Parents sound off during Mt. Diablo Unified School Board meeting over hybrid plan

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Dozens of East Bay parents sounded off at the Mt. Diablo Unified School Board meeting Wednesday night. Many are upset about the proposed hybrid learning plan. It gives families the option of distance learning or in-person learning. It basically brings some kids back to class for between four and five hours a week when the district does decide to go back.

While parents couldn't be seen during the Zoom board meeting, those that spoke were heard with very strong opinions about getting schools open and the new hybrid plan.

"When are you guys planning to reopen?" said one person.

Another said, "Who runs this district?"

And a father sounded off saying, "It's a complete joke!"

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The hybrid plan keeps all kids in distance learning for half the day and allows those who want to come back, to come back for between two and two and a half hours a day, twice a week. During Wednesday's meeting many complained saying the amount of in-person school time needs to be higher. Other parents said working parents will have a very difficult time with this.

"My opinion is that we need to reopen sooner than later kids are really suffering," said Noel Fruchtenicht who has two kids in middle school.

"The kind of course work that kindergarteners and first graders are doing, this is not developmentally appropriate. He's six, this is completely ridiculous," said Laura Steele who is the mother of a first grader.
The district has not named any sort of start date for in person learning but that is something that is likely to change if and when Contra Costa County leaves the purple tier and goes into the red.

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At Wednesday night's meeting not only did parents sound off but the teacher's union did as well, calling out the district for delays in plans designed to keep employees safe.

The district though updating their hybrid plan and approving a measure to bring in annual Covid-19 tests for all employees and students.

"Every two weeks being able to offer testing at all of our school sites," said Dr. Lisa Gonzales of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.

Many parents that we talked with believe that Contra Costa County will be out of the Purple Tier and into the red in the next couple of weeks, they are hopeful that plans to start in-person learning happen immediately at that time. Those with the district say it will take at least 5 days after they get into the red tier.

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