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Morgan Hill Unified School District Education Foundation Opens its Doors  and Expands Possibilities for MHUSD Students

The foundation seeks to provide equitable resources for children’s extracurricular activities.

The Morgan Hill Unified School District is celebrating the launch of an affiliated education foundation. The Morgan Hill Unified School District Education Foundation’s mission is to enrich the lives of District students by raising additional resources to empower them to achieve their full potential.     

The foundation’s current board members include John Horner, Wendy Sullivan, Adam Escoto, Nick Gaich, Cecelia Ponzini, and Superintendent Dr. Carmen García (Ex Officio member).  Foundation directors sought out community feedback, which revealed that stakeholders want the education foundation to prioritize athletics, visual and performing arts, field trips, and guest educator opportunities. The foundation incorporated these priorities and will continue to seek community feedback throughout the year.  

“I look forward to investing in our students’ futures through our partnership with the Education Foundation,” said Dr. Carmen García, Superintendent, Morgan Hill Unified School District. “This is a new opportunity to ensure all students have enhanced opportunities to learn beyond their classrooms and gain experience in new, enriching activities. I appreciate the founding board’s years of planning, investment, and belief in our students.”       

In 2020, then MHUSD School Board members Sullivan, Horner, and Escoto formed an ad-hoc committee to examine comparable foundations to learn about similar efforts to enhance students’ educational experience. That initial research led to the creation of the MHUSD Education Foundation, including all necessary state and federal approvals exclusively using funds provided by private donations.

In a show of tangible support for the new Foundation’s launch, the Edward Boss Prado Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Cecelia and Gary Ponzini, made a $25,000 donation, setting a promising model for future contributions and community impact.  

About Morgan Hill Unified School District Education Foundation: At the MHUSD Education Foundation, we believe that every child deserves access to a high-quality education that prepares them for success in life. We are committed to providing the resources and support necessary to ensure that the students of the Morgan Hill Unified School District have the best possible chance to succeed. Our team is made up of dedicated professionals who are passionate about education and the impact it can have on the lives of young people. We are working to develop resources which enhance student's educational journey by adding support for enrichments such as sports, music, performing arts, visual arts, field trips and more. We are a 501C(3) with tax id # 92-2854932. 

For more information, visit https://www.mhedfoundation.org/

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The Morgan Hill Youth Climate Action Team Secures a Grant for Climate Literacy Initiatives

 

Youth Climate Action

 Students at Morgan Hill Unified School District are poised to make an impact on climate issues through advocacy

The Morgan Hill Youth Climate Action Team (MHYCAT), a dynamic group of students attending Morgan Hill Unified School District, earned a $10,000 grant from Silicon Valley Clean Energy. The grant will be dedicated to advancing climate literacy efforts within the district through targeted outreach and education.

Sofia Ruiz-McGinty, a junior at Live Oak High School and co-lead of MHYCAT, said: “Having young leaders in climate action is crucial. We want to encourage fellow youth to consider career paths that center the climate and we want to work with educators to advance climate education in schools.”

Morgan Hill Unified Superintendent Dr. Carmen Garcia is proud of the students’ accomplishment. She said: “Students in MHYCAT deserve accolades for showing what is possible when young people take initiative to bring attention to climate issues. We’re excited about the students’ ideas for educators’ professional development, school-based projects, and panels that bring climate experts to our campuses. They’ve already put on an impressive Earth Day Speaker Series, and I’m excited to work with them more in the year to come.”

Investing in Climate Education

The grant allocation includes $6,000 earmarked for professional development and an additional $4,000 designated for student activities related to Earth Day, education nights, and career fairs. MHYCAT recognizes the urgency of climate action and aims to empower students and educators alike with the knowledge and tools needed to address this critical issue. 

Phase One Success: Earth Day-Green Career Speaker Series

MHYCAT wasted no time in implementing phase one of their initiative. During Earth Week in April 2024, the team hosted the Earth Day-Green Career Speaker Series at both Live Oak and Sobrato High Schools. The goal was to inform high school students about exciting opportunities in the field of green careers. Approximately 6-8 speakers per school site shared their career paths, insights, and ways for students to engage actively. Speakers included representatives from Silicon Valley Youth Climate Action, Sierra Club, City of Morgan Hill, City of San Jose, Valley Water, USDA NRCS, Flatiron, and partners from Silicon Valley Clean Energy. The event received enthusiastic student engagement and underscored the importance of climate education within schools.

Phase Two: Professional Development for Educators

The second phase of MHYCAT’s climate education initiative focuses on professional development for educators. The student leaders point to Governor Newsom’s recent  signing of AB285, which mandates that climate change causes, effects, and mitigation strategies be integrated into public school curriculum. Schools must offer relevant coursework no later than the 2024-2025 academic year. MHYCAT recognizes the critical role teachers play in delivering effective climate education.

MHYCAT has asked Dr. Garcia and other district staff responsible for coordinating district-sanctioned trainings to consider a week-long summer program for teachers, modeled after a successful initiative at Fremont High School Unified School District. This program would provide teachers with curriculum insights and in-depth training on climate literacy integration.  The students have even offered to provide $6,000 from their grant to support teacher participation stipends.

YCAT Co Leads

About Morgan Hill Youth Climate Action Team (MHYCAT): MHYCAT is a passionate group of students committed to addressing climate change through education, advocacy, and community engagement. As part of the award-winning Silicon Valley Youth Climate Action organization, MHYCAT aims to create a sustainable future for Morgan Hill and beyond.

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2024 Silicon Valley Tech Academy Summer STEM Program

Dear MHUSD Families,

We are excited to announce that MHUSD is partnering with the Silicon Valley Tech Academy (SVTA) for another summer of programming! We still have some space available!  Students currently enrolled in MHUSD entering 6th, 7th or 8th grades during the 2024-25 school year are eligible to participate. SVTA is a non-profit educational initiative in San Jose whose mission is to enable middle school students to explore and improve their skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
https://techacademysv.com 

Course offerings and registration links are as follows (please see attached course outline). We hope you'll join us! Registration will remain open until filled. *Please note, Wireless has been cancelled due to low enrollment.

Thank you.

 

SVTA Summer 2024 Spanish

 

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Morgan Hill Freedom Essay Contest Winners

This year, the Freedom Fest Essay Contest had 90 entries. The contest was open to 2nd through 5th graders. The topic of this year's contest was "Write a Thank You note to someone who makes this country great."

We are pleased to announce the Primary Division Grand Prize winner from Paradise Valley Engineering Academy, 3rd grader Carly. The Intermediate Grade Grand Prize  winner from Barrett Elementary is 5th grader, Daniel. We have included both winning essays here. Congratulations to Carly, Daniel and to the other MHUSD participants! 

Carly: "There are lots of people who make this country great. Our Armed Forces fight for our country’s freedom. Firefighters put out fires and keep people safe. Doctors and veterinarians take care of people and animals and make sure they’re healthy. But, I’d really like to thank a very special group of people who also help make our country awesome – Police Officers!

My dad is a retired police officer. He got hurt doing his job keeping others safe. It takes a lot of courage to be a police officer. They stop bad guys from hurting other people. They’re always there for people who are in danger or injured. Police Officers keep kids safe by teaching them to follow laws and pay attention to their surroundings.

Morgan Hill even has a police dog named Basco! He uses his nose to sniff out drugs. Basco works with his dad, Sergeant Pires. Police Officers are always working, even on holidays.  They are very dedicated to their job.

They’re brave because they run toward danger when everyone’s running away from it.

Thank you, Police Officers, for keeping our country safe and making it a great place to be."

Daniel: "When chaos and uncertainty looms, heroes who embody courage, and selflessness come. These are first responders, the steadfast preservers of our communities, who answer the call of duty with unwavering heart. Your commitment is unparalleled, and it is with gratitude that I give my thanks to you, brave men and women.

First, I express my appreciation for the sacrifices you make each day.

You put your lives on the line to ensure the safety and well-being of others, often facing perilous situations without hesitation. Whether rushing into burning buildings to save lives, providing medical care at the scene of an accident, or confronting acts of violence, you show bravery in the face of adversity. Your commitment to protecting life and property is nothing short of heroic.

Moreover, you serve as beacons of hope and reassurance in times of crisis. Your quick response to emergencies instills a sense of security within our communities, offering support to those in need. Your compassion and empathy shine as you provide aid to those experiencing tragedy and hardship.

Additionally, I recognize the skill and expertise you hold in your respective fields. Through rigorous training and education, you equip yourselves with the knowledge and proficiency necessary to find the way through the most challenging of situations. Your professionalism and competence enable you to make split-second decisions under pressure, often with lives hanging in the balance. Your dedication to honing your skills ensures that you are prepared to confront any challenge with precision and effectiveness.

Moreso, I acknowledge the sacrifices you and your families endure. The demanding nature of your work often requires long hours, sleepless nights, and time away from loved ones. Yet, despite the inherent challenges and hardships, you remain steadfast in your commitment to serving others.

Your resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity serve as an inspiration to us all, reminding us of the true meaning of selflessness.

In conclusion, the debt of gratitude owed to you, first responders, is immeasurable. Your unwavering dedication, courage, and sacrifice embody the very of America's spirit. As I reflect on your contributions to our communities, let me honor your service with the utmost respect and appreciation. To you, our first responders, I say thank you—for your heart, and your commitment to keeping us safe."

Other winners include: 2nd place, Ella, 2nd grader from Jackson Academy of Math and Music; 3rd place, Andrew, 3rd grader from El Toro Health Science Academy; 3rd Prize, 5th grader Damian from Barrett Elementary School. Congratulations!! The winning essays will be included in the district quarterly newsletter, which will be published in mid-May. 

