Mixed reviews for Oakland's first day back to school

Some parents say the first day of school in Oakland went better than expected. Others say it went worse.

But they all agree, it was a challenge.

Freshman Ajene Snaer logged onto his first-ever class at Oakland High School Monday. It was biology. He says so far, so good.

"If everything goes right it should go pretty smoothly. He had the Google classroom set up. He wasn't struggling," Snaer said.

"I was a little nervous. Now I'm a little more calm," said his mother Dawn Harris.

For one mother of an Oakland Tech High School student, says this first day of remote distance learning at the Oakland Unified School District was easier than this past weekend leading up to it.

"There was a rush of information over the weekend. To get links and know what we are doing. Luckily we got it in in the nick of time," Kerri Hurtado said.

Some parents were still picking up laptops for their children. The school district said they were trying to get computers to approximately 2,000 students, and said it may take until the end of this week.

"I wish it was more organized. But I also have empathy for the teachers and what they are going through," Hurtado said.

A kindergarten teacher at Global Family Elementary in the Fruitvale District says of the two classes she taught today, a combined 17 students didn't show up online. That's about 40 percent of the kindergartners.

"Whether that means they don't have a computer yet or internet access, I haven't been able to contact them yet," said teacher Sara Shepich.

Under the guidelines spelled out by the teachers union, online class instruction is supposed to last one hour a day per teacher. That could change once the union and the school district reach an agreement.

"It was pretty rough today actually," said parent Morgan Johnson.
Johnson has a fourth-grader at Cleveland Elementary School. "We had a packet of instruction from the district. It was supposed to be four hours. It was maybe 10 minutes. The rest of the day was up to the parents to fill," he said.

"I wish there was more in-person instruction. Whether that will happen I am not sure. I'm just trying to flexible," said Hurtado.