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Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District

DISTANCE LEARNING PLAN

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Distance learning means that students are completing and submitting assignments online and interacting with teachers and peers using the online tools recommended by the MVLA District and the California Department of Education.  Learning will be designed with equity, flexibility, and innovation at the center while recognizing the limitations of the current circumstances.
 
The complete plan is available as a downloadable PDF:  English  |  Spanish
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Distance Learning Plan (DLP) Overview

The guiding principles of the MVLA Distance Learning Plan (DLP) include:
  • Supporting instruction in a distance learning environment by focusing coursework on new content, more in-depth projects, and/or preparation for Advanced Placement tests.
  • Providing a variety of support resources in order for instruction and material to be accessible to all students, including our special education population, students with 504 plans, English Learners, students with social-emotional support needs, and students who are in need of access to technology and essential services.
  • Leveraging technology to maintain connections within our learning communities.
 
The DLP is based on research in best practices for distance teaching and learning, including:
  • Using technology to foster teacher-student and student-student connections.
  • Creating clear, specific learning outcomes.
  • Developing learning opportunities that provide students with choice in mode and pace.
  • Providing multiple opportunities for student questions and ongoing feedback, including self-assessment.
 
The plan provides both scheduled and flexible times for students and staff to engage in varied learning activities. These activities will focus on new content with an emphasis on the essential standards a student needs to know in order to be successful in the next grade level or course. As during the typical school year, teachers will use the frameworks and standards appropriate to their discipline to guide the development and implementation of independent learning opportunities for students. Students with IEPs and 504 Plans continue to receive accommodations and modifications appropriate to support their access to this unique learning platform and guaranteed to them through their individualized plans. Lessons will include specific considerations to address supports for English learners.
 
Teachers and students will use the Student Schedule to provide teaching and learning opportunities. On Monday, teachers will provide students with a weekly “slate” of activities; the slate is a weekly planner for students. Each week teachers will provide synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities, and virtual office hours.
  • Synchronous learning refers to real-time instruction, where all students engage in a learning experience. 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.
 
Teachers will use Google Classroom as their lesson management platform with the objectives that:
  • Teachers will share calendars, assignments and feedback with students through Google Classroom.
  • Students will use Google Classroom to submit assignments, ask questions, video conference and share feedback with teachers.
  • Comment, post and question features provided by Google Classroom will be used for remote classroom discussions.
  • Platforms such as “Zoom” will be available for live conferencing.
 
An “Introduction to Google Classroom” is available for parents unfamiliar with the platform.
VIEW PDF: English | Spanish
 
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Student Schedule

 
Monday
A
Tuesday
B
Wednesday
C
Thursday
B
Friday
C
By 10 a.m., a weekly slate will be posted for student review.
 
Mondays will include work that students can start for classes 0-7, or to finish assignments from the previous week that are due Tuesday/Wednesday.
 
Teachers will indicate when and how they will be available for students for the week.
 
Weekly work will be collected and will account for class attendance.
 
Students should work on the coursework for each class during the designated period on block days.
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Period 1
 
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Period 3
 
11:30 - 12:3 0p.m.
Period 5
 
1:30 - 2:3 0p.m.
Period 7
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Period 0
 
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Period 2
 
11:30 - 12:30 a.m.
Period 4
 
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Period 6
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Period 7
 
10:30-11:3 0a.m.
Period 5
 
11:30-12:30 p.m.
Period 3
 
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Period 1
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Period 6
 
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Period 4
 
11:30 - 12:30 p.m.
Period 2
 
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Period 0
Teacher-Determined Virtual Office Hours for Students
  • Assignments for the week
    (can be posted later in the week, or changed, depending on student needs/mastery of material)
  • Additional activities for enrichment/support
  • Synchronous meeting time(s)/ format
  • Office hours for the week
Extended learning opportunities throughout the week may include:
  • Student community service projects
  • Counseling support
  • Study.com, Tutor.com, tutoring support
  • Teacher-posted supplemental activities
  • College Board tutorials
  
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Student, Parent, and Teacher Responsibilities

 

Student Responsibilities

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibilities

Follow the Student Schedule (to the extent possible) to create a schedule that balances your school work with personal life and family obligations. In other words, take care of yourself.
Work with your child to set up a routine to distinguish “school time” from being at home time, being mindful of Student Schedule.
Foster community and connection while also teaching the subject area standards.
Create an organized workspace that is free of distractions to the extent possible.
Support your student in creating an organized workspace that is free of distractions to the extent possible.
Use professional expertise to deliver online learning experiences to benefit all students.
Check your email and your teachers’ Google Classroom page on a daily basis.
Support your student in fulfilling each school day’s expectations. In the event of student illness or family emergency, communicate with the school’s attendance office.
Use Google Classroom and email to communicate information.
Use the weekly slates to determine when your teachers are offering virtual office hours. This is a great time to check in with your teachers and classmates.
Recognize that students are not used to learning in a completely online environment. Check in with your student about what they are finding challenging or confusing. Encourage them to reach out to teachers and counselors if they are
struggling.
Provide virtual office hours to answer students’ questions, support small group interaction, and provide opportunities to foster a sense of connectedness.
When using technology, follow the school’s Code of Conduct and the MVLA Technology Acceptable Use Policy. Be sure to understand Virtual Meeting Etiquette.
Check in with your child regularly to engage them in a discussion of their coursework.
Work with your child to help them understand the virtual learning environment. Refer to this notice for specific information about live conferencing, recording permission, and expectations.
Monitor your student’s online time and presence.
Provide weekly communication regarding expectations, assignments, due dates and virtual office hours.
Complete tasks and assignments with the highest level of effort possible.
Help maintain student motivation by reminding them that the “credit/no credit” environment presents an opportunity to learn without the burden of a grade.
Assess student learning and communicate information to students and parents.
Attendance: Each Monday, you will be marked as “Engaged” or “Not Engaged” for the prior week’s participation in distance learning.
 
