School Districts Push Back Distance Learning Start Dates, Give Teachers Time To Prepare


WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Several school districts in Northern California have had to push back their start dates for distance learning while parents in districts that have started are already frustrated.

Laura Ingram showed CBS13 her classroom setup. She will be teaching her kindergarten class from her dining room. Planning hasn’t been easy and her district, Washington Unified in West Sacramento, is one of the districts that pushed back the start date.

“[Starting sooner] would have been an absolute mess. We wouldn’t have been prepared for it,” said Ingram.

“I don’t think that we’re behind anybody else, I will say, It isn’t about being ready and organized. We are ready,” said WUSD Superintendent Linda Luna.

Luna said once Yolo County got on the state’s COVID-19 watch list, everything changed with another layer added to plan full distance learning. But while WUSD faces challenges before the school year even kicks off, others have already had a bumpy start.

Arlene Munoz’s children in Elk Grove started distance learning last week and she’s already overwhelmed. On the first day, her daughter’s entire kindergarten class got kicked offline.

READ: Distance Learning Off To Rough Start In Modesto

“Eye-opener, overwhelming and nervous for the future,” said Munoz. “I really do believe it’s going to be a struggle and I do see most likely in the future, there’s going to be a lot of pushback from parents.”

But perhaps there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Melissa Smith and her son Elijah, who is in third grade, both say distance learning in Elk Grove is at least better than it was the first time around during the Spring.

“Just because my expectations were low. I’m happy about the way things are going,” said Melissa.

“Yeah, this is better. Because before, like my mom said, it was kind of like home-schooling,” said Elijah.

Luna has faith that Washington Unified teachers will make the transition as smooth as possible.

“People are feeling anxious because it’s new but I have complete faith, our teachers are going to blow it up. They’re going to make it work, I know they will,” said Luna.

Some districts pushed back their start dates one to two weeks to allow teachers extra time to not only train on new apps they’ll be using in the coming school year but to also prepare for all the new health safety guidelines.