Middle College.
February-March 2020 Newsletter

Let's recap what just happened...
Deadline to apply
to Middle College
extended to March 27th!
There's still time! If you are interested in joining the Middle College community, please apply by clicking the button below:
Don't forget to mark your calendars!
March 16
CSM campus closed; all learning moved online

March 26
Great Gatsby Dance *CANCELLED*

March 27
Last call for applications to the Middle College Program

March 27 - April 3
Spring Break! No online classes held

April 6
Campus is planned to reopen; keep an eye out for ongoing communication
Here are some resources to be aware of as Middle College keeps on keepin on(line)
Keep an eye on your Canvas inbox as we continue to communicate the most recent developments regarding Middle College. You should be hearing from each of your Middle College teachers regarding the assignments / Zoom classroom details for each day; please let us know if you need help getting online or accessing your work. We will be checking our Canvas inboxes frequently and conducting one-on-one meetings during our office hours via google hangouts. Reach out directly to your teacher or advisor to set up a time.

Please take care of yourself!
As we begin remote learning, we want to ensure that we will be doing our best to continue to offer the same level of services that we offer during the school year. Ms. Adams and Mr. Morales will be using telephone and online-video conferencing to communicate with our families; please click on the following links to schedule an appointment with the appropriate person:

Once Mr. Morales and Ms. Adams have received your meeting request, they will send you an email with a link to a "google hangout" or a special telephone to call. In the email please indicate which you would prefer so that your meeting will begin at the designated time. This is a new innovative format to meet, we are still working out issues and we appreciate your patience.
If you think you have a mental health emergency here are Crisis Resources you can contact directly:
Crisis Text Line: text "home" to 741-741
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
StarVista Crisis Hotline: 650-579-0350
911 or visit your nearest hospital emergency room if you can get there safely

COVID-19 specific resources regarding mental health:
One Life Counseling Center is here, available, and ready to help during these difficult times. We are happy to accommodate your needs and we value your safety as a priority. Virtual counseling and/or phone counseling is available to all. We are here to help, please call us: (650) 394-5155 
If you need help with accessing CSM portals, please visit:
If a student needs technology support to complete online learning during the period of school closure, please fill out this Google doc or email techrequest@smuhsd.org or call 65 0-558-2485. We are in the process of delivering these items to students and will continue to do so as we are able. Please allow at least 48 hours for new requests.

Nutrition Services
During the school closure, all students can receive grab and go breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday at Mills High School and San Mateo High School. Nutrition services employees will staff a cart offering a variety of healthy options between 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Please visit this webpage for detailed information on locations and how to pick up food.

The San Mateo-Foster City School District will also offer free meals for all children and teens 18 and under at various locations. No paperwork is needed to take advantage of either of these services please see more information in this flyer .  
We've all been watching as the world shifts to meet the challenges posed to us. We are particularly inspired by the viral videos of Italian neighbors singing to one another across balconies. Here's how some of us are making the best of our time at home:
As a natural introvert, social distancing is my jam. Right now I'm in the process of reading two books. One is a biography on Consuelo Vanderbilt, and the second book is on Higher Education Policy which focuses on university admissions and the role that community college plays. 
- Mr. Morales

I will be seeking shelter in my office which, from the looks of this photo, appears to be MADE of books. It is the place I am happiest to think and work in until I get back to all the wonderful people at Middle College!
- Mr. Burke
I'm looking at it as an invitation to creating. My brother and sister-in-law are having a baby in April, so I've basically committed to covering the entire nursery in macrame feathers. And I took up metalworking last year, so I'm hoping to get goin on those projects, too...the small ones.
- Ms. Redgate
I 'm going to take out my sewing machine from the garage and brush up on my sewing skills. 
I'll also be spending quality time with my niece 💜
- Ms. Zepeda (aka Angela)

I plan to start doing some more running and biking on the coast, as well as reading a pile of books in my bookcase, and trying not to watch Frozen 2 with a certain little one like 1000 times
(too late!)
- Ms. Adams

Social distancing means I’m going to listen to a bunch of records, read some books, board games with the family, & maybe finally rewatch all of the Sopranos episodes.
- Mr. Letke
I am enjoying having my young teenagers watch my top 30 favorite movies. They cannot opt out, "where are you going to go?". Here's a taste...
-Mr. Scatena
Social distancing, finally an acceptable reason to cancel all obligations
- Mrs. Rohrbach.

