Webinar news brief: return plan concepts, cohorts


Abby Porter

Wednesday morning, the district outlined plans for another semester of modified learning in a webinar for students and parents. The webinar was hosted by Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer and featured multiple district administrators including Wellness Coordinator William Blair, Distance Learning Administrator Teri Faught, and Ursula Leimbach. 

The focus of the seminar was to outline possible plans for the spring semester, and inform students and their families about what modifications for safety would be made. 

“Wellness is an important part of what we’re doing.” Meyer said in an opening statement to students and their families. 

Currently, cohorts are available to ELD students, students who need academic support at Mountain View, Los Altos, and Alta Vista High School, students with unstable housing or internet access, AVID students and Up-First students. According to Meyer, the Mountain View Senior Center and other local faith-based organizations have made spaces available for more cohorts if needed. Students and staff in cohorts have COVID-19 testing available twice a month for free through El Camino hospital, said Meyer.

We do not know when we will return. But we know we will need a plan when we do.

Because of Santa Clara County’s recent climb into the most severe purple tier of daily COVID-19 cases, reopening action has been brought to a halt. However when more cohorts are added, Faught and Blair mentioned that athletic groups, student leadership groups like ASB, and additional students who need academic support would be the first to arrive.

In the event of county clearance, which would happen at a positivity rate below 5-8%, the district would assume a hybrid model. The exact model has not been determined, according to Faught, however the most likely scenario would divide students in half, with some attending virtually and others in-person until the groups periodically switch. 

For students interested in continuing with or switching to option B and using third party educational platforms, that will still be an option, according to Faught. In the event of a hybrid model, students and families who do not feel safe returning will have the option to remain in a distance model while still participating in synchronous classes, although the details have not yet been finalized, she added.

According to Faught, protective measures in a return to campus include plexiglass screens between desks, signage requiring masks and 6-feet distances, consistent air circulation, and sanitization of all campuses on a regular basis. 

Lunch and brunch models have not been decided upon according to Blair, who echoed the argument of students in the webinar’s chat feature by adding that, “This need to socialize is crucial to our well being,” which has been taken into account by the district in plans for a return. 

“We do not know when we will return. But we know we will need a plan when we do,” Meyer said.

District return plan graphic, highlighting current progress at cohort return. Graphic by MVLA Board.