Posted on 04/05/2020

Dear San Diego Unified Families,

I hope this finds you and your family in good health. Even as our schools remain physically closed, we are working to keep students' hearts and minds open to learning. Tomorrow marks the start of our distance learning "soft launch session." The purpose of this email is to make sure you and your student(s) are ready for the largest online learning move of any K12 system in the State of California. A complete checklist is included at the end of this email.

Starting tomorrow, students will take part in a mix of online and offline learning. Students will be assigned work that will contribute to their academic growth and will enhance their future grades. The experience of every student will be different based on his or her grade level, course schedule, access to technology and teacher focus. Typical student experiences may include working with teachers through virtual face-to-face instruction.

Soft launch session starting Monday, April 6

  • Students independently self-pace their learning based on Online Lessons shared by the school district.
  • Some educators will also curate and provide materials digitally (e.g., videos, assignments from district materials or supplemental materials) which students work on independently and submit.
  • Educators may also provide differentiated, small group support through phone calls or online meetings based on student need and offer online office hours and/or telephone feedback for students.
  • Student communication may take place through platforms such as Seesaw, Google Classroom or Canvas.
  • Families with children receiving special education services will have equal access to opportunities.

Your school principal will continue to provide useful information to families during this period. Likewise, many educators have already been connecting with students, and that work should continue during the soft launch period. Other educators will be using this time to hone their own professional skills, so they can return to graded instruction with confidence when that transition occurs on April 27th (Traditional) and May 11th (Year-Round).

Every family faces unique challenges, as we work together to help our students continue learning. This is why San Diego Unified has created these online resources to help families navigate the challenges of working together from home.

As excited as we are for the soft launch tomorrow, we recognize the real purpose of this time is to prepare for a full return to instruction and grading on April 27th (Traditional) and May 11th (Year-Round). If students and/or staff are missing access to the internet and/or devices, we will be working during this time to close those gaps.

  • If your family needs a computer to connect to online learning, we will be issuing Chromebook laptops for students for their use for the remainder of the school year. Any student in grades TK-12 who does not have a computer or tablet device at home will be issued a Chromebook laptop between April 6th and April 24th. For more details, please see the Device Distribution Information for Families and List of computer pick up times by school.
  • Students cannot learn without fuel, which is why we have set up food distribution sites across the city. In some cases, there may not be a school offering food supplies near your home. Distribution has been limited as many of our medically fragile employees have been directed to remain at home. In addition to our own food services, we are actively working with Feeding San Diego and the San Diego Food Bank for assistance on food distribution. Both have excellent options available in most neighborhoods.

I know parents and students are fondly looking forward to the day when health care officials advise us it is safe to return to school. We do not know when that day will be, but we know how to make sure our students are ready when it happens. We know you share our hope that this will be a time of continued learning and growth for all students.

Thank you for your support and please do not hesitate to reach out to [email protected]if we can be of assistance to you and your family during this challenging time.


Superintendent Cindy Marten

San Diego Unified School District



  • Stay healthy: Continue to follow all public health guidelines to protect yourselves and others from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ensure you know your students’ district username and password for instructional resources that are accessible via the district portal.
  • Monitor district communication for up-to-date information.
  • Communicate with school staff regarding technology needs.
  • Stay involved in your child’s learning. Check out these online tips for parents.
  • Give yourself permission to have students work independently when you need time for your own priorities.
  • Try to make time to play together, read stories together and document your family’s experience of this time together in a journal.
  • Be gentle with yourself and your family, this can be an unsettling time for everyone. San Diego Unified has mental health and wellness information online.
  • Don’t get frustrated by technical difficulties. They are inevitable as our entire city adapts to sheltering in place. If family members get stressed out, talk together about strategies to stay calm.
  • Stay connected: find safe ways for you and your student to connect with classmates, friends and others online.


  • Set up a remote work space and create a plan to manage your time.
  • Be sure to have all district usernames and passwords for instructional resources that are accessible on the district portal and/or website.
    • All SDUSD students have Google for Education accounts.  Students can sign into their district Google account by using their Active Directory ID and password.
    • Google Account: student ID # (For example: [email protected])
    • Please contact your child’s school for Active Directory ID and password information.
  • Set a schedule, but keep it flexible. Students should complete their work, but take advantage of the new flexibility.
  • Take part in distance learning activities offered by educators, schools and/or the District.
  • Students need to keep learning. Productive work is not only important for their academic future, it helps maintain mental health.
  • Persevere through challenges and reach out for help when needed.
  • Stay connected to the arts! San Diego Unified believes a foundation in the arts is essential for every student. An online curriculum created by our Visual and Performing Arts professionals is available for all.
  • Build in breaks for students to relax and refocus.
  • Stay active! Our Physical education teachers have set up a site for continued learning. The Athletics Department has also shared information.
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