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All District Coronavirus Updates

June 18, 2020, 4:56 pm

A Message About School Buildings Reopening

Our District is committed to providing regular updates as we plan for the 2020-21 school year. We appreciate the planning from our administrators and the input from our Task Force as we navigate the transition to learning in the 2020-2021 school year. As shared as a step in our decision-making process, we have been taking guidance and direction from our County Public Health and County Office of Education partners. 

Today, June 18, 2020, the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services and the Marin County Office of Education released guidance regarding the return to site-based instruction for the 2020-21 school year. This guidance includes recommendations, practices, and protocols for site-based classroom instruction, including school buildings opening for learning 5 days a week and standard-class-size student cohorts.

We will continue conversations with our Task Force and provide a survey to our stakeholders to ensure that all systems and structures in Mill Valley School District ensure safety and sound learning for return to school for the 2020-21 school year. The feedback and discussion from our Task Force has included three different scenarios for return to school (in school with physical distancing and essential protective measures; hybrid model; remote learning), and all that has been shared has been truly valuable feedback. These discussions have generated many ideas and highlighted the focus on safety that all stakeholders share.

Safety measures at our school sites will include hand sanitizer stations in each classroom, outdoor hand washing stations, face masks and face shields, disposable gloves, plexiglass barriers in offices, and more, as well as social-distancing in cohorts and minimizing student contact in hallways or common spaces. 

We know that you will continue to have questions and ideas about what the future of our district should look like and structures that should be in place in light of this new information we have all received together. We will continue to provide information as it is available.

Highlights from the second Transition Task Force meeting will be available tomorrow.


April 13, 2020, 4:00 pm

Dear MVSD Community,

Thank you for continuing to partner with us during this remote learning period. We have updated our website to include a section devoted to Remote Learning resources, messages, FAQs, and more, and this is where you can find all updates and information going forward. Please check back regularly for updated information related to MVSD as these pages will continue to evolve.




 May 14, 2020 Board of Trustees Meeting

Thank you for supporting your child during remote learning, and thank you for your partnership with the district. If the shelter-in-place order is lifted prior to May 14, 2020, the Mill Valley School District regular board meeting will be held in person on May 14th at 6:00 pm in the Mill Valley Middle School library. If the shelter-in-place order is extended, this meeting will occur remotely. Information on how to access this meeting via your phone or computer will be provided on the Mill Valley School District website.

 


Grocery and Dinner Distribution For Families In Need

Dear Families,

Many of us can use a little extra help during this difficult time. To support our families, we are partnering with our Mill Valley PTAs and local businesses to distribute 50 pre-filled grocery bags to families who can use assistance.

This week, we are thankful to Petaluma based Miyoko's Creamery which is bringing its grilled cheese truck to MVMS and donating 200 plant-based grilled cheese sandwiches to our community. Learn more about Miyoko's mission here.

In addition, we would like to thank Kiddo! Business Partner, Proof Lab, for generously donating toilet paper to include in each grocery bag!  

Logistics:


Volunteers will be at the drop off lane at the Mill Valley Middle School this Wednesday evening to safely deliver the bag of groceries and 4 grilled cheese sandwiches each directly into your car at your appointed time. Sign-ups will be kept confidential. Please sign up for the time slot most convenient for you:

5:00
5:45
6:30
7:15

If you are a local business and would like to donate in the future, please contact our volunteer donation coordinator.


April 13, 2020, 8:20 am

Dear Families,

During this extraordinary time, I hope that you are all safe and well. Even as recently as a month ago, none of us would have thought we would be ending our school year apart, while still endeavoring to teach, learn, stay connected, and take care of each other.

As always, we are working with our teachers to ensure high levels of teaching and learning as we move through this new reality of teaching remotely. We have spent the last several weeks working with our teachers’ union to discuss the impacts of the new remote learning platform that you, your children, and our teachers are finding themselves in, to navigate, deliver instruction, and learn.

As the superintendent and leader of our public schools here in the Mill Valley School District, please know that teachers, administrators, and parents all share in expecting excellence for our students.

We reached a signed agreement with the union at the end of the day Friday to implement flexible learning activities to be provided to students to promote progression of learning aligned to state standards while students are not in school. As it has been this entire school year, the development and pace of instruction and choice of curricular materials will be at the discretion of your child’s teacher based on the available resources and your child’s ability to access curriculum.

District-provided curriculum resources and/or lessons that teachers can customize are being provided to our teachers to help them meet your child's needs. Teachers will provide lessons for your child starting Monday, but please also recognize that as a part of the negotiated agreement, your child’s teacher will be planning lessons, collaborating with colleagues, and engaging in training in distance learning platforms at the beginning of this week. As a result, your child’s work at the beginning of this week may look similar to work during the weeks before spring break. At the same time, some of your children’s teachers will launch into their new plans immediately. 
Please allow time for your teacher to communicate and expect that your child should be fully engaged by Thursday and Friday of this week in the new platforms. Additionally, please know that teachers’ primary focus on Wednesdays for the rest of the year will be planning and collaboration. While some other public schools have transitioned this to a four-day week for teaching and one day a week for planning, we have maintained the expectation that your children will receive five days of distance learning. I appreciate your patience and understanding that meaningful instruction in this platform requires a new approach and time to plan.

I join with our teachers and administrators in holding the highest level of expectations for teaching and learning and know that we will continue to improve as we strive for excellence during this time of distance learning.

As a newer leader in our Mill Valley School District, I have learned quite a bit about the understandings and expectations of our stakeholders. I have a personal commitment to uphold the highest standards of education for our students. There are many aspects of our schools that run smoothly and contribute to our stellar reputation.

