Mission SOS

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Thank you parents and students for attending the Parent/Student Outreach Event held on December 9th, 2013.

Three experts in the field of child psychiatry, Dr. Alex Huang, Dr. Dan R. Tzuang, and Dr. Susan Song, addressed the topics of substance abuse and the bearing of stress on students. In addition, there was an interactive session where audience members had the chance to ask questions from these three professionals.

Dr. Alex Huang has kindly offered the following resources: How Parents Can Help .


Thank you students for attending the free Stress Management Yoga Workshops. 
This workshop began on November 6th, 2013 and has been continuing on Wednesdays in C120 from 3:00-3:30 pm. There will be a Stress Management Yoga Workshop on Wednesday, March 19th. With feedback from the attendees and positive turnouts, this workshop has been quite successful. If you have any questions, feel free to email Iru Puri at iru.puri@gmail.com.  Please view the flier for further details.


Thank you students for volunteering at the Stanford Challenge Success Conference on October 4th, 2013.


Thank you students for volunteering at the Health/Wellness Fair held on March 12th, 2014.

Mission: SOS collaborated with Medcorps for the Health/Wellness Fair held in the gym area throughout the school day on March 12th, 2014. The fair consisted of informative yet amusing booths to educate students on all aspects of health. We would like to thank all the volunteers and organizations who made this event possible. There will be an issue covering this event in the Smoke Signal.
Rising Seniors Workshop May 22, 2014
This workshop will feature a panel consisting of current senior students and MSJ administrators. We will be providing helpful resources such as reviewing imperative dates, going over how to ask for recommendation letters, and more. Please join us for an informative night covering the college admissions process, from 6:30 to 8:00pm in C120 on Thursday, May 22, 2014!


About Mission: SOS - MSJHS team promotes Health and Wellness

Since our original Stanford SOS Conference in 2007, the first SOS team of then VP Sandy Prairie, counselor Merri Blum, teacher Mr. Masatsugu, 2 parents and 3 sophomore students has grown to include a dedicated leadership core of a dozen students and an equal number of administrators, parents, and teachers. In 2008 the team changed its name to Mission: SOS.

2013/ 2014 Elected Officers:

Anjali Kanthilal (President) | anjali96@gmail.com

Dustin Chiang (Vice President) | dustin118@gmail.com

Tanvi Raja (Secretary) | tanviraja@gmail.com

Judith Silverberg-Rajna (Treasurer) | judithmargit@yahoo.com

Cara Yi (Public Relations Officer) | commonplace58@gmail.com

Taruna Neelakantan (Public Relations Officer) | taruna.neelakantan@gmail.com


Additional Board Members:

(Administration, Teachers & Parents)

Zack Larsen (Administrator, Principal) | zlarsen@mail.fremont.k12.ca.us
Katherine Geers (English, Teacher) | kgeers@fremont.k12.ca.us 
Iru Puri ( Parent Advisor) | iru.puri@gmail.com
Kiran Desai (Parent Advisor) | kiranmdesai@gmail.com
Jane Conn (Parent Advisor) | JaneConn@yahoo.com                    


Mission Statement

Our mission is to advocate for a balanced lifestyle that fosters integrity, resiliency, and success, which directly correlates to health and happiness.

Process: The Mission: SOS leadership team gathers research from the Mission community of students, faculty, staff, and parents to identify the root causes of student distress within the community and target 1 or 2 areas of improvement. The team then researches comprehensive educational research on stress, achievement, child development, health and wellness, and examines actions taken in similar high performing schools across the country to help in those same targeted areas. If an action looks promising and it has the approval of representatives of all 4 stake holder groups, then the team may make a recommendation for change to school leaders.

Community Outreach: Mission: SOS also offers outreach topics in the same targeted areas to help reduce stress within the Mission community without lowering achievement. Their speakers and topics are based on research and data gathered from our student and adult populations, and from a network including Stanford University and other Challenge Success schools across the country. Outreach events are free and open to the public and must be approved by the Mission: SOS leadership board.


Several Years of Change, yet Mission retains its national reputation as one of the best high schools in America:

  • A 20% increase in students who have a trusted adult on campus they can go to if they need help. 2010 Stanford/ Mission: SOS data, this vital connection reduces cheating and increases health and well being
  • MSJHS no longer includes class rank on the transcript. Encourages colleges to look at the whole transcript, 25 of the 2009 valedictorians supported this change
  • Homework Policy revised by FUSD and approved by the school board, fewer teachers give homework over breaks and on weekends. Reduces stress, raising achievement and it gives kids time to reflect and be with family and friends
  • Changing school start times voted in by the school board. Mission: SOS provided support and research on sleep and circadian rhythms
  • Advisory Pilot Program with a health and wellness focus. Teachers connect with students on topics from health and wellness to time management
  • 4 Outreach Events per year targeting root causes of our student stress: College Admissions, Health and Wellness Issues, and Expectations. Outreach and Information
Stakeholder Groups

Student leadership: Because students feel the most stress but traditionally have less power at home and on campus, empowering change and starting dialogue needs to originate within the student population. Mission: SOS students are involved in research and data gathering, planning campus outreach, and working with their adult leadership to change policy and support adults on campus. They offer 2-4 public Outreach Events per year addressing root causes of distress ranging from health and wellness issues to de-stressing college admissions.

Student presence at events ranges from 50 to 400 (Capacity of the room)

Interested in joining SOS as a student team member or officer?

Contact a teacher, administrator or send an email to msjsos@gmail.com

Administrators, Teachers and Counselors: Teachers and administrators wrote the grant to join the program, have actively taken leadership in the team and have incorporated Mission: SOS goals through existing faculty organizations on campus.

Teachers at Mission have increased their on-campus presence despite dwindling resources and larger class sizes. Some teachers are choosing to alter homework policies, becoming aware of assessment demands from other classes, and encouraging students to communicate more often. Groups of teachers and faculty members have had opportunities to attend conferences that include the SOS principles adopted by the school. A group of teachers developed and piloted a program during the read period which enriches the student experience by teaching time management and awareness, stress management and strengthening connections between adults and students on campus.There has been a 20% increase in the number of students who feel connected to a trusted adult on campus giving them someone they can go to if they need help.

Administrators continue to form the heart of the Mission: SOS Team developing and incorporating recommendations from the team into the WASC plan, allowing Mission: SOS to offer surveys to the educational community to evaluate and assess how well this program and others are working at MSJHS and facilitating access to appropriate programs for the Mission community.

Parents: Mission: SOS is supported by private funding and Mission Possible. Parents and students help plan evening events, visit and network with other area Challenge Success schools, mentor student leaders and team members, attend conferences, do research and develop a strong campus presence, and keep the Mission Community informed of how students experience MSJHS and opportunities and information available to parents in the Bay Area.

  • Parents interested in volunteering for this team should contact:

Zack Larsen zlarsen@mail.fremont.k12.ca.us , Katherine Geers kgeers@fremont.k12.com,  Iru Puri iru.puri@gmail.com, Kiran Desai kiranmdesai@gmail.com, Jane Conn JaneConn@yahoo.com


Last Modified on April 22, 2014