OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Tuesday night the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) submitted a reopening plan to Alameda County amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The plan lists a target opening date of Jan. 25 for in-person learning for younger kids up to 5th grade. Those with the district say this is a way to let the county know that they want to reopen when things are safe again.
"It's hard not being able to see my friends because I really miss them and I can only see them virtually," says Sophia Castro-Blanco who is a 5th grader in the district.
Kids like Sophia and her 3rd-grade brother Santi, say they're ready to go back to school. The two combo can play on the blacktop with only each other, and a select bubble of people.
"I really want to because first of all I'll be able to see all of my friends," says Santi.
The Teacher's Union also wants to go back, but they say it needs to be safe to do so.
"Communities, particularly in East Oakland that serve our Black and Brown students that have high COVID rates, I have to be honest I'm not optimistic," says Oakland Education Association President Keith Brown.
Those with the district say they understand that. Currently, the county is in the purple tier. You can't open schools until you're in the red tier, but Oakland Unified has a goal of opening in at least an orange tier.
"Some people may have been saying, 'oh look January 25 2021 they're going to be reopening,' that is probably, based on what is happening now, that is not going to happen," says John Sasaki of the Oakland Unified School District.
That's reassuring news Sophia and Santi's dad, Juan.
"I don't feel comfortable right now we're still seeing, I guess. It's the third wave, another spike. There's all this talk about the vaccine but who knows when it will be available," says Juan Castro-Zumaeta.
With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, both Sasaki and Brown are hopeful that those in the community use extra caution, hopeful that people wear a mask, socially distance, and are careful when going into group settings.
They both agree that it has to be safe for everyone, if and when the decision is made to reopen Oakland public schools.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Map: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules
- COVID-19 risk calculator: The safest and most dangerous things to do this holiday season
- Updated number of COVID-19 deaths, cases in Bay Area
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- California EDD: The most commonly asked questions we get about unemployment and PUA
- Health experts urge flu shots in effort to avoid 'twindemic'
- How to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and coronavirus symptoms
- Here's which mask is better to protect from COVID-19
- First COVID-19 vaccine volunteers in US describe experience as Bay Area launches vaccine trials
- From salons to dinner parties: Experts rate the risk of 12 activities
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic