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Sacramento City Unified First Day Starts With Technical Difficulties, Ends Successfully

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It's back to school for Sacramento City Unified students, one of the last districts in the area to make their return. But no set distance learning plan is in place.

While the district and its teachers work out their differences, kids still hit the books on day one.

The district admits, though, the day started with some snags. Technical difficulties complicated things for families trying to start their day.

Even those who didn't experience them feared something would go wrong. Tamara Engel and her family spent the morning anxious if everything would work correctly, after receiving communication things may not.

"There's a lot of anxiety, of course," Engel said. "There was a tech glitch the first day. Google Classroom wasn't working. I think we had three phone calls from the principal at our middle school."

READ: Mediator Approved To Assist Negotiations Between Sac City Unified And Teachers Union

High school junior, Cedeira Dawson, said on Wednesday she didn't have login information for her Zoom classes. She said she still didn't have them Thursday.

"I didn't even get one of my Zoom codes until 10 minutes until class started," Dawson said. She believes the last-minute planning like this has been consistent.

"Honestly I wasn't surprised this morning when our principal sent out an email saying that google classroom wasn't synced with infinite campus," Dawson said.

Sac City Unified's 'Smart Start,' a shortened schedule for the first two days, left some parents confused as they dealt with expired passwords and other glitches. A jarring morning for all, including SCUSD staff. Superintendent Jorge Aguilar said they had to react quickly.

"I'm thankful we have teachers and principals that were able to adapt so quickly," Aguilar said.

READ: 19 Elk Grove Unified School District Employees Test Positive For COVID-19

Many teachers had to manually add their students to their classrooms. As parents anxiously awaited their kids' time to log in, the district said all were eventually able to get online.

Dawson spent the rest of Thursday working on her own and preparing for day two, while the rest of her lessons this year are still in limbo.

"I just don't know what's going on and there's only so much we can to about it," Dawson said.

As for what classes could look like next week, both the district and the Sacramento City Teachers Association say they're working with a mediator; but don't have an answer on when they may find common ground. But both hope it happens soon.

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