East Bay school district prepares to resume classes by distance learning next fall

CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- The massive Mt Diablo Unified School District with 31,000 students from Clayton to Concord to Pacheco will be opening schools for the fall without "opening" school buildings. Starting Aug. 13, students will resume classes via distance learning only.

More and more Bay Area School Districts are adopting a distance learning model as the state grapples with an increase in novel coronavirus cases. Some parents are relieved, others are exasperated.

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Last week West Contra Costa Unified School District with 28,000 students opted to kickoff the school year with only remote learning
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Spokesperson Marcus Walton said, "There were more than 3,000 people at our townhall last Friday night who came out to hear about the framework, and from our initial feedback, more than 50% are OK with the framework. Obviously it's not the best situation for everyone."

Berkeley, Oakland, and Los Angeles are all starting with distance-learning only as well.

RELATED: Teachers, parents concerned over San Francisco and Oakland's plans to start distance learning this fall


That's in sharp contrast to Orange County where the Board of Education just last night approved re-opening schools in the fall without mandatory masks or social distancing.

"The health and safety of the children come first and teachers and administrators," said Nicole Gauthier, who has a tenth grader. "It's changing day by day and it doesn't seem to be getting better, it's getting worse so I think we need to take that into consideration."

Middle school teacher Jennifer Riggs said, "The reality of a student to wear a mask, stay 6 feet away, to wash their hands is kind of nonsensical. I am anxious to be with the kids one on one but I don't want to get sick either."

RELATED: San Francisco health officials release school reopening guidelines amid COVID-19 pandemic

Some school officials say it's up to the community to make schools safer.

Walton said, "If people wear masks, wash their hands and commit to social distancing we wouldn't be in the situation right now."

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