School Reopening Plan

Return to Learn

The health and safety of our students, staff and families is of utmost importance. School at Mountain View Whisman this year looks much different due to health and safety measures required by COVID-19. Our district reopening plan focuses on both academic instruction to enhance student learning, as well as the ability to keep students and staff safe while learning. 

MVWSD’s guidelines are based on recommendations from the California Department of Education, Santa Clara County Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control, the Santa Clara County Office of Education and the Sacramento County Office of Education.

The changes that we have been talking about to protect students and staff members are taking shape. You might notice signage, checklists and other visuals that show MVWSD looks different as we act differently to slow the spread of COVID-19.

checklist iconTo see our weekly progress on our COVID-19 District Reopening Checklist, please click here

Click here to see our In-Person Learning Readiness Dashboard

link to covid question icon
To submit a question about our COVID-19 response, please click here

link to Dashboard graphic
 Link to MVWSD case numbers: COVID-19 Dashboard

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Reopening Update (updated Jan. 22, 2021)
Reopening Update- Spanish

Learning Options (updated Jan. 22, 2021)
Learning Options- Spanish

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link to reopening plan cover
Return to Learn: MVWSD’s school reopening plan (English)

Return to Learn: MVWSD's school reopening plan (Spanish)

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Return to Learn section links below

Health and Safety, What Families Can Expect, How MVWSD is Protecting Staff Members (Spanish)

Reopening Checklist (see our progress in the link above)

COVID Case Protocol, Illness Response, When to Close a Class/School/District 
(Spanish )

Academics in 2020-21

What Academics will look like in 2020-21

In August, 100% Distance Learning

Due to the upward trend in COVID-19 infections in our community, students started school August 17, 2020 in Stage 4 - “Connected” - 100% Distance Learning .

This is the same stage that we were in when school ended in June. Although distance learning can never take the place of in-person learning, we have worked to make our distance learning program robust.

All students are provided a Chromebook, internet hotspot (if needed) and consumable materials. All teachers post assignments on Google classroom.

Later, if COVID-19 conditions improve

When we reopen in Stage 3, MVWSD will have two options for parents: Option "B" - Blended In-Person + Distance Learning and Connected - Option "C" - 100% Distance Learning at home with teacher support.

Here is an overview of each option
Click here for information about  academics during COVID-19 conditions. (en espanol/Spanish) 

For more detail, please see our Academics During COVID page here.  
Frequently Asked Questions About Learning Options

to come


Please submit your questions to this form.

Comparison Chart- Connected & Blended Options

Click here to read more about the two options

Learning Options Comparison English
Learning Options Comparison Spanish

Dr. Rudolph's Jan. 22, 2021 letter about Learning Options
to come
Dr. Rudolph's Sept 18 letter about Learning Options

Frequently Asked Questions: School Reopening

Frequently Asked Questions about School Reopening- updated Sept. 2, 2020

Due to the upward trend in COVID-19 infections in our community, we started school on August 17 in Stage 4 - “Connected” - 100% Distance Learning for students.

How is Stage 4 - “Connected” - 100% Distance Learning the same or different from the spring?

This is the same stage that we were in when school ended in June. Although distance learning can never take the place of in-person learning, we can and we will work to make our distance learning program more robust. Just as in the spring, all students will be provided a Chromebook, internet hotspot (if needed) and consumable materials. All schools will have a Dashboard that is updated weekly, and teachers will post assignments on Google classroom.

However, there are two main differences from this spring:

1. More rigorous and robust learning experience for all students in our district including:

* Assigned teacher will provide daily/weekly instruction either in real time or as previously recorded lessons

* Teachers will provide small group instruction

* Daily attendance and assignment completion is required

* Feedback and grading will be given by assigned teacher

* Elementary:  standards-based grading on scale of 1 - 4

* Middle School:  letter grades

* Students and teachers will follow a daily schedule


2. Childcare will be provided on MVWSD campuses by Right at School and the YMCA for children of essential workers.  The admission guidelines are in development, but priority will be given to parents who are essential workers; healthcare, public safety, and school employees who must work in-person.

Is daily attendance and assignment completion required? 

Yes. Daily attendance and assignment completion is required, and feedback and grading will be given by the assigned teacher. Senate Bill 98 requires schools to create attendance logs, as well as develop reengagement plans

Please explain why we are requiring grades for K-5 elementary school children? 

