Campus Connections
December 5, 2017 
Volume 2, Issue 4
Cheryl Jordan
Superintendent's Message:  Expanding responsibly to accommodate our growing family

Mabel Mattos Elementary school is beginning to take shape as seen in this photo of its foundation development. We will complete Phase I in time for 238 of our younger learners to attend school in their home neighborhood in August 2018. Mattos Elementary would not have been possible without our community’s support of Measure E 2012 in which we raised $95M. We dedicated $18M of that to supplement developer fees and RDA funds for purchasing the land and building Phase I of the school. We’ve done a tremendous amount of work with our Measure E funds, and the details of how we used the funds to improve our schools can be found in our Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee reports . While we have completed learning centers at every school, installed wireless internet throughout the District, made energy efficient upgrades at several sites, built a multipurpose room for Pomeroy, renovated locker rooms, the pool area, and athletic fields at MHS, and provided several schools with additional portable classrooms, there is still much more to do. In addition to completing Mabel Mattos Elementary, modernizing Randall Elementary, and expanding our high school capacity, we must address safety upgrades, infrastructure, and other facilities needs. 

Our MUSD family is expanding. We are expected to have 700 more elementary students by 2026, and our high school students need stretching room to accommodate the overcrowding in our classrooms; the current enrollment is close to the 3,368 projected by the year 2030. Milpitas High School sits on 56.5 acres of land, and with remodeling we can add 15-20 more classrooms, rebuild the theater, create a central student assembly area, and add a second gym. Imagine the old Ayer High School site as an educational park providing extended programs and career pathways for our high school students and adult learners. Along Calaveras Blvd. the MUSD Educational Park could include a visual and performing arts center (after all, it was once home to the vibrant Calaveras Repertory Theater). While we don’t have the 55 acres of land available to build a second comprehensive high school for 2,000 students, we do have these two sites that can become so much more if only we reframe our thinking about what we do have. With a vision for the possible, we can build on what has been established, capitalizing on what makes us unique—a community with a core high school program that unites all of us through generations.

We need our neighbors’ help in addressing safety and enrollment growth throughout the district. MUSD is fiscally responsible and community focused. That’s why we innovate in and beyond the classroom. The Board and I welcome your comments, ideas, and questions about how we can best meet our needs for the near and distant future. 

With gratitude for you and our students,
Cheryl Jordan
Educating all ages
Parent Institute for Quality Education
by Casey McMurray

Parent Institute for Quality Education ( PIQE ) first came to my attention at a professional conference I attended earlier this year in Sacramento. I heard great things about the work that happened as they partnered with the secondary school to increase the level of parent involvement. I looked up PIQE’s website and their mission statement is “to provide families with the knowledge and skills to partner with schools and communities to ensure their children achieve their full potential.” I called the local PIQE office in San Jose in early March and soon after that we signed an agreement to offer the nine-week signature workshop series to our Spanish and Vietnamese-speaking parents at Rancho.

PIQE was on-site for our Back-to-School night on Aug. 30, sharing information with our parents as we began to promote this opportunity. Thursday, Sept. 7 was our introductory session, during which I presented the PIQE staff to our combined group of Spanish and Vietnamese-speaking parents in the Rancho library. The initial turnout was promising. After my remarks, we divided the parents into two groups to receive the workshops in their own language. I was very excited as I saw them begin their path towards understanding and empowerment.

Calaveras Hills and Milpitas Adult Education students treated to relevant and engaging career pathways conference in November
By Carl Stice

On November 7, students from Calaveras Hills High School and the Adult Education program were treated to a dynamic and engaging Map Your Future (MYF) career pathways conference, a service of Silicon Valley Career Pathways . Map Your Future is a collection of programs and services intended to provide students with the resources to explore, identify, and develop academic and career options. They offer services for students interested in earning a college degree or certificate, or in transferring to a four-year college. They also assist students with resume writing, preparing for interviews, and job search.

Calaveras Hills High School and Milpitas Adult Education students received information and career guidance from five panel members, who shared their professional and personal journeys that led them to where they are today as innovators in their respective fields. After lunch, attendees split up into five breakout sessions focused on Medical Science, Engineering, Public Services, Advanced Manufacturing, and Information Communication Technology. This allowed students to drill deeper into the career fields that most attracted them.

