Pajaro Valley Unified Leads the Way in Providing Equitable Remote Learning
Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) in Watsonville, CA wasted no time. In early January as concerns about COVID-19 were just beginning to surface in the United States, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Rodriguez moved quickly to implement a distance learning plan for the district in order to minimize the learning loss that would be unavoidable once California’s Shelter in Place order went into effect.
First, Dr. Rodriguez wanted to ensure all students had access to online distance learning. By getting Chromebooks and hotspots into the hands of her students, this goal was readily achieved. But given the diverse population of the district — 66% English learners, 81% in poverty, 14% special education, 16% without permanent housing, and 10% migrant — having the right hardware and software was not enough. Dr. Rodriguez created a robust tech support network for parents and teachers to turn to for help getting online, using applications, and accessing the other remote learning tools being offered by the district.
- Five to six educators staff a phone help desk for parents.
- 25 other tech helpers are available two days a week to parents who bring the district-provided Chromebooks to different sites in the district for drive through support.
- Tech Teachers on Special Assignment are available to assist teachers with edtech questions and issues.
Dr. Rodriguez also understood that high-quality instructional materials that could be implemented remotely would also be needed to ensure that learning continued once schools closed. Her foresight came into play once again. The district’s existing structured literacy foundational skills curriculum, with support from the CORE consultants for the district, was ready from day one for direct teaching via Zoom.
With this infrastructure, and armed with Chromebooks, teachers can continue to educate PVUSD’s students even though classrooms remain empty. Review the graphic below to learn more about how PVUSD has made a smooth transition to equitable remote learning. Also take a moment to read an interview conducted by the Center for the Collaborative Classroom Dr. Rodriguez and CORE president, Linda Diamond, about how PVUSD is improving student literacy outcomes.