Unlike the spring when MVWSD opted not to provide grades, the recently passed budget, which includes California Senate Bill 98, requires teachers to not only provide feedback, but also grade assignments.  
Elementary grades will be standards-based grading on a scale of 1 - 4. 
Middle school students will receive letter grades.

I filled out a registration the week of July 10 where I chose between two options: Distance Learning and a Blended Learning option. What did that mean?

We will use that data for District planning only. Later, if COVID-19 conditions improve and we can reopen in Stage 3, MVWSD will have two options for parents: Option "B" - Blended In-Person + Distance Learning and Connected - Option "C" - 100% Distance Learning at home with teacher support. Since conditions are changing rapidly, MVWSD will send later another survey to parents asking about their choices for Stage 3. 

Things have changed. Does my July 10 survey choice lock my student into either Option "B" - Blended In-Person + Distance Learning and Connected - Option "C" - 100% Distance Learning?

No, Since conditions are rapidly changing, we'll need to survey parents again later about their choices for Stage 3. So, no, parents will not be held to their answer on this current survey for Stage 3 placement later in the school year. 

I have to work fulltime and need childcare. Help!

During the time of COVID-19 and Distance Learning, MVWSD has partnered with providers Right at School, YMCA and Newton to provide on-campus, fee-based childcare, with prioritization for the children of full-time essential workers. MVWSD students in grades TK-5 may enroll. Please watch for registration information. 

Will distance learning in the fall be more rigorous than it was this spring?

We’ve worked hard to provide a more rigorous and robust learning experience this fall for all students in our district.

Under Stage 4 

Students will have daily check in meetings (5 days a week) with teachers to:

Take attendance

Review the day’s schedule (including Zoom meetings)

Review work expectations and assignments

Make social emotional connections and build classroom community

Minimum 30 minutes every morning

Students will have daily check out meetings (5 days a week) with teachers to:

Take attendance

Review the day’s assignments

Maintain social emotional connections

Minimum 15 minutes at the end of the day

Students will also have live instruction 4 days a week via a combination of whole class and small group Zoom.  At minimum, students will have live instruction in:

English Language Arts 



Social Studies

Designated English Language Development

Response to Instruction (as part of daily instruction by classroom teachers)

Live lessons will consist of a whole class lesson, independent assignments, and small group instruction. 

All classrooms will use Google Classroom to post daily assignments and Zoom links.  

How long will Connected - Option "C" - 100% Distance Learning last?

We'll continue to monitor COVID-19 conditions in Santa Clara County and if they improve, we could move to Stage 3, which would allow a combination of distance learning and in-person classes. 

Why did you have to go to Option "C" - 100% Distance Learning? How does MVWSD decide when it can move from one stage to another?

Due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases in Santa Clara County, MVWSD made the decision to implement Stage 4 - Connected - Option "C" - 100% Distance Learning on August 17 when school starts. 

A day later, the California Department of Public Health released updated guidance that all schools (public and private) and county public health officials must use to determine whether to reopen schools to in-person instruction. Schools and school districts can reopen for in-person instruction only when their county has been off of the monitoring list for 14 days. Santa Clara County has not met this guideline. You can find this state guidance at, by clicking on the “Industry Guidance” section, and scrolling down to the Schools tab.

To view the descriptions of Stages, please click here:

Why are Wednesdays different? 
On Wednesdays, students have a check-in time in the morning and check-out time in the afternoon, but they’ll work independently on their school work on this day. Wednesdays are professional development days for teachers. We chose Wednesdays because when we return to Blended Learning (combination in-person/online learning) in Stage 3, when it is safe to do so, this day marks the middle of the week. In Blended Learning, students will be on campus some of the week and in distance learning the other days. Wednesday will give the opportunity for school cleaning between the times that each cohort of students is on campus.

How will you introduce transitional kinders and kinders to Distance Learning?

We recognize that a student’s first introduction to school through online means is not ideal. Teachers will be working to foster relationships with students, in a socially-distanced manner. Teachers and administrators are working to develop these plans to foster social-emotional connections with teachers and students. 

How will school look in the fall for special education students and those with 504 Plans?

