With state grant, MVLA seeks to boost supports for targeted students

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY EMILY MCNALLY

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The Mountain View–Los Altos Unified School District is seeking to boost academic and social-emotional support for students with funds from the state’s Expanded Learning Opportunities Grant. 

Much of the funds are set to be put toward supporting academic recovery for credit-deficient students and providing professional development for teachers.

The board of trustees on June 1 approved the $2,520,000 expenditure plan for submission to the state, which outlines the district’s planned money allocation in broad strokes, leaving the specifics for later; Associate Superintendent of Educational Services Teri Faught at the board meeting said that was what the state expected, given the quick turnaround time for the application.

The one-time grant — which starts this summer and lasts through the summer of 2022 — is part of a state COVID-19 relief package meant to help schools recover from the effects of the pandemic and transition into the new school year.

In addition to offering summer school opportunities for students needing to recover credits to meet graduation requirements, the district will also offer “summer academies” for students in the Advancement Via Individual Determination program.

“It’s for students who are [in] AVID, to bring them onto campus to build their literacy, to build their communication and their skills and confidence,” Faught said at the board meeting.

Faught said that this year, the summer academies will work with incoming AVID students to give the “lay of the land.” Academies will have a math-focused component, to support students who have been identified by the district’s partner middle schools to be currently struggling in math.

The plan outlines a number of other planned supports for targeted students, which include offering after school library hours to support extended time for students to work on academics under supervision or with a tutor; an online credit recovery program; and providing support classes based on need. 

Funds will also go toward training teachers to “engage students and families in addressing students’ social emotional health,” and building learning communities after the pandemic.

The district will also expand its services with the Community Health Awareness Council.

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