April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

Hello, Cheetahs!

It has been another fantastic week at Theuerkauf Elementary! It was wonderful to see so many students and families for picture day and during our distribution for our Zoomies/online students on Wednesday. It was also great to meet with our ELAC committee members and guests as we discussed ways to continue to improve on how we meet our students' needs both academically and socially/emotionally, on campus and online. We will continue this discussion with all stakeholders as we strive to complete iterative cycles of adjustments so that every child is engaged, educated, and empowered, whether in the online space or in person. 

I am happy to report that our on-campus students have begun to truly acclimate to being back in school this week. It was great to see our TK through 1st graders twirling around with dancing ribbons at recess, our 2nd-5th graders playing soccer and basketball, and all of our students just enjoying spending time with their classmates in a fun but still socially distanced way. We are getting better every day at remaining 6 feet apart without reminders, by the way. This is a huge accomplishment! 

Our staff has been brainstorming and exploring new online field trips for the months of April and May. As you may know, our 5th graders will enjoy an exciting virtual nature camp with Walden West next week, and all of our students will get to enjoy several exciting field trips and experiences that will be rolled out through our STEAM program very soon. Please stay tuned for exciting details about these experiences, to be shared by Ms. Casey in the next few weeks.

We hope that everyone has a wonderful, safe, and relaxing spring break next week! This is a much deserved and oh-so-important time for ALL of our Cheetah families to relax, refresh, and renew as we prepare to finish the year strong in every way. Thank you, as always, for keeping the lines of communication open and for sharing your ideas! This is what community partnership is all about, and I am immensely grateful for the collaboration. 


Together, we make a difference!


Yours in service,

Michelle Williams, Principal

April 12-16- Spring Break - No School (meals will be available for pickup on FRIDAY, 4/9--see school news for additional details)

Tuesday, April 20- SSC Meeting 5:00-6:00 pm (Zoom)

Wednesday, April 21, 1-4pm - Materials distribution for all zoomies/distance learning students in grades 1-5

Wednesday, April 28 - Materials distribution for Kinder & TK, 1-3pm

Thursday, May 20- Principal’s Coffee with Dr. Rudolph, Superintendent (Zoom registration)

Friday, May 28- End of 3rd Trimester- Minimum Day

Monday, May 31- Memorial Day- No School

Friday, June 4- Last Day of School- Minimum Day

Free Meals over Spring Break

MVWSD's free meals for children are available over spring break. On Friday, April 9, multiple grab and go meals will be available at school sites for Friday through Tuesday. On Wednesday, April 14, multiple meals for the rest of spring break will be available at Gabriela Mistral Elementary, (505 Escuela Ave) location only from 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Regular meal service will resume on Monday, April 19. Menus and information are found at https://www.mvwsd.org/nutrition.


Classroom Spotlight - Ms. Amanda Herold

Each week, we showcase and celebrate the wonderful things going on in one of our Theuerkauf classes. This week, we would like to showcase what is happening in Ms. Amanda Herold's 2nd grade class! We asked Ms. Herold a series of questions. Here are her responses!

Is there a project, assignment, or moment that you are especially proud of that has taken place this year?

I am especially proud of my students and how hard they worked during our opinion writing unit. During the unit, we worked on introducing our opinion as well as providing reasons for our opinion and writing a concluding sentence. Students did a great job writing their paragraphs and it was fun to read about students' opinions on the best holiday, best pet, and best sport! 


What advice do you like to give to your students about their education or about life in general?

I always encourage my students to try their best! I remind students that no one is perfect and that mistakes help us to learn and to grow. 


Where did you attend college?

I got my B.A. from Occidental College and my M.A. from Santa Clara University.


What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I love to spend time outdoors, read, spend time with family and friends, and watch sports. 


Can you share a fun fact about yourself that people may not know?

I recently got a Golden Retriever puppy! His name is Max and he is currently 10 weeks old. 


Is there anything else you'd like to share about your class, your students, or yourself?

Each one of my students has shown so much perseverance and positivity during this unique school year. I am so proud of my students and I am excited to see their continued growth and progress as we close out the school year. 


