The Latest on COVID-19
April 4, 2020
Dear Oakland Unified Community,
I write to you today with a brief COVID-19 update and to share some of my thoughts regarding the public health crisis which continues to evolve and has us changing the way we operate to serve our students.
It was with the health and safety of all students and staff in mind that I joined with many superintendents across the state to make the unprecedented decision to keep our campuses closed for in-person instruction through the remainder of the school year. I know it’s the right decision, yet I also know that this year will never be the year any of us expected for our students. From schools closed and sports cancelled to staying at home and away from friends to the postponement or cancellation of annual school experiences that come every spring, our students and our staff are missing out on countless aspects of life in OUSD. It’s hard for all of us and I wish there was another way forward. But right now, we have no choice. Our schools will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year largely because the state ordered all of us to shelter in place indefinitely. As always, the health and well being of everyone is our top priority.
This era is not just shifting “normal” life to our homes and education to online learning. This pandemic has turned everything on its head. All of us are staying home and trying to care for and support our families and loved ones.
I know that many of our families are already hurting. For example, we learned that more than 80% of families at one of our elementary schools have one parent who lost a job and more than 60% have two parents who are now unemployed. And many of our school communities are facing the same kind of adversity. Our city, our country, and the entire world are in the middle of an intense crisis and we need to marshall our resources to meet this challenge. We are working with an increasing number of partners to bring more resources to our community schools, for example:
- There are countless individuals, foundations and corporations who have generously stepped up to support our COVID19 Rapid Relief Fund. We are humbled and incredibly grateful for this support, 100% of which is going directly to support our students, families and schools. https://www.oaklandedfund.org/give/covid-19/
- The Grab and Go Free Meal Program couldn’t happen were it not for all the remarkable support we are receiving from the Alameda County Community Food Bank, the World Central Kitchen, Revolution Foods, Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, SupplyBank.org, Numi Tea Company, Lineage Logistics, Dreisbach Enterprises, Oakland Police Department and countless volunteers.
We know that distance learning is not regular school and parents are not teachers. The intentionality of school and the guidance of educators cannot be swapped out for a chromebook and a hotspot. Yes, school is about academics, but it’s also a place for connection and social emotional learning. That’s what we need to focus on to support our young people. Students around the globe are in the same situation in terms of missed instruction and parents everywhere share similar worries and concerns.
I am crushed for the class of 2020. Our proud graduating seniors have earned the proms, graduations, and all the celebrations that usually come for every senior class. It hurts to see them not have the senior year they so deeply deserve. We will do everything possible to support them during this transition and will find some special ways to celebrate our seniors.
We are constantly evolving our COVID-19 response. Find our latest updates here:
- Distance Learning: As the California Department of Education provides more guidance on distance learning. OUSD will continue to build relevant teaching and learning activities for the rest of the school year.
- Academic Guidance: Our teachers and leaders will receive academic guidance early next week and our Chief Academic Officer, Sondra Aguilera, will share more with the community, as well. Our school staff are in the process of reaching out to their communities to figure out who needs technology to access our online learning opportunities. We are moving as quickly as we can and also making sure we are able to support all students who need the help.
- Student Promotions: We received additional guidance on a wide variety of instructional issues such as graduation requirements, college admissions, grading, etc. We are in the process of reviewing the guidance and applying it to OUSD and will share more details early next week. The updated Continuity of Education plan will include the ability for teachers to introduce new academic content and explain our credit/no credit grading approach for 6-12 students.
- Grab and Go Free Meals: The program is running full steam ahead as more and more families are relying on the food we are providing twice a week with help from our partners. In fact, yesterday, our amazing nutrition services team held a special Grab and Go event where they handed out food to almost the entire community at the elementary school.
- Frequently Asked Questions: For more information please see these documents: (English, Spanish, and Chinese). As you can imagine, it is updated frequently.
I am so proud of our community and the stories I am hearing about how we are supporting and caring for each other.