There are other aspects, where I believe we have work to do. I will continue to navigate the systems and structures that have been built over the many years and work collaboratively with our stakeholders to change and improve in the areas where more is needed. I believe we need stronger quantitative measures to account for what makes our district excellent. What data do we use to determine where our kids start and where they improve and grow? Are we addressing the needs of all kids? What are we systematically doing to support our most vulnerable students? Some of these answers are readily available, and others will take time.

Thank you for your continued involvement. Our district has earned the reputation as a high performing district because of the excellent instruction, parent involvement, and student readiness that we see each day. We want nothing more than to meet and exceed your expectations and the highest standards we set internally.

Yours in Education,
Dr. Kimberly Berman


April 7, 2020, 12:09 pm

Dear Families,
 
School closure will extend through the end of the school year (June 11, 2020.)  This decision was made in collaboration with the six Bay Area counties and the Marin County Health Department. I understand how difficult it is to learn this information, and if circumstances change, schools will be prepared to reopen based on the recommendation of our Public Health Officials.
 
Now more than ever, we understand the need to meet the highest expectations for teaching and learning in this remote setting in Mill Valley School District. I miss seeing our students in our classrooms, and I will continue to visit them in their virtual classrooms. 
 
Common Sense is providing free weekly webinars. These two upcoming webinars on Wednesday and Thursday this week may be helpful. 
 
Helping Young Children Cope with Anxiety During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

Crawling the Walls: Teens During the Coronavirus Pandemic 
 
Thank you for supporting your children as we continue to operate in a remote setting. 
 
Yours in Education, 
Dr. Kimberly Berman 
Superintendent


April 3, 2020, 6:15 pm

Dear MVSD Families,

Thank you for your support and fortitude as you instantaneously transformed into at-home educators. Our hats are off to you, as we know that it has not been easy. We know you are balancing your own work and family care responsibilities as you navigate remote learning with your children. 

Our primary goal during this time is to ensure our students are safe, feel a sense of connection with their teachers, school, and each other, and know that we care about them. As always we will foster and maintain these connections through teaching and learning, and we will continue to have high expectations for student learning.

Our school district has prided itself for providing the highest level of teaching and learning in our schools. In this new remote learning platform, our goal is to provide an excellent experience for all students remotely. We hold the highest expectations for teaching and learning in Mill Valley School District. 

Our expectation is for teachers to curate and assign learning apps or learning websites to introduce new content. This allows for independent learning experiences wherein students can view or explore the new content at times that work within their family schedules. Students should be able to “rewind” and watch segments numerous times for clarification. Teachers will follow up with real time opportunities to review the new content, answer questions, and maintain connections with their students. 

The following teaching and learning commitments will be used for remote learning following spring break scheduled for April 6-10. 

Our Commitments to Remote Learning in Mill Valley School District

  1. We know that helping you and your child stay organized is important. 
  • We will provide easily accessible and manageable teaching and learning routines.
  • Lessons will be sent ahead so families may organize their time.

 

  1. Students need to feel connected during this time of social distancing. 
  • We will ensure real time interactions for your children. We will maintain virtual connections with students.

 

  1. Students need to continue to learn, develop, and grow academically. 
  • We will introduce new skills and concepts. 
  • We will provide support and check in on student progress and work completion.


Please know we hold the highest expectations for our school district to provide the very best education. We will continue to provide training for online platforms for our staff, and we will be “visiting” classrooms, just as we do in our schools. 

Yours in Education, 

Dr. Kimberly Berman, Superintendent

Remote learning will follow the time guidelines provided below. Please note that the typical school day includes transitions, breaks, lunch, recess and other interactions that do not happen in an online platform. The times below are an estimate for learners, and there will be days when your children breeze through some lessons and days when they struggle a bit longer with topics. Please honor your child’s personal journey in learning. 

  Expected Time
(Kinder)

Expected Time
(Grade 1)


Expected Time
(Grade 2, 3)
Expected Time
(Grade 4, 5)
K-5 Specialists
(Library, Music, Art, Spanish)

Expected Time
(Grade 6, 7, 8)


Daily Minutes   ~1 hour, 20 min/day ~2 hours/day ~2 hours, 25 min/day ~2 hours, 45 min/day ~60 minutes per week ~3 hours, 30  min/day


Here’s an example of a schedule of a 3rd grade student’s day: 

8:40-9:00 a.m. Review messages and the plan from your teacher. 
9:00-9:20 a.m. Independent Reading 
9:20-9:30 a.m. Discuss your reading with another person at home or adult, or Journal your connections. 
9:30-10:00 a.m. Engage in learning provided by your teacher. 
10:00-10:10 a.m. Brain break- play a game, use the restroom.  
10:10-11:00 Engage in learning provided by your teacher. 
11:00-11:40 Lunch 
11:40-12:00 Independent Reading and Journaling.  
12:00-12:30 Engage in learning provided by your teacher. 
12:30-12:40 Brain break-play a game, use the restroom. 
12:40-1:10 Engage in learning provided by your teacher. 
1:10-1:40 Engage in adaptive learning platform 
1:40-2:10 Zoom meeting with teacher.
2:10-2:25 Afternoon Recess 
2:25-3:00 Organize, follow up with the teacher, and choice time. 


April 1, 2020, 5:09 pm

Dear Mill Valley School District Community,

It was difficult to predict what it would mean when our school buildings closed on March 13th. Since then, we have been working behind the scenes to solidify plans and put our effort into delivering instruction in a way we have never had to do in our public school system- virtually and fully online. 

We know you expect the highest level of instruction here in our community. We are grateful for your support and ongoing feedback. We want nothing more than to bring your child the personal connection and level of learning we know they need. We will share our district expectations with you in a follow up communication later this week. We encourage you to continue to submit your questions, feedback and suggestions.

As you likely heard, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond made a statement that California schools may be closed through the end of the school year and Governor Newsom spoke about it today during his press conference. What is clear is Tony Thurmond's quote: "This is in no way to suggest that school is over for the year, but rather we should put all efforts into strengthening our delivery of education through distance learning." 

