Hanford schools eye early November reopening if county stays in red tier

Meanwhile, 10 elementary schools in Kings County have already been approved to reopen under the separate waiver system.
HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- This week Kings County advanced to the red tier of the state's reopening system, allowing certain businesses to open indoor operations.

But in order for schools to reopen for in-person instruction, the county must stay in the red tier for another two weeks.

That's why public health officials here say it's so important for everyone to do their part to help keep the case rate and positivity rate down.

Get tested, get a flu shot, wear a mask, and avoid gatherings.

If the numbers hold, schools in Kings County could start reopening as soon as October 28th.

But even if the light turns green, schools in Hanford say they'll need a little more time.

Elementary schools would like to start bringing some grade levels back the first week of November.

And the Hanford Joint Union High School District has committed to reopening one week later - on November 9th.

"Just to ensure that scheduling and cohorts and all of those things were in place prior to that start date," said Hanford Joint Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Victor Rosa.

Rosa says students will be placed into A and B groups - A attending in-person classes two days of the week, B two different days of the week.

"So we altered our schedule in two ways," Rosa explained. "Not only are we cohorting and splitting the schools in half, we're then moving to a block schedule so that there are only three or four transitions in that day."

Distance learning will continue for students during the other three days of the week, and the district will still offer full distance learning to families.

But Rosa says a recent survey clearly shows that most students plan on using the hybrid model.

"For the most part, our community has been very vocal," he said. "They're ready. We know our students have really specific needs that only the actual school house can provide."

While the wait is now underway, ten elementary schools in Kings County have already been approved to reopen under the separate waiver system.
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