One in five homeless students in Oakland not attending online class

cellular image of novel coronavirus with the word Oakland above
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

A detailed article by education reporter Theresa Harrington reveals that a large portion of students are not attending online classes in both Oakland and West Contra Costa County.

From the article about Oakland students:

“Some 21 percent of homeless students are absent now, compared with 12 percent this time last year. Foster youth absences are at 15 percent, compared with 10 percent last year.

It’s 13 percent for newcomer immigrants, compared with 8 percent in 2019; while Black student absences are at 10 percent, compared with 7 percent last year; and 9 percent of special education students are absent, up from 7 percent.”

Thus, Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell stated in the article that the district will look into in-person instruction for some students:

“There are students and families for whom distance learning simply is not working,” Johnson-Trammell said in a recent message to the community. “For these families, distance learning has imposed an intense and sometimes devastating hardship on them. That is why I believe that we have a moral obligation to investigate every option available to us to provide in-person instruction aligned with state and county educational guidelines and public safety guidance.”

COVID-19 Test Results from Fruitvale outreach event show high rate among Mayans who were tested

A weekend-long COVID test event in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood included nearly 1,000 adults and 150 children.

The results show that 5 percent of Latinos and 8 percent of Mayan adults tested positive, according to an article in Mission Local by Annika Hom.

In addition to the PCR test, which tests for current cases of COVID, “viral antibodies were found in the blood tests of 11.9 percent of Latino adults and children and 26.8 percent of Mayan adults, compared to 6 percent of non-Latinos.” Health officials say this is a very high rate, showing that there was likely unknown community spread in previous months.

The results also suggest that healthcare, living environments, and work all play a role in how COVID is spread:

“In addition, 41 percent of PCR positive people lived in households with six to 10 people and 35 percent had no health insurance, which echoes San Francisco findings Fernández said. 

A member of the Mam community, Rosendo Aguilar, said that the study underscored how more resources, especially food and cash assistance, should be just as much of a priority for Oakland leaders as coronavirus response.”

In April, Oakland Voices Coordinator Rasheed Shabazz published a map and article on how East Oakland, including the Fruitvale district, was a hotspot for Oakland’s COVID cases.

Author Profile

Momo Chang is a freelance journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the Oakland Voices Co-Director. Her work focuses on healthcare, immigration, education, Asian American communities, food and culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Momo has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting and the Asian American Journalists Association, among others. Her work has appeared in the East Bay Express, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, and The New York Times. Momo is primarily a print journalist who also produces audio and visual stories for documentary film and radio. She is a Senior Contributing Editor for Hyphen and formerly the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

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