May 20, 2020


Wednesday May 20, 2020

Core value of the month: Hard work



Dear Monta Loma Families, 


Though it’s impossible to pick just one, I have to say writing is a top contender for my favorite subject to teach. I didn’t used to like writing so much. As a child, writing was very difficult for me. Whenever I had to write a book report (remember those), I procrastinated until the night before it was due. My parents would sit next to me and try everything they could think of to get me to finish. There were more than a few tears from all of us.

Through the magic of hindsight, I know now that my particular difficulty with writing was about process and organization. Since I disliked it, I didn’t want to spend any more time on it than I had to. Why make a plan, write a draft, and revise it, when I could just write it once. 

I’m thinking about this now because spending so much time at home means I get to see more of the action around me. For example, my chickens are hysterical. They give me great ideas for stories. 

Whatever your situation is, you and your children also have stories to tell and I encourage you to tell them or write them down. They could be simple, short descriptions of what you notice happening or more elaborate reports or stories. Here are some ideas to try. 

  • Keep a journal with your thoughts about the changes you notice in the world.

  • Tell a narrative. It could be true or made up. It could be about your or someone else. It could even be about non-human characters like chickens or robots.

  • Write a letter to the editor. I bet you have opinions about the news.

  • Interview a loved one and take notes about what you can learn from them. 

  • Write a review of that great  Disney Channel or Netflix show you’re binge-watching, and try to convince a friend why they should watch too.

  • Consider different formats like written text, photo essay, comics, videos, podcasts.

Whatever you do, take it from me, planning and revising make your writing better. It’s worth the time.

In partnership,


Library Book Returns: We are collecting library books on Wednesday, May 27th between 10 am and 12:00 noon.  A cart will be in front of the MUR. Drive or walk up and leave your books on the cart staffwill monitor and collect the books. Please practice social distancing and wait for families in front of you to get back in their car before you get out.



Pandemic EBT Card: This resource, up to $365 per free and reduced eligible child, should be coming to most families soon if their child receives free or reduced school meals directly. This benefit is to assist families in providing food while school is closed.


Other families can apply at May 22 – June 30th. It does not matter if a family is undocumented, and will not count towards public charge. For families not receiving free and reduced price meals yet, we are recommending they fill out the FRPM Application here ASAP, in order to receive this emergency benefit.

Rental Assistance Webinar: Community Services Agency is offering a FREE webinar about its rental assistance process in response to COVID-19. Anyone interested in seeking rental assistance should participate. For English, webinars are scheduled on Tuesdays 5/19, and 5/26. For Spanish, webinars are scheduled on Thursdays 5/21, and 5/28. Those interested must register by contacting Eonis Cibrian Pelayo, Community and PublicRelations Coordinator, at

Upcoming Meetings

Our next Principal’s Coffee will be on May 20th at 6:00pm. Directions for registering in advance will be shared in a separate email.

Our ELAC meeting is May 21 at 10:00 am. Directions for registering in advance will be shared in a separate email.

We also have a general PTA meeting for PTA members on May 22nd at 3:00pm.  Look for a link from Kara Chambers a few days before the meeting.

As always, please reach out to us for anything you may need. 




  • Monday - Friday: Breakfast and lunch available to youth 18 or younger from 11:30 am to 1 pm at Gabriela Mistral Elementary, 505 Escuela Ave. 

  • Wednesday May 20: Principal’s Coffee @ 6pm (see separate email) 

  • Thursday May 21: ELAC meeting @ 10am (see separate email)

  • Friday May 22: PTA Meeting for PTA members @3pm (see separate email)

  • Monday May 25: Memorial Day - no school


Distance Learning Tips

Here are a few tips that might help you and your student with Distance Learning. Do you have any tried and true methods of helping your students’ school days be more efficient and your family’s life a little easier? Share them here.


 “Caught you being good!”  Set a timer for yourself (15-45 minutes, depending on the age of your kids).  When the timer goes off, positively reinforce your child by noting their focus, independence, and/or perseverance through a challenge.  If you can periodically name, celebrate, and give attention to what they are doing right, they are more likely to keep it up, and less likely to get our attention with undesired behaviors.


