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Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District


Frequently Asked Questions

Mountain View Los Altos High School District 2020-2021 School Year

Mountain View Los Altos High School District 2020-2021 School Year

Updated 07/30/2020
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REOPENING OF SCHOOL for 2020 - General Questions

REOPENING OF SCHOOL for 2020 - General Questions




When will school start for 2020-2021?

The week of August 11-14 will contain textbook pickups (individual high schools will communicate dates and times). The school year begins on August 12th with required, self-paced, online tutorials that students are to complete in order to support the needed technology skills and social-emotional learning to be prepared for Distance Learning this year.

Distance Learning classes with the students’ teachers will begin on Aug 17th, 2020.

What instructional model is MVLA recommending for the 2020-2021 school year?

MVLA staff recommends continued full Distance Learning in fall, concurrent with continued preparation for a physical return. It is our hope we will be able to reopen campuses for in-person experiences this calendar year but will only do so when we have clear safety protocols and procedures in place as well as approval from Santa Clara Public Health.

Staff will monitor safety guidelines with the goal of a full, safe return and opportunities to be physically on campus with required safety protocols.  Staff will bring information on monitoring activities to the Board of Trustees every 4-6 weeks.

What is Distance Learning?

The California Department of Education defines Distance learning as when students are completing and submitting assignments online and interacting with teachers and peers using the online tools recommended by MVLA and the California Department of Education. Instruction will be delivered both synchronously and asynchronously.

Synchronous learning refers to real-time instruction, where all students are engaging in a learning experience at the same time. A live lesson using a video conferencing platform is an example of a synchronous learning experience. Parents may opt their students out of participating in a live lesson by submitting this form.

Asynchronous refers to learning experiences that do not occur at the same time or place. Asynchronous learning provides more flexibility for students. In an asynchronous learning environment, participation in courses is monitored through students submitting assignments online within the teacher designated timeframe.

What will the options be for distance learning for students?

Families will be asked to select one of the following options for the full semester. The window for Option B sign-ups will be Monday, July 27th - Monday, August 17.

Option A - Full Remote Learning to start the semester with increasing opportunities for in-person learning when permissible. Students stay in their regularly scheduled classes and with their regularly scheduled teachers.

Option B - Full Remote Learning for at least a full semester. A-g approved classes are provided by an online learning platform and facilitated and supported by MVLA teacher(s). 

Will food services be continued during Distance Learning?

Supporting our families with healthy meals is a priority, even in Distance Learning. We will continue to provide food service in the form of grab-and-go meals. You do not need to be eligible for free and reduced lunch. Location details will be released when available.

What if my child has an IEP or receives Special Education services? 

Special Education staff will be in regular contact with the students/families they serve and they will continue to support the individual needs students on their caseloads to ensure access to the general education curriculum.  In addition, staff will work towards IEP goals, during Distance Learning.

Because IEP goals and services are individualized and take into account the services that are available at the time of the plan’s writing, some elements of a student’s IEP may be impossible to achieve in the current public health crisis.



What technology does my child need to be prepared with distance learning?

All students need access to a device and internet access. Students can use their personal device or check out a Chromebook from their high school. Devices need to have video and audio available for synchronous learning sessions.


Teachers are equipped with the technology and applications they need to develop a robust and engaging curriculum.

Our technology is not adequate. How do I get help?

Students are asked to complete a form if a Chromebook and/or home internet access is needed while MVLA schools remain closed. MVLA will contact families once all items are ready to be distributed. 


We are pleased to share that MVLA has qualified for the T-Mobile EmpowerED program, aimed at bridging the digital "homework gap" for low-income students by providing Wi-Fi hotspot devices so they can have access to digital textbooks and other materials off-campus.  These hotspots are properly filtered and provide unlimited data. The monthly costs for the devices will be covered by the MVLA Foundation.


MVLA is also part of Sprint’s One Million Project to help get hotspots to students in need. Through this project, MVLA has received an additional 100 hotspots.  T-Mobile previously provided the district 125 hotspots.


Comcast is offering low-income families their Internet Essentials package for 60 days for free.  Internet speeds will be increased for no cost for all new and existing customers and will remain in place going forward.  To sign up, applicants can simply visit The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.



MVLA Options A & b

MVLA Options A & b



How will Option A differ from Option B?

Option A is the classes at MVLA. They offer a robust, challenging virtual learning opportunity with MVLA teachers creating and delivering curriculum. It includes a classroom of students interacting via online applications, synchronous learning via MVLA teachers, office hours, and assigned independent projects. Electives including choir,drama,and band will continue in Option A.

Option B offers a high-quality, A-G approved online program that is designed for students interested in a fully remote independent experience for a full semester or full year.  This option would not involve small group in-person activities that may become available, when deemed safe, for Option A. 

Students choosing Option B would be able to switch to Option A, returning to their prior school, at the end of the fall semester, or they may elect to continue with the program for the full school year. 

Electives such as dance, choir, and other programs at the student’s home school will not be available in Option B and will only be available in Option A.  Similarly, students in Option B will not be able to take classes concurrently at Freestyle Academy.

How will they differ in the approach to Distance Learning?


Option A distance learning is a rich, robust remote curriculum created and delivered by MVLA teachers. It may include physical return to the campus.  

All in-person activity will only be made available when safe to do as prescribed by the Santa Clara Public Health Department and the State of California. This will determine district requirements as we progress through the first semester.  At this time, we do not know if any physical return will be required or available.

Option B will provide a coherent structure that is scaffolded and independent in a remote environment. Support specific to this model will be provided.

What content provider will be used for Option B?

One of the content providers we will use is Edgenuity, an online blended learning platform. They provide a learning management system, intervention support, test preparation, and course content. With the onset of the pandemic we created a new pathway to create a consistent self paced fully online remote learning course of study. Previously, we had provided online content for credit recovery only. This wider use of the platform provides first time credit as well as honors and AP offerings.