We understand that the shelter in place is in effect until May 3 at this time. Once the shelter in place is lifted, we understand that you will rely on us to be back in our classrooms too. We do not know if that date will change, and like you, we are listening closely so we may prepare. 

We have been working to provide remote learning to all of our students and continue to do so, preparing to offer education in this way through the end of the school year if needed. As a district, we continue to take State and County directives and will update you as we receive new information.

Working in partnership with our neighboring school districts, we are raising funds to provide grocery gift cards to the approximately 1,000 Southern Marin public school students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.

We have had a great initial response to our fundraising effort. In just a few days, community donations have totaled nearly $100,000!

100% of funds raised go directly to buy grocery cards, and your donations are tax-deductible through our partner, Adopt a Family. Please help us reach our goal of $500,000 by donating today, so that we can distribute the grocery cards the week of spring break. If you have any questions, please email our volunteer donation coordinator.

DONATE HERE

We understand that remote learning creates a hardship for families, and it is not the delivery model we would prefer for teaching our Mill Valley Learners. We know you are balancing your own work and family care responsibilities as you navigate remote learning with your children. As soon as clearance is given, we will return to regular, in-school teaching and learning. Until then, we will work to provide your children with the highest level of instruction.

With sincere gratitude, 
Dr. Kimberly Berman 
Superintendent


March 25, 2020, 4:22 pm

Dear Mill Valley School District Community,

Thank you for all your support during this transition to remote learning. We created an FAQ page to answer some questions we have already received. We are certain many of you have additional important questions. Please use this form to ask any question you would like. 

We will continue to provide updates as needed for the remainder of the remote learning period.

How Can I Help Others During This Time?

Grocery Gift Card Fundraising

Dear Mill Valley School District Families,
 
As we move through these unprecedented times, many of you have reached out to see how you can help the most vulnerable in our school community. To provide direct assistance to our families as quickly as possible, we have joined together with neighboring districts to provide grocery gift cards to district families who qualify for free and reduced lunch*.
 
We are partnering with Adopt a Family of Marin for this effort, and your tax-deductible donation can be made here. This initiative is an opportunity for our community to collectively help families who may be food-insecure during these extraordinary times. 100% of your donation will go directly to gift cards for distribution on a per-pupil basis. If you have questions, please contact the fund’s volunteer donation coordinator.
 
If you or someone you know needs additional assistance and doesn’t qualify for free and reduced lunch, please reach out to Adopt a Family directly.

This fundraising effort will end on Friday, April 3rd so that we can distribute the cards expediently. If your circumstances allow, please donate today.

Best Regards,
Dr. Kimberly Berman
Superintendent

*These grocery cards are in addition to the current administration of our National School Lunch Program.

Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Opportunity

If you would like to volunteer time as a disaster service worker in the capacity of a childcare provider at designated facilities in the county, please fill out this volunteer form and click on “parent or community member.” Your information will be forwarded to the Office of Emergency Services of Marin County to be called for service. 

N95 Mask Donation

Additionally, if you have any extra unused masks (rated N95 or better) that you would like to donate to our local hospital workers, please fill out this form.

Operations Update:

All staff are being compensated as they normally would and all health and welfare benefits are being maintained. As a community-funded school district (basic aid), the district does not anticipate any changes in funding at this time. Remote learning and operations will continue. 

Facilities Update:

The Mill Valley School District closed all school playground equipment until further notice after receiving updated guidance from the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services. Thank you for practicing physical distancing and refraining from using playgrounds.

Communications Update:

ParentSquare, the communications system we launched this fall, has many features for connecting that we have been exploring. Our approach to communicating, teaching, and learning is evolving as we respond to this new remote learning opportunity. We are in the process of opening up the direct messaging feature to allow one-on-one conversations. You may expect to be notified of this feature when it is available at your school site. 

Additionally, we are launching a district-wide parent group in ParentSquare. This will be a space to allow for greater collaboration among parents where you can connect with each other, share tips and tricks, and ask questions. This group, called “Parent Discussion” is available under Groups from the ParentSquare school home page. As this is a district resource, we will determine its effectiveness in achieving this goal over the next few weeks. Thank you for your continued partnership.

Curriculum and Instruction Update:

Through the collective work of teachers, administrators, and staff, we are striving to provide meaningful learning experiences to our students every day. These daily lessons and teacher contact help ensure students maintain their skills and stay connected to the caring adults in their school community.

The middle school made the shift to progressive learning this week. Students are learning new content and advancing through the curriculum in each of their classes for 180 minutes of daily work. Along with receiving and submitting assignments via Google Classroom, students are engaging in lessons through Zoom and Google Hangouts Meet. Middle school staff is providing additional support for students through daily office hours, individual check-ins, and feedback provided via Google Classroom and email. All of these efforts have helped our middle school students stay on top of their work and navigate the experiences of remote learning.

Elementary schools are transitioning through the phases toward progressive learning. Last week, elementary staff were engaged in phase 1, which focused on setting routines and working out logistics for remote learning, as students participated in 60-90 minutes of daily assignments. This week and next, elementary sites are engaged in phase 2, in which routines for staff and students are being solidified and skills are practiced. Teachers are curating online resources to develop their lessons and exploring virtual meeting platforms to connect with students. We are in the process of selecting digital instructional resources that will be made available to all elementary teachers to serve as backbone curricula in each content area. The shift to progressive learning will take place starting on April 13. Elementary students will be assigned work that advances their grade level learning and skills each day.

Thank you to all MVSD staff for your part in supporting students and each other as we engage in remote learning. Thank you families for supporting your child’s learning at home. We understand the tremendous effort you are making to support your child’s remote learning experience.