Thank you for sheltering in place and exercising proper social distancing. As I have seen expressed elsewhere, the empty schools, playgrounds, and streets that we see right now are about caring for our community. By all of us exercising social distancing, I see love for each other, our elders, and our town. It is a deep concern for our community that unites us while keeping us physically separated. That bond is the foundation of our city and will forever tie us together in spirit.
I am humbled by the dedication of our first responders, hospital staff, grocery store employees, custodians, food service workers, agriculture workers and all the others who are the backbone of our society and who are helping us get through this pandemic. If anything, this crisis continues to make clear the importance of these people who serve the public. We must honor and support them now and after life returns to some semblance of normalcy.
Tough times are ahead, but we will get through these challenges together.
April 1, 2020
OUSD Superintendent Announces All Schools Will Remain Closed for Rest of 2019-20 School Year
Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell is announcing that all Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) schools will remain closed for the remainder of this school year for in-person instruction. This is in alignment with the statement from Alameda County Superintendent of Schools, L. Karen Monroe that all K-12 schools in Alameda County remain closed for in-person instruction for the rest of the 2019-20 school year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Our students and staff will continue our continuity of education plans for the remainder of the school year. We will continue to improve how we serve our students during this time.
We are working to determine the full impact of this decision, including exploring alternative plans for celebrating our 2020 graduates, promotions of all other grades, whether summer school may be offered, and the loss of instructional learning. In the meantime, we continue to finalize plans to deliver technology to our students and families to help enhance the learning students can do at home.
As soon as possible, the District will send further communications on what this means for OUSD. Thank you for your patience as we work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
March 21, 2020 - Superintendent Update - Week in ReviewMarch 17, 2020 - Media Response to Governor Newsome (RE: Extending School Closure)
March 16, 2020 - Superintendent Update (RE: Bay Area Shelter in Place)
March 13, 2020 - Superintendent Update (RE: OUSD schools closing)
March 12, 2020 - OUSD Update
March 11, 2020 - OUSD Update
March 10, 2020 - ACPHD Guidance for Mass Gatherings
March 09, 2020 - OUSD Update
March 04, 2020 - OUSD Update
February 28, 2020 - OUSD Update
February 28, 2020 - Alameda County Public Health Department Update
February 4, 2020 - Alameda County Public Health Department and Alameda County Office of Education Update
January 28, 2020 - Alameda County Public Health Department and Alameda County Office of Education Update
Resources for Families
Overall Resources and Support
- OUSD - Frequently Asked Questions for the Community
- ACPHD - Frequently Asked Questions about the Shelter in Place Order (updated 3/31/20)
FREE MEALS DURING COVID-19 CLOSURE
Our Nutrition Services Department will continue to operate 12 pick-up locations throughout the city where “Grab and Go” breakfast and lunch meals will be available for all OUSD students or families and any Oakland child 18 and under.
This service will continue while the 'shelter in place' order is in effect. To ensure the least amount of contact, students do not need to be present to pick up food.
The sites listed below will be open on Mondays and Thursdays from 8:00am to 12:00pm. Multiple days worth of food can be picked up to take home.
- Northwest/West Oakland: Sankofa Elementary, West Oakland Middle School and Hoover Elementary
- Central Oakland: Oakland High School and Garfield Elementary
- East Oakland: Bret Harte Middle School, Life Academy/United for Success, Coliseum College Preparatory Academy, Madison Park Upper, Fremont High School, Castlemont High School and Elmhurst United Middle School
- Please note that food is "grab & go" and that campuses will not be open for dining.
- Food is available to any OUSD student or family or child 18 and under, free of charge
- Please bring a grocery bag or cooler to bring food home for the week.
OUSD will also be working with other community partners and local agencies to ensure that students have access to food throughout the school closure.
Use the links below for printable flyers:
Free Meals for Students: Grab and Go flyers all languages
OUSD schools are closed to in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year due to the 'shelter in place' order.
The health and safety of all students, staff and school communities is our top priority. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus and flu, follow these important tips:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.
- Get vaccinated every year