Clovis Unified to bring middle, high school students back to campus week of Feb. 22

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Clovis Unified is moving forward with bringing more students back to campus.

Class will be back in session and in-person for thousands of students after nearly a year of distance learning.

Clovis Unified school officials said over 9,000 secondary students who opted for in-person learning late last year will return on February 22nd.

Superintendent Eimear O'Farrell said the district has seen positive results from its hybrid learning system. She said that kids were good about wearing masks and distance learning.

They planned to bring back students earlier this year, but a surge in COVID cases paused their plans.

On Friday, the Fresno County Public Health department sent a letter to district superintendents saying that based on the decrease in case rates and current positivity rate, phased reopening of schools could start back next week.

"People need to understand that was for schools who already had phased reopening plans and already had some students back on their campuses," said Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Jim Yovino.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines Friday for schools across the country to reopen safely.

Some school districts, like Fresno Unified, however still plan to wait until the county shifts to a less restrictive tier before bringing students back.

However, Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson announced on Friday evening the school district is returning small on-campus cohorts on February 22nd, and plan to increase those cohorts and in-person supports as the county's case and positivity rates continue trending downward.

Central Unified is following a similar model, and waiting for the county to be in a new tier before returning students and staff to campus to ensure their safety.

They plan to bring back small cohorts starting Tuesday. However, outdoor sports have already started back up.

"We're not going to let outside influences influence our decision. We're going to listen to our teachers, we're gonna listen to our community, we're going to allow the trustees to make that decision when that time comes," said Central Unified School District Andrew Alvarado.

The CDC also stated teachers don't have to be vaccinated to return to campus, but recommend they get the shot as soon as possible.
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