Board Communication Corner
- January 2023
- November 2022
- October 2022
- August & September 2022
- June 2022
- May 2022
- April 2022
- March 2022
- February 2022
- January 2022
- December 2021
- November 2021
- October 2021
- September 2021
- August 2021
- July 2021
- June 2021
- May 2021
- March 2021
- January 2021
5K Mustang Run – Jan. 21
Trustees Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto and Jeff Moe participated in the 5K Mustang Run at Homestead High School. This annual fundraiser for Homestead High School Althletic Boosters was restarted after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. The course wound around and through the Homestead High School campus, allowing participants to enjoy the beautiful campus scenery. Thanks to Homestead staff and a large team of volunteers for making this a fun and successful event.
Dedication of Barbara Nunes College and Career Center at Cupertino HIGH SCHOOL – Nov. 15
All five trustees attended the dedication ceremony for the Barbara Nunes College and Career Center at Cupertino High School. CHS principal Kami Tomberlain began the ceremony by summarizing Barbara’s long and distinguished career in education. Other speakers included Superintendent Graham Clark, former Superintendent Polly Bove and Trustee Bill Wilson, who served on the board with Barbara longer than any other current board member. One of the highlights of the event was the performance by the Cupertino High School choir. It was an excellent event, worthy of Barbara.
Schools for Sound Finance, Fall Regional Meeting – Oct. 19
Several Trustees, along with Superintendent Graham Clark and CBO Christine Mallery, attended the Fall Regional Meeting of Schools for Sound Finance. The presenters provided an update on the state economy and education budget along with a legislative update. In addition, representatives from the several local school districts exchanged information on their successes and challenges. It was a great opportunity for board and staff members to keep up with the ever-changing education environment.
Tournament of Bands – Oct. 8
Trustees Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto and Jeff Moe attended the 51st Annual Tournament of Bands competition at Cupertino High School. Ten high schools participated, including all five FUHSD high schools. It was a great event to watch and the performances of all of our high schools were outstanding.
Saratoga State of the City – Oct. 1
Trustees Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, Rosa Kim and Jeff Moe, as well as Associate Superintendent Tom Avvakumovits, attended the Saratoga State of the City annual event. The meeting began with the Saratoga Youth Commission introducing local elected officials. Two of the Saratoga Youth Commission members, Saket Kelkar and Lisa Jing are students at Lynbrook High School. Next Mayor Tina Walia provided an overview of Saratoga programs and achievements. And finally, several awards were presented to outstanding organizations and members of the community. It was a great opportunity to network with other community leadership.
Lynbrook High School Night on the Quad – Sept. 29
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the Lynbrook High School Night on the Quad. Families were invited onto campus on for an evening that featured food trucks, club showcases in the cafe, performances in the quad, Robotics demonstrations and lots of smiles. Representatives from the district office were in attendance to help parent and community volunteers complete the required registration and fingerprinting process. Night on the Quad was made possible by the collaborative efforts of PTSA leaders, the Lynbrook ASB student leaders, teachers, club officers and members, and school administrators. It was a fun event and a great opportunity to see many of the outstanding clubs and activities that are available for our students.
Sunnyvale State of the City - Sept. 17
Several Board members and Superintendent Graham attended Sunnyvale State of the City. Updates about new projects in Sunnyvale were shared by Mayor Larry Klein. The highlight of the event was the Community Awards Ceremony. Several awards went to FUHSD students and alum, with the City sharing their appreciation for their contributions to the community.
This year’s High School Student of the Year went to a Homestead High senior, Natalia Esparza, the Sunnyvale Youth Climate Action Team received the Environmental Achievement Award and the Mayor’s Award of Excellence went to a Fremont High School alum, Ari Feinsmith.
Homestead HIGH SCHOOL Robotics Open House - Sept. 14
Trustees Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, Roy Rocklin and Rosa Kim attended Homestead Robotics Second Annual Open House in Homestead's iHub Building. Students presented past and current projects, including older robots, t-shirt designs and informational business videos. Trustee Kim shared that It was great to see newly joined freshmen and their families as well as school community members to have a chance to learn more about the Robotics students’ wonderful teamwork and innovative ideas in various fields.
Fremont High School Annual Watermelon Run - Aug. 31
After a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Annual Watermelon run returned to Fremont High School for the 38th time. Trustees Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto and Jeff Moe participated, and Trustee Rosa Kim provided moral support. Approximately 300 students and staff members participated in the run, celebrating the return to school. After the race, 11 categories of “winners” received the award of a watermelon, while all participants and observers ate their fill of watermelon slices.
Welcome Back Breakfasts - Aug. 26 through Sept. 1
The Trustees hosted informal breakfasts at each of the five high schools to welcome staff back to a new school year. The breakfasts were received with appreciation and staff shared their excitement about having the smoothest school-start in at least three years.
