MVLA Update - July 17. 2020
Dear MVLA Students and Families,
Last night, our Board of Trustees unanimously approved the recommendation to open the 2020-2021 school year with Distance Learning. While this was not an easy decision, many factors were considered as we determined the mode of returning for the Fall of 2020. The recording of the Board meeting is available here, with the segment on the Reopening Plan starting about 02:38 in.
Today, in an announcement that contained the most specific guidance to date, Governor Newsom ordered counties on the State’s coronavirus watch list to shut down school campuses this fall, as we begin the school year. The counties on the list — which includes Santa Clara, newly added San Francisco, Los Angeles and most of Southern California — must switch to virtual instruction only. The mandate applies to private as well as public schools. You can find a summary of his State School Guidance linked here. As we begin to analyze the guidance, it aligns with our current plans. We are still reviewing the possible impacts as it pertains to reporting cases, quarantines, and school closures.
Concurrent with our virtual open on August 12th, we continue to plan for possible safe physical returns for students and staff as the conditions allow. Students who are determined to need a high level of support – both academically and social-emotionally – will be given priority for these small group returns. We will also consider the instructional requirements of certain subject matter for hands-on or physical interaction. Staff who wish to physically return will be allowed to do so as long as safety guidelines are in place. In preparation, we have ordered health and safety equipment and supplies, personal protective equipment, and will conduct necessary training on safety protocols. Student returns will be dependent on public health guidelines, staff availability and parent permission.
In addition to the safety of our students and staff, we are prioritizing the development of a robust academic program for virtual delivery. The work that has already taken place as we prepare for the fall is impressive. Teachers also have professional development planned for the month of August. Last night, the Board of Education heard teacher reports on their summer Distance Learning preparation. Teachers shared their planning and work with Stanford, San Jose State, AVID, as well as the time they have spent as departments working to plan for student return. The Board, recognizing the need, increased resources to support ongoing professional development. Students will also receive virtual training for Distance Learning when the school year begins.
My thanks to all of you for your continued support of our teachers and staff during this challenging time. The creativity and generosity of the MVLA community has been exceptional and is greatly appreciated.