Oakland Reaches Agreement to Return to School, Parents Say More Needs to be Done

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Following months of negotiating, Oakland's Unified School District and teachers' union have agreed on a phased-in hybrid approach to return to school.

Starting next week, some students will be able to return to their classrooms after a year of distance learning due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, some parents think more needs to be done to account for the learning loss.

"It's progress, but we can do a lot better," said Megan Bacigalupi, mother of two.

Starting Tuesday, students in pre-K through second grade will be able to return for in-person learning. Priority students such as English learners, foster children and homeless youth – can also return to the classroom.

By April 19, third graders through fifth graders and at least one another secondary grade, will be able to return as well.

Families still have the choice to opt out and stick with distance learning.

Bacigalupi praises the district for their effort in keeping parents up to date about sanitation efforts at each school.

Under this dashboard, parents can find out if their school has purifiers, PPE inventory and if classrooms are set up for social distancing.

"This is a collaborative effort," said Keith Brown of the Oakland Education Association. "We need to make sure that our schools are safe so that we can serve our families and students who want to return to in person instruction."

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