PTSA kicks off the year with seminars, new student group and stress management program.
$40,000. That’s approximately how much the PTSA will raise this year through membership fees, SAT classes and donations from parents. And that is also how much PTSA President Jim Cunningham wants to spend this year.
The PTSA kicked off the year with a meeting in the library on Aug. 27, with mostly parents as well as a few students and teachers in attendance. Among the topics brought up throughout the night, were the new stress management programs and the ratification of the year’s budget.
The night started off with a presentation from math and science teacher Debbie Frazier about Stroller Hikes, a non-profit organization she runs, and the internship opportunities she offers to students at MVHS. Catered towards business, journalism and computer science, the internship program gives students the opportunity to work with mobile app development and business management for Stroller Hikes. The PTSA agreed to Frazier’s request that they help cover the insurance for using school facilities.
New Dean of Students Leslie Robledo then introduced herself to the PTSA members and spoke about her responsibilities, specifically with the technology and library staff.
The main discussion of the night focused on Challenge Success, a new program that the PTSA, in conjunction with the administration, hopes to introduce at MVHS. Challenge Success, presented at the meeting by principal April Scott, is a Stanford University-based program that holds workshops for parents, teachers and students to help them cope with academic and emotional problems. In order to facilitate this program, PTSA members voted to pay $9,000 of the $12,000 cost, and use funds from the MVHS budget to cover the rest.
“My goal is to help parents be connected to their students,” PTSA President Jim Cunningham said. “I believe that Challenge Success will be an exciting addition.”
PTSA is also planning on reinstating their Explore Careers! series from two years ago. According to PTSA Vice President Loy Oppus-Moe, who is also helping coordinate the program, this will allow students to branch out from their usual career choices and receive tips about the fields in which they are interested.
“A few years ago, some students shadowed a doctor at Kaiser Permanente,” Oppus-Moe said. “One of the most valuable things he told them was to learn their Spanish, as he used it with Latino patients.”
New PTSA co-student representatives seniors Pooja Desai and Anton Zheng later presented their goals to the members, including their plan to create a student group within the PTSA. Their objective is to use this group of 12 students as a liaison between the student body and the PTSA. The two also aim to help enrich students’ knowledge of various cultures and tackle stress management.
“Students make up everything at MVHS,” Desai said. “That’s why [Zheng] and I want to give them a voice and expose them to different cultural experiences — like slam poetry — at MVHS.”