Technology Update:

Low Cost Internet Options

Both Comcast and AT&T have high speed Internet service for eligible families for $10 or less per month with no contracts. Installation is free and during the COVID-19 emergency, both companies are offering two months free. Information on Comcast's Internet Essentials can be found at this website. Information on AT&T's Access program can be found on their website here or by calling 855-220-5211. If you know of a family that may benefit from either of these programs, please pass this information along. 

Comcast also announced that during the emergency, all Xfinity WiFi Public Hotspots are now open to everyone on the “xfinitywifi” SSID. No account or payment is needed. Public hotspots can be found in a variety of areas, and many can be accessed while in your car to maintain safe physical distancing. Visit this link to find an Xfinity hotspot near you and get more information.

Devices

District elementary schools are currently coordinating to provide access to devices for home learning to families with a need. Your child's teacher should be reaching out with a brief questionnaire this week regarding your child's ability to access lessons at home.  Based on the data, we will plan for the distribution of devices starting next week.

Privacy

During these extraordinary times, teachers are using a variety of new technology tools, and are having to learn and experiment.  In order to bring meaningful connection and enhanced learning to students remotely, they are recording audio and video messages, doing screencasts, having remote video meetings with groups and individuals as well as regularly communicating about lessons. In all of this activity, please keep in mind that the recording and/or sharing of any videos, lessons or materials should only be done with the explicit permission of the teacher. We want to respect and ensure everyone's privacy and security.

Technology Problems at Home


Google and many other services are getting unprecedented traffic due to the number of students and adults who are now learning and working from home. Some of this is causing websites and specific features, such as video streaming and uploading Google Classroom assignments, to not always work smoothly. Your patience is appreciated as companies work to adjust to the demand. Here is a brief list of things to try if you are having technology problems at home:

  • Turn the WiFi off, wait 10 seconds, and turn it back on
  • Try using a different web browser
  • Try quitting the app/program you're using completely and re-launching
  • Clear the browser cache and cookies
  • Restart the device
  • Finally, be patient and try again later!


Student Services Update:

The Student Services department is continuing to look at the individual needs of our students.
 
Our special education staff and related service providers have been working together to review the contents of IEPs and are developing an alternative plan and service model to provide to students during this remote learning period. 
 
Our counselors are continuing to support our students’ social and emotional learning. The elementary counselors will continue to provide lessons to your child’s classroom and the middle school counselors are contacting the students that they work with individually. All of the counselors are available to meet with any student or parent who needs extra support. Please contact your principal for details. Additionally, our district nurse is available to answer any questions related to a student’s existing medical concerns. 


March 25, 2020

Dear Mill Valley School District Community,

At this time, Mill Valley School District will extend the closure of schools and maintain remote learning through May 1, 2020. Please see the press release here. Additional district updates will be forthcoming later today.


March 20, 2020

As of yesterday afternoon, we were advised to leave playgrounds open for exercise and play. As of today, this order has been changed. All playgrounds are now closed. All school yards that are able to be locked will be. 

 

Thank you for all your support during this quick transition to remote learning. We are working to communicate with you in a timely manner. We are certain many of you have important questions. Please use this form to ask any question you would like. 

 

Answers to questions provided on this page.


March 19, 2020

There is no new district-wide update for today. We will update you with a district message on Wednesday, March 25th. School remains in online learning status. There are no further district updates at this time.


March 18, 2020, 5:18 pm

A Message from Dr. Kimberly Berman, Superintendent

With very little notice, you and our staff have transitioned to a new way of teaching and learning. We are still working out the logistics, and our staff and administrators have appreciated your support and feedback as we transition to this unexpected and new opportunity. We will provide further information regarding the progression of lessons from teachers as this remote learning period continues. 

I would like to take a moment to let you know how incredibly proud I am of all of our children across the district as they are rising to this new challenge of online learning. I know that you, as parents, are working hard to provide your children with structure and guidance. Your children’s teachers, support staff, and administrators have shared wonderful stories of how well everyone is approaching this new opportunity to learn. Please know that we want your children in our classrooms, and we will be ready to transition back to on site learning as soon as it is safe to return.  Hang in there, parents!  -Dr. Kimberly Berman, Superintendent

For some lighthearted fun, we want to share some photos of staff remote working spaces and student remote learning spaces on social media. You can also share yours by posting with #MVSDRemoteLearning.


March 17, 2020,. 4:39 pm

Dear Mill Valley School District Community,

We will be providing a daily update throughout the closure. 

The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that if a staff or student is confirmed, through testing, to have COVID-19, those individuals meaningfully exposed to that person will be notified by the Health Department. Our classrooms and schools would be places considered as meaningful exposure spaces to this point. We have received no notification of any local cases. 

Additional legislation related to schools during this time continues to be developed. AB 117/SB 117 will enact statutory changes including:

  • Waiving Education Code sections regarding instructional days and minutes requirements for local educational agencies that closed schools due to COVID-19.
  • Specifying that the Department of Education shall consider the days a school is closed due to COVID-19 as days between a pupil’s regular school session, up until the time the school reopens and the regular school session reconvenes to determine a local educational agency’s compliance with the special educational timelines and services provisions.

While we understand the challenges of remote learning, we are thankful that our students are able to access educational resources directly from their teachers and continue learning. Thank you for your partnership during this time and the support of your student’s learning at home. We understand you have many questions related to what this will mean for your child’s educational development, and as soon as determinations are made by the state, we will share our local plan with you.

We created a page on our website with resources and information related to COVID-19 if you’re interested in further details from government agencies and other resources.


March 16, 2020, 4:55pm

 

Dear Mill Valley School District families,

 

Mill Valley School District is now closed through spring break, to re-open on April 13. More details are below. 

 

Remote lessons commenced today, and you or your child should have received a message from your child’s teacher(s). We hope everything has been as smooth as possible! Please reach out to your principal or directly to your teacher if you have encountered issues. 