Special education teachers will connect with parents and their students through daily office hours and regular meetings and messages. They will collaborate with general education teachers to provide strategies and support for special ed students. The department, with guidance from state and federal educational agencies, will provide teletherapy to qualifying students. These virtual services include specialized academic instruction, speech, occupational, clinical, vision, physical therapies and augmented alternative communication. For any questions, please contact your child’s case manager or Arianna Mayes, Director of Special Education.

How much of instruction will be live, and how much recorded?

Some instruction will be asynchronous (recorded) although the majority will be done live through Zoom. Students will have daily live lessons with the exception of Wednesdays. Instruction will be a combination of live explanation and some small-group and independent work, which is guided by the teacher.

Why doesn't the middle school day start later?

Because we anticipate moving to Stage 3, Option B: Blended Learning at some point this year when conditions improve, we want to stay as close as possible to the current, in-person start times. These times allow staggered student drop off/  pick up times for increased student safety during COVID. Additionally, the staggered start/end times ensure that lunches and break times do not overlap and that student cohorts have ample space on the campus.

Will the District hand out Chromebooks and internet hotspots?

Just as in the spring, MVWSD continues to hand out a Chromebook and internet access to each student. Returning students should have theirs. Students entering MVWSD for the first time will receive theirs from their school. Students who have non-working Chromebooks should contact MVWSD Technology at 650-526-3252 or

Under “Connected: 100% Distance Learning” what would a day look like for elementary school students?

Please see

Under “Connected: 100% Distance Learning,” what would a day look like for middle school students?

Please see

When does the school day start during distance learning?

The middle schools will begin on grade-level staggered start times. The elementary schools would begin at each of the school's regular start times from last school year.

With distance learning, how will the material be adapted to the appropriate level for the child?

All teachers will provide grade level, standards-based instruction for all students. Teachers will also include small-group lesson time in the daily schedule to support the differentiated needs of students. 

Will teachers from each school be creating online content, or will select teachers be providing content for the entire district? 

Teachers will be delivering lessons live. There will be a district-level team of "virtual teachers" who will create and support classroom teachers in delivering online lessons. There may be some sharing between teachers in grade level teams. 

In online instruction, do elementary students have a homeroom teacher and teachers for STEAM/Physical Education/Art, etc. as they would for in-person school? 


Which middle school electives will be offered? How will the electives wheels work?

Students will be placed in an elective wheel during the school day.  Students will rotate through several different electives over the course of the school year.  Middle school teams continue to work on ways to provide additional electives.  More specifics will be available closer to the start of the school year.

How will students be assigned to middle school math classes?

Students will be initially placed in math classes based on the criteria set by the District in the Spring of 2020 after school closure.  All students will be re-assessed during the first week of school and their math courses will be adjusted based on the results.  Final student placement will be determined by the site principal.

For middle school students, what are the expectations for phys ed?
Physical education (PE) is a state requirement by law for students. Our PE teachers will continue to post five asynchronous lessons per week of PE.  We want to encourage students to get exercise, especially during this time of at-home learning. 

Students can complete PE during the 6th period afterschool or any other time during the week. Assigning PE in this timeframe gives students the flexibility to decide when they’ll complete a lesson. Students are responsible for completing 2 lessons each week.  They will submit assignments through Google Classroom to the teachers based on teachers’ directions.

In middle school, what will the class ratios be?

In Option "C" - 100% Distance Learning, they will be the same as usual (28-30). Option "B" - Blended In-Person + Distance Learning, only half of the class (i.e 14-15 students) will come two days a week and the other 14-15 will come the other two days in order to maintain social distancing

In stage 3 "B"- Blended Learning, what should parents expect in-person school to be like?

Arriving at school
Staff and students will be wearing face coverings. Students will arrive on buses with fewer students. Parents and visitors will have limited to no access to campus. New perimeter controls (i.e. gates and fences) will be in place to limit unannounced visitors.

Safety precautions
Schools will follow disinfection guidelines for classrooms and shared spaces.
* All students and staff members will be encouraged to wash hands regularly.
* Hand sanitizing stations will be placed at entrances to campus. 
* Student sharing of school supplies will be limited.
* Students and adults will be screened at school at the beginning of the day for fever and symptoms

Families should take their temperatures daily before going to school. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 F or higher or respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath should not go to school. Students and adults will be screened at school at the start of the day.

