Dear San Diego Unified families,
First and foremost, I hope you and your loved ones are healthy as we move through the COVID-19 crisis to find our new (temporary) normal. I am writing to share our plans for the remainder of the academic year.
From the moment the crisis forced schools to close, we’ve been working on ways to continue student learning. This evening, I am pleased to share with you our plan that will allow all our students to successfully complete the current academic year — whether or not public health officials approve a return to in-classroom instruction.
I hope you and your families have had a chance to take advantage of the online learning resources we launched last week. These outstanding materials were designed to provide students with solid learning in the days leading up to spring break, which begins at the end of this week. A link to those materials is located here: https://sites.google.com/sandi.net/sdusdinstructionalcontinuity/home
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.
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.
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.
As with students on a traditional calendar, the 10 percent of students in year-round schools will experience a soft launch of the new learning environment upon returning from spring break, on April 27. There will be a full return to graded instruction in year-round schools on May 11.
From the start of the public health crisis, we have been clear about two main commitments: our students will have the chance to complete their academic year, and the opportunity to do so will be available to all of our students, no matter what challenges they face.
There are many challenges ahead, and many unknowns, including the largest unknown of all — whether it will be safe for students to return to their physical classroom settings this year. That said, I believe it is time to stop focusing on what we do not know, and focus on the work we can do right now. For us, that work involves planning a return to instruction for all students next month. I look forward to continuing to share more details in the days and weeks ahead. Until then, thank you for your support. Please stay healthy.
Cindy Marten, Superintendent