OAKLAND, Calif. - Officials with the Oakland Unified School District Friday said students will be learning from home for the foreseeable future as the new school year begins Monday.
Board President Jody London was optimistic Friday afternoon at a news briefing about the coming year.
"We're going to get there," London said. "We're going to make it work."
Yet negotiations with the teacher's union were still on Friday over how students will be learning. As of 3:30 p.m., an agreement had not been announced.
School officials said very little about what next week will look like for students because that is part of the negotiations. The officials told parents to call their student's school, teacher or principal for information.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said if a county is on his watch list for COVID-19, schools must conduct distance rather than in-person learning. Alameda County remains on the watch list.
School district spokesman John Sasaki said this year will not be a "normal" school year.
"Grab and Go" meals that were provided for students over the summer will continue this fall at more than 20 locations. But, this fall, meals will be limited to OUSD students and adults in the young adult program because of federal restrictions, Sasaki said.
Since March 16 when school campuses closed to in-person instruction, the program has served 3.9 million meals. Over the summer, meals were available to any Oakland child 18 years old and under.
The meal program will begin again on Monday. More information can be found online. Families are urged to wear a mask when picking up food.
New computers for every student that needs one were ordered in June and should be distributed by the end of September. The computers, 25,000 in all, are being distributed through the #OaklandUndivided Campaign.
"What a great partnership with the city," London said.
Acquiring the computers has been somewhat hampered by supply chain constraints as many school districts across the country are seeking computers for their students, Sasaki said.
Students will get to keep the new computers they receive. Any computer that they have received as a loaner must be returned to receive a new one. Sasaki said students who need to borrow a computer should contact their school.
The district is also working with T-Mobile and Comcast to provide hotspots or broadband Internet access, if necessary, so students can get on the web. Getting technology for teachers who need it is also something school district officials are working on.
Attendance is mandatory for students for every class, every day, according to Sasaki.