I’m planning on getting outside a little at Edgewood Park...after I finish this book.
- Mr. Lance
Have an announcement to make? Want to share some good news? Or, let us know how you are spending your time #socialdistancing...? We've created an online bulletin board so we can keep in touch during this time away. Please check in and post over the next two weeks!
Check out our student poll to see what we think about music,sunburns, and life outside of school...
Thursday March 5th was our first Middle College community day of the semester. As we arrived, we were greeted by a breakfast of cereal and bagels. After eating, we got together to learn about interdependence and community. Several students were highlighted with community-builder awards including (but not limited to) meme lord, cookie-baker, and chess master. After a quick photo-taking activity, we divided into groups to discuss how to improve Middle College. Each group worked with a teacher on topics like graduation, the senior portfolio, and general feedback for the program. We concluded our day with a potluck lunch of family dishes brought by students!
One of our tasks on community was to split into groups and take pictures that we thought represented our interdependent Middle College community. Apparently, our community is best represented by bulldog statues, hiding behind trees, and wading in fountains. The pictures below are some of our favorites!
MC Chess Tournament
The Jim Burke Middle College Chess Tournament officially commenced on Feb. 20, and tournament rounds have since been taking place on a weekly basis. As of March 1st, eight of the 26 original participants remain, all in search of the coveted $20 tournament prize. 

The idea for the tournament, held by Middle College Chess Club founders Jared Lipka and Caden Thun, was conceived in an effort to further the club’s growth rate. Not only has the club expanded as a result of the tournament, but its membership has maintained the surprising level of diversity that has characterized it ever since the club’s inception.

“It’s a very interesting, diverse group of people coming in,” said Jim Burke, a middle college English teacher. “When you’re a teacher, there’s a quality of atmosphere in a classroom. You know when your kids are in it with you, or when they’re like ‘Is it over yet?’ There’s a quality of attention in there, and when you look in there, there’s a fascinating range of juniors and seniors, guys and girls, and kids that look like they would be chess nerds and kids that you think would never want to play chess, whatever that means. And they’re all completely engaged.”

Burke was moved enough by what he saw happening in chess club each week to personally donate three brand new chess clocks and six full-size chess boards to the club, all of which were used during the tournament. He did so in addition to allowing students to play chess in his classroom, where chess club is held, during advisory hours. As a result, Lipka and Thun named the tournament in his honor.

Three rounds remain to be played before a winner will be crowned. An update will be posted to this newsletter upon the tournament’s conclusion.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Chess Club has moved online too! Sign up to join here or contact club presidents Jared Lipka or Caden Thun for details!
MC Effect

The Middle College Effect had a busy weekend. On Friday, March 6th they were part of the Taco Dinner fundraiser at Hillsdale High, where they raised over $1400 for this year's Guatemala Study Tour. They prepared and served food for about 120 people. On Sunday morning, a very dedicated group of students got up early on Sunday morning, in spite of losing an hour of sleep to DST, drove to San Francisco and volunteered at St. Anthony's. They served food, bussed tables and managed the dining hall as over 1000 low income and homeless individuals were fed. Jamie McIntosh (Senior) described the experience as "really insightful and humbling." Jane Petelo (Junior) added that "it was a great chance to serve the community."
Want to Join a Club? Here's When They Meet:
Environmental Club: Tuesdays at 11:00 in 12-220
Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA): Wednesdays at 2:00 advisory in 12-220
Chess Club: Thursdays at 11:00 advisory in 12-220
Middle College Effect: Fridays at 11:00 advisory in 19-105
Newsletter: Fridays at 11:00 advisory in 12-220
Sunshine Club: Fridays at 11:00 in 12-201.1
Mr. Morales, MC Academic Counselor and Dual Enrollment Coordinator
This year, we welcomed multiple new teachers and staff members to the Middle College community. Here is an interview, conducted by Natalie, with our new academic counselor, Mr. Morales!

Where were you before you came to Middle College?
I was at San Mateo High School for 9 years.

Why did you decide to come to Middle College?
First and foremost, I loved San Mateo. But, I needed a change of pace. I had been department chair. I had sat on leadership committees. I had done a lot of things at San Mateo I felt like I had reached my maximum so I felt like a needed something new and a different challenge and just a change of scenery. 

What is it like being here at Middle College?
Being here has been really amazing. All the staff has been really supportive. My office at San Mateo did not have a window. I now have a beautiful window and a view. And, the ability to help students navigate both their high school requirements and their college requirements is a challenge not everyone has. It’s a challenge I’ve been looking forward to and getting better at.

What’s an experience at Middle College that you have liked?
All the great laughs with Ms. Zepeda on a regular basis. We try to make it a light day when we’re having a tough day.

What are you looking forward to doing here at Middle College in the future?
Refining the educational plans for students so that they have a better understanding of what the GE and major requirements are.

I s there anything you would want students to know?
Some things for them to consider are to make sure to maximize their time here at CSM and if they have questions, ask them so they aren’t having to wander aimlessly without getting the answers they need.
Questions, comments, or concerns? Contact us at smuhsd.mc.newsletter@gmail.com