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tv   ABC7 News 400PM  ABC  May 28, 2020 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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students have been in distance learning since march. >> we recognize there has been a learning loss because of this disruption. >> i don't like distance learning very much at all. i'm someone who likes to be in a classroom. >> it's a lot different studying at home. i don't like it nearly as much as i do studying in person. >> i didn't like how i was just staring at a screen. i felt it got very monotonous. >> even though your teacher sends videos, she doesn't really describe them that well. >> it's very glitchy. and you can't even hear what people are trying to say. >> it's not a substitution to in-person learning. >> i really worry about the kids that are in poverty, that don't have what the other kids have. >> we know that there are learning gaps, and that's not unique to covid-19. >> how do we get those students connected who are disconnected when they leave our school district and they go home? >> coronavirus is really highlighted a lot of the inequities that were either right on the surface or brewing right below the surface. >> it won't be a normal return to school as we have every year.
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>> we may actually have to be very flexible with our school models. >> trying to create things that honor the social distancing requirements, but don't create a system that's scary for kids. >> the thing that i miss the most about school is constantly having something to motive me. >> that feeling of gratification when it comes to learning a subject and applying yourself. >> i want to see my friends and my teachers. >> i also miss my friends, and i also misplaying. >> i miss recess at school. >> i want to go back to school in the fall. >> it's not going to be a common open for every single school district in the district. there is no one size fits all. together we are working to meet the needs of our 6.2 million students. >> abc7 presents "education: a bay area conversation." >> and there is so much to discuss. thank you so much for joining us for this special edition of abc7
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news. i'm ama daetz with lyanne melendez. instead of our 4:00 p.m. newscast, today we're going to spend the hour talking with experts and you in an abc7 listens virtual town hall on education. >> ama, we're taking a closer look, right, at the future of education in the wake of covid-19. this is an important one-hour virtual town hall airing on abc7, on, youtube and facebook. february. in mid-february, many families were planning for graduations, some were getting college acceptance emails or even thinking about summer. then all of that came crashing down without warning. we were left feeling vulnerable, not knowing what the immediate future would bring. it seems so very long ago. in february, with limited reported cases in the u.s., americans were told the risk of coronavirus may be lower than the flu. >> you're exercising an
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abundance of caution. >> meanwhile, many educators were already calling for action in schools to minimize the risk of it spreading. >> you wash your hands, number one. just wash your hands. >> by mid-march, covid-19 had exploded into a worldwide public health crisis. colleges shifted from in-person to online instruction. the k through 12 public school system followed suit, issuing a temporary closure order. >> this decision will pose difficult times for the families and students who depend on our schools. >> in-school meals and after-school programs were halted. many hoped this hiatus would give the virus a chance to somehow dissipate on its own. it never did. citing concerns over the continuing spread of the virus on april 1, governor gavin newsom announced all public schools were to be closed for the rest of the year. >> we should not prepare to bring our children back in to the school setting.
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>> this sent students, teachers, and parents diving into unknown, uncharted e get their instructional time, how do i manage work, how do i manage the household? >> overnight a teacher's education plan included a new platform, zoom remote learning. >> of course there is no institute for in-person education. >> hi, boys and girls? it's miss martinez. how are you? >> teachers like marissa martinez improvised, trying anything to engage students while her 11-year-old daughter recorded her lesses, all of that while taking care of her toddler. you must be exhausted. >> i am. it's a fine line of insanity. let me tell you that much. i don't pay my baby-sitter during the day enough money i believe now. i've realized that. >> distance learning also highlighted the technology gap among students. some school districts relied on
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their diminishing funds and donations to quickly purchase laptops for students and devices that would give families internet access at home. >> this pandemic has made clear that wireless service should be just like water, electricity, it's a necessity. >> many students resisted online learning and acknowledged that technology cannot replace teachers. >> i felt like while i was in a classroom, i was learning a lot more. it was a lot more spontaneous and unpredictable. i could interact and talk with my peers and the teacher asked questions if i wanted to. and in this new online format, i found it hard. >> there are expectations that schools will reopen in the fall ok li.-person learning, like vhoeearsfran they have already trained staff to take a child's temperature three times a day. no more than ten in a classroom. each child will have a box with
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supplies and a tray they will carry around. all sanitized at the end of the day. and those hula hoops will be eoa distancing. >> theea been addressinghat on zoom with the children and talking about social distancing and andy, who is the lead teacher along with tina in this classroom has told children they can spread out their arms. and if you can touch someone, you're a little too close. >> so as we envision any classroom in the next school year, actor tom hanks skyline high school class of 1974 offered some words of hope for the graduating class of 2020, and for anyone who wishes to listen. >> you have been chosen by fate to lead the way in whatever our post pandemic world is going to be. make it a great one, would you? we're all relying on you. l disss whel today. zooming in today we have nancy