Face coverings will be worn by staff and students. Per CDC guidelines, schools must exclude students from campus who don't wear masks and are not exempt.

Gloves are not recommended for use by students or staff with exception of conducting duties such as cleaning, first aid, and Food Service.

Social distancing
Social distancing will help limit the spread of the virus. MVWSD will :

* Modify school schedules
* Keep students in small groups.
* Serve meals in small group settings.
* Space desks further apart to ensure 6 foot distance between students.
* Stagger lunch and recess times.
* Avoid large gatherings such as assemblies.

No field trips; Limited, outdoor sports and concerts
* In order to maintain social distancing, activities that require students to congregate will be limited.
* No off-campus field trips, such as Walden West, Yosemite, or other class specific trips.
* If social distancing is feasible, sports such as cross country and track and field may be permitted without spectators.
* Sports that involve close contact such as wrestling, basketball and soccer will not be permitted.
* Performing arts events that can be held in our outdoor amphitheaters may be held.

Schools and school districts can reopen for in-person instruction only when their county has been off of the monitoring list for 14 days. After that point, MVWSD would need  time to transition from Stage 4 to Stage 3.

Should parents begin to buy supplies from the lists in preparation for August?

Each student will need a Chromebook and internet access. Returning students should have theirs. Students entering MVWSD for the first time, or who have non-working Chromebooks should contact MVWSD Technology at 650-526-3252 or Schools will be sending out information soon about their supply lists.

How can parents volunteer during Option "C" - 100% Distance Learning?

We love our volunteers and want to keep them and our students safe. For that reason, we cannot allow parents to meet alone with groups of students online for instruction or study. Teachers may need support in other ways. Please contact your teacher when school resumes. 

Is there access to COVID-19 testing in MV for parents, staff members, and students?

Yes, there is free COVID-19 testing funded by the El Camino Healthcare District available for those who live, work or go to school within the District. Tests are required to be scheduled in advance and are available Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call 650-940-7022 to schedule your free test. For more information on testing and locations, go to

Other testing, locations and pop-up testing can be found here:

Can school libraries be opened to allow for social distancing book pick up/drop off?

At this time, in order to protect our employees, as well as students and families, there will be no library book pick up/drop off.

Will MVWSD continue to offer free meals?

Yes, free meals for children under the age of 18 will be at Gabriela Mistral Elementary (505 Escuela Ave) parking lot from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekday until Aug. 15. Starting Aug. 17, free and reduced price meals (grab and go during MVWSD Distance Learning) will be available at all school sites for students who registered last year for free and reduced price meals and the National School Lunch program. Full price meals will be available for students who have paid in advance online or have sent a check (including child’s school, child’s name, grade, teacher) to Food Service, Crittenden Middle School, 1701 Rock St., Mountain View, CA 94043.

In Stage 3, what happens when someone at school tests positive?

MVWSD will consult with Santa Clara County Public Health, but per current state guidelines:

* The classroom with the case will stay home
A school goes home if multiple cohorts have cases or more than 5% of the school tests positive
A district goes home if 25% of its schools are closed within a 14-day period


Dr. Rudolph's Reopening Update letter - Oct. 2, 2020
Schools Reopening Update

Dear Parents,

As you know, I have pledged my commitment to all of our staff, students and families that our district won't reopen for in-person learning until we can do it safely. Our commitment to our families and students is that all students will have the instruction and services that they need, delivered in a safe manner during pandemic times.

Over the past seven months, we all have been constantly thinking about how to safely reopen. My administrative team and I, our Board of Trustees, teachers and staff members have spent a lot of time reviewing data, making plans, and thinking through many different scenarios. 

Yesterday, I presented several distance-learning metrics that we are monitoring. Data shows that we still have challenges to address. We know that we need to work on reliable internet access for all students, middle school student engagement in some groups, and instructional support for special education and at-risk students. Our booming free meal pickup data tells us that the pandemic has been very, very difficult for a lot of families to make ends meet. We know that many families are struggling, both emotionally and financially. Distance learning has not been easy.

In addition to reviewing data, I have talked with many people. I have heard our teachers say they are worried about not being physically present in classrooms with their students. They are worried about their own health, and potentially exposing those they care for to COVID-19. I talk to my brother-in-law, both sisters and niece who are all teachers in Ohio. Everyone has talked about being anxious about not knowing whether school will open sooner or later and how different it might be. The greatest unspoken fear for us all is what if someone gets gravely ill with COVID-19 on our watch? 

