Board Highlights
from the April 9, 2019 meeting
Sean Anglon named Principal of Thomas Russell Middle School
The Board approved Superintendent Cheryl Jordan's recommendation for Middle School Principal, effective in May. She introduced and recognized Sean Anglon, currently Assistant Principal of Rancho Milpitas Middle School, as the new member of the Russell team. After he was recognized, Anglon came forward to say a few words.

"First I want to thank you for this opportunity. I have been seeking this position for a long time," Anglon said. "...For me it has always been about preparing our students to actually achieve their highest potential at the high school and beyond."

Anglon added that as Superintendent Jordan mentioned, "one of my big passions is trying to figure out how to better wed the career and technical education pathways for our students so they can actually see the relevance of education."

Anglon has been with Milpitas Unified School District since 2013, serving in his current role at Rancho. He came to the District from Ravenswood City School District in San Mateo County, where he was Principal at Cesar Chavez Academy from 2010 to 2011 before stepping in as Principal at Ronald McNair Academy 2011 through 2013. According to Anglon's cover letter, since 1997, he has taught and/or served as an administrator not only abroad in Japan but also at both the elementary and secondary levels in four different Bay Area school districts.

"But I know that the middle school is where I belong," Anglon said.

Watch the entire acceptance speech here.
Pomeroy families, staff pack the Board Room to honor #WEareMUSDChampions Coach Rey
The Board Room was overflowing with love for Pomeroy Paraprofessional/PE Teacher Reynard Elzey ("Coach Rey") as staff, students, and families squeezed in to be a part of the celebration to honor him. He was chosen as the March classified employee winner in the District's #WEareMUSDChampions program.

Elzey was chosen for the award after being nominated by a large group of staff members. They said Elzey has demonstrated his work with the following Strategic Goal: "Identify creative, student-focused strategies to accommodate enrollment growth and ensure healthy learning environments."

Watch the student interviews about his nomination  online now , read an article about his service  online now , and watch a PowerPoint presentation created by Pomeroy staff members  online now .
Board honors those who made this year's STEAM Showcase a success
Superintendent Jordan and the Board of Education recognized members of the STEAM Showcase team, who helped put on a successful event March 9 at the San Jose City College Extension.

Held in collaboration between Milpitas Unified School District and the Milpitas Community Educational Endowment, the event had more than 240 participants and over 700 attendees.
Winners in Student Nutrition Services' poster contest at Weller, Spangler, Rancho recognized
Superintendent Jordan and Trustees honored winners in Student Nutrition Services' student poster contest that was held at three schools: Spangler Elementry School, Weller Elementary School, and Rancho Milpitas Middle School. In celebration of National School Breakfast Week from March 4-9, the theme of the poster contest was, "What does Healthy Breakfast mean to you?" Each artwork highlighted the importance of eating healthy breakfasts regularly and influencing others to consider healthy food choices in their daily life.
The winning students were as follows:

Spangler Elementary School
First place: Aizah Kirmani, sixth grade (pictured)
Second place: Baley Suarez, sixth grade

Weller Elementary School
First place: Avik Jain, fifth grade
Second place: Vanessa Gonzalez, sixth grade

Rancho Milpitas Middle School
First place: Angela Mo, seventh grade
Second place: Katrina Lima Guan, eighth grade

View the winning work online now.
Zanker Principal, teacher, PTA President report on how school is exemplifying the District's Strategic Goal of building a 'Culture of We'
During the Principal Report, Zanker Principal Shangrila Mia-Ramzan discussed how the school staff and PTA is living by the District's Strategic Goal: "Build a Culture of We that engages parents, staff, and community partners in supporting student success." She was joined by fourth grade teacher Laura Polden and PTA President Amy Jorde, who each spoke to success that has emerged at their respective levels.

Jorde beamed over the implementation of ParentSquare, a mass messaging service for parents, as it has engaged the parent community in ways they have never seen before. Not only can you send text and email messages to your respective school community, but it allows you to put out calendar invitations, request volunteers, or ask for items. This year, Jorde shared, a request was put out for 350 items and within just a couple of days, 340 of those items were filled. Additionally, she believes more parents are attending events because they are more aware of what is going on and when. The PTA has put on many successful events, from Paint Nights to Family Game Nights, and they have even engaged in important conversations, like one centered around a digital literacy program the night before, thanks to a Google grant.

Polden said she is thankful that the Learning and Development Department brought the pilot club Girl Start to Zanker and she is amazed at its popularity with more than 40 girls signing up from just two grade levels. Bringing the club to her is just one example of how she feels valued by the District. KLA-Tencor in partnership with the school district is providing two Girl Start pilots, at Zanker and Randall elementary schools. Another focus for Polden has been focusing on subsets of students and their culture, beyond just history books. That is why she is focusing on Native American History this month.

