Everest News   •   November 5, 2017

Everest News • November 5, 2017

Para boletín en español aqui

Newsletter At A Glance:

Message From Our Directors
Messages From Our EPO
–  Chris’ update Part II
–  Thanksgiving Potluck!
Community Announcement
Faculty Corner – Meet Sr. Abel Arias
Girls Volleyball Rules!
Cross Country – 1st Summit Wide Meet!
Why choose Everest or Summit Prep?
Sequoia Parent Education Seminars


School Calendar:

11/8 – EPO Meeting 8:15am
11/10 – School Closed – Veterans Day
11/15 – EPO Meeting 8:15 am
11/15 – Senior Portrait and Picture Make up Day 8:00am – 11:30am
11/15 – AP Test Commitments Due
11/16 – All school Thanksgiving Potluck 6:30 – 8:30pm
11/20 – 11/24 Thanksgiving Break!


Quick Links:

Everest PHS Calendar
Everest 2016-2017 Academic Calendar
EPO Website
EPO Volunteer Opportunities
Everest Newsletter Archives
Everest Parents Yahoo Group
Everest Speech and Debate
Everest Newsletter Subscribe

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
11/15 College Application Night @ Everest (3:30pm)

All events are at Everest unless otherwise noted. See  Everest PHS Calendar  for a complete list of events.

Letter from Our Directors

Dear Everest Family,

Everest is a college prep school with the goal of providing 100% of our graduating Snow Leopards with the option to go to a four year university. As November begins, our 12th grade mentors’ and students’ efforts towards this goal increase dramatically as UC’s, CSU’s, and other out of state schools’ applications are due by the end of the month.

On November 15th from 3:30-6:30, we will be having our annual College Application Night here at Everest to support senior students in completing and submitting their college applications. We will be providing food to keep energy levels high as well as creating a celebratory environment to mark the giant accomplishment and pride that comes with completing each college application! All family members are encouraged to attend in order to support their student’s work. We are stronger when we all work in unison towards the same desired outcome: to provide your student with as many post-Everest options as possible so that you can make the best college choice for your student.

While college applications will be churning out like butter on November 15th, we also recognize the incredible amount of effort that has already been given by our 12th grade mentor team. Mr. Anderson, Ms. Lara, Ms. Holzmann, Mr. Damon, Mr. Zuniga, Ms. Boyle, and Ms. Horovitz deserve a giant round of applause as they have been working on a daily basis (and even into the weekends) to balance so many different students, priorities, and unique application requirements for their mentees’ success. We are forever grateful. Thank you, Mentor 12 team.

The college process is highlighted during November of senior year, but every teacher at Everest works daily to support their mentees in preparing for college. Whether it is supporting a mentee in passing a Power Focus Area, providing emotional support during a 1:1 check in, or helping them define a long term goal by researching college majors of interest, we are a strong college going school because of the dedicated teachers that work here, and we can not thank them enough for their passion and dedication. If possible, please take a moment to reach out to your mentor to share your appreciation for the daily work they do to support your child.

Everest Love,
Chris Lewine & Drew Moriates

Message From Our EPO – Directors’ State of the School: Pt 2 (ICYMI)

Thanks for tuning into the 2nd of 3 sets of my notes from our last All EPO school meeting.

Pro-active School Culture.  (Student Life)

As Chris and Drew outlined in last week’s newsletter in their lead article, they are very excited about this year’s Student Government organization, facilitated by Ms. Austin.  This 39 strong team now meets 2x/week during school, and operates 5 Committees: Clubs, Athletics, Spirit (think dances among other activities) This Is Our School (TIOS) and Publicity.  To date, they’ve:

– Organized a student/faculty volleyball game
– Focused on getting a handle on what clubs exist and how to let students who missed the Club sign-up day know to engage in this year’s Clubs
– Planned Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos celebrations

They’ve been busy! Coming up, our Student Government Team is:

– Co-planning the 11/16 Thanksgiving potluck with the EPO team, and
– Organizing the 12/9 Winter Formal.

