December 18, 2020

December 18, 2020

From the Principal's Desk

Hello, Cheetah Families!

As we gear up for winter break, I want to take a moment to say how proud I am of our students for their diligence and hard work on iReady assessments these past two weeks! I know it has been tough for many, but these tools really do help us to guide and direct students in a more personalized way after each opportunity. 

Just a gentle reminder that our school fields and playgrounds are closed during school days until 4 p.m., just as they’d be as if we are in a typical school year. There are student programs and staff present on campus during the school day, and for safety - especially during COVID - we need to keep our schools secure. Thanks in advance for your understanding and help with this. 

I hope that everyone enjoys a warm, safe, and meaningful winter break. When we return, we will have MUCH to look forward to, including more project based learning, a career-themed online event, another cool-cats assembly centered around Respect, and much more. While we all certainly learned many lessons from 2020, I will join with you in spirit to welcome in a new year full of promise, hope, and health. As always, thank you for your partnership, your perseverance, and your passion for our learning community. 


Together, we make a difference!


Yours in service,

Michelle Williams, Principal

Important Dates

Thursdays from 4-5pm - Open office hours with the Principal

Thursdays at lunch - Lunch Bunch: Theaurkauf's Got Talent! (see Google Classroom for links)

Friday, December 18 - Cheetah Spirit Day: Winter sweaters

December 21-31 - Holiday Break - No School

Friday, January 1 - Holiday Recess - No School

Monday, January 4 - Teacher Service Day - No School

Tuesday, January 5 - Students resume classes

Friday, January 8 - Materials pick-up for Mr. Torres' Class

January 11-15 - Parent Conferences - minimum days (11:55 am dismissal)

January 13, 12-4pm - Schoolwide Materials Distribution (see below for details)

Monday, January 18 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School

School News

Parent Teacher Conferences January 11-15, 2021

As a reminder, please check your email for a message from your child's teacher about Parent Teacher Conferences. Please schedule your conference before we leave for Holiday Break on Friday.  If none of the times suggested work for you, please be sure to contact your child’s teacher directly. The scheduling window is now open.

If you have technical issues with signing up, please email Principal Williams directly at [email protected]. For all other questions, please contact Mary Colon at [email protected] or Sherri Minor at [email protected].  You can also call us in the school office at (650) 903-6925.

Materials Distributions

Please mark your calendars! The following materials distributions are scheduled for the first couple of weeks of the new year:

  • January 8th from 12-1pm and 2-4pm: Mr. Torres' 4th/5th combo class 

  • January 13th - Schoolwide Materials Distribution (art supplies for every grade and additional materials for select grades)

    • 12-2pm: TK & Kinder

    • 2-3pm: 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades

    • 3-4pm: 4th and 5th grades

Please remember that our procedures for materials pick-ups have changed slightly to better protect all members of our learning community. In order to further limit direct contact of any kind, we are now organizing all items for pick up in a bag, placing this bag on a socially-distanced table for each individual family to pick up upon arrival at the school. 

This means that we would ask you to please exit your car briefly in order to pick up your bag of materials. To aid us in hearing names from a safe distance (this can be tough with masks!), we ask that you please continue to write your child's full name in bold marker on a sheet of paper, displayed on the passenger side window or held up upon arrival. 

Also, as a reminder--If you have been exposed to someone with COVID or are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms such as loss of taste/smell, coughing, or fever, please do not come to the school. We will arrange a drop off at your home's door instead--just send us an email with this information. 

Thanks so much for your assistance and time as we all work together to stay safe and healthy! 


Classroom Spotlight - Mr. Tony Torres

This week, we would like to showcase what is happening in Mr. Tony Torres' 5th grade class! We asked Mr. Torres a series of questions. Here are his responses!


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

Currently, our class is trying to have some fun while learning, too! We are using The Mystery Classroom website to learn and have some fun by being detectives and solve the mystery. So far, we have explored the topics of math and digital citizenship! Students work with peers to answer content-specific questions. Their goal is to answer questions and unlock clues which help them solve the case! Throughout the process, students use a combination of critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills, and collaboration.


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

Continue to grow in life and at school by taking risks and learning from your mistakes.


Where did you go to college?

Chico State and San Francisco State University


What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy spending time with my family and being outdoors. 



Parenting Support: Making Life Easier with Kids

Drs. Eduardo Bunge and Alayna Park at Palo Alto University would like to support students and parents at Theuerkauf Elementary School. This winter, they will be offering a series of synchronous/Zoom meetings where they will give you tools for improving your child’s behavior, increasing your child’s compliance with your requests, and strengthening your relationship with your child. They will also provide information on how you can access a free, online program with more techniques for making parents' typical day in the home easier.    