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aberon, is only school superintendent, dr. matthew, san francisco unified district superintendent. >> dr. kyla johnson, trammel oakland unified district. and tony thurmond, california state superintendent of instructi instruction. you heard tom hanks say "make it a great one." now have i so many questions for you. i want to start the conversation with dr. matthews. if you have the opportunity, the chance to sit down with, let's say an elementary schoolchild, to sit down and tell him what the fall will bring, what it will look like, what would you tell him or her? >> thank you, and thank you for holding this town hall, this meeting. a number of things. we long to be back with you. we miss you so much. we long for you to be back in the classroom. but one of the things we have to do is we have to make sure it's
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safe for you to be back. as a district we're going through a planning process with the community to figure out what that learning will look like. and then when we can bring you back in a safe way. i definitely would highlight that what's paramount and most important is your safety. >> that's what i want to ask state superintendent thurmond. districts are desperately waiting for the california department of education to release the so-called road map to reopen. i call it the how to reopen. it's happening i'm told in early june. does that give districts enough time, let's say, it's june, july and then august. will they have enough time to prepare? >> absolutely. thanks for the question. and we call -- we call it a how to also, because we understand that this has never been done before. and for a thousand school
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districts to move together, we want to make sure that they've got the best interesting that can be provided. we've been calibrating by talking to our school districts a the same time. last week we hosted a call for a thousand school drink, and we've been doing the same this week as well. and we know through our best practices that we have ways to keep our students safe and ensure they can receive a quality education at the same time. >> and let's talk about that a little more. i know san mateo county, in fact, their office of education has already put together a pandemic recovery framework, a draft of it anyway. so while these school districts are waiting for state guidance, let's talk to you, dr. johnson trammel. what's your timeline on getting a plan together? we encourage you to speak to eefr talk to each other. you don't have to wait for us to jump in either. >> well, conversations i know in our districts and most of the
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districts with the wonderful folks that i'm surrounded with tonight, we've actually been thinking about the fall since march. and just in learning and what this pandemic, learning about the virus, we're in the middle of a global health crisis, there have been in conversations going on to begin to imagine and have parents, students have hosted various insta lives with my students just around. it takes a minute for people to digest the gravity of this moment and what it means for our schools and for society. and so i think back to dr. matthews' point what's important now. and it was underscored in our webinar with the state is the importance of involving community and involving many people and the planning, and as i've been saying over and over again, the fact that we're planning under conditions that will continue to change. and so we're going to have to
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continue to be nimble and evolve. and what we may arrive in terms of a plan in july, by the time we open up in august, we may have to shift then. so that takes a minute. many conversations, you know, for people to digest what it is that we're planning for with lots of unknowns. and trying to get as much information about all the worries and fears that people have, given that the level of uncertainty that we're all living in. >> dr. johnson trammell, i have a follow-up to that. you wanted to involve parents obviously. there is a survey out there what that fall reopening would look like. you mentioned that some might be in-person instructions. some might be online instruction. there was even one of the sixr se where you ask parents do you think we should go year round?
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that would pretty much solve the problem right there of lost time. is it practical? is it financially practical? and have you involved the unions? the teachers unions? >> i think we all have to be clear. there is no plan that can be concrete and ready to go without our labor partners, period. they're a crucial and critical stake holder in this. and we also want to know from parents, because when we're planning, and i'm home schooling two children. so i live this crazy life every day. and my kids are 10 and 12. i often think about what life is like for parents that have a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old. and so it's important to kind of get the planning and perspectives of the whole spectrum from pre-k to 12. so we're where at in this stage of gathering all of the what-if questions, the concerns so that we can calibrate as we're
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continuing to scenario plan obviously with our labor partners, with our principals, with some of our key essential workers that are going to have to help carry out the plans that we all are gngrre nt tco. nd'm one of those who has a kid between 1 and 3. she is 2 1/2. so i have a lot of questions about the really little ones. san diego unified school district, i want to talk to you a little bit for the things we know need to be worked in for kids who might return back to school such as masks. how do you deal with that with the little ones? my little one is sure not going to be able to wear a mask or keep it on or understand why we're doing this. have you guys worked through that at all? >> so let me -- i'll answer the question in a minute. but i first want to open by thanking you for putting this together. i think it's a great opportunity for people across the bay area to hear from the practitioners doing this work.
