clean-up projects on our beaches, student mental health, the new state law on school start times, public transportation and biking and walking to school.
October 10 - Vaping Prevention Presentation
Trustee Kim attended a parent workshop on Vaping and its Impact on Youth held at Fremont High School on Oct. 10. The presentation was made by Alum Rock Counseling Center. Staff from Asian American Recovery Services also introduced their program through a Q&A session.
After the presentation, City of Cupertino staff shared their proposed tobacco policies and introduced their public survey to gather input on these policies. The City of Sunnyvale was also represented by their Neighborhood Preservation Manager to briefly inform parents that their policies are in progress.
Information presented at the workshop included the following:
- Teens are four times more likely to smoke combustible tobacco if they vape.
- The number of high school seniors who vaped in the past 12 months increased to 37 percent, up from 28 percent in 2017.
- Vaping tools look like pens, markers, or flash drives.
- There are 15,500 vaping flavors, and no regulation of them.
- E-cigarettes companies use social media and work with influencers on different social media platforms.
- Symptoms include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath before health deteriorates to the point that an individual needs to be hospitalized.
October 2 – Saratoga City Council Joint Meeting with Saratoga Schools
Board members Roy Rocklin, Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, Rosa Kim and Jeff Moe, along with LHS Principal Maria Jackson and Superintendent Polly Bove, attended the Joint Meeting with Saratoga schools sponsored by the City Council of Saratoga. In addition to the representatives from our school district, members from the Cupertino Union School District, Saratoga Union School District, Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District and West Valley College attended. All school districts provided updates on activities, successes and challenges being faced by the schools. Thanks to the City of Saratoga for this opportunity to connect with the city and neighboring school districts.
Sept. 6 – Homestead High School 2019 Mustang Run
Trustee Jeff Moe participated in the Homestead High School 2019 Mustang Run. The 5k run was a fun and festive fundraiser for the HHS Athletic Boosters. Members of the Homestead cross country team cheered on the participants and played inspirational music - it was a great time for all!
Sept. 26 – Challenge Success: Kids Under Pressure
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the 16th Annual Parent Education Event hosted by the Challenge Success organization. The speakers were Dr. Madeline Levine, Dr. Denise Pope and Dr. Lisa Damour (keynote speaker). Some of the main take-aways include:
- Stress is a normal part of every-day life.
- Being too vigilant about children’s anxiety creates more anxiety and doesn’t teach the child how to manage it.
- Change is stressful and schools are in the change business because learning involves change.
- When students are overly-stressed they need space to recover.
- Be flexible on how recovery looks. It could include cleaning your room, walking the dog, taking a nap, eating a snack, watching a movie, etc.
- Allow time for sleep, parents should help protect sleep.
- Digital technology is the enemy of sleep, remove it from the bedroom.
- Students who are fascinated with a school subject learn effortlessly.
- Most learning does not involve fascination, so students need motivation to learn.
- One example of motivation is allowing oneself 5 minutes of chatting/texting with friends after each 25 minutes of studying.
Sept. 19 - FUHSD College Fair
Trustee Kim attended the 2019 College Fair that took place at Homestead High School on Sept. 19. The event included parent forums and a college networking session for both parents and students. Students and parents from all five high school communities filled the gym and cafeteria as they explored the 102 college booths.
At the Parent Panel, parents of FUHSD alumni shared their experiences in supporting their students through the college process--from planning, applying and deciding on a college, to sending off and parenting a college student. The panelists shared their insights and lessons learned, a few of which are highlighted below.
- The College & Career Centers at school are a great source for helpful resources.
- All of the panelists said their children were very well prepared academically for college, but they recommended that parents help their students work on their financial management skills.
- Teaching your children skills such as conversing with adults and advocating for themselves is very helpful before they leave for college.
- Spend positive time with your child as much as you can!
July 27 – Cupertino Chamber of Commerce Night Market
The Night Market at Cupertino’s Memorial Park was sponsored by the City of Cupertino and the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce. It featured vendors, food trucks and several FUHSD student clubs. For the students, it provided an
opportunity to raise money and publicize their school clubs. Trustee Jeff Moe attended the Night Market and participated in games hosted by the Monta Vista High School Microfinance Club and the Lynbrook High School “Students 4 Literacy” Club.
August 10 – Eagle Scout Court of Honor
Trustee Jeff Moe was honored to attend an Eagle Scout Court of Honor which included two recent graduates of FUHSD. Congratulations to Hayden Ito, a 2018 graduate of Lynbrook High School, and William Kang-Cheng, a 2018 graduate of Homestead High School, for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.
