Volume 3, Issue 4 | March 23, 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  Shannon Carr .
Board Meeting at Rancho Milpitas Middle School Tuesday
The next MUSD Board of Education meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 27 at Rancho Milpitas Middle School, 1915 Yellowstone Avenue. The meeting will open with a Study Session about Human Relations at 4:30 p.m. in the Learning Center followed by Closed Session at 5:45 p.m. in the Library and Open Session at 7 p.m. in the Learning Center.

Please  click here  to view the Board Meeting agenda.
30 Taiwanese students visit Rancho Middle School, MHS
by Shannon Carr and Martha Chen

Rancho Milpitas Middle School held its third annual multicultural rally Tuesday afternoon, showcasing a wide array of cultural performances representing the diversity that makes up the 705 student body.

"This is an extraordinary rally every year," Principal Casey McMurray said in kicking off the celebration. Highlights of the hour-long event included the Latino Student Union performing "Pineapple Flower," and contemporary and traditional Bollywood, K-pop, Filipino, and Vietnamese dances, with many students wearing costumes embodying the respective culture.

This year's event was especially memorable because approximately 31 students, teachers, and administrators from Nei-Li Junior High School in in Taoyuan City, Taiwan visited the school for the day. The visiting students performed two of their own dances.
"I am thrilled that our students can experience today’s multicultural rally together with our visiting students from Taiwan," McMurray said. "It couldn’t have worked out better. Our students can share with the Rancho community and especially with our international guests the diversity that makes Milpitas such a unique and wonderful place. I also am excited for the cultural/educational exchange we will have with the school leaders who are accompanying our guest students from Taiwan."

The rally ended with a ceremonial item between Rancho and Nei-Li administration. McMurray and Nei-Li school's principal signed off on a Memorandum of Understanding (pictured right, above) in order to become Sister Schools for the next three years. McMurray said Nei-Li, which has 2,400 students and 220 teachers, is the first junior high school from Taiwan to ever become a sister school with a junior high school in the United States.

On Wednesday, the visitors continued on to visit with staff and administration at Milpitas High School (pictured left, above). MHS students from Period 5 and Period 6 gave the guests a tour of the campus. They visited many classes, including Chemistry, World History, Dance, Oral Composition, English, Math, Geography, AP Chemistry, AP English, Painting, PE, Biology, Production, AP Psychology, and Chinese.

Nurse, engineers talk to Milpitas High School students about their career pathways
by Marissa Canez

This past week, MHS students listened to a Nurse from Valley Medical Center in the Rehab Unit and Engineers from Waymo, the self-driving technology company that derived from Google.

It was nice to see the students engaged, asking questions, and taking notes on how each person reached their career goal as they were all on different paths; from going straight to a four-year college, transferring from a community college, and earning a degree in a different field. I hope this teaches my students that it’s not about the journey, but their destination.
Randall's Pennies for Patients fundraiser nets over $2k
by Jennifer Dixon

Randall Elementary School's student council promoted a Pennies for Patients fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society February 26 through March 9. The students did an amazing job and raised $ 2,778.62. The top class, which raised $420.89, was Ms. Rosa's second graders. They earned a pasta party from Olive Garden. The top five students who raised the most won a bracelet to eat at Olive Garden free for a year. Those students are second graders Gerard Caronongan and Anjuli Rivera from Ms. Rosa's class, fourth graders Alex Pascua and Elijah Alvernaz from Mrs. Dixon's class, and sixth grader Jasmine Morales from Ms. Danna's class.
SAT stands for Science, Art, and Technology at Russell
by Joyce Tang

For the last three months, more than 40 Russell students have been volunteering for over 100 hours to beautify the science quad with bold colors and big designs. Unlike a themed art mural completed by advanced art students with the professional help from an art teacher, these paintings are done by students who have little to no prior experience in art education; these adventurous Wolverines simply want to paint!