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i want to commend the incredible work that our teachers are doing, taking a system that is in person predominantly and moving it online overnight. and then the parents that are out there sitting side by side with their little ones in many cases because they are young, and then the parents of the older students are the caretakers of the older students are ensuring that they're continuing to engage just like the circumstances that we're under. i'm a parent too, so i have a lot of empathy. we're also highly trained individuals in this field. however, we find it challenging as parents to be able to navigate all the requirements of having students learning from home. so big thank you to everybody for the patience, the understanding, and the compassion that we've seen. regarding any health and safety requirement, i really believe that as leaders, that is front and center of our thinking, and
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we will obviously look to the medical experts for guidance. i just in my county really grateful for the leadership of dr. sara cody. she has been incredible in communicating with us and as this environment is changing, but i do know that that is top of mind for families. we put out a survey and that is coming in as the number one priority of families, understanding what is going to be required to ensure the health and safety of students. so i do -- and i know across all te conversations that i've had with leaders of systems across the state and outside of the state, that is top of mind. >> okay. and we want to pause right here. we are going ctinue t conversation. cling messages fm studes they'r now and what they're looking forward to. >> and you are part of this abc
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listens town hall. we want you to join in the conversation and ask questions. go to facebook, youtube,, or the abc7 news app to weigh in and interact in today's virtual town hall.
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>> one thing i would like to see in the future is we would do some work at home and some work athiing that there's going to be, like, people probably like police or
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something that's like making sure people are six feet away. >> and i'm looking forward to going back to school in fall because i want to see my friends and my teachers. >> two weeks on and two weeks off. >> annabelle? >> i want to go back to school. >> charlie? >> i want don't want to go back to school. >> don't want to go back to school? >> honest. >> very honest answers from bay area elementary school students about what makes distance learning difficult. truly. we were talking during the break, inviting our listeners to also participate and ask questions. and one of those was of course how do we include special needs children. to any one of you, please. >> well, i would just say t putting out guidance every week on how we support our children with disabilities, including those who have been served
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through distance learning. and we'll continue to provide that support to our one thousand school districts. we know and have heard from some that there may need to be some exceptions to practices like wearing a mask. for some of our students who may have sensitivity to wearing a mask, and that we may need to think about ways that we can serve those students safely that mean that others may need to really maintain six feet of distance while we're supporting those students for the safety of everyone. so we know it's complicated, but the things that we're asking people to think about doing in school are the things that we're really asking everyone to do right now, hand washing, wearing a mask, and maintaining six feet of distance. our child care centers are doing it right now. it's complicated. i know it's hard to get your mind around it. it is for me as a parent, you know. but this is what we're going have to do to really work towards keeping our students safe and the people who care for
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them, our educators. >> i would say the other area that where we're getting information from is from our parents. and our parents are consistently at every board meeting. we have advocates for our special needs students, and they are letting us know what is working and what we need to do better. and it's not only just you need to do better, but this is how. so taking that information as i think the entire system is learning, and we're going to continue to grow and figure out how do we do distance learning for all of our students in a way that provides them a high quality education. >> can we talk about money for just a second? we all know this is going to cost districts a lot of money. superintendent thurmond, how confident are you, and perhaps all of you, that we will get federal dollars? and what if we don't? >> well, i can't speak the what the federal government is going to do, but i can tell you that we continue to advocate for them. i was on the phone with the head of the department of agriculture this week because there is $500
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million that california could be using right now to make sure that hungry kids get a meal. there is no question we need the support of the federal government that speaker pelosi has been calling for to make sure that we have the supply, very supplies that we're talking about. so we need to continue to call on the federal government to support all of our state, not just california. if that doesn't happen, then california legislature is going to have to make some decisions about whether or not we can provide additional revenue for our schools. because there is no question that our schools need the revenue to take on these additional requirements. what i'm confident about is that the state of california will work with our schools to assist our schools in getting face covers and hand sanitizer and the resources needed to address health and safety needs in our state. i'm very confident of that. and i want our school districts to reach out the our office if they need help in how to access those types of supplies.
