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San Diego Rallies for Schools

San Diego Rallies for Schools
Posted on 10/30/2020

The simple truth of the COVID-19 pandemic is what we hear most from public health officials: we are all in this together.
It’s for that reason we wear masks, practice social distancing and good hygiene. Getting the coronavirus under control will take a collective effort. San Diego has been united in our response to the virus. San Diego Unified has been working since the spring to prepare our school facilities for students to return in the safest, most responsible way possible. At the same time, community organizations and local businesses have stepped up to help schools prepare in ways that continue to inspire us.
We’ve installed air filters, desk shields and sanitizing stations at campuses and offices. Schools have moved learning spaces outdoors and posted signage to help maintain social distancing inside and out.
The community continues to step up to contribute to the effort with gestures large and small.
Digital smart thermometers. WiFi-infused laptops. Cups of pumpkin pie yogurt. Boxes of produce. And the latest, thousands of customized plastic face shields.
These are just a few examples of unexpected contributions made to San Diego Unified from business and organizations to help students, families and staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Whatever we can do to help out,” said Ryan Harvey, general manager of the San Diego branch of Polymershapes, of the face shield donation. “I have a bunch of friends who have kids in San Diego Unified schools. It’s just nice being involved.”
Polymershapes is one of the largest distributors of performance plastics in North America. The San Diego location offered to create and donate 15,000 face shields after contracting with the district on a work order to supply over 50,000 desk shields. The face shields were customized with a San Diego Unified logo affixed across the top.
District educators, support staff and food service workers will all benefit from the added layer of protection face shields provide in diminishing the spread of viruses.
“It’s a wonderful donation,” said Andrea O’Hara, a contracts officer with San Diego Unified. “It saves the district thousands of dollars.”
The San Diego Unified family of businesses and organizations that has stepped up to support students amid the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow locally and nationwide, illustrating widespread support for our students and entire school community.
“San Diego really feels like one big family that is always willing to help out,” Superintendent Cindy Marten said. “I am filled with gratitude every time a business, a government agency, person or a nonprofit steps up to help our schools. It really is the San Diego way.”
Other donations made to San Diego Unified include 900 WiFi-infused laptops from Qualcomm, which have been put to use by students at Hoover High School. Some 35,000 digital “smart thermometers” from Kinsa are being distributed to all families and employees at elementary and K-8 schools. And thirty-two cases of Ellenos pumpkin-pie-flavored Real Greek Yogurt were distributed to essential workers in the district’s Distribution and Food Services departments to thank them for their work.
What’s more, San Diego Unified partners, the San Diego Food Bank and Feeding San Diego, have provided boxes of groceries for families to pick up at schools designated as curbside grab n’ go meal distribution centers.