Despite challenges, educators remain optimistic as Fresno Unified completes first day of virtual instruction

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Fresno Unified had its first day of virtual instruction on Wednesday, and as the district anticipated, there were some challenges.

Superintendent Bob Nelson said one of the biggest issues was connection.

“Some frustration really early right at 9:00 a.m. when everyone went live,” he said. “Hundreds of thousands of kids and adults all going live to do video chatting at the same time is hard on the city of Fresno. I don’t know that our network is really prepared for that.”

Nelson said although it started off bumpy, later in the day, 95% of students and educators were online.

He said the district has distributed around 9,000 hotspots but depending on the geographic area, connection can be an issue.

Dwayne and Vanessa Ferguson have three children in different grade levels. They said the most hectic part of the day was transitioning to getting up early and ready for classes, even though they physically weren’t going to school.

“Now they’re sitting next to each other, so we have three different grade levels sitting next to each other and we have to make sure they don’t overspeak over each other, bumping into each other,” Dwayne Ferguson said.

He said all things considered, things went pretty well.

Manuel Bonilla, the Fresno Teachers Association president, said teachers were having trouble with Microsoft Teams.

“It was a little bit bumpy start, but we hope we get through that with some more detailed training…,” he said.

Bonilla along with Nelson said it’s a learning experience for everyone but remain optimistic that things will get better.

“I know that it will get better, and it’s calling on the district to provide those systemic solutions so that it’s not just people out there surviving, but we’re feeling supported as well…,” Bonilla said.

Bob Nelson said if families are having issues with connection or anything else, communicate that with the district so that they can work on improving in those areas.

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