Julien Palafax is a 19-year-old student in San Francisco Unified School District’s program for students 18-22 with moderate to severe disabilities. In pre-pandemic times, Julien had anxiety about riding the school bus and had difficulty participating in classroom activities. In this interview, he and his teacher, Heidi Seretan, talk about how things are different now, and how, in some ways, Julien is thriving. Since this interview was done, the program has returned to in-person, but Julien and all his classmates have elected to remain remote.
Report Card is a Mission Local project supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and Wallace House, where editor and reporter Sindya Bhanoo is a Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellow. The project utilizes illustration and audio to highlight the unseen hurdles that students in underserved communities are facing this year. All audio interviews are being done remotely due to COVID-19.