Special Year-End Edition
Congratulations to the intelligent and resilient Class of 2020! As we complete a year that will go down in history as one that brought challenges across the world, the MVLA community showed a spirit of innovation and gratitude.
While we completed the school year, our staff has been simultaneously planning and preparing for the Fall of 2020. We are preparing for a variety of educational scenarios, ordering materials, and creating safety protocols. We know that as we plan, we need to be flexible as we will likely shift from one scenario to another in the Fall Semester.
We are currently planning for distance learning upon return for the next school year. We are also preparing for limited on-campus learning, and full return with safety mitigations. Our reopening task force is creating and prioritizing guidance. Thank you to our Task Force and Advisory Teams for your thoughtful planning.
Our Reopening Task Force will be sharing draft documents and engaging students and their parents during this process. We currently have students involved and will be creating a parent advisory team to provide additional review and input.
Data and guidance from Santa Clara County Public Health will be used to determine the safest path forward. The County Office of Education is also working to provide recommendations for the fall.
Today, Santa Clara County Health Officer, Dr. Sara Cody announced amendments to our local Shelter in Place Order which will allow multiple sectors and activities to resume beginning this Friday, June 5th.
Subject to social distancing protocols and safety requirements, the new order:
- Expands previously permitted business activity to include outdoor dining at restaurants and in-store shopping at retail locations.
- Permits all children to take part in childcare, summer camps, summer school, or other educational and recreational programs, so long as groups are limited to 12 or fewer.
- Allows outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people for religious services and cultural ceremonies.
- Allows outdoor recreational activities that do not involve physical contact, such as swimming, to resume.
- Permits car-based gatherings, including drive-in theaters.
Our team will be incorporating this new guidance into our plans and analyzing impacts.
This, under normal circumstances, would be a bittersweet time, and is made more so by the social gathering restrictions. Our teachers and administrators will miss our seniors profoundly. Their younger peers will miss them too. I think you may agree with me that the students in the Spartans Buddies club may express it better than all of us. Enjoy their 'senior send-off' video....a tribute to the Class of 2020....and to friendship and inclusion, in a time when it couldn't possibly matter more.
This week will be a busy week on our campuses as we carefully orchestrate the typical year-end senior check-out activities with ongoing social gathering restrictions. Here's what's in store for each campus - and it's important to note that photos/videos will be taken of the students; parents will not be permitted onto campuses to do so themselves, due to ongoing social distancing and social gathering guidelines.
Alta Vista High School
AVHS grads will come to campus on Wednesday and Thursday to turn in books and laptops, and pick up caps, gowns, and tassels. Once attired in the caps and gowns, they'll be escorted into the multi-purpose room to have a photo taken with Principal Bill Pierce handing each graduate their diploma case. The students will then have senior portraits taken. (They were not able to do this pre-shut down.) The diploma photos and grad portraits will be combined into a virtual graduation video to be shown at a date to be determined. They'll be including some senior speeches as well.
Graduating seniors will have their checkout and photos/videos taken today, and again on Wednesday, and Thursday of this week.
The first round of checkouts (textbooks, library books, instruments, sports equipment, uniforms, etc.) will take place this afternoon from 2 - 4:30 p.m. The checkouts/photos will continue on Wednesday and Thursday from 9 - 11:30 a.m., and then again from 12:30 - 4 p.m.
Students have been instructed to come at specific times (25 students spaced out over a 30-minute period), in caps and gowns. Once they complete checkout, they'll proceed to the track where a stage will be in place for them to proceed, collect diploma covers, have photos/video taken, and move tassels from left to right as they would in a typical graduation event. They will then be directed to leave campus as other students will continue to come on to campus in turn.
A date/location for the viewing of the virtual graduation ceremony is still to be determined.
Seniors will be checking out and having photos/videos taken this Wednesday through Friday at pre-assigned times from 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Students will come to campus, and will be monitored to ensure they are staying six feet apart as they move through the check-out area.
Already instructed to come to campus already in their caps and gowns, students will then proceed to the football field. A stage will be erected where students will stand, have their names announced and photographs taken before they turn tassels. Videos will be taken during these processionals. Students will then exit the field and return to their cars.
A date and location for viewing the virtual graduation is still to be determined.
REOPENING PLANS FOR 2020-2021
Our task force has been hard at work developing a plan for the reopening of MVLA schools for the 2020-2021 school year, with distance learning expected to be a primary teaching and learning modality. This is not a simple process, as we are needing to look at multiple options and strategies to allow for the greatest flexibility possible so that there are some opportunities for on-campus experiences and blending learning.
Our task force has been inclusive of strong representatives from the entire spectrum of school operations, from instructional to student support to maintenance and operations to technical support. These subcommittee groups have been working tirelessly to identify needs in these respective areas. They have also been looking exhaustively at options for enhancing and advancing the quality of distance learning tools and technology, as well as options for blended learning scenarios. The task force members will come together Tuesday to begin to synthesize all of this information and research as the next step in preparing for Phase III of our Distance Learning Plan, launching with the new school year.
The learning management systems we are exploring are showing us some very strong options for better supporting our online instruction and assessment.
As we complete the drafts of our reopening plan, we will be reaching out to students and parents to review, provide input, and help finetune so that all stakeholders have a part in shaping what our fall reopening will look like.
DISTANCE LEARNING & COLLABORATION
Phase II allowed teachers to leverage a vast array of virtual teaching and learning tools for distance learning, and use them in some truly inspirational ways and with exceptional resourcefulness and creativity. Their experiences and feedback are helping to establish an even stronger foundation for distance learning for Phase III. The commitment of our students has also been inspiring, and we thank them for their hard work and flexibility. Distance learning can be a real challenge and our students and staff have risen to it.
Over the course of Phase II, we explored resources to help support students' expanded use of technology and have created a Student Technology Support Guide to help answer students' "how to" questions on a variety of topics.
SUMMER SCHOOL 2020
For current 10th and 11th graders who earned a "D" or "F" in a course prior to this spring, or a "No Credit" mark during this distance learning spring semester, we have the following courses available:
- English: English Literacy/Composition, Intensive Literacy Workshop for English Language Learners
- Math: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry
- Social Science: U.S. History, World Studies
- Select Special Education courses
For incoming 9th graders, we are offering an Intensive Literacy Workshop for English Language Learners, and select Special Education courses. Incoming 9th graders may also retake math classes needed to advance to the next level in fall.
This year, we are also offering Health courses for the first time. These are offered to incoming 11th and 12th graders through MVLA Adult Education over three sessions. This is a separate enrollment through Adult Education. Learn more!
Right now, we are looking for coaches! We need coaches for Varsity Wrestling, Girls Varsity Basketball, and a Cheer/Rally coach. We also have positions open for College and Career Center Coordinator, Tutorial Center Coordinator, and an Adult Education night clerk. As always, we are recruiting year-round for one-to-one Instructional Assistant positions.