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Community Conversation: Coronavirus Impacts On Vulnerable Students

In this April 14, 2020, photo, Radik Musin directs families in cars as they l...

Photo by Gregory Bull / AP Photo

Above: In this April 14, 2020, photo, Radik Musin directs families in cars as they line up to receive computers for San Diego Unified School District distance learning, in San Diego.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on our public education system. All students and their families are experiencing learning challenges but, the public health emergency is shedding light on a pre-existing crisis in educational equity for vulnerable student groups.

Aired: September 16, 2020 | Transcript

Community Conversation: Coronavirus Impacts On Vulnerable Students

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on our public education system.

State and countywide, public education has become a patchwork of approaches. Some elementary school districts in San Diego County are beginning to reopen for in person classes. Other districts like San Diego Unified are beginning a phased reopening by scheduling appointments for their neediest students. Others are continuing exclusively online.

This patchwork of approaches has presented challenges for all students and their families.

RELATED: San Diego Schools With Both Academic, COVID-19 Disparities Face Reopening Dilemmas

But, the public health emergency is shedding light on a pre-existing crisis in educational equity for vulnerable student groups. On a special episode of KPBS Midday Edition we delve into the long-term consequences of learning loss for students experiencing poverty, English language learners and students with special education needs.

Education reporter Joe Hong speaks with three people who work with students most vulnerable to falling behind during distance learning.

Joining the conversation are Leticia Avelar, a single parent of two children on the autism spectrum who is also a special education teacher; Mike Paredes, the principal of Monarch, a school in San Diego that educates kindergarten through 12th grade students affected by homelessness; and Jorge Cuevas Antillón, San Diego County Office of Education’s Advisor on Curriculum and Instruction for English Learners.

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