Equitable Distance Learning Taskforce
School districts, education experts, non-profit organizations, and community leaders form Taskforce
SAN DIEGO, July 14, 2020 — On Monday, July 13, 2020, San Diego Unified School District announced that it will continue online learning into the fall, with online-only classes for at least the first week.
Since May, a county-wide group of school districts, education experts, non-profit organizations, and community leaders have joined together to form an Equitable Distance Learning Taskforce. Initiated and led by the Classroom of the Future Foundation and San Diego for Every Child, in conjunction with the San Diego County Office of Education, this Taskforce is working to regionally prioritize both technological and non-technological needs of school-age students and their families across our community. In light of the recent announcement by San Diego Unified School District, the work of this Taskforce has accelerated in importance.
The goals of the Taskforce are threefold:
- To identify, monitor, and prioritize the needs and opportunities around equitable distance learning across San Diego County in the midst and aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis;
- To create a concise message on the short, medium, and long-term priorities for funding entities that is informed by educators and impacted communities alike;
- To develop a model for recovery that can be used to address the digital divide and divergent access to resources in the coming months.
The Equitable Distance Learning Taskforce is modeled from the Emergency Child Care Taskforce—a broadly representative group which helped present a child care plan for San Diego County upon announcement of school closures in March. The Emergency Child Care Taskforce was a successful coalition effort which helped secure state and local financial assistance for families and child care providers. The anticipated outcome of the Equitable Distance Learning Taskforce is to put forth a similar strategic and well-vetted funding plan which identifies needs and proposes equity-oriented solutions that will support local schools, students, and their families as the school year approaches. The plan will be released before the end of the summer in order to position programs for the start of the school year.
“Distance learning can be a challenge for educators, students, and caregivers alike—this is a new experience for most of us,” said San Diego for Every Child Director, Erin Hogeboom. "But worrying about having a functional place to focus on school work, or whether you’ll have internet next week to submit your assignments, shouldn’t be the kind of added stress our kids are having to deal with.”
Thanks to The San Diego Foundation, the Classroom of the Future Foundation has limited funding to support school districts to technologically equip students for their distance learning. Additionally, San Diego for Every Child is collecting tax-deductible donations which will support both the technological and non-technological needs of school districts, such as parent support and out-of-school time partners. Donations of any size are welcome through the San Diego COVID-19 Children’s Fund at https://www.sandiegoforeverychild.org/covid19.
About the Classroom of the Future Foundation
Since 1997, the Classroom of the Future Foundation (CFF) has united business, community, and educational leaders to create innovative learning environments in San Diego County public schools. CFF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization works to advance its mission by ensuring that San Diego students are prepared to thrive in a competitive global society.CFF is an extension of the San Diego County Office of Education and is known for connecting business, community, and educational leaders around innovation in education in our region. Moreover, CFF is a catalyst and champion for the creation of learning programs that apply proven business and technology-based practices in the school setting. CFF is a trusted resource for school districts, and a thought leader on innovation in the classroom. For additional information on how CFF is preparing students to be college and career ready, visit www.classroomofthefuture.org.
About San Diego for Every Child
San Diego for Every Child is a countywide coalition dedicated to cutting the experience of childhood poverty by 50% by 2030. Our mission is to create a San Diego County where every child has their basic needs met by ensuring all children in our region have nutritious food to eat, live in stable housing, receive adequate healthcare, and have access to quality childcare and education. For more information, visit sandiegoforeverychild.org. Updates can also be found on Facebook @SanDiegoforEveryChild, Twitter @SDforEveryChild and Instagram @SDforEveryChild.