The transition to online learning was tough for students and teachers alike. Now we are in September and while many students and teachers have adapted, for some it hasn’t been easy.
However, for those who are struggling, a new helpful program began on September 3rd. The Sac Childcare Learning and Student Support, or CLASS, program aims to make distance learning easier and more accessible.
“Distance learning lacks much of the in-person instruction and routines that help students succeed. Youth in Sac CLASS receive continued in-person support to address achievement gaps caused by distance learning,” said Monica Blanco, Interim Youth Division Manager from the Department of Youth, Parks, and Community Enrichment.
Another major issue with distance learning is the number of students without internet access at home. The California Department of Education estimates that 300,000 students lack access to wifi at home.
“Sac CLASS provides free WiFi access at all community center locations which eliminates the barrier that many families face due to lack of WiFi at home. By removing this barrier, youth can get online to attend their classes, meet with their teachers and complete homework assignments,” said Monica Blanco.
Sac CLASS has also partnered with local school districts in the Sacramento area. The school districts are able to identify which students may need help and then refer them to the Sac CLASS program.
“Sac CLASS mirrors the traditional school day and follows the schedule set by each school district. Each participant provides their individual class schedule and staff remind and assist participants with signing into their scheduled class time and meetings with teachers,” said Monica Blanco.
These school districts also provide meals for the students as they would in a normal school setting.
With fewer students, the Sac CLASS program is also able to make accommodations for these hard times that a reopened school would not be capable of making.
“Each site follows all state and local public health orders with implemented safety protocols such as social distancing, frequent hand washing and sanitation, wellness checks that include taking temperatures, and small cohorts of children in each room. The program has COVID-19 mitigation protocols in place and staff have received COVID-19 safety training to ensure the safety of staff and participants,” said Monica Blanco.
Hopefully, we will begin to see more programs like this pop up across the state until students can return to normal everyday classes.