FUHSD Student Graduations 2022 – June 2-3
Each of the five Trustees attended the 2022 graduation ceremonies at their assigned high schools, allowing them the privilege of handing diplomas to the students. But those weren’t the only graduations that the Trustees attended. n addition, the Trustees attended graduation for Adult Education (June 21) and Middle College (June 23). The graduation season is filled with excitement and hope. As the Trustees often say during the graduation ceremonies, “graduation is not an ending, but rather a beginning of learning in a wider arena.”
Farewell Breakfast – June 30
The Trustees attended an informal breakfast at the District Office to say farewell to the District Office employees who are not returning next year. Those leaving expressed their appreciation for the opportunities provided by FUHSD, especially for the relationships that they built. This was also the final opportunity for the Trustees to say goodbye to Superintendent Polly Bove who has held the position for 16 years. Polly passed the torch onto the incoming Superintendent, Graham Clark.
May has been a busy month for the School Board Trustees. Here is a partial list of the events they have attended.
Staff Appreciation Lunches
The Board of Trustees hosted end-of-year appreciation lunches for staff members at each of the school as well as Educational Options, Adult School and the District Office. The burritos and lunch provided to the staff were a hit.
Santa Clara County School Board Association HoffmanN Awards – May 11
FUHSD Trustees attended the annual Hoffmann Awards, the first time in three years that this county awards event was held in-person. Although FUHSD did not enter any programs this year, it was enlightening to hear about the efforts of other school districts in our county.
Grand Opening and Dedication of LYNBROOK GSS Building, Theatre and Gym Lobbies, and Athletic Fields – May 12
Trustees, District Office staff, Lynbrook staff and students, members of the construction teams, and neighbors of Lynbrook came together to celebrate the completion of new facilities at Lynbrook High School.
School Concerts and Plays
Trustees had the pleasure of attending several school concerts and plays at the high schools. Trustee Jeff Moe attended Fremont High School’s Spring Concert in the newly renovated Shannon Theatre. The performances featured the Wind Ensemble, Concert/Symphonic Band, and the String/Chamber Orchestra, along with a special appearance by the FHS choir. The concert was outstanding, which was no surprise for the award-winning Fremont High School band, orchestra and choir.
Murphy Awards – April 9
Board Members Jeff Moe, Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, Rosa Kim and Bill Wilson attended the 56th Annual Murphy Awards dinner, hosted by the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce. Receiving the honor for Outstanding Educator of the year was Leo
Flores, Special Education teacher at Fremont High School. FHS Principal Bryan Emmert gave a moving introduction, highlighting Leo's hard work and dedication to his students. Then Leo gave a heartfelt talk about his journey and how the FHS staff helped him as a student and motivated him to give back to the students of FHS. After finishing his talk, the crowd of 150 gave Leo a prolonged standing ovation.
Pictured at right: Outstanding Educator of the Year Leo Flores, with FUHS Foundation Board Member Loy Oppus-Moe and FHS Principal Bryan Emmert
Sunnyvale Bike for Boba Ride – March 25
Recent Fremont High School Graduate Ari Feinsmith led a large group of bicycle riders through Sunnyvale, starting at Homestead High School, passing Fremont High School, and then ending at Boba store. Approximately 80 bicyclists participated include FUHSD Trustees Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto and Jeff Moe. The purpose of the bike ride was to:
- Encourage the use of bicycles for transportation;
- Thank the city of Sunnyvale for their work in making streets safer for bicycles; and
- Encourage the city of Sunnyvale to continue the work of improving bicycle path safety.
To improve safety, Ari suggested that the City of Sunnyvale convert a stretch of Homestead Road from part-time bike lanes to full-time bike lanes. In addition, it would be nice if the bike lanes were buffered from car traffic, but, Ari added, that depends on the available road width, which city staff is currently studying.
Happy Lunar New Year from Silicon Valley Chinese School – March 3
Trustee Jeff Moe, along with Superintendent Polly Bove and Deputy Superintendent Graham Clark, received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Silicon Valley Chinese School to commemorate the Year of the Tiger and to show their appreciation for the strong relationship with Fremont Union High School District over the past 40+ years. Likewise, the three representatives of FUHSD expressed our appreciation for the Silicon Valley Chinese School’s contribution to the education of our students.
Annual SCCSBA Legislative Brunch – February 26
The FUHSD Trustees attended the annual SCCSBA Legislative Brunch via Zoom. John Fensterwald from EdSource did an excellent job as moderator. The attendees included Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond President, CA State Board of Education, along with three state senators and four state assembly members.
Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond shared:
- High performance tutoring from well-trained teachers can help students recover from COVID-related learning loss;
- Younger students (lower elementary age) experienced the largest learning loss;
- California is now above average in core education funding;
- The biggest joy for teachers is experiencing that they are successful with students; and
- As we recover from COVID, schools should become more relationship-oriented, more restorative, and more responsive, culturally and otherwise.
