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

Lyanne Melendez Image
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Why Oakland teachers, parents aren't ready to return to school
EMBED <>More Videos

Oakland schools are about to reopen, but not all teachers and parents are comfortable with going back to the classroom. Here's why:

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.

RELATED: Oakland Unified announces agreement to bring students back to in-person learning

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

"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.

RELATED: Solutions for students struggling with distance learning

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.


  • Uncertainty as to whether SFUSD, OUSD will meet April 1 reopening deadline to take advantage of $6.6 billion bill
  • Lukewarm reaction among Bay Area educators to Newsom's schools announcement
  • Gov. Newsom announces plan to get kids back in public schools by end of March
  • Bay Area family relocates to Denver so child can attend school in person
  • Parents, students hold rally to reopen Oakland Unified schools
  • Stanford welcomes juniors, seniors back to campus for spring quarter
  • Bay Area experts share advice on talking to children and teens about mental health, suicide
  • EXCLUSIVE: East Bay school's hybrid model could be key to reviving in-person learning across Bay Area
  • Oakland Unified school board proposes start date to reopen schools for in-person learning