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Parents and Kids in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco Rally for Schools to Reopen

Some bay area public school parents are urging teachers’ unions and districts to resume in-person learning as soon as possible.

Parents took to the streets across San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley on Saturday to call for their kids to be back in classrooms as part of a national #OpenSchools movement.

At the Oakland rally, Saturday, 8-year-old Cooper Wright stood in a crowd of families holding signs that read “private schools are in session” and “follow the science.”

But he’s got his own message.

“I really want to go back to school, my eyes get really tired from looking at screens half the day,” he said.

One mom, Caitlin Wright, says she understands that the county is facing another surge and semi-lockdown and can’t open quite yet. Still, she wants to make sure that the teachers union and the district settle on a plan for kids to get back in class safely as soon as they can.

“That may never be my kids this year and that’s fine, I think it’s just important for us to have a clear and thoughtful plan backed by science,” Wright said.

Keith Brown, president of the Oakland Education Association, says the teachers’ current deal will remain in effect through the end of January.

“We know that it’s highly unlikely that in January we will even be at the orange tier, and even at the orange tier, that still poses risk,” Brown said. Brown said the union plans to meet with the district “in the coming days” to discuss the reopening plan it proposed last week.

The San Francisco Unified School District’s “SFUSD Return to School Safely” plan envisions a phased plan and timeline for kids to return to school. SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said the district has a target date of January 25 for the first wave of schools to open, and for another phase to reopen on February 8.

— Sara Hossaini (@MsHossaini)

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