Lunar New Year Celebrations
Trustee Rosa Kim attended Lunar New Year celebration events at two of the language schools that use FUHSD school sites. At Silicon Valley Chinese School, a parent volunteer dressed up as the third prince, known as a divine prince with a playful spirit, visited each classroom and shared New Year’s greetings and took pictures with students. Also, students received a red envelope symbolizing good wishes and luck for the new year ahead.
At Silicon Valley Korean School, students played various Korean folk games outside the classrooms which were run by high school student volunteers. Many students wore traditional Korean clothes (Hanbok) and enjoyed traditional activities together to celebrate the cultural holiday.
Due to the pandemic, the celebration of both schools was somewhat limited and smaller than usual Lunar New Year celebrations. However, the events were filled with joy and festivity. Trustee Kim shared that it was great to celebrate Lunar New Year with the school communities and see students connected with their cultural heritage in a fun way.
2220 Brown Act Survival Training - February 2
Several FUHSD Trustees attended a legal update on the Brown Act, conducted by the law firm Dannis Woliver Kelley (DWK). In general, the Brown Act requires local government business (including school board meetings) to be conducted at open and public meetings, except in certain limited situations. During a board meeting, board members can only discuss and take action on items on the agenda, and the agenda must be established at least 72 hours before the board meeting. The Brown Act is based upon state policy, which requires the community to be informed. Here are a few points presented during the training session:
- Committees and subcommittees formed by the board are also subject to the Brown Act
- At each meeting, the Board president should remind the public that board members cannot comment on issues raised during public comments if the issue is not on the agenda
- Education committees like the LCAP Parent Advisory and English Language Advisory Council are subject to “mini-Brown Act” requirements, including:
- Publishing an agenda at least 72 hours before the meeting
- No action can be taken outside of agenda items
- Less formal than normal board meetings with no closed sessions or special meetings
Santa Clara County Office of Education, State of the COE – January 31
Several FUHSD Trustees attended the Santa Clara County Office of Education's annual State of the County Office of Education address, presented by COE Superintendent Mary Ann Dewan. Here are some of her key points:
- When students are equipped with every tool to help them succeed, there’s no limit to what they can achieve to uplift their communities.
- Student mental health and wellness has declined in recent years, partly due to COVID, and it requires serious attention by all school districts.
- Student physical health also needs attention in light of national studies that show one-in-three children in the US are overweight or obese. This underscores the importance of physical education.
- Environmental education is very important and one way to teach students about the environment is to create school gardens.
CSBA Conference - December 2-4
All five FUHSD Trustees attended the annual California School Board Association (CSBA) conference, either in-person or remotely. Over 100 training sessions were offered, with Board members attending up to seven sessions. Also, an excellent keynote address was given by Dr. Victor Rios. The training sessions were divided into seven groups:
- Community Engagement and Advocacy
- County Offices of Education
- Equity and Opportunity
- Funding and Finance
- Leadership through Governance
- Small School Districts
- Wellness and Mental Health
FUHSD Treble Exchange Concert - November 8
Four of the FUHSD Board members attended the annual FUHSD Treble Exchange Concert. Treble choir members from each of the five high schools participated. Participants received training from guest clinician Dr. Anna Hamre, Professor Emerita and former Director of Choral Activities at Fresno State University. The concert was funded by the High School’s Foundation. The students gave a fantastic performance that was enjoyed by all members of the audience.
Saratoga State of the City - November 6
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the annual Saratoga State of the City presentation. The presentation began with the Saratoga Youth Commission conducting an online quiz about Saratoga and its history. Next, Mayor Yan Zhao gave an excellent presentation, summarizing the accomplishments of the City of Saratoga over the past year. One of the challenges of the future will be to add the required 1700 new homes in Saratoga. Mayor Zhao stated that the process for adding the new homes will the carefully planned and input will be collected from the entire community.
Diwali Festival of Lights – October 16
Board members Bill Wilson, Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto and Jeff Moe attended the 2021 Diwali Festival of Lights celebration at Memorial Park in Cupertino. Among the attendees were several elected officials from the area who eagerly joined in the celebration of our rich cultural diversity. The festival was sponsored by the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce.
FUHSD Board Member Bill Wilson, Cupertino City Council Representative Hung Wei, FUHSD Board Members Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto and Jeff Moe, and San Jose Water Company Vice President (and Monta Vista High School parent) John Tang at the Diwali Festival of Lights in Cupertino
The Tournament of Bands – October 9
Board members Rosa Kim, Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto and Jeff Moe attended the 50th Annual Cupertino Tournament of Bands competition at Cupertino High School. Twelve high schools participated, including all five high schools in the Fremont Union High School District. The event was festive, and the large audience was wowed by the outstanding performances of all the marching bands. At the end of the tournament, Trustee Nakano-Matsumoto presented the award to the Field Show Music winner.
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)
May 9, 2023 - FUHSD English Learner Speech Contest at Fremont High School