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San Diego school officials discuss learning opportunities, meal distribution amid school closures

San Diego Unified, KPBS and the San Diego County Office of Education have collaborated on an initiative to make available at-home learning options for students.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten and members of the Board of Education hosted a news conference Monday to discuss meal distribution and learning opportunities for students while schools are closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus/(COVID 19). 

Lunch each day is available for each student from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., along with breakfast for tomorrow - no questions asked. There are eight sites but organizers plan to expand. The Porter North meal distribution site will open on Tuesday, March 17. Fresh fruits and vegetables are available. 

“We just had a family with 8 kids come in,” said Marten. 

“The good news is that San Diego is a community that rallies to help our own,” said feeding San Diego.

San Diego Unified, KPBS and the San Diego County Office of Education have collaborated on an initiative to make available at-home learning options for educators, parents and students on broadcast and digital platforms. This initiative, “At-Home Learning: Where Children Matter,” offers a solution for students to continue learning while schools are closed.

"Public media television is a public service that has the importance of children's education embedded in its DNA,'' said Tom Karlo, KPBS general manager. "Answering the call to ensure our TK through 12th grade young people have access to learning while at-home during this unprecedented time is critical to our mission and we are honored to be of service because at KPBS children matter.''

Participating in Monday's announcement included: 

  • San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten
  • Members of the Board of Education
  • KPBS General Manager Tom Karlo

KPBS will add 12 hours of programming from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in blocks by grade level. For example, programs for kids from kindergarten to third grade are from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

The Board of Trustees called these “rigorous lesson plans.”  

“This is not vacation,” said Marten.

Marten encouraged kids to put regular clothes on and not stay in pajamas, and also to engage in playtime with other kids via FaceTime. 

For high school students, Marten said the district is in contact with the College Board and college scouts to work together during these “unprecedented circumstances.”

Schools in San Diego Unified and throughout the county and state have closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. School officials say the initiative includes a broadcast component with standards-aligned programming in blocks by grade level and a digital component with access to an online library of free PBS educational resources.

Any student age 2 to 18 can go to any school site providing meals and receive food during this period of school closures due to COVID-19.

Below is a link to the food service sites confirmed by the San Diego County Office of Education, where students will be provided meals during the school closures.

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