Keeping Up In The Classroom

San Jose Unified Preps for an Unusual Start to the School Year

NBC Universal, Inc.

School starts on Wednesday for the San Jose Unified School District, and on Monday, schools spent the day handing out critical learning material.

Students lined up at Galarza Elementary as teachers got a rare face-to-face meeting with some of their new students picking up Chromebooks, iPads and internet hot spots. 

“I feel it's going to be pretty hard to learn because I feel I do better in school instead of a computer,” said 5th grader Alliyah Cruz.

The Avelar family set up Sophia’s classroom at home, trying to make sure she’s ready to tackle first grade. 

“I’m staying home right now,” said Marcella Avelar. “On a leave of absence, so we have her desk set up.”

At San Jose Unified, no kids will be in school classrooms, but teachers will.

The district is requiring them to teach those virtual lessons from their actual classrooms in hopes of creating some sense of normalcy.

“It’s complicated because I don’t know much about computers,” said Maria Hernandez. 

Now, she will need to use them to work as a virtual teacher's aide.

“We know that distance learning in general is inequitable,” said Ben Spielberg, SJUSD spokesman. “But if we can’t address the digital divide we’re going to have a lot of trouble having any semblance of equity. That’s the reason our technology team has been working nonstop and invested so much in addressing the problem.”

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