Bakersfield City School District discusses virtual school plans

Posted at 8:50 AM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 15:03:59-04

We know many parents are nervous about the upcoming school year. We want to help you and your family make the best decision about going 'safely back to school' all week, we'll be sharing different ideas to help you decide what's best for your family.

23ABC's Daniela Garrido spoke with the deputy superintendent of the Bakersfield City School District on their plans for distance learning materials and funding.

BCSD is one of the largest school districts in California and they are allocating $14 million from the state's budget to use toward distance learning for the fall semester.

"That is 31,000 devices up to 31,000 hot spots. So it is a significant amount of money and commitment from our district but we are rising to the challenge and we will make sure all our kids are successful to start the school year," explained Mark Luque, deputy superintendent of the BCSD.

Senate Bill 98 which passed in July approved a $202 billion budget for California public schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We feel ready for the start of the school year. We have our resources and the next two weeks are going to be fast paced as we finalize our plans for parents and distribute our resources for students," continued Luque.

In the next two weeks, each student will pick up a Chromebook laptop, a personal wifi hotspot, and classroom materials.

"One of the requirements of Senate Bill 98 and the updated education code requires school districts to provide devices and connectivity to every child," said Luque. "In addition to that all of the textbooks and all of the support materials like workbooks, textbooks, erasers."

Senate Bill 98 also emphasizes student to teacher interaction for a virtual school day. Classes will include lectures and independent and group work.

"The state is requiring a minimum of four hours of instruction daily and that will be made up of live in-person instruction and some assigned work that kids will work on individually," said Luque. "We expect teachers to provide three assignments to measure engagement one in the morning, one in the mid-day, and one in the afternoon - so students remain engaged."