FREMONT (CBS SF) – The Fremont Unified School District announced Wednesday that the large East Bay district would remain under distance learning for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year, after an agreement could not be reached with teachers.
“We have roughly 43 school days between now and the end of this instructional year and no definitive final outcome in sight related to reaching an agreement with FUDTA,” Superintendent C.J. Cammack said in a letter to school families.
According to Cammack, the key issues pertained to staffing, the grade levels that would be eligible for a full return to campus and additional compensation for employees to return under a hybrid learning model.
“Despite a good-faith effort at the negotiations table from FUSD, including fair and focused proposals, air filters placed in every classroom, safety protocols beyond current state and local guidance, and ready access to vaccines, our negotiations have not yielded a timely agreement aligned with the District’s intention to provide in-person instruction to the maximum extent possible for all students,” the superintendent said.
By not reaching an agreement, the superintendent said that they would miss out on $9 million in additional funding. A deal reached by the legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom offered $6.6 billion in funds to districts across the state if select groups of students resumed in-person learning by March 31.
Cammack said that the district is planning for a full-return to in-person instruction in the fall. In the meantime, the district plans to expand existing in-person learning hubs and that schools would create opportunities for students to gather in groups described as “stable and appropriately-sized” for social interactions.
For graduating seniors, the superintendent anticipates outdoor in-person graduation ceremonies taking place with some limitations on attendance. “Our High School administrators and their staff are already hard at work planning for how to make this a meaningful experience for these seniors who’ve already missed so many milestone events,” Cammack said.
Other districts in Alameda County have begun the process of resuming in-person learning or plan to do so in the coming weeks. Earlier this month, the Pleasanton Unified School District opened in-person learning to all grade levels. This week, students in pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade returned to schools in Berkeley and Oakland, with additional grade levels returning to classrooms in April.
Meanwhile, the San Leandro Unified School District plans to resume in-person learning for all grade levels starting April 12.
The Fremont Unified School District serves about 35,000 students in 42 schools.