Fresno Unified students and teachers see hope for return on the horizon

Thursday marked the first day of the COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Valley Children's Hospital.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Almost one year after school campuses were closed statewide, hope is on the horizon.

In partnership with Fresno County public health and Valley Children's hospital, Fresno Unified School District officials say by the end of March, all educators and staff who want a COVID vaccine will get their shot.

"I'm very excited because I can't wait to start working in person, with my students and going back to normal," said 4th grade teacher Brenda McLain.

"It shows how much they care for students in our county and how much they want teachers back in the classroom," she added.

Thursday marked the first day of the COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Valley Children's Hospital.

"The team is excited to be here. They know that tie to the community. A lot of them have kids in Fresno Unified so they feel this is something personal," said vaccine clinic coordinator and registered nurse Stacie Venkatesan.

Venkatesan added, "I have a senior and the thought of him even getting to return to school even for a month before his senior year ends is uplifting."

Fresno Unified School District superintendent Bob Nelson said, "That's a game-changer. In the valley, to have this level of access to vaccines changes everything in a lot of different ways. So we're thankful educators are an integral part of 1B."

It's allowing for a safe return to campus for both educators and students.

Immediately following spring break, Fresno Unified will bring students up to the 2nd grade level back to campus on April 6th.

However, Governor Gavin Newsom's plan could expedite the process.

Nelson added, "Every kid will be online with their classroom assigned teacher or in space with their classroom assigned teacher and the goal is keeping those relationships now."

Students will return on a hybrid plan, but with 106 campuses in the district. What that looks like could change in the coming weeks.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.