OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — The new school year is underway for students in the Oakland Unified School District, and with each new school year comes new challenges and concerns.

“In general, this is always an optimistic time. We get to start our school year anew. I think especially this year coming off of two years in the pandemic, with things starting to change this year, this really is an opportunity to establish a new normal going forward,” said Mike Hutchinson, Board of Education director, Oakland Unified School District.

Among the challenges, Hutchinson is keeping a close eye on a potential shortage of teachers.

“It’s one of the things that I am waiting for a report about at this first school board meeting on Wednesday is, how much of our staff showed up for the first day? We’ve had a lot of turnovers in the summer. I think a lot of that us yet to be determined,” said Hutchinson.

Among Hutchinson’s major concerns is getting to the bottom of last week’s physical altercation between people protesting the closure of Parker Elementary School and a private security contracted by the school district.

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“And because we don’t have a police force in our school district anymore, somebody authorized using these outside contractors, as a police force, and that’s really the issue that as a school board director I want to make sure that we address, and that nobody within the district thinks that they have the authority to authorize these sorts of actions,” said Hutchinson.

Hutchinson said the school board plans to discuss the Parker Elementary School incident during a closed-door session at this Wednesday’s first school board meeting of the new school year.