Board Communication Corner
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FUHSD Marching Band Expo - Oct. 2
Trustee Rosa Kim attended the FUHSD Marching Band Expo at Homestead High School stadium on Oct. 2. The Fremont, Homestead, Lynbrook, Monta Vista and Cupertino High School Marching Bands and Color Guard students performed their exhibition shows in front of parents and community members. Each team presented colorful and elaborate performances with a variety of music, including a musical repertoire and game theme song. It was a great opportunity for district families to see all the five marching bands’ unique performances in one place. Throughout the show, magnificent spectacle and wonderful music filled the stadium. Cheerful messages from families and friends to students were announced before the performance of each team. The audience sincerely applauded and cheered the students who returned to the field for a big performance after a year off.
Kudos to all the FUHSD marching band and color guard students, teachers and parent volunteers who made this wonderful event possible!
"The Twisties": Youth Sports, Competition, and Mental Health webinar – September 15
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the webinar titled "The Twisties": Youth Sports, Competition, and Mental Health," sponsored by the Parent Education Series. The presenter was Dr. Steve Smith, a Teaching Professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at UC Santa Barbara, who specializes in psychotherapy with athletes and healthy models of youth sport. Here are Dr. Smith’s main points:
- Sports are great for kids both short and long term. Studies show that team sports decreased rates of anxiety and depression even as adults.
- Sports can provide a critical outlet for youth in dysfunctional family situations.
- Athletes need a strong sense of self upon which they can support the pressure of sports.
- Give your child time to process the outcome of a game. Don’t talk with them about the sport until two hours after the game
- Having fun is the most important factor for children to remain in sports. This can include having fun with friends, playing catch with grandpa, eating pizza or orange slices after the game, etc.
- The benefits of sports are experiential, not outcome oriented. However, tracking winning and losing is okay because it teaches perseverance.
- The healthiest athletes have a broad range of interests, beyond just sports.
- Avoid specialization in one sport, at least until the age of 13 or 14. Youth who specialize:
- Are more prone to injury;
- Are more likely to burn-out and drop out;
- Experience less social skill development; and
- Are less likely to get college scholarships.
Tour of Monta Vista High School Cafeteria – September 23
Food Services District Manager Divya Puri gave the School Board Trustees a tour of the Monta Vista High School cafeteria during lunchtime. The food services staff worked feverishly to prepare the food in advance of lunchtime, in order to facilitate the quick and safe pickup of lunches. The number of lunches served has almost tripled since pre-COVID times. Use of a remote hand-truck helps expedite the distribution of lunches. Inside the cafeteria, six checkout lines are operated. As a result, 800 students can be served lunch in less than 10 minutes.
After lunch had been served to the students, the trustees were given samples of the food, which had been made from scratch. Eating the delicious food was the favorite part of the tour for some of the Trustee’s. A big thanks to Divya, MVHS Food Services Manager Edgar Rodriguez, and Edgar’s entire staff.
Cupertino Chamber of Commerce Star Awards – August 26
Four trustees, along with Superintendent Polly Bove, Deputy Superintendent Graham Clark, Associate Superintendent Trudy Gross and Lynbrook High School (LHS) Principal Maria Jackson, attended the annual Cupertino Chamber of Commerce Star Awards, where LHS teacher Michele Quindipan was presented with the 2021 Educator of the Year award.
Michele has taught math at LHS for 17 years. During that time, she has advised several clubs including the Breakdance, Knitting, Link Crew and Filipino clubs. Currently, she advises the Acts of Random Kindness and Economics clubs. She has held the position of math department chair and currently is a member of the school site council.
Michele is thankful to Rita Korsunsky for inviting her to be part of FUHSD. She also extends her gratitude to the LHS staff, especially her Professional Learning Community members that include Vivian Frazita, Sarah Kraemer, Linnea Romander, and Elizabeth Slaughter, "who continue to encourage her to learn and explore to help engage all students.”
Santa Clara County Office of Education - Budget Perspectives Workshop – July 19
Several Board members attended the Zoom Budget Perspectives Workshop, sponsored by the Santa Clara County Office of Education and Capital Advisors Group. Guest speak State Senator Laird started the workshop by calling this the “best education budget in modern times." Here are some of the highlights:
- The 2020-21 State General Fund revenues are $60 billion higher than the forecast in early 2020 ($118.7 billion to $178.1 billion);
- State reserves increased to $25 billion;
- The education “Rainy Day fund” increased to $4 billion; and
- 100,000 more college students will get financial aid.
