Board Communication Corner
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March 13 & 14 - Synopsys silicon valley science and Technology championship
On March 13 and 14, the Santa Clara Valley Science & Engineering Fair Association held the 2019 Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship at the San Jose Convention Center. More than 175 Fremont Union High School District students presented science projects, with students from all five district high schools participating. These projects were supervised by 48 district teachers who mentored the students and guided them through the application process.
Awards will be announced on April 7 in a ceremony at the Heritage Theater in Campbell, with some of the winners proceeding on to the California Science & Engineering Fair in Los Angeles on April 29 and 30 and/or to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, from May 12 to 17.
In the photo here, Fremont High School student Vishal Menon explains his project, “Effect of Temperature on the Efficiency of a Fuel Cell,” to board president Roy Rocklin.
March 13 – PTA Reflections
Board members Rosa Kim, Jeff Moe and Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto participated in the 50th annual Reflections Awards for students from the Sunnyvale, Cupertino Union and Fremont Union High School districts, along with board members from SSD and CUSD. The award-winning students exhibited or described their art, and the board members presented the deserving students with medals.
The Reflections program is sponsored by the California State PTA to encourage students to pursue artistic expression. It provides a venue for students to create and be recognized for original works of art based on a student inspired pre-selected theme. It also serves to increase community awareness of how important arts is in education. This year’s theme was, “Heroes Around Me.”
March 6 - Women in Technology
Board members Bill Wilson and Jeff Moe attended a talk by Pat Wadors at Cupertino Rotary on the topic of Women in Technology. Pat is currently the Chief Talent and Human Resources Officer at ServiceNow, a global company with over 9000 employees worldwide. Previously she worked at other Silicon Valley companies including LinkedIn, Plantronics, Yahoo, Applied Technology, and Applied Materials.
Pat said that the concept of diversity is challenging, because it is framed in terms of the “other," and because so much of the bias is unconscious. She emphasized the importance of inclusion, which is the active behavior of inviting people in. Also important is to create a culture that includes a belonging mindset. All members should feel like they belong in the organization.
These lessons can apply to high school. If the number of girls in a STEM class or robotics club is small, how can we help them develop a feeling of belonging? Also, we need to look for possible hidden biases. Nation-wide studies have shown that some STEM teachers (and even students, both girls and boys) have an unconscious bias that leads them to believe that the boys are the smartest in the class even if some of the girls have a higher GPA.
February 27 - Third Annual GOALS Student Recognition
Four FUHSD trustees attended the Third Annual GOALS Student Recognition event at Fremont High School. Congratulations to the students who were recognized for their academic success in the program!
The GOALS program was designed for English learners whose vernacular (day-to-day) English language ability may be adequate, but whose academic English language is not strong enough to ensure their success in school. This program began a few years ago and has evolved so that today the students not only receive extra help developing their language skills, but also their academic skills.
Goals co-founder and program lead Michelle Wagner (who was also awarded the 2018-2019 FUSHD Outstanding Educator of the Year award at the Sunnyvale Murphy Awards), along with co-founder Welton Kwong, Coordinator or Curriculum & Teacher Leadership, described the program. Some of the students have been in the U.S. for many years, but their weak academic language skills have gone unnoticed. This has impacted their success and interest in school. So, the students not only need to develop English language skills, but they also need to build their academic confidence and improve their overall academic skills. As Michelle explains, this requires a personal connection between the teacher and each student.
Students in the GOALS program take two “sheltered” courses, where the regular curriculum is combined with language and academic development along with 3-4 regular courses. Although students of all grade levels participate in the GOALS program, most participate as freshman and sophomores.
During the awards presentations each student shared a few words including their dreams for the future. Each of the students’ dreams included attending college, getting a good job and/or helping others. This is a wonderful program that changes lives and makes our community a better place.
February 24 – 54th Annual Murphy Awards
All five board members attended the 54th annual Murphy Awards hosted by the Sunnyvale Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. During the event, Fremont High School teacher Michelle Wagner received the Outstanding Educator of the Year award for her dedication to Fremont High School, especially the AVID program.