Multiple kiddos? Go incognito! If you have multiple kids or are trying to access your own Google account while checking out theirs, here is a tip: Hold down COMMAND + SHIFT + N when you are in Chrome. This creates an incognito window, where you are not signed in. This means you can sign in with one account in one window and another account in another. You can do this for as many accounts as you like so that you can flip between windows to look at information from multiple accounts simultaneously.


Ask your student for high & lows for the day. Not everything is fixable, but asking and talking about schoolwork will help your student feel supported and understood. 


Monta Loma PTA Association Meeting and Elections NEW TIME!!!

In order to maximize attendance at our last Association Meeting/Elections, the Executive Board decided to move the time from the morning to the afternoon.  Our last Association Meeting May 22 will take place at 3:00pm online through Zoom.  You need to be a PTA member in order to vote or run for a position. You can become a member by going to our website

In addition to financial matters, we'll be holding our election for next year at that meeting.  Although these times are uncertain, we do know that our kids, school staff, and families need our support.  We will continue to work to enrich the lives of our kids, to strengthen our community, and to support our wonderful staff. Please consider joining us in this work.  

In particular, we are still seeking candidates for Executive Vice-President, Communications Chair, Hospitality Chair, Auditor, Historian, and Parliamentarian. You can see descriptions of most of these roles on our website Any one of our board members would also be happy to answer any questions you have about these roles and serving on the board.  There is training available through our regional and state PTAs and we have an extensive amount of documentation to share as well. No one has to reinvent the wheel or go it alone! Let me know if you'd like to run for a position. We'll also take nominations the day of the meeting.

We hope you'll join us at the meeting on May 22 at 3:00. I'll send out a zoom link to members a few days prior.


Coffees with the Superintendent

Check this webpage for events in which we can connect on topics that are important to students’ education. Here are two that are upcoming:

Check in with the Superintendent

Friday, May 22, 3:30 pm

Register in advance for this meeting by clicking here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Cafecito con el Superintendente

These are informal meetings for Spanish-speaking parents. Translation will be provided.

Wednesday, May 20, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Register in advance for this meeting by clicking here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

SCCOE Announces New Online Portal for Essential Workers to Access Childcare

Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) in partnership with county and city leaders, community organizations and agencies throughout Santa Clara County has announced a new online portal to provide essential workers, as defined by the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health, access to childcare during the shelter-in-place order


In addition to this childcare resource, we have a list of resources for families developed by our School Community Engagement Facilitators. Sheltering in place and not being in our regular routines of work and school can be hard on our emotional and mental health, in addition to making access to meals, rent payments and other typical activities more difficult. Click here for info about help with meals, rent, legal issues, emotional support and more.

Food Benefits (Flyer here)

Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school will get extra food benefits. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits help families in California buy food when schools are closed because of the coronavirus emergency.


Families will get up to $365 per eligible child on their P-EBT card to use on food and groceries. Families with children who get CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply. Most will get their P-EBT card in the mail during the month of May. P-EBT cards will begin arriving sometime this month (May).


Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who do not get their P-EBT card in the mail, must apply online before June 30, 2020. The online application will launch in late May.


Parent Support Webinar series

The Santa Clara County Office of Education has developed a Parent Support Webinar series just for parents who have questions on how they can support their kids with learning. 

Free Parent Support Webinar series:

May 7      Episode 1: Maintaining a Healthy, Balanced Family Life

May 14    Episode 2: Reading Comprehension Support

May 21    Episode 3: Writing Development Support

May 28    Episode 4: Academic Content Support

Audience: Parents & Educators

Dates: Thursdays in May 2020

Time: 1-1:30 PM, PST

Join Live:

Cost: Free

17th Annual Mvwsd Interscholastic Chess Tournament

17AMICT is forging ahead and will be held this year despite COVID-19!  The tournament will be online this year and will be held Sunday, May 31, 2020, from 11:30 to 5:00.  Full instructions and registration are at  The registration deadline is May 29.  Come take part in one of the few events this school year going on as scheduled.  Contact Mark Ruzon, Tournament Director, at with any questions.



With extended time sheltering-in-place, InPlay, MVWSD's partner for out-of-school learning, has created a list of home-based, instructor-led programs offered by your favorite local providers to keep your students active and engaged! Please check it out.


MVWSD 2019-20 calendar

**MVWSD 2020-21 Calendar**

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.