Clovis Unified campuses remain open for students

Under Gov. Newsom's order, schools that had begun teaching on-campus can remain open if they received a waiver.
CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Clovis Unified is moving forward with its phased-in teaching on many of its campuses.

The district received a special waiver prior to Governor Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order so Clovis schools will not have to close - at least not right now.

While the Central Valley navigates the governor's latest order and the shutdown of non-essential businesses, school districts such as Clovis Unified are allowed to remain open for in-person teaching.

"We recognize the safety measures in place allow us to move confidently forward but we're also keeping a close eye on what's happening in our community," says spokesperson Kelly Avants.

Under Newsom's order, schools that had begun teaching on-campus can remain open if they received a waiver but local jurisdictions have the right to shut them down if health officials deem it unsafe.

Clovis Unified notified families this week that the district will continue to operate in its so-called Plan A phase which allows for both in-person and online instruction while administrators will continue to monitor Fresno County's COVID-19 numbers.

"We go into Winter Break on the 18th and we want to give families plenty of notice for any reason we have to modify any of the secondary plans that are getting implemented in that second semester after the break," says Avants.

Clovis Unified would like to bring more students back on campus in January but the district is telling parents that plan could be in jeopardy if COVID numbers continue to move in the wrong direction

"If something gets tightened up we have to recognize that we have to be ready for the possibility that we have to move back to full online learning," says Avants.

The district began bringing back small groups of students and staff to elementary school campuses in October as part of its phased-in reopening.

The current COVID surge though has many parents concerned about sending their kids back to campus.

Administrators understand; that is why schools within Clovis Unified are allowing families to stick with distance learning if they prefer.

"We're looking at around 14,000 kids that are on campus for instruction across our 50 campuses. Every one of our schools is open partially at least if not fully and what that looks like varies from school to school," says Avants.

According to the district, 132 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus since July, with another 52 students receiving a positive test.
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