FAQs About Reopening and Learning Options

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Why 14 days after the Red Tier?
MVWSD wants to surpass the county’s minimum requirements in interest of student and staff safety. We are still concerned about COVID case levels countywide, and Mountain View is seeing higher case rates than surrounding cities in the county. Additionally, there are other actions that need to be completed before we open for in-person learning. 

The minimum requirements for schools to reopen for in-person instruction are when the case rate is below 25/100,000 (CR<25) in Purple Tier and safety plans are completed and posted publicly. 

The county will move into the Red Tier when the CR is 7. MVWSD’s targeted reopening date of two weeks after the county enters the Red Tier gives parents and staff some clarity on timing and means a safer opening.

Will MVWSD apply for the waiver to reopen K-6?
Waivers were eliminated last month when the state updated its COVID guidance.

What else is left to do before we reopen?
Meeting the minimum requirements is just part of the process of reopening. Here is our In-Person Learning Readiness Dashboard (found on mvwsd.org/returntolearn). There are several actions that are still in process, namely collecting updated information from parents on learning options for their students, giving two week’s notice of reopening to our staff, and securing adequate substitute staffing.

Which students will come back to campus and when?
Our current plan is that reopening will occur in phases:

Group 1: PrK, K, 1st, SAI/SDC, 6th

Group 2: 2nd, 3rd grades, 7th

Group 3: 4th, 5th, 8th grades

What is the status of the required safety plans?
Our safety plans have been completed and submitted to Santa Clara County Department of Public Health as well as the California Department of Public Health for review. When they are approved, MVWSD will post them on our websites.


How can we attempt to bring back some vital community building events such as student photos or school yearbooks before the end of the year? Also, what is planned for the 5th and 8th graders at each school site to celebrate their promotion?
District administrators and principals will be brainstorming in the upcoming weeks. We definitely want to celebrate students as we’re allowed to (depending on the County’s risk Tier).


How are we managing extra social emotional concerns (such as suicidal concerns) about students due to the on-going effects of the pandemic?

We have not seen an uptick in the number of students requiring a suicide risk assessment this year. In fact, the number is lower than usual. It’s hard to say whether this means the issue is not as present here or it’s just being underreported due to being in distance learning. Mental health is an important initiative for MVWSD as we move forward with strategic planning and developing district and site initiatives.

What will COVID test frequency be for staff after reopening? Will students also be tested? Will testing be available at all school sites?

We will follow county guidance, and frequency is dependent on County Tier. Currently, response testing for exposed cases happens on an as needed basis.  Asymptomatic testing is done every 2 weeks. If there is an outbreak, we will increase to weekly testing for everyone. Students will follow the same testing cadence as staff. 

Since El Camino Hospital provides our testing services along with other Districts, their schedules are very tight.  We will inquire about the possibility of expanding testing at our sites.


Is there a date on the school calendar where if we haven't opened yet because of purple tier that we will make a statement to stay with distance learning for 20-21 and put our efforts for a strong August opening?
Yes, Dr. Rudolph will be talking with the Board of Trustees about what that date may be. 


If we open in the Red and then are back in the Purple Tier, will we remain open?
We are not sure yet. The answer will depend on the factors present at the time, such as case numbers in MVWSD, how many students are back in person, what Santa Clara County’s guidance is, etc.)


Is there a way that MVWSD could partner with El Camino or somewhere else to get vaccines for teachers? Relying on Kaiser or PAMF would mean that we would all be vaccinated at different times and reliant on their appointment systems.


At this time, the county has instructed individuals to work with their healthcare providers when they become eligible for a vaccine, within the established vaccine tiers. This is in flux. Very recently, the county stated that regardless of provider schedule, certain groups could get their vaccines. For the most recent information about vaccinations in the county, go to sccfreevax.org.


Would February break or Spring Break count in the 14 day counts?
It is possible that one of the two ramp-up weeks before reopening could be a school break. It depends on the date when the County passes into the Red Tier.


How does the district plan to deal with the possibility of children potentially spreading the virus asymptomatically after being exposed to a positive family member?
As required by the County, students who return for in-person learning will be tested on a regular schedule as well as staff members. The daily screener will help MVWSD to monitor and help families to follow the guidelines for coming into campus.


How will the district prioritize the safety of staff with the possibility of returning back to in-person instruction before they are vaccinated?
It is not likely that staff will be vaccinated before we return to in-person school. Both the CDC and state of California have stated that vaccination is not necessary for schools to reopen. We share your concern, and encourage you to urge county and state leaders to make educators a priority for vaccination. The District has taken many safety measures to keep staff safe upon return. Please see mvwsd.org/returntolearn


Do you have suggestions for how families can advocate for vaccine access for teachers and staff?
You may contact the Santa Clara County Commissioners and Santa Clara County Department of Public Health.


Will there be any other windows to opt in potentially later in the school year or will the learning options selection be set for the remainder of the school year with no changes/opportunities to switch?


There will likely be few opportunities, if any, to switch from online learning to hybrid/in-person learning. It’s important that parents answer the learning option survey with as much certainty as possible.


What is the time lag between introducing phases of students? One week each? Two weeks each?
We anticipate that it would be two weeks between groups, but that is not set in stone and is based on factors such as County Tier status, the timing of school breaks, etc.


What will PE, recess, and lunch look like for students on campus?
Students will stay with their classmates, so there will be no mixing of classes within the same grade level. At recess, there will be designated areas for each class to play in. For lunch, students will eat outside as much as possible, or inside classrooms, with their classmates only. Students will be seated 6 feet apart as they are eating and drinking with masks off.


Will the kids return to school and have the same teachers and cohorts they have now (online)?


Every effort will be made to keep students in the same cohorts with the same teachers. However, due to staffing, this will not be possible in all cases. There will be cases in which students request to return to campus, but their teacher does not. In these instances, principals will try to keep students with another teacher in the school’s grade level. In the Learning Options survey, parents will be able to show their preference for their students to “follow” their teacher to either distance learning or hybrid.


When/if schools reopen, will the teachers be present in the classroom for live instruction, or will they be remote?
Teachers will be present in the classroom for students on-campus in Option B/Blended learning. Students in Option C/Distance Learning will view their teacher on Zoom as they have been doing. The only difference for them is that there may be on-campus students in the classroom with the teacher. For more information, see the videos on https://www.mvwsd.org/AcademicsDuringCOVID.


What safeguards will be in place to protect both teachers and students?
Our safety protocols are extensive. Please see the Return to Learn plan on https://www.mvwsd.org/ReturntoLearn


What happens if someone tests positive for COVID after being on campus?


MVWSD has extensive protocols, based on Santa Clara County Department of Public Health requirements, for handling this. Please see the protocols for each scenario here.


If I chose Distance Learning for the rest of the school year, will that jeopardize my child’s placement in a choice school next year?


Please submit your questions to this form.



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