Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer
Friday, April 24, 2020 - NEWS RELEASE
SAN DIEGO – As San Diegans continue to navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19 and follow the stay-at-home order, today Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer highlighted efforts to make resources available for San Diego students to successfully finish the school year during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Faulconer was joined by Cindy Marten, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Superintendent and Sam Attisha, Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for Cox Communications.
“It’s hard to be a student right now, and I want San Diego’s kids and teenagers to know you’re not alone. Your friends, teachers, coaches, librarians, school district and City have your back,” said Mayor Faulconer. “Students hear all the time that they are the leaders of tomorrow, but they are showing leadership right now in how they are adapting to this new reality. They’re smart, they’re skilled, and they’re going to finish this school year strong.”
To help San Diego families and students transition to remote learning, the San Diego Public Library provides many of its services online including access to 50 research databases, 98,000 eBooks/eAudiobooks, and Stay-in Storytime videos. San Diegans can access online library resources with online library cards.
To protect the health and safety of San Diegan students, SDUSD closed its roughly 180 schools on March 13, transitioning to online learning before closing for spring break for two weeks. Now SDUSD is implementing its Distance Learning Plan beginning Monday, April 27, where students will resume graded work from home.
The school district has made its 50,000 Chromebook computers available for students to take home to continue learning ahead of the formal launch of the Distance Learning Plan. Any student in grades TK-12 who did not have a computer or tablet device at home was issued a laptop between April 6th and April 24 at a school near their home.
“On behalf of the thousands of professional educators, principals and others at San Diego Unified, I would like to let every family in the city know we are ready to welcome you back to your school year on Monday morning,” said Marten of San Diego Unified School District. “The thousands of hours our students and teachers have already spent working together during the soft launch period, along with the logistical challenges we have met, including the distribution of nearly 50,000 Chromebooks to families, makes us more confident than ever that our schools are ready to help our students succeed.”
Since 2012, Cox Communications has partnered with SDUSD to offer discounted internet services to families with students through their Connect2Compete program. To help more students succeed as they transition to learning from home, Cox Communications has offered free internet and increased internet speeds to families of students through July 15. More than 10,000 families to date have used this service with another 8,000 families pre-approved for expedited services.
“For nearly a decade, we’ve been working with school districts throughout San Diego to bridge the digital divide through our Connect2Compete program, and investing in our network to bring gigabit internet to our region,” said Attisha of Cox Communications. “As schools move to distance learning to finish out the school year, Cox will continue to support their efforts to connect students and teachers virtually by bringing internet access to homes of students in need, fast-tracking and pre-approving families, and extending free internet service to qualifying Connect2Compete families through July 15.”
In addition, SDUSD has coordinated drive-thru/pick-up distribution to deliver half a million meals to students who would otherwise rely on breakfast or lunch provided by the school. Meals are free to students and families with a valid student ID and can be accessed Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A statewide “Stay-at-Home” order is in effect until April 30. For more information on the order, including what’s closed, what’s open and which industries are exempted by the state, please visit COVID19.ca.gov.
For information regarding COVID-19 cases and directives from the County of San Diego public health officials, please visit www.coronavirus-sd.com.
For the latest City operational updates and steps the public can take to help reduce the spread of the disease, please visit sandiego.gov/coronavirus.