What makes our Russell science quad paintings unique is the project’s place-based emphasis. Milpitas belongs to one of the 14 California land ecosystems called the oak woodland ecosystem. As a way to enhance our science curriculum, we have carefully selected 11 California oak woodland animal species for classroom doors and 13 native plant species for walls around the quad. The doors illustrate each animal in its native surroundings while the walls focus on one easily identifiable feature for each plant, such as a leaf or an acorn. Therefore, walking into the 400 quad feels like walking into the science section of an art gallery, or entering an art corner inside a science museum. The vision behind the murals is simple: to raise nature-minded citizens by bringing our native oak woodland habitat closer to our students so all students, regardless of differences, can understand the science of the place they now call home.
Time is another revolutionary aspect in this painting project. Students truly become the owner of their time, and a better manager of time when they are not being hurried by the teacher to finish their work to earn a grade. This voluntary project often can only take place at lunch when the students are already on campus. It is impressive to see how these Wolverines have been consistently donating their short, 30-minute lunch to paint while being curiously scrutinized by hundreds of other students, every single day!

Lastly, as a forward-looking department we plan to conclude the mural project with a 21st century high-tech bang. By the end of the next academic year we will have created an augmented reality (AR) animation for each of these paintings. When science becomes art while collectively enhanced by technology, anybody visiting Russell can download a free app, point their phone camera to any of our murals and experience some student-generated augmented reality fun!
California earned income tax credit opportunity for parents and teachers
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson shared his excitement about a statewide campaign he is sponsoring with other state leaders to help 800,000 California families.

"CalEITC4Me is a campaign to spread awareness of the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to benefit eligible families, increase use of the federal EITC, increase the availability of free tax preparation services, and ensure that the credit winds up in the hands of those who worked hard to earn it," a March 12 letter, he issued to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Principals, states. "CalEITC is a cash-back tax credit that puts money into the pockets of California’s
working families and individuals. Last year CalEITC boosted the income of about 382,000 families who shared over $200 million combined."

He continues: "Many families across the state struggle to earn enough to support the rising costs of
housing, transportation, health care, and child care. This in turn affects each child’s
opportunity for success inside and outside the classroom. Our support of this campaign
can directly help our neediest families thrive and assist the millions of school children
who live in poverty."

If you have any questions, contact Irene Garcia, Special Assistant to the State Superintendent, at igarcia@cde.ca.gov or (916) 319-0617.
Having fun never gets old with Milpitas Recreation and Community Services
by Ruby General

Having fun never gets old with Milpitas Recreation and Community Services! Our Department has been providing the City of Milpitas with fun events, activities and a variety of recreation opportunities for 54 years!

This Summer we’re bringing you over 20 NEW classes, including the Sensational Summertime Sports Camp, Cooking Camp, Guitar and Piano Lessons, Coding with Robots, Slime Squad Camp, Youth Cricket and so much more! A Milpitas Summer isn’t Summer without our favorite camps, Camp Golden Arrow and Camp Winnemucca! This Summer is filled with enough classes and camps in this Summer Activity Guide to keep children of all ages busy throughout the season. Sign-up early and don’t miss out on the extremely popular swimming lessons available for ages 6 months to 80+.

And don’t miss out on the great Summer events we have planned for the Milpitas community! The Summer Concert Series is a summer favorite with free live music at Murphy Park. There will be four Movie Night Out events throughout the summer showing Beauty & The Beast, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Despicable Me 3, and Thor: Ragnarok. Be sure to buy your tickets early and skip the lines for the biggest event in Milpitas, the 4th of July Celebration!

Visit us at www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/recreation for more information on all our summer programs and events!
News and Events
Milpitas High, middle school students medal at Santa Clara County Regional Science Olympiad tournament
by Letta Meyer

The Milpitas Science Olympiad teams (three from Milpitas High School, two from Rancho Milpitas Middle School, and one from Thomas Russell Middle School) competed last Saturday at the Santa Clara County Regional Science Olympiad tournament. All 90 competitors were great representatives of Milpitas Unified. I was approached by many other coaches and event supervisors that commented on how polite and nice and friendly our students are. They had a wonderful day of showing off their science skills and doing amazing work!

There were many Milpitas High School medal winners from the event, as listed in the following Google Doc . Rancho's Battery Buggy also placed.

