Pittsburg Unified Students Not Returning to the Classroom This School Year

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While many school districts across the Bay Area are reopening for in-person instruction, one East Bay district now says their students won’t be returning to classrooms this year. 

“My interest in school has gone down since this started really,” said Alana Orozco of the Pittsburg Unified School District.

The 18-year-old had been hoping things would change, she’s been waiting to get out of her house and back to class.

“Even just going slowly back to school, even having the last couple of months, it does make a difference there are memories lost,” said the high school senior. 

But students in Pittsburg will have to keep studying from home as the Pittsburg School Board voted to remain in distance learning for the remainder of the school year. 

“The board made the decision in the best interest of the whole community,” said Superintendent Dr. Janet Schulze.

She said surveys showed the majority of families wanted to stay in distance learning, as Pittsburg has been hit harder by the virus than most. 

“The rate of cases for COVID in Pittsburg has been much higher than the county average,” said Dr. Schulze. 

School Board President Duane Smith said he doesn’t think it’s worth it, “Because we're now changing the model that everybody got used to. Families had child care and everything in place and this would disrupt it.”

Orozco’s mother said the district should give families the option to return like nearly every other school district in the Bay Area. She's got three kids at home struggling, but she says her oldest has the most to lose.

“The CDC says they could do it and the teachers have the option to get vaccinated, I don’t understand what the problem is,” said Christina Bonanno. “If I look back at my life the best year of my life was senior year in high school. My friends the fun of everything and she’s lost out on all of that all of the memories are gone.”

The district says it hopes to offer in person summer school and plans to welcome kids back in the Fall.

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