As OUSD has prepared for this unprecedented school year, we have heard the voices of our families and staff loud and clear.
- More than 4,500 people from the OUSD community responded to the Office of Equity’s #SchoolAfterCOVID survey.
- In June, 500+ parents attended meetings to give their input into planning for the fall.
- On July 2, more than 2,500 community members joined our Family Report Back Meeting on Reopening.
- On July 13, another 3,000 community members joined us for our second Family Report Back Meeting.
On July 10, OUSD announced that we would begin the year in distance learning.
On July 17, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that all K-12 schools in Alameda County should begin the year in distance learning because our county is currently on a state-wide watch list due to high instances of COVID-19 in the county.
From our meetings with community members, some key themes emerged:
- Regardless of the model of instruction -- full distance, blended, or in-person -- small group work and one-on-one interaction with teachers is essential.
- Families need regular communication from teachers about learning expectations and how their student is doing.
- For distance learning to work, every student has to have a laptop and a reliable wifi connection.
- The social and emotional needs of students need attention, especially when they can’t see teachers and friends in person.
- Families want to help with learning at home, but they need support.
These concerns, in combination with the latest public health guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19, have shaped OUSD’s plan for reopening.
What will this year look like?
The school year will begin with distance learning for all students, until we are cleared by the state and the county for bringing students back to campus. At that point, we may begin implementing phased openings, differentiated according to the needs of students at PreK, Elementary, Middle, and High Schools.
We will move into new phases of reopening only when it is safe to do so, in accordance to our labor MOUs and in consultation with our local public health officials. District leadership will determine the timeline for moving into a new phase, depending upon an assessment of key safety milestones, such as physical capacity, custodial capacity, recommendations from county public health, and safety preparations at sites.
No one in our community has been unaffected by this pandemic. But some of our students and their families have been particularly hard-hit, economically and educationally. In our return to in-person learning, we will focus on equity, with particular attention to:
- Special Education students and students with mental health challenges.
- Early childhood learners and transition grades (TK, K, 6, and 9)
- Students who have been disengaged from distance learning and most impacted by learning loss.
We are sincerely grateful for the partnership of our families and other agencies throughout the city to support our students through this incredibly challenging time.