More than 100 parents of Denair Unified School District students participated in English and Spanish video meetings with Superintendent Terry Metzger on Tuesday night. The Zoom sessions were a chance for parents to ask questions about what distance learning will look like when classes resume Wed., Aug. 12.
Parents who would like to listen to either information meeting can go to the district’s website and click on the link to “Community Information Session Recordings.” The website also includes answers in English and Spanish to Frequently Asked Questions.
Metzger told parents that Denair Unified – like all other public and private schools in Stanislaus County – had no choice when it came to beginning school under a distance learning format. The county is on the state’s “watch list” because of rising COVID-19 cases locally. Until the county is off the list for 14 days in a row, in-person classes are not an option, Metzger told parents.
Many parents had questions about access to computers for their children. Metzger said the district will issue a Chromebook computer to each child. Additional computers have been ordered. It’s likely there won’t be enough to go around to start the school year, so she asked parents to “partner” with the district if their child already has access to a device at home and allow district Chromebooks to be given first to students without their own computer.
Metzger said it is important that children develop “learning routines.” With that in mind, principals at each campus are working with teachers to develop schedules for each grade level. Students will be expected to be actively learning at least three and four hours a day, depending on the grade level. Most online instruction will take place in the morning, Metzger said. Students would then have time to complete assignments and projects. Teachers are likely to have “office hours” in the afternoon – a time to work individually with students, talk with parents and prepare future lessons.
Grades will be assigned and attendance kept at all grade levels. Metzger said parents will receive a letter from their child’s school within the next week outlining plans on that campus. She encouraged parents to communicate with their child’s teacher and principal about any concerns or questions.