September 9, 2020

September 9, 2020

From the Principal's Desk

Hello beautiful Theuerkauf families!

I hope that everyone had a restful Labor Day weekend and that the week is going well for you thus far. As I look out my office window and into an orange sky, I can’t help but reflect on the incredible tenacity and perseverance that our learning community has exhibited over the past several weeks. As a collaborative team of parents, guardians, and educators, we are doing the unimaginable, and with such grace and positivity that our kids are able to carry on with learning in a way that serves them well. Our attendance rates have been excellent, students are learning English, math, STEAM, social studies, and more every day, and there continue to be opportunities for social and emotional growth in all classes. This past week, students completed their i-Ready assessments in ELA, and many have now completed their math assessments as well. This gives teachers a baseline of data to use throughout the year in order to differentiate instruction to challenge and support the needs of each child. Thank you, parents and guardians, for creating an environment where students have been able to focus and do their best. We are proud of the students for their outstanding efforts, and we are thankful to each and every one of you and our teachers for making this possible.  


Together, we make a difference!



Michelle Williams

Important Dates

September 10, 2020 - Open office hours with the principal from 8-8:30am and from 4:30-5pm

September 11, 2020- ELAC Meeting 9:00-10:00am

September 10th & 11th- SPECIAL 4th grade music materials distribution 3-5pm (or, by appointment from 9am-1pm)

September 18, 2020- Third all-school materials distribution (12pm-5pm, all grades)

School News

Free student meals available again

The free meal program has been extended! (flyers attached) During Distance Learning, free meals are again available to ALL children in the Mountain View Whisman School District age 18 and younger. No IDs required. Locations: All schools, except Stevenson (pickup for Stevenson is at Theuerkauf). Times: 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. at the elementary schools. 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the middle schools. Walk, drive or roll up to grab a free meal and go! Parents should continue to go here to apply for free or reduced price meal benefits through the National Lunch Program, if needed. 


COVID Safety Update and Checklist

If you come to campus, you may have noticed a few changes. Our staff is hard at work preparing for the safe return of our students, once it is determined by the state and local public health guidance that it is safe to do so. Each Friday, we will be posting our progress on our Reopening Checklist


A few notable changes: 

  • Staff training on COVID safety, Protocol and our Response Process

  • Increased signage reminding everyone to maintain physical distance, regularly wash hands, and wear face-coverings

  • All individuals provided with access to a reusable face mask and face shields

  • An increased cleaning and sanitizing schedule

  • Employees required to complete regular COVID testing and a daily self-screener before coming to campus. 

  • Outdoor hand sanitizing stations 

  • New no-touch soap and hand-sanitizing dispensers 

  • Replacement of filters with MERV-13 filters


Safety Reminders

As a reminder, our campus remains closed due to COVID-19. When necessary, appointments may be scheduled for materials pick-ups. When coming to campus, please wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of social distance at all times. Additionally, please perform the following self-check prior to coming on campus:

1. Do you have any of these symptoms that are not caused by another condition?

       • Fever or chills • Recent loss of taste or smell • Cough • Sore throat

       • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Congestion • Fatigue

       • Nausea or vomiting  • Muscle or body aches • Diarrhea • Headache

2. Within the past 14 days, have you had contact with anyone that you know had COVID-19 or COVID-like symptoms? Contact is being 6 feet (2 meters) or closer for more than 15 minutes with a person, or having direct contact with fluids from a person with COVID-19 (for example, being coughed or sneezed on).

3. Have you had a positive COVID-19 test for an active virus in the past 10 days? 4. Within the past 14 days, has a public health or medical professional told you to self-monitor, self-isolate, or self-quarantine because of concerns about COVID-19 infection?

If you answer yes to any of the questions, please contact the school, and we will arrange for an alternate delivery method for your family.


Online Assessments

This week, we are administering our i-Ready assessments for ELA and math for students in grades K-5. The tests are being administered on every day but Wednesday this week. Teachers are proctoring the assessments, so please do not assist your child while they are taking the tests. We want to make sure we are assessing what students know so that we will be able to tailor instruction to best meet their needs. Additionally, please ensure that your child has a quiet place to work, free of distractions. Please refer to the weekly dashboard on Friday for the schedule of specific times when the test(s) will be given for your child.


Principal Check-in Times

Ms. Williams will continue to hold open Zoom office hours for any parent or guardian who would like to ask a question or share an idea. You can join her here on Thursday, from 8:00am-8:30am and from 4:30-5pm, or by appointment.


Update Your Contact Information 

If you would like to update your contact information (phone number, email, emergency contacts, etc.), please complete our confidential online form in Spanish or English or send an email Ms. Colon at [email protected] or to Ms. Minor at [email protected].


Student Attendance and Engagement

Due to new state guidelines, beginning on September 8th, there will be some changes to how our school is required to count and monitor student attendance.

It’s important to remember that school attendance during distance learning counts and is mandatory. If your student will be absent, please report it by calling or emailing us as soon as possible. If your child is having difficulty with distance learning, please let us know. We want to help.

Changes to attendance monitoring beginning Sept 8:

  • Elementary teachers will check in with students at the beginning of the day. Attendance will be taken at the end of the day every day, including Wednesdays. For middle school students, attendance is taken every period of the day, including Wednesdays.

