Parents and Students in Oakland Calls for Resumption of In-Person Learning Sessions

Oakland parents and students on Saturday gathered together to conduct a rally to request for the district government to reopen in-person learning in schools. According to Oakland Technical High School junior Alex Krull, he urges more people to speak on the reopening of campuses to offer physical classroom sessions to their student bodies. Krull is one of the many learners affected by the long-term online school system, and students like him expressed their desires to go back to school like they usually did before the pandemic started earlier this year.

Focusing on the January 25 in-person learning schedule, Krull is also one of the 100 people rallied at Frank Plaza to urge such a plan. He and many other people agree with the resumption of physical learning in Oakland schools by next year.

Oakland is not the only one who experiences rallies like the previously mentioned event above. In several parts of the Bay Area and other localities within the country, many others also organize reforms supporting the resumption of in-person learning among educational institutions. The rallies got inspired when the public saw higher chances of collaborations among politicians, alliances, and school districts to reopen schools and permit students to resume their on-campus classes.

In response to the request, the Oakland School Board president Jody London agreed that the possibility of getting the kids back to school again is higher next year. According to London, the state has as many resources as the United States to help bring back in-person learning within Oakland’s schools soon. He also emphasized that the country consists of smart people who can turn the appeal into reality.

Distance Learning’s Struggles and Consequences

The in-person learning agenda gets pushed a lot by protesters not only to allow students to go back on-campus but also to address the struggles children have faced with distance learning. Activists affirmed that online classes could cause long-term damages to students’ physical and mental health. 

To elevate the said concern, education expert Yvonne Alexander pointed out that so many students crave the desire to have the privilege of attending school to re-establish their physical connections with their classmates, friends, and teachers. Alexander also mentioned that one in-person learning gets approved. Students’ interest in studying may increase again and encourage them to realize that education is fun and engaging even in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

OUSD Parents for Transparency & Reopening rally organizer Megan Bacigalupi also has something to say about the matter. She admitted that online educational learning is taking a toll on her family members, especially her second-grader child, who still lacks social engagement skills. Additionally, mental health experts noted that extended Covid-induced distance learning could severely impair students’ spirits in looking forward to school and making interactions with friends, classmates, and teachers.

For instance, Santa Clara University psychologist Dr. Thomas revealed his university’s research regarding the impacts of prolonged social isolation among people. Based on the results of the study, Thomas confirmed that the pandemic had caused a tsunami of mental health problems emerging as a consequence of the ongoing global crisis. He said that many people around the world had been severely suffering from all sorts of issues. Domestic problems, depression, and anxiety are a few examples of what thousands of people experience during this virus outbreak, according to Dr. Thomas.

Officials Talk About January 25, 2021, Reopening of Classes Schedule

From the past few months, officials of the Oakland school district submitted a blueprint to Alameda County in consideration for reopening schools by late January next year. However, due to that county and five other areas in the Bay Area reverting into the Purple Tier due to another surge of coronavirus cases, the plan gets pushed back. Currently, educational institutions would first need a waiver to permit their reopenings – provided that they abide by the state’s newly revised restrictive health guidelines. 

As of late, the San Francisco Unified administrators proposed January 25, 2021, as the target date for the first batch of schools to reopen and provide in-person learning. However, the SFUSD has to conduct several and thorough assessments of school sites, making sure that campuses have enough classroom utilities and ventilation that could guarantee school staffers’ and students’ safety.