Mia-Ramzan emphasized that history beyond just the pages is what the entire Zanker community is focusing on. In February, for example, they held their first ever Black History Month celebration. It was a huge success, and took the coordination of many volunteers in order for it to happen. The impact it has made, she said, is invaluable and priceless. She said she is proud to be a part of the Jaguar team.
Board begins larger discussion about how to create additional educational supports for students who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness
There are 246 students identified under the McKinney-Vento Act (MV) as homeless or at-risk of homelessness, Nicole Steward, the district's School Linked Services Coordinator, said. However, she added, this number changes on a daily basis.

Under the McKinney Vento Act, the district is obligated to provide students with support for school attendance by:

  • Immediately enrolling students in school to maintain continuity in attendance
  • Providing transportation support
  • Providing free or reduced lunch
  • Connecting students and their parents/guardians to resources within the community or county
  • If available, providing support for after school program entrance

Board Members, Executive Cabinet, staff, and members of the community came together for a heart-tugging, honest conversation to strategize about how the district can go beyond the obligatory MV requirements to assure their mission of educating all students. After all, how can a student focus on their academics when they don't even know where they will be staying that evening or if the housing situation is inadequate, lacking water, electricity, Internet, and just simply a table or desk to do their work.

Of the many situations shared that night, Steward said there were 12 people living in a one bedroom apartment. And this is one of many realities for many of the district's families.

"This is not an overnight solution we can solve today," Board President Chris Norwood said.

Creating safe places where students can do their homework after school, potentially providing after school meals, and supporting families through a family liaison with a social work background were some of the ideas that Board Members discussed.

"It would be good to have adult mentors at the sites to see how they are doing daily," Superintendent Jordan shared.

The difficulty in providing more district resources is a funding issue, with few dollars provided by the federal government, a small amount of supplemental funds received by the state, and no grants available for homelessness in education, Steward explained.

Board Members also recognized the life-changing work Steward is doing by working with families to connect them with county resources and non-profit agencies. Her position that supports secondary students and families was put in place during the 2018-19 school year after the District worked with the Santa Clara County Department of Behavioral Health Services and County Supervisor Dave Cortese.

Moving forward, Norwood asked Board Members to capture all of their ideas by sending them to Superintendent Jordan. Additionally, he would like to see conversations with Steward about who our partners are or could be within the city.
Board Adopts resolution declaring April School Library Month in MUSD
The Milpitas Unified School District Board of Education and MUSD staff wish to recognize the experiences of our students and staff by adopting resolutions that give voice to our rich diversity and work. By adopting this resolution, Milpitas Unified School District is joining other communities and school districts in our nation in celebrating April as School Library Month. Additionally, adopting this resolution recognizes the many hardworking teachers and paraeducators that services our school libraries in the district.

Milpitas High School Student Board Representative Vivek Chotai read the resolution into the record.

"Whereas, school libraries provide materials for teachers and students that encourage growth and knowledge," the resolution states. "Whereas, school libraries provide materials that develop literary, cultural, aesthetic appreciation, and ethical standards."

Following the adoption, Superintendent Jordan asked District librarian LeighAnn McCready and other paraeducators who serve our school libraries in the district in the audience to stand up and be recognized. While not all of those employees who tend to the libraries were present, the impact they made on their school community is imperative to the work that is happening every day. Library designees include Linh Ton and Bronwen Lacey at Burnett Elementary, Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley at Calaveras Hills High School, Chau Pham at Curtner Elementary School, LeighAnn McCready at Milpitas High School, Daisy Loo and Loridean Haro at Pomeroy Elementary School, Ken Chiu at Rancho Milpitas Middle School, Sherry Miller-LO at Randall Elementary School, Peggy Bowen and Wendy Lundeen at Rose Elementary School, Amber Loanzon at Sinnott Elementary School, Gina Sainten at Spangler Elementary School, Cyd Mathias at Weller Elementary School, and Kevin Sullivan at Zanker Elementary School.

McCready spoke at the podium briefly, thanking Board Members for considering and adopting the resolution for their first year.

"We have a lot of awesome things going on in this district, and libraries are no longer just about books," she said. "They really are about providing students with safe places to be in a variety of ways, whether that be through reading or just a safe place to be, and I'm really proud of what we've done at Milpitas High, but I'm also really excited about some of the things that I've seen happen at our elementary schools and our middle school as well."