Open Doors campaign launches to support South Bay’s adult learners to elevate paths to career and college
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of adults in the Silicon Valley who do not hold a high school diploma is well into the double digits in some communities, prompting the South Bay Consortium for Adult Education (SBCAE) to launch Open Doors, a regional campaign that brings to the forefront the diverse adult education programs that put adults lacking language, literacy or technical skills on a solid path to work, school and/or career training.

In the area served by SBCAE, a partnership of five adult schools and four community colleges in Santa Clara County, the percentage of adults without a high school diploma is as high as 17.7 percent in San Jose, the consortium’s largest city, followed by 14.2 percent in Milpitas, 13.5 percent in Santa Clara and 12.9 percent in Morgan Hill, according to census data.

Milpitas High School Filipino Club visits Google
By Tonichi Lorenzana

For the second consecutive year, students from PUSO, the Filipino Club at Milpitas High School (MHS), were invited to attend Google’s annual Filipino Students Day sponsored by the Filipino Googler Network (FGN). The FGN is comprised of Filipino professionals at Google dedicated to community outreach; their overall goal is to increase workplace diversity in the tech industry by giving students of color an inside look at Google.

As part of the Filipino Students Day, MHS students, along with students from other local high schools were invited to Google’s Sunnyvale campus to explore what career opportunities Google has to offer. Students participated in a career panel where they met with Filipino Google employees from a variety of departments and fields including: legal, marketing, human resources, community outreach, Google search engine, Android programming, virtual reality, culinary, and more. The Google employees wanted to make it clear that Google careers are not limited to, as they put it, “just computer programming.”

Calaveras Hills seniors focused on future
For many, the senior year of high school holds a nostalgic allure as the last year “kids can be kids” before the rush of the adult world swirls around them. Although there are still plenty of fun activities and memory-making at Cal Hills, the senior class is squarely focused on preparing for the future that they will create. Through hands-on and highly relevant lessons in both Economics and English, students are getting a taste of what awaits them after graduation.

“I feel that the flexibility in English lends itself to this career preparation unit perfectly,” says instructor Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley. “The students in my class started with identifying major life goals such as whether or not they wanted to be married and have families, what type of lifestyle they wanted to have, and then researched careers that fit their interests, skills, and budgetary needs. Students then created résumés, cover letters and participated in mock interviews with HR professionals from MUSD and the community.”

To the bat-cave! Project-Based Learning at Sinnott
In keeping with the spooky theme of Halloween, Karin Laube's third graders at Sinnott studied bats and did a Project-Based Learning (PBL) assignment during the month of October. The students assumed the role of environmentalists to educate others on how bats are important to our world and what we can do to help save them.

The outside of the classroom was covered in black plastic sheeting to transform it into a “bat cave,” with paper cutouts of bats and rocks decorating the walls. Once inside the pitch-dark classroom, visitors were treated to a flashlight tour, as the students used both Google Slides software and traditional exhibit boards to present their research to parents and 15 other classes.

Pictured: Budding chiropterologists Mila Do and Vibha Shah enter the “bat cave” at Sinnott School to share their research on the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight.
Calaveras Hills students visit Nextflex
Calaveras Hills students launched "Flexfactor Sprint" on Wednesday, Nov. 28. Students toured the Nextflex facility and got to experience FHE (Flexible hybrid electronics) in a clean room environment. Later, they worked in teams, guided by mentor teachers, to conceptualize a product that will monitor human health. In the next couple of days, students will work on their pitch and present to a shark-tank style panel on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Community Involvement
Rancho's Latino Student Union purchased and decorated a tree in San Jose's annual Christmas in the Park. It's tree #403; look for the distinctive red letters that say "Rancho LSU" on the star atop the tree.
Rancho's PTSA had a 5K Turkey Trot on November 18 and raised over $1,000. 
“Sock It To Me Sock Drive” continues through Dec. 18
CSEA Milpitas Chapter 281 is continuing their annual “Sock It To Me Sock Drive.” Every year we collect socks at the school's sites and give them to the Milpitas Food Pantry. In the last two years, we have collected over 1,000 socks. Sock Drive continues through Dec. 18 with collection boxes at each school site office gladly accepting your donations of NEW socks for adults, children, and babies. On Dec. 19, your donations will be collected and brought to the Food Pantry for distribution.

