MV gets an A+ for Community Support

GUEST OPINION In the Mountain View Voice
Guest Opinion: Mountain View gets an ‘A+’ for school support
June 9, 2024          

By Devon Conley

Today, Mountain View Whisman School District’s eleven schools feature award-winning academics, accessible technology and modern, safe buildings. These accomplishments come despite unprecedented challenges, from teacher shortages to COVID-19 to learning loss.

How did it happen? With the support of you, our Mountain View community. Your support of the parcel tax in 2017 (Measure B) and the bond issue in 2020 (Measure T) provides critical resources to make a difference for our students, staff and families.

Take the learning loss challenges that our students have faced. The pandemic hit students hard, and teachers are making every effort to help kids catch up.

This year, MVWSD formed an early literacy team of educators to provide services to students at targeted elementary schools. The result is double digit increases in test scores and 50 students exiting out of the program with new, stronger reading skills.

Next year, we will continue our expansion of the transitional kindergarten program that opens access to critical, no-cost early learning experiences for four-year-olds a year before they’re eligible for kindergarten.

We also took steps to modernize the schools across our district. That includes ensuring that every district student and family has access to high-speed internet, thanks to our MVWSD Connect program. And we’ve introduced measures to reduce waste and maximize use of renewable energy, lowering our energy costs and making our buildings safer and more efficient.

While districts across the country battled the COVID-19 pandemic and intense wildfire smoke, ours was quickly able to update all HVAC systems – allowing us to limit virus transmission and reduce air-born pollutants. We were ahead of the curve, and our students, teachers and staff all benefited.

It’s the little things – like safer lighting on campuses – and the big things – like pioneering a first-of-its-kind affordable teacher housing facility – that make Mountain View schools a place I’m proud to send my child. During my tenure on the Mountain View Whisman School District Board of Trustees, I’ve watched our leadership, teachers and staff step up again and again to provide students with much-needed resources to combat tough and unexpected challenges.

Community-driven measures like the Measure T bond and the parcel tax allow us to continue providing not only high-quality instruction, but also transformational educational experiences and personalized support for our students. It’s my pleasure to hear about these achievements regularly as the president of the Board of Trustees.

We also know that the benefits of community investment ripple far beyond the classroom.

Investing in our schools means cultivating a strong community, where students receive an exceptional education and families forge lifelong bonds. Even Mountain View residents without school-aged children benefit from the robust home values that come from high-quality community schools. Meanwhile, local employers benefit from the promise of a ready workforce, as students develop foundational skill sets, resilience and critical thinking abilities. And we all enjoy the prospect of a bright future in a dynamic community.

Community support for proposals like the Measure T bond made teacher housing and other MVWSD programs possible, and helps the district stay competitive. I, like so many other parents and community members, am grateful for the community support that keeps our students happy, healthy and safe while they learn.

When our community invests in Mountain View students, we all see the benefits.

Devon Conley is president of the Mountain View Whisman School District Board of Trustees and mother of a MVWSD student.
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