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Learning from a distance in Kern County

Posted at 10:47 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 01:47:15-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — "We've been really navigating through some uncharted waters," said Kern County Superintendent Mary C. Barlow. "I've never seen anything like it in my entire life."

Barlow said each school district is incorporating different systems to help students during the coronavirus pandemic. Some schools are using Google Classroom, while others use Canvas.

"Many of the disctricts are using zoom and other virtual methods," she said.

But many students face the problem of not having internet access, which is why KCSOS announced this week it is deploying buses into neighborhoods that are having trouble with connectivity.

"We've set up mobile WIFI applications that are available at all the bus sites. I believe there are 120 across the county."

Barlow added that they've also ordered MIFI's from a number of providers. And for those who don't have the necessary technology devices, Barlow said they have been actively issuing out Chromebooks.

"It is remarkable the amount of work, hours, and creativity that has gone into developing a whole new approach to educating students."

But these new approaches are not coming without challanges.

"I'm going to be honest with you, there is no way that all students are accelerating at the same pace."

Barlow said they are doing their best to keep their students on track to succeed. She said some of the districts are looking to move into a pass/fail grading system and will also take into consideration the students grades prior to school closure.

"Students that were on track and progressing to graduate and students who were on track to attend a UC or CSU should do so. Students who were on track or another college should have every opportunity to do so."