SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Ninety percent of students in the Robla School District, which is in an area just south of Rio Linda, live below the poverty line.
“We also know that we have a pretty large, even though it’s a small area, homeless population and for our families, we know that it takes it up all the more in terms of the housing that they face,” Superintendent Ruben Reyes said.
Reyes said the same challenges that stand to make COVID-19 hit their district harder than others also mean they are already equipped to meet those challenges.
“We came to understand long ago we have to provide a wide array of services to help our children and their families be successful in school,” he said.
Services like their year-round, free telemedicine, which virtually connects students with health care providers are especially relevant now.
“And when we see schools opening up again, we have a service that might be even more important to families if their child has some symptoms,” Reyes said.
When it comes to distance learning, Robla was initially able to provide each family in the district with a laptop to finish out last year. For the coming year, they can offer a device to each student in each household.
As for students that were not keeping up with school work, counselors and social workers are available to follow up.
“That sometimes included going out to the house and knocking on the door,” Reyes said.
Reyes said he’s cautiously optimistic since his staff has worked through the summer to try to make distance learning successful, but he said the real uncertainty is what comes after that.
“The true test will be when children come back,” he said. “The true test is, do parents feel confident and comfortable to send children back?”