Board Highlights
from the November 24, 2020 meeting
Norwood honored as CSBA State Board Member of Year
A contingent of former school board members joined current trustees and MUSD team members in congratulating Board Vice President Chris Norwood on his selection as the California School Boards Association’s State Board Member of the Year.

“We all share this award together,” said the 2020 CSBA Golden Gavel recipient. “I am grateful that we have this moment of celebration in these uncertain times, and I can give thanks to all of you in the midst of what we’re going through together. Together, we will continue to do what’s best for MUSD, the students, and the families we serve.”

Norwood, a Milpitas High School alumnus who joined the MUSD Board in 2014 and served as its president in 2019, was chosen among nearly 5,000 school board members making up 977 school boards throughout the state.

“We all know Chris and that he is a strong advocate for kids in the community, especially in Milpitas and MUSD,” said Superintendent Cheryl Jordan. “His sense of ‘We’ and investment in building on the greatness that is Milpitas is quite evident in what he does.”

Former school board members Marsha Grilli, Bob Nuñez, Robert Jung, Dan Bobay, Gwan Alisantosa and Michael Mendizabal attended the November 24 virtual meeting to share in the moment with Norwood—who recognized each of them for the roles they played in his governance.

“I am grateful to have each of you as a resource to be able to call whenever I need or have questions, concerns, or ideas,” Norwood said. “Thank you for taking my calls, answering my hundreds of questions, and challenging my thinking over the past six years.”

The CSBA Golden Gavel is awarded to both an individual school board member and governance team who exemplifies best practices in effective governance and boardsmanship. The recipient is also inducted into the Golden Gavel Hall of Fame.

“The circle of legends that you brought about today is inspiring,” said Board Member Minh Ngo. “They’ve all added to who you are today and yet who you are today is not the end of it. Who you are today is going to continue to really benefit all. You inspire us. You are a living road map of how to be the ultimate role model in the community and better our children’s future.”
Aisha Jaffery — The Robonauts
Student Aishah Jaffery was honored by District leadership and the Board for 3D printing face shields as a project with a non-profit organization, The Robonauts, in partnership with American Medical Women's Association, donating thousands of PPE to healthcare workers around the nation and overseas.
MUSD's Norma Morales, Nicole Steward, Henry Robinson, Karisa Scott and Raquel Villalobos
Norma Morales, Nicole Steward, Henry Robinson, Karisa Scott and Raquel Villalobos were honored by District leadership and the Board for their continued support of our most vulnerable families, magnified during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Rotary Club of Milpitas
Rotary Club of Milpitas was honored by District Leadership and the Board for their continued support of MUSD learners and team members, with recent donations to Thomas Russell Middle School and Mattos Elementary School.
President Hon Lien, Board Member Minh Ngo take oaths of office for new four-year terms
President Hon Lien and Board Member Minh Ngo were both sworn in for new four-year terms on the MUSD Board of Education during the November 24 meeting.

Superintendent Cheryl Jordan administered the oath of office for Lien, who joined the board in 2016, while Student Board Rep Amy Stanley, a Milpitas HS student, led the virtual swearing in for Ngo, who will embark on his first four-year term after finishing up an abbreviated term.

“I’d like to humbly tell you how thankful I am to have another opportunity to join this great team at MUSD to work for our learners and community,” Lien said. “Through the times serving on the board, I’ve learned firsthand that when you choose to become a public servant no matter the level it takes our integrity and decency to win people’s trust. It takes dedication and hard work to achieve what we want to deliver to the community. I also learned that for each and every endeavor we need to embrace the spirit of teamwork; one for all and all for one.”

Lien and Ngo both ran unopposed in the November election.

“I started this journey 15 months ago. I met so many amazing people in the community,” said Ngo. “I wish we had more opportunity to conversate. Obviously, the pandemic has made it difficult to gather, but we are doing that in the best interest of our students, our children, and our future.”
Principal's Report: Rancho MS finds variety of ways to support students in distance learning
Principal Casey McMurray and his Rancho Milpitas Middle School Team shared highlights from the first part of the 2020-21 school year, including the many ways they are reaching out to support students who are struggling in distance learning.

McMurray was joined by Assistant Principal Lori Nuno, ELD teacher/SST Case Manager Cassandra Rodriguez, Attendance Secretary Manjula Dheeravath, PTSA President Nola Henderson, and ASB Student Yousof AlSum.

“I’ve seen very exciting and inspiring work as we’ve worked collaboratively,” said McMurray. “The synergy is incredible and what we’re carrying out is very exciting. It’s challenging but it is motivating.”

This year, Rancho has organized two learning pods on its campus, with 24 participating students taking advantage of the support. Students were recommended for the learning pods based on circumstances such as difficulty connecting or engaging in class, unsteady Wifi connections, and/or too many distractions within their home learning environment.

“We’ve seen very positive participation on the part of students, giving them that safe space and that distraction-free, constant Wifi opportunity to experience distance learning as it should be experienced,” McMurray said. “We’ve had the opportunity to interact and see some of our students, which is a joy.”

While the learning pods support attendance and participation for those students, Rancho teachers also provide opportunities for 1-to-1 or small group student support targeting academics. Nuno explained how this support helps students with “the difficulty in learning online and understanding the nuances of being online and learning online.”

Rancho teachers lead small group instruction 1-2 days per week for an hour at a time to help students struggling in academic areas. Teachers go over homework, re-teach lessons, provide upcoming assessment support or allow students to retake assessments. Rodriguez has worked as a liaison between students and teachers this year, assisting in student support, building relationships with families.

“This time for our students has been very important,” Nuno said.
Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month Resolution unanimously adopted
Milpitas High School freshman Dipanjot Kaur and MUSD Coordinator of Literacy/Intervention/EL Parwinder Johal read into record Resolution 2021.20 Recognizing November as Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month, which was unanimously adopted by the Board.
MUSD L&D Team presents Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervention Services
Led by MUSD Assistant Superintendent Norma Rodriguez, the Learning & Development Team shared a Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervention Services (CCEIS) presentation during the November 24 Board Study Session.

To review the CCEIS presentation, click here.