Keeping Up In The Classroom

Distance Learning Leads to Technology Boost for South Bay School District

The Alum Rock Union School District prior to the pandemic did not have the technology and resources to run distance learning programs for students.

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Many schools are into the new school year's first week of instruction.

Most everyone prefers the idea of in-class lessons as opposed to distance learning, but one of the poorest districts in the state said the new virtual lessons are a blessing in disguise with every student now connected to the internet at home.

Education officials said many students in the Alum Rock Union School District were being left behind without access to technology. The district reports one out of every 10 of its students did not have home internet.

Now with virtual learning mandatory across the state during the pandemic, the district had four months to make sure every student had an internet hot spot and either a Google Chromebook or iPad at home.

"We're going to make sure that virtual learning is the best thing that ever happened to us," Alum Rock Union School District Superintendent Dr. Hilaria Bauer said.

The district was able to get help from city and county grants to provide students with the necessary distance learning tools. The district said it will now be on par with other more affluent districts.

Families with tech issues on their new laptops were able to bring them into school on Thursday to get their questions answered.

"It's pretty sweet too," said Julio Velazquez, a student's brother. "It's nice for them to do their stuff at home."

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