Families Will Demand a Quality Distance Learning Option Tonight, Will OUSD Listen?

The Oakland REACH to Speak at Wednesday’s OUSD School Board Meeting to demand a quality distance option

For the past 16 months, The Oakland REACH has been running a Virtual Family Hub delivering high-quality instruction that works — our babies are reading! This week many of our families are back to school — many choosing distance learning to keep their kids safe after we’ve been disproportionately impacted by COVID19. Our families refuse to go backwards. Our families have seen what quality looks like in distance learning, and they will not accept anything less than the best from Sojourner Truth. That’s why The Oakland REACH will be speaking this Wednesday at the Board to deliver the message that whether their child is remote or in person, they expect nothing less than quality.

Here are just some comments from parents enrolled in the Sojourner Truth distance learning option about their first day:

“My granddaughter missed her first day of school because the password didn’t work.”

“There’s only 30 minutes of instruction each day this week. How is that going to help him learn to read?”

“I didn’t hear about what was happening on Monday until an email at 8:30pm Sunday night.”

“The parent information sessions are at 11am what parent is free then?”

These parents have seen quality virtual instruction with our nationally-recognized Virtual Family Hub. And now they won’t settle for anything less. And, based on our more than 500 surveys, many more parents are interested in a virtual option: Seventeen percent of surveys showed students’ families wanted virtual learning options or are leaning toward it and another 10% were still undecided. Parents must know this option will not just be safe, but also quality. 

The American Rescue Plan sent an unprecedented $250 million to OUSD – that money should be used to deliver quality instruction for every student, whether they are attending school in person or virtually through the Sojourner Truth independent learning option.

Over the last year, our Virtual Family Hub has shown that it’s not about in-person versus virtual learning — it’s about providing quality learning opportunities for all students. And that is possible: Our Summer 2020 Hub ran 5 days a week, for 5 weeks, and offered 75 hours of quality, rigorous instruction. And we delivered real academic gains by implementing the science of reading we were advocating for via our “Literacy for All” campaign: 60% of students in REACH’s literacy programming moved 2 or more levels on the district’s reading assessment; 30% of students moved 3 or more levels. This summer, students continued their growth: students who attended consistently grew one level during our 4-week program. Parent satisfaction remains high with parents rating their Hub experience a 3.84 out of 4.0. 

“It’s time to do what works, and keep building on the success of the Hub that was built for families by families,” said The Oakland REACH’s co-Founder and CEO Lakisha Young. “Our district has the resources. We’re going to the Board on Wednesday to ensure that there are quality learning options for every child in the district — including and especially those in distance learning — is their number one priority. The wait is over. The time is now.” 

About The Oakland REACH:

The Oakland REACH is a parent-run, parent-led group committed to empowering families from our most underserved communities to demand high-quality schools for our children.

We are waking parents up!  We are letting them know their kids aren’t getting the education they deserve to be ready for the future.  But, by coming together they have the power to create change. The Oakland REACH has already engaged over 5,000 parents by hosting one-on-one conversations about how schools are doing. We have also had over 450 parents go through our Oakland Family Advocacy Fellowship, providing the leadership training needed to change a system that has left students behind for far too long.

We will keep fighting until every parent in Oakland who wants to put their child in a quality school—and on a pathway to college—has that opportunity. www.oaklandreach.org 

Lakisha Young

Co-Founder & CEO
The Oakland REACH
Office: (510) 969-5841 | Cell: (510) 495-4747
333 Hegenberger Road, Suite 750, Oakland, CA 94621

What do you think?

More Comments