The workshop also focused on new legislative actions regarding:
- Independent Study;
- Biweekly reopening status reports;
- Expanded Learning programs; and
- Expansion of Universal Transitional Kindergarten.
Tour of the Sunnyvale Shelter – June 29
Four trustees along with Superintendent Polly Bove and Associate Superintendent Tom Avvakumovits participated in a tour of the Sunnyvale homeless shelter at the invitation of County Supervisor Otto Lee. The tour was led by Andrea Urton, CEO of HomeFirst, the non-profit organization managing the shelter program. Here is some of the information provided by Andrea:
- About 70% of the people in the Sunnyvale shelter are men and 30% women, a ratio that is consistent with the other shelters. Several families are housed in the shelter.
- The Sunnyvale shelter is one of several throughout the county that is managed by HomeFirst. There are a total of 2000 beds and an estimate of 11,000 homeless in our county.
- Most people in the shelter can stay up to 3 or 6 months, but there are a few who stay longer.
- The needs of each person/family admitted to the shelter are evaluated individually. A big emphasis is placed on helping with job placement and permanent housing placement.
- If a homeless situation can be resolved within 30 days, there is a good chance it will remain resolved. Homelessness that lasts more than 90 days is more difficult to resolve and the solution is harder to sustain.
- Some homeless individuals do not want to move into a homeless shelter because of the shelter rules and requirements.
- It costs twice as much to provide services to unsheltered homeless as it does to provide services to sheltered homeless.
- Up to 10 students attended school remotely from the Sunnyvale shelter during the last school year. lmost all the students were elementary school age.
- Andrea shared her experiences with homelessness as a child and young adult. Andrea said that what saved her was her determination to stay in school. Along that line, she said it’s important to help individuals who are homeless develop a sense of resilience.
EducationAL Options Senior Celebrations
Trustees Jeff Moe and Roy Rocklin and Superintendent Polly Bove, along with members of the District Office, attended the annual senior awards at Education Options. The awards were held in the lovely outdoor quad area of the Education Options facility. The Educational Options teachers took turns describing the awardees and presenting certificates. Several students received college scholarships. It was inspiring to hear the variety of pathways that the Educational Options students took to successfully conclude their secondary education.
High School Graduations – June 1-4
Each school board member participated in the graduation ceremonies at each of the five comprehensive high schools. Rather than hold a single graduation ceremony, three to six smaller ceremonies were held at each school to allow for social distancing in light of COVID-19. Over 90% of the students participated in the on-site graduation ceremonies. It was the first time in over a year that many students were able to see their classmates in person. The students were excited, though still a bit subdued, due to the newness of venturing outside.
Cupertino Rotary Poetry Contest Awards – June 9
Trustees Jeff Moe and Bill Wilson attended the Cupertino Rotary meeting at which the Cupertino Rotary Poetry Contest awardees read their poems. The students poems and recitations were outstanding. Cupertino Poet Laureate Jing Jing Yang provided a brief description of each poem. Congratulations to the awardees listed below.
Monta Vista High School
What We Do
Fremont High School
I Have Never
Cupertino High School
Monta Vista High School
Land of The Free
Cupertino High School
Monta Vista High School
i Versus I
HM = Honorable Mention
Most of their poems can be read at this site: https://tinyurl.com/crpoems2021
Hoffmann Awards Celebration - April 28
Several Board Members attended the annual Hoffmann Awards celebration via Zoom, sponsored by the Santa Clara County School Boards Association (SCCSBA). The Hoffmann Awards recognize outstanding education programs in Santa Clara County. This year’s winners were:
- Mandarin Immersion Program, Cherrywood Elementary School, Berryessa Union School District;
- Achieving Success w/ Student Intervention, Support and Therapy (ASSIST), Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District;
- REA2CH (Reaching Everyone in Academics, Arts, Character and Health), Luther Burbank School District;
- Edenvale Adopt-a-College Program, Oak Grove School District; and
- Units of Study in Reading, Writing and Phonics, Ellis Elementary School, Sunnyvale Elementary School District.
A special congratulations to Sunnyvale Elementary School District, our feeder district, for their winning program, Units of Study in Reading, Writing and Phonics.
Trustee David Guidry from the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District did an excellent job moderating the event. Also, thanks to Santa Clara County Office of Education’s Communications Department for creating the award videos.
