East Bay Teachers, Parents React to COVID Concerns

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School was back in session Tuesday in Hayward after the omicron surge forced the school district to switch to virtual learning last week.

Parents, students and even the crossing guard were excited to see families on their way to Strobridge Elementary.

NBC Bay Area spoke to parents who say virtual learning can't replicate one important thing - socializing.

"She's very happy to be back and so are we because we want them to be able to learn to their fullest," said Hayward parent Marcella Kuehn.

In Oakland, a group of teachers and students continues to take part in a sickout, forcing the district to shut down three schools because not enough teachers showed up.

Those three schools are Acorn Woodland Elementary, Bridges Academy and United for Success Academy.

"We need to stay out of school," said special education teacher Mark Airgood. "I don't know what's going to happen with omicron or the next variant, but certainly for the foreseeable future its not safe to be in these schools."

But not every teacher called out sick. Daniel Harbarger and Linh Tinh both teach at MetWest High School, where they say only 20% of students showed up to class Tuesday.

"It's like every little symptom you're getting whether it's a headache or achiness, you're like 'oh god did I bring it home?,' so there's definitely some stress about that," Harbarger explained.

The school district said it is handing out KN95 masks to every single student and is waiting to receive back orders for tents and tables, so that students have outdoor eating areas to eat lunch safely.

The district also said it is not planning to extend the school year to make up for any learning loss and stresses, there are no plans to return to virtual learning.

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