Furious parents oppose CUSD proposed reopening plans; Friday rally planned to demand more in-person instruction

Plans to reopen schools in Cupertino Unified School District are causing an uproar among local parents seeking a more complete return to the classroom.

During the February 25 school board meeting, the Board presented Phase 3 reopening plans to parents that include a hybrid approach of in-person instruction and distance learning. Beginning in April 5, some returning students will attend school on campus for between 75 minutes and 2.5 hours per day, depending on grade level, for some portion of the week, as scheduled by school site. Beginning April 26, students will attend for an expanded hybrid schedule. When students are not on campus, distance learning will continue.

The plan is facing tremendous backlash from local parents who feel the proposed in-person class times are logistically impractical for families and disrupts learning for students.

The community of parents is hosting a rally on Friday, March 5 at 4:30pm to demand that CUSD provide full day in-person options for interested families. Close to 150 people are expected to attend, based on responses to the Eventbrite posting, Facebook event page, and multiple WeChat and WhatsApp groups.

In a statement to Cupertino Today, parent opposition group organizers expressed their frustration stating, “Screen-based distance-learning is not working at all for a large number of children. Despite a lot of requests from families for many months now, the school district has not provided any meaningful in-person options leaving a large number of children struggling. Leaving academics aside, the children are emotionally isolated, demotivated about school, and suffering sleep issues, headaches, etc.”

They also linked the actions to future school funding, noting that “… a large number of parents are moving their kids out of CUSD and enrolling them in private schools who are providing full in-person schooling. Without the meaningful reopening of CUSD schools, the district will be faced with severe enrollment decline for Fall 2021. Now is the time for CUSD to step up and put students back into the classroom where they belong!”

The local parents group is also behind the recall effort targeting CUSD board members Lori Cunningham, Sylvia Leong, Phyllis Vogel, Jerry Liu and Satheesh Madhathil for refusing to reopen CUSD schools.

The Cupertino Unified School District operates 20 elementary schools and six middle schools and covers the city of Cupertino, as well as parts of San Jose, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Santa Clara, and Los Altos.

The rally will be held this Friday, March 5 at 4:30 pm at the intersection of De Anza Blvd and Stevens Creek Blvd. For more information on the event, click here.