Bay Area Schools Offering No Live Instructions for Students Enrolled in Remote Programs

Recently, multiple Bay Area schools have reopened their doors to allow in-person classroom sessions for both students and teachers last month. However, several families refused to send their kids back to school due to the coronavirus still raging outside their households. Additionally, live educational instruction is not available for kids doing online learning, leaving them at a disadvantage, and infuriating parents. As of late, parents from one of Bay Area’s districts fought against the inequality by signing a petition. Moreover, two municipalities also expressed their disappointments and have threatened to sue educational institutions.

Bay Area districts Alameda, Tiburon, and Mill Valley, are several of those whose remote live instruction is almost non-existent or restricted. Parents coming from the previously mentioned communities refused to let their children go back to school for physical learning due to the absence of a vaccine that can eradicate the ongoing pandemic. Despite their decisions, parents also stressed their worries on concerns regarding their children’s limited interactions with teachers and peers.

Parents’ Frustrations on Students’ Online Learning Struggles

According to many of Bay Area’s parents, the lack of live instruction forced them to choose between their children’s education and their families’ well-being. Furthermore, multiple parents attested to have their kids enrolled in hybrid educational programs, where they only allow their children to attend virtual classes but prohibit them from going on days that require face-to-face learning sessions. All of the previously mentioned information is the result of remote programs’ lack of concrete improvements.

Despite several schools reopening since last month, many of the Bay Area’s school districts still chose to resume distance learning by Zoom video call classes, worried about students’ and educational staffers’ safety. San Francisco Unified, along with other localities, planned to have their students return to on-campus instruction starting next year.

In October of this year, Reed-Union officials permitted in-person learning in the Tiburon district. Out of the said community’s 1,150 households, 108 families decided to enroll their kids in online classes out of fear of getting infected by the coronavirus outside. The consequence, however, is that children doing virtual learning must study their lessons independently and only get checked up by a teacher once the school day ends. They get no live instructions, leading to children getting frustrated from lessons they do not understand except with the help of a teacher present to explain the topics.

Several parents shared their frustrations with the current educational methods used in several schools of the Bay Area’s districts. For instance, Reed-Union resident Michal Steinberg admitted that she refused to accept that schools do not equally split their resources to both in-person and online learning students. According to Steinberg, the institution her two kids attend only cares for those who go to physical learning classes, leaving those studying via virtual means unmonitored. She also noted that kids belonging to the online group don’t get live instructions from teachers and get deprived of social interactions with anyone.

Steinberg told the news media that she didn’t send her children back to school due to safety concerns. One instance includes her husband having sleep apnea and severe asthma conditions. According to Steinberg, she doesn’t want anyone in her family to risk contracting the coronavirus infection.

State Officials Released Newly-Revised Educational Plans for Both Remote- and Hybrid-Enrolled Students

In response to parents’ complaints and frustrations, state officials revised the hybrid program to meet the needs of online learning students. According to the alterations, “special” classes like music, P.E., library, and art would have daily live instructions for elementary students enrolled in the remote learning initiative. Additionally, the plan also includes recorded lessons to pass the number of instructional minutes as required by the state.

Moreover, remote program students would also receive at least 120 minutes of live instruction every day along with a teacher monitoring their educational activities. 

On Monday, Bay Area schools will launch the hybrid and new remote-only programs for elementary students. Later in the week, middle school students would go back to school for physical learning sessions. As of late, 87% of families chose hybrid – a plan dedicated to offering students both online and in-person instructions.