Visalia Unified puts finishing touches on new schools in time for school year

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's hard to believe we're already talking about back to school, but starting as early as next week, students across the Valley are headed to campus.

In exactly one week, thousands of Visalia Unified students start the school year. As students hang on to the tail end of summer vacation, crews are putting the finishing touches on a brand new school and revamping another.

Come next week, 20,400 students will be embarking on the 2017-2018 school year in Visalia. Over the last decade, the district has seen growth, especially in north Visalia where housing developments are bringing more families to the school district.

"We had a situation where we wanted to be innovative, and we wanted to honor the growth of the community here so we've got two schools that are coming together under that banner here," Superintendent Todd Oto said.

Global Learning Charter School, the first K-6 charter school in the district, is now located where the Fairview campus used to sit.

"Global Learning in the sense that service learning community involvement," Oto said. "Foreign language would be a component of what was taught and other strategies to make the school a little different than other schools around us."

We got a tour of the room students will learn video production and tape their morning announcements. Over the next two years, the plan is to turn it into to a K-8.

Fairview parents made a choice at the end of last school year, keep their child at the current campus with a pilot program or take them a few streets over at Glendale and Giddings to the brand new Riverway Elementary.

"You'll see a little more technology more fluid seating arrangements," Oto said.

The new campus has the latest technology when it comes to teaching students and even has options for outdoor learning. Oto says the goal district wide is to cater to the belief that school goes beyond learning.

"I want this to be a school," Oto said. "Any of our schools where kids come in and start developing the community we're going to have 5, 10, 20 years from now."
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.