Dear members of the OUSD COVID-19 Action Planning Committee,
Over 4,500 Oakland families have raised their voices through the #SchoolAfterCOVID survey to demand effective and consistent distance learning experiences for their students next year. As you prepare for the fall, some form of distance learning will certainly continue and we have a responsibility to do better. We must shift where power is held in our district to authentically include families in the decisions that will impact them most.
OUSD has certainly taken some steps to authentically include families in the process by launching the #SchoolsAfterCOVID survey and including parents on the planning committees. But now you must go further and listen to the direction families have given. As the District renegotiates the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with our teachers’ union to set guidelines for distance learning in the fall, families deserve to transparently know the timeline and the negotiating positions.
Once the MOU is negotiated, the District must continue to build ways for families to drive decision making. Families have become the experts on what it takes to get distance learning right and they have the most at stake. They must be given opportunities to lead every step of the way.
Oakland families demand a distance learning plan that guarantees:
- More instructional time
- Small-group instruction for every child, and even more for students who are most behind
- Administration of formative assessments to measure and communicate student progress
- Feedback on student work
As students return to school in the fall our advocacy priorities will include:
- Family choice: Families demand to have a choice about if and when their child returns to school buildings.
- Mental health access: Families demand more access to mental health resources and services.
- Technology access: Families demand that every child has access to reliable wifi and their own personal device.
- Public data: Families demand that school-level data about internet access, device access, and student participation and attendance during all distance learning is measured and publicly shared.
- Childcare for teachers: Families demand a citywide solution to childcare for teachers
Thank you for your work to ensure safe, quality instruction to our kids, at school or at home, during a pandemic and beyond.
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