 

Marin County Shelter-at-Home Order



Today, Monday March 16, the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services and six other Bay Area jurisdictions announced a new shelter-at-home legal order to slow the transmission of COVID-19. This order directs residents to remain at home for three weeks beginning tomorrow, limiting activity, travel, and business functions to only essential needs. 

 

Scientific evidence shows that social distancing is one of the most effective approaches to slow the transmission of communicable disease. The shelter-at-home order follows new data of increasing local transmission of COVID-19, including 258 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with four deaths shared by the seven jurisdictions as of March 15. This includes nine confirmed cases in Marin. This does not account for the rapidly increasing number of assumed cases of community transmission.

 

This order is in effect until April 7, 2020 until 11:59 pm. Therefore, Mill Valley School District schools will be closed through Spring break, to re-open on April 13 unless further notified.

 

To answer questions related to the Public Health Order, Marin County Health and Human Services created an extensive Q&A document to help understand the order. 

 

Reminder: Do Not Access School Buildings

All staff, students, and community members are prohibited from accessing school sites. Please do not access your school building during this time until we inform you that buildings are opened.

 

Social Distancing

 

Further, “social distancing” has been recommended by public health agencies, which includes remaining 6 feet from others. Now that shelter in place guidelines have been issued, please ensure your family is implementing this legal order

 

Free and Reduced Lunch Program

 

As a reminder, we will provide lunches for students signed up through our National School Lunch Program each day. If you have any questions or need support in accessing lunches, please let your principal know. Direct emails to your principal will be the most efficient way for us to personally support you. Principals and staff members have food for students who were unable to pick up their lunches during the designated time.

 

Thank you to Mill Valley Market for collaborating with us to support these students! 



Communication

 

As we receive further information from the Marin County Office of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), we will provide it to you as soon as possible. We will provide information that is relevant to student instruction and district plans. We have received many requests from parents to share other parent tips and resources and we suggest that this type of information is shared via other networks (Nextdoor, personal social media, etc.) so we may concentrate our messaging on educational updates. 


Thank you for your continued partnership during this time. We are engaging in daily conference calls at the County level. Administrators are meeting virtually twice each day. Additionally, you can find updated information on the DHHS website.

 


 

March 16, 2020 - 10:05 am

If you foresee any issues accessing the Internet, devices, or lunch program meals, please email your site principal and they will work with you to address your needs, questions, or concerns. The Mill Valley School District has plans in place to support any family and will work to specifically address individual needs.

The Mill Valley School District will provide lunches for students signed up through our National School Lunch Program. If you are signed up, you should have received an email on Friday. Please check your email again this morning for details on the time and location. We will be providing lunch each day. If you have any questions or need support in accessing lunches, please let your principal know. Direct emails to your principal will be the most efficient way for us to personally support you.

Reading

You have already begun receiving assignments from your teacher(s). Another great activity to do outside of teacher assignments is reading! Please visit your school’s library website for digital resources and more. Further, Common Sense Media has many book lists and reviews including age-appropriate levels. Here is a fun list of “50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12.”

ParentSquare Settings

At the elementary level, since you and your student will be receiving daily messages with assignments from your teacher(s) by 10am following the Continuity of Learning Plan, you may want to check your ParentSquare settings to ensure you are receiving “instant” notifications rather than a daily digest. To change your settings, please follow these instructions. You can also check the ParentSquare app each day to view the posts.

 


March 13, 2020 - Temporary School Closure

Dear Mill Valley School District Community,

At this time, schools will be fully closed starting Monday, March 16 through March 27th. Please see information below regarding the Continuity of Learning plan for the elementary and middle school levels as well as more relevant information.

Today is a regularly scheduled non-student day for staff development. Staff are finalizing their plans for continuity of learning to help your children to remain engaged throughout the closure and should remain available via email. Additionally, administrative staff will remain available and all staff will be paid throughout the closure.

As you know, the arrival of COVID-19 in the Bay Area has created a dynamic situation for all of us. The Mill Valley School District (MVSD) administration, staff, and Board of Trustees have worked together to monitor the situation and determine the most effective steps to ensure the health and well-being of every member of our community while following State and County regulations. We continue to partner with the Marin County Office of Education and Marin County Department of Health and Human Services. Both organizations have worked in partnership with MVSD and all other public school systems to keep students and staff safe.

We have decided to temporarily close school beginning Monday March 16th. We will provide district information to families daily by 5 pm via ParentSquare.

This action is being taken in accordance with social distancing recommendations in order to protect students and staff and stem the spread of the virus. We would like to emphasize that there are no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 among MVSD staff or students at this time.

During this temporary closure, all school and district events will either be cancelled or postponed. All school-related events or facility rentals during the temporary closure are cancelled or postponed. Our schools will be closed to all staff, students, and community members for deep cleaning by an outside service. Playgrounds are being sanitized today. They will then be sanitized again immediately prior to reopening our schools. Doors will remain closed at all sites until reopening to prevent exposure.The Superintendent’s office will continue to communicate the status of closures in daily updates.

Campus Closure and Continuity of Learning

The district has developed continuity of learning plans for both the elementary and middle school level to maintain learning for our students while they are not able to receive regular instruction. The resources and lessons prepared by teachers, and provided to students, each day will be focused on reviewing previous curriculum and deepening core knowledge and skills. We suggest that you set up a consistent “classroom space” in your home for students to engage in their work if they are at home all day. Find a space where there isn’t anything distracting for them as they engage in this work.

Middle school students should all have an iPad.  Elementary students who have no device to use at home should contact their school site principal. All families who need to borrow equipment will be responsible for turning it back in, in the same condition, to the school when we reopen. For this process, families will need to sign the 1:1 Program agreement form which specifies responsibilities and expectations for use of district technology.

