Volume 3, Issue 1 | January 12, 2018
If this email is clipped—or photos are not displayed—click the "View entire message" link at the bottom of the email. Campus Connections is the newsletter of the Milpitas Unified School District. If you have stories for our next issue, please send them to Doug Hughes.
Superintendent's Message
A celebration of championships for 2018
Cheryl Jordan
Together with our community, WE are a Championship Team! MUSD has seen many shining moments in the last half of 2017: Central Coast Section (CCS) MHS Recognition for Top Sportsmanship; Bay Area News Group Student Player of the Year; Santa Clara County Teacher of the Year and Tech Teacher of the Year; CSEA State Area Director; ACSA Region 8 President; CCS Baseball Coach of the Year; MHS Sophomore Speech and Debate Champions (who will be going to the finals in Kentucky); Rancho Girls’ Basketball Team; MHS Girls Volleyball; Milpitas Extreme Robotics #0669; Santa Clara County and State Honor Band Musicians; Science Olympiads; and MHS Football—just to name a few.

Our students continue to flourish in a rich learning environment enhanced by our community partnerships. The Milpitas Community Advisory Commission, for example, recognizes the impact our schools have in Milpitas, and is sponsoring an Educational Showcase on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Curtner Elementary. Teachers, parents, administrators, support staff, and students will be present throughout the morning to share our exemplary programs with our neighbors and future MUSD parents. Our Milpitas Rotary will be sponsoring a speech contest for our high school students later this month, and our Milpitas Kiwanis will again host our annual MUSD Crab Feed & Auction on Friday, Feb. 9 to support our students in need with new school clothes and scholarships.

The community support doesn’t stop at the front door. We have many partnerships that support our teachers and students in the classroom. KLA Tencor brings monthly science lessons to Rose. Cal Hills students learn about medical technology at Cordis. The Milpitas Library co-hosts bi-monthly Love 4 Literacy events for our families at Rose and Randall. And San Jose City College is opening the world of college to our high school and adult learners! (Learn more at our joint MUSD SJECCD Board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6:00 p.m. at the SJCC Extension on Escuela Pkwy.)

You, too, can be a part of our ongoing Celebration of Champions. You’re invited to the MHS Football State Championship Bash this Saturday, Jan. 20 at 12:00 p.m. on the MHS football field.

Celebrating learning at Spangler: Kindergarten Gallery Walk

A language and literacy program called the “ SEAL Model ” is thriving at seven of our MUSD schools. The highlight of a SEAL unit is often the culminating gallery walk, when families and other guests are invited to come visit the classroom, and students showcase their learning. On Dec. 20, Spangler’s kindergarten classes, led by Ms. Adidjaja, Ms. Singleton, Mrs. Hilton-Nickel and Mrs. Castello, proudly welcomed a large group of families who enthusiastically filled up the multi-use room for their “Community Helpers” unit gallery walk. Kindergarten parents came prepared with cameras galore and they were in full paparazzi mode. 
The Spangler kindergarteners presented their shared research projects, highlighting information about a community worker of their choice (e.g., sanitation worker, teacher, dentist, veterinarian, librarian, police officer). The process of creating shared research projects was a collaborative one, and students impressed visitors with their knowledge, enthusiasm, and presentation skills.
“I was the first one who started it in my group,” said kindergartener Daniel from Ms. Adidjaja’s class. “I was so happy. My mom and my baby sister were there and I taught everyone. It was great.”
Kindergartener Coraline also commented, “I showed people what we did and I was telling them about where they work and all about veterinarians. Mommy came. I didn’t want her to go. It was fun!”

Preparing students for a global future at Randall Elementary

Something exciting is happening at Randall elementary and it offers a new program to the families in Milpitas who would like an enriched learning environment that blends academics and cultural proficiency.

Randall has implemented a Two-Way Bilingual Immersion (TWBI) or Dual-Language Immersion program that aims to develop students to be multiculturally proficient, academically successful, and bi-literate by the end of elementary school. The program is open to all students in Milpitas from all language backgrounds. The long-range plan is to grow the TWBI program from Transitional Kinder to 12th grade and provide students another pathway to college and career readiness.

Join us on any of more than a dozen Thursday morning sessions happening at Randall Elementary over the next several months to learn about and see this program in action. You will learn about the 90/10 Spanish-English program at Randall, tour the classrooms, and have your questions answered.

