Dear Oakland Unified Community,
As concerns about coronavirus have risen, my leadership team and I have been working closely with the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) and the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE). They have kept us up-to-date on the best recommendations for how to conduct school business during this time of uncertainty. This is why we have kept our schools open until today.
As of 6:00 p.m. today, all schools and child development centers within OUSD will be closed to students through at least Sunday, April 5, the end of Spring Break. This means that there will be no Saturday school tomorrow and no regular instruction beginning on Monday, March 16. District offices will remain open but in-person public access will be limited. All OUSD employees will also continue to work and be paid throughout this period, although exact responsibilities and worksite locations may vary. During this period, each school will receive a deep cleaning. Because of the evolving nature of the coronavirus pandemic, we hope to be able to resume instruction on Monday, April 6, but will continually assess the conditions to determine the best time for reopening schools.
After much deliberation and consulting with ACPHD, ACOE, city leaders including Mayor Libby Schaaf and our labor partners and partner organizations, I decided that it was the right time to close our schools. It will allow all students, school staff and families to do what they need to do to keep themselves healthy, and help prevent the spread of coronavirus. This is an imperfect solution, because ACPHD experts tell us that unless children stay in their homes away from other people for the duration of the closure, then they still run the risk of potential exposure.
Closing schools deeply affects so many of our families who depend on schools to provide a safe place for their children, food, and many other services. School sites have been and will continue to be crafting continuity of education plans, with each school preparing to provide assignments to students. However, this effort is not designed to replace the value of instruction at school with teachers. Each school plan will be posted on our website. We expect all plans to be posted by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.
During the closure, our Nutrition Services Department will open twelve schools throughout the city where “Grab and Go” breakfast and lunch meals will be available for our students. The sites listed below will be open at the following times and children will be able to pick up multiple days worth of food to take home.
- Monday: 8:00-12:00 (3 breakfasts/3 lunches per student)
- Thursday: 8:00-12:00 (2 breakfasts/2 lunches per student)
- Food is available to any child under 18.
- Please bring a grocery bag or cooler to bring food home for the week.
- Northwest/West Oakland: Sankofa Elementary, West Oakland Middle School and Hoover Elementary
- Central Oakland: Oakland High School and Garfield Elementary
- East Oakland: Bret Harte Middle School, Life Academy/United for Success, Coliseum College Preparatory Academy, Madison Park Upper, Fremont High School, Castlemont High School and Elmhurst United Middle School