The more we talk about reopening coming soon without a specific target date, the more stress we add to everyone’s lives. We have been so preoccupied with when we are reopening and who is coming back that is impeding our ability to focus on the remaining challenges.

For these reasons, it was my recommendation to the Board of Trustees at last night's meeting that we revisit in January a specific date for reopening for in-person learning at the end of the 2nd trimester.  (Meeting video here. Reopening starts at timestamp 4:52)

The bottom line is that I do not believe our community is in the best position now to reopen our schools. We will use this time to continue to refine distance learning, work to support students, and plan for our in-person reopening. It is my hope that the information about the timing will allow families to plan for the coming weeks with some kind of certainty, possibly reducing anxiety.

Thank you for talking with us over the last few months, and for continuing the conversation in the coming weeks at community check-ins and at the next Board meeting on Oct. 22. I am grateful for your support of our children and our schools.


Dr. Ayinde Rudolph



Childcare will be provided on MVWSD campuses by the providers Right at School, Newton (Stevenson) and the YMCA. Admission priority will be given to children whose parents are essential workers. 

For more information and registration links, see

MVWSD's COVID-19 Planning and Resources

Oct. 1, 2020 - Return to Learn Progress Update
Sept 17, 2020 - "Getting to Reopen " presentation
July 23, 2020 - Reopening in Stages 3 and 4 presentation
July 2, 2020 - Reopening Plan Presentation
Click here for the reopening plan presented to the Board of Trustees on July 2, 2020
June 19, 2020 - Supt.'s Community Check In - Reopening Plan Preview
June 9, 2020 - State Guidelines

Planning for school reopening

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From Dr Ayindé Rudolph, Superintendent

Dear Parents,

Yesterday the California Department of Education (CDE) released its COVID-19 planning guidelines for reopening school districts in the fall.

As you know, we began our reopening planning process in April. We have been tracking and ordering supplies, refining distance learning instruction, and revisiting policies and procedures. I have talked with many of you at check-in and committee meetings. We recently completed a week’s worth of focus groups with parents, staff and students. This was a time for us to hear specifics about our own community’s expectations and concerns around reopening school amidst COVID-19. We will incorporate this feedback, as well as state and county guidelines in the MVWSD reopening plan.

While there is much more work to be done, I feel good about where we are in our preparation process. Our reopening plan will continue to be updated as state and county guidance adapts to the changing landscape of COVID-19.

We anticipate the first phase of our reopening plan will be complete on July 2 when we present it to our Board of Trustees. Here are recommendations from leading health and educational agencies, including the CDE and the CDC, that will very likely be part of our plan.

  • Due to social distancing, fewer students will be on campus at any one time. It is likely our students will do blended learning, meaning they will report to campus for certain designated days, and then learn remotely on the other school days.
  • Students and staff members will be screened daily for fever/symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Students and staff members will wear masks, with some exceptions.
  • Students and staff members will be washing or sanitizing hands as they enter campus and regularly throughout the day.
  • There will be very limited access to campus for parents and volunteers.
  • Classrooms and shared spaces will be disinfected regularly.
  • Class sizes will be smaller with a minimum of 6-foot social distancing between individual student seats.
  • Recess and lunch times will be staggered to limit interactions between students.

We will continue to keep you updated as the planning unfolds. Thank you for your support as we plan for a safe and productive return to school on Aug. 17 for our students and staff members.


May 18, 2020 - School reopening planning
Video presentation: Reopening for the 2020-21 school year

In this video, Dr. Rudolph presents the planning process for how MVWSD is preparing to reopen. There are many unknowns about the future, but we are working to be flexible and adaptable for the benefit of our students, whatever the status of COVID-19 may be.

These plans will cover 14 dimensions: Governance, Health and Wellness, Equity, Curriculum, Human Capital, Nutrition, Facilities, Operations, Instruction, Resurgence, Enrollment, Communication, Technology, Finance. We'll define operations under each stage of reopening: Schools closed, Targeted opening, Open with Restrictions, Full opening using guidance from Santa Clara County Public Health and the Santa Clara County Office of Education. We will continue to update you as planning progresses.

To view the presentation, click here

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