As the new school year nears, MVLA instructors innovate new ways to bring normalcy to virtual classrooms | Town Square | Mountain View Online |

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As the new school year nears, MVLA instructors innovate new ways to bring normalcy to virtual classrooms

Original post made on Jul 28, 2020

With the new school year set to begin Aug. 12, Mountain View Los Altos High School District has come up with two distance learning options.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 28, 2020, 1:56 PM

Comments (7)

1 person likes this
Posted by carmen
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 28, 2020 at 8:03 pm

Why shouldn't the teachers consider Option C; going back to the classrooms and teaching the students who opt for going back to school? So sad! they are hurting the children's education and the economy. The parents need to go back to work. Are we running a political agenda here too at the expense of our children?

6 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Jul 28, 2020 at 9:23 pm

We need to take an age-based approach to reopening that relies on our best science.
The body of science suggests students over age 10 begin to have adult COVID-19 risks, especially in high school.

This is fortuitous, since high schools and many middle schoolers, can handle remote learning better, and are better at having peer social interactions online.

We need to learn from Israel's mistakes and keep high school (and most of middle school) closed, so that we can open for under age 10 sooner. Under age 10 are less a COVID-19 risk, need in-person more, other nations report have an easier time following school safety procedures, and are easier to place in non-mixing cohorts, but all that won't help if we can't get community COVID-19 numbers down.

This is why it's concerning when MVLA still speaks of reopening once the county is clear. It would be safer and more pedagogically effective for MVLA faculty and high school students to focus on being unequivocally online for at least the term, such clarity may have reduced their need to have two remote options.

Students who can't do synchronous -could have- relied on recordings of live classes, thereby keeping their existing relationships they have with MVLA's talented faculty. It's a lot to ask of a teen to be successful with non-live classes with people they have no connection to.

Video on Recent Science on Children (UCSF):
Web Link

Article on Recent Science on Children (NY Times):
Web Link

Article on Israel's School-Based Outbreaks (Haaretz):
Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by MVHS parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 29, 2020 at 7:28 am

If you look at the website for UC Scout which is the teaching method for Option B there is limited class selection. No chemistry classes, only AP Physics, no regular physics, no honors classes, no Chinese or Japanese language classes. For any grade above Freshman the Option B is a very bad choice as it will derail a child's class plan especially if they have been taking Chinese or Japanese for 2 years already. The district will need to ensure a better class choice than what is currently listed on UC Scout. Option A is still distance learning and if we never make it back to the classroom this year then so be it. It will be better for the kids to have daily online interaction with teachers and peers than to have no human contact every day all year and just sit listening to online lectures

15 people like this
Posted by MVLA Teacher
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 29, 2020 at 7:59 am

If an Option C existed that was safe and allowed by the state and county, then I'm sure most teachers would like that. We miss our students and the classroom. However, the current mandate from the state is that any school that is in a county on a watch list MUST begin with distance learning. I don't see anything political about the health and safety of the community.

1 person likes this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 29, 2020 at 10:02 am

Thank you Mr. Chiang for your well informed opinion and your "scientific grade" information links. I also wish there was an Option C for those selected teachers and student/parents that wanted to try it. Particularly LCFF Target students that are already years behind on their Math and Language skills. They are 'suppose' to have 20% more money available for their extra educational program needs according to California Board of Education adopted regulations.

8 people like this
Posted by johnpanzer
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 29, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Chris Chiang makes good points. In addition to the health risks for teens, it is impossible to put them in stable cohorts without seriously compromising the differentiated instruction that high school provides. The situation can change but it seems unlikely to change to allow full physical return before the end of the school year — meaning, at best, a hybrid model if and when conditions allow it. Which means 50% virtual, so we should work to get really good at that.

Fortunately, child care is not nearly as big an issue for high schoolers as it is for elementary age children. In fact some high schoolers are providing child care for younger elementary age siblings — which speaks to another good reason to delay high school return to after elementary school, or at least have the option to do so.

These are difficult times for everyone and I hope we can work together to find the best options for our children.

5 people like this
Posted by Teacher
a resident of another community
on Jul 29, 2020 at 6:37 pm

Is this the nail in the coffin for public schools who are falling further and further behind their private school counterparts? Even the "best" public schools are failing our kids and our community. And it is not because of the teachers but rather the closed-minded, backward-thinking administrators who are not interested in trying to make lemonade out of the lemons they have been given.

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