February 20 – Japanese Internment Camp Presentation
Board Members Bill Wilson and Jeff Moe attended a presentation at a Rotary meeting by Yoshiko Kanazawa about her experiences in a Japanese internment camp. Yoshiko was one of 120,000 Japanese Americans who were forcibly relocated to camps in remote areas of the western United States. Yet despite this injustice, the community remained resilient. Yoshiko shared three words that guided the community:
- Gaman – Persevere with patience and dignity
- Gambare – Hang in there
- Shikataganai – It can’t be helped; make the best of it
After the war, Yoshiko returned to the Bay Area with her family. When she entered her local school, she was struck by how kind and courteous her fellow students were to her. Later she learned that before entering the school, the Assistant Principal had explained Yoshiko’s situation to the students and asked them to treat Yoshika with kindness. This was a reminder of how important it is to promote an environment of acceptance in our schools. Yoshiko is a docent at the San Jose Japanese American Museum and shares her stories with local organizations and schools.
February 15 - ENGLISH LEARNER Algebra 1 Project-Based Learning Presentations
All five board members attended the English Learner Algebra 1 Project-Based Learning Presentations at Fremont High School in the beautiful, new and versatile Guidance and Student Services building. This class is taught by Rick Barlow. Mr. Barlow uses project-based learning to help students make meaning of math in a real-world context. Here is his introduction to this project:
“We hear a lot about immigration from the media and politicians, but what do the experts think? English Language Learners will be presenting their findings on issues related to immigration. Students will be using statistical evidence as well as their own stories as recent immigrants to help us better understand the current state of immigration in the United States.”
Students created display boards and presented about issues relating to immigration such as a border wall, family separation, etc.
Using analysis learned from their math class, they wonderfully applied their math analysis skills to a current issue. It was great to see the students integrate skills learned in the classroom to better understand current issues. Many of the students said that practicing the oral presentation was most challenging. However, their enthusiasm and hard work shined through every presentation. It was wonderful to see the high-quality presentations from this confident and poised group of English learners, using evidence-based reasoning.
November 14 – FUHSD Annual Women’s Choral Festival
November 15 – A Healthy Mind: A discussion with Parents on Teen Mental Heath
- Spend time talking with your teen on topics that are not part of an agenda and are of interest to the teen;
- To promote emotional health for your teen, encourage the following (SEEDS acronym):
- Social connectivity with friend and adults (not social media);
- Education in a topic that is interesting to the teen;
- Diet; and
If a parent is concerned about a teen’s mental health, the Pediatrician is a good resource. If the Pediatrician determines that additional support is needed, they can refer the teen to a therapist or psychologist.
November 17 – From MVHS to the White House
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the Cupertino Chamber’s “Let’s Talk Education” series, which was co-sponsored by the FUHS Foundation, the Cupertino Library Foundation and CEEF. The speaker was Monta Vista High School graduate DJ Patil who talked about his journey from MVHS to the White House, where he served as the White House’s first Chief Data Scientist. He served under Presidents' Bush and Obama.
November 4 – Cupertino Co-Op Nursery School
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the annual Cupertino Co-Op Nursery School (CCNS) Fall Festival. CNSS offers parent and child education for children ages 3-5. The Fall Festival was well-attended with current families, alumni families, teachers, and supporters. Students from Fremont High School ran the children’s activity stations. It was a fun time for all and a great way to recognize the wonderful contribution that CCNS makes to our community.
November 2 – Challenge Success Annual Parent Education Event
Trustee Jeff Moe attended Challenge Success’s 15th annual Parent Education event, which was titled, SAY WHAT? The Power of Communication in Raising Healthy, Engaged Kids. Doctors Denise Pope and Madeline Levine began the event, followed by the keynote speaker, Dr. Wendy Mogel, a well-know lecturer and author. The event concluded with a panel comprised of the three doctors and two students, who commented on three communication-challenging vignettes. Some of the main take-aways included the following recommendations:
- No matter how ridiculous the request, engage your child in a conversation rather than rejecting the request outright. Take a deep breath and say, “Tell me more about that.”
- Be enchanted with your child’s enchantment. For example, you can say, “I never knew that, tell me more.”
October 17 - The Asian Parent Playbook for Talking to Teens
Trustees Hung Wei and Jeff Moe, as members of the Asian American Parents Association (AAPA), sponsored The Asian Parent Playbook for Talking to Teens. During this event, Doctors Rona Hu, Steve Sust, Grace Liu and Joanne Lee, from the Stanford University organization Chipao, role-played parents-teenager communication challenges. It was a great way for parents in our community to experience and share communication strategies.
