MVLA Update - June 27, 2020
Dear MVLA Community,
I hope this finds you able to healthy and safe after a distinctly challenging spring. This update is designed to share with you the latest information on school reopening and district news. Know that our team continues to work to do everything possible to support our students as we prepare for the reopening of school in Fall 2020.
With each daily and weekly update from the California Department of Education and the Santa Clara County Office of Education, we are monitoring the data to determine the impact on our district. Due to the changing impact of the virus, the guidance has at times been unpredictable. As such, we continue to plan for multiple scenarios with the hope that in the next few weeks we will have more definitive information from the CDE and SCCOE. We know they are working hard to keep us informed and supported in a time of uncertainty.
Likewise, you will find the most up to date information and resources for MVLA by visiting our webpage. There, you will find my MVLA Updates cataloged by date and our School Closure Resources page. I realize this situation has been especially difficult for our students. In past months, we have been criticized for being overly measured in our response to the changes we are facing, but I feel it is my responsibility to avoid the unnecessary cycle of committing and retracting plans as much as possible. That kind of response often creates more chaos in the long run. I will continue to take a cautious approach, gathering as much information from as many sources as possible. We anticipate new guidance from the Santa Clara Public Health Department in the first week of July.
In the meantime, our current status regarding the opening of school continues to be preparing for full virtual learning, a blend of virtual and on-campus return to school, or a traditional return with mitigations. In the 2020-2021 school year, all may be necessary.
Nellie Meyer, Ed.D.
Board of Trustees
At the June 25 Special Closed Session and Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a Resolution Denouncing Racism and Supporting Equity, Safety, and Well-Being of Black People.
The Board also approved the new position of the Distance Education Administrator. The role will be critical as we begin to develop more innovative approaches to distance learning and develop a pathway for designing and supporting ongoing remote learning.
Presentations to the Board included an update on the district’s Reopening, Recovery and Redesign as well as information about the district process for enrollment in Foothill Community College courses for rising 9th graders.
Special Board meetings will be scheduled during July 2020 as necessary. The next regular Board of Trustees meeting will be held on August 10, 2020.
Based on the feedback we received from students and parents, and staff, almost 150 of whom have already requested training, we will be moving to a more unified learning management system, CANVAS. We learned today that the SCCOE will be supporting training and a county-wide contract for the use of CANVAS in all Santa Clara County schools. Beginning the first week of July, we will provide optional summer training on both CANVAS and other methods of online instructional support. The purpose of moving to this new integrated system is to streamline our work and provide stronger tools for innovation, as well as to simplify the student-parent user experience. Google Classroom will still be accessible to students and teachers. We will also be providing staff training before school starts and throughout the school year.
Governor Newsom’s State Budget Trailer Bill AB 77
On June 24, we received information that the State Budget includes a trailer bill, AB 77, with specifics related to distance learning. Districts using distance learning as the sole method of instruction are required to:
- Confirm that students have computer and internet access
- Document daily student participation in a weekly log and create a system to track non-participating students
- Set procedures for re-engaging students who are absent for more than 60% of instruction per week
- Communicate with parents about learning progress
- Ensure teachers interact daily to instruct, monitor progress, and maintain connections
- Provide academic supports for English learners and students behind academically
Graduation Video Viewing
The graduating Class of 2020 built a strong community and enthusiastically advocated for a way to celebrate together. To meet their desire to celebrate, we videotaped each senior accepting their diploma and will have virtual graduations for Los Altos High School on Saturday, June 27, and for Mountain View High School on Sunday, June 28. Many thanks to the San Jose Earthquakes and Avaya Stadium for their generous support. Thanks to them and the tireless efforts of the administration and staff, we were able to make the students’ wishes for a graduation celebration a reality. More information can be found here.
Providing a meaningful summer school to our students is one of the most effective interventions we offer in support of our critical learners. Students participate in full-day classes held over two sessions between June 11-July 9, 2020. In addition to the regular summer program, we will be holding support classes for students in mathematics to assist with learning loss. We also have students participating in courses at Foothill Community College.