Newsletter At A Glance:
Message From Our Directors
11/15 – EPO Meeting 8:15 am
Everest PHS Calendar
Prospective Student Key Dates – Spread the Word:
Thursdays and Fridays – Shadow opportunities
Tuesday, December 5th – Open House at Summit Prep at 7pm. Address: 890 Broadway, Redwood City, CA 94063
Saturday, January 20th – Open House at Everest Public High School at 10am. Address: 455 Fifth Ave, Redwood City, CA 94063
Friday, January 26th –9th Grade Application Deadline at 3:00pm at Summit Prep and Everest.
Friday, February 2nd–9th Grade Lottery at9:00am at Summit Prep and Everest.
College Visits & Key Dates:
11/15 AP Commitments Due
All events are at Everest unless otherwise noted. See Everest PHS Calendar for a complete list of events.
Letter from Our Directors
During this season of Thanksgiving, there are many reasons to be thankful at Everest.
We are thankful to be part of a small, safe, and diverse learning community. It is a privilege to be able to live and learn alongside people who have different backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs, and Everest creates a space where this integration is possible. On Thursday evening from 6:30-8:00, we will be having our Thanksgiving Mentor Potluck at Everest to celebrate our community. All families are encouraged to bring their favorite holiday plate, break bread with their fellow Everest teachers, students, and families, and enjoy one another’s company. This is a great opportunity to get to know your student’s teachers and mentor better along with meeting other parents who share your passion for belonging.
We are thankful to be in a place that values educational excellence. It is hard to be a student at Everest. We expect a lot from our young scholars, and we push them to perform at a high level of college readiness by the time they earn their Everest diploma. This level takes time to meet, and it is only with patience, perseverance, and willpower that they are able to achieve this expected excellence. We are thankful to be able to be a part of their process and watch as they grow through trials and triumphs. Thank you, students for everything you give to our school each day. We are not the same without you.
We are thankful for our incredible teaching staff. Our teachers work very hard. They are tirelessly committed to you and your child, and they hold themselves to almost impossible standards of performance. We are inspired each day by the way our team deeply cares for our students. At Everest, our teachers are not only thinking about their students’ cognitive skill scores or content assessments. While these scores are obviously important, it is often the emotional, social, and uncontrollable facets of the students’ daily experience that our teachers are also so keenly aware of and in support of. Our team knows that our students must be healthy and whole before we can even expect them to perform academically, and it is with great enthusiasm that they are committed to supporting the whole student, not just the student’s test scores. For this reason, we are forever thankful for our team; they are in the top caliber of all educators.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you do to make our community so special, and we hope to see you Thursday night.
Chris Lewine & Drew Moriates
Giving Thanks by Giving Back
“Giving Thanks by Giving Back” is the theme of our All School Thanksgiving Potluck scheduled for Thursday November 16th 6:30-8:00pm.
It’s almost time for Thanksgiving which is traditionally a time with family (and/or friends), a time to reflect on what we’re thankful for and a time to congregate around the table. We want to celebrate our special Everest community members and our support of our broader community.
Please bring your favorite Thanksgiving dish to share (or the one you want to try out before the guests arrive).
Our Student Government has been working alongside the EPO Leadership Team to choose the community service project(s) for this year. We are excited to hear what projects the Everest students will be supporting this year as they unveil the recipients at the event. Chris Lewine and the EPO will also say a few words to the group.
The event schedule is as follows:
6:30-7:15pm – Potluck, meet new parents, reconnect with familiar faces and learn something new about your fellow Snow Leopard families
7:15-8:00pm – Presentations and wrap up
We know parking is challenging and will have the back parking lot open for use. Please feel free to park on the Basketball court in addition to the designated parking spots.
Take a few moments out of the week to refresh and reset before the official holiday season begins in earnest. We look forward to seeing you all on Thursday November 16th 6:30-8:00pm.
Message From Our EPO – Chris’s State of the Union PT. 3
Thanks for tuning into the last set of my notes from our last All EPO school meeting. The last two topics are Teacher Retention and Mental Health Supports for students.
