The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how we work, but it will never change who we are. Our school buildings may be closed, but our hearts and minds are open to learning. Join us!
- Superintendent Cindy Marten
The New Normal
Distance Learning is the new normal for students in San Diego. Before we made the decision to close schools in March, our professional educators oversaw the academic progress of their students. Since the closure, students and parents have received some of their materials and guidance from teachers and some from other sources, such as the instructional links shared by the school district during the soft launch period. Meanwhile, many teachers have been training to help students finish the academic year online through distance learning. Now that distance learning is here, teachers will once again be assuming the lead role in the academic growth of our students.
No Typical Day
Even before schools closed, there were thousands of different daily schedules in classrooms across the city. That is because educators are constantly adapting to their students’ needs to provide the best personalized educational environment. There will be even more flexibility in scheduling during the distance learning session.
Teachers will be available and engaging with their students daily. This may involve connecting via Zoom and conducting morning meetings, digital discussions or lectures. Many teachers are hosting virtual office hours to provide expanded support to students. Teachers will also continue to provide regular student feedback and respond to questions from students, parents and guardians.
During distance learning, students’ daily schedules will be created in collaboration with their teachers. There will not be a single typical day for students. Flexibility is important, as many parents are adjusting to working from home. Parents should communicate their own needs and goals to their educators.
Making this Time Count
All students who are able to access their classes online are expected to participate. Teachers will continue to assess student learning, and those assessments will help guide decisions when it comes to additional support and resources a student needs. Students will continue to receive grades, although schools have adopted a “grade protection policy.” A student’s final grade in a course cannot be lower than the grade she/he had earned before schools closed in March.
As learning moves online, many students are enjoying the new flexibility in their schedules. Even as teachers continue to hold virtual class discussions and office hours via Zoom, students have time throughout the day to focus more intensely on subjects they find most interesting. School expectations for students remain high, even as everyone adjusts to the “new normal.”
School counselors are available to provide students with academic, career, and social and emotional support. This includes social-emotional and wellness support for all students, where our counselors are sharing coping skills for elementary students, assistance for middle schoolers as they plan their transition to high school, and high school students planning for college and other postsecondary opportunities.
The move to distance learning can be equally challenging for parents. San Diego Unified has created a variety of resources to help with the transition.
Road Map: The District Plan for Distance Learning
MindYeti at Home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BPA5VFNGGQ