Because of fear of rapid spread of COVID-19, Sacramento County schools will remain closed through at least May 1, the county superintendent’s office announced Friday.
“This will make our students and our families hopefully as safe as possible as we battle this virus,” Sacramento County Superintendent Dave Gordon said.
The districts say they plan to offer instruction online, but some are farther ahead than others.
Center Joint Unified said it will use Google Classroom and are almost ready. Online classes should start April 13 for Center students.
“We spent this week gearing up, getting our teachers trained. Going into this coming week, we plan to have kind of what we’re terming a “soft opening” for folks. so we can start getting the information pushed out, but after we have our spring break,” said Center Joint Unified Superintendent Scott Loehr.
Sacramento City Unified doesn’t have a plan yet. SCUSD Superintendent Jorge Aguilar said the district is working to start a training process similar to Center Joint Unified and will then start to lay out a distance learning plan after that.
“My hope is that, we are — again, working with our labor partners — is that we will start the training process that Scott [Loehr] mentioned in his district that he started this week, so that we can then begin to lay out what the distance learning plan will look like. We are still bound by collective bargaining,” Aguilar said.
The Sacramento City Teachers Association says it has presented several ideas to the district, but the two sides have not been able to come to an agreement.
“Get the technology in the hands of the teachers and students who need it. We need to get it going now,” said SCTA President David Fisher. “We've proposed self-guided training. IT seems like they don't want to let go with having control over every single component of the lesson plan."
Districts across the state have been surveying parents and students to see if they have access to cell phones or laptops that would be required to participate in online classrooms.
Sacramento County Superintendent Gordon says he understands each of the 13 districts that operate within the county has its own challenges when it comes to developing virtual education. But those that aren't prepared for distance learning need to be ready soon.
“Those that are not have got to get with it, and get with it quickly,” Gordon said.
Here's how other school districts in the region are handling closures and distance learning.
- Placer Union High School District says it is now in its second week of online education.
- Davis Joint Unified announced that it plans to begin offering online instruction April 13.
- El Dorado County says it will be closed at least through April 13, but has not announced when “distance learning” might begin.
- Yuba City Unified sent parents notification that it may not reopen April 14 as previously announced and will move forward with its plan to teach remotely.
- Elk Grove Unified is the fifth largest school district in the state and said in a letter to parents Thursday that Chromebook laptops would soon be available to students who need them and it is in the process of securing 8,000 cell phone hotspots through T-mobile.
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