Tulare County officials monitoring situation at Outside Creek School

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tulare County Public Health says they are aware a school near Farmersville is operating with children on-site.

It comes two days after a school employee at Outside Creek told us they weren't open for instruction, but rather, childcare.

The school is not a licensed childcare facility, and sources say the school is doing in-person learning in defiance of state rules.

Whatever they're doing, Tulare County Supervisor Kuyler Crocker is supportive of it.

He says the school kept their students safe when they stayed open after the spring shutdown and is confident the superintendent, Derrick Bravo, can do the same this year.

"Superintendent Bravo has the health and wellness of his students at the forefront of his decision-making I have no doubt about that," Crocker said. "So it's a matter of what's the best for them and we've gotta have some flexibility to allow for that."

Crocker points out that Outside Creek is a small K-8 school-less than 100 students and is therefore better suited for social distancing than many other school districts.

"We're also talking about individuals whose parents...can't afford traditional day care, they still have to work, we're talking about a lot of essential workers in this community, just south of Farmersville."

"The California Department of Public Health and the Governor have provided clear guidelines regarding when a school can physically open," the California Department of Education said. "State Superintendent Thurmond has also stated that schools should only open when it has been determined that it is safe to do so."

They also mentioned the waiver process for reopening elementary schools, but Tulare County Public Health hasn't approved any waivers yet.

The county health officer hasn't issued a closure order for Outside Creek, but public health officials say they are in contact with state authorities and are reaching out to school officials.

Supervisor Crocker says he plans to reach out to Superintendent Bravo and hopefully do a site visit at Outside Creek soon.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux also says he's been in contact with Superintendent Bravo about the situation.
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