Poway Unified starts virtual school year

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SAN DIEGO – A Poway Unified School District elementary school hosted a drive-through event Wednesday to equip students with laptops and other materials to begin the new school year from a distance.

Families picked up about 100 Chromebooks from Sundance Elementary School along with a number of hands-on projects for students. The school also is hosting Zoom and Canvas workshops to help parents get acclimated with the tools required to help their students learn.

The district held similar back-to-school events at other campuses Tuesday as well as hosting a Zoom interview for parents with Superintendent Marian Kim-Phelps.

“I’m excited — really excited,” fourth-grader Krishang Parmar said.

“Excited that it is starting back,” said Mayank Parmar, Krishang’s father. “It’s difficult. It’s always good, kids going to school. But I think we are learning.”

Sundance Elementary Principal Raquel Katz said parents are encouraged to reach out to her with potential issues. The school also has instituted health and safety protocols in preparation for students eventually returning to campus.

“Come to their teachers and we’re definitely going to work through this together,” Katz said.

Distance learning could be a challenge for some parents and students, but parent Raj Bhumkar said he would rather have his son learning safely at home rather than going to school too early during a global pandemic.

Bhumkar said he would prefer for a coronavirus vaccine to be developed before sending him back.

“This is completely new territory here, so yeah we are excited for him, but we are equally in two mindsets like how we will manage our time,” Bhumkar said. “We are both working from home.”

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