Pleasanton school board votes in favor of transitioning to partial in-person learning amid COVID-19

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) -- The Pleasanton Unified School Board voted on a plan Thursday night to bring back elementary and secondary students for in-person learning.

The decision came after more than an hour of public comment and nearly an hour of discussion by the board.

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At issue was whether students in grades six through 12 should come back for in-person instruction or remain in a distance learning model for the rest of the year.

The proposal submitted to the board suggested that they "shift focus from 'reopening' to 'improving remote instruction and enhancing supports for students.'"
There were exceptions for students with special needs, English learners and unhoused students who would have been able to return for some in-person instruction.

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Small groups of students would have also been able to come back to campus for extracurricular classes.

But that plan did not sit well with many parents, prompting a protest outside the district office Thursday afternoon.

"Not everybody wants to go back to school, that's fine," said Andrea Reno, a parent of two PUSD students. "People can stay at home if that's what they choose, but the kids that need to be in-person, they should be in class now."
"I want to come back now. I will do whatever it takes. I'll bring my hand sanitizer. I'll wear gloves. I'll wear a mask. I'll stay six feet apart. We need to go back to school," said sixth-grader Summer Brown.

After a long meeting, the board trustees agreed that they should not rule out the option for in-person learning for secondary schools.

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While the plan still needs to be ironed out, the board voted to move forward on previously discussed transition plans that would create some level of on-campus instruction.

According to protocols by the state, elementary schools can begin reopening in the purple tier. However, secondary schools cannot open until the county has been in the red tier.

Issues over testing and vaccines for teachers have been discussed, but are still largely up in the air, seeing as they are reliant on yet unallocated resources from the state.

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