Oakland schools plan to re-open in fall for in-person learning

The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District announced it plans on in-person learning next month.

Video Transcript

- Getting answers on when schools will reopen and stay open during the pandemic is a key part of our effort to Build a Better Bay Area. And tonight the Oakland Unified School District held a webinar to explain their plans. As ABC 7 News reporter Anser Hassan explains, the district is warning that once they finally reopen for in-person learning, it will look very different for students.

ANSER HASSAN: January 25 is the day Oakland schools were initially supposed to reopen, but now--

JOHN SASAKI: And we certainly hope that that can happen by the fall.

ANSER HASSAN: John Sasaki with the Oakland Unified School District says, as of now, there is no set reopening date. But he says when Oakland's roughly 54,000 students do return to in-person learning, it will be very different from a year ago.

JOHN SASAKI: It'll be, in all probability, a hybrid model where some of them come in one day, the others come in another day.

ANSER HASSAN: Sasaki says classrooms are being reconfigured to keep students six feet apart and fewer students per class. All students starting with kindergarten will have to wear masks. And work is being done to improve ventilation, which the district says is a big concern for parents.

SAILAJA SURESH: Our facilities team is installing the MERV 16 filters at all of the school sites that have forced air systems.

ANSER HASSAN: The district says Alameda County allows schools to open when the state is in the red tier. But Oakland is playing it safe, waiting to drop to orange.

- One more minute.

ANSER HASSAN: When teachers are able to get vaccinated may also speed up the reopening process. In a statement to ABC 7 News, the Oakland Education Association says negotiations are progressing, but slowly. They say, quote, "We are glad that the district's plan is in compliance with the state's guidance, but we feel that there are some areas where we can do better if we work together.

In Oakland, Anser Hassan, ABC 7 News.