Fourth-grade teachers rethink California missions curriculum


Courtesy of Los Altos School District
Fourth-graders at Covington and Santa Rita schools create missions in Minecraft as part of the unit on the Spanish colonial period of California.

Teachers throughout the state, and in Los Altos, are revisiting California’s history and reconsidering how to tell the thorny story of the missions.

The missions, religious settlements built by Spanish colonizers at the end of the 18th century, are both a central part of the state’s history and a human-rights violation, as indigenous people were forced to abandon their ways and embrace the Spanish Catholic way of life.

Schools community provides assistance to victims of Butte County wildfire

Students and staff at Mountain View and Los Altos high schools, along with an alumnus, have rallied to assist those impacted by last month’s wildfire in Butte County.

Members of the Mountain View High School Choir Department served food to evacuees and volunteers, the Los Altos High varsity girls volleyball team is leading a drive to collect money and other necessities for fire victims and Los Altos graduate Jeremiah Girouard has offered to drive the supplies to Butte County.

Read all about it: Covington gets student-run newspaper


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Sixth-graders Shreya Goyalpatel, from left, Jordice Towne and Raghav Peruri meet during lunch to plan their next school newspaper meeting. The group created the Coyote Crier this fall.

The free press is alive and well at Covington School.

Sixth-graders Raghav Peruri, Shreya Goyalpatel and Jordice Towne started a newspaper, the Coyote Crier, this fall. The paper, scheduled for publication three times a year, covers the school’s important news – a field trip to a neuroscientist’s lab, popular recess games and lunch table cleanliness, to name a few stories.

Q&A: MVLA trustee Mitchner shares thoughts on leaving board

After 11 years on the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School Board of Trustees, Joe Mitchner decided it was time for a change and opted not to run for re-election.

During his time on the board, Mitchner, a Mountain View resident, used his financial background to help shepherd a $275 million facilities bond, but he said he’s most proud of the work he’s done to advocate for students’ wellness.

Mountain View High's new Liberal Action club stumps for Dems

Waves of music blast from calls put on hold. As a “Hello?” emerges from the speakers, the collective laughter and casual dance moves are temporarily suspended, followed by “Hi, I’m calling you to discuss the upcoming midterm election.”

These political activists, calling on behalf of Democratic candidates days before the Nov. 6 election, are too young to vote. They call themselves Liberal Action, a second-year club at Mountain View High School.

Foothill endeavor aims to upend scientist stereotypes

Jeff Schinske
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Foothill College biology instructor Jeff Schinske, standing, teaches class. He has a developed a hypothesis that students need to see themselves as belonging in the field in order to succeed.

Jeff Schinske approaches problems like the scientist that he is. So when he noticed that even in his own biology classroom at Foothill College minorities were not doing as well as their more privileged peers, he wanted to find out why, and he wanted to fix it.

Schinske developed a hypothesis: Students need to see themselves as belonging in the field in order to succeed.


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