UPDATE July 15:
FOLSOM, Calif. -- At Tuesday night’s Folsom Cordova Unified School Board Meeting, the board voted to begin the 2020-21 school year in a full Distance Learning model, with considerations to provide in-person services for students in Special Education.
The decision came late last night after a five-hour meeting. Board President Chris Clark said it was the "best solution" at this time to make sure students and staff are safe and so teachers have enough time to prepare for the first day of class on August 12.
With the decision, the next school year will start in a full distance learning model, with considerations to provide in-person services for students in special education.
As soon as it is safe to go back to campus transitional schedules are going to be rolled out, officials said. That means schools are divided into a.m. and p.m. groups, and only going to school four days a week.
The Folsom Cordova Unified School District is having a virtual school board meeting on Tuesday night to decide if distance learning will be another option parents can choose from when students go back to school.
Many parents told ABC10 they support different options of how they'd like their kids to return to school because they say, a one size fits all approach doesn't necessarily work for every family.
"My choice would be general ed stays home and special needs goes to school," Shaun Nabavi, a parent said.
Nabavi has two kids in the district, one going into 3rd grade and one going into 1st grade. His first grader is in the special education program with autism who can't function without a routine and consistent attention.
"Distance learning for autism, it doesn't work, they're not making the link between home and school and what we do at school," he said.
The district unveiled three different options families can choose from before school starts in less than a month:
- AM/PM Transitional/Hybrid (TK-12)
- Folsom Cordova Community Charter homeschool program (grades TK-8)
- Walnutwood Independent Study (grades 7-12)
On Tuesday night, district leaders could add an option for distance learning, too.
"If you go to online learning, and it's structured, parents are going to lose their jobs because they can't work around that schedule, they have to be logged on at a certain time, on a certain day," Arden Whips, a parent said.
Whips, a working mother of three elementary school kids in the district, says she doesn't feel safe physically sending her kids back to school because it's "not realistic at all."
But she would support adding a distance learning option with some flexibility.
"Distance learning the best option for everybody is to go onto online without structure, that way everyone can benefit, parents can keep working, kids can have breaks in between, they're not all pressured to do it all in one day," she said.
District leaders are deciding Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in a special school board meeting happening over Zoom whether or not they plan to add this fourth option of distance learning for students heading back to school this fall.
If approved, this will also become the model district-wide if state and local health officials mandate yet another shelter-in-place order.
Follow the conversation on Facebook with Lena Howland.
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