October 31 - Hsinchu Sister City Visit
Cupertino High School hosted eight students from the Cupertino Sister City of Hsinchu, Taiwan. On Halloween, administrators from the National Experimental High School at Hsinchu Science Park and Hsinchu Municipal San Min Junior High School were hosted by Principal Kami Tomberlain and Assistant Principal Geoff Wright. Joined by Trustees Roy Rocklin and Jeff Moe, Sister City Chairperson Angela Chen and Assistant Superintendent Trudy Gross, they toured the campus, enjoyed seeing a variety of costumes and appreciated the brunch festivities.
October 10 - ORCHESTRA EXCHANGE CONCERT
Orchestras from all five high schools in FUHSD had a chance to show their musical prowess at in the Shannon Theater at Fremont High School. Trustees Bill Wilson, Hung Wei, Roy Rocklin and Jeff Moe attended and were impressed by the amazing skill shown by the participants. In addition to enjoying an evening of wonderful music, the board members were impressed by the camaraderie and mutual appreciation shown by the participants from different schools.
October 12 - LYNBROOK HOMECOMING SKIT
Trustee Bill Wilson attended the traditional faculty skit that kicks off homecoming events at Lynbrook High School. Teachers and administrators performed a very humorous skit in costume, much to the delight of the students. It was a perfect opportunity for students to have a relaxing break during the day and see their teachers in a different light.
October 3 – Raft Annual Fundraiser
Trustee Jeff Moe attended the RAFT Annual Fundraiser. RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching) provides low-cost supplies for teachers. In recent years they have branched out into creating STEAM kits and lesson plans for teachers. The main focus of Raft is supporting elementary-level education, but they are looking to expand to high school.
October 5 – Annual Interact BBQ
The annual Interact BBQ was held at Monta Vista High School and co-hosted by MVHS Interact Club and Cupertino Rotary. Trustee Jeff Moe, wearing his Cupertino Rotary hat, helped grill 170 beef, chicken and veggie patties. Each of our schools has an Interact club, where students develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self.
October 5 – Sunnyvale High School Alumni Homecoming
The Sunnyvale High School Alumni held their fifth annual homecoming reunion at Kings Academy. It was a fun celebration for all and a well-played football game. The highlight was a presentation at half-time by Kings Academy principal Scott Meadows to FUHSD Superintendent Polly Bove. Polly was presented with a Sunnyvale High School football jersey bearing her name, in recognition of her efforts to help revive the annual Sunnyvale High School reunions. Also displayed at half time, was the FUHSD totem pole with the Sunnyvale High School totem at the top.
Sept. 20 - FUHSD College Fair
The annual FUHSD College Fair, held on at Homestead High School, provided opportunities for students and parents to learn about admissions, financial aid, campus life, student support services, campus housing and upcoming college events from the more than 100 colleges and universities in attendance. Trustee Jeff Moe attended this popular event along with what appeared to be, most parents and students in the district. It was clear that our families are interested in college and that colleges are interested in our students.
Sept. 22 – Cupertino Chamber of Commerce, Let’s Talk Education
The Cupertino Chamber of Commerce hosted a panel that discussed how our local High Schools had prepared our students for college and beyond. The panelists included four of our graduates who recently entered the working world and four parents of children who graduated from our High Schools and recently entered the working world. Here are some of the take-aways:
- Don’t focus purely on academics. Develop well-rounded skills, including creativity, problem-solving, and communication. The panelists mentioned sports as a good tool to develop skills like teamwork and dealing with competition. Also, clubs were mentioned, including FBLA and DECCA.
- Knowing the application of what you are learning is important. This can come from career nights, job shadowing and mentors.
- The rigor of our High Schools made college easier and reduced the pressure of college.
- College students should begin to focus on their post-college career in their early college years and look for networking and internship opportunities.Don’t wait until senior year.
Sept. 15 – Student Art Exhibit at the Silicon Valley Fall Festival
Over 130 students from our five high schools exhibited their art at the Silicon Valley Fall Festival. The festival-goers were awestruck by the beauty of the art. They were asked to vote for their favorite art piece. Many were unable to decide because there were so many outstanding pieces. Over 60 art pieces received one or more votes for the best art piece of the festival.