A little about what Science Olympiad is:
Science Olympiad employs cross-cutting concepts in all of its standards-aligned events, building 21st century skill sets essential to today’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce. There are 23 events each in Division B (middle school) and Division C (high school), providing a platform for students to apply and display a wide variety of talents, from design and prototyping, to technical writing, to chemistry lab skills. A team of 15 students pairs up to tackle the 23 events which are generally spaced in six 50-minute blocks across a Saturday, encouraging collaboration, teamwork, and cross-training. Short descriptions of each event are found  here .
MHS Band and Orchestra students earn high ratings at festivals this month

by Chris Kaldy

The Milpitas High School Jazz Band earned a Command Performance rating at the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival on March 17. This means that they earned Superior ratings from three judges for their performance, and a Superior rating in Sight-Reading from another judge.  (This is only the third time the MHS Jazz Band has earned Command Performance rating at the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival in the past 30-plus years, and I'm very proud of the tremendous progress they all made this year.)  
Congratulations to the following students for earning Outstanding Soloist awards at the SCJF.
  • Katrina Apiado - Vocal Solo
  • Sachin Kulkarni - Trombone Solo
  • Regine Mallorca - Bari Sax Solo

I also want to congratulate the following MHS Band and Orchestra students for earning unanimous Superior   ratings at the Delta College Band and Orchestra festival on March 7 and 8.
  • Wind Ensemble (Emily Moore, Director)
  • Wind Symphony (Emily Moore, Director)
  • Chamber Orchestra (Chris Kaldy, Director)

The judges at Delta College raved about the quality and extent of the music program in Milpitas. They all said that they were impressed with the amount of music students enrolled at MHS, the quality of all their performances, and the professionalism of our students.
Academy of Travel and Tourism sophomores visit Residence Inn, San Jose State University

by Tricia Brownstein

The Academy of Travel and Tourism sophomores at Milpitas High School participated in a work site visit March 13 at the Residence Inn in Milpitas, a longtime business partner. Students toured the facilities, learned about careers in hospitality, and were treated to a waffle breakfast. Afterward, they headed over to San Jose State University where they were invited to visit Dr. Tsu Yen's Intro to Hospitality class and viewed a presentation about "Soft Skills." Lastly, the group took a walking field trip of the campus.

Love4Literacy project hosts field trip to Crab Cove Park

by Greg Barnes

The Love4Literacy project continued its effort in reaching our youngest learners in the Milpitas Community by holding its second field trip of the year on March 10 at Crab Cove Park in Alameda. Young learners, ages 0-5, accompanied Milpitas family members on a picnic, nature study, and guided tour of the aquatic center. Attendees learned all about the wildlife that makes up Bay Area marshlands. Everyone involved had a wonderful time exploring one of the Bay Areas natural, and most important, habitats.

More than 30 people attend Russell Middle School cleanup

Community group Milpitas Cares along with members from the Parent Teacher Student Association came to Thomas Russell Middle School o n March 10 to assist with general campus clean-up, painting, and work in the site's Parklet. Of about 30+ people who showed up to work around the campus that day, 10 dedicated adults and students came to help rebuild the paths in the Parklet, and to do extensive weeding around the native plants.

Begun in 2013, Russell Parklet has been an ongoing 8th grade project for Mrs. Flagg’s classes. The science quad previously was overgrown with various weedy types of plants. Mrs. Flagg’s classes decided to construct a Parklet for students to hang out in and enjoy at lunch and break. Over the last five years, students have dug the dry creek bed (wadi), and lined it with rocks, set out the paths, and planted a variety of California native plants. Additionally, the student body purchased the walking bridge and the sign.

A pictorial history  of the Parklet is on the following page.

Along with the Russell Parklet, science teachers at Russell decided to paint doors with images of wildlife from California and paint walls with plants native to the surrounding hills and area. Students and science teachers have undertaken the painting of the quad walls and classroom doors.

--Submitted by Myra Flagg
Pomeroy elementary holds Family Science Night

by Laurie Fiatal

More than 100 students attended Marshall Pomeroy Elementary School's Family Science Night on March 8. The theme was Secret Agent Science, and was organized by the school's Parent Teacher Association and the Children's Discovery Museum. Milpitas High School students volunteered to run each activity.