Athletics got a separate call out from Chris, who is very excited that Everest has our first ever Cross Country team, coached by Kelsey Boyle.  This is also the first year that Everest will field an girls and boys sports in every season, which positions us to apply next year to join the local league next year rather than travel far for games with non-league schools.


Chris noted that last year’s HCC program did not go that well.  Student feedback, plus the feedback that Mentors also looked for more opportunities to be with their mentees with activities that would foster the creation of strong mentor group communities was heard.  He explained that some mentor groups gel quickly while others take time to create bonds that the group perceives or recognizes.  Others don’t – and when it doesn’t happen, people feel let down.

Accordingly, this year, HCC is now taught by mentors and is set in the same block as Mentor PLT.  This time has been used differently across the grades; 11th and 12th graders have been doing college focused lessons while 9th and 10th graders have been building community.

Chris also shared that mentor groups are doing “circles” once per week, essentially a forum for meeting up and talking to each other in a manner that establishes safety, which opens the door for more personal revelations and shared trust. This “circles” activity comes from the successful implementation of a model of community interaction created by an Ex-Summit principal, now working in Nashville, TN.   Chris confessed that one of the challenges of Everest’s focus on personalized learning experiences is that it’s harder to turn everyone’s focus to community – the community of the mentor group.  He and the teaching staff is taking this process very seriously, and slowly, which is hard, because they care about it so much and are excited about the power of what they are putting in place.  So your learner may not have experienced it, or their mentor group may just be starting with a low key moment of personal checking in across their group.

Personal Learning Time (PLT) over the week

By now, I’m assuming that everyone knows that students don’t have a full Friday with nothing but PLT this year.  Right?  Chris explained that this was changed because it was too much PLT for one day, and learners were generally more tired by the end of the week. This year, PLT is spread out over multiple days, with Wednesday unique as a day without project time. He feels that it’s working really well so far, noting that there’s slightly less PLT every week because Everest has instituted tutorials or a TA session in class with extra support for students.  Every learner has two different tutorials.  Chris noted that these classes offer an option: students can also TA for their section.  (For example, in AP math, there are 10 kids who can offer support, and 10 kids who need support)

At the same time, Everest has launched a program featuring Challenge Classes.  Teachers aren’t required to lead and develop curriculum for these Challenges.  Instead, Teachers who are interested apply for the chance to lead a Challenge class for a quarter.  Once selected, they are free to plan a 1x/week seminar in the topic that they’ve chosen for that quarter.  The Challenge Classes for this quarter are:

– Gender Theory by Mr. Zuniga
– American Math Competition by Mr. Tsai
– APUSH test prep by Ms. Austin
– AP Lit test prep by Ms. Macho
– AP Euro test prep by Ms. Buller

The vision – every quarter in between Expeditions, students will be asked to what they want to do… and teachers what they want to offer – and given these inputs, Everest staff will come together to create the new set of options.

In summary, your learner has 2 “Tutorial classes” on a Wednesday.   They might be 2 tutorials, or a tutorial and a challenge class.  Chris made it clear that he and the staff are very proud of Everest’s heterogeneous classes, but this model offers a challenge to students that are ahead, and who want some of the challenges and learning community that they might find in an AP class at another district school.

I’ve shared a lot in this post – all good, and have 2 more topics to cover – in the next newsletter.  These are Teacher Retention and Mental Health Supports for students.  Wait for it – it will be good!

Linnaea Knisely, Editor and 10th grade parent

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.
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Community Announcement

We received some very sad news last week. A former Everest student, Matthew Cruz, passed away last Wednesday night. Matt, who was 18 years old, attended Everest for his first two years of high school from 2013 to 2015.

