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San Diego Unified transitioning to 'distance learning' in April

A formal return to grading and instruction is scheduled for April 27 for traditional schools, according to the district, while physical facilities will stay closed.

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Unified School District, the second-largest district in California, announced Tuesday plans to try and salvage the rest of the school year while protecting staff, students and families from COVID-19 and keeping physical school sites closed. Out of an abundance of caution, and in consultation with local public health, many San Diego County school districts decided to close starting earlier this month in order to curb the potential transmission of the novel coronavirus.

“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.”

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SDUSD representatives said the district will return to instruction in April "to guarantee students an opportunity to successfully complete the current academic year, even as physical school facilities will remain closed until public health officials determine it is safe for students to return to classrooms."

The plan district leaders have made looks to gradually return instruction in phases. Starting April 6, teachers in the district will begin training to move to online instruction and work remotely with students who can participate. 

A statement from SDUSD read in part:

"Work done during this time will not be graded for credit, but will contribute towards students’ academic progress in the courses they are taking... A formal return to grading and instruction -- but not a return to the physical school environment -- is scheduled for April 27 for the 90 percent of all district students who attend schools on a traditional academic calendar."

"Immediately after spring break, on April 6, San Diego Unified will launch a revised online learning system that will include more interaction with professional educators, as well as additional support for parents. Teachers who are ready to begin working with their students online will do so, while their colleagues get the training they need to provide excellent instructional opportunities to students," SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten said in a statement.

"During this soft launch to our distance learning program, student assignments won’t be graded, but the lessons will contribute to student success in their areas of study. We will also use this time to identify any students who require additional resources to be successful with distance learning."

She shared a link to resources for families and students found here

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