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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Families with students in the San Diego Unified School District were encouraged Friday to take advantage of distance learning resources in advance of Monday, when graded work instruction will resume for the district’s students.

With district schools shuttered through the end of the school year due to COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders, SDUSD started a soft launch on April 6 of its Distance Learning Plan. Nearly 50,000 Chromebooks were distributed to allow students to continue their education from home, according to Superintendent Cindy Marten.

Marten said 90% of district students have been able to connect with the district’s Distance Learning program thus far. She urged those without computers or internet access to pick up Chromebooks for home use.

Laptop distribution sites are located at Clairemont, Crawford, Hoover, Morse, Lincoln, San Diego and Scripps Ranch high schools from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays through May 1.

Marten also said district staff have been working to ensure homeless students living in shelters have access to wifi hotspots in order to take part in distance learning.

Eligible low-income families are able to receive free internet service through mid-July through Cox Communications’ offer for the Connect2Compete service.

Customers signing up before May 15 can receive the offer, which provides the service free of charge until July 15.

The offer for the Connect2Compete service is available to families who have at least one kindergarten through 12th grade student at home, and receive benefits from the National School Lunch Program, SNAP or TANF programs or live in public housing, and are not current Cox Internet customers.

Those receiving the service will also get download speeds that were recently doubled to 50 mpbs in mid-March. The doubled speeds will also last through July 15.

More than 10,000 families within the district have used the service to date, while another 8,000 families have been pre-approved for expedited services, according to Cox senior vice president and regional manager Sam Attisha.