SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento City Unified announced Saturday that the district will move forward with a full distance learning plan beginning on Tuesday – a decision made without an agreement with the Sacramento City Teachers Association.

“We have little choice but to move forward without an agreement and are committed to providing our community with what they have been asking for: quality instruction, effective communication and accountability to ensure we meet our students’ academic, social and emotional needs,” said Superintendent Jorge Aguilar. “We want to be clear: while we were unable to reach an agreement with SCTA, our decision today is not a judgment of our incredible teachers. However, our families and our educators have been kept in limbo far too long and need to know what distance learning will look like for their students, and their classes.”

The district’s plan is as follows:

  • Essential standards for every student, which are the building blocks for learning mastery and are part of the Common Core standards. These are the concepts that students must understand before advancing on to another one. We must help our students master these standards in order to be successful as they progress through school.
  • Recorded instruction to provide students from working families and those with multiple siblings, for example, to access instruction at a later time. These students shouldn’t lose instruction because of hardships or difficulties during an already challenging time.
  • Assessments of student learning and identification of where targeted intervention and support are needed.
  • Students with disabilities receive documented individualized services as required by their IEP and state and federal law.
  • Adequate live instruction rather than a reliance for students to learn on their own through independent work. Educators know that students who are learning new concepts, such as reading, shouldn’t be left to do it without the live help of a teacher.
  • Professional Development for SCUSD Teachers as provided to teachers on Sept. 1 through 4 to provide teachers with the support to provide the quality distance learning program as indicated above.
  • Consistent Google Classroom learning platform to provide consistency for our students, and access for site administrators and support providers to assist our teachers and students.
  • Compliance with federal and state law, including SB 98 which establishes guardrails to ensure that distance learning isn’t the crisis learning of the spring.

The teacher’s association said in a Facebook post that over 85 teachers, nurses, psychologists and professional support staff participated in a mediation session between the SCTA and the district on Friday after three days of marathon bargaining last weekend and Monday

“Eight hours of mediation failed to produce any significant movement towards a Distance Learning agreement,” the teacher’s association said. “The fundamental difference centers on whether the District will allow teachers to exercise the same professional judgment in a distance learning platform that they exercise in a brick and mortar setting.”

Both sides have been attempting to come to an agreement on a distance learning plan over the course of the summer as the coronavirus pandemic continued on.

The Sacramento City Unified Board of Education said in a statement:

“We know our students and families have been waiting anxiously for learning to resume. Our community told us loud and clear this summer a distance learning plan needed clarity and consistency, equity for all kids no matter their zip code, interactive time with teachers and accountability that their children are getting their needs met. The Board is committed to meeting these needs and providing the certainty and high-quality education our students deserve in this unprecedented time.”