Schools

Mountain View High freshmen build website to boost school spirit

Without typical student body activities like spirit weeks and rallies, three Mountain View High School freshmen have created a website to bolster school spirit from afar.

The mvhsquarantine.github.io website serves as a platform for sharing and archiving various activities organized by student leaders from the school’s freshman class. Over the past month, students have joined Zoom calls to attempt YouTube tutorials together – from creating whipped dalgona coffee to doing a 10-minute ab workout.

Approximately 20 people have attended each event, according to freshman class president Jason Zhang. He said the website has served as a “really great way” to hone his coding skills while encouraging a sense of community among the freshman class.

“The quarantine is a really lonely time for all of us,” the Los Altos resident said. “I figured that if we could just stay in contact where you can see your friends’ faces again, see how they were doing, what new clothes they’re wearing or whatever, I think that’s a really good way of bringing a sense of normalcy back into their lives.”

He said the website will remain up and running even after the shelter-in-place is lifted but will take on a new role as a student resource. Zhang said he hopes the site will include calendars with important dates for the Class of 2023 – like the schedule of football games – as well as convenient reminders like how much time is remaining until lunch.

“All of this is really stemming around involving (the Associated Student Body) and making it more technology based because we’re living in the Silicon Valley,” Zhang said. “We want to expand out of this talent show website into something bigger, something more widespread for the entire grade to use.”

Freshman Saarang Bondalapati, one of the site’s developers, said the activities and website give students more opportunities for social interaction. The Los Altos resident added that the pandemic has left students in “unfamiliar territory,” without being able to see close friends or communicate with their peers.

The website currently showcases a virtual talent show, where students can submit videos of their passions – from longtime skills to new hobbies acquired in quarantine – through a Google form. The winner will receive $50, and all participants are entered into a raffle for $10.

“This MVHS quarantine social is a great way to be able to share your skills or talents in the talent show and be able to socially interact with other people in a way where you might not always do so during the shelter-in-place,” Bondalapati said.

Freshman Jacob Ismael, a Los Altos resident who also helped build the website, said the trio hopes to boost student participation and continue collecting feedback to improve the site.

“We want to increase the scale and just make it for everyone,” Ismael said. “Toward the actual tech side, we want to change up the little things. We’ve been making it look more professional.”

For more information, visit mvhsquarantine.github.io or instagram.com/mvhs.2023.

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