Schools surprised by Governor Newsom's announcement about possibly reopening campuses early

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Governor Newsom announced that schools may open as early as July to make up for the lost time and inequality in educating kids online. The details have yet to be worked out, still, it took many school districts by surprise.

This late in the distance learning program, San Francisco Unified was still handing out laptops to students who are trying to do their work online.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces 4 phases to reopen CA businesses and schools

"I just got a computer and I get to do class work on this so I get to maintain my grades." said Douglas Bonilla, a high school student who just got his laptop.
But Governor Gavin Newsom is concerned that many students in California have lost precious time and have fallen behind. He offered an option to begin closing the learning gap.

"We're concerned about that learning loss even into the summer and so we are considering the prospect of an even earlier school year into the fall, as early as late July, early August," announced Newsom.

San Francisco Unified quickly issued a statement saying: "We will continue to work closely with regional officials in determining when and how to reopen schools."

Parents were mixed on the possibility of starting school in July.

"I got to work and can't be 24 hours with them at home, so they need to go back to school," expressed Olga Romero, a mother of a student at SFUSD.

RELATED: Student Spotlight 2020: Honoring high school, college seniors

"Let's back up until we have a vaccine, let's run a couple of tests before you throw us back into the wild," insisted Luis Gutierrez who was taking his nephew to get a new laptop from the district.
Some teachers unions insist that starting earlier would mean re-negotiating contracts between teachers and school districts.

In response to that the Oakland Unified said, "We will adjust to new guidance and work with our labor partners once the California Department of Education releases specific details on how they envision a safe return to school."

For now San Francisco is focusing on another issue, voting tonight to adopt a credit versus no-credit grading policy for students.

"When we're choosing one system it has to be appropriate for all of our students and right now that's what we've landed on," added Gabriela Lopez, a member of the school board.

Those who receive a no credit grade will be given the chance to complete the required work by, for example, in a summer program. Those details will be discussed at tonight's meeting.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here

RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.