Dates and times
All tours are offered from 8:15-9:30 a.m. at Randall Elementary (1300 Edsel Drive, Milpitas) on the following Thursday mornings: Jan. 18, 25; Feb. 1, 8, 15; March 1, 22, 29; April 5, 12, 26 ; May 3, 10.

Can’t make the morning dates?
Then join us on March 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the MUSD Board room (1331 E. Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas) for the Two-Way Bilingual Immersion information night.
Russell, Rancho, and MHS attend Mira Loma Invitational

Science Olympiad Teams from Milpitas High, Russell Middle School, and two teams from Rancho Middle School ventured to Sacramento to compete in the Mira Loma Science Olympiad Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 6. The competition was truly challenging, pushing Milpitas teams to bring their best to all of their events. Other schools competing were drawn from all over the nation, including past national and state champions.

In preparation for the invitational, students from all three schools studied and built devices for their various events, which range from Disease Detectives to Hovercraft. They devoted long hours to researching their topics, preparing cheat sheets, and testing different designs for their devices. Preparation started in early November, and continued until the day before competition where teams came to school to for nearly eight hours a day to study and build.

This preparation paid off at competition; the three teams received awards for five events including Remote Sensing, Forensics, Mission Possible, Battery Buggy, and Amazing Mechatronics. Overall,
the Milpitas teams did extremely well and performed comparatively to other well-accomplished competitors.

Milpitas Science Olympiad is now looking forward to several upcoming invitationals at Tracy, UC Berkeley, Livermore, as well as the Regional Competition in San Jose. Beyond just competing, Milpitas Science Olympiad is extending its reach and organizing an Elementary Science Olympiad for younger students to participate in on May 26. Elementary schools may contact Letta Meyer for more information.
Milpitas High School captures state championship in football
Congratulations to the MHS Trojans on their first-ever state championship—in any sport. Final score against El Centro was 45-41. Following the victory, the Bay Area News Group named Tariq Bracy as player of the year. To celebrate, Coach Kelly King invites the public—especially all MHS and AYER alumni—to join the team on Saturday, Jan. 20 starting at noon at Milpitas High.

“I am very proud of these young men,” he writes. “We feel every step we take has been built on the foundation of our alumni and a culture our school and city has provided. These young men were determined to accomplish a goal never obtained. They played as a team and set a new standard of greatness for future teams to strive for. Success is often overshadowed by hard work, and these kids are a testimonial to our motto.”

News coverage:
MHS music students accepted into honor bands

Congratulations to the 10 outstanding musician/students who have been accepted into some of the finest honor bands and orchestras in the state and country.

New members of the Santa Clara County Honor Band include Ellie Jan (clarinet), Sachin Kulkarni (trombone), Christopher Pinney (tenor sax), Phyllis Sern (flute), and Michael Nguyen (clarinet). They will be performing in concert at Palo Alto High on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 3 p.m.

Joining the All-Northern California Honor Band are John Yu (trumpet) and Ankitha Rajesh (tuba). They will perform at Delta College in Stockton Sunday, Jan. 21 at 1:30 p.m.

Kristy Le (piano, All-State Wind Symphony) along with Serena and Rebecca Wang (percussionists, All-State Symphony Orchestra) will be performing at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 7:00 p.m.
Rose’s Exploratory Showcase presents a potpourri of learning

On Dec. 21, Alexander Rose School celebrated their fifth Exploratory Showcase, an event where students and teachers show off all of the amazing learning they've done in their Exploratory Block classes.

Exploratory, a school-wide 50-minute electives block held once a week, allows students in grades 1 through 6 to take charge of their learning. Twice a year, students are presented with a menu of courses on a variety of topics—music, art, theater, yoga, STEM, and world cultures, to name a few—and then have the opportunity to choose which class they’d like to attend. Many Exploratory classes are multi-age, allowing students to collaborate across grade levels with older and younger peers.

In each eight-to-ten-week Exploratory class, teachers utilize principles from Project-Based Learning and Design Thinking to guide students in creating beautiful work for display at the Showcase. This round of classes featured fine art in several different media, origami and paper crafting, 3D printing, sewing, robotics, meteorology, yoga, songwriting, microscopic science, and poetry—all with student-created products on display.

