September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

From the Principal's Desk

Hello, Theuerkauf Cheetah Families!

It has been another excellent week of learning and creative exploration at Theuerkauf Elementary! All students enjoyed music and/or art lessons this week, and oh did they have fun! We love partnering with our CSMA instructors who have worked diligently to create fun and engaging lessons that foster a sense of wonder, curiosity, and creativity in our students. They truly put the ‘A’ in STEAM with their multidisciplinary approach to the creative arts. Our teaching staff has continued to delve deeper with students into math and English language arts this week as they have leveraged i-Ready assessment data to sculpt instruction that challenges students at their personal ability levels. We are so grateful to our teachers for sharing their passion, joy, and love of learning as they lead our students in this important work. I look forward to seeing everyone on Thursday night for our SeptemberParent Coffee. We will talk about the needs and expectations of our learning community as we work together to prepare for reopening, and we will discuss some exciting updates and developments planned for Theuerkauf. As always, you are valued in the conversation to determine how we can best serve, support, and challenge each and every Theuerkauf student and family. Your voice is important.


Together, we make a difference!


Yours in service,

Michelle Williams, Principal

Important Dates

September 23, 2020, 5:00 p.m - PTA Meeting  through Google Meet.

September 24, 2020, 5:30p.m - Theuerkauf Elementary Parent Coffee (register here)

October 12, 2020 - Recess Break - No School

November 6, 2020 - End of Trimester -  Minimum Day

School News

Managing Frustration During Distance Learning

Here a few simple tips that may help your child manage frustration during distance learning.

▪ Stick to routines - provide a single place for your child to complete their school lessons when possible.

▪ Keep all supplies and instructional materials in a bag in the same place so that items don’t get lost and aren’t tough to find.

▪ When meltdowns occur, try using one of these simple calming strategies: counting to 10, taking deep breaths, a short break. 

▪ Help your child describe the problem and express their feelings (I feel … when …). 

▪ Together, come up with a potential solution and connect it to previously set expectations. 

▪ Explain how the child’s behavior is linked to consequences. Set gentle and firm limits. 

▪ Assume that everyone is trying their best. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with others. 

▪ Ask teachers or others for help. We are here to support you!

COVID Safety Update, Checklist, and Stage 3 Hybrid Learning Preparation

Our staff is hard at work preparing for the safe return of our students, once it is determined by our school board, the state, and public health agencies that it is safe to do so. Each Friday, we are posting our progress on our Reopening Checklist. Please take a look to learn more about what we are doing each week to prepare the Theuerkauf campus for reopening. 

This week, parents received a survey from the district regarding our future return to school on campus. Parents, it is extremely important that we know your choice for reopening to help plan maintenance, Special Education, meal distribution and student ratios for our classrooms. Scheduling will need to be completed by hand for each student, so it will be imperative that we have accurate numbers. Please check your email for this extremely important survey.

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.



2020 Solar and Perimeter Fence Projects (Funded by Measure T) 

Thanks to our community members for supporting and passing Measure T, the $259 million bond issue passed in 2020, we are able to continue to fund a variety of projects that will increase safety, efficiency and provide for short-term growth at our schools.  At Theuerkauf, we will see the following project areas:

  • Improved security with the improvement of our perimeter fencing to completely enclose our campus 

  • Replacement and improvements of our HVAC equipment 

  • Construction of solar arrays to save in long-term energy costs

  • New lighting to illuminate paths of travel to and from campus and parking lots

  • Replacement of older, single pane windows, where needed

Improving perimeter fencing and adding gates to completely enclose campus and fields will help us to secure our campus. It will also make COVID screening more efficient. Fencing and gates will be ornamental metal to match existing at campus frontage and 6’ high chain link fencing and gates at property lines and back of campus. The purpose of this fencing is to control points of entry during school hours. It’s important to note that the public will have access to fields outside school hours. The intention is to secure campuses when students are present, and have gates open through a lock management system in the evenings and on weekends.

You can find more details on all the exciting upgrades and improvements on our district website.


Online Parenting Toolkit: Making Life with Kids Easier!*

It’s difficult to be a parent right now. Everyday Parenting is a free, online program that aims to make your typical day in the home easier. In this program, you will be given tools for improving your child’s behavior, increasing your child’s compliance with your requests, and strengthening your relationship with your child. 

Please click here to access the FREE program:

 *While we believe it can be helpful to families, this resource is not directly affiliated with MVWSD.

PTA News

How well do you know your school?

This week we want to mix it up and instead of a Riddle, we want to ask a question about the school. Kids - do you know how many people MVWSD employs to make sure you and our community are supported at Theuerkauf? Send us your best guess!

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 or is closest.

Mask Design Contest

Tired of boring mask designs or can't find one that shows Cheetah Spirit? 

The PTA is excited to announce the "DESIGN OUR MASK" contest. 

Have your child draw a Theuerkauf-inspired design, snap a picture of it, and submit it by September 30th either via Facebook or to our PTA email at [email protected].

