Board Highlights
from the September 12, 2017 meeting
Weller Assistant Principal Parwinder Johal was appointed coordinator of English Learner Literacy and Interventions while Sandy Huynh of San Francisco Unified School District was named Director of Student Nutrition Services.

Board President Daniel Bobay announced the approval of the Superintendent's recommendation for Certificated Manager, Coordinator II and Classified Manager, Director of Student Nutrition Services during the Closed Session announcement Tuesday evening.

During her report in Open Session, Superintendent Cheryl Jordan introduced and congratulated both on their new roles in Milpitas Unified.

Sandy Huynh, Director of Student Nutrition Services
" Sandy shared with us that she wants to 're-imagine student nutrition,' and she described some unique ways that she and her team worked to make nutrition enticing, especially for high school students, and shared that no student went without food due to embarrassment for receiving free and reduced lunch," Superintendent Jordan said following the meeting.

Huynh is currently the Child Nutrition Programs Manager in San Francisco Unified, where she has been overseeing program compliance and expansions of child nutrition programs for more than 143 schools since October 2012. She will join MUSD on October 16.

"I'm really excited to be a new addition to the Milpitas Unified School District," Huynh said during a brief speech .

Parwinder Johal, Coordinator II of English Learner, Literacy, and Intervention Services
Johal has worked in MUSD for 21 years in different capacities, currently as the the Assistant Principal at Weller Elementary School and, prior to that, as a teacher on special assignment working with English learners, and a teacher at Spangler Elementary.

"This is my opportunity to do something that I personally have my heart in it, being an English learner myself," Johal said during a brief speech. "I started in fifth grade with no English skills at all. Knowing that educators who came into my life have changed not only my life but the life of my family and all of my siblings. So that's why I am taking this role on."

Johal will move into the new position after working through a transition plan with Weller Elementary School staff.

As coordinator, she plans to implement strategies that are happening in models such as the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) and carry this on to other schools who aren't SEAL schools, and prevent long-term English learners.

With the new common core standards, Johal said the need is even greater for the District's English learners and the opportunity gap will continue to grow wider "if we don't look and think with different lenses."
Assistant Superintendent of Business Services projects smaller deficit on the horizon
In presenting the 2016-17 Unaudited Actuals , Wendy Zhang, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, painted a more optimistic financial outlook for the future of MUSD.

With the District's financial records officially closed for 2016-17 school year, the amount needed to balance the budget in 2019-20 is now $2,806,786, originally forecast at a $4.359 million deficit during the budget adoption discussed during the June 27, 2017 Board Meeting .

"At this point, I feel $2.8 million is a good number," Zhang said. "We can work on that number to develop our reduction plan."

Because the "budget is always a moving target," she added that the reality for MUSD will come down to how the governor's budget proposal for next year turns out in January in addition to how the state economy performs.

"Because we know in the future we might receive less money from the state, we want to save as much as we can so it can help to carry on next year's operations, or even the year after," Zhang said.

Staff will need to make a budget reduction of $2,141,000 beginning in 2018-19 and the savings will be ongoing as recommended during the study session. This will assist in balancing the budget. 

Superintendent Jordan and Zhang plan to conduct stakeholder meetings from September 2017 through January 2018 to gather input about how the budget reduction can be achieved for 2018-19. Recommendations will be presented to the Board in February 2018.
Board approves resolution honoring the flag
of the former Republic of Vietnam
Superintendent Jordan opened the item, stating that as a "Culture of We" she would like the District to take the opportunity to create resolutions for different cultural celebrations that occur throughout the year.

"We are starting with this one, recognizing April 30 as an important for our Vietnamese Americans," Superintendent Jordan said. "Because this is new, we wanted to present it now so that our school sites can have it in their minds and on the calendar for when the time comes in April."

Board President Daniel Bobay, who was wearing a tie looking like the flag that evening, read the resolution into the record. A portion of it read as follows:

" WHEREAS, since the Fall of Saigon, more than 1,000,000 refugees and immigrants from the former Republic of Vietnam have immigrated to the United States;

WHEREAS , since 1975, the greater Santa Clara County community has become home to the largest population of Vietnamese families and students outside of Vietnam and, as such, the Milpitas Unified School District community has a unique understanding of the plight of Vietnamese-Americans, many of whom left Vietnam in the pursuit of freedom and liberty."

Following the adoption, Board President Bobay and Vice President Chris Norwood shared their memories of what they noticed in the Bay Area following the Fall of Saigon.

"We had the first Vietnamese student come into our classroom, and he couldn't speak any English. He was very shy, and he was very quiet," Norwood recalled, stating he was in elementary school at the time. "He liked to play chess, so we couldn't actually talk, but we would be able to teach each through the game of chess. I remember that time very well."
MHS Principal Francis Rojas kicks off first
of regular reports at Board Meetings
Superintendent Jordan shared that as a new part of the procedural Executive Cabinet Report that takes place at each Board Meeting, attendees will now hear once a month from Milpitas High School Principal Francis Rojas.

"We've been off to a great start at Milpitas High School," Rojas said in opening his report. "Currently we have 3,276 students enrolled, the largest population in MHS history."

To accommodate this growth, Rojas said the school has four teachers assigned to the San Jose Evergreen Community College Extension across the street  teaching Physics, Korean, Chinese, and Math.

"It gives our students exposure to the college level and college experience," he said.

Rojas added the school has been working with the extension for dual enrollment classes, which started last week and are filled.

He then transitioned to share out some of the other highlights from the first weeks of the school year. These included modifications to the registration process to shorten lines and streamline processes, Freshman/New Student Orientation that focused on building community and acclimating students to the campus and high school life, nurturing positive relationships among all staff - certificated and classified - through social events and establishing new representative committees, and re-instituting the Pledge of Allegiance on campus.

In describing the Pledge of Allegiance as a new part of morning announcements, Mr. Rojas stated: "ROTC has been doing the National Anthem in the morning, the flag raising. So we're really happy to do that. The students say it every day, and I did it with a special memorial yesterday for 9/11."

Rojas said the school's focus this year is "Equity through Engagement," "which tags along very closely with the 'Culture of We' as defined by our Superintendent that the 'Culture of We' means equity."

Along those lines, during the in-service day on August 15, the entire Milpitas High School staff discussed what equity means to them as educators and barriers to equity that have been institutionalized into our system. They then explored how they can use authentic engagement in the classrooms to ensure equitable access and ​participation for all students. Through this year, Rojas said it's their plan to engage students in the classroom, engage each other as staff, and engage the community, especially parents and local businesses. He has attended Chamber of Commerce meetings to see what can be done to bring businesses onto the campus and look at the possibility for internship​s and jobs​ for juniors and seniors.