MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Monterey County schools are preparing to start the year off with distance learning.
"The additional piece that has rolled into what we've done are the parents and the home," said Salinas City Elementary School District Director of Technology, Monika Macias.
Macias said planning committees have prioritized students without a home. 9,477 of Monterey County's 77,923 students identify as homeless. Around 3,500 attend Salinas City Elementary School District.
Macias has worked all summer to make sure they have the same opportunities as everyone else this Fall. "I made about three or four visits to the warming shelter in downtown Salinas and connected with kids individually. I bring the equipment. I talk to them and their caretaker about how to use it and how things work together," said Macias.
Macias said homeless students are given first priority to a Chromebook, WiFi hotspot and headset at the district. The "distance learning kit" allows students to access coursework anywhere and anytime, regardless of where they are living.
Other districts are coming up with different solutions for homeless students. North Monterey County Unified School District plans to submit a waiver request to the county health officer to allow for limited in-person instruction at the elementary level. The governor's order specifies that the request must be submitted by the district superintendent.
"There are certain students that cannot be served remotely. In North Monterey County, we have a high percentage of students who are homeless and do not have internet. They will be coming to campus to utilize the devices and internet," said Yeater.