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>> so let's talk to the superintendents here now. if there isn't money, this is a difficult question, a difficult conversation. if you have to make cut, where do you even begin? everyone is so vital to help take care of our kids and give them the education they need. let's begin with you, dr. johnson-trammell. >> one thing i want to say is i believe we have to plan with the reality in mind, but we have to lead knowing that there is abundance. there are resources out there. and i know there's lots of advocacy. i want to thank our governor, the state. there are many advocacy groups that are focused on putting pressure that really needs to be there for the federal government to really step up and support public schools across the nation. whether we're talking about food distribution. that's one area. whether we're talking about closing the digital divide.
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that is another area. and i want to continue to lift up in this moment the need to continue to invest in teachers and broadening who are thinking about as teachers at this moment. it's our classroom teacher, but it's going to be our paraeducators. it's going to be our social workers, our nurse, our counselor, our youth workers. we're going need everyone who touches students and families to understand how to support both in distance learning and back to your question around safety. it's both the ppe, but it's also the intense investment around the mental health of our students and of all of the folks that are supporting our students and what they're taking on in this moment. and so we all are having to plan with a lot of unanswered questions, but that's what we do as leaders. we have to continue to plan, knowing that is our obligation to provide learning for students, given the uncertainty financially. all of us are both planning for
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a lot of different scenarios again in partnership with our labor partners around end-person learning, and virtual learning. both because of a lot of uncertainty, whether we're talking about finances or whether we're talking about if it's going to be safe or not. but back to where dr. matthews started the conversation, our responsibility is to make sure there is an environment for our students to learn, even though it's going to look probably nothing like what we were used to prior to march. >> sounds like you're going to need to hire more teachers. superintendent albarran, we're not going to be able to see 20, 30 students in a classroom. so where do you get the money to hire more teacher, and are you hiring them right now? >> i think first and foremost, i can -- i believe that our workforce is our most valuable resource. you know, 80% of our budget is people.
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and we know that when you have the best and the brightest, you can do incredible things for students. and so we in san jose are prioritizing having those employee, particularly our teachers that are in the classroom building those relationships and being advocates for students. we know that there is going to be a set of services that are bog to be more dire than ever because of the situation that students are in. we're hearing lots of students needing mental health services, additional supports because of some of them feeling isolated. so those are all services that we are prioritizing and we're going to do everything we can, again, in collaboration with our labor groups to make sure that we can meet as many needs as possible. we don't -- we understand the implications that this crises has created and that california
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public schools are going to be funded very differently. in normal times are at the bottom of all the 50 states. i don't know if the public knows this, we are depending on what study you look at, we're bottom five in some, bottom ten in others. but when you are in that situation and living in the most expensive area in the country, that really is a constraint. but i think in order to navigate the ice sicrisis, you need to w with your labor groups and your communities to build an understanding around the situation and to get clear what sacrifices need to be made to be able to adequately meet the needs of students. there are a lot of things we would like to have that we won't be able to afford anymore. but always keeping health, safety and student well-being at the forefront of our thinking in those decisions. >> all right. we're going the pause now. we want to go to break. but everyone at home, you are part of this abc7 listens town hall as well. we want you to join the
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conversation, ask questions as well. go to facebook, youtube or to weigh in and interact in today's virtual town hall. we'll be right back. >> distance learning took a lot of adjusting to, even though i have had experience with taking an online class before. >> distance learning, i don't like it at all. zoom is super awkward. it's super finicky and doesn't work half the time. >> i don't think that i can focus the same way that i can in a normal school setting. >> being in a classroom environment, it allows students to be more engaged with what they're learning. >> i think that distance learning is not a good substitution to in-person learning, but i think it's the best they could have done.