Students report feeling excited about their Exploratory classes and enjoy being able to choose what they’re learning about. Families enjoy seeing all of the amazing work that their children create, and hearing their excitement each week after class. Teachers like Exploratory because it offers them a chance to learn about and teach topics they might not otherwise get to explore. Exploratory has truly become a much-loved part of Rose's school community.
First Weller Family Coding Night a big success

Joseph Weller School held its first-ever, free Family Code Night on Wednesday, Dec. 13, inviting K-5 students and their parents to learn about computer science programming in a fun way. “No coding experience was needed,” said kindergarten teacher Sue Von Tersch, who helped organize the event. “We teamed parents and kids to complete puzzles and challenges from code.org at their own pace, while learning core coding concepts. Participants left with a special guide to continue the learning and fun at home.” All-in-all, she adds, it was a very successful event with over 100 participants, who were engaged and excited while learning to code.
A book with a Wonder-ful message

At Rancho Milpitas Middle School, Mrs. Gertz’s SPED Mild/Moderate SDC class read the book, “Wonder” from cover to cover. The project included researching Treacher-Collins Syndrome, and to resist being a victim to bullying by taking part in a KIDPOWER training. “Wonder” is an excellent book, Mrs. Gertz says. Its precepts were integrated into teaching values.
Upcoming Events
VTA all-electric buses on display Jan. 16

Tour a new VTA all-electric bus on Tuesday, Jan. 16 from 2-8 p.m. at Milpitas City Hall (455 East Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas). Public transit agencies across the country are moving toward the adoption of Zero Emission Vehicles. VTA is adding five Proterra electric buses to its fleet later this year, expanding its fleet to 35 electric buses over the next two years. Step inside a new electric bus and view its features. Speak with VTA staff. Learn how Electric Vehicles are having a positive impact on our environment. For more info, call 408-586-3210.
MUSD Crab Feed and Auction Feb. 9

It’s time for the 14 th annual MUSD Crab Feed hosted by the Milpitas Kiwanis on Friday, Feb. 9. Get your tickets before they sell out. This year Chuy Zamudio will be our auctioneer and emcee. Proceeds benefit MUSD students in need of school clothes and scholarships. The a ll-you-can-eat crab dinner includes pasta, garlic bread, and salad. Live musical entertainment will be provided by South Bay Kids. This always-lively, friendly community event also includes a live auction, dessert auction, and silent auction. Tickets are $55 per person (or $50 before Jan. 12). The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. (with the pasta and salad dinner—served by MHS students and prepared by our Student Nutrition staff—from 6 to 8 p.m.) at the Milpitas Community Center, 457 East Calaveras Blvd.

Contact Dennis Grilli at 408-205-7103 or Mike Mendizabal at 408-306-3586 for more info.
Cal Hills second annual Community Dinner

The evening of Wednesday, Jan. 31 will find students, their family members and community members breaking bread with the Calaveras Hills High School staff as they usher in a new year of working together to help students fulfill their dream of graduation and embarking on life after.

“Preparing a meal for our students and their families and then eating together is a great way of getting to know one another beyond the classroom as we strengthen the support for students and show them that MUSD is truly a Culture of We,” said Principal Carl Stice. “We started these dinners last year and we believe they are an important way that we can focus on and celebrate the whole child and their families.”

This dinner will be the kickoff for what is hoped will become a tradition at Cal Hills; a dedicated set of students have created a walking team to successfully raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Santa Clara. Many students have both family and friends who have been impacted negatively by cancer and have committed to walking 24 hours to fight cancer at the April 28-29 event. Students will be holding a fundraiser where they are selling personalized luminarias to be used at the event during the Luminaria Ceremony portion.

Community members, along with students and their families, are welcome to attend this event in the MUSD Board Room at 1331 E. Calaveras Road (at the District Office site) in building 500 from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Anyone who doesn’t have a current student at Cal Hills, but is interested in learning more about this program, is asked to RSVP to 408-635-2690 by Friday, Jan. 26.
Adult Ed: winter classes Jan. 8-Mar. 16

The new year kicks off with several opportunities for adults to take classes to benefit their careers or their health. Courses include beginner-level instruction in Microsoft Excel, Quickbooks, office skills, Spanish, Python programming, and computers for seniors, as well as meditation, yoga, and T’ai Chi. See course descriptions here .

In addition, San Jose City College will be offering FREE, non-credited English as Second Language (ESL) classes at their Milpitas Extension (1450 Escuela Way). For more info, see their spring course catalog .
Parent University Jan. 25 to focus on importance of recycling

Join us for the next Parent University Thursday, Jan. 25 from 6-8:30 p.m. as the Russell Environmental Club gives a presentation about the importance of recycling. Students will share slides and facts about how our efforts impact our community and answer questions parents have. The event takes place at Randall Elementary (1300 Edsel Drive, Milpitas) and is open to all parents—at no charge.

