Sac City Unified Presents its Distance Learning Plan
Students to begin distance learning on April 13
SACRAMENTO, CA — On April 13, Sacramento City Unified School District will begin the implementation of its strong distance learning plan to ensure students continue their academic journey during the district’s school closure due to COVID-19.
“Our students need us to think creatively and act courageously - and to do so quickly,” said Sac City Unified Superintendent Jorge Aguilar. “It’s time for our students to get back to learning and preparing for their own successful futures.”
Distance learning is instruction in which the student and instructor are in different places. Distance learning can occur asynchronously, which means that instruction and learning does not have to occur at the same time. The plan includes flexibility that allows students and teachers to schedule learning at the time that is best for them. The district’s plan is a hybrid approach, meaning that instruction can be conducted online, or by conference calls, phone, textbooks, other school materials, and assigned work.
Because shifting to distance learning is a change in the working environment for staff, the District is required to negotiate with labor partners, including the Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA). Sac City Unified first met with SCTA to begin discussions on distance learning on March 16. As the district attempted to reach an agreement with the SCTA on a distance learning plan, the district made proposals on March 31, April 3, and April 7 to SCTA. SCTA rejected these proposals.
Now that Sac City Unified is moving forward to implement distance learning without reaching an agreement with SCTA, the district can now share the full plan.
Sac City Unified will continue to meet and negotiate in good faith with SCTA leaders regarding the negotiable effects of the district’s distance learning plan.
Under the District’s distance learning plan, teachers will now focus instruction on the essential standards that students would typically learn during this portion of the school year. These essential standards are the building blocks for advancement in each subject and grade level.
The following principles are the foundation of Sac City Unified’s distance learning plan for all grades:
- Clear guidelines, not qualifiers — Standardized expectations for teachers and students ensure an equitable and high-quality education for all of our students.
- A focus on essential standards — Our focus is on the crucial standards that students must master to be successful and would have been taught from March 13 to the end of the semester. These standards will build on skills students have already mastered and will prepare them to be successful with future content.
- Consistent schedules for students — Structure is comforting, especially when our environment is uncertain. Parents and students will know when instruction on core content, reminders, interaction with teachers, and even recess, will be available. We will provide activities for family art, physical movement ideas, and social and emotional activities for self-care.
- Communications with families and availability to students — Students will be provided schedules with times to communicate with and interact with their teachers. Teachers will check their email regularly and communicate consistently with their students.
- Scheduled teacher collaboration — Teachers will collaborate to share best practices and support one another in distance learning.
- Accessibility for all students — Our district will use an accessible and adaptable curriculum, we will continue IEP coordination and meetings, continue specialized services, and ensure that every effort meets the needs of all students.
- Support for students’ social and emotional needs — These are uncertain times for our students, and they need us now more than ever. We want to provide students with the support they need to persevere through this challenge. Our counselors, social workers, nurses, psychologists, and others are available to help guide them through.
- Grading — Distance learning is a shift for our students. We do not want to create unneeded anxiety surrounding our students’ grades. Under our plan, students will not receive a lesser grade than their current grade (as of March 13, 2020) as a result of engaging in distance learning during this unprecedented crisis.