Board Highlights
from the June 11, 2019 meeting
Board Member Daniel Bobay says goodbye after 11 years of service to MUSD
Longtime Trustee Daniel Bobay led his last meeting at the helm of Milpitas Unified School District's Board of Education, thanks to Board President Chris Norwood, who handed over the symbolic hammer to him. Bobay has been a Board Member since 2008, and Tuesday's meeting was the last one he attended in person. He will virtually attend on June 25 through "Google Hangouts."

During the Superintendent's Report, Superintendent Cheryl Jordan and Board Members (present and some past) thanked Bobay for his hard work through the years.

"We want to thank you for all of your service, and the 11 years that you've been here supporting our students and our staff," Jordan said. "Thank you for all your insights and coaching, and really pulling us together. I think we've come a long way because of your leadership, so thank you."

Board President Chris Norwood noted that Bobay has been a "staple in the community for a very long time." This has included visiting the different school campuses for events through the years, serving on PTAs, advocating for career technical education, and meeting with elected officials so they "never forget about our schools, our children, and our community as a whole," Norwood said.

"I will be forever grateful for your mentorship and leadership of this Board, and I just hope that myself and other Board Members can live up to the high standards that you've left," Norwood said.

At the end of the meeting, Board Members shared similar sentiments about how they will miss Bobay.

"I gotta say that this Board's strength is in what you do together," Bobay said, referring to attending graduation ceremonies and other events throughout the community.
"It's been an honor to serve on this Board as it has been an honor to serve past Boards, and even past staff and this staff."

For more information about Bobay, read the Milpitas Beat article online now.
Superintendent shares accomplishments, vision during State of the District presentation
In 2018, Superintendent Cheryl Jordan and the Board set five Strategic Goals to act as the guiding principles of how Milpitas Unified School District staff would focus their efforts and work. They were created after a review with the MUSD team and community stakeholders in 2017 "to determine what the priorities were of our constituents," she said.

They include:

  • Build a Culture of We that engages parents, staff, and community partners in supporting student success.
  • Improve communication systems for better outreach to parents, students and staff.
  • Develop educational pathways that allow students to apply their passion in learning for their future careers.
  • Focus services and support systems to ensure that all students are engaged in their learning and are making social,emotional and academic gains.
  • Identify creativestudent-focused strategies to accommodate enrollment growth and ensure healthy learning environments.

"So it's my great pleasure to share with you our progress in achieving these goals and what's next," Jordan said during her State of the District update.

Before starting her presentation, Jordan referenced an agenda item attachment that lists in depth details about the Strategic Goals accomplishments and progress since 2017-18.

She then went into the presentation, with each slide representing one Strategic Goal. For example, the first slide "represents how we have worked to build a Culture of We by engaging with our parents, staff, and community partners in supporting student success."

Examples included team building, visitors from Taiwan at Sinnott Elementary School and Thomas Russell Middle School, and Manufacturing Day, where high school students from Milpitas and Calaveras Hills high schools learned about career opportunities with local high tech manufacturers. The event was co-sponsored by the District, City of Milpitas, and Milpitas Economic Development Commission.

"The Culture of We has many different facets to it," Jordan explained. "It's everywhere from each of our team members feeling that he or she contributes to what we do as a team to ensuring that each and every one of our students feels that their cultural experiences and learning experiences and everything that makes them who they are is valued."

After her presentation, Norwood acknowledged Jordan's work on the Strategic Goals and shared out that at the urging of Bobay a few years ago the work began. He credited the hard work of Jordan and District staff for bringing it to fruition in order to better serve the students.

"As this Board comes and goes, as these parents come and go, as these students come and go, the Strategic Goal direction that we've set for this District is strong," Norwood said. "You'll see it in our children, you'll see it in our community partners, and you'll see it in the leadership of this Board."

To learn more about the District's Strategic Goals, view the entire presentation online here .
Trustees acknowledge Vivek Chotai for being 2018-19 MHS Student Board Representative
Superintendent Jordan and the Board of Education honored Vivek Chotai, who served as Milpitas High School's Student Board Representative for the 2018-19 school year.