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>> you're watching education, a bay area conversation. >> i feel like i get better education in the classroom than i do at home, even though my mom is a very good asoo a teher. >> don't like it because it's very glitchy. it's like a video game. >> it would be even harder because i don't know bau we're goin t learning about new stuff arranged it will be really hard for me. >> the elementary school
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students share their thoughts about what makes distance learning just so difficult. and teachers are really on a new frontier here. this is something unlike they've ever seen before. in fact, a usa today poll says one in five teachers are unlikely to return to classrooms in the fall. it's no one's fault. they weren't trained for this type of learning. so we want to 15 and out what the different superintendents and school districts and on the state level, what's being done to help train these teachers and keep them prepared. dr. matthews, let's start with you. >> we set up curriculum, professional development for our teachers. this was a system that was developed in the late 1700, and we made some tweaks along the way. but pretty much it's that same thing of teacher in classroom with students. to go from that to a system
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where teachers are not in the same physical space with their students takes training. it takes development. for some they went right into it and others took longer. with are talking to the community. we are figuring out what went well and also having the conversations about what we can do better. and that for us is what went to do is ramp this up, because as we know, there is going to be different models. and pretty sure in some way, shape or form, there will be some aspect of distance learning continuing in the fall. not sure what that's going to look like or in terms of numbers, but there will be some aspect. so we have to continue to figure out how to do this and how to do it better. >> could i ask any one of the superintendents again, the money issue. we did not have standardized testing in march, obviously,
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because of the coronavirus. we know that that kind of testing costs districts a lot of money. and i'm just going to put this out there. what about just not having standardized testing and put that money towards something else? is that a possibility? >> i guess i can speak a little bit to that. i think before the money aspect, i think if you look to the research, some optimal conditions are important for students to do their best when they take tests, any type of tests. the s.a.t., our end of year standardized assessments that we take in california. but i think the recognition that we are in a crises and if conditions are not optimal i think is really, really important because our students are feeling this. they feel a real sense of loss, and many of them are really committed to doing well on the
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assessments. so to put them in that situation, i think, is a disservice, and i along with other things suspended like taking attendance, we needed the flexibility for families to be able to take stock of their situation, their schedules, their work schedules, and be able to make adjustments that met the needs of their family. and so i think with the testing requirements for us it's not so much about the funds. it's really about kids having optimal conditions to do their best on those types of assessments. and i do believe these conditions right now are not optimal for our students. and getting a bad result in some cases may just contribute to the anxiety that they feel, depending how long this goes on for. >> dr. matthews -- go ahead, please. >> i just wanted to add on
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superintendent albarran brought up an excellent point when she just started talking about flexibility. we talk to this with superintendent thurmond, but it's really important as one of the things i recall and think about is the early days in march, that second week of march that me and the board were trying to determine whether we were going to suspend in-class instruction, and a big part of the decision and the discussion, we were thinking about safety. but we were also thinking about what's in place or what was the system in place at bedtime. and one of the things that we had to weigh was average daily attendance, which is how schools are funded. and at that point there wasn't a waiver, but we determined that we just felt that point schools weren't safe, and we closed them down. subsequently, right after that, the state stepped in and put a waiver in place which relieved all of us and allowed us to
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really focus on what learning what going to look like. those waivers run out on june 30th. so one of the things that we're sitting with right now is we're wrestling with what is education going to look like in the fall. and so as superintendent albarran just said around flexibility, we are going to be flexibility in order to plan adequately. what we don't want to do is put a plan in place and find out there is a regulation that stops us from doing what we need to do, what we believe is the best interest of kids. we talked -- so superintendent thurmond is aware of this. we talked to him. our hope is flexibilities that we have around average daily attendance, around instructional minutes, about the number of day, that those will continue so we can plan without hitting a brick wall. we can plan with safety in mind instead of planning and planning in the blind as we -- when we
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went into suspending in-class instruction was really in the blind. >> i could, two things that superintendent albarran said and superintendent matthews said that i think are important, that we should all continue to move with safety in mind and the well-being of our students. we know that this pandemic has had tremendous negative impact on all of us, including our students. and we've seen high rates of suicide. we've seen depression. and we've got to first and foremost focus on the safety and well-being of our students. so we've been working with our statewide mental health organizations to fill in gaps. there are a lot of students who aren't connected. their families aren't connected. we know they feel the impacts of the unknown around the pandemic. as dr. matthews has said, you know, we want districts to have flexibility around things like instructional minutes and how much time students will have in instruction. we're already working to put some proposals forward that
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would do two things, give districts that flexibility that they need, but also give them some stable funding that they need to be able to carry out these sort of modified programs and plans. and so obviously the legislature has to act on these. but we are working on these. and we expect that we'll have the information and the answers i would say in days and weeks to come. so as everyone -- as all of our superintendents have said, right now the main focus has to be safety and the well-being of our students and how we support our staff. i believe it was dr. johnson-trammell who talked about how we provide more training for our educators. our department provides webinars every week. all the superintendent here have talked about how important our educators and staff are. we've got to support them. we even had virtual support circles where our educators give us feedback. our students have given us feedback.
