MVLA District approves proposed potential hybrid schedule


Emily McNally

The Mountain View–Los Altos (MVLA) School District approved plans for a potential hybrid schedule during yesterday’s “study session,” marking the next phase of the District’s return to campus.

The Mountain View–Los Altos (MVLA) School District approved plans for a potential hybrid schedule during yesterday’s “study session,” marking the next phase of the District’s return to campus. A hybrid schedule could be implemented if Santa Clara County moves from the purple tier of coronavirus transmission — “widespread” — to the red tier — “substantial” — and remains at red for at least five days.

The proposed hybrid model involves “learning hubs,” in which groups of 12 to 14 students would spend the school day in one classroom working individually. Classrooms will be assigned strategically to place students among classmates or familiar staff members. 

Though lessons would continue being held over Zoom, the work day would be “diversified” with socially distanced lunchtime and short breaks to provide students with opportunities for social interaction. Students’ class schedules and rosters will not be disrupted by the transition.

“With hybrid learning, students would be able to pick out their clothes the night before school or get the experience of rushing to school on time,” Distance Learning Administrator Teri Faught said. “In a way, that would give them a feeling of normalcy.”

In conjunction with the learning hubs model, Faught also released a tentative timeline encompassing the first three weeks of the phased-in approach: The first week would bring 250 seniors on campus per day on Monday and Tuesday; the second week would continue bringing back seniors on Thursday and Friday while phasing in the return of 250 freshmen per day on Monday and Tuesday; and the third week would bring back 500 students each day, with each grade level being brought back one day per week. Wednesday would remain an at-home asynchronous day for all cohorts.

Above is the proposed timeline for the transition to hybrid instruction. (via MVLA School Board)

As 37 teachers have already opted out of hybrid instruction, the District plans to hire and train more adult supervisors for classroom staffing. All staff will be trained in COVID-19 safety protocol as well as troubleshooting to offer on-site tech support to students.

Faught stressed the implementation of safety and mitigation measures — including face coverings, social distancing, ventilation, good hygiene, disinfection and checks for coronavirus symptoms — in any on-campus return, with supervisors for reinforcement. She shared plans to “zone” MVLA campuses into smaller sections of classrooms that would reduce the amount of contact between different groups of students.

Board Member Sanjay Dave raised concerns that hybrid learning would not adequately support students who are struggling academically, citing the increase in D and F grades from last semester. The District hopes to address potential challenges for teachers developing hybrid learning plans with strong communication.

District administrators also shared the results of an attendance survey outlining options for in person return administered to students last week, in which the senior and freshman classes were most in favor for an on-campus return.

The District will continue discussing plans to move forward at the MVLA board meeting next Monday, February 15.