SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Families are out rallying across California to reopen schools, including rallies Tuesday in Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo.
At the Santa Maria rally, many parents said learning at home is just not the same. The kids, also, said it's been a struggle for them.
Seventh Grader Savanah Blythe said it's really hard to learn over Zoom because she forgets what her teacher said, and she can't go back to look. She also said since she is not at school, she said it is harder for her to ask her teacher questions, or communicate when she's confused.
Laura Lutz is a grandmother with 9 grandkids in school. She said she's worried about the mental health aspect of both kids who can't socialize, and parents who are working jobs with kids learning from home.
Families at the rally all said the balance is really hard to find.
"I have an in-home office that I'm working out of now," said Pamela Blythe, a mom of three. "I do find myself pulled out of my working time to be a teacher."
Elementary schools can apply to reopen with a waiver- but none of the public schools in northern Santa Barbara County have.
The Santa Maria Bonita School District said it does not plan on applying for a waiver right now. It says they have not heard from many parents asking them to reopen, and it's not sure how to reopen safely under county guidelines.
The Lompoc School District said it's working to balance student safety and the desire for in person learning. They will start with small cohorts of the neediest students and expand with guidance from the county.
We also have reached out to the Orcutt Union School District and have not heard back by the time of publication.