All five Board members, along with Superintendent Polly Bove and her entire staff attended the Summer Academy Graduation Ceremony on July 26. This was the ninth and final graduation ceremony of the year, in which 28 students from throughout the district participated.
"These students demonstrated determination and perseverance to complete the courses necessary for their graduation, which they were unable to complete during the regular school year due to a variety of personal reasons. Congratulations to Summer Academy Principal Jackie Corso and Assistant Principal Eric Summers on a well-run program." - Jeff Moe, Trustee
In May, Trustees Jeff Moe and Hung Wei attended the Equity Showcase held at Fremont High School. A total of 39 teachers and teacher groups from all five FUHSD schools presented innovative teaching practices that they implemented this year. The presentations were very thoughtful, covering both successful and unsuccessful aspects, adjustments made and future plans. In addition, each presenter invited the audience (often other teachers and administrators) to ask questions and provide feedback, furthering the learning process.
Trustee Moe also made sure to tune in to the Monta Vista High School Boys Volleyball CCS Championship, which was streamed live on the NFHS Network. It was a close and exciting 5-set match, which Monta Vista ultimately lost to Bellarmine High School. However, Monta Vista had the last word, by defeating Bellarmine in the Norcal semifinal in another very close match. And then Monta Vista went on to win the Norcal Championship against Clovis High School in another 5-set thriller.
Trustee Moe also visited Fremont High for the Statway Class final student presentations and Homestead High School's Mythology class for the student year end presentations, which were based on Google's practice of giving employees 20% of their time to work on a project of their choosing.
"As I viewed the student presentations, I was struck by the students’ enthusiasm and creativity. Not only were the students completely engaged in the projects, in some cases they enlisted the help of friends and family. Congratulations to the students and to Mr Hinton for creating a valuable learning exercise for the students. I am looking forward to next year’s presentations." - Jeff Moe, Trustee
This month, Trustee Jeff Moe represented FUHSD at the Annual Saratoga State of the City event. The event was initiated by members of the Saratoga Youth Commission, which includes three students from Lynbrook High School. Mayor Mary-Lynne Bernard gave a warm and informative presentation on Saratoga’s recent accomplishments, focusing on health, safety, parks, trees, public art and outdoor experiences.
The entire Board of Trustees was present to celebrate Superintendent Polly Bove as the recipient of the prestigious Citizen of the Year award at the Cupertino STAR Awards on April 28. Assistant Superintendent Tom Avvakumovits gave a rousing introduction for Superintendent Bove.
Student Board Member and Monta Vista student Samantha Millar organized a Voter Registration Event, which was held at Monta Vista High School on April 27. Trustee Moe attended along with board colleagues Roy Rocklin, Hung Wei, Jeff Moe and Bill Wilson. Students and elected officials gave inspiring talks to encourage students to register to vote. At Samantha’s home school alone, 150 students registered. Congratulations to Samantha for a successful event and voter registration drive!
Trustee Moe also attended the Santa Clara County School Boards Association's annual Hoffmann Awards dinner on April 26, where the FUHSD Mentor Team was honored the District's signature professional development program The Skillful Teacher. The Hoffmann Awards is in its 33rd year of honoring school and district programs that significantly impact student success in our region. Trustees Roy Rocklin, Hung Wei, Jeff Moe and Bill Wilson and Assistant Superintendent Tom Avvakumovits attended the ceremony to celebrate with Josh Maisel, Coordinator of Academic Interventions, and the mentor team – teachers Rachel Perry, Stacey Stebbins, Jessica Uy and Jackie Corso.
This month, Trustee Jeff Moe attended the Every Student Succeeding Awards Ceremony hosted by the DeAnza Charter of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). This program honors students from the Sunnyvale School District and the Fremont Union High School District who have overcome great personal and academic obstacles and exceeded expectations, along with the educators who have supported them in their individual journeys. Thirteen students were honored, with teachers and counselors providing a description of their accomplishments and the barriers they have overcome. Each story was an inspiration.