  • Students will no longer get a separate participation grade in Google Classroom. Attendance and participation scores are now combined and can be viewed by parents in Powerschool under “attendance history.”

  • If you don’t report your student’s absence, your school will be calling you to determine the reason for the absence.

For more information about attendance, please see 


Old Chromebooks & Library Books (from last school year)

If you have a Chromebook from last year, please return the device by September 18, 2020. We will have a bin just inside of the main office doors for parents to place the old Chromebooks. You can stop by between 8am and 12pm, from 9/7 and 9/11, or you can drop these off during our materials distribution on 9/18 from 12pm to 5pm.

Similarly, we will have a box for library book returns. If your child has a book from last year, please return it during these same timeframes.

PTA News

Hello Theuerkauf Cheetahs, 

Congratulations to Rei from TK for solving last week's riddle! A stamp can travel around the world, but stays in one spot.

Are you ready for the next one - this week's riddle is: "What goes up but never goes down?"

As a reminder - reply to the PTA Facebook post and include the student's first name only. Parents can enter one answer for each student at Theuerkauf and we will award a small prize to one of the students who answers correctly. 

Do you want to show your school spirit? Maybe your student is new to Theuerkauf or has outgrown their favorite Cheetah Shirt? 

We have a number of pieces in inventory and can deliver those during the next material distribution. Others will be ordered and distributed at subsequent distribution events. So, make sure to get your order in soon! Details can be found in the attached Order Form or by clicking here


Did you know that there are different ways to support the PTA, our students and our school? 

- Simply by shopping on Amazon or using your credit card, you can make a small donation at no additional cost to you. 

- You can also join a PTA meeting to make sure your ideas are being heard. 

- And of course we would love for you to join our small but mighty team. Please fill out and return this form in a sealed envelope with cash or a check made payable to Theuerkauf Elementary PTA. To pay online, please email your completed form and use PayPal to send your dues to recipient [email protected]. Scholarships are also available. 

District News

Distance Learning - Thought Exchange

Due to COVID-19, MVWSD has been working to refine its procedures and protocols to serve families in this new distance-learning environment. Extensive work has happened at every level: Instruction, technology, food service, and more. Our plans are summarized in “Return to Learn: MVWSD Reopening Plan” at  

Now that we've been distance learning for several weeks due to COVID-19, in your opinion, what’s working well and what are our areas of improvement? To answer this question, we ask that you participate in this online exchange of ideas - ThoughtExchange - with other parents, students in grade 5 and higher, and MVWSD staff members. Through Sept. 17, please share your thoughts and return again to rate the thoughts shared by others.

You may participate in this exchange by clicking on this link: Translation is available in multiple languages. We cannot thank you enough for your patience and flexibility in the last few months. Your input will help us further improve and refine our plans as we move into the future.


Join the MVWSD conversation: Distance Learning: What's working?

We’re now up to 1200 thoughts so far in our online conversation about Distance Learning.  Now that we've been distance learning for several weeks due to COVID-19, in your opinion, what’s working well and what are our areas of improvement? 

Before Thursday, Sept 17: Please take some time to participate or rejoin the conversation to star thoughts entered since you were there last. You may participate in this exchange by clicking on this link: Translation is available in multiple languages.  Your input will help us further improve and refine our plans as we move into the future.

The MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series presents: Jeff Selingo on "Who Gets In and Why:  A Year Inside the College Admissions Process" on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2020 - 7:00 - 9:00pm | Live Online | Zoom

Join us for an insightful evening with journalist and higher education expert Jeff Selingo, as he dispels entrenched notions about the college admissions process. 

While many have long believed that college admissions decisions are driven largely by merit, Jeff presents a more complicated truth.   Embedded in three distinctly different admissions offices — a selective private university, a leading liberal arts college, and a flagship public campus — Jeff closely observed college admission officers as they made their often agonizing and sometimes life-changing decisions.

Based on a year of reading applications and sitting through committee meetings where up and down votes were taken, Jeff reveals what really matters to the gatekeepers and how their ultimate decisions are often based on a college’s priorities.  Following interviews with students, testing agencies, marketers, and ranking organizations, Jeff also shares practical advice and helpful strategies for navigating the confusing, chaotic, and often-times stressful college application process.  

Audience:  High school parents and students; teachers and counselors

Register: To register for this free event, go to

Book:  Jeff's new book, Who Gets In and Why, will be released Sept. 15th and is available with free shipping from Books, Inc.  Jeff is generously offering our community a 30% discount + free shipping for pre-orders made directly through him. If interested, use code MVLA30.

Event Login:  We will send the Zoom link via Eventbrite email, Thursday afternoon, October 1st. 

If you have not used Zoom before, please make sure to allow a few extra minutes before the event to download the free Zoom app.    

Sponsored by Los Altos Educational Foundation (LAEF), MVLA High School Foundation, Mountain View Educational Foundation (MVEF), and Los Altos-Mountain View PTA Council.


Distance Learning tip: How can I set sound alerts so that my student doesn’t miss a class meeting?

To have sound, Chromebook users will need to make sure their Google Calendar settings are set correctly. The instructions below will show how to change the notification setting.

- Go to the following page:

- On the left side of the page under "General" choose "Event Settings"

- Make sure the "Notifications" are set to "Desktop Notifications" and that the play notification sounds button is checked.

This should have the calendar play sound when events trigger.


Free Lunch Flyer 

PTA Flyer 


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