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i've appointed a students council to improve feedback on distance learning. at the end of the day, we have to make sure that all of our families have access to a computing device and access to internet connectivity. we're working with all of our superintendents and others on strategies to expand connectivity for our students so that we can improve distance learning and improve connectivity in our instruction. our students should have access to high speed internet whether it's distance learn organize in the classroom. we're continuing to work with our school districts on how to make these things happen. >> could i quickly ask dr. johnson-tramme johnson-trammell, in the fall, what do you do with the students who need to catch up? what programs will you have? >> so back to assessment, i think the focus is less assessment around standardized testing. i think all of us as systems leaders are going to need to focus on the impact of the months that we haven't been in
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school for students that we know haven't been as connected to distance learning and gaps that they may have in their educational experience and plan for that through accelerations, on through intervention, whether they be saturday schools, creative approaches to what we traditionally have had as after school programs. many of those things may need to be virtually. but i think that is something particularly in school districts like oakland where we serve a high percentage of english language learner, newcomer, african americans, immigrant students, students that are unhoused. we represent about 1700 in oakland. and we know, we already know from the data, this is a question that was asked earlier in terms of participation rates of distance learning. and we know school by school the number of students that have
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struggled around having connection and access, whether it's a device, whether it's hot spots. and i also want us to think about the tech support training for some of our students and families. so those are the things we're actively working on. we've said an audacious goal in oakland in terms of being one to one both in the classroom and at home. because, again, thinking about next year, we don't know when we're going have to turn on a dime and be in more of a distance learning virtual format. and so for us to really still obviously be focused on wellness and health for students and staff, but we have to continue to focus on how we continue to have a learning environment in these unprecedented times and the foundational support to do that is figuring out how we in the immediate time provide those supports to our students and families. >> thank you, superintendent. we're going leave it at that. you are part of this abc7 listens town hall meeting as
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well. and we want you to join in the conversation and ask questions. go to facebook, youtube, or to weigh in. and interact in today's virtual town hall. we will be right back. >> i like distant learning because we don't have to spend as many hours as we do at school to do our school work. >> i also think i'm doing better in school because i get to focus more and i have less distractions. and i can work at my own pace. >> the things i love about distance learning is when we study together. the things i do not like about distance learning is we can't play at recess with my friends and see my teacher every single day.
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>> i'm really unmotivated to do my school work and to do my school work well because there is not that push that you normally feel. >> i found it hard for me to be motivated to participate and to learn at the capacity i was. >> having it all be online has made it really difficult near to learn. it's not what i'm used to. >> i'm mostly feeling a bit stressed, i suppose. >> i think in general i'm a pretty disciplined student, but especially with distance learning, it's been really hard to disconnect from social media and talking to my friends since i am surrounded by all of my devices all the time.
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>> devices are everywhere. motivation clearly a big issue with students learning at home. i want to tackle the big issue, the scary word, outbreak. what happens if someone at the school is known to be exposed to covid-19? does the entire school shut down for two weeks? and then somebody else another two weeks. tony thurmond, is there a state recommendation at this point or guideline? what do you do if someone gets covid-19? >> we anticipate that there is going to be very concrete guidance coming out from the state through our department of public health. and i think it will mirror what we've already heard through the cdc, that the most important thing we can do is prevention. in many cases, parents are asked to take the temperature of your children before they come to school. and if your child is not feeling well, please keep them home. what we're learning from our schools that are operating right now, they're mostly child care centers that our staff also take temperatures before students
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enter. and if there is a situation, cdc is already recommending that they create ways to support someone who might appear to not be well so as to prevent infection. and so we do expect that any day the state through the department of public health and will be providing some guidance specifically there, but taking temperatures is going to be very important to how we keep folks safe, and prevention is going to be the most important thing that we do to keep our students and all of our staff and our families safe. >> let me ask you this, or any of the panelists. how do you deal with teachers who, let's say, are older, have underlying conditions or even those who don't feel safe entering the classroom, or the school? what do you do this? >> yeah, i just want to add to the previous point, i think back, again, to that last week
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of -- in the second week of march. during that week, we ended up closing three schools, the week before and then the last week two schools. we had four meetings because -- two of the schools dph recommended, strongly recommended that we close the schools because of high cases of pneumonia that the dph at that point wasn't sure if they were covid or not. and the reason i bring that up is because it goes back to the first question you asked about the student who says i really want to go back to school. we -- it is critical that we follow the health lead from the department of public health, because we don't want to reopen schools just to close them back down. i think it's critical that we are operating step by step. one of the things i'm most proud of is that the six counties have come together with the six departments of public health
