Board Highlights
from the October 13, 2020 meeting
MUSD Adult Ed alumna earns CalWORKS 30th Anniversary Client Achievement Award
Milpitas Adult Education alumna Hande Omercikoglu Tuncer, a native of Turkey who immigrated to the United States in 2014, recently earned the CalWORKs 30th Anniversary Client Achievement Award for her efforts to elevate herself and her family toward self-sufficiency.

Tuncer, a mother of two who could not speak English when she arrived, studied to acquire the second language and eventually was referred to MAE for the English as a Second Language Program in August 2019.

“I made a decision to improve my English as much as possible and find a job,” said Tuncer, who developed into a class leader and recorded perfect attendance while at MAE. “After I studied for a couple of months, my self-confidence improved much more than I expected.”

Soon Tuncer was referred to Paid-Work Experience (PWEX) with Santa Clara County, where her “supervisor and teammates were impressed with her work ethic, cheerful personality, and professionalism,” according to her CalWORKS awards application. Five days a week, Tuncer continued taking ESL classes in the mornings while working at PWEX in the afternoons. In February 2020, Tuncer was hired as a full-time Office Specialist for PWEX.
 
At the Oct. 13 meeting, Superintendent Cheryl Jordan and the MUSD Board of Education honored Tuncer, who was joined by MAE Principal Giuliana Brahim, Assistant Principal Aven Magana and CalWORKS site representative Minh Nguyen.

“You are an inspiration to all of us,” said Principal Brahim of Tuncer.

Nguyen, who would come once a week to meet with Tuncer and MAE staff, added: “She felt immediately welcome when she started her ESL class. I just appreciate the team effort of Milpitas Adult Ed that has enabled all of us to reach out and help our students achieve their goals.”
  
RECOGNITIONS
Adonal Foyle - Kerosene Lamp Foundation
Adonal Foyle, retired Golden State Warrior, was recognized by the Board and District leadership for donating $500 through his Kerosene Lamp Foundation for Rancho Milpitas Middle School wifi hot spots for kids with the most need. 
National Merit Scholar Semifinalists - MHS
Milpitas High School students Thomas Chen, BassimaFaith Chouman, Lydia Wang, Kapil Malladi, Matthew Song, and Priyan Jindal were honored by the Board and District leadership for earning the designation of National Merit Scholar Semifinalists. Learn more about each of them in this Q&A.
SPOTLIGHT
Principal's Report: Curtner's journey through Distance Learning to begin 2020-21 year
With near perfect attendance and engagement to open the 2020-21 school year, Curtner Elementary School Principal Stephanie Park touted her school’s game plan for distance learning for her October 13 Principal’s Report. Curtner currently has 720 students, accumulating 99.2 percent attendance and close to 100 percent engagement, Park shared.

“We continue to reach out to students with challenges such as internet connectivity,” added the first-year principal who led the presentation of “how and what Curtner is doing to foster the Culture of WE with our students, our staff and parent community to support student success during distance learning.”

Park did not come alone, bringing a variety of voices from the Curtner school community, including sixth-grade students Neirah Hafis and Vivian Foy, fifth-grade teacher Andrew Topham, PTA president/parent Mauricio Gavidia, librarian Chau Pham, elementary counselor Jinky Bitanga, and mental health counselor Marianne Doi.

“It’s definitely been a new experience…(but) having a consistent routine has helped a lot,” said Topham, whose students have been “patient and supportive” throughout distance learning and even take turns leading Social-Emotional Learning lessons. “It is awesome to see students take the lead and build up one another.”

Sixth-grader Vivian Fox shared that distance learning has helped her with organizational skills, problem-solving skills and punctuality, while Neirah Hafis noted that she pays more attention in class, helps resolve problems, and supports her classmates in breakout rooms.

Gavidia, who has one child at Curtner and another at Thomas Russell Middle School, has been impressed with MUSD EducatEveryWhere 2.0. He also is grateful for MUSD's commitment to DL through the calendar yea since it "eliminates uncertainty."

Librarian Chau Pham, who has been at Curtner for 13 years, adjusted to DL by allowing families to make online book requests for in-person pickup. To date, 140 books have been checked out. She has established a virtual library.

Curtner has utilized its elementary counselor, in conjunction with its mental health counselor, in servicing students, staff, and parents to continue building the foundation of We for Success, according to Park. “Our goal is to include everyone in the learning process,” Doi said.
HIGHLIGHTS
Safety First Team introduces its initiative to Board and MUSD Community
With a purpose of promoting, educating, and empowering staff, students, families to achieve a Safety First school and district, MUSD's newly formed Safety First Team presented to the Board at the October 13 meeting.

Team leaders Aven Magana, also MUSD's COVID-19 Designee, and Damon James, Director of Human Relations, were joined by Milton Quezada, MOT Supervisor, and Scott Forstner, Communications Specialist.

As MUSD continues with its Phasing In 2020-21 Plan, the team has been sending "Safety Information Shouts" to staff, students, and families to help ensure a safe and successful return to campuses.

Board honors Birth of Confucius with special reading of resolution from MHS teacher
Milpitas High School World Languages teacher Martha Chen read Resolution 2021.14 Honoring the 2,571st Anniversary of the Birth of Confucius into the record at the October 13 meeting. The Board unanimously adopted the cultural resolution.
Board approves a variety of key education items at October 13 meeting