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Mountain Elementary School District

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3/27/20 Mountain Updates-Closure Extended to May 5th

Hello Mountain School Parents,

Please take a moment to read this important school closure letter from all 10 Santa Cruz School District Superintendents and the County Superintendent of Schools. 

We are now officially closed through Tuesday May 5th.   We will continue with distance learning, with the exception of Spring Break, April 6-10th.

Thank you for staying safe and following all recommended Shelter-In-Place guidelines.

In health,


3/25/20 Mountain School Update

March 25, 2020

Dear Mountain School Families,
Thank you again for your ongoing support and positive feedback as we strengthen, solidify, and refine our approach to distance learning.  Your partnership in this new endeavor is invaluable.

While I know you are adjusting to the school closure through April 10th, I want to let you know there is a likelihood that it will be extended further.  Superintendents will continue to work closely with Santa Cruz Public Health and County officials to evaluate when it will be safe to re-open schools.   I hope to have information regarding possible closure extension by Monday March 30. 

I want to share my gratitude for our teachers.  They have been absolutely amazing, going above and beyond to do everything possible to offer digital learning for your children.  We will grow, learn, adapt, make mistakes, and learn some more as we walk this road together.  I am honored to support such a talented and professional staff-everyone has been incredible:  teachers, instructional staff, office team---all super solid, responsive, and committed to pulling this off in a tiny district with no formal technology support.  Books will be written about this transformation; I would like to write a very long chapter about the Herculean efforts of teachers to make this happen for their students. 

I know you are inundated with information, but do want to share a few updates and resources for you:

1.  We launched Distance Learning for all students this week. If your child needs a Chromebook to access our online coursework and services, we will continue to distribute them.  We have found that approximately 10% of our families have connectively challenges (mostly those in remote locations without access to Comcast or Cruzio).  We will do our best to help out on our end.  We are working on boosting our bandwidth and troubleshooting case-by-case.  As remote instruction has been launched for all grade levels, we recommend keeping a regular schedule for schoolwork that includes time for movement and breaks.


2.  The "Shelter in Place" order for Santa Cruz County directs all individuals to shelter at their place of residence except to leave to access essential services or engage in essential activities and work for essential businesses and government services.
We understand that keeping your children at home and doing work remotely is not an easy task no matter their ages. Although they miss their friends and social connections, this is not a time for playdates, parties or sleepovers. One option is to have students connect with their friends via or Facetime.  The intent of the "Shelter in Place" order is to stop the spread of the virus. That means we all need to do our part and remain at home to the greatest extent possible. 

3.  Santa Cruz City Schools, along with Soquel Union School District, has generously offered to allow our low-income families to participate in their meals distribution program.  The schools listed below will provide lunch for the current day and breakfast for the following day. Meals will be served between 11 am and 1 pm daily in the parking lot. If you are driving, please stay in your car and meals will be provided based on the number of children in your family. All families are eligible for meal services and may pick up meals at any of the following locations:
● Bayview Elementary - Drive up in the parking lot near the kindergarten classrooms
● Gault Elementary - Drive up on Effey Street
● DeLaveaga Elementary - Drive up to the parking lot adjacent to the cafeteria
● Branciforte Middle School - Drive up in the cut out in front of the school
● Mission Hill - Drive up in front of the school
● Harbor High School - Drive up in the parking lot
● Soquel High School - Drive up in the circle in front of the school
Please find a master list of all Santa Cruz County food service distribution locations at the following link:

4.  Resources for parents facing all the challenges during this health crisis are increasingly plentiful.  I will continue to share a few more that I know have been responsibly vetted and have a high likelihood of success.  Please consider this virtual support group for county parents scheduled for Friday-I have attached their poster as well for further details.  Please consider this virtual Parent Support Group for tips and parenting support during the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.
This will be an interactive gathering where you can engage with others, share strategies, struggles and give input on what support you need in the days, weeks and months ahead. This is our 2nd rapid-response pilot meeting to help us learn and develop plans to scale up support for all families. Please bring your suggestions.
Please join via Zoom URL: (phone options listed below)

Phone one-tap:  US: +16699009128,,411198140#  For higher quality, dial a number based on your current location.
Dial: US: +1 669 900 9128
Meeting ID:  411 198 140

5.  Update on the much needed Crosswalk system for Old San Jose Road-We are making progress on the summer installation plan across from school in collaboration with the Santa Cruz Public Works Department.  I have attached the specs for the system for those interested. 


I will plan to send another update soon. 

Take care and stay safe.

Diane and your Mountain School team  J

Note:  The school office will be open 8:30-2:30 daily to support pick-up of learning materials.  In order to maintain a safe and clean campus, we are not allowing students in the building, and limiting adult building access to the office and library.   Thank you for understanding--- we are following recommended protocols and want to keep you and your families safe. 

About Our School

Mountain Elementary School District, located in the redwoods above Santa Cruz County's quaint Soquel Village, is a small, one-school district serving students from kindergarten through sixth grade. All students are provided with challenging collaborative academic opportunities that are enhanced by the integration of music, visual and performing arts, physical education and community building into the curriculum.


Mission Statement

It is the shared responsibility of the entire Mountain Elementary School community to provide all students with a high-quality education by creating a rich, safe, joyful and diverse learning environment.

We celebrate each individual's uniqueness and challenge all to reach their highest potential. Our community is based on mutual respect and inspires a life-long love of learning.

We provide opportunities for all students to expand their creative abilities and attain maximum academic growth in accordance with their individual needs and interests. We empower students by encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning.

We pursue a developmental approach to learning whereby students are not strictly grouped by grade level but are given the opportunity and resources to be challenged and to progress at their own pace in a variety of learning methods.

We believe that excellence in education depends upon a quality instructional program provided by teachers and administration and supported by parents. We use our collective resources to create an effective, challenging and stimulating learning climate of academic excellence.

We believe that:

  • a physically and emotionally supportive atmosphere is essential to a quality learning environment.
  • each child should develop academic, social, physical and emotional growth to their highest potential.
  • diversity is a valued resource necessary to develop tolerance, respect and greater understanding.
  • a key to a quality education is the regular monitoring of student progress, utilizing our identified grade level assessments.
Mountain School Parent Club

NOTICE is hereby given that the Mountain Elementary School District has established a Citizens’ Oversight Committee to oversee expenditures of Measure P Bond funds, which was the bond measure approved by District voters on June 5, 2018.  The District is presently accepting applications from interested citizens to serve on the Committee.  The Committee will consist of seven members which meet, review and report on expenditures of bond funds to ensure money is used only for voter-approved purposes.  Maintaining a committee to review expenditures is required by law and was promised to District voters as part of the accountability provisions in the bond measure.  Interested persons may obtain an application from the Superintendent’s Office, located at 3042 Old San Jose Road, Soquel, CA, or download the application from the District’s website at  


The District is seeking a member of Community at Large and a member of a Taxpayers Association for the Bond Oversight Committee and has extended the application deadline to be ongoing.