San Jose

San Jose Unified Students, Teachers Back to School With Virtual Learning

NBC Universal, Inc.

Wednesday marked the first day of the virtual school year for the South Bay's largest school district.

Some 30,000-plus students across more than 40 San Jose Unified School District schools stayed at home due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, learning from teachers who, at the last minute, were given the option to instruct from home.

The San Jose Teachers Association estimated that about 200 teachers conducted online instruction from home while the vast majority of the 1,500 teachers and staff livestreamed lessons from the classroom.

Although the district was still compiling information, by mid-morning, 93% of high school students were connected to the virtual classroom.

Many parents said the school website was overwhelmed at the start, but things were eventually worked out.

"A sigh of relief after the first day to say, you know, at least I think we can get this to work," parent Ryan Hoffman said.

Patrick Bernhardt, president of the teachers association, said one significant change from last school year's crash course in virtual learning is that everyone is essentially using the same platform, known as Canvas.

"Today, we worked on how are we going to turn in our assignments on this new learning management system online, so teaching both them and me how to do some things we’ve taken for granted for so long," Bernhardt said.

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