Library Corner

Hello, Cheetahs! Exciting things are happening at the library! The PTA generously donated $3,000 to buy new books and they have arrived! There are many new books about science, technology, space and diversity. Thank you, PTA! Ms. Susan Barber, Theuerkauf’s Resource teacher, has also made a generous donation of books. There are many popular favorites such as books from the Dog Man, The Magic Tree House and the What Is?/Who Is?/Was? series that she has added to the collection. Thank you, Ms. Barber!

After Spring Break, grades K-3 will have the opportunity to hear author, Paul Insel, discuss his new book, The Fantastic Adventures of Alex in the Broccoli Forest. Dr. Insel is a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and this is his first children’s book about nutrition. The author visit will be Wednesday, April 21 at 10:30 AM and will last about 45 minutes. Zoom links will be sent to teachers the day prior.

April is Poetry Month! Many children love to hear rhyming words, alliteration and onomatopoeia because these sounds are so pleasing to their ears. I love poetry for the same reason! 

As a young child, I loved silly poems. As I grew older, I read and began to appreciate more serious, poignant poetry. In middle school I memorized poems by Robert Frost for a school assignment and he remains one of my favorite poets today. This week, I’d like to share one of my favorite books of children’s poetry. 


Highlighted Book: Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein, was a popular book when I was a kid. For the record, that was longer ago than I care to admit. However, the topics of many of his poems are still relatable, and the book remains popular with children. This narration of “Sick” is a hilarious tale of a child trying to get out of going to school. “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out” is relatable to many kids-- and their parents. Here is a recording of Shel Silverstein narrating this personal favorite.

Want to read more poetry? Go to our library home page to find ebooks on the subject. 

Have a fun and safe spring break! - Mrs. B. 


Re-posted: Theuerkauf Food Drive & Pantry

Thank you so much to those who have already donated items! This week, we have been able to get these into the hands of a few families who are experiencing difficulties right now. We will continue to accept canned goods, boxed dinners, hygiene items, and other non-perishables throughout the month of February. Please click here to see a suggested list of items to donate. If you would prefer to instead donate grocery gift cards, this would be welcomed as well. THANK YOU SO MUCH to those who have already given. The families receiving this are extremely appreciative.


Re-posted: Times are Tough, but support is Available! 

We know that times are tough for everyone during the pandemic, and many families who have not previously needed assistance could use a little support right now. If your family has a need for grocery or hygiene items, please let us know by emailing Ltellez@mvwsd.org. We will arrange a private pick-up or drop-off to fit your family's needs.


During our last PTA meeting - thanks to all members who attended! - we voted on the leadership team for next school year and are very excited to present the new leadership team! Please see the graphic below so you can put a name to the face!


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MVWSD seeking District Equity Advisory Committee members

COVID-19 has exacerbated disadvantages faced by students and families of color and socioeconomic disadvantage. It is important to acknowledge that even though the pandemic has exacerbated these inequalities, long-standing institutional practices and policies have perpetuated them, leading to disproportional equity gaps.

MVWSD is committing itself to engaging meaningfully with the community on issues of equity through the District Equity Advisory Committee (DEAC). The goal of the District Equity Advisory Committee (DEAC) is to provide meaningful feedback to the Superintendent on how to support MVWSD towards achieving its goals of becoming a more equitable and inclusive school district.

The role of a committee member is to be a thought partner and a community advocate. We are seeking a combination of district-level leaders, principals, teachers, staff members, and parent participants who represent the interests of both elementary and middle schools.

Committee members will be expected to attend and participate in meetings held monthly (on average) online during the 2020-21 school year in the evening hours. The average commitment will be approximately 20 hours per academic school year. 

Applications are due by April 23 and found at this link. More information is at https://www.mvwsd.org/about/committees.


Parent University: A Conversation with Haben Girma, the Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law

Date and Time: April 8, 2021, 6:00-7:00 p.m.    Registration Link: http://mvw.sd/X85Z0

Haben Girma is a human rights lawyer and an advocate for disability justice. She was the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School. As a community, we are all tasked with resisting ableism, racism and other forms of oppression. We face the choice to accept oppression or advocate for justice. Come and be inspired by Haben, who has received the Helen Keller Achievement Award, a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and TIME100 Talks. 