"When you came onto the Board and expressed your opinions during the Board Meetings, it really set a standard that will be hard for future Student Board Representatives to beat," Bobay said. "You asked hard questions and you asked timely questions and you took positions, and that was exactly what we were looking for, so congratulations."

Chotai shared his gratitude at serving Milpitas Unified School District.

"It has just been an honor to serve this community," he said. "All of the students, teachers, staff, parents, this is for you, it's not for me."
MUSD Science Olympiad team lauded for a successful year
Superintendent Jordan and the Board of Education recognized Milpitas Unified School District's Science Olympiad team, who had a successful year, which began in January.

Jordan invited coaches Letta Meyer and Roberto Alvelais forward to explain Science Olympiad, and introduce the students.

Meyer said Milpitas Unified acts as a District within the Science Olympiad team, so the two middle schools and high school attended and competed at seven different tournaments, including one of the high school teams attending the state tournament.

She explained that Science Olympiad is a team competition where 15 students compete with partners in 23 different science oriented events. These events fit into two basic categories, building or knowledge, with some events being a blend of the team. In a building event students are required to build a device to a detailed specification that accomplishes a task while knowledge events have the students study a specific subject area at a higher level than their typical grade level and take a test to demonstrate their knowledge.

Members of the team came up to share four different build projects, including a mouse trap car, xylophone from scratch, a balsa wood plane that is powered by a rubber band, and a Rube Goldberg machine. They were able to demonstrate the last three projects, which wowed members of the audience.

As a "small tally" of their seven competitions, Meyer said they placed in at least 95 different events.
Curtner student places at 2019 Drive, Chip, and Putt National Finals on April 7
Trustees and Superintendent Jordan honored Curtner student Aiden Trieu Khai Tiet. He who  was one of 10 boys (11-12 years old) that were National Finalists at the 2019 Drive, Chip, and Putt National Finals held on April 7 at Augusta National Golf Club site of the PGA Tour Masters Tournament, whereby he had an opportunity to meet former US Secretary of State Ms. Condoleezza Rice, among other dignitaries. In his age group, Tiet earned first place in the Chipping portion of the competition and earned third place overall. 

Watch a video about him  online here .
Founder and contributors of "Girl Genius Magazine" recognized for their work
Milpitas High School sophomore Shivali Gulati created "Girl Genius Magazine", a student-run magazine that connects women in STEAM from over 18 different locations.

The Board of Education and Superintendent Jordan honored Gulati along with other contributors to the magazine, which included Priyanshi Nigam, Karen Hyunh, Rajvee Patel, Catherine Navalta, Jasmine Serna, Esther Duong, Aashna Gajaria, Chloe Wang, Nyla Choates, Ayushi Malhotra, Kauther Almamori, Queenie Luc, and Alaniah Cabradilla.

Read the first issue  online here . View the Girl Genius Magazine website  online here
Student organizers honored for putting on 2019 TEDxMilpitasHighSchool conference
Trustees and Superintendent Jordan recognized s tudent organizers who put on a successful 2019 TEDxMilpitasHighSchool conference May 25, which had approximately 125 people in attendance.

The TEDx team included Luke Ren, Vivian Tsang, Maansi Maskai,Ayushi Malhotra, Tamrin Bains, Anvi Brahmbhatt, Hana Noory, Rajvee Patel, Esther Duong, Kush Brahmbhatt, Maya Mannan, Shreedhar Jangam, Dana Nguyen, Rushil Patel, and Ashley Noory.  Speakers at the event, including Board President Norwood,  talked around the event theme, "Bursting Bubbles", symbolic of the stereotypes and societal constructs that we, as members of society, often feel limited by. View photos from the event  online here
Milpitas career tech students earn Certificates of Achievement for participating in first ever National Signing Day
Milpitas students Jose Cabrera and Vincent Gonzales were two of 3,000 students at 300 high schools across the country that participated in the first ever National Signing Day May 8 at Silicon Valley Career Technical Education.

Similar to “National Signing Day” events for high school student athletes, SVCTE seniors went up in groups of 10 to sign letters of intent (a promissory note to themselves) and announce their career plans to pursue a career in the skilled trades.

