VUSD high school summer classes to be held remotely due to COVID-19

Summer school classes will be taught online or using paper curriculum ... grade, according to a district community alert posted on VUSD's website.
VUSD high school summer classes to be held remotely due to COVID-19

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Visalia Unified will hold its high school summer courses through distance learning, as COVID-19's continued effect on the classroom remains uncertain.

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Visalia Unified schools and playgrounds are closed until further notice. (Photo: Eric Woomer)

Visalia Unified will hold its high school summer courses through distance learning, as COVID-19's continued effect on the classroom remains uncertain.

Summer school classes will be taught online or using paper curriculum packets and will count for credit with a letter grade, according to

The decision comes after "until further notice" early last week, extending its existing closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the closure continues, the district is positioning itself to provide more devices and internet options for students, not only during the summer but looking ahead to the fall semester.

Staff has distributed about 100 hotspots and 250 Chromebooks to students so far, prioritizing high school students in Advanced Placement (AP) courses who need devices and internet to prepare for and take the upcoming modified AP exams late this month.

The district has 800 more Chromebooks preparing to go out and has charging cords back-ordered for those devices.

"Before we can check those (Chromebooks) out, they had to be cataloged and tagged like a library book," VUSD superintendent Tamara Ravalín said. "We'll continue our cataloging process for our summer program and into fall because we do anticipate that things might not be back in full swing in the fall."

The exact format of the fall semester remains in flux, as the district looks to the state for guidance on how students can return to the classroom while taking precautions against spreading the virus.

"The governor has told us we need to be ready to toggle between coming to school and then if the outbreaks increase, pulling back," Ravalín said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Education have suggested it's possible schools won't have "all their students at school at once," Ravalín said.

"It could be 50% and they go every other day, or it may be 25% that comes on a day," she said. "It really will depend on the direction we get and the trends and the cases."

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The district is also preparing for those uncertainties , using COVID-19 funds to help foot the bill.

Over half of the expected $700,000 project will be covered through emergency dollars the state has distributed to all California districts based on their size and other factors.

The project is expected to blanket 91% of the district in WiFi, including rural Goshen and Ivanhoe.

Families will still need a school-issued hotspot to access the internet in their homes. Officials said the district plans to launch the project with 2,000 hotspots, each of which can connect up to six devices.

Netflix, Spotify and other high-bandwidth services will be blocked to maintain resources for learning, officials said.

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Reach reporter Kyra Haas  at khaas@visaliatimesdelta.com or find her on  @kc_haas.

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source https://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/news/2020/05/01/vusd-high-school-summer-classes-held-remotely-due-covid-19/3065724001/

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