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Parents, Students Pack Livermore School Board Meeting To Plead For Return To Classrooms

LIVERMORE (KPIX) -- Frustration fumed from a Livermore School Board meeting Tuesday night as parents pleaded to get their kids back to school.

With COVID-19 restrictions on how many people can be inside the boardroom, the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District put up a screen so parents can watch the meeting in the parking lot. The overwhelming sentiment from the parents at the meeting is they want their kids back at school but the district says overall, parents are divided about hybrid learning.

"The teachers are frustrated, I'm crying, my boys are crying. It's not sustainable," said Kara Rapp, a parent of two boys.

Distance learning full time has been a challenge in the Rapp family and many others in the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District.

Katie Stromgren stood in line at the board meeting to share a senior's perspective.

"I'm not getting the education I deserve. It's creating such an uneven playing field. And as a senior, it's hard with college," said Stromgren.

Superintendent Kelly Bowers though says it has been incredibly challenging to find a way to bring students back on campus safely. Part of the problem, according to a recent survey, the parents are split. The district says many families pulled out of hybrid learning when they heard their classroom could be dismantled.

Superintendent Kelly Bowers says, "When parents realized they would lose their child's teacher in the shuffle, they said no, we don't want to do that."

Some of the parents we talked with though shared their disappointment with the timing of the District's reopening plan.

Kara Rapp wonders why the district wasn't better prepared with a plan sooner.

"It feels extremely frustrating and it feels like we're being punished," said Rapp.

The district is saying if a super majority is reached in the parent survey, the plan is to start hybrid learning in the middle of January. Parents have until next Monday to respond to the survey.

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