Thousands of students in SFUSD still need devices ahead of first day of school


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – A week from today, more than 50,000 students in the San Francisco Unified School District are set to return to class online but many don’t have the technology they need to do so.

Though the district has already distributed 13,000 computers to students in need, another 20,000 still must be distributed and district officials say that won’t happen by next Monday.

“That number, the 20,000 over the next few weeks, it may be more than two weeks to get to all the students. That’s based on an estimate based on a survey that we have done and what our school sites have reported,” Gentle Blythe, SFUSD Deputy Superintendent, said. 

Families that need computers should contact their school not the district.  

As far as broadband access, the district says 10,000 WiFi hotspots are still needed and also won’t get to students in need by next Monday.  

“Our teachers will not penalize students who can’t get online immediately, they know this is something we are rolling out as quickly as we can based on the resources we have to purchase and distributed those materials to students and their families,” Blythe said.

Teachers preparing for the first day of distance learning say now more than ever it will take parents and teachers to help children succeed.  

“An we get the relationships built in the household so students feel comfortable with their cameras on, so students and families feel comfortable to talk to the educator so they can log on and have their resources met, if we don’t build that early on as we did before in person it will be more drastic so all families have to do is not log on so we want to make sure we don’t leave people behind,” Frank Lara, 5th grade teacher at Buena Vista-Horace Mann, said. 

And teachers say the work of making sure no one falls through the cracks begins this week.

“What we will do is identify students who did not communicate last semester and they will be the first priority, what’s their number, where’s the family, what do they need,” Lara said.

We’re also learning more about that online daily instruction which is expected to be three to four hours a day depending on the grade level.  

The school district has clarified that does not mean your child will be in front of the computer for 3-4 hours each day interacting with a teacher.

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