We are also offering  UC Scout which, like Edgenuity, offers a wide variety of A-G approved courses.  It is recommended that students select one learning platform.

How will Edgenuity be used in Option B?

Edgenuity will be used to provide our students with a consistent remote learning experience. MVLA teachers will facilitate the learning management system. The courses are University of California A-G approved content. 

The Edgenuity platform provides us with a learning management system, which  provides students with individualized support and allows us to monitor the progress of students as they master and complete coursework. Additionally, Edgenuity may be used for intervention and enrichment when appropriate.   

Will Honors and AP classes be available in Option B?

Yes. College prep, honors and AP are offered through Edgenuity. AP classes are offered through UC Scout.

Can my student take electives at the home school (school of residence)?

No, they will need to choose one of the two models.

Will I lose my spot at my home school if I choose Option B?

No, students and families who choose Option B for the 20-21 school year will be dual-enrolled and remain a student at the prior school of residence or choice. They will not lose their spot. Dual enrollment allows families to receive communication from their prior school and remain connected to the broader school community. All Students are welcome to participate in any pre school virtual activities although some will not be applicable.

It is recommended that a student/family commit to a model for a minimum of a semester, and if possible, the entire school year to avoid academic disruption. Students returning at semester will not be guaranteed original classes.

Will MVLA teachers be supervising the learning in Option B or is this a program from an outside educational vendor? 

MVLA teachers will be the teacher/facilitators for the Option B. The program is from an educational vendor. MVLA teachers will receive training tailored to providing students with support and learning opportunities in Edgenuity/UC Scout. Students will set the pace in Option B, with supports from the MVLA teacher to ensure understanding and completion.

Will students be able to participate in extracurricular activities like dances, sports, and clubs at their school of residence?

Yes, when it is safe to do so. 

Will Option B students have any opportunities for enrichment or student life?

Yes. We encourage them to participate in clubs and enrichment opportunities.  

What will the teacher / student ratio be for classes?

The student-teacher ratios will be similar to the former in person ratios. 

How will the teachers for Option B be selected?

We intend to select credentialed teachers with the skills needed to be effective with this learning model. 

How will services be delivered for students in special education with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)?

Students with IEPs may require an amendment to their IEP to address this service delivery model.  IEPs will be reviewed with the IEP team and individualized decisions will be made for students who choose either model. All programs are accessible to students with IEPs.  Guidance from the California Department of Education can be found here. 

Will certain courses not be offered through Option B (electives, AP courses, etc)?  

We are in the process of finalizing a list of classes for Option B. The courses we are able to offer are those that are available through Edgenuity and UC Scout

Will seniors graduate from their school of residence?

Yes. Option B in the 20-21 school year is a program, therefore students remain students of their school of residence and will receive a diploma and grades with their school or residence or prior district placement. 

Will my child still be able to receive free lunches?

Yes, students who meet the criteria will continue to have access to meals, either on-site, or via pick up. 

My child wants to go to college. Will this impact their chances? 

No. Classes in Option B are facilitated by MVLA teachers and are University of California A-G approved. They will also maintain access to Academic and College and Career Counselors.

What about my child’s social needs and emotional well-being? How will they be met? 

Students will have ongoing access to both academic and school-based mental health counselors along with their high school counselors to help support personal, social, and academic needs.

What about participation in athletics or clubs? 


Students enrolled in both Option A and Option B have opportunities to participate in clubs and extracurricular activities - when we are able to safely offer them outside of virtual means. 

As for athletics, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has postponed fall sports, and is moving the start of California high school sports season to December 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Read statement here


Prior to this action, the Coast Conference League indicated it would allow students in Option B to participate in sports and athletics.

What if my child wants to return to their school mid-year or next year? 

Your student will be able to return to their classroom mid-year if there is available space in the classes. Your child will be guaranteed a spot at their original school next year if they choose to return. 

What happens if the course in which our child is enrolled in MVLA is not available at the online provider for Option B?


Option B is a specialized program with separate offerings. Class offerings for Option B can be found here: Edgenuity, UCScout

Does Option B offer letter grades also?

Yes, Option B will offer letter grades.

If a student takes a year-long course through Option B for the fall semester, what happens at the beginning of spring semester if he/she wants to move to Option A? Will he/she receive credit for a half-year work at Option B and another credit for half-year at Option A?

If a student wishes to transfer to Option A at the semester, they will receive credit for the first semester in Option B and then start the semester in Option A. They will receive transferable credit for course work completed in either option.

Will a student be able to stay in choir, Talon/Oracle, Freestyle or another class at my site high school if I choose Option B?

No, to choose option B means you are unenrolling from ALL classes at your site high school. A student cannot do some at the site and some at option B.

Will there be a mapping provided between courses of Option A and B to make sure the equivalent course is taken when choosing Option B? If the two programs are not equivalent then it will be very difficult to move between the options when the time comes.

Yes, students will be given an opportunity to take an equivalent course that will meet the graduation requirements for MVLA. This is a similar process to when a student enters into our system from another district with different graduation requirements.

Can Option B students join the Friday office hours and tutorial services?


Option B students have online support through their learning platform, they also can attend the Tutorial Center for support. Office hours are provided by Option A teachers for Option A students.

Can students switch options midway through the semester?

This is not advisable but will be examined on a case by case basis.  It most likely will cause a disruption in the student's learning.

Can students choose classes from both UCScout and Edgenuity?


Yes, some students may be taking a combination of classes from both learning platforms.

What is the deadline to sign up for option B. 

August 17th is the deadline. Students need to be in their classes and settled into routine by the start of the school year.