Elementary Schools
At the elementary level, teachers will send daily messages to families via Parent Square with the students’ assignments for the day. Students will receive assignments related to independent reading, math, science/social studies, writing totaling 60 min/day for grades K-1, 65-70 min for grades 2-3, and 90 min for grades 4-5. There will be additional assignments each week related to art, music, PE, library, social-emotional learning, and Spanish (grades K-1). The intention is to practice prior learning, maintain skills, or deepen their learning through a variety of resources on a topic studied in class. If parents/guardians foresee any issues accessing the Internet, devices, or lunch program meals, please reach out to your site principal, who will make themself available, and will work to personally address needs on a case-by-case basis.

Middle School
In the event that school is closed, the Mill Valley Middle School will move to a Continuity of (Remote) Learning utilizing Google Classroom. Teachers have been working on creating Continuity of (Remote) Learning activities for students during the school closure, and they will be posted in each teacher's Google Classroom. Teachers are meeting this morning and further details will be shared directly from this school this afternoon. In preparation, it is recommended that students:

  • Ensure that 1:1 MVSD iPads are at home each night and are properly charged (contact school if iPad is in office)
  • Keep journals, independent reading books, textbooks, or other class folders in a safe space and ensure you have access to them
  • Set aside any materials such as paper, pens, calculators, rulers, or anything you will need in the event of a school closure
  • Create a space in your home to allow for a Continuity of (Remote) Learning such as a desk in common area, kitchen table, dining room table, office, etc. or any place that is free of distractions
  • Complete all activities as assigned by the teacher and as directed in Google Classroom (either submit in Google Classroom, write in journal, etc.)

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities will have equal access to the same educational opportunities as the general student population.

Further Communication

We will continue to communicate with families on the status of the closure. Thank you for your support, patience, and guidance as we navigate this unique situation. Finally, please find a recap of all communications related to COVID-19 on our website.


March 13, 2020 - Coronavirus Resources from It Takes A Village PTA

 

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Resources

March 11, 2020 Staff Update

Dear Mill Valley School District Staff,

We will continue to update you and the community with any information regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) that we receive from the Marin County Office of Education and the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services. Below are a few updates and reminders.

 

Reminders - If You Are Sick

Before each school day, please do a self-evaluation to ensure that you are fully healthy and well prior to being in contact with students and other staff members. If you have the following symptoms, please do not come to work: Fever, Cough, Respiratory Symptoms, Shortness of Breath. If you have had a fever, please stay home until fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours.

Also please remember to wash your hands frequently throughout the day to help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. Thank you for serving the Mill Valley School District students.

 

Mill Valley School District Proactive Measures

In light of the recent novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, following the guidance of the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Mill Valley School District has enacted the following proactive measures to help reduce the spread of viruses:

 

  • All indoor events with 100 or more attendees from March 9-23, 2020 are canceled or postponed. 
  • A weekly sanitizing process has been implemented for all school sites and classrooms, in addition to a nightly cleaning process for all surfaces.
  • Continuity of Learning plan expectations have been created for students to maintain learning if a school closure occurs. The intention is to practice prior learning, maintain skills, or deepen their learning through a variety of resources on a topic studied in class.
  • Information has been provided to families and staff regarding our communications protocols, and we have provided regular updates from the DHHS.
  • A message has been posted in our substitute system for substitutes to self-evaluate for symptoms before taking a substitute position.
  • A policy for guests and staff to refrain from handshaking has been posted at the district office and school offices.
  • Hand sanitizer has been provided to each school site for frequently used spaces such as front offices.
  • Handwashing posters from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been provided for all student and staff bathrooms in all school sites and the district office.
  • “Social distancing” will be implemented for the March 12, 2020 Board of Trustees meeting and other events of under 100 attendees.

 

Cleaning Laptop Keyboards

Here's what the technology department recommends for cleaning laptop keyboards:  

First, make sure your laptop is completely off and unplugged from power. Then, use a clean cloth - cotton, such as an old, clean T-shirt, works best, and some rubbing alcohol (isopropyl). Put a small amount of alcohol on the cloth to clean the keyboard. Do not ever spray or apply anything directly on the laptop!  The cloth should not be wet enough that liquid may get into the keys. For any stubborn grime, put a tiny amount of alcohol on a Q-tip or cotton ball to clean.  Again, make sure the cotton is not saturated so as not to get liquid into the computer.

If you also want to clean your screen, do NOT use alcohol or any other type of chemical cleanser (such as glass cleaner). Only use a clean, soft cloth (cotton or microfiber, like those used to clean glasses). If you wipe with a medium amount of pressure, you can remove any dirt or fingerprints.
This process is for personal laptops - keyboards that are accessible during evening cleaning will be wiped by custodians. If you have any questions, please contact Jim Bowlby, Director of Technology.
  

 


 

March 11, 2020 - Why aren't we closing schools as a precaution?

As a public school district, we follow the guidance of the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for any action related to coronavirus (COVID-19). At this time, the DHHS has recommended canceling non-essential indoor events with 100 or more attendees to reduce the spread and keep our most vulnerable community members safe. We have implemented this recommendation.

 

Currently, the DHHS is not recommending to close school as that is an essential gathering that they do not deem necessary to cancel at this time. Educating students is our priority, along with keeping students and staff safe and healthy. We have implemented regular deep cleaning and sanitization protocols as a measure to help prevent the spread of viruses. If guidance from the DHHS changes or if a student or staff member receives a positive test for COVID-19, we will follow the County directive. 

 

Our schools are following the guidance of Public Health officials. If you would like to share your message with the Department of Public Health, please do so at covid-19@marincounty.org


March 9, 2020 - 4:36 pm

 

The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is recommending the cancellation or postponement of nonessential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people to prevent the spread of COVID-19, commonly called the novel coronavirus. This recommendation is in place for two weeks and will be re-evaluated as new information becomes available.

