February 18, 2021
|Dear Oakland Community,|
Our ability to bring students back to campus for in-person learning is dependent on several factors, including COVID cases continuing to decline. It also depends on how many of our staff and students would like to return for in-person learning and how many wish to remain in distance learning.
At this time, we are asking all TK-5 families to answer two questions in the Mandatory Student Preference Form for each of their TK-5 students by March 2, 2021. This will let us know if you prefer that your student continues with distance learning for the rest of the school year, OR if you prefer your student return to in-person learning, if it becomes available.
About the Form:This form is required for current TK-5 students. Families with students in Pre-K and grades 6-12 will be contacted later.A separate form needs to be completed for each student.The form is due by March 2, 2021.
About Returning to In-Person Learning:
The answers from the preference form will help each school site make specific schedules to serve as many students in-person as possible.Spots will be offered for in-person learning when/if they become available. The days/times available at each site will depend on staffing and capacity.The number of days per week, hours per day, and types of learning are still pending.All students have the option to remain in distance learning through this spring.We know that you may have many questions about in-person learning, and what that will look like. We simply do not have all the answers right now, but the information families provide will help us create the best possible experience for our students. Please know that we will follow all state and county health guidelines, including requiring the wearing of masks, keeping small stable cohorts, limiting the number of people on campus, and offering COVID testing to our staff and students. The offerings will also be aligned with our Education Program which “describes the District’s educational program in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is not static, but rather one that will be modified or replaced as the District’s educational program changes“.The best place to find the most up-to-date information continues to be www.ousd.org/reopening2021. We have also created and will continue to update a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page as more information becomes available.We are continuing to negotiate in good faith with our labor partners.
For those interested, you can find the latest proposals by OUSD and OEA posted here. We stand willing and able to meet with labor leaders to negotiate the impacts and efforts of in-person learning.
Creating school site specific plans.
School sites will use the information collected from the form to build a schedule for students and staff. Once those schedules are set, they will reach out to families to share what in-person options are available at the site. These schedules will be in line with our reopening plans and our Education Program.
Moving forward together.
We are working hard to create the opportunities and support that our kids need, in a way that keeps our community safe. I want to acknowledge that for some, this message may increase stress and for others it will be a hopeful sign. All may feel some frustration about moving forward without clarity on the details of what in-person learning might look like.
I desperately wish I could provide the certainty that we all crave. In the meantime, we must keep engaging with this uncertainty while acknowledging the difficulty and stress that it brings us all.
I am heartened by the creativity and passion that drive our educators and staff to meet the needs of our students and families. Our 4,000 plus educators and staff members are working incredibly hard to transform and improve their day-to-day practices while planning for a future that looks different than anything they have done. I am also inspired by the devotion and courage of our families. I know that everybody is facing their own personal struggles during this pandemic.
At a time when it is easy to feel divided, I hope that we can pause and find the common ground that unites us: our love for kids, each other, and our Town. By communicating and collaborating, we will move forward together.
Please share your thoughts on this messageIn Community, Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell
What do you think?