Trustee Moe also attended the Every 15 Minutes program at Homestead High School. The program name comes from the fact that when this program was created, a person was killed, maimed or injured by an alcohol-related traffic collision in the U.S. every 15 minutes. The purpose of the program is to provide a dramatization and simulation that allows students to reflect upon the decision to drink and drive or to get into a car with someone else who has been drinking.
Trustees Moe and Roy Rocklin also attended the Synopsys Science and Technology Championship at the San Jose Convention Center, one of the most highly regarded regional science fairs in California. Students from FUHSD were well represented at the Synopsys Championship.
"Not only is participating in the science fair fun, but, research has shown that science fair activities increase student learning in science and in a wide range of 21st century skills such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration." - Trustee Jeff Moe
Trustee Jeff Moe offers his congratulations to both the Boys and Girls basketball teams at Lynbrook High School, which both earned berths in the CCS tournament. On February 24, he attended the Girls second-round tournament game against Leland High School. Trustee Moe shared that, "The young Lynbrook team fell behind early in the game, but never gave up. It was a hard-fought and competitive game, but Leland pulled ahead in the end to win. Congratulations on a great season and looking forward to next season."
Trustee Moe also had the pleasure of representing the FUHSD Board at the Bi-Annual Wafu School of Ikebana 48th Anniversary Flower Show dinner celebration on March 3. The Wafu School of Ikebana offers classes through FUHSD Adult Education. It is a relationship that is cherished by all at FUHSD. The dinner was attended by supporters of the school, including Akira Ichioka, Director and Consul, Consulate General of Japan, Liz Ambra, Vice Principal of FUHSD Adult School, and Darcy Paul, Mayor of Cupertino. It was an opportunity to recognize this world-renown program, and to honor the program founder and leader, Fusako Hoyrup. Throughout the weekend, hundreds of art pieces were on display at Quinlan Community Center.
On March 2, Trustee Moe attended the Lunar New Year Luncheon at Dynasty Restaurant, hosted by the Cupertino Chamber Asian American Business Council. Also representing FUHSD was Aram Darmanian, Manager of Bond Operations. The lunch featured good food and lively entertainment, and it was an opportunity to connect with active members of our community. Congratulations to Henry Sang and the Shin Shin Foundation who received “BRIDGE” awards, recognizing individuals and businesses who have continuously fostered the mission of the AABC in promoting, strengthening and enhancing the inter-ethnic business environment in the Cupertino community.
CHS FBLA Meeting
On February 8, 2018, Trustee Jeff Moe attended the weekly FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) meeting at Cupertino High School and gave a presentation about being part of the political world. FBLA is a non-profit educational organization with over 250,000 members across the country preparing students for careers in fields such as business, technology, and law. During his presentation, Trustee Moe shared his experience of being elected to the Board and serving in a largely volunteer capacity, and he compared his experience in politics with other local state representatives who have made politics their career. About 50 students attended, asking great questions and providing a wonderful opportunity to connect directly with students.
Cupertino State of the City
Board members Barbara Nunes, Hung Wei, Bill Wilson and Jeff Moe attended the Cupertino State of the City Address. This year, the theme was “Why We Thrive - Volunteering as Necessary for Democratic Viability." The meeting was opened by Cupertino Rotary President John Zirelli who provided an overview of the Cupertino Rotary Club. He highlighted the work the club is doing internationally and in the community, and he recognized the members of the club Board of Directors and Cabinet. Next, Cupertino Chamber of Commerce President Andrew Walters described the mission and priorities of the chamber, highlighting chamber events planned for 2018. In addition, Andrew talked about the annual STAR Awards sponsored by the chamber to honor local businesses and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the community. He announced that this year’s recipient of the Citizen of the Year is FUHSD's very own Superintendent Polly Bove!
The chamber next recognized two public safety officers for special contributions they have made to Cupertino: Deputy Chief Joe Parker of the Santa Clara County Fire Department and Deputy Mark Harvey of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department. The final presentation was from Cupertino Mayor Darcy Paul, who focused on the importance of public service and volunteering to our community and our system of government. He encouraged everyone to give of his or her knowledge and experience.
District Art Show Reception - March 25
FUHS Foundation Spring Fling - March 29
Asian American Parent Association Spring Luncheon - March 30
ACSA Every Student Succeeding Awards Ceremony - April 3
CSEA Recognition Dinner - May 1
FEA Recognition Dinner - May 10