by M. Earle, Contributing Writer, Mountain View School District
The Mountain View School District is working diligently to develop a plan for beginning the 2020-2021 school year with the safety of students and staff at the forefront. The District has created a Task Force, made up of volunteer members from across the District including teachers, support staff, administrators, certificated and classified employees who are working together in 11 subcommittees to create a plan focused on safety, logistics, instruction and social/emotional supports. The goal is ensuring the District’s school communities are healthy and connected, and all students are receiving high-quality instruction that meets their needs.
“With the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic remaining fluid and ever-changing, our Task Force will continue to be a work in progress throughout the summer and we will adapt our plans on the latest recommendations and guidelines from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, California Department of Education, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education,” said Lillian Maldonado French, Superintendent. “Our plan is to begin the school year as scheduled on Monday, August 17, whether in-person, remotely, or a combination of both.”
Based on preliminary data from staff and parent surveys, MVSD’s Task Force is planning for multiple learning models for Fall 2020 ranging from students on campus, to a blended or hybrid model of students partially in person on campus and partially in virtual classrooms, to a fully virtual model in order to provide options for families to choose what they are most comfortable with for their children.
“We are intent on meeting the needs of our families and our Task Force subcommittees will be sending out a series of parent surveys to get more detailed input as we move forward with our plans,” said Maldonado French.
There are a variety of factors that will determine what the District will actually be able to implement in the Fall including updated county and state guidelines for schools reopening, what health and safety measures are required, available state funding for school budgets, staffing restrictions, extended childcare needs, and the overall COVID-19 health and safety situation in August.
MVSD’s maintenance and custodial teams continue to clean and sanitize the schools and implement modifications to school campuses, classrooms and offices to ensure accommodations for physical distancing and additional safety measures such as the installation of plexiglass, hand washing stations and hand sanitizing dispensers.
“There is nothing more that we want then to open our schools and welcome our students and staff back, but until it is safe to do so we remain committed to do all we can to provide meaningful learning to ensure health and safety for our entire Mountain View community,” said Maldonado French. “There are significant logistical challenges as we move forward with planning for the school year and we know it is difficult for everyone not knowing exactly what school will look like in the Fall, but we are embracing these challenges and working united as Team Mt. View to redesign our instructional program to best meet our students’ needs.”
The Task Force will continue planning, reaching out to staff, parents and families, and monitoring public health guidelines as it adapts to the ever-changing environment of COVID-19.