Oakland schools are reopening, but not all teachers want to go back

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- After more than a year of being closed due to coronavirus, Oakland schools will begin reopening Tuesday. Only the younger kids will be allowed in the classroom and it will be a different experience for them and their families.

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Oakland Unified says close to 58 percent of families with the youngest students said they were returning to in-person learning.

"Do we expect it to be quite that high? Probably not," anticipated John Sasaki, Spokesperson for the Oakland Unified School District.

That's because tomorrow when some schools start reopening, not every teacher will be there. In fact, the school district told us because this week is optional for teachers, only 38 percent of them opted to return -- But all teachers must come back by April 19.

VIDEO: Oakland Unified to begin in-person learning on Tuesday, but not all schools will reopen
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After more than a year of distance learning, Oakland Unified School District will begin welcoming students back on campus on March 30.



"We still had no soap in our classrooms," revealed kindergarten teacher Olivia Udovic, who has decided to delay her return. She was allowed to do an inspection of her school and found the support staff needs won't all be there.

"Parents cannot come on campus and walk their kids to the classroom. Who is going to do that? Who is going to help a kid who is scared and upset and having separation anxiety?" she added.

One mother we interviewed said she does not plan to send her first grade daughter to school tomorrow. She will wait until April 19 when her 3rd grade son will be allowed to return. They attend the same school.

"I'm excited because teachers are getting vaccinated," said first grader, Gelila Gedle.

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The district says it will be a different experience for students because of all the protocols in place due to COVID-19.

Oakland parents were sent information on the return to in-person learning.

It's about socialization, it's about getting some in-person learning, some instruction and it's just about reminding everybody what it's like to be with people again, honestly," added Sasaki

Those who go back will be in hybrid mode, two days in-person, and three days online.


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