President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Chancellor Angela Merkel have all honored Haben. President Obama named her a White House Champion of Change.  Haben believes disability is an opportunity for innovation, and she teaches organizations the importance of choosing inclusion. 

To submit questions prior to the event, please click here. We will do our best to address your question during the session.


Better Together: Strengthening Communities
This month’s Better Together focus is on civic engagement and getting involved in the community. Please see the attached or https://www.mvwsd.org/BetterTogetherMVWSD for the infographic, which features activities for the family, engaging books about activism for students, and more!


COVID testing available for students and families

Regular, asymptomatic COVID testing for students is not required at this time however, parents may want to have students tested, especially after travel, to ensure that they are not carrying the COVID-19 virus.

Free, asymptomatic testing is available for students and parents at:

* El Camino Hospital or MV Center for Performing Arts. Dates: Ongoing. Schedule through El Camino Health at https://www.elcaminohealth.org/landing/schedule-covid-19-test?s=mapPin.

* Graham and Crittenden Middle Schools. Dates: Tuesday, April 20 at Crittenden MUR and Wednesday, April 28 at Graham MUR. You should register here. You also may schedule an appointment by calling 650-940-7022 and use option 4. Please mention you are with the Mountain View Whisman School District when calling. 

If your child has symptoms of COVID or has had a known exposure to someone who may have COVID, please contact your child's pediatrician for testing information. If you do not have a health care provider, make a symptomatic testing appointment with a county provider here: https://scl.fulgentgenetics.com/appointment/screen/landing.


Spring Break Travel Advisory

As Spring Break approaches, MVWSD wants to remind our community to take precautions to keep our community safe and our schools open.

Under our current risk tier, the Health Officer’s Mandatory Directive on limiting travel has been lifted. However, the state continues to advise Californians to avoid non-essential travel to any part of California more than 120 miles from one's place of residence, or to other states or countries. 

If you travel, please test. COVID-19 testing is not required for students, however it's recommended for people who travel. Free testing for students and families is available through El Camino Health at https://www.elcaminohealth.org/landing/schedule-covid-19-test?s=mapPin. The CDC advises that individuals get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel. Make your appointment now for after you return.


Resilience Pause Series continues

The 30-minute, online Community Resiliency Model Resilience Pause sessions for adults (parents and staff members) are scheduled during this transition in our school year to assist participants with building resilience throughout return to in-person instruction. Participants can learn strategies on Mondays and build habits towards resilience during the week.  These sessions are designed to teach life-long habits that help us to self-regulate during stressful moments.  

April 19, 4pm: Resourcing 

April 26, 4pm:  “Help Now!” A Reactive Strategy

Sessions can be drop-in or attended in a series. To join: http://mvw.sd/HAjbz


OKtoReopen health screener pro tips

OKtoReopen is the daily health screener for in person students to complete each day before they arrive on campus. Here are a few tips to make the process even easier:

You don’t have to wait until you get the message

Reminders are sent each day that the student is expected on campus. If parents have already completed the survey before the first reminder is scheduled to be sent they don't receive a reminder.

Parents can always complete the screener earlier than the reminder by using a previous email or going to oktoreopen.com on a browser they previously have used. 

You can complete the screener for multiple students

You can complete the survey for more than one child in the same window by clicking through the names at the top right drop-down menu. If there is another student in the family you can hit next to complete that survey. When all of the surveys have been completed there is a done button.

Make sure your survey is submitted

For families with just one student you hit submit and then done (students with more than one student click next until all surveys are completed, and then submit). You don't have to click done to complete the survey.

Send the reminder to just your phone instead of both phone/email

Parents can adjust their OKtoReopen settings to receive text or email only by contacting their school office to make the change in Powerschool.

For a closer look on how to use OktoReopen, check out these videos: https://vimeo.com/521538560 (English) andhttps://vimeo.com/524450668 (Spanish)


Join the MVEF Board and make a difference!

