School Year Postponed In San Leandro

Interest in homeschooling peaks as the pandemic disrupts education nationwide
Photo credit Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

School officials in Oakland are working down to the wire to figure out just how distance learning will work when the new school year starts on Monday.

But at San Leandro Unified, administrators have decided to delay the start of the school year to give teachers extra time to prepare for distance learning. The school year was supposed to start on Wednesday, Aug. 12 but has been pushed back to Aug. 17, giving students and teachers an extra three days of summer vacation.

“That’s nice,” said middle school student Ruby Calderon.

Her mom Lorraine applauded the district for the extra preparation time.

“Hopefully they’ll have the distance learning down, because when they did it when they first left, kinda seemed like no one knew what they were doing.”

Washington Elementary Principal Elisa Alvarez says there is a lot of work to do to make sure families are prepared as well.

“We’re working out a system to check out hotspots to families so that everyone’s connected,” said Alvarez. “Washington, I would say about 10 families will need a hotspot. But districtwide they have a couple hundred hotspots that they’re ready to deploy.”

The district is also deploying Chromebooks to students who need one. “That’s just some of the bigger ticket items that we’re working on right now,” she said.

For now, Alvarez says the district is completely focused on improving online education before even consider what a hybrid model would look like, in the event that shelter in place restrictions are lifted.