5,000 Kings Canyon Unified students start in-person learning

Kings Canyon Unified serves parts of Reedley, Orange Cove, and Dunlap, making it one of the largest school districts in the Valley to bring students back.
KINGS CANYON UNIFIED, Calif. (KFSN) -- It was all smiles from behind their masks as teachers greeted their students in person at Thomas Law Reed Elementary School.

"I can't wait to hear them laughing when I see them on Zoom laughing, I just want to hear all the laughter in the classroom," says kindergarten teacher Erica Borrego.

Students and staff wore facial coverings and practiced social distancing, just some of the many changes in place.

Under the new plan, TK and kindergarteners have class every day - either in the morning or afternoon.

Then 3rd through 6th graders are on a Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday schedule.

"When we're in the classroom we really become a family unit, spending that time together getting to know each other and developing that care so it's going to be everything," says Borrego.

But getting this far was no small task.

"We've had to make a lot of adjustments, changing schedules, changing classrooms, changing the cafeteria. It's been a lot of work," says TL Reed Elementary principal Rick McCollum.

Roughly 5,000 students are starting in-person learning this week.

"It is going to look different but it's going to be greater," says Borrego.

Parents also had the option to keep their students on a distance learning plan.
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