SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Most San Francisco Unified School District board members expressed support at a meeting Tuesday night to giving all middle and high school students A’s for the remainder of the year due to coronavirus school closures affecting their education.
But that goes against what state education officials and the University of California and Cal State University systems want.
“It’s very stressful for educators and families. It’s not gonna be perfect. There are a lot of issues as we go forward. Our goal is to make sure every student is reached by educators every day and that the students are okay,” said SFUSD Board President Mark Sanchez.
A final decision will come later this month.
Some students say they’re running into problems, from accessing affordable WiFi, not having working computers, and not knowing how their classes will be graded.
SFUSD says it’s working on these issues, but that some of it is “beyond their control.”
They’re also aware of a group of students frustrated with distance learning who are demanding some changes be made.
Sophia Koehler, a senior at John O’Connell High School in San Francisco, is trying to learn from home and will be heading to UC Berekeley in the fall. She and her classmate Olivia Clarke have been distance learning since March 16, when public schools shut down in San Francisco, forcing 62,000 students like them into a different kind of classroom.
They spent hours crafting a lengthy petition to Superintendent Vincent Matthews, posting it on Instagram and calling it “SFUSD_Revolution.”
“For a lot of us students we have been isolated and the district is not helping with that,” said Koehler.
“The most concerning thing is the grading period ends Friday and a lot of students are left in the dust because they haven’t told us what they’ll do with that,” said Clarke.
Some of the demands from the students include a pass/no pass grading system and an alternative to live video classes, which are sometimes difficult to attend given all the distractions at home. School officials say it’s a work in progress.
“A lot of educators are not up to speed yet. Some of them may never get there. But the goal is that they can provide some content. A lot of the time it’s going to be live. But not all the time,” said Sanchez.
SFUSD says it is working on ways students can access lessons. It is currently working on implementing something called “Screen Captify,” which are pre-recorded lessons students can listen to and then respond to on their own time.