By Marissa Perlman


SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Districts started talking about transitioning to virtual learning once schools closing became a reality.

Now districts are painting a better picture of what the rest of the year could look like for their students.

Marly McBride and her four kids, ages one through seven, are on a strict schedule during this stay-at-home order.

“We start with morning exercise, then we go into academic time,” she said.

The plan includes reading, lunch and playing outside, but she says there has been a lack of direction from the West Placer Unified School District.

“There are a lot of fears, are my kids going to be prepared for the upcoming year?” McBride said.

It’s a fear district leaders have across the board.

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Equity is a big factor as districts roll out their distance learning plans.

In Natomas Unified School District, 230 families don’t have access to WiFi, so 1,500 WiFi hot spots are on order.

“I can’t deny there’s going to be some kind of gap,” said Superintendent Chris Evans.

He says teachers require hours of training on how to use online platforms like Zoom and Google Classroom.  After spring break, leaders say they’ll be trained on five weeks of online curriculum.

The Natomas Unified School District also came to an agreement that says your students’ grades can’t drop during this online learning period. They’re also working to help catch kids up come fall.

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“Our students, with the exception of seniors, are going to move from each grade level. If they are third graders this year, they will be fourth graders next year,” said Chris Evans, Superintendent.

The danger of kids falling behind is a reality in the Sacramento City Unified School District. Leaders say kids right now are not learning and are in need of social support. Now, there’s a sense of urgency in getting a plan and a program in place.

“We have a district that serves very needy students, almost three out of four students are low income,” said Superintendent Jorge Aguilar. “We are working around the clock right now to make sure we have the proper equipment and devices so eventually, we are in a position where we are deploying all of that.”

READ: Scholastic Is Offering Free Online Courses So Your Kids Can Keep Learning While Schools Are Closed

The Elk Grove Unified School District announced it will finish the rest of the school year online. The district, which is the biggest in Northern California, made its announcement to close a week ahead of other Sacramento area districts.

Third-quarter grades are now closed, but there is an appeal process for parents. Leaders say students will get a fresh start moving into this “online quarter.”

Leaders acknowledge the disruption this curriculum can cause in the home.

“Where parents can help out is working with their student on emotional learning, we have lots of activities on our website, and not to worry too much about what might be lost, this is really extraordinary times,” said Xanthi Pinkerton with the Elk Grove School District.

Marissa Perlman

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