San Jose schools finalizing plan for return in August

CUSD will be looking to cut as much as $5 million starting in the 2018-19 school year.

The area’s largest school district is finalizing plans for students to return to campuses in August.

San Jose Unified, which has more than 30,000 students across 41 schools, sent a letter to local parents detailing efforts.

While the classroom setting will certainly look different due to COVID-19, the district expects to have students on campus.

“Unless we can bring all students back to campus as normal, no plan is ideal,” District Superintendent Nancy Albarran said.

According to the district’s letter, students will have classroom assignments and as many will return for in-person instruction as possible. Other students will participate from home. The district expects that students will transition between classroom and at-home learning with the same teacher.

District officials said they have utilized a task force of teachers, parents, staff, administrators, and labor unions to identify options.

Avoiding the pitfalls of distanced learning

The rapid deterioration of health conditions this spring forced teachers and families into new learning systems with little advanced notice. District officials hope to avoid that situation this fall.

“This reopening plan will be supported with professional development for our teachers and staff to ensure they have the necessary skills to teach in this manner while supporting students both at home and at school,” Albarran’s letter said.

Technology investments will help support at-home learning for students without existing systems, the district said.

More outreach to local families coming Wednesday

Tuesday’s plan came following numerous outreach efforts by district officials in recent weeks to garner community feedback. Those events saw overwhelming demand and access issues.

Another round of community outreach meetings are set for Wednesday, July 1. Each event, hosted on WebEx, is limited to 1,000 participants, but will also be streamed live on YouTube.