Milpitas Chapter 281 also donated $500 recently to the CSEA Humanitarian Fund to help those that were displaced due to the fires up north.
Genius Hour: 1st Grade Balloon Festival
Narges Shuja’s first grade class (Burnett Elementary) has been busy for a couple of months learning about balloons during their Genius Hour. Their Driving Question: Why were balloons created and how are they used? This question, along with the deliverables, kept the process moving forward. They researched on the computer about balloons and read many books as well. With that knowledge, they were able to decide on how they would show their learning and that took a few weeks. We were able to cover 30 Common Core Standards as we pulled together our deliverables. We wrote individual balloon stories and wrote group informational reports. The excitement of my students could hardly be contained and today it came to fruition as parents, teachers, students, and administrators came to see their presentations come alive at our balloon festival.

We want to thank everyone who was involved with supporting us on this wonderful balloon adventure: My students, our parents (Mrs. Rumsey, Mrs. Sharma, Mrs. Truong, Mr. and Mrs. Reader, Ms. Ruiz, and Ms. Maultsby. A very grateful thank you to Dr. Sethi and Dr. Virdi for the donation of the helium tanks.
Upcoming Events
Scholastic Book Fair Dec. 4-8 at Spangler
Teaching children to become lifelong readers starts at home. As your kids grow into strong independent readers, Scholastic Book Fairs® support you, just as you support your child. Each book fair is designed to give our students access to more books they want to read, from relevant new-releases to classic award winners. As your children grow, book fairs make it easy to be sure their home libraries grow with them. And since all proceeds benefit Spangler, you can rest assured that your kids’ classroom libraries will be growing as well.
Jazzy and snazzy: black tie fundraiser Dec. 15
Come join us for a night of holiday music and fun as the Milpitas High School Jazz Band and Milpitas High School Choir perform their holiday program for us at our inaugural Black Tie Fundraiser, sponsored by the Milpitas Community Educational Endowment. The event takes place Friday, Dec. 15, from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Ta’s Restaurant, 90 S. Abel Street, Milpitas, CA 95035. Tickets are $75 each, or $700 for a table of 10. Enjoy a seven-course dinner, entertainment, live auction, and dancing, with proceeds benefiting the Milpitas Community Educational Endowment, MHS Jazz Band, and MHS Choir. Visit to purchase tickets online or obtain more information.
Shhh! Silent Auction now in progress
The Milpitas Community Educational Endowment also invites you to their Holiday Silent Auction, which started Nov. 27 and runs through Friday, Dec. 15. Here’s the perfect way to get your holiday shopping done while supporting the Milpitas Community Educational Endowment. Go to to get your bid ID, and then peruse the 25 fun items being auctioned off, ranging from vacation packages and museum tours to Star Wars merchandise and electronic gadgetry. Winning bids will be notified by Dec. 18, with delivery promised by Dec 21. For more information email:
January Speech and Debate events
Want to see the leaders of tomorrow demonstrate their persuasive skills today? Join us for these three Speech and Debate events next month:
  • On Jan. 20, Milpitas Speech and Debate will host A Coast Forensic League Debate tournament with around 800 Students and over 300 parents from all over the Bay Area. 
  • On Jan. 21, Milpitas Speech and Debate will host A Coast Forensic League Speech tournament with around 750 Students and over 300 parents from all over the Bay Area.
  • On Jan. 27 and 28, Milpitas Speech and Debate will hold the second annual Stephen Stewart Invitational Speech and Debate tournament (named in honor our founder) attracting entries from all over California.

— submitted by Charles Schletzbaum
Mark your calendar: Joseph Weller Elementary is going to have a Family Code Night on Wednesday, Dec. 13, from 5:00 - 6:15 p.m. in their Learning Lab.