On Tuesday afternoon the Coachella Valley Unified School District hosted a public forum via Zoom. Superintendent Maria Gandera was joined by other district officials in discussing the latest information on reopening plans ahead of the new school year, which begins August 13.
Last Tuesday the Board of Education reviewed a proposal brought forth by a school opening task force. The proposal presented 4 different instructional models, including distance learning, a gradual model, a hybrid model and eventually a 5-day-a-week plan to return to school.
The district said it will recommend to the Board of Education, that the school year begin through distance learning.
"Its been tough, we’re not sure what to do as far as school goes but we want our schools to be safe," parent, Swan Baeza said.
Many parents have voiced their concerns. Some want to see kids return back to school, while others are worried it is too early as Coronavirus cases continue to soar throughout the state.
"Distant learning is fine with me as long as my family is safe," Baeza said.
Baeza has 4 children in the district. It has been an adjustment for him and his family, since having to transition to distance learning in March.
He said it's difficult, but he understands it could also be difficult having to navigate during this time.
"We can’t expect everybody to have answers. We’re in a time where this has never happened before and so everybody is learning as they go," Baeza said.
Fortunately the district released some answers on Tuesday.
'This will not be the same as our distance learning that took place during March and June school closure. It involves online interaction between students and teachers with daily rigorous and engaging digital coursework," one district official said during the forum.
Superintendent, Maria Gandera, Ed.D, said students will receive instruction a minimum of 4 hours per day.
The Board of Education will vote on Thursday which model to use at the start of the new school year.
District officials alluded to a potential for distance learning in the beginning, with the integration of a hybrid approach later on.
The hybrid model would vary depending on grade level, while having 50 percent of students alternating. The model indicates 2 days of in-class learning, and 3 days of distance learning.
Officials also discussed options for teachers.
"One of the options is, and it is one we are highly considering, is to have all teachers instructing from their classrooms where they will have complete and total access to all their equipment," Dr Gandera said.
The district will provide training to teachers and parents to maximize the quality of education brought to students.
The district will provide a survey to parents next week to ensure every student receives an iPad ahead of the school year. Parents can access the survey on the district website.