In a move to save the school year for students of the state’s second-largest school district, the San Diego Unified School District announced it will soon launch a distance learning program.
The district expects instruction will resume by way of online classes by April 27, with final grading issued as well.
“We know our families are eager for their students to continue learning, and our teachers are eager to make that possible,” said Board Vice President Richard Barrera. “The soft launch on April 6 allows teachers and students the opportunity for expanded distance learning, which will grow stronger through the continued collaboration of parents, professional educators and students. We understand how critical these improvements will be, because we know children learn best in a classroom with a qualified educator. This will be a short-term solution until we can return to that best practice.”
The majority of the district’s students attend school on a traditional calendar. The 10% of students in year-round schools, however, will experience a soft launch of the new learning environment following spring break, which for these students ends on April 27. According to the district, there will be a full return to graded instruction in year-round schools on May 11.
“From the start of the public health crisis, we have been clear about two main commitments: our students will have the chance to complete their academic year, and the opportunity to do so will be available to all of our students, no matter what challenges they face,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten.
Marten said much of the plan to provide all students with the technology they will need remains in development, but the district has a head start as students already have computers available for use in the classroom. The district said computer can’t be the whole solution because the large number of students without wifi access at home and other students who are homeless.
Even as our nation faces a health crisis, we can see the size of the education challenge ahead of us,” said Board President John Lee Evans. “Students are missing out on valuable learning opportunities. The current situation is unsustainable and demands a solution. The solution we are announcing today allows our students to continue their academic journey without the fear of spreading the COVID-19 pandemic.”
— Staff report
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