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Bay Area Schools Expand Distance Learning Programs

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On March 25, the San Francisco Unified School District began the second phase of a three-part plan to help get students back on track while campuses remain closed. 

Phase one focused on engaging students at home. They provided optional activities for both students and parents to engage in as families adjusted to the quarantine. 

Phase 2 expands at-home options for learning. The school sent out digital and non-digital versions of classroom courses prepared by teachers during the closure.

The last phase will begin on April 13, and it will consist of mandatory teacher-led, interactive distance learning.

But that last phase is the trickiest. Because according to data provided by SFUSD, 15 percent of all students do not have access to a computer or the internet. 

In response, the schools have been lending out Chromebook Laptops for the students with the greatest need. Since the closure, they have lent out over 1,000 computers. 

Furthermore, the San Francisco Board of Education is creating Wi-Fi hotspots for students around the city, as a way to address the technological equity gap. 

SFUSD suggests that students who need to borrow a computer should contact their school’s principal to learn how devices are being made available.