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Latino Immigrant Parents Struggle to Find Help With Distance Learning

Three weeks into the academic year, Veronica Macario’s 10-year-old son had yet to attend class at Manzanita Community School. He had a laptop from the school. He’d received directions on how to log into classes. “But since he doesn’t understand English,” Macario explained in Spanish, “he didn’t understand anything.”

Macario’s son came to the U.S. from Guatemala last year and attended a different school in East Oakland before the family moved to Fruitvale over the summer. When Macario registered him at Manzanita, a public elementary where nearly half the students are English learners, she was told that there is no dual-language class in the fourth grade. As neither Macario nor her son speak English well, staff assured her they would follow-up with a call to assist them. But the start of school came and went, and Macario didn’t receive a call.

In the weeks that followed, she tried messaging her son’s teacher to seek help, and went to the school on Mondays to pick up printed material for him to work on.

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