Teachers, students and parents adapt to virtual kick-off to school year


FORT IRWIN, Calif.  Now that Silver Valley Unified School District students and teachers have experienced the first month of their new grade in a COVID-19 environment, some say they’ve had a smooth process.

“Having a great experience so far in kindergarten thanks to Mrs. Hurley and my daughter absolutely loves Mr. C’s music instruction,” Lauren Banks said on the district’s Facebook page.

Others thanked the teachers for their patience and guidance and Kristina Huffman said, “I agree, my son’s 3rd grade teacher has been so sweet and patient and is able to talk my son through on how to get somewhere. My daughter’s 7th grade teachers have been super helpful and even one of them reached out and talked to her when she noticed she was crying because she made a mistake and couldn’t figure out how to fix it.”

The district expected some to have technical issues and were prepared for the calls and emails from parents and students. Those in need of technology support, can email support@svusdk12.net.

Due to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order, Silver Valley Schools, along with the county of San Bernardino opened under a distance learning model on Aug. 6.

District superintendent, Jesse Najera, thanked administrators, teachers, staff and the community for all of the hard work, flexibility and patience.

“Every school put together learning materials, textbooks, technology and manipulatives to help our students learn from home,” he said. “This took a lot of hard work and coordination and we’re excited to have accomplished our goal of making sure every student was ready for the first day of school.”

This year SVUSD launched a one-to-one chromebook and laptop initiative for all 3rd – 12th grade students. The district has also provided wireless services for families without internet.

Also, on Aug. 24, the district began providing breakfast and lunch by delivery in the morning to several locations.

On Aug. 14, Fort Irwin Middle School announced their library is open and has gone virtual for distance learning. Students are able to access the catalogue through a link in their English teacher’s Google classroom. This is also available to Calvert online Middle School students.

Najera emphasized that this 2020-2021 distance learning model will be stricter than the soft launch of the online schooling this past spring.

“There will be much more accountability in daily, live instruction, daily attendance, grading and independent work that needs to be completed for credit.”

In-person instruction is not permitted until the county is off the watchlist for a period of 14, consecutive days.

“We are closely monitoring the watchlist so we can bring our kids back to school, in a hybrid model, as soon as it’s safe to do so,” Najera said.

Remember you can get updates on the SVUSD on their website, svusdk12.net, as well as their Facebook page, Facebook.com/SilverValleyUSD.