Public school districts handling the online transition well?

We are in OUSD, and understand that both our district and BUSD are really struggling with the online transition. Some (but not all) private schools are doing a lot better, it seems. Are any public school districts managing the transition to online learning well? Piedmont? Albany? Orinda? Or specific schools or teachers within OUSD/BUSD?

It looks like we'll be in a different world, at least for one more academic year, and perhaps for longer, so any and all information would be very useful.

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We are at OUSD and it has been thoroughly chaotic, insufficient, ineffective and disappointing. 

At the beginning, there was a message that the district will provide kids with a chrome book which turned out to be an empty promise as the demand surpassed supplies. They quickly changed the message and asked if parents who had access to any device could give up the device. (We have devices for our work. We needed a device for the kid which we ended up buying on our own.)

For over a month, there was nothing from the teacher other than a “how are you doing?” Email. At about 5 week mark, we received a few links to YouTube videos for kids to watch and a few projects that require active adult participation (ie adults end up finishing it).

1 hour zoom calls per week with a class of 24 kids are excruciating. What kids really need is small group online instruction which is not happening much at our award winning OUSD school. I am so saddened when I hear about my friends whose kids are at private schools whose teachers got their act together so quickly and are doing much more engaged and involved online instruction and interaction and providing a sense of community and structure. Small group work. Short community gathering. Break out sessions and reasonable assignments with recognition that none is mandatory but encouraged. Daily touch points even if it’s brief and enrichment opportunities that are not at lunch time. Our school is attempting to provide enrichment at noon or 12:30 (that’s lunch time.) Some may say that for the price they pay, Private school folks should get stellar education. But what about the rest of us? We pay close to a private tuition on property tax. Seriously considering moving or alternate schooling... 

A silver lining is that we are discovering our inadequate OUSD has been for our kids. We were busy and the teacher never really raised an issue so we didn’t realize how our kids were held back by OUSD. With us being more actively involved, our kids flew through their grade level proficiency and are now working on  next grade materials. (It’s heck of a lot of work and we are exhausted beyond belief, but when we saw what the teachers were sending as instructional plan, we could not ignore how terribly unfit they were for our kids.)

We are in Belmont-Redwood Shores school district and the transition to online learning at least for my kids has been seamless.  They have done an amazing job.  I also heard very good things from my friends in Palo Alto.  We have several required zoom meetings plus several more small group and office hour type zoom meetings for kids who want it - as some kids love zoom while others don't.  We get assignments online through google classroom and it is a good mix of videos posted of the teachers teaching, access to online school programs. worksheets that get emailed to parents for printing weekly, and assignments in the kids' workbooks which were sent home when all this started.  My elementary aged kids spend about 4 hours a day on school work and there are always more optional assignments available if the kids (or their parents) want them to do more.  I'm very with my district and my kids' teachers. 

My son is at North Oakland Community Charter School (NOCCS) and the teachers are doing an amazing job. Our school did provide chrome books and has daily activities for the kids, small groups and one on ones. I think this is all a big stress test for teachers and schools and some are going to succeed and some are going to fail.  

We are happy with how El Cerrito High (WCCUSD) handled the transition. But the situation might be different for younger children who need more interaction than a high schooler. The kids have a school issued tablet anyways. And the school made a big effort to ensure that after spring break, when remote learning became mandatory, everyone had internet access at home. Most teachers had used Google classroom even before the shelter in place, so the students are used to that. Teachers are more lenient with things submitted late (still get full credit). My child's teachers seem to do two one hour Zoom meetings per week and are available by email for questions. So if you have a child that does well with (fairly) independent learning, this all works well.

I have to disagree with the post about OUSD sucking. Our kids are at Oakland Tech and Claremont Middle School. Tech is a bit more all over the map but our older kid has a LOT to do in many classes, regular zoom meetings with small groups, regular teacher check in from some teachers. There is also a lot of communication about AP testing. Our middle school child is having a very structured and reasonably rigorous experience and we are very impressed. Every teacher is giving regular assignments, posting to google classroom, and I believe most are having zoom meetings. Both schools are also doing a lot of communicating about what's happening. I'm sure it all depends on the school, but I dispute that OUSD in general is awful, that has not been our experience at all.

We have one child at Joaquin Miller and one child at Beach Elementary in Piedmont. If anything, I would say the transition to online learning was quicker for our OUSD student. I've been very impressed with how the teachers in our child's grade (second) have got things up and running. They give an appropriate amount of work, and I have time to supervise my kid to the extent needed while still doing my full-time job from home. So, I think the OUSD experience is probably varying quite a bit from school to school, but I'm happy with Joaquin Miller on this. While Piedmont took a little longer to start online learning, I'm also happy with their transition. My child at Beach is older and doesn't need as much supervision, so I'm not as familiar with what's being assigned, but it also seems reasonable (and if anything, on the "more" side of things). Long story short, I think the two schools handled this comparably, which is impressive for JM given that it has significantly fewer resources.

My daughter is at Malcolm X with Ms. Carver (kindergarten) and I have been floored by how wonderful she has been. It’s hard to say what the other teachers at our school are or are not doing but we are very pleased with our experience. I hope the other teachers at the school prove to be at least half as great as she has been as a teacher both in person and online, as we move up in the grades. 

I have a sophomore at Albany High School and their experience has been awful. There is no school or even department level standards. Each teacher can individually decide if they want to do remote instruction or just send an email each week with reading and problem assignments. Some students in Albany are lucky in that most of their teachers are actually teaching. We have not been so lucky. It's pretty difficult to learn Math and Chemistry with absolutely no instruction, but that is what my kid is dealing with, and the administration throws up it's hands and offers zero help. We are looking at Tilden Prep for Fall.

My boys are in BUSD and I think it is doing a good job. Teachers are working extremely hard. There are weekly online meetings and when my kids get behind the teachers email me and check in personally. Many teachers had to learn something brand new, setting up meeting links and switching to google classroom. This took time and troubleshooting. Berkeley had a drive through to pick up chrome books and the teachers reached out several times to remind families they could pick one up. It was also made clear that breakfast and lunch is available for pick up, as well as a twice monthly food bank. I realize it might be chaotic for some people but there are so many logistics and I don't think it is fair to compare private schools to public with such demographic differences in many cases. This is such an unexpected and unusual situation, most people are going above and beyond and doing the best they can.