May 28 - AP Biology Presentation at Fremont HS
Fremont High School's AP Biology student presented the results of their short independent research projects in the Fair Oaks Room at Fremont High School for district office staff, board members and invited guests.
The students chose their own topics and researched with teammates during the two weeks following the AP Biology exam. Some of the students were seniors and they said that it was a great wrapping up project for their high school careers. The topics were varied and students utilized the knowledge that they learned from the class.
Examples of the topics presented include the following:
- How will soaking onions in different diluted solutions under controlled conditions affect the length of the root tip growth?
- How does the amount of water affect the germination of seeds when frozen and not frozen?
- Fingerprint genetics: Is there a significant difference in the number of fingerprint pattern matches between siblings and strangers?
- Enzymatic Activity in Mushrooms
May 15 - Parent Science Engagement Night
Several board members attended one of the two Parent Science Engagement events. These events provided parents with an opportunity to get an update on the state of science education in our schools in light of the implementation of the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). With NGSS students engage in 3 dimensional learning that integrates:
- Science and Engineering Practices
- Disciplinary Core Ideas
- Crosscutting Concepts
With NGSS, students are taught to be critical thinkers and problem solvers when they encounter novel information and contexts, rather than be limited to only knowing scientific facts. After receiving an overview of NGSS, parents had the opportunity to experience a hands-on learning experience just like our students receive.
May 9 – English Learner Speech Contest
The 12th Annual award-winning FUHSD EL Speech Contest took place at Fremont High School on May 9. The EL Speech Contest is an award-winning program that helps EL students boost their English language skills, with each student required to memorize a 3 to 5 minute speech. All five board members attended the competition as judges. The event has received several awards, including the CSBA Golden Bell Award in recognition for its vision to bring excellence out of students through high expectations and support. This year, about 300 contestants participated in the contest and presented about various topics in their unique ways. According to Turstee Kim, “It was wonderful to see that all the contestants put lots of effort into preparing their speeches. Even though English is not their first language, many of them look very confident in speaking. Their challenges and achievement through the contest are quite amazing.” As former speech contestants shared, participating in the contest is a challenging and nerve-wracking experience. Even so, observing the students during the dinner-time break, it was clear that they were all having a great time.
May 8 - National Bike to School Day
Board members Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, Roy Rocklin and Rosa Kim supported National Bike to School day at Homestead High School on May 8. The event was sponsored by Homestead High School and Homestead Safe Routes to School to encourage students to ride bicycles to school instead of driving. The organizers handed out chocolate to students at the bike racks and gave away several bicycles in a raffle.
May 6 - Exploring Equity Showcase
Board president Roy Rocklin and board members Jeff Moe and Rosa Kim attended the 3rd Annual Exploring Equity Showcase at the Quinlan Community Center. There were 42 presenters (teachers, counselors and administrators from across the district), who shared their “works in progress” of making FUHSD a more inclusive and equitable place that supports the growth and learning of all students and staff. All the presentations included one or two of the following Equity Themes,: Inclusivity, Action for Growth, Rigor, Educating the Whole Child, Empowerment, Meaningful Work, Teacher Care and Feedback for Growth. Many presenters introduced how they used student surveys in the classroom and helped them more engaged in the classroom activities. It was a community event open to all and the next showcase will also take place on May 4, 2020.
The Equity Showcase program offers several benefits:
- Encourages teachers to try new and innovative teaching techniques
- Provides a venue in which teachers can exchange ideas and best practices
- Demonstrates to the community the challenges that our teachers face and their innovative practices to address those challenges
- Creates an environment that promotes teacher learning and development, as well as experimentation and innovation
April 9 - FUHSD SPecial Presentation on Parenting in the age of Social Media
Trustee Rosa Kim attended the FUHSD parent workshop Your Teen's Digital Life: Parenting in the Age of Social Media, presented by Erica Pelavin from the nonprofit organizations My Digital TAT2. Ms. Pelavin emphasized the importance of having conversations with your teen children, stating that parents need to check if social media use is opening up their child's world or closing it down. She shared the following tips:
- Parents can learn a lot about their children by asking about the apps they use;
- Parents need to be curious, not furious at their children;
- Conversations can begin with a statement like "This is what I'm worried about," and
- Parents should create some scheduled family fun time or regular time with their children.
April 3 – Every Student Succeeding Awards
Four of the five school board members attended the annual Every Student Succeeding recognition event sponsored by the De Anza Chapter of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). The Every Student Succeeding program honors students who have exceeded expectations and the educators who supported them on their journey. The students who were recognized had overcome great obstacles. A total of fourteen students were recognized. Three were from Fremont High School and eleven were from the Sunnyvale School District (future FUHSD students).