MVEF is looking for board members! With as little as 5 hours a month, you can support a well-rounded education (arts, science, wellness) for all students in the district. MVEF needs your voice and opinions for living our vision, from promoting MVEF at back to school night, to crafting a survey for our donors. Attend our next meeting or email contact@mvef.org to learn more.

MVEF survey: Foundation wants to hear from you

MVEF wants to know parents’ and staff members’ priorities about the programs that they usually fund, and areas where MVEF could potentially fund programs in the future. Please take a moment to complete this survey.


Spring Break program with the City of Mountain View 

The City of Mountain View will be hosting a Club Rec Spring Break program at the Mountain View Teen Center from April 12-16th, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for ages 7-11. Programming will include camp games, arts & crafts, and more! Head to www.mountainview.gov/register for registration, pricing, and more information.



MVLA Parent Speaker Series, “The Power of Showing Up: What Kids Really Need from Adults,” April 22 from 7:00 - 9:00pm

MVLA will be hosting their last Parent Speaker Series event for the season, “The Power of Showing Up: What Kids Really Need from Adults,” on Thursday, April 22 from 7:00 - 9:00pm with Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, a psychotherapist and best-selling author. 

Parents worry. It’s what we do. Reassuringly, the latest brain and attachment research is clear on how best to make a difference in our child’s life over the long run: we simply need to show up.  Offering plenty of warmth and humor, Dr. Bryson will explore what showing up means, sharing stories and simple strategies for honoring the Four S’s - helping kids feel secure, seen, soothed, and safe. She'll discuss practical advice for supporting anxious kids, hitting the reset button on parenting, and creating a safe harbor at home for children of all ages. Registration for this free event can be found at: https://mvla2020-21-tinapaynebryson.eventbrite.com.



Suicide Prevention 101 for Parents: Recognizing Signs and What to Do!

Please register for our upcoming free webinar and Facebook Live event: Suicide Prevention 101 for Parents: Recognizing Signs and What to Do. This free webinar will provide information about suicide prevention for parents, including warning signs for suicide, how to have a conversation with their child, actions to take if their child is having a suicidal thoughts, and resources.  The webinar is provided in partnership with CalMHSA,  the California Department of Education, the Directing Change Program, and Teen Line.  


In English:

April 7, 2021 at 5 to 6 p.m.

To register:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zOLFzulAQVKEfeCvdIPhMA

Or join the live stream event here: https://www.facebook.com/CAEducation/


Upcoming MV Public Library Programs: Product Design, Parenting Program

The Mountain View Public Library will be hosting two events:

Design an Amusement Park for Dogs: Thursday, April 22, 4pm - 5pm for Grades 3-5 on Zoom. Learn about the product design process and create your own amusement park ride with Product Designer and Author Vicky Fang. Registration required. Sign up at https://mountainview.gov/librarycalendar

Building your Child’s Self-Confidence and Personal Power: (English) Wednesday, April 28, 7pm - 8pm on Zoom. (Spanish) Wednesday, April 21, 7pm - 8pm on Zoom. Presenters from CHAC Family Resource Center will discuss ways to raise a confident child with inner strength and health self worth. For parents of children ages 2-12. Registration required. Sign up at https://mountainview.gov/librarycalendar



Virtual Earth Day Events with the City of Mountain View 

We know that Earth Day (4/22) is looking a little different this year, so it’s going virtual here at the City of Mountain View! We’re holding two contests with multiple gift card prizes (a short video competition and a student poster contest), all centered around creativity and how you restore the Earth in your own way. For both contests, the deadline for entries is Monday, April 16th, 2021 no later than 5pm. Submissions can be made at: this link; see attached flyers for more information.

Additionally, please join us on Thursday, April 22nd from 6pm-8:30pm for our Virtual Earth Day Event! We’ll be having speakers from the Planet Bee Foundation, Acterra, Recology, and Cool Block. Community members will also be giving 5-minute ‘micro talks’ about how they’re “Restoring the Earth.” And finally, we’ll be announcing the winners of the video and poster contests live during the event. Please visit this link for details.

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April Equity Calendar 

Parenting Class 

Vicky Fang 

Virtual Earth Day 

Club Rec Spring Break 



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