Therefore, the Mill Valley School District will follow the guidelines and all nonessential gatherings of more than 100 people are cancelled until March 23rd. Assemblies, dances, sporting events, and other gatherings that meet the criteria of more than 100 people are cancelled. Please see the Mill Valley School District website for continued updates as well.


March 9, 2020 - from District Newsletter

Cleaning
This past weekend, the district began what will now be a weekly cleaning process to fully sanitize all of our school sites in each classroom and space. The cleaning agents used are probiotic-based multi-task cleaners. This product is completely safe and has been previously used in district classrooms. All cleaning products used by the district are green seal products that are not only safe for students and staff but also for the environment.
 
In addition to this weekly cleaning, custodians have been instructed to spray wipe all surfaces daily until further notice. This includes doors, door handles, hand railings, water fountains, windows, sinks and faucets, tables, chairs, counters, desks, and computers and keyboards if powered off.
 
Please continue to wash hands regularly!
 
Spring Break

With spring break and possible family vacations approaching, you should also be aware that coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to other countries and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued new travel warnings with increased concern for Iran, South Korea, Japan, and Italy. Travel warnings for mainland China have not changed. Additional details about these travel warnings can be found on the CDC travel page

 

Marin County Department of Health and Human Services Updates

 

We will continue to receive our information from the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services. They launched a COVID-19 Information Line at (415) 473-7191 and you can subscribe for updates related to the coronavirus on their website. The  most recent news release as of March 9, 2020, states:

 

"The best way to reduce the risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, whether the flu or COVID-19, is to practice good hygiene:

 

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or crook of your elbow (not your hands). If you use a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands afterward;
  • Avoid touching your face;
  • Stay home from work or school if you have a fever or are feeling sick;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe;
  • Get your flu shot to protect against flu.
Residents are encouraged to seek factual information about COVID-19 and not fall prey to rumors circulating on social media. Local coronavirus updates can be found on the Marin County COVID-19 webpage and sign-up to receive updates by email. In addition, individuals can contact Marin HHS with non-medical COVID-19 questions by calling a dedicated information call center at 415-473-7191 or by email.

 

While Marin HHS is not issuing cancellations of large gatherings at this time, the department continues to carefully monitor the COVID-19 situation both locally and regionally to guide any potential event cancellations.

 

A community meeting about COVID-19 is taking place at 6 p.m. March 9 at the Marin County Office of Education in San Rafael, and residents are encouraged to watch the meeting live on Facebook. Willis will be included on the panel of experts."



March 6, 2020 - Message to Mill Valley School District Staff

Dear Mill Valley School District Staff,

 

We would like to share further information regarding the cleaning protocol for this weekend’s sanitization process in all of our school sites as we first shared with you on February 28. This sanitization process will occur on a weekly basis until further notice. 

 

The cleaning agents that will be used are probiotic-based multi-task cleaners designed to eliminate bacteria. This product is completely safe for classroom pets and has been previously used in district classrooms. All cleaning products used by the district are green seal products that are not only safe for students and staff but also for the environment.

 

This sanitizing process is fully aligned to the guidelines provided by the Marin County Department of Public Health. In addition to this cleaning, custodians have been instructed to spray wipe all surfaces daily until further notice. This includes doors, door handles, hand railings, water fountains, windows, sinks and faucets, tables, chairs, counters, desks, and computers and keyboards if powered off.

 

It is our goal to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria and to keep our students and staff healthy and safe. Keep washing your hands regularly! 

 

There are no restrictions from the district related to field trips or gatherings at this time. All guidance provided by the Marin County Department of Health is being implemented by our school district, and we will immediately alert you to any changes. 

 


March 6, 2020

With spring break and possible family vacations approaching, you should also be aware that coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to other countries and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued new travel warnings with increased concern for Iran, South Korea, Japan, and Italy. Travel warnings for mainland China have not changed. Additional details about these travel warnings can be found on the CDC travel page.


March 5, 2020

Please see the Guidance Update for Schools and School Districts from the California Department of Education.

 


March 3, 2020, 2:31 pm

Dear Mill Valley School District Community,

The Mill Valley School District (MVSD) is promptly preparing to address coronavirus (COVID-19) if our community experiences an outbreak, although CDE has determined it to be a low risk at this time. As with all matters concerning public health and wellbeing, the MVSD has been working closely with the Marin County Office of Education and the Marin County Department of Public Health to ensure accurate information is shared and to coordinate appropriate responses if needed. It goes without saying that we hope to never initiate school closures due to communicable illness, but we want to share our plans with you in advance of any need to take action.

Process for School Closures, If Necessary

There are no cases of coronavirus in our schools or cancellations at this time. However, in the event that a case of coronavirus occurs at a school site, the school and district will work with public health officials to determine next steps, which may include closing a school for up to 14-days. If such a situation does occur, the district is preparing for how to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff as well as providing resources for home instruction during the closure period.

The determination to close a school or schools will be a joint decision between the district and the Marin County Department of Public Health, and a school closure could last up to 14 days or longer. Determination to individual school or district-wide will be made based on facts received. Families will be notified of a school closure according to our emergency communications protocols. During a closure, the district will send updates at 5 pm each day to provide ongoing information to families. The district will also provide notice to families when school is to be reopened.

Academics

In the event of school closure due to the outbreak of a contagious illness such as coronavirus, the following steps will be taken:

  • We will provide ways to remain engaged in learning via our message system. 
  • Assignments are meant to maintain continuity of learning, but will not be able to fully replicate in-class experiences such as science labs, group discussions, etc.
  • Here is a general lesson guide and list of resources from the district to maintain a continuity of learning. 


     *School facilities will undergo deep cleaning and disinfecting during a closure.