April 1 – Fremont High School Annual POPs Concert
Board member Jeff Moe attended the Fremont High School Annual POPs Concert. Led by Joe Kelly, 220 students performed, including members of band, orchestra and color guard. The Columbia Middle School color guard also performed. According to Trustee Moe, “All the performances were outstanding, but I was particularly awestruck by the FHS color guard. The choreography, precision, and expressiveness were amazing.”
March 23 - DEFINING YOUR DREAM COLLEGE
Trustee Jeff Moe attended a panel discussion on selecting the right college, sponsored by the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce, the Library Foundation, the FUHS Foundation and CEEF. The panelists were Purvi Mody from Insight Education, Justin Wang from ThinkTank Learning and Cindy Zhao from SprintLight.
Their suggestions included the following:
- Chose a college where you are comfortable, that has the major, class sizes, and location that you like, and where you can thrive and be happy;
- Don’t let the brand-name of the college be a big factor;
- College acceptances are not completely fair, just like life is not completely fair; and
- Having a strong work ethic is very important and students in our community have that.
March 13 & 14 - Synopsys silicon valley science and Technology championship
On March 13 and 14, the Santa Clara Valley Science & Engineering Fair Association held the 2019 Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship at the San Jose Convention Center. More than 175 Fremont Union High School District students presented science projects, with students from all five district high schools participating. These projects were supervised by 48 district teachers who mentored the students and guided them through the application process.
Awards will be announced on April 7 in a ceremony at the Heritage Theater in Campbell, with some of the winners proceeding on to the California Science & Engineering Fair in Los Angeles on April 29 and 30 and/or to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, from May 12 to 17.
In the photo here, Fremont High School student Vishal Menon explains his project, “Effect of Temperature on the Efficiency of a Fuel Cell,” to board president Roy Rocklin.
March 13 – PTA Reflections
Board members Rosa Kim, Jeff Moe and Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto participated in the 50th annual Reflections Awards for students from the Sunnyvale, Cupertino Union and Fremont Union High School districts, along with board members from SSD and CUSD. The award-winning students exhibited or described their art, and the board members presented the deserving students with medals.
The Reflections program is sponsored by the California State PTA to encourage students to pursue artistic expression. It provides a venue for students to create and be recognized for original works of art based on a student inspired pre-selected theme. It also serves to increase community awareness of how important arts is in education. This year’s theme was, “Heroes Around Me.”
March 6 - Women in Technology
Board members Bill Wilson and Jeff Moe attended a talk by Pat Wadors at Cupertino Rotary on the topic of Women in Technology. Pat is currently the Chief Talent and Human Resources Officer at ServiceNow, a global company with over 9000 employees worldwide. Previously she worked at other Silicon Valley companies including LinkedIn, Plantronics, Yahoo, Applied Technology, and Applied Materials.
Pat said that the concept of diversity is challenging, because it is framed in terms of the “other," and because so much of the bias is unconscious. She emphasized the importance of inclusion, which is the active behavior of inviting people in. Also important is to create a culture that includes a belonging mindset. All members should feel like they belong in the organization.
These lessons can apply to high school. If the number of girls in a STEM class or robotics club is small, how can we help them develop a feeling of belonging? Also, we need to look for possible hidden biases. Nation-wide studies have shown that some STEM teachers (and even students, both girls and boys) have an unconscious bias that leads them to believe that the boys are the smartest in the class even if some of the girls have a higher GPA.
February 27 - Third Annual GOALS Student Recognition
Four FUHSD trustees attended the Third Annual GOALS Student Recognition event at Fremont High School. Congratulations to the students who were recognized for their academic success in the program!
The GOALS program was designed for English learners whose vernacular (day-to-day) English language ability may be adequate, but whose academic English language is not strong enough to ensure their success in school. This program began a few years ago and has evolved so that today the students not only receive extra help developing their language skills, but also their academic skills.
Goals co-founder and program lead Michelle Wagner (who was also awarded the 2018-2019 FUSHD Outstanding Educator of the Year award at the Sunnyvale Murphy Awards), along with co-founder Welton Kwong, Coordinator or Curriculum & Teacher Leadership, described the program. Some of the students have been in the U.S. for many years, but their weak academic language skills have gone unnoticed. This has impacted their success and interest in school. So, the students not only need to develop English language skills, but they also need to build their academic confidence and improve their overall academic skills. As Michelle explains, this requires a personal connection between the teacher and each student.
Students in the GOALS program take two “sheltered” courses, where the regular curriculum is combined with language and academic development along with 3-4 regular courses. Although students of all grade levels participate in the GOALS program, most participate as freshman and sophomores.
