Clovis Unified continues preparations for students' return to campus

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- A select group of students at Clovis Unified is settling into in-person learning. Staff members are using the experience to pave the way for more students returning to the classroom.

It's been roughly a month since Valley Oak Elementary started bringing back their littlest learners.

"The kids came running to their classroom obviously wearing a mask, and they've been sitting so attentive and ready to learn," said Kindergarten teacher Teri Hustedde.

Across the district, Clovis Unified has used the past few weeks to bring select students back to the classroom, starting with their special education students and then select learning pods of Kindergarteners.

"We really wanted to give them an opportunity to see a classroom," said Principal Julie Duwe. "Some of our students have never been to preschool or have never had any kind of formalized education."

At Valley Oak there are roughly 12 to 15 students in a classroom, with two pods each meeting for an hour a week.

"Zoom has been a nice little band-aid, and I'd say it's been satisfactory but in person, learning is just essential for kids, and I just can't say enough about it," continued Hustedde.

Now the school is using the past weeks to prepare for even more students to return and there's still work ahead.

"It's the very minute details, in fact, the principals in our area got together recently and found out just everything we'd need to do like traffic patterns, signage and scheduling and meals," said Duwe.

An ongoing battle for teachers and students continues to be technology.

"It worked great but not on a small monitor," said Spokesperson Kelly Avants when providing an example, "I need a big monitor where I can see all of my students, or I have this microphone that doesn't work, a lot of it's been around technology."

Valley Oak will bring first-grade back on Tuesday. Second-grade through sixth-grade will start back on November 9.
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