A Patrick Henry High School graduate who is now a soccer star welcomed more than 100,000 San Diego students back to school Monday amid the pandemic.

San Diego Unified and your teachers have put plans in place to make this school year a great one. You will get out of it what you put in, so study hard, stay focused, follow your dreams and the rest will take care of itself,” said San Diego Loyal star Sal Zizzo in a YouTube message for students.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, California’s second-largest school district is starting the new school year online, and the first week is designed to help students, teachers and parents get the support and skills they will need to succeed in the online environment.

“The procedures, plans and enhancements we have built into the new school year were developed with one primary goal in mind — support our students, teachers, and our parents every step of the way,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten.

Students will begin the year with San Diego Unified’s online instruction curriculum, which officials say has been improved since last spring’s emergency online program. For students, the online learning experience has been modeled as much as possible after a traditional classroom experience.

Highlights of the online learning plan are:

  • A six-hour school day with customized learning experiences for each K-12 student
  • All students will have daily, live interaction with their teachers via video conferencing
  • Custom learning experiences will based on student needs and will include daily live, online instruction, independent learning, working with other students in small groups, and participating in educator office hours
  • All elementary students will receive instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, and the arts
  • Students will receive grades to measure their progress

The district has also compiled extensive information for parents, noting “the demands online learning places on families.”

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