OAKLAND, Calif. - Some of Oakland Unified's youngest students were welcomed back to the classroom for the first time in over a year. It was a day long-awaited by parents, teachers, and students themselves, though some are still waiting.
Madison Park Academy in Oakland is one of those schools that reopened for in-person instruction. The school's principal, Sabrina Moore, said she was happy to see its kindergarten, first and second-grade students return to class.
"I just want to see my kids learning, in their desks, see them learning," she said. "I hear birds chirping but I don't hear kids laughing. I'm looking forward to that."
The school is offering a hybrid model to studentss that consists of two days of in-person instruction and three days of remote learning. When in school, students must go through health screenings, wear masks, and classrooms will only be at 50% capacity to practice social distancing. School leaders announced many of these plans last week.
"We have more of a hospital likw cleaning procedure," said Roland Broach during that news conference. "That includes cleaning high tough surfaces, electro-static sprayers in classrooms and common areas."
Some schools in the district, will continue full time distance learning. The district says that's because about 38% of teachers opted for in person learning, meaning some schools would not have enough teachers to support the number of students who wanted to return. That won't last for long.
All elementary teachers must return to campus by April 19th, as agreed upon by teachers and the district.