Education notes: Apply now for board seat

MHUSD

At an Aug. 6 meeting, school district staff outlined the process for the appointment of a new school board trustee to replace Vanessa Sutter, who has announced her resignation effective Aug. 15.

Sutter, who informed the district of her intentions in July, is a first-term trustee whose seat expires in November 2020. She represents Trustee Area 5.

According to the proposed timeline, interested candidates must submit an application to the district office, 15600 Concord Circle, by 5pm Aug. 30. Qualified candidates will be notified by Sept. 4. Candidate interviews and selection will be conducted at a Sept. 10 special meeting. The winner will be sworn in Sept. 17.

To determine if you live within Trustee Area 5, visit mhusd.org and click on the “Find Your Trustee Area” tab.

MHUSD recognized with Suicide Prevention Advocate Award

Morgan Hill Unified School District was recently honored with the 2019 Santa Clara County Behavioral Services’ Suicide Prevention Advocate Award for its “huge steps to respond to students who may have suicidal ideations or have tried to commit suicide.”

“It is vital that we provide this support for these students who may feel there is no other option,” said Jessie Swift, the district’s coordinator of student services. “Every life is important, and we want to send that message to our kids.”

This year, the district developed two key partnerships with Kognito, a health simulation company that utilizes technology, science and role-playing conversations to improve emotional and physical health, and the HEARD Alliance, a community of healthcare professionals who promote emotional well-being and aim to prevent adolescent suicide.

Administrators and all 300-plus certificated staff were trained via simulation this past October. Principals then met with the HEARD Alliance to develop their mental health crisis teams. School sites were trained on processes and procedures for supporting students who may be suicidal. The Student Services Department put together a manual that includes everything from a flowchart of how to support a student in crisis to a safety plan for a student returning from a 5150 hold.

District goes digital with ‘Peachjar’

MHUSD has launched a new electronic flier distribution system called Peachjar.

School fliers will now be posted online as visually engaging images and emailed to all parents at a frequency they can set up in their account, according to staff.

Parents can also access school fliers through the Peachjar button that will be placed on each school’s home page when new websites are launched in the coming weeks. Peachjar fliers are available for viewing on smartphones when a computer isn’t immediately available.

“Peachjar will undoubtedly save trees and countless hours spent by our hard-working volunteers,” according to the announcement. “The solution also ensures direct delivery to parents and families of all grade levels without relying on students…to deliver them.”

Communications coordinator Lanae Bays said, “Fliers can remain posted in the system for a predetermined amount of time, which is helpful to refer back to them without tacking items up on a bulletin board at home or constantly searching through the paperwork being sent home from school. Parents will be able to focus on reviewing the schoolwork sent home separately from reviewing fliers.”

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