More than 500 Oakland Unified School District teachers staged a “sick” Friday to demand more COVID-19 safety measures from the district, including two weeks of distance learning and the mass distribution of N95 masks, recently In the midst of a spike in fuel matters by Omicron Edition. ,
Due to the absence of 503 teachers on Friday, at least 11 of the district’s 80 TK-12 schools were closed and students were asked to stay home for “snow” or “smoking days”, OUSD communications director John Sasaki said in a news conference.
Sasaki called the sick person “illegal” and “unauthorised”. It was not sanctioned by the Oakland Teachers Association and was organized by an ad-hoc group of teachers.
Sasaki said an average of 250 teachers in the district didn’t come to work every day this week — about 160 to 200 teachers are absent in the district. Most of the families were informed about the shutdown ahead of time. Instructions are expected to resume for all schools on Monday.
Schools that have closed for education include: Garfield Elementary, West Oakland Middle School, United for Success Academy, Madison Park Academy Upper 6-12, Coliseum College Prep Academy, Life Academy, Fremont High School, Oakland Technical High School, Skyline According to High School and Sasaki Oakland International High School. Dewey Academy, which was expected to close because of the action, remained open.
come off as Teachers demand better security measures According to a news release on Thursday from a group of teachers, who say more students and staff have had to stay home due to infection and exposure, during the rise in COVID cases. The teachers have demanded: mass distribution of N95 and KN95 masks to staff and students, PCR tests on a weekly basis, extension of the COVID holiday retrospectively from November 7, 2021 to June 30, 2022, HEPA filters in cafeterias and other places No budget cuts in student services and classrooms, support for school nurses, talks with the Oakland Education Association on safety measures and two weeks of distance learning to implement changes and reduce community spread.
“Staff and students sit in half-timbered classes, fearing that they will be the next to become infected and bring the disease to the homes of their loved ones,” teachers at Skyline High School said in the release. “Meanwhile, Oakland Unified continues to scuttle our security bargaining team, refusing to negotiate in good faith the safety protocols and resources we need to keep schools open safely.”
Carrie Landheer, who has worked for OUSD since 2016 and teaches general education for fourth and fifth graders at Garfield Elementary, said 126 students were absent from her school on Monday.
About this 41,000 home test kits According to OUSD, those were distributed to students and families before the winter break and between December 31 and January 3, there were 985 positive COVID cases, including 920 students or staff members and 65 family or community members.
Sasaki said that COVID test available The district is distributing KN95 masks to schools on Friday and Thursday through daily regional testing sites and at-home testing kits. He said that masks have also been ordered for the students and air purifiers have already been installed in all the classrooms. And according to Sasaki, the extension of distance education will not be possible, because the state does not allow funds for the district to be virtual for two weeks.
“We’re shutting down and not getting millions and millions of dollars,” he said. “We believe that our schools are the best places.”
Sasaki also said that the district “sees no problem” with rapid at-home tests that have been sent home with students and does not believe they are less accurate than PCR tests. A recent study noted that antigen tests, including Quidl’s Quickview and Abbott’s BinexNow, missed detecting the Omicron variant during the first days of infection.
“We see no reason not to rely on rapid testing,” Sasaki said. “As of now the test is not mandatory.”
The district reached a “tentative agreement” with the OEA on Thursday regarding the extension of the COVID holiday, the OEA said Supplements allow for sick days for employees related to COVID, according to Sasaki, but it still has to be approved by the California State Board of Education and has negotiated with other labor partners.
“The bottom line is that when you do this, you create problems for our families and you potentially create more dangerous situations for our children,” Sasaki said. “We hope this doesn’t happen again and we look forward to getting back to business as usual on Monday.”
Landhir argues that Garfield Elementary asked the district this week for N95 masks and PCR tests, but was told none were available. Landhir said the district has a list of PCR testing sites, but it is “just general, open-to-the-community testing” and has turned a colleague away from the site for the third day in a row on Friday. Lack of PCR test
“This is news for us,” she said of district officials saying masks would be made available. “I think it’s pretty vague when they said that the masks would come. I heard they said they would arrive when they got here and I want to know what that means. It’s next week or next month ?”
Sasaki also said that “ill” left some OUSD parents with no daycare options due to short notice.
“To me when I think about it, I think about what will happen if we don’t implement the measures we are demanding,” Landheer said in response. “The teachers will be forced to stay at home as they are infected with COVID and I am here to ensure that this does not happen due to the actual spread of COVID and we will be staying with the students in our classes for the remaining time. can. The year.”