Keeping Up In The Classroom

San Jose Educators Aim to Improve Online Instruction for Distance Learning

The first day of classes for San Jose Unified School District students is on Aug. 12.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom's new order for California schools announced Friday seemed to reassure a lot of leaders in San Jose Unified School District.

The state's guidelines for schools reopening during the pandemic comes a day after a district study found a majority of parents in support of distance learning.

San Jose Unified is the largest school district in the South Bay, serving nearly 32,000 students. District leaders said the governor's order puts everyone on the same page moving forward.

The district plans to have teachers in classroom livestreaming to students at home. And with in-person instruction is now off the table until it is safe to do so, teachers are focused on how to improve online instruction.

"I think we're already beginning to see across social media or informal networks teachers talking about how they go about creating the classroom culture and connections with individual students," said Patrick Bernhardt, San Jose Teachers Association president.

San Jose Unified School District Board of Education Vice President Brian Wheatley said there will not be as much confusion and scrambling as last school year when the pandemic forced quick decisions on the run.

"We have time to plan," Wheatley said. "We have time to make sure kids have the devices they need and that we are using fewer platforms so that everybody kind of knows the technology."

The school board plans to meet next week to address concerns by teachers who might be reluctant to instruct from a school and to work out a way for them to teach from home.

The first day of classes for San Jose Unified School District students is Aug. 12.

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