I want my kids to return to in-person learning, but not quite yet

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]

Ebony Avery; FIA Parent Leader, parent of a Cox Academy 3rd grade student and BayTech 8th grade student

I work at Cox Academy. My job is called “SSA team member” which is student support assistance. We support the children and teachers at schools, like to help teachers if they need to remove a child from class because of a behavior issue or need extra help.

We started back on campus on March 22. At first, I was having anxiety attacks every morning because I was just nervous. I wasn’t vaccinated then. But I have both my shots now. So I’m wearing my mask, washing my hands as much as possible. It’s a little better now. It’s exciting to see the kids, but at first I was really nervous to come back.

It’s amazing to see the students. It’s like we never left actually, they’re so happy here. There were no cries for TK or kinder this year, which was a shock to me. I was expecting them to cry, that’s what they did last school year, every day for like two weeks. But this year, they’re all happy and saying hi, ready to be here, ready to see their friends in person. It’s really good, a really good feeling.

My daughter attends Cox but she won’t be returning (to campus) until next school year. Both my girls are asthmatic. I want to make sure that they understand the importance of being safe — washing their hands and wearing their mask. 

Also, I want to make sure the kids that are here on campus get in that routine, too. Because I can trust my kids once I teach them. But I don’t know about any of the other kids. I want to make sure that the kids here on campus are getting that routine down, and then that my girls have it down, before they go back.

Watching the kids here when adults aren’t around, it seems like they’re doing a pretty good job. They keep their mask on. They’ve been mentioning to each other, “Oh, six feet,” so that makes me feel comfortable with (my daughters) coming back next year.

The kids here, they’re excited to be out of the house and around other people. So when we have to tell them the rules, we only have to say it once because they don’t want to go back to being home on a computer all day. They’re making sure they follow what we ask them to do.

There was a kid yesterday who was like, “Can I give you a hug?” And I was like, “sorry.” It’s just the time, things are different now with all the precautions you have to take. So instead, we do fist pumps now. We have to learn new routines, because we need to show that we care.

My older daughter likes distance learning and she’s saying she doesn’t want to go back (in-person).That’s what she said. She’s comfortable. When you’re at home, you can do pretty much whatever you want, go straight to the fridge, hings like that. When you’re doing that you don’t have to walk to seven different classrooms on the campus. You just log in on the computer. 

I get the notifications on her, and she’s doing good. So she does well at home. But I think she needs the interaction with in-person learning.

My third grader wants to go back and be around friends. So that’s what she’s struggling with because she wants to hug all of her teachers, all their friends.

She’s doing well as far as grades, but it’s just the whole part of interacting and being around people besides her family every day. That’s what she’s struggling with, her grades are amazing. They’ve been amazing the whole pandemic. She’s just missing that social aspect.

They’re going back in August. I know they need to be in school because I remember as a kid, elementary was my best time at my school. I don’t want them to miss out on that. I know there’s a virus and things are going to be different but they still get the school experience. That’s my thinking behind it. I don’t want to take too much away from them. They already missed the year.

What do you think?

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