MHS students decorate campus for Trojan Olympics

by Angelie Hoang

On March 7 after school, from 2 to 5 p.m., each of the Milpitas High School classes and additional volunteers decorated their assigned portion of the campus. Classes filled their areas with decorations that corresponded to their Trojan Olympics theme. Judging occurred, and Freshmen earned 4th place while Sophomores received 3rd place, Juniors took 2nd place, and Seniors seized 1st place.

Trojan Olympics 2018 will occur this evening (Friday, March 23) in the Milpitas High School large gym. In this annual battle of the classes and one of the most notable events at MHS, representatives will compete in a dance, many games, and form a pyramid, all to earn Trojan Olympics points. Doors open at 6:15 p.m., and the event is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $7 each and can be bought at Milpitas High's activity room, J17. 

Rose Elementary fourth graders go fishing

by Amanda Montoro

Twenty-five fourth grade students braved the elements to go fishing at Ed Levin Park on March 3. Volunteers from the Milpitas Rotary Club and Milpitas High School ROTC classes were organized by local Police Officer Eric Emanuelle to teach children how to fish and become stewards of the environment.

The rain stopped just in time and a rainbow led the way up the hill, past the fields of mustard flowers, to the lake, where they caught eight fish (a new record) and observed the competition: herons, egrets, coots, hawks. 

Rotary Club members cleaned the fish for children to take home and many Rose Elementary families had memorable meals. Special thanks to Brian Shreve, Director of Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation; Wendy Zhang, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services; and Superintendent Cheryl Jordan for their organizational help and special support.

Fifth annual STEAM Showcase a huge success

On March 3, the Milpitas Community Educational Endowment and the District held its fifth annual STEAM Showcase. This year, more than 160 students signed up to participate, with over 60 projects to showcase. There was representation from almost every school in the district and grades kindergarten through 12th grade. Event organizers thanked Karen Muska, Kimi Schmidt, and Yolie Garcia for organizing and managing the event, and Chin Song, and Robert Jung for their support. Also, we want to recognize all of the MCEE volunteers as well as all of the teachers and parents who supported their kids. We can't wait for next year! For more information, visit the STEAM Showcase website .

-- Submitted by Robert Jung
SVCTE students win 34 medals at SkillsUSA Regional Leadership and Skills competition

by Jason Sholl

Silicon Valley Career Technical Education (SVCTE) students earned 34 medals at the 2018 SkillsUSA Regional Leadership and Skills Competition including 15 gold, 11 silver, and 8 bronze. On February 17, more than 400 students assembled at SVCTE to compete in various skills categories and leadership skills. Out of 60 participants, 44 SVCTE students advance to the SkillsUSA California 51st Annual State Leadership and Skill Conference at the Ontario Convention Center on April 19-22, 2018. The students represent a variety of partner school districts, including: East Side Union High School District, Campbell Union High School District, San Jose Unified School District, Milpitas Unified School District , and Santa Clara Unified High School District. Milpitas High School student Mariah Martinez earned a bronze medal in Medical Assisting.

“SkillsUSA is an extracurricular activity that makes you work,” said silver medalist Brian Hoffman, a senior SVCTE Truck Mechanics student from Branham High School. “The competitors are the top in our industry, showing the best they can do. Winning a competition shows employers you go above and beyond what is taught in class.” Brian is applying to the Peterson Caterpillar ThinkBIG program to earn his associate's degree in applied science.

Upcoming Events
SCCOE Teacher Recruitment Fair

On Saturday (March 24),  Milpitas Unified School District   will participate in the  Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) Teacher Recruitment Fair  , an opportunity for those seeking positions as educators to meet with those who hire teachers in Santa Clara County.  

The need for qualified teachers is strong as a large number of teachers are at or near retirement age, and districts are working hard to replace them, according to the SCCOE. Past years have resulted in more than 300 open teaching positions each year. 

