“I would love to just see them back in school doing kids stuff” — one parent’s view on reopening

Listening to Families: Cha’lanna Perry

Across Oakland, charter schools are reopening to in-person instruction and welcoming in students. How do Oakland charter public school families feel about physically sending their kids back to school? How do they feel about distance learning? We are asking parents to share their thoughts. Interested in sharing your thoughts, or know of another parent who should? Let us know at [email protected]

Cha’lanna Perry; parent of KIPP Bridge 7th grade student:

I’m excited for her to return back to school because I believe that seventh grade is really imperative. She’s losing her social skills. I feel like my daughter has anxiety. Her cousin had a birthday party and she was literally paranoid. Like, ‘Are they gonna like me? Are they gonna talk to me?’ I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? They’re all kids.’ But getting back into society for them is scary. She’s always been a social butterfly. She talked at nine months. Now she’s always on the phone, and when she talks to me it’s like texts: she tells me “LOL.” 

We didn’t know the ins and outs of politics when I was a kid, and she is really worried about her future. I’m like, you’re not an adult, you don’t need to worry about all this right now. It’s so hard; it’s really actually causing her anxiety. 

It’s really needed that (students) do go back to school, even if it’s just hybrid and part of the day. I would love to just see them back in school doing kids stuff. Going on field trips. 

Teachers have been amazing this year juggling so much and my daughter knows they care about her, but distance learning has also been hard. It’s difficult to be on the same page with teachers when you’re emailing back and forth. I’m not blaming teachers, I know a lot of them have their own children, so they’re trying to teach their class and then on the back end, still trying to help their own kids. I’m very understanding, but then I’m also like, ‘I need my child to still thrive.’

There are just difficulties with distance learning. If it was in person, you could just go up to them and say, ‘Hey you missed this homework assignment’ but that doesn’t happen now. Sometimes by the time I find out, it’s too late and they are on to the next thing. 

This reminds me of when OUSD teachers went on strike when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. I remember we just sat in a park and played games. That was only a few months, but there’s so much I struggled with going to the next grade. What about these students who have missed a whole year?

My daughter is not an exceptional student but she’s not a bad student, either. I’m worried she’s going to fall through the cracks.  

What do you think?

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