Staff Appreciation Lunches – May 11-18
The Trustees, along with Superintendent Polly Bove and members of the District Office, attended the annual Staff Appreciation lunches at each of the high schools, the District Office and Education Options. This was the first time in a year that the Board Members were able to meet with groups of educators, and it felt great!
Teachers and staff were excited to be back in school in full force and to be with students, even though the number of students on campus is relatively low. The feeling while attending the first school appreciation lunch was a combination of excitement and nervousness, but by the second and third lunch, the nervousness dissipated, and the excitement grew.
Santa Clara County School Board Association Legislative Event – March 6
Several Trustees attended the annual Santa Clara County School Board Association Legislative Event, which was in a Zoom format this year. The moderator of the event was John Fensterwald from EdSource. State and county elected officials shared their thoughts and plans on education legislation.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President, CA State Board of Education. Her message included:
- Teachers are doing a great job creatively utilizing remote learning tools
- Students will return to school with more insecurities. Affirm what students do know and build on that.
- Don’t stigmatize students who suffered from learning loss
- Don’t go back to the way education was before the pandemic – find a new and better way
Stop Asian Hate Rally – March 27
Several FUHSD Trustees attended the Stop Asian Hate rally outside the Saratoga City Hall, demonstrating our support for the wonderful diversity of our community. Hundreds of community members attended. The event was hosted by the following mayors:
- Yan Zhao, City of Saratoga
- Liz Gibbons, City of Campbell
- Darcy Paul, City of Cupertino
- Marico Sayoc, Town of Los Gatos
- Shawn Leuthold, City of Monte Sereno
2021 Brown Act Training – January 26
Several Board members attended the Brown Act Training hosted by the law firm, Dannis Woliver Kelley (DWK). The Brown Act applies to local governmental agencies such as school boards and city councils. The central provision of the Brown Act requires that all “meetings” of a legislative body be open and public. The Brown Act definition of the term “meeting” (Section 54952.2) is very broad and encompasses almost every gathering of a majority of elected Council/Board members. Here are some of the highlights from the training session:
- There are a complex set of restrictions on board member use of social media, so much so, that it may be wise for board members to avoid social media.
- Speech by the public during public comments is generally protected by the first amendment. However, threats are not protected.
- A board by its rules may limit public comment to a total amount of time on a particular issue and/or for each individual speaker.
- The public’s right to comment should not be confused with or extended to provide an opportunity for members of the public to question, discuss, or debate with members of a board or staff.
- Laws protect student privacy, so the board president can remind public not to mention names of students during public comments and can mute a member of the public who violates that.
- Student board members are not subject to the Brown Act.
- Board meeting minutes are not for collecting comments, rather to record transactions, that is, a record of what the board transacted.
Cupertino Rotary Annual Speech Contest – February 3
Trustees Bill Wilson and Jeff Moe attended (via Zoom) the Cupertino Rotary Annual Speech Contest. Congratulations to the five high school students who participated. For the first year, the contest was conducted using Zoom and the students demonstrated mastery of the use of this medium. Cupertino Rotary invited student representatives from the three high schools whom they sponsor for the speech contest, Cupertino, Lynbrook, and Monta Vista. Homestead and Fremont high schools are sponsored by Rotary Clubs in Sunnyvale.
Below are the student contestants. Their 5-minute speeches can be downloaded from the Cupertino Rotary site for a limited time:
- Abhay Acharya – CHS Sophomore (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RMWFTi6Rl3YZWiDM1K4JiJkgiEdKFZyc/view?usp=sharing)
- Navya Rao – MVHS Senior – 2nd place (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hYUztJxaYH-K7cWhKx1zhVP4x1RR7Ni7/view?usp=sharing)
- Janvi Prasad – CHS Sophomore – 1st place (video not available)
- Tanik Anbu– LHS Sophomore (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XdPKvqctaNCsDHomgIcuq5M7Tf0l_NAt/view?usp=sharing)
- Alaina Mupparthi – CHS Junior – 3rd place (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BiGj3lTtzOOsrwZzJHM_hvKG6QWNdxVr/view?usp=sharing)
Ethnics Studies for K-12 Education - Dec. 7
Trustee Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto and Rosa Kim, along with superintendent Polly Bove, attended the annual meeting of the Asian Pacific Islander School Board Members Association. The keynote speaker, Dr. Karen Korematsu, shared her expertise on Ethnic Studies as daughter of civil rights icon Fred Korematsu and founder and Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute:
- We are all immigrants and Ethnic Studies is a story about immigrants. It is about diversity and inclusion. It helps our students gain more empathy and understand the struggles of other ethnic groups.
