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Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District

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MVLA Update - August 7, 2020

Board of Trustees

We will have a board meeting August 10, 2020, at 7 p.m. Topics will include a Fall 2020 Reopening Update, and a recommendation on the duration of distance learning through the end of First Quarter.  Our new student representatives, Riley Capuano (Los Altos High School), and Erin Coyne (Mountain View High School), will be welcomed and sworn in. You can find the agenda for Monday’s meeting here.

 
School Orientation Days

Next week students will be returning to campus for a variety of activities. You can find more information here:  Los Altos High School     Mountain View High School

 
August 12 - 14 Student Tutorials

We are excited to support our students in getting reading for the new school year. On August 12th, 13th, and 14th, students will be receiving online self-paced tutorials that help prepare them for the upcoming school year.

 

      • On August 12th, students will receive an online tutorial that guides them through the  MVLA new Learning Management System, Canvas. The tutorial includes how to sign into Canvas, managing the settings and profile, navigating around the dashboard, how to access a class, and open up an assignment. This will support students with feeling comfortable and competent in getting started with Canvas. Parents will also have access to a parent Canvas tutorial - this will be released next week.
 
      • On August 13th, students will receive an online tutorial that supports their social-emotional learning. This includes an overview of what social-emotional learning is, how to access mental health services, and tips on self-care for starting off the year.
 
      • On August 14th, students will receive an online tutorial that gives them an overview of this year's schedule, the understanding of synchronous and asynchronous learning, how to use the Weekly Slate, the importance of establishing a routine and tips for doing so, grading, and live class norms.
 
It is our hope that these tutorials, which will be sent to the students' email each day, will support and gear them up for a successful launch into the 2020-2021 School Year!

 

Distance Learning Options for Fall 2020  

For Fall 2020, MVLA is reopening with two learning options for students:  Option A will provide distance learning with regular teachers at your resident school - featuring a rich, robust curriculum with classes of students and MVLA direct instruction.  Option B will provide a full semester to full school year option that will use an online learning platform that provides a self-paced, consistent remote learning experience with content that meets University of California A-G requirements.  Election forms for Option B will be accepted until August 17.  (No action is required to select Option A-students are enrolled automatically.)  Helpful resources such as the Option A/B comparison chart and the Reopening FAQs are on the MVLA website.

 
Physical Education in the Fall

The Physical Education departments are planning innovative ways to teach in a virtual manner this fall by developing ways to promote physical activity through the use of fitness apps and online tools.  Teachers will begin the year with team building and setting expectations for PE via Zoom or other live conferencing platforms. 

 

PE teachers will schedule when students check in for class. They then will be required to exercise in a variety of ways. Students can exercise in their living room, their garage, in the yard, at the park or any other location that is safe. Students will be provided with the newly acquired PLT4M (an exercise tracker application) sponsored by the MVLA Foundation. Our PE department’s goals during distance learning will be to encourage balance by getting students out of their chair and moving!

 

Student Voice

The District is pleased to be collaborating with a group of MVLA students to coordinate a series of student-facilitated webinars featuring teachers, counselors, and administrators as panelists to answer students' questions about the reopening of schools.  The planning, led by members of the Mountain View High School Conversation Club as well as students from Los Altos High School, includes a survey - developed for students by students - to list and prioritize questions and concerns and sign up for upcoming webinars. Additional information is provided in the following flyers:

 

Schedule - English | Spanish
 
Nearly 300 students have participated in the survey so far, and have indicated these top five topics as discussion priorities:
 
  • Educational equity and grading
  • Social activities/connecting with classmates
  • Clubs and extracurricular activities
  • Mental health and wellness
  • Attendance taking
 
We encourage students to participate in these sessions and the survey as an opportunity to share opinions and concerns and help identify topics for additional student-led webinars throughout the school year.

 

Food Service Support for Students

MVLA meal distribution for the 2020/21 school year will begin Monday, August 17. Meals will be distributed at both MVHS and LAHS.  Any MVLA student can go to either location - it does not have to be the student's assigned school.

Meal pick up days are Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:00-10:00am, and includes breakfast and lunch.  Monday, we will provide meals for Monday and Tuesday; Wednesday we will provide meals for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  (Students may continue to pick up meals from MVWSD through August 15.) 
 
Meals are for students who are eligible for the free/reduced price meals program.  Students will be asked to show their id card or provide their permanent ID number when picking up their meals.  Returning students have until September 30 to submit a new application.  New students may submit an application here: https://mvlafoodservice.com/index.php?page=lunchapps&sid=1908131605284815
 
Meal distribution will be drive-up (or walk up for those not in a car), and we ask that students remain in their vehicle. 
 
Teacher Professional Learning in Summer 

MVLA teachers have dedicated much of their summer preparing for the new school year. They have taken advantage of numerous district professional learning options as well as exploring opportunities provided by local universities and professional organizations. We had over 230 teachers participate in Canvas training, which is our new learning management system for the students. Most of our teachers met with course team members this summer to collaborate with. Over 30 teachers participated in AP training and the AVID Digital XP conference. 

 

Lastly, the majority of our teachers participated in LearningFALLooza that took place the week of August 3rd which was a district-designed  “virtual conference” that offered training modules that would prepare teachers for the reopening of school. Topics included, appropriate teaching, and learning outcomes in the virtual environment; the use of approved digital platforms; determining measures and assessment methods for academic achievement; strategies to address learning loss and the different experiences of incoming students; building class community. 
Additionally, teachers sought out their own professional learning by attending virtual conferences sponsored by CUE, San Jose State School of Education, the Stanford Online High School, among other professional organizations.

 

Welcoming New MVLA Teachers! 

On August 6th and 7th,  MVLA held our New Teacher Orientation virtually via Zoom. A great amount of appreciation is owed to our IST team, Tim Farrell, Marcey Winawer, Megan Sibley and Paige Price, for preparing a wonderfully engaging agenda and supporting our new teachers as they start in MVLA during this most unique time. Twenty new teachers met with representatives from the District Office, Foundation and Leaders at their respective sites. The focus of the two days was centered around Distance Learning and new teachers were provided opportunities to familiarize themselves with MVLA processes and structure, one another and were able to engage in professional development with a strong focus on Synchronous and Asynchronous instruction. For a list of all new MLVA staff please read the district news article here.