You will be marked “Engaged” when you do the following each week:
 
● Submit at least 75% of all assignments
   AND
● Actively participate with each teacher a minimum of one (1) time per week
For example, attend virtual lesson/office hours, respond on Google Classroom or email teacher with questions
Attendance will be based on a combination of completion of assignments and student engagement with the teacher. Encourage your child to take advantage of both class times and office hours in order to connect with teachers.
 
Automated phone calls will be going home on Monday night for the prior week if a student is marked “Not Engaged-N.”
 
If your student is sick, please email your student’s teachers AND contact the Attendance Office. Provide the following information:
  • Student name
  • Student ID#
  • Date of absence
  • Reason for absence
  • Parent/guardian contact information
Attendance: Each Monday, teachers will mark students as “Engaged” or “Not Engaged” in the SIS portal for the prior week’s participation in distance learning.
 
Students will be marked as “Engaged-E” when they do the following each week:
  • Students submit 75% of all assignments
  • Students actively participate with each teacher a minimum of one (1) time per week
    • For example, attend virtual lesson/office hours, respond on Google Classroom or email teacher with questions
 
Students will be marked as “Not Engaged-N” if they do not fulfill the above criteria.
 
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Assessment and Grading

Because students need feedback in order to understand what they need to improve on, assessment will continue to be an essential component in the teaching and learning process. However, assessment may look different in distance learning environments. For example, teachers may choose to do smaller assessments more often as they increase their familiarity with online learning.
 

Grading of Student Learning

Universities and colleges in California and private schools stated on April 1, 2020 that they will not penalize students if they receive a Credit/No Credit grade in the second semester. On April 6, 2020, the MVLA School Board voted to approve a “Credit/No Credit” system for Spring 2020 for both the fourth quarter and the second semester.
  • A Credit will be awarded based on participation (attendance/engagement) and proficiency on the subject matter.
  • A No Credit means that they do not receive credits for the course.
 
A Credit/No Credit system was chosen for the following reasons:
  • Stress from the COVID-19 global crisis has the potential to negatively impact academic performance. Our goal is to hold students harmless during these unprecedented times.
  • Transitioning to online learning in a short period of time has the potential to increase current inequities that exist.
  • Colleges and universities from across the country, including the University of California and
  • California State University systems, have indicated that they will accept non-letter grades for A-G requirements and that a Pass/No Mark system will not penalize students.
  • The California Department of Education (CDE) has indicated that schools need to hold students harmless during the COVID-19 school closures.
  • The vast majority of high performing districts across the Bay Area, the state of California, and the country are using Pass/No Mark (or fail) grading systems during the school closures.
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Distance Learning Tools

Teachers, counselors, and students are engaging in distance learning through the use of district approved digital products. Students must be logged into their MVLA accounts to access the Google Classroom platform and other resources. While using the technology tools below, students must follow the MVLA Acceptable Use and Agreement for Technology Policy and should consider online discussion etiquette and Virtual Meeting Etiquette. Students are also encouraged to check our Student Tech Support guide to help with a variety of "how to" topics. 
 

Resource*

Information for Parents

How Teachers and Students are using the Resource

Google Classroom
 
Google Classroom is the G-Suite tool MVLA adopted as the hub for teachers to share class resources and to give feedback to students. Your student will have a separate Google Classroom for each of their core classes.
GSuite Products             
In addition to Google Classroom, teachers and students have a suite of Google products available that support creativity and collaboration.
Texthelp Products 
 
The Texthelp reading and writing support products provide text to speech, speech to text and powerful tools for students who need support engaging with content. These products are visible on the toolbar when students are logged into their MVLA accounts.
Naviance 
 
Naviance is used by counselors and the College/Career Center to help students navigate college information and requirements. Students should use their school issued accounts.
Zoom 
HIPPA and FERPA compliant online platform for digital conferencing, learning activities and school services.
 
* Mountain View Los Altos High School District does not accept liability for accessing or logging into accounts associated with these resources.
 
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How Parents Can Support Distance Learning

The experience of remote learning is different from in-person learning in a physical classroom.
Support your student by:
  • Setting up a routine together, allowing for variation on how and when your student works, monitoring their stress level, participation in class check-ins, and ability to complete assignments
  • Set a routine to distinguish “school time” from being at home time. This may include a quiet workspace where the student can use a textbook and complete writing assignments or use an electronic device such as a computer.
  • As much as possible, minimize potential distractions such as a TV. Be sure to schedule time for your student to take a mental break, get a snack or some fresh air: we suggest a 15-minute break for every 1.5 to 2 hours of schoolwork.
  • Create structure for your student to help them focus and use their time effectively.
  • If there are other household members at home, establish expectations for protecting “school time” for your students and minimizing distractions or interruptions, when possible.
  • Recognize that students are not used to learning in a completely online environment. Check in with your student about what they are finding challenging or confusing about their online work. Encourage them to reach out to teachers and counselors if they are struggling.
  • Remember that school is about social interactions as well as academics. Encourage your student to reach out to friends by phone or online so they have opportunities to stay connected.
 

Distance Learning Support Resources

MVLA Board Presentations

  • May 4, 2020 – Item 17.1 Distance Learning Report (English PDF)
  • April 20, 2020 – Item 16.1 Update on District Learning Plan (English PDF)
 

Videos

 

Articles

 

Websites