Central Unified plans to continue distance learning until January

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A major Central Valley school district is saying they won't be bringing students back for in-person learning any time soon.

Central Unified School District is one of the first Valley districts making the call that students won't be returning to the classroom this semester.

"There's just a lot of uncertainty out there, and our board felt it was the right decision to keep out kids out until January," said Superintendent Andrew Alvarado.

Initially, they hoped to start bringing kids back gradually in November, but rising COVID-19 cases changed the plan.

"If the numbers continue to rise like they've been showing and we end up back in purple and having to pull kids out of the classroom, playing this yo-yo with our families is not an advantage to anyone, especially our community," said Alvarado.

Staff members are also factoring in just how many days they have left in the semester.

"When you start calculating the number of school days from November to Christmas break, you're looking at 20 days of instruction," said Alvarado. "At the end of the day, we're asking if it's worth the risk or not, and we decided to err on the side of caution."

They don't want to risk bringing kids back to the classroom only to send them home once more.

"I just don't trust the fact they're going to let us remain in purple if these numbers spike and head in the wrong direction," Alvarado added.

Right now, Central Unified hopes to bring elementary students back in January and secondary students back later in the spring.
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