During the awards presentations each student shared a few words including their dreams for the future. Each of the students’ dreams included attending college, getting a good job and/or helping others. This is a wonderful program that changes lives and makes our community a better place.
February 24 – 54th Annual Murphy Awards
All five board members attended the 54th annual Murphy Awards hosted by the Sunnyvale Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. During the event, Fremont High School teacher Michelle Wagner received the Outstanding Educator of the Year award for her dedication to Fremont High School, especially the AVID program.
February 20 – Japanese Internment Camp Presentation
Board Members Bill Wilson and Jeff Moe attended a presentation at a Rotary meeting by Yoshiko Kanazawa about her experiences in a Japanese internment camp. Yoshiko was one of 120,000 Japanese Americans who were forcibly relocated to camps in remote areas of the western United States. Yet despite this injustice, the community remained resilient. Yoshiko shared three words that guided the community:
- Gaman – Persevere with patience and dignity
- Gambare – Hang in there
- Shikataganai – It can’t be helped; make the best of it
After the war, Yoshiko returned to the Bay Area with her family. When she entered her local school, she was struck by how kind and courteous her fellow students were to her. Later she learned that before entering the school, the Assistant Principal had explained Yoshiko’s situation to the students and asked them to treat Yoshika with kindness. This was a reminder of how important it is to promote an environment of acceptance in our schools. Yoshiko is a docent at the San Jose Japanese American Museum and shares her stories with local organizations and schools.
February 15 - ENGLISH LEARNER Algebra 1 Project-Based Learning Presentations
All five board members attended the English Learner Algebra 1 Project-Based Learning Presentations at Fremont High School in the beautiful, new and versatile Guidance and Student Services building. This class is taught by Rick Barlow. Mr. Barlow uses project-based learning to help students make meaning of math in a real-world context. Here is his introduction to this project:
“We hear a lot about immigration from the media and politicians, but what do the experts think? English Language Learners will be presenting their findings on issues related to immigration. Students will be using statistical evidence as well as their own stories as recent immigrants to help us better understand the current state of immigration in the United States.”
Students created display boards and presented about issues relating to immigration such as a border wall, family separation, etc.
Using analysis learned from their math class, they wonderfully applied their math analysis skills to a current issue. It was great to see the students integrate skills learned in the classroom to better understand current issues. Many of the students said that practicing the oral presentation was most challenging. However, their enthusiasm and hard work shined through every presentation. It was wonderful to see the high-quality presentations from this confident and poised group of English learners, using evidence-based reasoning.
November 14 – FUHSD Annual Women’s Choral Festival
November 15 – A Healthy Mind: A discussion with Parents on Teen Mental Heath
- Spend time talking with your teen on topics that are not part of an agenda and are of interest to the teen;
- To promote emotional health for your teen, encourage the following (SEEDS acronym):
- Social connectivity with friend and adults (not social media);
- Education in a topic that is interesting to the teen;
- Diet; and
If a parent is concerned about a teen’s mental health, the Pediatrician is a good resource. If the Pediatrician determines that additional support is needed, they can refer the teen to a therapist or psychologist.
November 17 – From MVHS to the White House
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the Cupertino Chamber’s “Let’s Talk Education” series, which was co-sponsored by the FUHS Foundation, the Cupertino Library Foundation and CEEF. The speaker was Monta Vista High School graduate DJ Patil who talked about his journey from MVHS to the White House, where he served as the White House’s first Chief Data Scientist. He served under Presidents' Bush and Obama.
November 4 – Cupertino Co-Op Nursery School
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the annual Cupertino Co-Op Nursery School (CCNS) Fall Festival. CNSS offers parent and child education for children ages 3-5. The Fall Festival was well-attended with current families, alumni families, teachers, and supporters. Students from Fremont High School ran the children’s activity stations. It was a fun time for all and a great way to recognize the wonderful contribution that CCNS makes to our community.
November 2 – Challenge Success Annual Parent Education Event
Trustee Jeff Moe attended Challenge Success’s 15th annual Parent Education event, which was titled, SAY WHAT? The Power of Communication in Raising Healthy, Engaged Kids. Doctors Denise Pope and Madeline Levine began the event, followed by the keynote speaker, Dr. Wendy Mogel, a well-know lecturer and author. The event concluded with a panel comprised of the three doctors and two students, who commented on three communication-challenging vignettes. Some of the main take-aways included the following recommendations:
- No matter how ridiculous the request, engage your child in a conversation rather than rejecting the request outright. Take a deep breath and say, “Tell me more about that.”
- Be enchanted with your child’s enchantment. For example, you can say, “I never knew that, tell me more.”
