San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and school district Superintendent Cindy Marten gave students one last message of encouragement Friday before the start of graded virtual instruction next week.
The San Diego Unified School District closed March 16 and administrators immediately began working to develop a distance learning platform to serve all students.
The district was committed to, in case students weren't to return to campuses this school year, making the remainder of the year count. Students, parents, and teachers have since been growing accustomed to their new education format, but starting Monday it's for real.
“Your family members, your teachers, your school district, your mayor, we’re all rooting for you," Mayor Faulconer said. "We know that you are smart, you’re strong, and you’re the future of out city. We’ve got your back.”
From the beginning, Marten wanted to make sure educational opportunities weren't offered to some students and not others based on their socioeconomic status or living situations, and the district and city found ways to cater to students on the other side of the digital divide.
Nearly 50,000 laptops have been distributed to students, and wifi networks have been st up for students without homes or who are living in shelters so they can stay connected. Cox has also offered free internet and increased speeds to families with students.
According to Marten, 90% of students scheduled to start graded instruction Monday have logged on with their school.
"All of us as one team, we will support our students together to do this work. San Diego teachers and principles and support staff are some of the best in the entire country. The bottom line is we’ve got your back.," Marten said.
Marten said district teachers have had 13,000 hours of professional development to help prepare them for the transition.
For information on how to pick up a Chromebook, families should call 619-260-2460. For technical support on Chromebooks, call 619-732-1400. Information is also available on the district website.