- One semester is for providing an overview of Ethnic Studies. The overview must include: 1) Engaging, humanizing investigation and analysis about ourselves and some of the historical origins of social equity and racial trauma, 2) Examining and engaging with theories and frameworks, and 3) Exploring possibilities of healing-centered engagement in every aspect of our lives.
Following the keynote speech, there was a panel discussion on implementing Ethnic Studies with insights from educators who have already implemented or plan to implement the Ethnic Studies course in their schools. Below are some of their comments.
(*Panelists: Sarabjit Kaur Cheema-trustee of New Haven Unified School District, Diana Nguyen-teacher of Sequoia High School, and Dr. Mary Sieu-superintendent of ABC Unified School District)
- Ethnic Studies is about healing. Bring in the community. Plan lesson materials to create valid, well-researched questions. With this process, students build the community.
- How teachers develop their program: Building in the community is critical. Collaborate by speaking to locally grown colleagues or local organizations on how to match the curriculum to local needs. Cover local histories.
- There is plenty of data supporting Ethnic Studies programs. ABC Unified School District implemented Ethnic Studies and Cultural Studies in their high school for the third year. So much comes from the personalization and customization of people learning about their own culture as well as other people’s cultures.
- Worked collaboratively with local community colleges. They provided administrators with training for social justice, as part of the Ethnic Studies program
Budget, Economy and Forecasting 2021 Presentation - Dec. 1
Trustee Jeff Moe attended a zoom presentation on the status of the state of the California budget. The speakers included State Controller Betty Yee, State Treasurer Fiona Ma, Director of Department of Finance Keely Bosler and the Capitol Advisors Team. Although the news on the budget is good, parts of the economy are struggling with high unemployment and it will take a while to recover. Below are some of the main points from the presentation:
Dramatic improvement in the state revenue estimates over the June Budget Act:
- High income earners are doing well, and they pay the big majority of personal income tax;
- Strong stock market led to higher than expected capital gains tax;
- Corporate taxes, especially the tech sector, are higher;
- Sales taxes are higher; and
- As a result, the state has a one-time windfall (aka unexpected revenue) of $26 billion.
It is an anomaly to have strong General Fund revenues while increasing pressure on food banks and programs and services related to physical and mental health
New education spending projection (Prop 98 Guarantee) is $84B, which is $13B higher than projected in June and the same as the January pre-covid forecast.
Dealing with Burnout – Dec. 5
The Fremont Union High School District Foundation Student Organization presented a zoom panel on how students can deal with burnout, which was attended by Trustee Jeff Moe. The panelists were Emily Bersaglia, Homestead High School psychologist; Sarah Sotoudeh, an FUHSD graduate currently attending college; Malavika Eby, a current FUHSD student; and Mano Tatapudi, a member of the Foundation Student Organization, who was the facilitator.
Here are some suggestions from the panelists on how to deal with and/or avoid burnout:
- Reach out to others so you feel that you aren't alone;
- Study together with friends by having the phone line open while working on a subject;
- Allocate time to hobbies and things that you like to do;
- Plan out your year/schedule. If you have overcommitted, you don't have to continue to do everything;
- Give yourselves regular breaks, recharge yourself;
- Finding a work/life balance is important and needs to be more deliberate during COVID-19;
- Taking an AP class in a subject that you don't like can cause burnout;
- Procrastinating on everything is a symptom of burnout;
- Prioritizing your tasks can help you recover from burnout;
- To stay focused on your tasks, turn your phone over, or put it out of reach and don't bring it into your room when you sleep;
- Make a to-do list with small to-do tasks that give you a sense of success and making progress; and
- If parents are on the student's case and causing stress for the student, the student can talk to a counselor who may help talk with the parents.
The Self-Driven Child: Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives – November 13
Trustee Jeff Moe attended a Zoom education event hosted by San Mateo County and the Parent Venture. Dr. Bill Stixrud and Ned Johnson, co-authors of The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives, gave the presentation. Here are some of the major points from their presentation:
- There are four things that make life stressful: Novelty, Unpredictability, Perceived Threat and Low Sense of Control (NUTS), with low sense of control being the biggest one.
- Fostering children’s autonomy can help children build self-motivation, face their anxiety, and develop intrinsic motivation.
- Instead of wanting their children to work hard, parents should want children to want to work hard (in other words, be self-motivated).
- Developing self-motivation and an inner drive requires three things; a sense of competency, a sense of relatedness (relationship with others) and autonomy. Like a three-legged stool, you must have all in equal amounts.
