In-School Distance Learning Experience: Student Cohorts


Ron Arel

First semester is over, and there is an ongoing debate about what the second term will look like for the students of Mountain View. Currently, the argument is between maintaining the online system versus returning in a cohort fashion. As of now, 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. 

Graphic courtesy of MVLA Reopening Framework Report

In this cohort system, students go to class with a small group and maintain safety precautions while still being able to experience the one-on-one interaction with the teacher that is lost through Zoom calls.

“I liked that I could work at my own pace without the feeling that I was restricted within a classroom setting”,  Senior Alexander Wieland, a participating cohort, said. “Although you lose some structure, I prefer it.”

According to some students, it all comes down to preference. There are students that prefers the free form structure of online school or the more regimented structure of the physical classroom.

“I like the cohort structure because it helps me stay focused and there are less distractions in the classroom than there are at home”, Junior Mason Pardi, another student currently enrolled in the cohort program, said. “At the end of the day, it’s a lot easier to get in contact with the teacher and that helps me a lot.” 

Next semester, these options will give students a much larger variety of learning styles to choose from based on their preferences within their own educational environments. Students who want a more hands-on teaching curriculum choose Option B, and others who are ok with how their first semester educations went, remain the same.