Matthew was a beloved member of our community, forming strong relationships with his friends that persisted long past his time at Everest. The loss of his life is a true tragedy. Our thoughts are with all of Matt’s friends, teachers, and classmates, and especially with his family.
For all of those in our community, the sudden loss of someone so young can be painful and traumatic. Everest’s counselor will be available to talk to any student who needs support when she is on campus this Wednesday. Anyone who needs additional help should reach out at any time to their mentor or the administration.

This type of tragedy reminds us how precious our lives and relationships are. Please take the time to love and support one another, and know that we are here for you and your family.

Chris Lewine, Drew Moriates, and the entire Snow Leopard community

Faculty Corner

Meet our new Spanish teacher – he’s great, per the grapevine!

“My name is Abel Arias and I’m teaching Spanish 2 and AP Spanish. I have a mentor group (10th grade) but it’s split up at the moment. I enjoy hiking, going to the gym, and working on cars. You can best reach me via email at aarias@summitps.org. I truly enjoy teaching Spanish and I hope to pass on this valuable skill to my students. I recently moved up here from Austin, TX and while I was job hunting, I found Everest. I liked the values they stood for and applied.

I’ve been teaching Spanish for 5 years and I have a BA in Spanish; Sociology from the University of Washington, an MA in Hispanic Studies from the University of Washington, and an MA in Iberian and Latin American Languages and Cultures from the University of Texas at Austin.”

Girls Volleyball Rules

Everest Varsity volleyball team had the best season on record this year.  They had a slow start with 4 losses, but finished strong with 6 consecutive wins to close the season. The team was very excited about having beat our rival, Summit, in both meetings!

Their coach, Colleen Fitzgerald, has been with the team for the last 5 years.  She stated she is proud of this year’s team for coming together and having the best record.  Though they will be losing 5 senior players, there are many younger talented team members who have become stronger this year.

The team recognized the Senior Players with the following descriptions:

  • Maddie Blondino:  Passionate, definite leader, experienced player, strong, confident, loving and very powerful.

  • Chrisabet Cortes:  Kind and friendly, amazing setter, “hella” fun, self-confident, great at everything; understands things like lightning.

  • Emily Hallamasek: patient and “very chill”, caring, awesome driver, good player, funny, hilarious, positive, kind.

  • Lynette Huerta:  Funny and energetic, committed, enthusiastic, always hyped, good dancer, groovy.

  • Andrea Ramirez:  kind, full of energy and powerful, nicest person ever, funny, good server, energetic.

Also, as a mom of one of the Freshman players, I just want to say that we were very lucky to have a wonderful coach and a very supportive group of players.  Though the practice and game schedule was busy and challenging, being a part of a team really helped my daughter transition to Everest.  It made all the difference in making new friends and feeling a part of a group.

With 5 strong players leaving, we hope to recruit more players next year who are excited about volleyball, and passionate about improving their game!  Finally, thanks to all who came out to support the team.  The cheering squad was critical in keeping spirits up and players energized.

Eiri Inenaga


Everest Participates in Their First All Summit Cross Country Meet

On Saturday, October 28th Everest had three cross country runners participate in their first All Summit Cross Country meet at Montgomery Hills Park in East San Jose.<
Christopher Burt, Elliot Bloomquist and Samantha Nava-Monje ran a great race. The course was extremely hilly, but they persevered and had a strong finish. Christopher and Elliot finished together for 6th and 7th place out of about 35 runners.

Samantha held her own in a field of mostly boys. She was the third girl to finish. We hope that this is the first of many years of cross country running at Everest. Many thanks to coach Kelsey Boyle for her encouragement and coaching of the team.