– submitted by Barbara Knitter
Volunteer for Read Across Weller Day Mar. 2

Weller Elementary will be having Read Across Weller on Friday, March 2 from 9-10 a.m. We need volunteers to read to students in Pre-K through 6th grade. Volunteers can bring their own books or we can supply books. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Debbie Salcedo  or call our school  408-263-2876  to leave a message or speak with our Office. 

– submitted by Debbie Salcedo
Project Cornerstone: free workshops for parents & caregivers

MUSD is offering a free series of parent meetings open to all parents and caregivers. The current workshop, called “Take It Personally,” started last Thursday, Jan. 11 from at Rancho Middle School and continues each Thursday from 6:30 - 8 p.m. for the next five weeks. You do not need to be a parent from Russell—just an adult who cares about all kids.

Come learn new tools for strengthening your relationships with children and youth in this six-week workshop facilitated by Project Cornerstone. Each week we will share, discuss, and practice ways to show caring, give support, set boundaries, and build strong relationships that help youth succeed in school, friendships and life!
The class meets Thursdays on 1/11, 1/18, 1/25, 2/1, 2/8, and 2/15 from 6:30 - 8 p.m. in the Rancho Middle School library. The workshop is free, paid for by the District, and free childcare and snacks will be provided. Sign up here or contact Ziem Neubert with any questions.
Hip-hop expert Blake Brandes comes to Burnett Jan. 19

This Friday, Jan. 19, the students of Burnett Elementary will learn about “grit and the growth mindset” from Blake Brandes, who has a doctorate in hip-hop and global youth cultures, and is a TEDx speaker and international youth motivational speaker. Brandes will present the work of Carol Dweck and Angela Duckworth in a fun, accessible manner that empowers children of all ages. The presentation will include age-appropriate and engaging lessons infused with beatboxing, comedic storytelling, and family-friendly freestyle rapping. “When students adopt a growth mindset, they become more resilient when facing challenges at school and at home,” said Brandes. “They are less likely to give up, and believe more in their power to learn new things.”
Taco ’bout a great fundraiser!

Every Monday throughout the month of January, the Tacolicious restaurant at Santana Row will be hosting a fundraiser for the Milpitas High School AVID program by way of their Tacolicious School Project . (The restaurant originated in San Francisco and is has set a goal of giving local public schools a combined total of $1 million in support.)

Thus, on January 15, 22, and 29, Tacolicious will give 15 percent of all proceeds (even including drinks, merchandise, and take-out orders) to the MHS AVID program. Please spread the word, and if you love tacos, your patronage would be appreciated.
Panda Express fundraiser Jan. 24

Rancho Project 6, a student-led service project, has a goal of increasing student engagement in STEAM activities at Sinnott. The Rancho Project 6 students organize science-based activities with Sinnott students, and to be successful they need your help with raising funds for needed supplies. You can help by eating at Panda Express (70 N. Milpitas Blvd.) on Wednesday, Jan. 24, as 20% of sales on that day will go to Rancho Project 6. Just show this paper in the store, or enter code 241556 during online checkout.
Apply now to present at MHS STEAM Showcase on March 3

The next MHS STEAM Showcase takes place Saturday, March 3 from 9-11 a.m. in the school’s Library Learning Center. Do you have something cool and engaging to share? This is a great opportunity to feature and celebrate evidence of our students’ learning, showcase their work, and also highlight the innovative programs and projects our talented teachers design and facilitate. Projects can demonstrate collaboration, creativity, communication, and/or critical thinking in any areas of the curriculum, but should especially highlight S cience, T echnology, E ngineering, the A rts, and/or M athematics. This can be an individual, partner, group, or whole class project, learning experience/activity, or program. To help us with planning the event—and because we have limited space—please submit project proposals using this form as early as possible. The deadline is Friday, Feb. 2. For more info, see our flyer and FAQ .
Burnett Family Engineering Night Jan. 30

Attention Burnett students and parents: Can your family design and engineer a tall tower that can hold a golf ball? A baseball? Please join us for an interactive evening of family learning, collaborating, and engineering on Tuesday, Jan. 30 in the Burnett Multi-Use Room from 7-8:00 p.m. Due to space constraints, siblings who do not attend Burnett are unable to join us.
MUSD | Phone: (408) 635-2600 | Website: http://www.musd.org