- Having parents and tutors being the source of motivation for school is detrimental.
- Messaging from parents to their children should include, I love you too much to fight with you about your homework, I will do anything I can do to help you, I am confident in your ability to make good decisions about your own life, and I am confident that you will learn from your mistakes.
- Homes should feel like a safe place. Both stress and calm are contagious. Parents can help their children by taking care of their own (parent’s) emotional and physical health.
- Don’t worry about kids who aren’t excited about anything. Some of the problem is that they are exposed to a limited number of things (soccer, violin, etc.) and none of those resonate yet. Passion will come naturally.
- Parents should be authoritative (it’s important to set limits), but not authoritarian. Rather than requiring a student to finish their homework before they can play on the computer, negotiate when the student will do his/her homework.
- Some children are precocious, others are post-cocious. Children may not be on an optimal path at age 7 or even age 17. Some need more time to develop. There are unlimited number of paths to success.
Leveraging Partnerships for Student and Family Success – October 17
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the zoom workshop titled, “Leveraging Partnerships for Student and Family Success” sponsored by the Santa Clara County Office of Education. The presenters were Margarita Arroyo, who shared the Bridge to Kinder Program sponsored by SOMOS Mayfair, and Adria Colomer, who shared about Amigos de Guadalupe. Both presenters exuded enthusiasm for their mission to help students overcome barriers and achieve success in their education. Here are some of their main points:
- Partnerships can happen if missions align and the parties have common goals
- Parents must be involved in the solutions
- Students need advocates, and parents make the best advocates
- All programs invite parents and extended families to participate
- Generally, newcomers into the community are especially in need of support
Reading Without Walls – October 24
Trustee Jeff Moe attended a webinar hosted by the Santa Clara Office of Education titled, “Reading without Walls.” The keynote speaker was Gene Luen Yang. Gene is the author of American Born Chinese, which became the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Printz Award. In 2016, Gene was appointed as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
Gene advocates for learning through reading. Here are some points from his talk:
- Growing up, Gene could relate to the Superman comics, because like Superman, he had two identities. One identity was the Gene who spoke only Mandarin to his family at home. The other identity was the Gene who spoke only English at school.
- Gene encourages reading books about characters who look or live differently than you, topics you haven’t discovered, or formats that you haven’t tried. Doing so promotes diversity and opens readers’ eyes to new ideas and experiences. It is a way to spread appreciation and understanding for others and to learn new and exciting things.
- We should read “mirror books," those with characters with whom we can relate, to teach us to love ourselves.
- We should also read “window books," about other people and cultures, to teach us to love others.
Dr. Victor Rios Anti-Racist Parent SEMINAR – September 15
Trustee Jeff Moe attended a virtual seminar featuring Dr. Victor Rios who spoke on the subject of being an anti-racist parent. Dr. Rios has a practical and down-to-earth presentation style which makes his messaging very memorable and impactful. Here is a summary of some of his main points:
- Dr. Rios talked about his challenges growing up in Oakland. His father left their family before Dr. Rios was born. As a three-year old, when his single mom went off to work, his seven-year old brother took care of him. By the age of 15, Dr. Rios was a triple felon.
- Then in high school, he had a teacher who believed in him, listened to him and encouraged him to graduate from high school and later enroll in college.
- Dr. Rios worked very hard in high school to make up for the lost learning in earlier years. He continued that work ethic through graduate school, obtaining his Ph.D. from Berkeley in 4.5 years, much faster than the 7-year average.
- Dr Rios believes that getting a college education is key to advancement. With a college education, you will normally get a better-paying job. However, even if you don’t get a good job after college, you can pass on to your children the skills of studying, how to interact with teachers, and help your children to build social capital.
- Parents should be active in their children’s education - “Teachers will listen to parents who speak up.”
- We should change the label “at-risk” student to “at-promise” student.
- Parents and educators need to be aware of different cultures, to teach children to be proud of their culture but understand the dominant culture, which will help them get ahead.
- He encourages teaching virtues of learning to get-along and talking about racial issues.
- Listen to each other’s story to improve racial literacy.
- Dr. Rios advocated for mentoring students, exposing students to people with a college education and helping students envision the possibility of a better and brighter future.
- Help empower students to know that they can change their lives, but it will take hard work; they will have to overcome barriers and be resilient.
- In addition to helping our own children, parents can help provide services for all children, such as cyber mentoring.