Linda Burt


Share the Word: Why choose Everest or Summit Prep

Just in case you have people who are curious about Everest, we wanted to share the message that introduces and celebrates our School!  Here it is:

Check out Everest and Summit Prep High Schools

Summit Prep High School and Everest High School, both public schools located in Redwood City, CA have consistently achieved Gold Status on the US News and World Reports “America’s Best High Schools”, ranking among the top 25 high schools in California and top 10% of all high schools nationwide.  These schools are listed on the Washington Post’s list of Most Challenging Schools in America for 2016 and 2017 for promoting rigor and college and career readiness for all of their students. Summit Prep and Everest High School are college preparatory high schools that strive to prepare a diverse student population for success in four-year undergraduate programs as thoughtful, contributing members of society.  Admission is by lottery.


– College preparatory curriculum, with graduates achieving a 99-100% acceptance rate to 4 year colleges, including all the UC and CSU programs, and 23 out of the 50 top US ranked colleges
– Tuition-Free
– Public education in a small school setting (approximately 100 students/grade)
– Personalized learning platforms where students fulfill coursework requirements at their own pace, learning how best they learn
– Real world learning projects where students develop the life skills and habits they need to be successful in college and the workplace
– World-class teaching faculty from the nation’s top teaching programs
– Small, safe and diverse community where every student has a mentor, and is truly cared for and known
– All students take Advanced Placement courses
– After school clubs and sports programs (cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball and baseball)

To arrange a student shadow, please contact alara@summitps.org

– Thursday, November 2nd – Open House at Everest Public High School at 7pm. Address:455 Fifth Ave, Redwood City, CA 94063
– 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

Application Deadlines and Lottery Dates are as follows:

Friday, January 26th –9th Grade Application Deadline at 3:00pm at Summit Prep and Everest.
Friday, February 2nd–9th Grade Lottery at 9:00am at Summit Prep and Everest.

Our Results:

As a research based educational innovator, we are continually assessing the impact of our educational strategies, from a real time daily mission moment perspective, to assessments of college readiness as proven by college admissions, retention and graduation rates of our graduates.   Please read on for more information on our results.

Regardless of the life path Summit students ultimately choose, we offer access to high- performing public schools that pave the way for them to succeed in college, career and life.

Class of 2017 Results:

– 100% of Everest seniors were accepted to 4 year colleges.
– 99% of our 415 seniors across 5 Summit campuses were accepted to 4 year colleges.

Together they received over 1200 acceptances to 194 unique colleges/ universities across the country, including

– all 9 University of California undergraduate campuses,
– all California State University campuses, and
– 23 of the top 50 colleges (according to US News and World Report).

These top schools are Boston University, Brandeis, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western, Duke, Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins, Lehigh, NYU, Northeastern, Northwestern, Rice, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, University of Illinois, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, University of Southern California, and Washington University in St. Louis.

·      35% of our graduating seniors will be first in their family to attend college

·      75% of seniors plan to attend 4 year colleges next year.

·      15% plan to attend 2-year colleges

·      10% plan to join the military, work, or take a gap year.


Sequoia Parents Education Series: (Free admission, Spanish interpretation available at all events)


ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety – Documentary Film + Panel Discussion

Thursday, November 9, 2017, 7:00pm
Carlmont High School – Performing Arts Center (CPAC)
1400 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont
Register: https://angst2017carlmont.eventbrite.com

Join us for a special screening of the new IndieFlix documentary, ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety, followed by a panel discussion with ANGST co-producer Karin Gornik. This powerful film includes discussions with mental health professionals about the causes of anxiety, as well as help, resources, and tools for students and parents.


Eduardo Briceño, Co-Founder & CEO, Mindset Works
Growth Mindset Parenting: The Myths, the Meanings, the Approaches

Thursday, November 16, 2017, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Menlo-Atherton High School – M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
555 Middlefield Road, Atherton
Register: https://mindsetworks2017ma.eventbrite.com

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.

Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series,cmargot@csmconsulting.net. For Spanish, contact Lilly Quiñonez, Parent Center Coordinator, at 650-322-5311, Ext. 50255

Newsletter Submission Information

We publish the Newsletter every week on Sunday while school is in session.  Email submissions to everestnewsletter@gmail.com 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.