If you have not already done so, please please complete this two-minute, 4-question form to indicate your interest in attending by selecting the best days and times for you to take part in this awesome opportunity.

Reminder: Library Corner

Here are a few exciting announcements from our friendly Theuerkauf librarian, Mrs. Bhajarian (AKA Mrs. B)! These eBooks are amazing supports that can keep our students reading over the winter break. Happy reading, everyone!

  • Thanks to the efforts of our district office personnel, Theuerkauf now has 164 new eBooks! These books have cool features that allow you to bookmark, highlight, and change font sizes. Most books can even be read to you. Mrs. B has created a video that shows how to use some of these features and posted it on YouTube here.

  • We still have access to all of the hundreds of eBooks and audiobooks through the Santa Clara County Schools Shared Digital Collection. Would you like to find out how to access these eBooks? Click here to see a quick instructional video!

  • Looking for a gift for your child? Give the gift of reading! Epic, a free source of ebooks during school hours, is offering 50% off a year’s subscription for unlimited access. Click here for details.

  • Last, but not least, Stevenson is hosting renowned children's author Todd Parr on Tuesday, December 15, from 1-2pm. TK-1st grades are invited. For more information click here.

Reminder: Technology Support:

  • NEW: Please remember to TURN OFF your Chromebook for at least 2 minutes prior to starting school on Monday morning. There are updates that are sent to your child's device over each weekend. If the Chromebook is not powered down and back on, it will not work properly on Monday morning. 

  • If you are having problems with the chromebook you can contact: [email protected] to create a ServiceNow ticket or call the Tech Department at (650) 526-3252.

  • Is your child having trouble with sound or with their microphone? 

    • This video clip may help! NEW: Adjust Microphone Input Tutorial

    • In the Zoom app, you can click on the bottom left where the microphone is and click on the arrow, choose audio settings and then check 'automatically adjust microphone volume.' 

    • Another solution to try is to manually reduce the microphone volume in Chrome by clicking on the menu where the time/wifi icon is located then choosing the arrow next to the sound icon and adjust the microphone volume there.

Reminder: Reporting Absences

If you are reporting a student’s absence, please email the Secretary Mary Colon at [email protected] or call the attendance line at (650) 903-6925 press #2

Reminder. Please include your student’s name, your student’s room or teacher, the reason for absence, and the date of absence.


Reminder: Safety Protocols

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.

PTA News

Happy Holidays from all of us on the PTA Team! 

The last few months have not been easy, but we have been excited to meet many of you via virtual meet-ups, the PTA meetings, on Facebook and most recently during our Maker Sessions. We hope you have a peaceful holiday season and a good start into a healthy year 2021!

Please continue to let us know any feedback you might have at [email protected]


REMINDER: PTA Holiday Appreciation for Families

The holiday season is a time for families to come together and bond. Why not have a game night sponsored by the Theuerkauf PTA? A simple deck of cards can lead to hours of fun playing some old favorites or trying out some new ones. 

Come by the school on December 17th between 11.45 am and 12.45 pm to pick up your holiday appreciation gift!

We understand that not everybody can come by during that time slot, so please reach out to us to arrange an alternate pick-up at [email protected].

District News

Free children’s meals continue during the holidays

MVWSD free meals for children are available during the holidays. Meals will be available the weeks of December 21 and 28 at the Gabriela Mistral Elementary (505 Escuela Ave) location only on Monday and Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. -1 p.m.  On Monday, bags of Monday's and Tuesday's breakfasts and lunches are available. On Tuesday, meal bags for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are available. Regular meal service resumes on the week of Jan 4. 

Better Together: Together we can appreciate our abilities 

In December, we are celebrating Abilities Awareness Month. To honor our commitments in moving towards equity and inclusion, help us bring the voices of people with diverse abilities into your classroom or homes, and create a learning environment that rejects ableism. From lessons on art, activism and physical disabilities to education about new developments in Universal Design, these resources will help you and your children embrace diverse abilities and understand the injustices people with disabilities often encounter. Together, we can appreciate our abilities and celebrate our common humanity. See the attached graphics or view them on

Tester and Interpreter/Translator positions available

Looking for a part-time job with a positive social impact? MVWSD is now hiring organized and friendly individuals to administer English Language proficiency assessments to the district’s K-8 English language learners. To find out more, click here:

Can you speak or write in a language other than English? MVWSD is always looking for qualified interpreters and translators. If you enjoy helping families and children and are fluent in English and one of the languages below, click on and then click on “Support Staff - Hourly”. We are currently looking for the following languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi, French, German, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, Vietnamese.

MVWSD’s award-winning Preschool 

Is now enrolling for full-day and part-day for the 2021-22 school year. Information meetings will be held in January. Please see the attached flyer or for more information. 

