An East Bay school district pulled back on in-person learning Tuesday, citing the overwhelming increase in COVID-19 cases.

It’s a controversial move for the San Ramon unified school district and its 32,000 students.

“Many of our staff have communicated with me directly and I’m sure they don’t feel safe right now,” said Superintendent Dr. John Malloy.

He said parent surveys show a large and growing majority supporting remote learning. He says the science clearly says to continue learning remotely at least until Contra Costa County moves out of the purple tier and into the red. 

Emotional Comments from one teacher opposed to on campus instruction saying,

“What constitutes placing the lives of our educational community at even greater risk at the height of this pandemic? With all of our mini safety protocols in place which life are we willing to sacrifice to achieve this?”

Parents in favor of in-person learning, having their side read to the school board, most saying the lack of personal interaction is causing students’ grades to drop, even leading some to suicidal thoughts.

“I am confident that the in person model will provide a safe and successful learning platform that meets the academic, social and well-being needs in the new year,” said Malloy. 

The final decision is that there will be no in-person instruction for this district’s 32,000 students come Jan. 5. Malloy knows this is not the end of this emotional issue. He will be holding two Townhall meetings Wednesday.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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