Morning Report: Rural Districts Still Scrambling to Prepare for Online Learning - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Rural Districts Still Scrambling to Prepare for Online Learning

Poway Unified distributes laptops to students as the district shifts to online learning amid the coronavirus pandemic. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

As the first day of school approaches for many San Diego County school districts, officials in rural areas say they’re still struggling to connect their students with devices and access to the internet

The superintendent of Bonsall Unified told us her district ordered laptops to give to students, but they won’t arrive for months. Another school leader said they’re trying to figure out how to connect students who live in areas with spotty cell phone and internet service.

Nearly 100,000 students in the county lack access to the internet at home or are under-connected, said Terry Loftus, chief technology officer for the San Diego County Office of Education. He said the “problem is exacerbated among our county’s most vulnerable student populations.”

The state has set aside funding for distance learning to pay for things like computers and WiFi hotspots, but many school officials told VOSD’s Kayla Jimenez that they’re unable to find a company that can supply the devices they need.

Town Hall: With Schools Closed, New ‘Schools’ Emerge

With physical schools closed in the fall, new private options — like day camps and pods — are springing up everywhere to fill the void. But these new options threaten to exacerbate the achievement gaps that already exist.

Join us today at 5 p.m. for a virtual town hall as we discuss what the fall will look like and whether there is any way to level the playing field.

Our guests include San Diego Unified school board member Richard Barrera, UCLA professor of education Tyrone Howard, Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center CEO Betzy Lynch and Tutors and Friends founder Alexander Stein. Find more details and register for free here

Behold, the OB ‘Mini Revolt’ of 2020

Authorities are trying to figure out what to do about a drum circle in Ocean Beach. 

NBC 7 reports that the city recently put up a fence to stop the gatherings after getting reports that not all the participants were wearing masks or social distancing. The group also appears to be into fire dancing. How it’s even possible to “dance with fire” and not social distance is another question entirely. 

Anyhow. City Councilwoman Jen Campbell, who represents the neighborhood, isn’t happy about the whole thing. She had planned on calling for “more comprehensive action” at a press conference Tuesday. 

But then someone slashed the fence, so the city just took the whole thing down. In fact, the guy who slashed the fence was caught on camera. And when asked why, the knife-wielding man said: “Freedom. Because we want to drum circle. We want to be free; we all want to gather together.” 

Campbell was there at the park, too, and she told reporters that the drum-circlers were being irresponsible. She called on police to “Get strong!” and start arresting people. 

Locals wound up crowding the park and shouting obscenities and mocking officials. There were chants of “fuck social distancing.” One dude asked why it was OK to keep bars open and do yoga in the park, but a drum circle was off limits (bars are closed, fwiw). NBC 7’s Artie Ojeda called it a “mini revolt.”

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx and Megan Wood, and edited by Sara Libby.

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