Recording: Virtual i-Ready parent workshop

Are you curious about the i-Ready platform and how you can support your student at home? Please view this recording of the session provides parents with an overview of i-Ready and answer parents’ frequently asked questions about how i-Ready elevates instruction.





TK and choice schools’ meetings are this week. Open Enrollment for all MVWSD students starts in January

School and District information meetings are coming up in December. Please visit for a list of these events and for login information.

  • If your child turns 5 years old between September 2 – December 2, 2021, he/she may qualify for transitional kindergarten. TK info night is December 16 at 5:00 p.m online.

  • If you are interested in the District's choice schools, information nights are: 

Gabriela Mistral: Dual Spanish/English Immersion: December 15 at 6 pm

Stevenson: Parent Child Teacher: December 16 at 6 pm

Choice schools will also have information at the elementary schools’ info nights (6 p.m. Dec. 9).

For CURRENT students in transitional kindergarten-7th grade: Parents will be asked by email to confirm enrollment from January 18- 22.

For NEW students:  Open Enrollment is from January 11 through Feb. 5, 2021 online. You can register your child for the 2021-22 school year when online registration opens here: 

CSA food distributions  

Community Services Agency (CSA) will have three additional food distributions that families throughout Mountain View are welcome to come and pick up. Please see attached flyers in Spanish and English for details. 

Getting Ready for the ELPAC information session: Jan. 12

The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is administered every year to our English Learner (EL) students. To learn more about this assessment, the role it plays in the education of every EL, and how to help your child prepare, please join for the following meeting: 

  • January 12

5:00-5:30 in English:

5:30-6:00 in Spanish:

MVEF news: Double Your Donation with the December Challenge Grant! 

Throughout December, every dollar donated will be matched dollar for dollar up to $47,000, through our December Challenge Grant.  The December Challenge Grant has been made possible by generous MVEF donors who are challenging you to join them in supporting MVEF. Donate today to get your donation matched by this challenge! 

If your company has a matching gift program, you can even triple your impact by donating this month! 

Every dollar donated makes a difference and allows the district-wide programs to be funded which is especially important now, during remote learning.  It takes donations of every size for us to reach our annual goal of $800,000 together.

CHAC offers free mental health support to parents and students For parents: CHAC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable and accessible mental health services, supports parents in several ways. Please see the attached flyers for more information.

For students: PLUGGED IN - Social and Emotional Learning Skills Programs

CHAC is excited to offer two new Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Skills Programs to 3rd and 5th grade students.  Both programs are a fun and enriching way to help students navigate the unique challenges they face in these extraordinary times.

1.    CHAC's Weekly Virtual Group meetings focus on social interaction between participants.  Through collaborative lessons and fun activities students will learn emotion regulation skills, problem solving skills as well as healthy coping and self-care skills. 

2.    CHAC's Independent SEL Curriculum teaches students essential social and emotional learning skills through entertaining video lessons and a variety of fun activities that students complete independently. 

The parents who request the PLUGGED IN Independent Curriculum will have it emailed to them immediately.  

The parents who would like their child to join a PLUGGED IN virtual group, will be contacted about scheduling options and asked to complete an online permission slip.  Groups are expected to start in early January. 

Click here to learn more about PLUGGED IN- CHAC’s new SEL Programs:

Parenting in a pandemic: Free 6th district PTA speaker series

Wednesday, December 16, 7 PM. Teaching self regulation. Inclusion collaborative.

Cost: free. For more information and to reserve your seat visit

MVLA Speakers series presents “Middle School Matters” with Phyllis Fagell Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 - 7:00 - 9:00pm | Live Online 

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Certified Professional School Counselor Phyllis Fagell helps parents use the middle school years as a low-stakes training ground to teach kids the key skills they’ll need to thrive now and in the future, including making good friend choices, negotiating conflict, regulating their own emotions, acting as their own advocates, and more. To answer parents’ most common questions and struggles with middle school-aged children, she combines her professional and personal expertise with stories and advice from prominent psychologists, doctors, parents, educators, school professionals, and middle schoolers themselves.

Audience:  Parents of kids grades 4 - 8

Register:  To register for this free event at


Video Available!  

Michael Reichert  – How to Raise a Boy - Event Recording from 11/17/2020

Dr. Reichert has graciously allowed us to share the How to Raise a Boy recording with parents, teachers, and other caretakers of children and teens (K - 12) within our community.  The recording will be available until December 17th. The link is

Video Available!  

Marc Brackett  – Permission to Feel - Event Recording from 10/29/2020

Dr. Brackett has graciously allowed us to share the Permission to Feel recording with parents, teachers, and other caretakers of children and teens (K - 12) within our community.  The recording will be available through December 10th. The link is


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