    Extracurriculars/Facility Rentals

  • In the event of a school closure due to an infectious disease outbreak, all extracurricular activities, sporting events, rehearsals, and practices will be postponed until school is reopened. Away games will be canceled even if the other venue is not subject to school closure. Rescheduling of such events will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • No students or non-essential staff will be allowed on campus until school is reopened.
  • All school facilities, including outdoor sports fields, will remain closed to the public during a school closure of this nature. Community access to facilities will resume when schools reopen.
  • All facility rentals will be canceled or postponed until schools are reopened. 


Health & Prevention

In the latest press release from the Marin County Office of Education, the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends the guidelines below for protecting against the spread of infectious diseases including:

  • Encourage students and staff to stay home when they are sick.
  • Those who have a fever at school should go home and stay home until fever-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medication.
  • Separate sick students and staff from others until they can be picked up to go home.
  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
  • Promote hand hygiene among students and staff through education, scheduled time for handwashing, and availability of soap and water and/or hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Teach and encourage proper cough etiquette—cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve, or arm (do not use hands).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

As a reminder, the district will be conducting a sanitizing process on all school campuses in all spaces and classrooms on the weekend of Saturday, March 6, 2020. Additionally, we have implemented nightly procedures for extensive sanitization and cleaning. The district only uses green seal products that are not only safe for our students and staff but also for our environment.
 


MCOE is hosting a Community Meeting regarding coronavirus on Monday, March 9th from 6-7:30 pm at their office (111 Las Gallinas Ave., San Rafael, CA) and livestreaming on the MCOE Facebook page. They also have a dedicated web page related to the coronavirus at www.marinschools.org. The page includes written communications from the DHHS and resources related to hygiene, talking to kids about the virus and distance learning. You can also view the DHHS’ Coronavirus updates
 
Additionally, we will continue to update the community with any new and relevant information from MCOE and DHHS via ParentSquare and on our website headline devoted to coronavirus updates

 


 

March 3, 2020

Letter to schools from the Marin County Office of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services.

 


February 28, 2020 at 2:47 pm

Dear Mill Valley School District Community,

We will continue to provide updates and information related to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Please see the information below regarding hygiene, district communication protocols, and more. 

Health & Hygiene

To be as proactive as possible in preventing the spread of germs, we will be conducting a sanitizing process on all Mill Valley School District campuses in all spaces and classrooms. This will occur during the weekend of Saturday, March 6, 2020. Additionally, we have implemented nightly procedures for extensive sanitization and cleaning.

Hand sanitizers are being made available in frequently-used spaces at our school sites. Please view this resource about handwashing and when to wash your hands from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They have also shared videos about handwashing that may be helpful for younger children.



In addition to washing hands regularly, it is important to practice other preventative actions such as:

  • Stay home when sick and remain at home until fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
  •  Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe, such as high fever or difficulty breathing. 
  • Use “respiratory etiquette:”
    • Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve.
    • Provide adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and no-touch trash cans
    • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces
    • Separate sick students and staff from others until they can go home.
    • Encourage flu vaccine for those who haven’t had it this season to reduce illnesses and absences.


District Communication

In the event of any impact on the school day related to this virus or other emergencies, we will use our communication protocol to inform you of any school disruptions. The following steps to notify our school community are followed in this order:



  • Website alert: We post a pop-up alert on all pages of our website to ensure that all community members can access information.
  • ParentSquare email: We send an email to all district families.
  • ParentSquare alert: We send a text message alert, and if the text fails, a voice message is automatically generated.
  • We will provide updates on the platforms used above as new information is received.
  • We update social media if time allows - TwitterInstagramFacebook
  • Following the event, we post a debrief document on our website headlines section

Discrimination

In Marin County, a person’s risk for the illness is based mainly on where they, or someone they have had close contact with, have traveled. There is no racial, ethnic or cultural basis for the disease. Yet, we know that bias is already surfacing. Members of the Asian community, especially the Chinese community, have been subjected to discrimination and exclusion, in Asia, Europe, Australia, and the United States.

News media are reporting from around the world stories of hostility and discrimination toward Chinese customers and students, and insults hurled in person and on social media. This is unacceptable and harmful. This is a common and unfortunate societal response to epidemics, and we must do better.

We know that racial, ethnic and cultural discrimination cause bad health outcomes. In the case of an emerging illness, stigma about the illness makes people less likely to come forward, to seek help or ask questions. That makes it harder to fight the disease and protect community health.

County Guidance

We will continue to share guidance from the Marin County Office of Education and the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services and we expect to have another update on Monday. They also share their resources and communications on their website.

Thank you for your cooperation during this time. We wish you health and wellness.


From February 26, 2020 Newsletter - 5:06 pm

Coronavirus Message from the Marin County Office of Education and Department of Health and Human Services
 
Please see the most recent joint statement regarding novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19 from the Marin County Office of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services in both English and Spanish

In the event of any impact on the school day related to this virus or other emergencies, we will use our communication protocol to inform you of any school disruptions. The following steps to notify our school community are followed in this order:

  • Website alert: We post a pop-up alert on all pages of our website to ensure that all community members can access information.
  • ParentSquare email: We send an email to all district families.
  • ParentSquare alert: We send a text message alert, and if the text fails, a voice message is automatically generated.
  • We will provide updates on the platforms used above as new information is received.
  • We update social media if time allows - TwitterInstagramFacebook
  • Following the event, we post a debrief document on our website headlines section

February 14, 2020, 4:47 pm

Dear Mill Valley School District Community,

Please see the joint statement against discrimination in COVID-19 (coronavirus) response from the Marin Health  & Human Services, Marin County Office of Education, and the County of Marin.


February 5, 2020, 11:50 am

Dear Mill Valley School District Community,

Please see the attached letter from the County of Marin Department of Health and Human Services providing updated information regarding the Coronavirus.

Thank you,
Mill Valley School District


January 28, 2020, 11:16 am

Dear Mill Valley School District Community,

Please see the attached letter from the County of Marin Department of Health and Human Services providing information regarding the Coronavirus.

Thank you,
Mill Valley School District