OUSD makes progress providing students computers

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – KRON4 is hearing about success for an online learning program in an East Bay school district.

Although there are some technical issues, one parent tells KRON4 she is in no rush to return her child to the classroom.

It has been two months of distance learning for students in the Oakland Unified School District. There has been major progress in getting computers in the hands of students.

“We are in a position where the overwhelming majority of our students have either a loaner computer from one of our schools or they have received an Oakland Undivided computer. Vast majority online, engaged in distance learning,” district spokesperson John Sasaki said. 

“I was nervous coming into this year. I knew it wasn’t going to be the same as being in-person,” parent Rebecca Rozo-Marsh said. 

Rebecca Rozo-Marsh says overall distance learning has been a good experience for her first grader.

“I have been really impressed with the level of education my kid is getting despite the circumstances,” Rozo-Marsh said. 

However, technical issues remain a lingering problem two months into the new school year.

“The technology issue has been extremely problematic. The new computers that were just passed out many aren’t working properly for students,” Chaz Garcia, with the Oakland Education Association, said. 

“One of the issues we’ve encountered is there are some problems with the volume control and the microphone in the computers for kids to use them in Zoom and in other online connections,” Sasaki said. 

Distance learning is a temporary solution to keep OUSD teachers, students, and staff safe during the pandemic. At this point, there is no set date to return to the classroom. 

“To me, the idea of deciding right now in October, a date like January to go back seems absurd because we have no idea what the cases are going to be live then,” Rozo-Marsh said. 

“We’re asking for there to be a near-zero rate of increase so that we’re on a decline and we know that actually, it’s safe,” Garcia said. 

OUSD officials are not ruling out returning to classroom instruction at the beginning of the year.

“I am not ruling out anything,” Sasaki said.

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