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TUSD: 'Too early' to adopt online learning plan

Posted at 10:19 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 01:19:30-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Parents across the state are still waiting to learn what this coming school year will look like for their kids even with the first day of school less than a month away.

Tuesday evening, the Tucson Unified School District Board said ‘it's too early’ to formally adopt a comprehensive online learning plan.

However, they did give some details of their preliminary plan.

The TUSD Board is trying to navigate the waters through the uncertainty of the pandemic to make learning as safe and effective as possible.

Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo was among the first to speak at the meeting.

“It's not going to be traditional instruction,” he said.

He adds the district is looking at implementing one standard model of learning for all students in the district.

That means students in classrooms and at home would get the exact same instruction. Down to using a computer for their lessons.

“You're going to have headsets, you're going to have a microphone, and you will be following the same Zoom schedule as the students learning from home,” said the Superintendent.

The plan includes a class size of about 30 students, and a plan to keep the number of students inside a classroom under ten, per CDC guidelines.

“We're going to be able to implement with fidelity physical distancing, mask enforcement, cleanliness protocol across the district,” added Superintendent Trujillo.

Physical education classes will also be online, shifting the focus from physical activity to health education.

Superintendent Trujillo says adopting one standard model for all students creates consistency, flexibility and safety.

As for technology and funding, if the $4 million technology package is approved, 1,600 new laptops will go to teachers.

“Some of our teachers have been operating with laptops that are over 10 years old, that don't have microphones, that don;t have cameras. Some of our teachers don't even have laptops at all,” added the Superintendent.

Bottom line, classes will go on come August, but the way they'll look has yet to be officially determined.

For now, the board wants folks to remember this is temporary.

Both the instructional model for the school year, and technology funding will be revisited later this month.