Visalia Unified distributes devices ahead of distance learning start day

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- This year, Visalia Unified School District students will find the classroom in the Chromebook.

School sites around the district started distributing the devices in a drive-through fashion Monday.

Distance learning starts on Thursday.

"I am more prepared than I was last year for going to social distancing learning," Ridgeview Middle School 8th grader Lucas Lima said.

Lima misses his friends, but understands that this is the way it has to be.

So does mom.

"I feel a little anxious but I trust the school, and I trust the teachers and I think the kids are going to be ok," Fernanda Lima said.
The Chromebooks are ready for students to use. Live instruction will take place on Zoom. Schoology is another learning tool.

"So that is a place where teachers can upload videos, they can upload lessons, they can tape themselves and upload it there," VUSD Superintendent Tamara Ravalin said. "They can have quizzes-it's a full robust learning management system and then we also purchased a multitude of additional supplemental softwares."

Ravalin says all students without internet access are receiving a hotspot.
The district is also in the early stages of building their own internet network by placing towers on top of school sites.

"We have closed the digital divide," Ravalin said. "Not happy that it took an emergency to do that, but it did make us think differently and examine our practices, and so I can say that in our district, that everyone has access to the internet and a Chromebook."

Visalia Unified will be providing meals for students starting this Thursday, and every Thursday after that.

It includes five breakfasts and five lunches for the week.
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