Read an article about the day  online here .
Assistant Superintendent of Business Services projects budget reductions of $1 million in 2020-2021 school year during Study Session
Wendy Zhang, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, and her team gave a Budget Study Session presentation, sharing some of the highlights in the 2019-20 budget. As the general fund is the District's major fund at $120,282,346 in revenue and $125,939,502 in expenditures, the majority of the presentation focused on that source.

"It's important that we first share with you our budget development process," Zhang said, then walked members through the Budget Adoption Book ( Part 1) and ( Part 2).

"Every year we rewrite the narrative, but one thing we do not change is we always start with our District Mission, Vision, and Strategic Goals," she said. "That is the foundation of what we do daily. So I encourage each of you every day, when you are about to make a decision, ask yourself how it will connect with our District Strategic Goals and what might be the financial impact. Because every decision made will have an impact, whether directly or indirectly."

Based on current planning, the District will need to implement a budget reduction starting in the 2020-21 fiscal year of $1,077,746, the adoption book details, adding that cumulatively there will be $2,155,492 in savings created by the end of 2021-22.

A large topic of discussion for generating more dollars was the need to work with school site teams to improve the average daily attendance rate. Known as Average Daily Attendance (ADA), this money is factored into the Local Control Funding Formula, which also includes dollars from Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), high needs students, and additional revenue.

Linh Le, Director of Business Services, did an overview of enrollment and attendance, and spoke about how it has impacted the District throughout the years.

He began by referencing the 2016-17 school year. At that time, the District had its highest attendance rate at 97.87 percent. In the 2018-19 school year, the attendance rate dropped to 97.39 percent. He added that the school district receives approximately $9,500 annually per student through ADA. Parents and guardians will need to work with the District's students to ensure that they are at school every day in order to increase attendance and, in turn, dollars for the District.
Director of Technology Services paints a picture of services in 2019-24 Technology Plan
Chin Song, Director of Technology Services gave a presentation about the 2019-2024 Technology Plan, with many team members in attendance.

"I remember standing here eight years ago," he said, reminiscing that it was just Bobay, Jordan, and himself. "And I think at that time, I made a longitudinal commitment to the system, not only to bring the best of class technology, but also the willingness to put my own children in our schools."

He continued: "And so, with that as the guiding light, we're always thinking about innovation, how can we do it better and how do we make people's lives just simply easier, and then how do we increase learning."

Song said Technology Services is committed to ensuring that every person within the District feels connected online and to each other, in the spirit of we. The purpose of the plan, he explained, is to give a guide for 2019-2024 knowing that it's a living document, so as technology shifts, the plans will shift with it.

Below are the eight things leading indicators on emerging trends in education that the department is focused on:

  • Collaborative classrooms
  • Computational thinking
  • Connecting parents/guardians and schools
  • Digital responsibility
  • Emerging technologies
  • Innovating pedagogy
  • Life skills and workforce preparation
  • Student-led learning

View the entire presentation online here .
School Linked Services Coordinator talks about her scope of work to better MUSD
Nicole Steward, School Linked Services Coordinator, gave a presentation about the work that she provides for Milpitas Unified School District, and the many lives she's touched. Among her efforts is collaboration with the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and Behavioral Health; bi-monthly meetings with County service providers and peers; service referrals for students and families in need; and monthly Community Collaborative meetings.

Steward said she meets with service providers every other month, and she did 220 student referrals this quarter alone.

In addition to her collaborative efforts, Steward provides mindfulness and stress reduction workshops. This year she provided them at Pomeroy and Curtner elementary schools, Thomas Russell Middle School, ninth grade Life Management Class, and Travel and Tourism Academy, among others. Also during the year, she hosted screenings of documentaries focused on social media and mental health.

A highlight of the presentation was when Steward shared success stories about those students she has worked with in addition to how her work has allowed students and teachers to connect. One student only attended her English class because they offered "circle up" time, "which meant that teacher saw her, wanted to know more about her, and made sure that class wasn't just about academics, and I think that's powerful," Steward said.

She then referenced a screenshot from a student report card.

"If you can see this, you can see this is a student who has straight As and perfect attendance," Steward said, explaining that he has been able to make great achievements despite having many life difficulties.

"You bring hope to the hopeless," Board Clerk Daniel Bobay said after hearing her presentation.

View the entire presentation online here .