Compton Unified School District Distance Learning Classroom Featured on Fox 11 News
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Aug 14, 2020

Fox 11 News reporter Koco McAboy was given a preview of what students and educators will experience when the school year begins with distance learning. President Micah Ali, Superintendent Darin Brawley, Kelly Elementary Principal Kevin Curry, parents, students, middle school teacher Jose Gonzalez and members of CUSD’s Education Technology and Information Technology teams (Michele Dawson and Preston Miles) gave McAboy an up close, real-time demonstration of engaging distance learning and teaching in action. The story is below:

Compton Unified School District adapts to distance learning model

By Koco McAboy - Fox 11 News - August 14, 2020

The Compton Unified School District will start the fall semester next week, and will offer distance learning to students.

Within the district, teachers will instruct from their own classrooms without distractions. The teachers use Clear Touch interactive panels and cameras to interact with their students and offer live teaching.

"Teachers will have access to their own classroom, free from distractions and they're in an environment that is safe, and conducive, but it affords them the technologies that they simply do not have at home," said Micah Ali, the President of Compton Unified School District.

One of the middle school teachers from Davis Middle School, Jose Gonzalez, gave FOX 11 a demonstration of how the live instruction will work in the classroom.

"I can communicate with my kids and pull up different screens when I'm speaking with them, but the benefit as well is that I'm in the classroom and I can use any of the materials that I have," said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said he has been working with students throughout the summer, and they've been holding virtual cooking classes, and the format is working.

"Our whole classroom becomes a learning instrument. The floor, the maps, everything. We also incorporate the social, and emotional components so I make time for them to just hang out, five or ten minutes, because they don't get a chance to see each other so that's an important component as well, not just the learning, but to see their peers," he said.

Ali said Compton experiences unique challenges with distance learning while serving primarily Black and Brown students.

"This is an issue of education justice. We have to make certain that our students are competitive, not just regionally, but globally. Parents may not have the financial wherewithal to finance the supplemental tutors and support services at home or to hook up with the local pods, if you will, so because our students don't have that capability or that financial wherewithal, we have to provide that," said Ali.

Dr. Darin Brawley, the Superintendent of Compton Unified School District, said the district is working with large companies to provide devices to students.

"We've been able to incorporate technology for the vast majority of our students within the organization, actually all of them. We're doing a great job within Compton in terms of eliminating the opportunity gap within students, our students of Black and Brown origins. We feel that it's up to us to eliminate that opportunity gap so they're able to take advantage of the opportunities that exist within our global economy," said Brawley.

Kevin Curry, the Principal at Kelly Elementary, stressed the importance of making sure students have access.

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