District board votes for complete remote return to school


Cedric Chan

The district board voted unanimously for a complete remote return in the fall.

The district board unanimously voted for Mountain View–Los Altos’ return in the fall to be completely remote today at 10 p.m. Families must choose between full virtual learning or virtual learning with on-campus opportunities as health restrictions are eased.

Because of the varied curriculums, students will not be able to switch between options with the exception of medical concerns. 

However, some parents expressed concern over having to choose between the options. 

“There are parents who would not want to choose a non-MVLA run program,” MVLA parent Julie Volkert said. “What’s difficult right now is that we’re being asked to choose an option without a clear picture of what those options would look like.” 

The deadline for deciding between the two programs is not yet decided.

School reopening guidelines should be more clear after Governor Gavin Newsom’s address regarding the subject tomorrow, according to Board Member Fiona Walter. 

“I think we all know there’s a problem when political interference corrupts scientific data,” Board Member Dr. Phil Faillace said. “We just need health officials like Dr. Sarah Cody to assure us that they’re not relying on doctored data.”

The two options will vary greatly in curriculum, as the fully virtual option will be taught over adult education programs. Class choices will also be more limited than in the hybrid program, with courses such as physical education and some Advanced Placement classes not offered. 

According to Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer, if a student were to contract the coronavirus, they would be automatically transferred to the fully virtual program for the rest of the semester. It is currently unclear exactly which conditions would mandate a switch between curriculums.

Preliminary plans mandate the use of OdysseyWare for the fully remote option, the software program used by the MVLA Adult School. 

The traditional quarter-semester grading system will be used, but testing and assessment procedure is currently undecided.

Additionally, Faillace recommended using the MVLA funds to compensate teachers for their time spent receiving online training before the start of school. During summer vacation, 80 percent of MVLA staff have participated in training for Canvas, which will be replacing Google Classroom as the primary platform for academics in the hybrid program. 

MVLA staff’s draft schedule for virtual learning in the fall semester. (Via MVLA Board)

Under the current draft schedule, attendance will be taken every day and each class will hold 75 minutes of synchronous learning per week. Daily office hours will be open for teacher questions, assessments and technical work, such as labs. 

The online Tutorial Center will also be open on Wednesdays for additional support. Instead of Monday, which was previously a slate day, Wednesday will be an independent workday for students.

On-campus clubs are encouraged to meet virtually during lunch. School athletes will continue to be permitted to train on-campus in cohorts of 12. The California Interscholastic Federation is set to release guidelines for sports competition next Monday.