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around the closure of schools and the extension of the closures because we absolutely have to err on the side of safety. we want to keep our students safe. and i just want to overemphasize that when we're making these decisions, every adult i talk to in a system longs for the day when we are back to the system that we had in december and january, but we want that in a safe manner. we want to see kids back, but it has to be safe. and so this is for students, but it's also for all of the adults in the system. if there isn't confidence in the system, we're going have parents not sending their students back. we're going have adults not wanting to return and we're going have students not wanting to return. >> what do we do with sports? i have to ask that. sports are so big among students and parents. what do we do about that? >> i think, you know, my children play sports. i played sports growing up. i'm one that really is a
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supporter of athletics and understand the role that they play, particularly in the lives of students who really -- that is their driver. that's why they come to school, because they look forward to those opportunities. so that is something that we're very concerned about because we also know that is part of being a healthy student is that exercise and that camaradrie, the skills that you develop being on a team or being disciplined enough to practice and do a sport. however, again, i go back to dr. matthews' point about the health order, that when the health professionals tell us it's safe to do that, we will absolutely move in that direction. but absent that, i think that we have to prioritize the health and safety of our students and our community. >> i do want to add that, you know, as we think about absolutely we're following the guidelines put forth by the experts at the state level, at
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the county level and at the city level, this is where we need to lean into the ingenuity and the creativity of our stakeholders. as i am on this call, my son is on an online class with his basketball team. and so his coach has already figured out even though we can't actually be together physically, how can i still keep the boys engaged, how can they still work on their craft and get some interaction. and i think in all three of our school systems, we've run into different teachers, after-school providers who on the dime have said we've got keep connections with students. they understand the physical distance guidelines. i think people get that intuitively, and people are working all over to figure out creative ways, which is why having a lot of the constantly getting feedback is so important, because there is many places all over the state where there are custodians figuring
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this out, teachers, principals. >> yes. i apologize for cutting you off there. we do have to go to break. but i want to remind you this conversation continues right now. to take action, log on to our website, action for resources and contact information for your local government officials to reach out and let women with metastatic we breast cancerers. standing in the struggle. hustling through the hurt. asking for science not sorrys. our time for more time - has come. living longer is possible and proven in women taking kisqali plus fulvestrant or a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor.
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the only treatment in its class proven to help women live longer in 2 clinical trials. thanks for sharing your savage moves, and especially your awkward ones. thanks for sharing your cute kids. and your adorable pets. now it's our turn to share... with the geico giveback. a 15% credit on car and motorcycle policies for both current and new customers. and because we're committed for the long haul, the credit lasts your full policy term. so thanks again. one good share deserves another. dear class of 2020, well, we
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all know what's been happening. but fellow graduates, maybe we weren't made to walk that easy path. these crazy challenges in high school have been our mountain, and we're learning to climb. if these years are supposed to prepare us for life, maybe what we're figuring out is not only how to hunker down and deal, but thou get involved to do our part, to do extra so we face our challenges head-on. although the road before us isn't easy, we've got to remember we are not alone. our families, our teachers, our mentors and our communities, they've helped us get where we are. >> that was beautiful. that's a video made by kyle trefny and julian jordan, students at school of the arts who still wanted to create art, even away from the classroom.
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we want the thank our panel of experts for taking the time out of their busy schedules. i want to thank the district for feeding the children and their families. ama? >> yes, absolutely. we thank you all for all you do. and just remember, everyone, have compassion. this is new for everyone. this is beginning of an important conversation as the school year approaches. we are continuing to follow these important stories, and we'll keep you informed and connected to resources. you can watch this town hall and our other town halls on the news app anywhere you stream. thank you so much for joining us this afternoon. (music) ♪
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next at 5:00, san francisco's new plan to reopen. the time line for schools, restaurants, and barbershops. and marin county, a new push for testing. there is a spike in cases, especially among essential workers interacting with the public. in contra costa county, parents are rallying against racists. why they say one school district is putting its staff ahead of its students. will silicon valley have to? president trump cited social media companies for how they police content. and pomp and circumstance, a line of cars. welcome to high school graduation in the age of coronavirus. >> announcer: building a better bay area for a safe and secure future. this is abc7 news. mark your calendar. san francisco has


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