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Online petition asks Manteca Unified to follow other districts
dist learn

After getting feedback from parents, students, teachers, and staff, the Manteca Unified School District is planning on making subtle changes to its distance learning program.

The district is expected to announce the changes today at the end of the second week of distance learning to reflect the results of feedback received from stakeholders intended to help provide guidance to the district while they navigate unfamiliar territory.

“Through our continued commitment, Manteca Unified believes in providing a high quality standard aligned education,” Superintendent Clark Burke said in a statement. “We recognize and acknowledge that stress, anxiety, and the impact of the pandemic for each of us is different.

“It is our belief that no student should be harmed by circumstances outside of their control nor by imposing limits on their potential for academic growth.”

While administrators at the district level have been working to transition the classroom into a digital one and giving students an opportunity to continue learning from home, some parents have become concerned about the amount of work that students are being assigned during a health crisis.

So far more than 5,000 parents have signed a petition on requesting that Manteca Unified adopt a model similar to other neighboring districts where students cannot be penalized for not completing their online assignments – a petition that has garnered comments that range from requesting that the district simply call off the distance learning program to comments from alleged staff members that claim that they requested what the petition is calling for but were denied that request by district administration.

While other districts in the area have the flexibility of relying on third quarter grades to carry them through the rest of the school year – providing new learning opportunities only for enrichment – the district’s high schools do not have that opportunity because of the block scheduling that Manteca Unified utilizes. With each traditional semester – roughly half of the school year – covering a year’s worth of material, every traditional quarter is equal to that of a regular semester which means the students grade would reset.

When Manteca Unified began the fourth quarter after returning from spring break, they were doing so with a fresh slate at the high school level – a challenge that other districts, including the one that the petition references specifically as a model, do not have to contend with.

No formal announcement has been made about whether students will return to school for the last two weeks of the school year, but the Manteca Unified Board of Education is scheduled to meet next week in a special session on Tuesday and that decision may be finalized at that meeting. According to the district’s website, the initial commitment to distance learning was only through May 15.

“As an educational organization our primary purpose is to provide a standards-based education to our students,” Burke wrote. “Our professional teachers will utilize available tools, training, and skills to evaluate student learning.

“During this dynamic situation our students will continue to learn, adapt, and provide feedback as part of the educational process.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Manteca Unified has dedicated a page of its website to keeping parents and the community informed about developments as they arise. The information, which includes bulletins and updates from the district, can be found by visiting

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.