- The transformative parent teaches their children to advocate for social justice.
- Parents need to participate; schools/teachers can’t do it all.
- “At Promise” students need more emotional support and less informational support. Communicate that you believe in them and have their back.
- Today’s youth give Dr. Rios hope for the future; they care about kids left behind and are pushing us to be anti-racist and leave no one behind.
Annual City of Sunnyvale State of the City and Community Awards – September 19
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the Annual City of Sunnyvale State of the City and Community Awards. Mayor Klein started the presentation with an impressive list of accomplishments and plans. Next, two of our very own FUHSD members were recognized:
The Educator of the Year Award was given to Jesus Ramirez from Fremont High School for his outstanding work inspiring and encouraging students in his role as Family & Community Liaison.
The High School Student of the Year is Peri Plantenberg from Homestead High School for her work around climate change.
FUHSD Alumni Career Paths Panel – September 19
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the FUHSD Alumni Career Paths Panel, which was sponsored by the FUHS Foundation Student Organization. Five graduates from FUHSD gave sage advice to current high school students. Here are some of the main points:
- A couple of the former students knew in high school what career path they wanted to pursue, but most did not. The panelists recommended that students to keep an open mind and try new things, and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. It’s likely that your career path (and major) will change over time.
- Networking is very important. Use your high school network, connect with people and schedule informational interviews.
- Advise for their younger, high school self: Work hard, but have more fun, enjoy the moments, panic less, be brave, trust yourself, STEM is great, but there are lots of other great career options, you don’t have to take every AP class just because everyone else is taking them
- Three of the panelists took classes at DeAnza while in high school and loved those classes.
- Soft skills (interacting with people) are important as well as English Language Arts (writing skills and analytical reading).
- More important to learn how to think rather than what to think.
ntroduction of Dr. Lloyd Holmes, New President of De Anza College – Aug. 5
Trustees Jeff Moe and Bill Wilson attended the Cupertino Rotary meeting where Dr. Lloyd Holmes, the new President of De Anza College gave an introductory speech. Dr. Holmes began his presentation by talking about his early life:
- He was born in a small town in Mississippi. His mother was widowed at the age of 27. His family lived on welfare until the children were old enough to be home alone. Not until he was in first grade did his home get indoor plumbing.
- Dr. Holmes belonged to several clubs in high school.
- He played the piano at several churches in the area.
- He attended community college and majored in Physics. His grades dropped to B’s (he had gotten A’s in high school), so he switched majors to accounting.
- Dr. Holmes passed up free tuition at Black colleges to attend the University of Mississippi where he encountered racism. For example, seating at the football games was segregated. Black seating was in the end zone. However, he persevered and eventually received his masters and Ph.D. at the University of Mississippi.
Dr. Holmes also shared some of his values and priorities:
- Don’t let the situation that you are in determine where you end up.
- No matter the experience, I have control over how I perceive things. I’ve got to believe that I can make things better.
- Quoting Mark Twain, "The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and day you found out why." A big part of life is finding your purpose.
- I have come from being extremely poor to becoming president of the best community college in the U.S.
- He is very student oriented, saying that we are here because of the students, not vice versa and that we must prepare and build-up our students so they will come back to community as better citizens.
- We have to instill hope with students with whom we interact, so they feel like they belong, have the ability to make choices, and have fun.
- Dr. Holmes plans to address food and housing security of students at De Anza.
- Communication is key.
- He “grew up” on student services side, not academic services so his focus will include making the environment better for students.
A Healthy Approach to College Admissions by Denise Pope of Challenge Success – Aug. 6
Trustee Jeff Moe attended a Zoom Webinar on the college admissions process conducted by Denise Pope, co-founder of Challenge Success. As Dr. Pope shared, “Thanks COVID-19 for making the complicated and stressful college application process even more complicated and stressful.” We need to learn to live with uncertainty.
The two biggest sources of stress for high school students are: 1) school workload and 2) college admissions. Here are some of the reasons why college admissions is stressful:
- More people going to college (which is good) making it feel like a scarcity;
- Economic and general uncertainty; and
- US News rankings of schools.
It’s best to go to a college that fits your interests rather than one that has more prestige. Dr. Pope recommends actively engage in learning (mentorships, internships, extracurriculars, professors who know their students). Engagement (not college prestige) is what matters in long term outcomes like pay and job satisfaction. Dr. Pope added that community college might make sense for more students in this time of COVID-19.
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.
Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce Murphy Awards - Jan. 29, 2022