oakland unified school district

Teachers Concerned With Oakland Unified School District Reopening Campuses

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Students at Oakland Unified School District are scheduled to return to class Monday.

But some teachers say the district needs to delay reopening until all students are vaccinated.

On Saturday, there was a small caravan of drivers blaring their horns through Oakland over concerns about the start of the school year.

"I am certain that there will be students at my school on Monday that are infected with COVID-19," said Adarene Hoag, a special education teacher at Oakland Unified School District.

Hoag told NBC Bay Area that the neighborhood surrounding her elementary school has one of the highest rates of COVID-19 infections and one of the lowest when it comes to vaccinations.

she's also concerned there's a lack of protections for teachers and students and she’s not alone.

"And that there be no return to sites until there's vaccinations available for students and mandatory for everyone on the campus,” said Mark Airgood, a middle school teacher

Airgood teaches middle school special education students. He said more distance learning options need to be offered.

While there will be mask requirements and improved ventilation in class, the school system isn't requiring proof of vaccination for staff yet.

Oakland Unified is not requiring regular testing for those who opt out of getting their shots.

Parents who have been pushing for a full return to class, are also voicing some concerns about the way Oakland Unified is handling staff vaccinations.

"I would like to see Oakland Unified do what San Jose has done. Which I think is a reasonable ask and that is teachers and any staff that is in schools to be vaccinated and if they choose not to, I think they have to undergo weekly, or maybe even twice a week testing," said Megan Bacigalupi of Open Schools California.

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