October 17 - The Asian Parent Playbook for Talking to Teens
Trustees Hung Wei and Jeff Moe, as members of the Asian American Parents Association (AAPA), sponsored The Asian Parent Playbook for Talking to Teens. During this event, Doctors Rona Hu, Steve Sust, Grace Liu and Joanne Lee, from the Stanford University organization Chipao, role-played parents-teenager communication challenges. It was a great way for parents in our community to experience and share communication strategies.
October 31 - Hsinchu Sister City Visit
Cupertino High School hosted eight students from the Cupertino Sister City of Hsinchu, Taiwan. On Halloween, administrators from the National Experimental High School at Hsinchu Science Park and Hsinchu Municipal San Min Junior High School were hosted by Principal Kami Tomberlain and Assistant Principal Geoff Wright. Joined by Trustees Roy Rocklin and Jeff Moe, Sister City Chairperson Angela Chen and Assistant Superintendent Trudy Gross, they toured the campus, enjoyed seeing a variety of costumes and appreciated the brunch festivities.
October 10 - ORCHESTRA EXCHANGE CONCERT
Orchestras from all five high schools in FUHSD had a chance to show their musical prowess at in the Shannon Theater at Fremont High School. Trustees Bill Wilson, Hung Wei, Roy Rocklin and Jeff Moe attended and were impressed by the amazing skill shown by the participants. In addition to enjoying an evening of wonderful music, the board members were impressed by the camaraderie and mutual appreciation shown by the participants from different schools.
October 12 - LYNBROOK HOMECOMING SKIT
Trustee Bill Wilson attended the traditional faculty skit that kicks off homecoming events at Lynbrook High School. Teachers and administrators performed a very humorous skit in costume, much to the delight of the students. It was a perfect opportunity for students to have a relaxing break during the day and see their teachers in a different light.
October 3 – Raft Annual Fundraiser
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the RAFT Annual Fundraiser. RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching) provides low-cost supplies for teachers. In recent years they have branched out into creating STEAM kits and lesson plans for teachers. The main focus of Raft is supporting elementary-level education, but they are looking to expand to high school.
October 5 – Annual Interact BBQ
The annual Interact BBQ was held at Monta Vista High School and co-hosted by MVHS Interact Club and Cupertino Rotary. Trustee Jeff Moe, wearing his Cupertino Rotary hat, helped grill 170 beef, chicken and veggie patties. Each of our schools has an Interact club, where students develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self.
October 5 – Sunnyvale High School Alumni Homecoming
The Sunnyvale High School Alumni held their fifth annual homecoming reunion at Kings Academy. It was a fun celebration for all and a well-played football game. The highlight was a presentation at half-time by Kings Academy principal Scott Meadows to FUHSD Superintendent Polly Bove. Polly was presented with a Sunnyvale High School football jersey bearing her name, in recognition of her efforts to help revive the annual Sunnyvale High School reunions. Also displayed at half time, was the FUHSD totem pole with the Sunnyvale High School totem at the top.
Sept. 20 - FUHSD College Fair
The annual FUHSD College Fair, held on at Homestead High School, provided opportunities for students and parents to learn about admissions, financial aid, campus life, student support services, campus housing and upcoming college events from the more than 100 colleges and universities in attendance. Trustee Jeff Moe attended this popular event along with what appeared to be, most parents and students in the district. It was clear that our families are interested in college and that colleges are interested in our students.
Sept. 22 – Cupertino Chamber of Commerce, Let’s Talk Education
The Cupertino Chamber of Commerce hosted a panel that discussed how our local High Schools had prepared our students for college and beyond. The panelists included four of our graduates who recently entered the working world and four parents of children who graduated from our High Schools and recently entered the working world. Here are some of the take-aways:
- Don’t focus purely on academics. Develop well-rounded skills, including creativity, problem-solving, and communication. The panelists mentioned sports as a good tool to develop skills like teamwork and dealing with competition. Also, clubs were mentioned, including FBLA and DECCA.
- Knowing the application of what you are learning is important. This can come from career nights, job shadowing and mentors.
- The rigor of our High Schools made college easier and reduced the pressure of college.
- College students should begin to focus on their post-college career in their early college years and look for networking and internship opportunities.Don’t wait until senior year.
Sept. 15 – Student Art Exhibit at the Silicon Valley Fall Festival
Over 130 students from our five high schools exhibited their art at the Silicon Valley Fall Festival. The festival-goers were awestruck by the beauty of the art. They were asked to vote for their favorite art piece. Many were unable to decide because there were so many outstanding pieces. Over 60 art pieces received one or more votes for the best art piece of the festival.
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