Oakland schools return to in-person learning for 1st time since pandemic began

ByLyanne Melendez and Matt Boone KGO logo
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Oakland schools return in person for 1st time since pandemic began
Oakland Unified School District returns to in-person learning for the first time since pandemic began on Tuesday, March 31, 2021.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- For the first time in more than a year, students in transitional kindergarten through second grade in the Oakland Unified School District are heading back to school Tuesday.

"We parents are thrilled that it's happening," said Allyson Purcell, whose second-grader son will be heading to Redwood Heights Elementary.

"We're grateful to his teacher that he's returning today," she added, hinting at the fact that not all teachers will be coming back yet.

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

In addition to TK-2nd grade, some priority students in all grade levels will also be going back Tuesday.

According to the district, only about a third of the district's teachers voluntarily agreed to begin in-person teaching by March 30.

Because of this, six elementary school campuses won't open until April 19, which is when the hybrid learning schedule will be expanded to additional grade levels. By then, the district expects to have more than 80% of teachers back in the classroom with students.

The plan is a hybrid learning model, where students spend part of the day doing virtual learning and then come in to campus twice a week for in-person instruction.

RELATED: Oakland Unified School District to begin in-person learning on Tuesday, but not all schools will reopen

While Purcell was happy to see the change, she was disappointed in the plan.

"It's the bare minimum. My second grader is going to be in school for 4.5 hours a week. That's it, that's all he gets," said Purcell.

Having trouble loading the tracker above? Click here to open it in a new window.