One week after many Bay Area school districts struggled to fill classrooms with healthy students and teachers amid a COVID-19 spike, Oakland Unified is hoping to avoid a student boycott on Tuesday over access to safety measures such as KN95 masks, COVID tests and outdoor accommodations for meals.
Oakland Unified school officials said Monday in a letter to the school community that they spent last week and the weekend working to meet most of the students’ requests, including:
–Arranging to distribute 200,000 KN95 masks to students at all school sites this week.
–Opening onsite testing hubs on Friday and Monday, with some schools conducting onsite testing twice a week and some offering onsite testing once a week.
The district said it has installed more covered outdoor eating spaces since last fall at numerous campuses but said there is a backlog of orders for the equipment needed to finish the work.
Teachers at several Oakland schools had scheduled sickouts last week. For example, the Frick United Academy of Language reported 22 cases of COVID-19 after it opened after winter break, with student absences ranging from 25 to 75 percent.
As of last week, about 1,200 Oakland Unified students had signed the walkout petition, saying they would take a stand at the district headquarters.