Coronavirus California: Oakland Unified School District eyeing possible plans for 2020

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Thursday night the Oakland Unified School District held a special meeting to update community members about what could come next.

We also heard from the state superintendent Tony Thurmond Thursday afternoon during our 3 p.m. show.

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During that meeting Thurmond voiced his full support for masks in school saying, "masks are on their way to each of our 10,000 schools many have already received it the face coverings, the hand sanitizer, the thermometers, all these things are literally on their way."

Oakland Unified District Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell spoke at Thursday night's school board meeting saying, "I am not recommending for sure tonight that we are going back to school on a specific date but we have to start that process of actually having a specific plan."

Thursday's meeting was the first after a recent district wide survey came out finding that 55% of Oakland parents like the idea of half day in school and half day distance learning. 53% like full day in school, next day at home. And 51% like year round schooling.

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Outside of those possibilities the talk Thursday was all about safety. Dr. Lee Atkinson-McEvoy of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital spoke about why the number of COVID-19 patients are much higher among adults versus kids, "there's a specific receptor that exists in our airways that the SARS COVID-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19 attaches to, and children have less of it and it's an age dependent less of it. So the younger children the fewer of those receptors that they have."

Carrie Rodich is a parent in the district. Her 10-year-old son Cole is ready to go back to class but she says she understands why the start is still up in the air.

She's hopeful that the district opts to give students a full day in class and then a full day of distance learning because it fits much better with her family's work schedule.

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She's also hopeful that some of the kinks are ironed out with the new Chromebooks, saying, "The one issue is that Chromebooks seem to not work that great with Zoom but the Google Messenger service works much better but there are some downsides to it like not being able to mute the participants which is sometimes necessary."

Oakland Unified says we won't see actual plans in place until July 10th. The district superintendent says those are always subject to change depending on what happens with the pandemic.

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