"To me, it just doesn't feel like school has started because you don't have students coming up to you asking how to find their classes. Or, they don't know how to get in their locker. So, it's a little unusual," said Taylor.
McClymonds, like all schools in the Oakland Unified School District is beginning the school year with distance learning because of the growing spread of COVID-19 in California.
The return to school is highly unusual this year. Unlike the previous school year when classes went online in March and teachers had nine months to build relationships with their students, teachers and students must now navigate the new school year without meeting each other and, in some cases, without being able to see each other on Zoom.
Geometry teacher Floresa Vaughn taught from her classroom the first day. She sat at her desk with her laptop open and rows of empty desks in front of her.
All she could see on her laptop was the names of her students since the district does not require kids to turn on their cameras for privacy issues.
She spent the first day introducing herself and her infectious laughter to students trying to get students to talk to each other in smaller chat rooms was more difficult.
"This is what we would be doing on the first day of school," she told her students. "I don't want you guys to watch this screen, it is so boring."
The return to school was anything but uneventful for 11th grader Deandrea Campbell. She just moved to Oakland from Stockton with her mom and brother.
For now, they are sharing a home. Because of the limited space, Campbell and her brother both sit at the kitchen table for their online classes.
"We're across from each other on the table and it's loud because my teacher is talking, his teacher is talking, and we can't hear the teachers talking," said Campbell.
Her mother is working part-time this week to help them navigate their new classes.
"I'm literally going from one end of the table to the other so I understand what is going on, so that I can assist them when they have questions. It's very hard right now," said Carlin Stewart.
ABC7 News followed McClymonds High School for the first week of school. To see an expanded story that includes a teacher working from home next to her son taking his own Zoom class, and a larger look at the West Oakland community, go to Mack: A High School Story on the ABC7 News App, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL WEEK STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Bay Area teachers share their concerns, expectations about the upcoming school year
- Coronavirus Impact: YMCA launches learning camp for Bay Area students
- From Columbus to BLM movement, Bay Area school districts discuss new history curriculum
- Some experts, parents say benefits of in-person learning outweigh COVID-19 risk
- SFUSD teachers reach tentative deal on distance learning
- Bay Area students torn over 'Zoom U' as universities restart with online instruction
- 'Adaptability' is key as San Jose State starts fall semester with online instruction
- Experts discuss if college is worth it this year, what it will look like
- San Jose State offers free webinars for teachers to improve K-12 distance learning
- Bay Area high school, club sports can practice, but still no closer to games
- Distance learning garners mixed reactions from middle, high school students
- Learning on a screen: Here's a look at what school will look like this fall for Bay Area high school students
- Experts discuss keeping grades 6-12 students motivated while distance learning
- 'Internet access is a privilege': Bay Area schools work to bridge digital divide as new school year begins
- Here's what it's like to teach children to read over Zoom during COVID-19
- Elementary school kids not shy about sharing their thoughts on distance learning
- Pandemic pod warning: Parents should be aware of these potential dangers
- Will online learning improve this fall for CA elementary schools? Here's what teachers, officials say
- Coronavirus impact: Doctor gives advice for monitoring kids' screen time amid pandemic
- Experts explain impact of COVID-19 on future of preschools, daycare
- Child care crisis: Hundreds of Bay Area centers could permanently close while Congress debates bailout
- A day in the life of a San Francisco preschool: Here's how they've changed to keep kids safe
OTHER RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 schools: What classrooms and campuses could look like in the coronavirus era
- MAINTAINING LEARNING: Free educational resources for kids stuck at home
- Here's which CA counties can reopen schools and salons amid COVID-19 pandemic
- COVID-19 learning pods: Here's how they work and what Bay Area schools say about them
- New 'learning hub' program could help thousands of SF students with distance learning this fall
- CDC releases new guidance for reopening schools
- South Bay mother desperate for in-person learning options for son with special needs, fears delay in his progress
- California 'racing against the clock' to close digital divide before school starts, state superintendent says
Check out more stories and videos about Building a Better Bay Area.