Panther Blog, August 20, 2020

August 20, 2020

Hello Panthers,

Our first week back to school is almost completed! I am so proud of our students and staff as they take on this opportunity with such patience, determination, and perseverance. We overcame the challenges we had getting started with glitches in technology and potential situations due to the heat wave and local fires.  I know “opportunity” is not the first word that may come to mind for a lot of people in the situation we are in, but to me that’s exactly what it is. This is not just a chance to learn and expand their education, as they would any year, but also to prove to themselves and others that they have the capacity and determination to learn even under these circumstances. When this is over, and it will be over, they can look back on this time with pride. I see that determination in all our students as I see us starting our very unique school year. I am so impressed by the positive spirit and outlook that I see from everyone. 

Likewise I know our staff has that same perseverance and determination to make this the best possible school year we can do for our students. That is not to say that we won’t have bumps and obstacles on the way there. There is a learning curve for all of us as we redefine how school works. Some might compare it to building an airplane at the same time that you are flying it. I know it may be frustrating for students and parents alike when technology doesn’t work the way it is supposed to or the way we expect. Please know that our staff is working diligently to address every issue and confusion as they arise. 

Speaking of our staff, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce our wonderful new staff members at Crittenden: 8th Grade Social Studies teacher Madeleine Pierson, 8th Grade ELA teacher Karen Perry, 8th Grade ELA/Math Special Education Danielle MacNee, SAI teacher Julie Ho,  6th Grade Science teacher Sean Carroll, and Traci Engel is our new Librarian. 

            Don’t miss our virtual back to school night on Tuesday, August 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. I’ll send an email on Monday with details about our back to school night program and instructions on how you can access your student’s classrooms.

With all of us engaged in distancing, we are making every effort to ensure that our communications are as comprehensive as possible. In that spirit I will be having Q & A sessions to address any questions you might have throughout the first few weeks of school. I will be taking general questions about school processes and curriculum. If you have specific questions about your student, then it is still best to contact me or the office directly and we will respond as soon as possible.  My first Q & A session will be Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can register here

If you missed today's instructional materials pickup, you can stop by the office between 7:30am and 4:00 p.m. 

Our students did a great job with the iReady math assessments. If any students weren’t able to complete their math assessments, they will have extra time to do so today (Thursday) and tomorrow during their math classes. Please note that there will be more on-line testing and assessments throughout the year while we are engaged in Distance Learning. Our Reading iready assessment will take place next week T, TH, & F in ELA class. Reminder that  students must use a district provided Chromebooks during assessments and follow all instructions as given by their teachers. 

Parents, we need your participation- we are looking for members to join our School Site Council for the 2020/21 school year. As a council member, you will represent the community and be able to bring concerns to the school staff. Likewise, you will receive key information about school initiatives that you can report back to the community. It is an important and valued role, and we welcome your participation. 

Thank you students, parents, and staff for a great start to our opportunity to have a wonderful learning experience. I am looking forward to working with all of you. 


Sonia Gomez





6 – 7:30pm

Middle School Back to School Night



Labor Day; No School


17  SEP, THU  

6 – 7pm

Crittenden ELAC Meeting



Recess Day: No School



6 – 7pm

Crittenden ELAC Meeting



End of Trimester One


This year all schools will be postponing our annual student photos to ensure the health and safety of students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Once conditions are safer and students can return to school, we will work with LifeTouch to reschedule student photos. Thank you for your understanding.


Digital resources for parents to help students

Stuck on how to use Google Classroom? Wondering how to best support your student in Distance Learning? This summer, we’ve been at work on a new Parent U resources page full of tips for navigating the tech and procedures of the new school year. 

These resources are designed by and curated by MVWSD teachers to be most useful for  our parents. 

Technology How-To Videos (on Chromebooks, SeeSaw, i-Ready, Clever, Zoom and more)

Supporting Distance Learning (Tips and resources)

Mental Health Tips (Managing anxiety and stress at home)

All are available in English and Spanish at


ELPAC Language Assessment

Mountain View is a beautifully diverse place where hundreds of languages are spoken. In some instances, children from households where a non-English language is spoken need additional help at school to become fluent in English. To make sure that we identify all such children, all public school districts in California are required to do an initial language assessment called the Initial ELPAC. (English Learner Performance Assessment of California).

A letter was sent out last week to all families with children who meet the criteria for the Initial ELPAC. The letter describes the rationale and details for the assessment and invites families to follow up with any questions they may have. Additionally, the following link is a helpful resource for parents/guardians to understand the test better and to help prepare their children.

A Parent Guide to Understanding ELPAC Initial English (also contains information about the Summative ELPAC, which is a similar test at the end of the school year.)

We understand that the beginning of the school year is a busy time, especially under these extraordinary circumstances. Based on current guidance from the California Department of Education, the Initial ELPAC this fall will be administered remotely. Details to come. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to Claudia Navarrete via email at


Mentor Tutor Connection Volunteer Information Session - September 10th

You can change the life of a student!

Come learn about volunteer opportunities to Mentor high school students and Tutor students in grades K-8  in our Mountain View and Los Altos schools.

Becoming a Mentor or Tutor will add joy to your life and help a student in our local community to a brighter future!

There is no obligation to sign up as a volunteer.  You're welcome to just come and learn more about they we do.

Please note: Mentor Tutor programs are currently remote and will remain so until students are back in school and the school district permits volunteers in the classroom

All volunteers must be high school graduates.  

  Date:             Thursday, September 10th

      Time:           5:00 - 6:00 pm

        Location:     Online via Zoom (URL provided upon registration)

            Register:     REGISTER ONLINE



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