This fair is designed for credentialed candidates, including those with a California preliminary or professional clear teaching credential; candidates with at least one year experience in a teaching intern program; those who will have a credential by this fall; and candidates who have a credential from outside California. 
Academy of Travel and Tourism showcase seeks judges for student projects

Milpitas High School's Academy of Travel and Tourism is holding its first annual showcase event 9 a.m.-12:40 p.m. March 27 at Milpitas High School. Judging will take place from 9-10:30am in the Learning Center. It will be open for guest visits on the green from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and presentations will be held on the green for MHS students and staff from 12-12:40 p.m. Are you a teacher, business partner, MUSD employee, or board members willing to judge student projects? If so, RSVP to Elliott Terr at eterr@musd.org or call (408) 635-2600, ext. 4006.
Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Tour

Do you want to prepare your child for a global future? Are you interested in an enriched learning environment that blends academics and cultural proficiency? Come join us at Randall Elementary School to learn about and see our Two-Way Bilingual Immersion/Dual language program in action from 8:15 - 9:30 a.m. on the following Thursdays: March 29, Apr. 5, 12, 26, and May 3 and 10. For more information, call (408) 635-2662.

Adult Ed offers Summer Enrichment, ESL, ECE classes

Milpitas Unified School District, in partnership with Milpitas Adult Education, announces “Summer Enrichment 2018,” open to all Bay Area students entering grades 1-8. Registration, which began Thursday, Mar. 1 is now open at adulted.musd.org.

The program will offer multiple sessions, with the first starting June 18, to be held at Rose Elementary School, 250 Roswell Drive, Milpitas. See the flier on MUSD’s Google Drive for more info.

Free ESL Classes
Also, for those who do not speak English fluently... Do you need a better job? Want more education? Want to help your kids with school work? Want to become an American citizen? We offer six levels of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, serving adults who wish to make a successful transition into American society and develop the skills needed to reach their professional and personal goals. For more information, call (408) 635-2692, Ext. 4555.
Early Childhood Education career pathway
Are you interested in opening your own daycare? Is it your dream to work as a teacher, assistant teacher, or special needs teacher? Milpitas Adult Education has joined with San Jose City College to offer an Early Childhood Education (ECE) career pathway. MAE students have the option to also co-enroll in ECE classes held on the MAE school site or enroll in core ECE classes at the SJCC Extension site on Escuela Parkway. This semester, two ECE elective classes are available at MAE and two core classes are available at the extension. For more information, view the flier or contact Patti Gairaud at pgairaud@musd.org or (408) 635-2692.

The photo above depicts ECE 104 "Art and Creativity for Children," with instructor Ranjana Bhatnagar. 
Ayer Hall of Fame Dinner on April 6 will honor three new members, MHS Football Team

Next month, three new members, plus a special team, will be inducted into the Milpitas/Ayer High School Hall of Fame. This year's inductees are:

  • Ms. Cecily​​ ​(Jacobs)​ Ballungay:1992 Milpitas High School alumnus, Executive Director of Hope Ministries in Manteca, Calif.
  • ​​Mr. Primo Espitia: 1976 Ayer High School alumnus, Retired California Highway Patrol, Milpitas H.S. Football Coach
  • Mr. Deltha O’Neal:1995 Milpitas High School alumnus, NFL 1st Round Draft Pick by Denver Broncos, All Pro
  • MHS Football Team:2017 CIF State 4A Champions – First State Champion in any sport for Milpitas High School

You are invited to join the 11th annual celebration from 5:30-9:30 Friday, April 6 at the Milpitas Community Center, located at 457 E. Calaveras Blvd. In Milpitas. The cost of the dinner is $45 per person. Profits from the evening will go to the annual  Milpitas High School Hall of Fame Scholarship . This scholarship is awarded to a graduating male and female senior, distinguished by academic achievement and service to the community. Donations will be available during the evening f or additional scholarship contributions. If you cannot attend the dinner but wish to make a donation, please mail your donation to Mr. Jeff Lamb at the address below.

Seating is limited, so please complete and return the bottom portion of the attached letter as soon as possible  ( Deadline is Monday, March 26, 2018. )  If you have any questions, email  jlamb@musd.org  or call (408) 592-4918.
MUSD | Phone: (408) 635-2600