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. 

PTA Meeting Today

Come join us at our next PTA meeting and have your thoughts and ideas heard. We are meeting on September 23 at 5 p.m. through Google Meet.

District News

Strategic Plan Survey is open now

MVWSD is working on a new Strategic Plan. We want to ensure this new six-year Strategic Plan 2027  builds on the strengths and assets of our school system, while addressing the most promising opportunities to enhance our work. 

We need your help! Parents, students and staff members will be asked to engage in several steps during the strategic planning process in meetings, focus groups and surveys. 

Here is your first opportunity to give input.  Please take 10 minutes to respond to this survey by midnight on Sept. 24.

The survey is managed by a third-party consultant.  All responses will go directly to them and will be anonymous.  

Next steps: This information will be used to shape our future strategic direction. In October you will have the opportunity to see your efforts materialize in the resulting strategic plan framework and to provide feedback.  

Thank you for taking the time to inform our future. 

Planning for school reopening: Learning Options survey

Thank you for supporting your children in “Connected 100% Distance Learning” due to COVID-19. As you know, planning for potential school re-opening has been ongoing since March.

Our tentative plan: MVWSD is considering in-person learning beginning with the first group of our youngest, specific special education students and our at-risk students. However, we will not open schools if the process poses too great a risk to our students’ or employees’ health and safety. 100% Distance Learning will remain an option. Click here to read more about the two options:

In order to proceed, we want to hear from you. Many of the specifics of what school reopenings will look like in the future depend on our families’ responses. Please complete the updated Stage 3 Learning Options Registration survey (sent to you in email on Sept 18) before Sept. 25. Your survey link is unique to each of your students and can be completed only once. 

More information is in Dr. Rudolph’s update to the Board of Trustees on Sept. 17. (The video is posted here . Tune in at timestamp 2:33).

Parent University: Raising Digitally Resilient Children and Teens during Quarantine

Kids are online more than ever in this post-COVID world, with increased use of digital technology for academics, entertainment, and social connection.

Join My Digital TAT2 for a highly engaging and informative webinar at the MVWSD Parent University event on Wednesday, October 7th from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. Hear how young people are affected by the latest news, trends, and data from the world of technology. Get tips and strategies for how to teach responsibility and balanced and healthy use of the internet and social media.

Click here to register for this event on Zoom.

Recommended for all adults who support youth and want to learn thoughtful and supportive ways to navigate media with children. For more information about My Digital TAT2 and their mission, please visit:

Together We Are a Better MVWSD: Hispanic Heritage Month (Flyers attached)

We are excited to announce that this month marks the beginning of a monthly offering towards MVWSD’s equity goals titled Together We Are a Better MVWSD.  Each month you will receive an infographic in both English and Spanish that offers educational tools and community guidance inspired by a national diversity calendar. This month is National Hispanic Heritage Month.

You’ll see:

  • Lessons provided by grade level that are designed to be used by teachers to enhance work they are doing in the classroom. 

  • Activities provided to parents, which are meant to help bridge the gap between lessons at school and conversations at home. 

  • Organization spotlights to help us engage with our community and learn more about organizations doing equity work.

  • Children’s books by authors who have either the lived experience or scholarly background to contextualize this topic for children and adolescents.

Please see


Cafecito con el Superintendente on Sept. 23
Join us for an informal meeting for Spanish-speaking parents on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 5:30 p.m. Translation will be provided. Please register in advance for this meeting here.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Distance Learning Tip: 

What’s the easiest way to help my child upload pictures of student work?

First, create a child’s folder in a parent’s Google Drive (only has to be done once. Requires parent to have a gmail account.)

-download google drive app on smartphone

-create a folder with child's name (ie "Emma’s Schoolwork”)

-share the folder with the child's school email address. (Note: Students in grades TK-5 will not get an email notification of this share. The child does not have to access his/her email account. The folder automatically will appear in the student's “shared with me” folder on their Drive after parent “shares” with the student’s email address.)

After that set up, its as easy as this:

-open google drive app

-open the shared folder

-push + button and select “use camera” to take picture (this uploads it automatically)

-child now has the pic on his/her school drive in the parent/child shared folder (under "shared with me" in child’s drive). They can also upload these images to other programs, such as SeeSaw.


Free Student Meals Available Again

The free meal program has been extended! 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.  


Please Support Our Students and Teachers!

MVEF raises money to provide all MVWSD students with an educational experience beyond what is possible with public funding. We hope you saw the MVEF brochure with your school supplies or watched the video during Back to School. Please see the website at for more information and to donate online. Please consider joining our team of volunteers or emailing us with any questions at [email protected]. Thank you for your support!


Mountain View Public Library presents “Sea Otters” (Flyer attached)

Mountain View Public Library presents “Sea Otters: Author Talk for Kids” (ages 7-12) on Wednesday Oct 14 - 4-4:30 pm. See attached flyer. Free. Sign-up at


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


MV Library Sea Otters 

September Equity Graphic 

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