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NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING FOR 2024-2025 Local Control and Accountability Plan and Budget

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING FOR 2024-2025

Local Control and Accountability Plan and Budget

 

The governing board of Morgan Hill Unified School District will conduct a public hearing on the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), and Proposed Budget for the Fiscal Year 2024-2025, in accordance with Education Code Sections 42103, 42127, 52061, and 52062 prior to final adoption. Any interested party may inspect the LCAP and budget prior to final adoption and speak at the public hearing,

 

The public hearing will be held on June 4, 2024, at  6:00 PM 

Location: Morgan Hill Unified School District

Address:  15600 Concord Circle

Morgan Hill, CA 95037

 

The public is advised to participate virtually at: https://www.mhusd.org/board-meetings-via-zoom .

 

Any interested party may inspect the Local Control and Accountability Plan and Budget prior to the public hearing: May 30, 2024, during the hours of (date must be no less than 3 working days before the hearing date) 8:00  AM and 5:00 PM, at:

 

Location: Morgan Hill Unified School District

Address:  15600 Concord Circle

Morgan Hill, CA 95037

Inspection is also available at: https://www.mhusd.org/

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Santa Clara County School Boards Association and California Department of Education Recognizes Morgan Hill Unified School District with Prestigious Awards

The Morgan Hill Unified School District has received recognition for two exemplary programs. Santa Clara County School Boards Association (SCCSBA) has bestowed the Glenn Hoffmann Exemplary Program Award in the targeted student populations category. This accolade recognizes the school district's outstanding commitment to supporting students through the Coordinated Advocacy and Resources for Education (CARE) program. Additionally, the Student Services Department has received recognition for its Model School Attendance Review Board (SARB), an attendance improvement program aimed at high-risk youth.

Following a tour of a Central California School District in 2017, the inception of the CARE program started to take shape. Despite encountering challenges that nearly led to its dissolution amidst programmatic shifts in 2019, the steadfast dedication of Student Services Director Jessie Swift, Supervisor Jaclyn Snyder, and CARE Specialists ensured the transformation of the CARE program. Their relentless efforts not only sustained its existence but also facilitated its evolution into the robust and multifaceted support initiative as it stands today. The CARE program initially focused on assisting high school students experiencing homelessness. However, over time it has expanded its scope to support a broader range of vulnerable student populations, including those qualifying for McKinney-Vento assistance and foster youth.

The program, which began with two counselors and two student support specialists assisting 171 students, has grown significantly. Today, a team of 10 CARE specialists provides holistic support to 852 students across 13 schools in the district. This comprehensive approach addresses educational support, mentorship, family engagement, resource navigation, extracurricular activities, career and college readiness, and relationship-building.

"The CARE team has provided at-risk students with support and resources to help them thrive," said Jessie Swift, Director of Student Services and Enrollment. "The increase in graduation rates among the program participants has risen from just over 71% in 2018 to nearly 81% in 2023. The numbers are impressive and we continue to work hard to ensure 100% of our most at-promise youth graduate."

The CARE program's success lies in its personalized approach, fostering a sense of belonging and resilience among its participants. CARE empowers students to overcome challenges and achieve their full potential.

“We are incredibly proud of our CARE team for the stability they have provided these students and giving them a sense of belonging,” says Superintendent Dr. Carmen García. “These students have overcome significant obstacles and we want to ensure they are prepared for a lifetime of learning.” 

The Model SARB (School Attendance Review Board) award, granted by the California Department of Education (CDE), honors exceptional initiatives and highlights strategies and interventions to reduce truancy and foster a culture of regular attendance.  MHUSD has established an effective School Attendance Review Team and site-level teams for early attendance intervention. These teams foster a culture of positivity surrounding attendance, down to the carefully crafted language in late slips and the welcoming front office space. “We want to affirm that once you arrive at school whether you’ve been absent or tardy, we are excited to have you at school,” says Jaclyn Snyder, Student Services Supervisor.

By creating a challenge during Attendance Month, the team engages the student, staff, teachers and families to promote regular attendance. Fostering healthy competition among schools kicks off the school year on a positive note and creates a vibrant atmosphere to make these attendance initiatives memorable. These activities contribute to the robust culture of attendance and commitment throughout the district. Also impactful is the 90-day truancy contract which offers personalized support to families struggling with absenteeism by providing options such as an agreement to improve attendance or a contract whereby families opt for resources tailored to their particular needs such as counseling, student groups, and more. This proactive approach is more collaborative; the goal is to empower families and strengthen their attendance commitment, contributing to student success.

By acknowledging outstanding contributions to improving student engagement and success, the Model SARB award encourages ongoing dedication to ensuring every child has the opportunity to thrive academically and socially through consistent school attendance.

Morgan Hill Unified School District's receipt of the Glenn Hoffmann Exemplary Program Award and the Model SARB Recognition underscores its dedication to fostering an inclusive and supportive learning environment for all students, regardless of their circumstances.

 

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First page of the PDF file: LCAP

 

First page of the PDF file: LCAPSpan

 

Upcoming Events

Welcome to Paradise

great shakeout

 

By The Numbers

22

Teachers

361

Students

TK-5

Grades

1:1

Student to Chromebook Ratio

526

Parents Signed Up on Parent Square