To quote Chris, “the foremost goal is to have a high-quality teacher in every classroom every day. We know that teachers are able to do better work the longer they are here, so that there is huge room for improvement. This year, 3 new teachers have left so far. All were new. After last year, we decided that if someone is not a good fit, it is better to part ways early than to stick out an unproductive year. We have replaced all three teachers with people who are awesome and ready to go.” (As an aside, my son and his carpool completely agree with that assessment of the awesomeness of the 3 new faculty members).
He continued to note the controllable elements of Teacher retention:
Pay (which they’ve addressed via retention bonuses, an increased salary structure and an updated compensation policy)
Support with discipline (Dean of Students being the most notable, but not the only element of that strategy)
Starting point – Hiring process (under review with feedback from all parties)
Pipeline (The Summit system has created its own credentialing program – we have 2 teaching interns enrolled in that program who are currently doing a rotation at Everest) Goal – 80% retention within the Summit program for these interns.
Chris believes that morale is much better among staff than last year. Our “veteran” returning teachers feel a lot more confident in the new faculty this year. Our new teachers are feeling a lot more success than incoming faculty have cited in past years. It’s still a very difficult place to work, and October is a hard month, because it’s 5 weeks straight, no breaks, and the students are either passing or not passing or more…but there is lots of positive progress.
The parents present at Chris’s talk posed the question as to whether Everest is different than other high schools in terms of classroom management. Chris’s answer: Summit Prep has the same issues, and further, that Charter schools have an issue with teacher retention in general. Charter schools attract people who are younger, more flexible, and frankly, the job is harder than teaching in regular public schools. The expectations are higher, not just for teachers but also for kids. Everest takes students as they are vs. screening for achievement levels among applicants. They show up with a broad range of academic preparation and interest (or not) in college, as well as personal challenges in their lives. Almost 100% graduate with the choice of attending a 4-year college, as compared to the 60% go to college from the Sequoia Schools presented with a comparable population.
Mental Health Supports
Everest has contracted with Star Vista to access a counselor who now comes to the school 5 hours every week to provide direct, consistent counseling services to students eachWednesday. At the beginning of the year, every student took an informal intake survey. 20% (60 kids) asked for help. Students can be referred through the survey, or by their teachers and can see Ms. Wright once or multiple times.
Chris will be doing a comparable (but with the latest information) talk at the School Potluck scheduled for 11/16. So don’t miss the chance to share appreciation for great food, great people and hear a great update!
Linnaea Knisely, Editor and 10th grade parent
Everest in the News
Everest was profiled by Mother Jones magazine recently. For those of you who are not familiar with Mother Jones, it’s a progressive American magazine that focuses on news, commentary, and investigative reporting on topics including politics, the environment, human rights, and culture. This year, Mother Jones won the Magazine of the Year award from the American Society of Magazine Editors.
So why is Everest featured extensively in an article titled “Big-Money Push to Remake American Education”, with the sub heading “Personalized learning is the latest trend to catch the eye of tech moguls – and Betsy DeVos. But does it work?” And, you may ask, what’s in the article? I’ll simply say that it’s worth reading, gives a really concise and coherent history of the evolution of the Summit educational model, an outsider’s assessment of how Everest students spend their days – and how that fits in the broad range of models of how to teach, and the debate about how to best use tech in the teaching process. Really worth the read!
Sequoia Parents Education Series: (Free admission, Spanish interpretation available at all events)
M-A PARENT EDUCATION SERIES
Eduardo Briceño, Co-Founder & CEO, Mindset Works
Growth Mindset Parenting: The Myths, the Meanings, the Approaches
What is Growth Mindset Parenting? Parents often wonder what they can do to change their child’s mindset from fixed to growth. Join us to learn about the latest research in growth mindset – the myths, the meanings, the approaches.
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome!
Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission.
M-A Parent Education Series events are sponsored by the M-A PTA, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union H.S. District.
Newsletter Submission Information
We publish the Newsletter every week on Sunday while school is in session. Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday evening. Any submissions received after the deadline will be included in the following week’s newsletter. Please include the organization name, event, date, time, location and contact info, including website URL. All submissions are subject to editing by the EPO.Everest Public High School and The EPO do not take responsibility for the content of any third party events, submissions, or websites. Your newsletter team: Linnaea Knisely, Barbara Ristow, Raquel Izumi and Veronica Larios.