Tulare schools split students' virtual learning between morning, afternoon cohorts

The program allows for student and teacher interaction every day, something parents had desired.
TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Students in the Tulare City School District came back to a very different classroom on Thursday -- one week later than initially planned.

Roughly 10,000 Tulare City School students logged in to their classroom for the first time, but the district is doing it differently, splitting their students up into AM and PM cohorts.

"That's how we'll come back if we come back," said Superintendent Brian Hollingshead. "The reason we did that is for social distancing and we can cut the classroom sizes down if we come back."

The start date was delayed a week to give teachers extra time to prepare for the switch to virtual learning, and technology was passed out earlier in the week. Kids were put into either morning sessions from 8 am to 11 am or afternoon sessions that run from 1 pm to 4 pm.

"It kind of morphed into well we really want to see our kids every day. If we see our kids every day and can do social distancing, then we could do an AM and PM situation," said Asst. Superintendent to Student Services, Paula Adair.

The program allows for student and teacher interaction every day, something parents had desired.

"Loud and clear is we want as much instructional time as possible and keep it as consistent as possible," said Adair.

When the district gets the clearance to bring students back, they'll be able to keep students socially distant.

"We don't know when we'll be able to come back, we know it's not right now," said Hollingshead. "We have to come back with a set amount of students in the AM and a set in the PM so we can do social distancing because the class can only hold so many people at a social distance."

For now, teachers will lead cohorts from their classrooms with a two-hour planning period between the morning and afternoon cohorts.
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