Board Highlights
from the June 23, 2020 meeting

MUSD continues to shape plans for 2020-21 school year
With input from hundreds of Milpitas Unified School District staff, parents and community members, the plan for the 2020-21 school year continues to take shape, with the safety of all being the top priority.

Superintendent Cheryl Jordan led the latest presentation at the June 23 Board of Education meeting, with representatives from seven of the MUSD COVID-19 Advisory Task Force Subcommittees sharing details from their respective concentrations. Jordan explained that all MUSD schools will use a phasing-in, hybrid approach with all students enrolled in 100 percent distance learning for the first month of school.

“We will begin the year 2020 on the designated school start date of August 13 by phasing-in, first with everybody in distance learning,” said Jordan, who has participated in weekly, bi-monthly and monthly meetings with different parent groups while also reviewing responses from nearly 1,600 parent surveys.

“That will afford us the one month of making sure that all of our protocols have been put in place, all of the signage has been put in place, all of the sneeze guards are installed, all PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that’s required has arrived—and it affords our teachers and parents the opportunity to connect either one-on-one or in small groups,” Jordan continued.

Parents also have the option of allowing their children to enroll in 100 percent distance learning for at least the first half of the year, if they are not comfortable with sending them to school campuses. These students will begin on August 20 to allow teachers extra time to collaborate on online lesson plans.

The Superintendent announced an August 3 Special Board of Education Meeting to share even more details for the 2020-21 school year.

“I am so inspired by the number of people who want to have a part in how we do this for 2020-21,” said Jordan, noting there are 158 subcommittee members as well as 34 COVID-19 Advisory Task Force staff members.

To watch a video recording of the June 23 Board of Education meeting to hear more about 2020-21, please click here .
Milpitas HS speech and debate leaders honored by School Board
Milpitas High School rising senior Rachel Wu and science teacher Charles Schletzbaum brought incredible news with them to the June 23 meeting, as both were recognized by district leadership.

Schletzbaum, the MHS team advisor and the debate league’s co-Vice President in charge of organizing the tournaments, announced that Wu was part of a five-student, speech-and-debate regional team that just placed top 8 in the world.

“He, with students like Rachel, has tremendously grown the program. They have worked with elementary as well as middle school students to develop a pipeline of speech-and-debaters,” Jordan said. “I just really wanted to take this opportunity to recognize the passion and leadership and dedication that you have.”

Meanwhile, Wu, under the guidance of Schletzbaum, is running an online summer public speaking program for 300 Milpitas elementary and middle school students. 

“I’m really happy to be hosting this public speaking program for Milpitas youth,” said Wu, who developed the curriculum last May and started the program by teaching 100 students. “I really hope I can show kids through this program that public speaking, like any other skill, is something that can be learned. … I hope this will help students develop leadership and critical thinking skills.”
Board gives special recognition to dedicated schools-police liaison, retired educator
Henry Robinson, a retired MUSD teacher and current schools-police liaison, has impacted the lives of thousands of Milpitas families, particularly when they are at their most vulnerable.

“You are a pillar of strength and support in our community,” said Milpitas Police Chief Armando Corpuz. “This community is definitely better because of you. I want to thank you for being a role model for all of us to follow, including myself.”

On the nomination of Vice President Chris Norwood, a former pupil of Robinson’s at Milpitas HS, the Board honored a man who works behind the scenes to help families in need. Norwood recalled being a senior at MHS in Robinson’s U.S. Government class.

“He explains on the very first day that you need his class to graduate and that he’s going to do all he can to help you graduate,” Norwood reminisced. “Then he went into explain the purpose of government, the history of government, and the value of government in a way that was mesmerizing and captivating to everyone in his classroom. I’ll never forget that experience.”
Board honors long-time Milpitas resident for $150,000 in donations to district
David Hufton, a longtime Milpitas resident in his 90’s, recently issued a check for $140,000 to Milpitas Unified School District, bringing his total donations to $160,000.

Superintendent Jordan and the Board made a point of recognizing Hufton’s generosity at the June 23 meeting. Earlier in the month, Jordan, Board President Hon Lien and Vice President Chris Norwood made a special home visit to Hufton to thank him for his contributions to MUSD.

Hufton’s children attended MUSD schools, and his grandchildren attended Pomeroy Elementary School, Thomas Russell Middle School, and Milpitas High School. His late wife was a retired San Jose State University professor. “Because of her dedication to education, he wants to do what he can to support MUSD,” said Jordan, who delivered a gift bag and certificate to Hufton’s Milpitas home that he’s lived in for decades.

Earlier this year, Hufton donated $10,000 to the Milpitas HS Special Education Department.
Board takes unanimous action on variety of key education items
The Board unanimously adopted Resolution 2020.43 Encouraging the Celebration of the Month of June as LGBTQ Pride Month.

This new resolution was developed by Milpitas HS students Jazmine Finuliar, Edward John (EJ) Loria, Jacky Thai, Brandon Pecot, Ethan To, and Skye Johnson, with guidance from MHS True Colors Club advisors Brett Webber and Lisa Samy.

The students produced this video reading of the resolution that was played at the June 23 meeting.
Board approves variety of key education items
At the June 23 meeting , the Board approved several education items including:

  • 2020-21 Proposed Budget
  • Resolution 2020.44 Ordering a November 3, 2020 election, setting the specifications of the election order, and requesting that the County Registrar of Voters canvass the returns of the election
  • Public Hearing on the District's General Fund Excess Reserve
  • COVID-19 Operations Written Report
  • First reading of Board Policy 0470 COVID-19 Mitigation Plan
  • First reading of Board Policy 6157 Distance Learning
  • Revision of Board Policy 3311 Business and Non-Instructional Operations
  • iReady License Contract
  • Resolution 2020.45 Authorizing the Issuance of MUSD 2020 General Obligations Refunding Bonds
Board unanimously approves district's new Business Services Manager
The Board unanimously approved the Superintendent's recommendation to promote Lilia Cortes to the position of Business Services Manager in closed session.

“I want to take this moment to express my gratitude to the Milpitas Board of Education, the Executive Cabinet and Superintendent Cheryl Jordan for this wonderful and exciting opportunity," said Cortes, who had been working as an accountant in the Business Services Department.

Cortes' promotion comes shortly after the retirement announcement of MUSD Business Services Director Linh Le. The District is not filling the Business Director position and instead has created this lower level manager position as part of reorganization plans to meet cost management objectives for fiscal year 2021-22.

“I’ve learned from each and every person I've come in contact with and I will continue to learn all the important lessons that are essential in being able to face the challenges we have ahead and truly encompass the Culture of We that we strive for as a district,” Cortes added.